Khans vs. Trump: A Reactionary Firestorm
August 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The political fire-storm that erupted after Hillary Clinton supporters Khizr and Ghazala Khan attacked Donald Trump at the DNC continues to burn and dominate the news.
The Khans, Pakistani-American Muslims, invoked the death of their U.S. Army captain son to denounce Trump for attacking Muslims instead of recognizing their sacrifices for America and for refusing to sacrifice himself. Trump retaliated with a thinly-veiled attack on the Khans for being Muslims: only Mr. Khan spoke at the convention Trump said, because Mrs. Khan “had nothing to say. She probably—maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
The political and media feeding frenzy escalated from there, with ruling class figures including President Obama joining in, basically demanding everybody take one side or the other.
But what are the two sides people are being told to choose between?
The Khan’s son was a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, after the U.S. had invaded and occupied the country. Under international law, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a war crime in its conception—and its execution! First, the U.S. knowingly invaded a country that had not attacked it and posed no imminent threat—a war crime. (Before the war, the rulers fabricated the lies that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction.) Second, in invading and occupying Iraq, the U.S. carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity including directly killing thousands of civilians, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands more, and carrying out torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.
A Few Points
First, NOBODY’S “service” in such a criminal war should be honored! In an interview with the New York Times, Khizr Khan described raising questions about the Iraq war to his son, who was about to be deployed. His son replied: “Look, that’s not my concern and that’s not my pay grade.” This—ignorance or “I was just doing my job”—is NOT a defense for crimes—a principle clearly enunciated by the U.S. judges at the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis following World War 2. In other words, what’s being wildly promoted and celebrated in this “controversy” is blind obedience to an evil cause!!
Second, the Democrats and ruling class as a whole are going to town around this controversy to solidify the terms of debate against Trump and in the election overall: who is going to most aggressively, uncritically and unapologetically support U.S. intervention around the world and the military that carries it out. This is also the theme behind the Democrats’ and rulers’ whole brouhaha against Trump over his alleged ties or softness toward Russia.
So if you’re gonna be against Trump and be for Hillary, you should be clear that the Democrats and the powers-that-be are making very clear to you that this is what you are signing on to.
Note: the Democrats have NOT hit Trump over his fascistic law-and-order ranting—not even mentioned! They haven’t hit him over his racist attacks on Black people—not a word! Nor for his attacks on immigrants—mentioned on occasion, but overall swallowed up by Khan furor. Not for his calls for torture or his attacks on the rule of law—neither even mentioned! Instead, Trump is being hammered on “national security”—i.e., the violent pursuit of U.S. global domination!
Third, for Trump’s part, his attacks on the Khans further his racist, fascist agenda of targeting all Muslims. That truly has to be opposed and fought against, but on what terms? Not on the terms of who is the most loyal American, but on the terms that such targeting of whole populations is utterly unjust and reactionary, and it forms part of a larger fascist agenda—none of which can be tolerated! The great contribution of immigrants is NOT as loyal cannon fodder serving the U.S. empire, but because many bring knowledge and understanding of what this country actually does all over the world, and conveying that is a very important and valuable contribution to opposing America’s lies, chauvinism, and crimes.
So step back and think about the terms of debate being set and how people are being trained to think by the Democrats and much of system in the Khan vs. Trump feeding frenzy. And think about the implications.
What if someone who’s a Muslim refuses to fight in the next war that Hillary Clinton decides to fight? Is such a person deserving of support? Would Muhammad Ali be deserving of support today if he were to refuse to kill for U.S. imperialism on the legal basis of his religion?
People need to reject the whole America No. 1! Stop thinking like Americans and start thinking about humanity!
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