Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ghazala Khan Got Liberal Respect. Not Ryan Owens's Widow - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Democrats and the liberal media have mocked the survivors of our war heroes before.

President Trump’s moving and deserved tribute to the memory and sacrifice of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, delivered as his widow, Carryn Weigand Owens, sat in the gallery as his guest, has attracted praise from those that love the country he died for:
Of all the moments from President Trump’s first address to Congress, the most riveting piece of political theater was his tribute to the widow of fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. The president’s critics and supporters alike admired it.
Midway through his speech, the president gestured to Owens‘ widow, Carryn, who was a guest in the balcony seated with presidential daughter Ivanka Trump.
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens,” Mr. Trump said. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero -- battling against terrorism and securing our nation. Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom -- we will never forget him.”
Mrs. Owens, tears streaming down her cheeks, rose to acknowledge a lengthy standing ovation and raised her eyes to the heavens.
Unfortunately, the moment has also attracted the scorn and hypocrisy of those for whom patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, accusing President Trump of using her grief as a political pawn and even accusing Owens’ widow of being an idiot for giving her own tribute to her husband, raising her hands and eyes to a Heaven he now occupies in thanks for his life and his love, both of her and his country. Typical was the vitriol tweeted by Dan Grillo, former volunteer for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
A former Hillary Clinton volunteer drew swift condemnation -- and lost his job -- after mocking the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL who was honored by the president during his congressional address Tuesday night…
“Our veterans have delivered for this nation -- and now we must deliver for them,” Trump said, eliciting an extended standing ovation from the entire chamber for a visibly emotional Owens. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero -- battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said. While widely regarded as the most powerful moment of the night, Grilo was not impressed. Responding to a tweet from L.A. Times reporter Matt Pearce, who noted that Owens was crying and overwhelmed, Grilo tweeted:“Sorry, Owens' wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory by standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.”
Democrats and the liberal media have mocked the survivors of our war heroes before. Witness their shabby treatment of Charles Woods, father of Ty Woods, and Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, heroes who died, along with Glen Dougherty and Ambassador Christopher Stevens in the terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied to them in front of their sons’ caskets, with Hillary doubling down later to call the Benghazi families liars.

Of course, liberals had no trouble exploiting the grief of Gold Star family of Ghazala and Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention to attack Donald Trump’s proposed restrictions on immigration. As the kerfuffle about Donald Trump’s reaction to the speech by Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention gathered steam over the following weekend, Hillary Clinton repeated her slander that somehow the families of the Benghazi dead were lying when they said she told them in front of their son’s caskets they died because of a video. This time she didn’t say “liar”, but that their grief made them misunderstand her:
Over the weekend, Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accused two Benghazi families of "not understanding her" the day bodies of the Americans killed in Benghazi were returned home. This wasn't the first time Clinton essentially called Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, and Pat Smith, mother of information officer Sean Smith, liars. Woods and Smith say Clinton told them a video was to blame for the Benghazi attack, not terrorism. Clinton disagrees but "doesn't hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said."
In her patronizing monotone, Hillary essentially said the Benghazi families were not only liars but stupid as well, badly in need of a remedial English course. Now, Khizr’s wife Ghazala Khan, whose son gave his life for his country in Iraq, is a Gold Star mom deserving of our respect. Her silence at the convention should be interpreted as nothing more than grief, and Donald Trump would have been wise not to rise to the media bait. But Patricia Smith, Charles Woods, and other members of the Benghazi dead belong to Gold Star families as well. Where is their respect and media condemnation of Hillary Clinton’s callousness and serial lying about them and the terrorist attack that killed their sons? As Howard Kurtz, Fox News media analyst, points out:
There is no question that Khan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, provided a heartbreaking moment in Philadelphia. Trump had nothing to do with his son’s wartime death, of course, but Khan took his proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and used it to question whether the candidate has even read the Constitution (which Trump says he has).
The media have given this man and his wife an enormous platform -- in a way they conspicuously declined to do when Patricia Smith blamed Hillary Clinton at the Republican convention for the death of her son in Benghazi.
Charles Wood, the equally grieving father of Tyrone Woods, who died in the Benghazi terrorist attack, says he did not misunderstand what Hillary told him in front of his son’s casket:
This morning on America's Newsroom, Charles Woods again explained his version of events and didn't hold back about what Clinton did or said.
"She stood in front of my son's casket and blamed the rage directed at American embassies on a video she said we had no part of," Woods said. "When they had the casket ceremony she also lied to the American public. These are her words as best as I can recall, 'rage was directed at American embassies as a result of that awful video that we were not responsible for. She said basically the same thing in private to the families that were grieving and then a half hour later she said basically the same thing as far as causation to the American public."
Jim Geraghty, writing in National Review, notes the glaring disparity in the treatments of Ghazala Khan and Patricia Smith:
Hey, remember when the first night of the Republican convention featured Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans slain in Benghazi? Remember how her speech was called a “cynical exploitation of grief”? Or the “unabashed exploitation of private people’s grief” or “the weaponization of grief”? Remember how she “ruined the evening”? How it was, “a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend”? How some liberal commentators said, “Mrs. Smith was really most interested in drinking blood rather than healing”? How her speech represented an “early dip into the gutter”? Remember how a GQ writer publicly expressed a desire to beat her to death?
Patricia Smith was said to be a “grieving unhinged mother” that was exploited for political gain. Ghazala Khan was treated as the second coming of Cindy Sheehan, the Code Pink poster mom who the media slavishly covered as she encamped outside the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Patricia Smith understood Hillary perfectly. As Patricia Smith said in her riveting convention speech:
“I know a few things could’ve been done to prevent it. But nobody’s admitting to anything. Right now, my understanding is Hillary didn’t do a damn thing. And I wonder what she did as Secretary of State, because she disavows everything. She disavows the fact that she even got any call for security... If this is her Department, she certainly doesn’t know how to run the Department. And she lied the whole time. She lied to me and called me a liar on TV,” Smith continues.
“She said ‘One of us is a liar, and it wasn’t me,’” Smith recalls Hillary saying on air later...
“I am not a liar! I know what Hillary told me! In fact… I’ve spoken to quite a few different people -- Hillary and Obama, Panetta, Susan Rice, and several others… every one of them told me it was the fault of the video, including Obama -- and he denies it!
“Please, tell the world. Tell the world what she’s really like.”
The Democrats have no trouble mocking the likes of Patricia Smith, Charles Woods, and now, Carryn Owens, people whose grief and sacrifice is real and deserve every tribute coming their way. Nor do they have any trouble exploiting such grief when it suits their political purposes. Neither Carryn Owens nor President Trump exploited the death of “Ryan” Owens for political purposes. The Democrats and the Khans did. They are the idiots.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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