Guest Post: What the Republicans and Democrats just don’t get

Khizr-KhanThe following post was written by the wife of an Army buddy of mine. These are her thoughts. These are her emotions.

These thoughts are not partisan in nature, nor are they impugning either of the repulsive characters involved in the Khan saga.

My friend is a Soldier. He was there when Humayun Khan sacrificed his life. He saw that sacrifice in raw and vivid detail. His wife says he’s been having a difficult time with all this. Every time he sees another exploitative story, according to her, he gets upset.

I haven’t said a word about the Democrats shameful use of this Gold Star family’s tragedy as a political tool in their convention. Nor have I said anything about Donald Trumps equally shameful subsequent attacks on the parents. 

Both are equally repugnant, and I would urge every reader to put aside their hatred for either or both candidates, read these thoughts and consider where we are as a country. Is this the best we can be?

This post isn’t about what I feel. It is the voice of another – a voice that needs to be heard.


It’s an election year and the internet world is buzzing. People are snarling and growling at each other like so many monsters while hidden behind cyber veils of anonymity. Every action and every word of the candidates are being dissected, torn apart, and re-imagined to suit whatever agenda is being served.

It is an absolute muckraking mess. I customarily try to avoid these things and stay in my bubble so that I can enjoy my life.

Unfortunately, I have been shoved so far into the political toilet this week, that I am barely afloat. I find myself up, late at night, writing this because someone needs to address this issue.

No this has nothing to do with women’s rights, or my uterus, or gay rights, or transgender rights, or any of the hot button issues that you may think would concern a young woman. Instead it boils down to one simple fact – one simple moral principle that seems to have been lost on the media, the masses, and the political parties, in what can only be described as a feeding frenzy.

Capitalizing on the death of a soldier and the pain of his family for political gain is NOT OK.

I’m sure that you have all watched it. The parents of the late Army Captain Humayun Khan stood up at the Democratic National Convention and encouraged voters to vote Democrat, with Mrs. Khan standing strong next to her husband – a mother’s pain and anguish clear on her face. You heard the cheers as the camera panned out over a tearful, diverse and thoroughly patriotic audience who were fired up with the passion of purpose. It was all very heartwarming.

Except that it wasn’t heartwarming at all.

What you didn’t see were the Soldiers who served with Captain Khan as they struggled to cope.

What you didn’t see were their faces going pale as the memories re-emerged.

What you didn’t see was the anger when they realized that one of their own was being used posthumously as a prop to support a politician.

You didn’t see the rage when they realized the pain of Captain Khan’s parents was being exploited, or the abject disgust at the raging media circus that has ensued.

You haven’t seen their faces crumple with an abject sense of helplessness, as the name of a hero whom they hold in the highest regard has been dragged through the dirt by politicians and the media.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am sure that Captain Khan’s parents really only spoke with the best of intentions. I’m positive that they never would have thought that the American media and the American public could be so heartless when speaking of their deceased son. What has been said and done in the name of politics is appalling. I hold the family of Captain Khan in the highest regard.

Now before you stop reading and think that I’m just being some preachy opinionated internet keyboard warrior, I should tell you how I arrived at my view of this fiasco.

On June 8, 2004 Captain Humayun Khan took a Humvee to the entrance of FOB Warhorse. He greeted the gate guards, made conversation with them, and stepped outside to address some locals. It was his day off, but he was at the gate that day when he should have been resting. I have been told that he was meeting with local Iraqis to help them form a neighborhood watch program. A scant few minutes later there was a loud explosion. The guards at the gate were blown into the Hesco barriers by the force of the blast. They suffered ruptured eardrums and a myriad of other injuries.

One of those guards who greeted Captain Khan shortly before he stepped outside the FOB for the last time is my husband.

That was the day that Captain Khan died while saving my husband’s life.

That was the day that a man I never met ensured my future by giving up his own.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. Every time my daughter smiles, every time I hear my husband speak or crack a joke. Every single time we eat a family dinner or enjoy a movie Humayun Khan is there in the back of my mind.

Many of you saw a handsome young man’s face magnified on that screen. You saw the face of an American ideal, you saw the idea of a hero translated into a face.

I saw the face of a true warrior to whom I can never repay my debt. My husband saw the face of a brother in arms, a fellow soldier. He saw the face of a hero as well but he also saw the face of a human being and he remembered in vivid detail.

The general populace is detached. Many Americans only ever see neatly edited clips of war. For many war is a spectator sport. It is a glorious montage of patriotism and heroism that flashes across the screens of our televisions and our devices. Unfortunaly like most entertainments for the spectators it’s not real or solid in their minds.

Soldiers who serve don’t have that benefit; they get the full brutal reality. It is something that they live, see, hear, feel and smell. It is something that changes them. It is the memory that lurks and the bad dreams that torment. It is a never ending feeling and depository of memory.

For Captain Khan’s parents there are no words of gratitude that are appropriate and there are no words of sympathy powerful enough.

No one should ever have to be thanked for losing a child.

The question is where do we go from here? What’s done is done.

There is one thing we can do.

We can demand an apology from both the Democrats and the Republicans. We must remind the politicians that the stories of our honored dead are not theirs to use as they see fit. The valor of our heroes is not a commodity to be traded and capitalized on, and the pain of Gold Star family members is not and never should be a political crutch.

Our military families, Soldiers, veterans and our honored dead are the backbone of this nation. You shouldn’t have to be reminded to treat us with dignity and respect.

We are the citizens of a free nation founded by rebellious fathers. You will not tread on us.

29 responses

  1. It’s the first imperative of any politician–even one who is righteous and truly interested in serving his country–to get elected. If he’s not elected, he cannot solve the problems he wants to solve.

    It’s too easy to forget why it is imperative to get elected, and to focus on getting elected (or re-elected) as if it were only thing that matters, and that mentality has clearly taken over both the Trump campaign and the organizers of the DNC. Everything else–including respecting the people they are supposedly trying to serve–takes a back seat.

    Shame on them.

    Shame on us, for having tolerated this shit for this long.

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  2. Skinnedknuckles

    I absolutely agree that our politicians do not have the right to exploit our fallen servicemen and women for political gain. I hated it when I was in service in the Vietnam Era and I hate it today.

    I also feel that the Gold Star families owe a similar duty to our fallen. The Democrats did not force the Kahns to appear nor did it force them to use the opportunity to attack the Republicans. Nor does their loss immunize them from the results of their actions. Blood dancing is blood dancing, no matter who does it, and it is disrespectful of the fallen.

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    1. Well, they have the right, technically. They just don’t have the decency not to.

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  3. In my opinion the correct statements are, “I am deeply sorry for your loss. I grieve with you. I and the entire nation is in your debt.” I agree with the author, the Khan’s deserve an apology from the Democrats for abusing their sacrifice and the Republicans for disrespecting them.

    On another site, I took heat for this position. I have considered the source.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. A lot of folks I know are very pissed off at both parties for politicizing this.

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      1. That would be a refreshing change.

        Everything I have seen, including Fox news, is channeling all outrage at Trump, and none at the DNC. Though Fox admittedly complains the media ignored the woman who blamed Hillary for the death of her relative at Benghazi.

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  4. Very emotional subject for you on many sides. Both parties are being scumbags, but what the hell else is new?

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  5. I am probably going to take some heat for this, but there are a couple of things that appear to have been overlooked:

    1. Putting on your country’s uniform is no guarantee of sanctity. See Benedict Arnold, John Kerry, Major Hassan from Fort Hood. It therefore gives you no immunity from examination of past actions; it certainly gives no immunity by association to family members who have never worn it.

    2. Politicization? Would that be bringing up a long-time Clinton supporter who is an employee of her private law firm to give this testimonial?

    3. Let’s not forget the father’s well documented reputation as an advocate of sharia law for the United States.

    4. Finally, as documented in the Koran, no practicing Muslim can actually take any oath (citizenship, commissioning, etc.) with no “mental reservation”, since no oath to an unbeliever is binding.

    In short, Mr Khan’s present activity can be criticized and should be. The blatant double standard employed by Democrats will continue as long as they can find people on our side willing to excuse it.

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    1. 1) This has nothing to do with sanctity. Please don’t compare CPT Khan to pieces of shit like Kerry and Hasan! That’s an unconscionable.

      2) Politicization happened from both sides, and it was repugnant from both sides to use this hero’s death for that purpose, as this woman wrote.

      3) Shoebat first “reported” this Khan is a sharia guy stuff, and screeching Trumpanzees picked it up and ran with it. I find it questionable.

      4) There are Muslims who have fought and died for this country. They were my brothers and sisters, and they were the brothers and sisters of everyone who has served with them. To imply that they’re somehow false citizens because they happen to be Muslim is repulsive.

      Activity can be criticized. Sure. But the excoriation of this family that is taking place makes me fucking sick!

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      1. Then you didn’t click the link. Hard to argue with hi own words…. unless you fall into the trap the Left sets when they try to tell Muswlims what Islam means. Reading the Koran is plenty.

        And my entire point is that I don’t care WHAT Captain Khan was; I care what the father is, and all the evidence to date is that he’s a Muslim who believes in instituting sharia here and is using his son’s death for that purpose.

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        1. Actually I read the majority of the links in that article previous to it being written, because Shoebat published them.

          I don’t fall into “traps” of telling anyone what their own religion means. People practice in different ways. I’m an atheist, and I don’t give a fuck how they do so, unless it impacts other people’s rights. And by the way, people tell Christians what their religion says all the time, so that’s not new or different.

          Your entire post implied that CPT Khan was simply lying when he took his oath and that somehow he was a traitor. Nope. Sorry. Not this time. His father had the right to speak, much like Pat Smith had the right to speak. I’m appalled that the DNC took advantage of their loss and the loss of CPT Khan to push their agenda, and the Republicans for immediately attacking him as some kind of Islamic sleeper agent. Both suck.

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        2. No, my post said exactly what it said; your interpretation is all yours.

          Captain Khan was what we know about him: a serving member of the military who died in heroically in combat. Whether he would have been a Nidal Hassan is unknown and unknowable.

          However, Islam lays out plainly that Captain Khan, if a Muslim according to the Koran, could NOT have kept his citizenship or commissioning oaths; since he was apparently doing so, he would have been an apostate the first time he was asked to betray his oaths to further Islam and refused. Again, this is not interpretation; simply what the religion commands.

          His father, OTOH, is by his own writings an advocate of sharia law replacing the Constitution, is and has been working for a law firm tied to the Clintons’ shady dealings, and therefore any words he puts in his dead son’s mouth, or claims he makes about the Constitution, should be taken with several grains of salt….. which your hatred of Trump prevents you from doing.

          Captain Khan’s mother? Given the Islamic endorsement of wife beating and honor killing, whether her words are her own is an open question. One would hope they were.

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      2. I think he was saying the father (i.e., the guy who appeared at the DNC) is the sharia clown, not CPT Khan, the war hero.

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  6. snelson134, I find it interesting that you seem so well versed in the koran that you are able to say that Capt. Khan could not have been either a true Muslim or a true honorable soldier, to paraphrase, because he couldn’t take an oath that was ‘binding’. You seem to overlook the Bible and the part where it tells Christians not to take an oath, either. So by your logic, any Christian in the entire U.S. military that has taken the oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the country from all enemies foreign and domestic, is either not a Christian, or can’t be held responsible for the oath of allegiance that they took. I suspect that you are either just trying to stir up an argument, or you are even worse than a left leaning nut who doesn’t care about truth. A right leaning nut who doesn’t care about truth.

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    1. Of course, you have a citation for that verse.

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      1. Matthew 5:34, for one.

        Spinning explanation about why it’s not the same thing in 3…2…1…

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        1. No, you’re quite right. Christians are commanded to be honest simply by their word.

          Of course, the New Testament also has no commandment to lie to anyone who isn’t a Christian; Islam does. I’m sure that makes no difference.

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      2. That is the one that comes to mind 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

        34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

        35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

        36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

        37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

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        1. I thought there was one more. James 5:12King James Version (KJV)

          12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

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    2. And BTW, there seems to be evidence that Captain Khan was on the side of Light:

      Here’s an amusing coincidence, if it indeed is a coincidence: on page 27, there’s a photo of a tombstone in a military cemetery for a Muslim soldier who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The photo is captioned “Beware of dying as an apostate” and the soldier’s name is, get this, Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan.

      Again, my proposition is based on what the writings of Islam say for themselves. Yours? Nothing but assertion.

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      1. So the word of those who served with him is not good enough to prove to you that Khan was an American hero, but a blog citing another document convinced you. Got it.

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        1. You seem determined to persist in lying about what I said. What part of father vs son was unclear?

          “Captain Khan was what we know about him: a serving member of the military who died in heroically in combat. Whether he would have been a Nidal Hassan is unknown and unknowable.”

