An Open Letter to Khizr Khan

headstone Army Capt. Humayun Khan
Photo Credit: dirtyatheist

If you ever needed an example for the meaning of the phrase "cheap shot" you could not do better than mention the political hitpiece by Khizr Khan at the 2016 Democratic National Convention when he asked Trump if he had ever read the Constitution (the Constitution does in fact allow the President to curtail the immigration of certain groups) and what did he ever sacrifice (no American President ever lost a child to war - but see note below).

So are we to understand that to be qualified to run for President you have to make sure your child dies in a war? Other than politicizing his son's death, what was Khizr Khan's purpose at the convention?

Chris Mark, a US Marine and Navy Veteran, put Mr. Khan in his place with this response:

Global Security, Privacy, & Risk Management, 31 July 2016, An Open Letter to Khizr Khan

Dear Mr. Khan,

I want to preface this letter by stating that I respect your son’s sacrifice for this great nation. By all accounts, he is a true hero that sacrificed himself in service to our country. For that I am thankful.

As a veteran, I watched your comments at the Democratic National Convention with a mixture of sadness, and anger. The United States has a military comprised of volunteers. Every single member has made the conscious choice to join the military and serve. There is not a single service member who has been forced into service. It is important for all service members (and apparently, their families) to understand that service to this great nation does not imbue one with special privileges or rights. I found your comments troubling when you said: “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Does it matter whether Mr. Trump has sacrificed “…nothing and no one?”…has Ms. Clinton “..sacrificed” for this nation? How about Mr. Obama? Your comment stating that Mr. Trump “…has sacrifice no one” is alarming. Are you intimating that YOU sacrificed? Sir, your son willingly sacrificed himself. As a father I cannot imagine the pain you must feel but his sacrifice is his own. He was not forced to serve.

I am troubled that you would allow a party that has little more than contempt for the US Service Member to parade you into the DNC to denounce Donald Trump. Did you watch when protesters at the DNC booed and heckled Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent Groberg? Did you notice your party interrupting the moment of silence for slain police officers? Your own hypocrisy in not denouncing these acts and instead using the DNC as a platform to make a political point is disgraceful. The simple fact is that whether one served or sacrificed does not give greater power to their statements. One vote is as valuable as another. That sir, is why our Country is great. Your condemnation of one person for a statement while standing idly as your party disparages veterans and police officers is the height of hypocrisy.

To conflate the need to prevent potential terrorists from entering our country with the belief that ‘all Muslims’ should be banned is simply wrong and disingenuous. As a reminder, Mr. Trump said: ” “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” The irony of your son’s own death at the hands of these very people in Iraq should not be ignored. I have little doubt that your son would have recognized the need to protect our country from these very people. In fact, he held is own troops back so that he could check on a suspicious car. Your son understood sacrifice and how to protect “his people”…’his soldiers’….’his fellow Americans’…

As you continue to make the media circuit and bask in the glow of affection cast upon you by a party that has little regard for your son’s own sacrifice, and veterans in general, I would ask you to consider your comments and your position more closely.


Chris Mark

As for Mr. Kahn's observation that many of the graves in Arlington Cemetery were of brave men of all faiths, genders and ethnicities, he failed to note that a great many more of those who died defending our country were killed by Muslims.


When I wrote that no American President ever lost a child to war it was in the context of "that to be qualified to run for President you have to make sure your child died in a war." A reader left a comment noting that Theodore Roosevelt's youngest son, Quentin, was shot and killed in Germany during WWI, years after he was no longer President.

This is what I should have written: "no American President ever lost a child to war before they became President." The idea here is that no American President ever had a child die in war before they ran for the office and so, according to Mr. Kahn, none of them were ever qualified to run for office because they were just like Trump, having never sacrificed anything.

### End of my article ###

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