Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why Did the NJ Star-Ledger Delete My Comment on Khizr Khan’s Dem Convention Speech?

Relating to yesterday’s post (8/2/16), my comments on Tom Moran’s column (Muslim Father Schools Trump on American Values) regarding Khizr Khan’s Democratic National Convention Speech (and his related anti-Trump rant) were subsequently deleted by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. This surprised me. I left this reply:

I’m not sure why my comments were deleted. If it was taken as offensive to Mr. Khan, my apologies. As I stated, no disrespect was meant to Mr. Khan or his family. Neither was any lack of respect for his son’s service or lack of compassion for his son’s loss meant. Given that Mr. Khan’s speech was political—at least as presented by Tom Moran—and given in a political context, I considered my rebuttal appropriate and on-topic. But if it was taken as offensive or hurtful to Mr. Khan, again my apologies. It was not intended that way.

Donald Trump has taken heat from GOP bigwigs for remarks he made about Mr. and Mrs. Khan. The heat appears well-deserved. I am not defending Trump. The point is—and Tom Moran makes this very plain—Khizr Khan gave a partisan political speech designed for public consumption at the Democratic National Convention that was clearly intended to boost the candidacy of the Democrats’ nominee for president, Hillary Clinton. By definition, that opens the door to critical scrutiny and rebuttal of his remarks just as validly as it opens the door to supportive commentary. My criticism implies no callousness towards the Khan family or any lack of compassion for the combat loss of their son. Nor does it imply any question on my part about his or his wife’s or his son’s patriotism, even though I believe his patriotism is misplaced. I appreciate Khizr Khan’s call to root out “traitorous” Islamic terrorists among the American Muslim population.

There is no question that our military stands between America’s survival and its enemies abroad. Taxes to support the military are among those I’m happy to pay, even despite the waste inherent in most government spending, including the defense budget. I would pay them voluntarily even if they were not compulsory. Our all-volunteer military is crucial, and I respect and appreciate those who volunteer. Khan’s son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, is said to have “sacrificed.” That’s common and expected. But a sacrifice is a loss. I’d prefer to believe that Capt. Khan volunteered to risk his life for the American ideals he believed in, viewing the risk not as a detriment but as a reflection of his desire to fight for life in freedom rather than live under an Islamist dictatorship, which is what would happen to America if we didn’t have a strong committed military to defend it.

That is why it is so important to have the discussion about what America and its Founding documents, the very things our military exists to defend, stand for—and who within America would and are working to undermine them. What are those ideals, and who are those ideals’ enemies?

That’s the issue I was addressing—an issue initiated by Khizr Khan and Tom Moran. Yet my respectful and relevant rebuttal was deleted—deleted by a newspaper that routinely smears dissenters to climate change catastrophism as “deniers,” and refers to Republicans like Ted Cruz as “crazies.” Deleted, by a newspaper I’ve been a paying subscriber to since 1972. After more than a decade and hundreds, and by now perhaps thousands, of comments—including several tagged as “featured comments”—this deletion is a first.

Why did the NJ Star-Ledger delete my comment on Khizr Khan’s Democratic Convention Speech? There are a lot of deleted comments in the thread, which now contains more than 4000 comments in total. Perhaps the Star-Ledger censor just went a little wild, unthinkingly deleting my comment simply because it is critical of Khan. Every comment also features a “flag” button. Perhaps some correspondent who couldn’t answer me flagged it for deletion, and the Star-Ledger mindlessly complied. Who knows? Whatever the reason—and I wasn’t given one—I think the deletion was uncalled-for and beneath the Star-Ledger and especially Khizr Khan, who should have expected critical scrutiny.

Related Reading:

US Marine And Navy Veteran Writes BLISTERING Open Letter To Khizr Khan, identified as Chris Mark, US Marine and Navy Veteran.

[NOTE: I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this letter or its author, who remained anonymous. However, she makes the same point I made:

“[Y]ou dared to flash your picket Constitution and ask if Trump has read it. I dare to ask you, Sir….HAVE YOU READ IT? If you say yes, then I dare ask you HOW you could represent that party? . . . Your son died for that Constitution you so carelessly waved around on national TV in support of the very party that exists to destroy it.” (SIC)

I do not necessarily endorse everything in this letter. But on these few passages, I wholeheartedly concur.

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