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  7. One more thing. Thank your army buddy for me Nikki, for his service. I am saddened at what he and many others like him, had to go through, both overseas, and now here at home, where they should be safe from the dogs of war, and instead the dogs turn out to be the people they were defending.

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    1. I sure will. He’s going through some stuff right now. Won’t even get on the Internet too much.

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    2. I will relay the message Pigpen.🙂

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  8. SNelson, if you wished to hear from me here I am. I am the author of this piece and I want you to know that I respect your right to an opinion.

    I have been observing since this article was published and was actually surprised at the lack of dissention shown so far.

    However, just because I respect your right to have an opinion doesn’t mean I agree with that opinion.

    From just observing, I don’t think your post was meant to be academic in the least, despite asking for clarification and facts. I suspect your posts, whether you realized it or not, were written in the hopes of eliciting an emotional response. I’m going to choose to believe that you didn’t do it intentionally because I try to believe the best of people until they prove otherwise.

    Here’s my issue with your post.

    You compared the Khans to Nidal Hasan. You even went so far to state, “Whether he would have been a Nidal Hassan is unknown and unknowable.” You compared the family of a fallen soldier and the soldier himself to a mentally ill jihadist. That is akin to comparing Fred Phelps to Mother Theresa. It is apples and oranges.

    You are questioning the character of a man incapable of defending himself and applying whimsical theories about “what could have been”, based on various pages that you have read. How is that even applicable to the issue at hand?

    The fact that you even think there could be any correlation based on faith speaks of social bias. Yes I know that SJW’s throw this term around all the time, but the simple fact is that sociological theory did exist prior to the SJW movement even if they don’t believe it did.

    The question is this. Why have you brought up the faith of the Khan family? If the Khans were any other faith would you even be looking this deeply into it?

    You will notice that not once did I ever bring up the faith of Captain Khan or his family in the original article. I did this on purpose.

    When my husband speaks of Captain Khan he never mentions his faith. I have known many soldiers who served with him and I have never once heard any of them refer to him as a Muslim. They simply refer to him as Captain Khan a fellow soldier and fellow human being.

    Religion has nothing to do with the point of the article despite the DNC exploiting the Khan’s faith to create the illusion of supporting diversity when in fact the goal was to create more division.

    Why would the DNC seek to create division in our populace? Because a divided populace is more likely to vote for their candidate. An emotionally charged divided audience is more prone to impulsively act than to research their options logically. This is very basic human nature and both parties are guilty of using this same tactic to try to pander votes.

    The moral issue presented here still holds firm no matter what faith you adhere to or party you support. The exploitation of dead soldiers and their families for political gain is morally reprehensible.

    My second issue with your post is this statement.

    ” Putting on your country’s uniform is no guarantee of sanctity.”

    Please point out where I stated that all soldiers are sacred and holy beings.

    War is ugly, really ugly and there is no sanctity to be had in it.
    HOWEVER

    The expectation that our politicians would be respectful of our fallen soldiers and their families is a reasonable one.

    The expectation that the people who want to be our leaders would hold themselves to higher standards of morality and ethics should be a given.

    If our politicians are incapable of stopping and thinking about how their actions reflect on themselves and their country and If they do not understand the precedent that they set for our citizens, then they are unfit to lead us.

    Treating our honored dead with respect costs us nothing. Mistreating their memory and their families after their death costs us everything as a society. It creates and adds to a social norm of moral ineptitude which is bad for all of us.

    Lastly, calling Nicki a liar because she disagrees with you is absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable. If you resort to ad hominem then you have already proven that your argument is invalid.

    Nicki, thank you so much for posting my article.

    “The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs.” ~Voltaire; A Treatise on Tolerance (1763)

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    1. Hugs. You’re welcome to guest post here anytime!

      BTW – I notice once I provided the Bible verse for the prohibition on taking oaths, the commenter shut the fuck up rather quickly.🙂

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  9. I was actually waiting for an argument to ensue in the manner of SNelson’s in regards to the Khan’s faith and the character of Captain Khan. It seems to have been the prerogative in this election to defame the character of those with whom you disagree. I know the comment sections of news stories are the boogie man and you should pretend they aren’t there, but I read them anyway and they are full of this type of thing. SNelson, I do hope you rebut in this discussion, echo chambers do none of us any good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] when both political parties saw it fit to use the Gold Star family of Army CPT Humayan Khan as a means to promote their candidates in a national […]

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