Has Khizr Khan asked, “What have the Clintons sacrificed?”

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A Brief History

Captain Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan (September 9, 1976 – June 8, 2004) was a Pakistani American Muslim soldier of the United States Army who was killed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Khan’s parents later appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where his father, Khizr Khan, spoke of his dead son and controversially rebuked the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.  Our hearts of course go out to the father of a soldier who died for our country, but there clearly seems to be some kind of double-standard at play in this latest controversy concerning the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  We have someone (Khizr Khan) chiding someone else (Donald Trump) for his lack of sacrifice when truth be told neither major party’s presidential candidate has sacrificed on the level of the Khan family.  It is thus rather hypocritical for Democrats to jump on the bandwagon and question the Trump family’s sacrifices or lack thereof when the Clinton family have not exactly made some kind of great sacrifice on behalf of America.

Digging Deeper

By all accounts, Captain Khan was a noble and honorable man.   According to USA Today, Donald Trump has called Captain Khan a “hero”.  Even in high school, Khan reportedly taught disabled children swimming.  His record as a soldier seems commendable as well, including the circumstances of his death.  Khan was inspecting a guard post when a suspicious taxicab began approaching too quickly.  Ordering his subordinates away from the vehicle, Khan ran forward 10–15 steps and was killed by a suicide car bomb fitted with an improvised explosive device.  The car detonated before it could reach the gates or the nearby mess hall where hundreds of soldiers were eating breakfast.  For his heroism, Khan was posthumously awarded both the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.  

Never has Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump demonstrated such bravery and selfless sacrifice.

Indeed, neither the Trump family nor the Clinton family has lost a child in war; in fact neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have children who are veterans.  And before anyone says, “Yeah, but Chelsea’s a girl”, well, are not men and women supposed to be equal?   Moreover, it is not as if females are somehow ineligible to join the military.  According to CNN, over 200,000 women are in the active-duty military.  Women have served in the Marines going back to World War I per this article and we even had a female general in the 1970s according to this article.  So, nothing was exactly stopping Mrs. Clinton from serving in our armed forces and certainly not her daughter.

Even if you still want to be sexist and say that soldiering remains a predominately male profession, well, what about Mr. Clinton?  As even Snopes points out, Bill Clinton unequivocally did what he could do to avoid being drafted during the Vietnam War.  Now, yes, you may contend, “Why WOULD anyone want to have served in that particular war?”  Just keep in mind that if you avoided a draft, then most likely that means some other poor chap got shipped over in your place.  Also, is it really appropriate for someone who intentionally dodged military service to be a president asking other parents to potentially sacrifice their kids?

Again, much of the same applies to Mr. Trump and his family, too, but we have once again another media blow-up that is dishonest and biased at best.  Trump may not have sacrificed in the same manner as Khan, but nor has Mrs. Clinton, her husband, or their daughter.  Therefore, Khan’s candidate of choice for America’s next president should be held to the same standard as her opposition and accordingly receive the same criticism for the same shortcomings.  After all, it is not as if President Bill Clinton never ordered our military into harm’s way (he of course did).  Moreover, Hillary Clinton in her capacity as a senator and secretary of state also made decisions and votes that risked the lives of American men and women in uniform.  Both Bill and Hillary Clinton did so despite not  having ever worn a military uniform themselves, nor ever expecting their child to do so either.  The same also goes for our current president and his family as well as the previous Republican candidate for president.  Yes, according to MSNBC, none of Mitt Romney’s children were in the military either.

In fact, in the 2012 and 2016 elections, the closest any nominated Democratic or Republican candidate comes to anything remotely resembling military service is Trump attending a military school.  He was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA), where he finished eighth grade and high school, participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and attained the rank of captain.

Oh, and if you are wondering about our vice presidential candidates in 2016, neither of them served in the military either, but unlike the two major candidates for president, at least the vice presidential nominees do have sons risking their life for our country.  Republican Mike Pence’s son is a Marine Corps officer (according to this article) and Democrat Tim Kaine also has a Marine for a son (according to this article).

In recent decades a frightening number of presidents, vice presidents and presidential candidates have not been veterans, and seldom do the children of high government officials serve in the military.  Why is this trend frightening?  Because these blowhards send other people’s kids off to war like it is nothing!  Maybe it is not essential for a leader to have served in the military, but being a draft dodger is certainly 2 strikes against a candidate, at least in our book.  “Tough guys” like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and George W. Bush sure avoided going to war through intentional evasion, and of course it is easy for Hillary Clinton to act tough when neither she, her husband or her child ever suffered the horror and terror of war.  Ah, for the days of war heroes who could step up to high office, such as George Washington, US Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy!  Our last 2 war heroes that ran for president got thumped (McCain and Kerry), which may be some kind of indication on where we are as a country.  Question for students (and subscribers): What do you think?  Please give us your take on this subject in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Cooper, B.D.  50 Reasons to Vote for Donald Trump.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.

Trump, Donald J.  Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.  Threshold Editions, 2016.


About Author

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland