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Sept. 15 Remarks: Jawaid Khan
HEAR OUR CRY*
I am a concerned father of two, a grandfather of two and a taxpayer. Hear our cry, Mr. President, hear our cry: end this quagmire of a war and bring our troops home.
Make no mistake about my support for our men and women who are in harm’s way.
I salute the men and women of the U.S. armed services and reserve units who so bravely and courageously are serving in Iraq today. Theirs is a gallant battle.
To the families of those valiant soldiers who have given their last measure of full devotion for our beloved country, my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and brothers, neighbors and friends. They are truly America’s heroes and who are deeply missed.
We must also remember a generation of young men and women facing a lifetime of rehabilitation and therapy, those who are living with pain, injuries and disabilities, and those who must now depend on medical treatment for the rest of their life.
Like you, I, too, am touched by world events that have defined this ugly episode in American history. I, too, love this country and my patriotic passion for it is second to none.
My son-in-law, a Marine reservist, was deployed in March of this year to Iraq. My son also serves as an officer in the Air Force. I respect their duty to country.
My perspective on America is unique. The USA is not the country of my birth; it’s my country of choice!
Thirty-three years ago, an awe-struck young man from Pakistan marveled at the dream of living in a free country that promised liberty and justice for all.
That young man stands before you today after a 20-year career in banking and federal service. Along the way, I married and helped raise two great kids.
Spurred by the horrific events of September 11, 2001, a significant shift in American foreign policy was set in motion. As a Muslim and as an American citizen, I was concerned for my family and for the first time, I felt uncomfortable, unsafe and vulnerable.
The subsequent invasion of Iraq further confirmed my misgivings about military decisions driven by politics and how they were affecting Muslims in America and other parts of the world. I heard the words “axis of evil