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    This combination of file photos shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton(R) speaking at New York University in New York on July 24, 2015 and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump exiting the New York Supreme Court after morning jury duty on August 17, 2015 in New York

    US Elections: Khan Family’s Grief Exploited While Iraq War Devastation Ignored

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    Donald Trump’s attack on the family of deceased Muslim US Army captain Humayun Khan has escalated, causing Democrats to publicly denounce the Republican candidate’s comments, and members of his own party to distance themselves from the real-estate-speculator-turned-politician.

    Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Mike Prysner, a former US soldier who served in Iraq during the 2003 US invasion, and who later became an anti-war activist with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and founder of anti-war veteran group March Forward! about Trump’s behavior and how both parties opportunistically use war to gain support.

    ​Prysner commented that the orientation toward the Iraq War by both major parties first struck him during the Democratic debates, as he recalled that during the first day of the debates he had received word that a fellow Iraq vet had committed suicide. 

    "It showed this big contrast," he said. "For people who experienced the war, it’s very much still a thing in everyone’s life, and something that’s continuing to take lives, but for politicians it’s just something that they can refer to in the past, as a vote in Congress, or it could just be a mistake, and now they can run for president, with no accountability or responsibility for any of it."

    Prysner feels that politicians are using the Iraq War cynically, with no consideration for all the people — soldiers, civilians, aid workers, and uncountable others — affected by the conflict.

    The soldier-turned-peace-activist said he’s not surprised by Trump’s comments about the war, "but what surprised me is that every Democratic candidate in the beginning had to stand up and say 'I oppose the Iraq war, it was a mistake,' but no one wants to talk about the fact that Captain Khan died senselessly, and that Hillary Clinton was one of those people at the forefront, leading the Democratic Party support for George W. Bush in the war."

    Prysner suggested that the Democratic Party’s response to Khan’s treatment was "feigned outrage," adding, "It’s like trying to say 'We denounce these comments' but really it’s been the basis of the underlying justification for their foreign policy for many years." 

    Loud & Clear host Brian Becker remarked, "Hillary Clinton seems intent on making more families suffer the grief that the Khan’s experienced because she wants to escalate the war in Syria and wants to expand the war in Iraq. She said in 2011, while serving as Secretary of State, 'It’s time for the United States to Start thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity.'"

    "(Trump and Clinton are) cut from the same cloth," Prysner remarked, "and they represent the same interests, and that comes through. Look at the DNC…It was the Pentagon and military establishment at the convention really vouching for her as the Pentagon’s candidate. We know now that both of them, from the way they’ve been talking, we can expect acceleration or continuation of these devastating wars that have hurt so many people and we need to be preparing for it now, rather than the outcome of the election."

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    Tags:
    2003 invasion of Iraq, Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton, Trump, Khizr Khan, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, United States
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