A year ago, President Joe Biden ignored the advice of his senior commanders and yanked American troops out of Afghanistan in what turned out to be a disaster not only for that country, but for 13 Americans who would die during the debacle.
One of the fallen was Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, whose mother, Shana Chappell, made headlines last year when her social media accounts were deleted after she used them to place the blame for the deaths where it so clearly belonged — at the feet of the somnambulistic leader of the free world.
This month, Chappell recalled how meeting the president as her son’s body was flown back to the U.S. for burial actually made the tragedy worse for her at the time.
“The meeting with Biden was — I don’t even know if the dude was all there,” she told Townhall.
“I remember his wife, she went to shake my hand, and … I didn’t give her my hand, I just looked at her and then I looked at Biden and I told them, ‘I don’t actually want to talk to you.’ And he said, ‘OK, then,’ and he went to turn to walk away. And I said, ‘But I’m going to out of respect for my son. My son is Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui.'”
“And there [were] tears coming out because I was frustrated, angry and I’m hurt that I don’t have my son. And I’m looking at the man that I feel is responsible for my son’s death.”
It was at this point that Biden made one of his trademark, tone-deaf gaffes — but one more poignant than most.
“As soon as I start saying, ‘You know, I’m never going to get to hug my son again, I’m never going to see him, I’m never going to hear his laugh,’ he interrupted me and started talking about his son. About his son,” Chappell recalled.
“And I remember looking at him and going, ‘What are you doing?’ And then I said something along the lines of, ‘This isn’t about your son; this is about my son.’ And I told him he had no business talking about his son, and then I started again, talking about my son. And then he said, ‘I just wanted to let you know how I feel.'”
It’s hard to understand what would compel Biden — or anyone, for that matter — to share his own feelings instead of listening to those of a grieving mother. Don’t ask me; I can hardly ever figure out why this president does the things he does. Your guess is as good as his, probably.
“At that point, now I’m even more angry,” Chappell said — and it’s hard to blame her for that reaction. “Because he said he’d brought up his son because he just wanted to let me know how he feels. I probably sound like I didn’t care that he’d lost a kid, and I didn’t mean for it to sound that way.
“His son died of cancer. So they had time to be there with him, spend time with him, tell him goodbye. My son died because of the very man that I was talking to.
“And then he ended up turning his back on me to walk away, and that’s when I yelled, ‘Hey, Biden!’ And he turned around, and I said, ‘You know my son’s blood is on your hands, right?’ And I said, ‘All 13, their blood is on your hands.’ And he turned his back on me again and waved his hand behind his back and walked away.”
“The way he makes it seem is he looks at our boys as if they’re disposable and replaceable,” she said. “That’s how I feel he looks at them.”
Would that the story ended there, but Chappell’s grief only worsened when, earlier this month, her son Dakota took his own life after a year of mourning his brother’s loss.
“He started expressing that Kareem’s really gone, that he just wanted to be with him. And how much he misses him and loves him,” Chappell told CNN.
Dakota died across the street from the memorial for his fallen brother, not far from a park where they played together as children. He had complained that Kareem was alone in his grave, one of 13 fallen Americans who died — needlessly — as a direct result of Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal.
Make that 14.
If you’re thinking about suicide or are worried about someone who might be, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States simply by calling 988. You can also access additional information here.
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