US President Joe Biden has been at the receiving end of the attacks after being caught looking at his watch during a ceremony for the 13 US service members killed in an ISKP suicide bombing near the Kabul airport.
In a video that has gone viral on the internet, Biden appears to look down at his watch, giving out a message that he was disinterested in paying tributes to the fallen US soldiers. The critics pointed out that Biden’s conduct showed a lack of empathy toward the grieving families.
It’s true. Joe Biden checked his watch during the dignified transfer of the servicemembers killing in Afghanistan at the airport. You can see him jerk his left hand to pull the watch out from under his sleeve, then look down at it. pic.twitter.com/M3QVzJbTIm— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 29, 2021
As Biden takes heat over his conduct during the tribute paying ceremony to the 13 US soldiers at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, several family members of military service members killed in Thursday’s attack in Afghanistan have come forward to blast President Joe Biden for his “selfish” and “disrespectful” behaviour towards the fallen soldiers, especially when the bodies were brought back to the United States.
The family of the US marines killed in an ISKP suicide attack in Kabul have also slammed Joe Biden for acting selfishly in their interactions.
Apparently our Commander-in-Chief has better things to do than honor the 13 service members who died on his watch? I’m DISGUSTED! God bless these heroes and their loved ones. They deserved better. pic.twitter.com/Ciuymtby3N— Ronny Jackson (@RepRonnyJackson) August 29, 2021
Mark Schmitz, the father of Missouri Marine Jared Schmitz who met Joe Biden, said the meet was not pleasant, adding that the president spoke more about his own deceased son than the fallen martyr.
Biden’s son – Joseph “Beau” Biden III had died in 2015 at age 46. He had served in Iraq with the US Army and had passed away from glioblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“Initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him,” Schmitz said. However, the grieving father met the US President, saying that he owed it to his son to at least have some words with the President about how he felt. Schmitz said that the meeting did not go well.
“He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that did not sit well with me,” Schmitz added, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
The family of another deceased Darin Taylor Hoover Jr. stated that they did not want Biden anywhere near their grieving family.
Darin Hoover, the father of Utah Marine Darin Taylor Hoover Jr., expressed his anguish over the president looking down at his watch not once but thrice times as the dead bodies were being offloaded.
“That didn’t happen just once. It happened on every single one that came out of that aeroplane. It happened on every single one of them. They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one, all 13, he looked down at his watch,” Hoover said.
Further, Hoover said, “As a father, seeing that and the disrespect, and hearing from his former leaders, one of [Taylor’s] master sergeants said … that this was avoidable — that they left them over there: They had them over there and let them down, and we can’t have that. It can’t happen ever again”.
As Hoover was asked why his family was not interested in meeting Biden, the grieving father said, “We said absolutely not. We didn’t want to deal with him, we didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be.”
Family of deceased soldier angry over Biden’s conduct, says do not want to see his face
Well, this is not the first time that Biden is being criticised by family members of the service members killed in the explosion at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Earlier, the sister of another US soldier had blasted the president, saying her family felt the president’s words were “scripted and shallow.” The family members of one of the Marines killed in Afghanistan had last week slammed President’s meeting with a Marine’s pregnant widow as scripted and a “total disregard” to the service member’s death.
During Biden’s visit to Dover, Delaware, on Sunday to attend the dignified transfer of the 13 service members killed in Kabul’s suicide bombings and meeting with their families, he had met Jiennah McCollum, the pregnant wife of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, alongside the fallen Marine’s father and sisters.
Jiennah McCollum, alongside the family of the fallen Marine, was scheduled to meet with the president, however only Jiennah ended up speaking with Biden after the family refused to meet Biden.
Speaking to Washington Post, Roice McCollum, one of the sisters, said the family did not want to meet Biden because they held him responsible for their fallen Marine’s death. The family stated that Biden’s words to the fallen Marine’s widow were hollow.
Biden disrespects mothers of the slain US soldiers in Kabul
Similarly, Paula Knauss of Clearwater, Florida, the mother of 23-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss said she was sad over the loss of her son and Biden’s “hasty withdrawal after 20 years of war.”
“You can’t have a hasty withdrawal after 20 years of war,” she said. “Because it’s beyond me.”
The grieving mother accused President Biden of trusting the enemy instead of putting the best interest of US troops, Afghan allies and all Americans first.
“The president of the United States has the ability to help our troops, have enough men and women to stay safe,” Paula Knauss said. “In all of our history, in all of the time that we have been fighting, where did you leave these men and women but at one airport, one location, one gate to funnel thousands through? And who did you trust? You trusted our enemy to allow who would come through,” the grieving mother added.
Shana Chappell, whose son was among the 13 US service members killed during last Thursday’s attack at Kabul airport, had attacked President Biden for her son’s death in Kabul on Facebook, saying: “my son’s blood is on your hands”.
In a detailed Facebook post, Shana Chappell wrote, “President Joe Biden This msg is for you! I know my face is etched into your brain! I was able to look you straight in the eyes yesterday and have words with you”.
She said that Biden then rolled his eyes at her as if he was annoyed at her and that the only reason she was talking to him was out of respect for her son. That despite his response, she repeated that it was he who took her son away. She said that when she started to tell him that the blood of her son was on his hands, he turned away and walked away as if he was saying, “okay, whatever”.
Calling him a weak human and a traitor, Chappell, said he turned his back on her son and all the heroes. “My son’s blood is on your hands,” she said. She further said that if “my President Trump” were in his “rightful seat”, her son and other heroes would have still been alive. “America hates you,” she said at the end of her post.
‘You are too pretty for this to happen to you’: Joe Biden said to the widow of a fallen soldier
In November 2016, Joe Biden, who was Vice President then, had also been criticised for insensitive behaviour while meeting a martyr’s family.
During the final months of President Barack Obama’s administration, Vice President Joe Biden had met the family of the 20-year-old soldier Tyler Iubelt at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Iubelt was killed in a suicide bombing at Bagram Airfield, carried out by an Afghan national who worked for a US defence contractor.
Following the meeting, an angry Mike Iubelt, the father of the Tyler Iubelt, has said, “I left there feeling worse than I did before he walked through the doors.”
The family said Biden complimented Iubelt’s widow in a way that angered both parents. Besides, the family said that Biden upset them by expressing pessimism about the War in Afghanistan as they awaited the remains of their son.
“He told my daughter-in-law … that she was too pretty for this to happen to her,” recalled Mike Iubelt, adding, “It’s probably a good thing that he was surrounded by Secret Service, probably for both of us, because I’d probably be locked up in jail right now”.