(TargetLiberty.org) – The August 27 suicide bombing of Kabul, Afghanistan, killed 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz and 12 other US servicemen. The event prompted President Joe Biden to meet with parents of the fallen on Sunday, August 29, to share his condolences. Many considered the bombing an avoidable tragedy, further inciting Schmitz’s father who reluctantly decided to meet with the president — and according a recent interview, their meeting “didn’t go well.”
A Distracted President
For a parent who just lost a child, Mark Schmitz’s strength of character is extraordinary. The grieving parent spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity about his meeting with Biden, and the tragic loss of his son, just three days after his son passed away.
Schmitz says he intended to reject Biden’s invitation to meet at first, but changed his mind after giving the matter more thought. If nothing else, he wanted the opportunity to give the president a piece of his mind on his late son’s behalf.
His account of the meeting is confusing, and in some ways, a little bit disturbing. Schmitz alleges that Biden seemed distracted and only half-present while the bodies of fallen soldiers were brought off the plane, and that he was constantly checking his watch to verify the time.
Schmitz also says that when the president did speak up, he mostly talked at length about his experience in losing his son Beau. According to Schmitz, he spent little time acknowledging the loss of service members and the steep losses in Afghanistan.
Still, the grieving father did tell the Washington Post he recognized Biden’s attempts to relate to their losses. “I’m not trying to insult the president,” he explained, “but it just didn’t seem that appropriate to spend that much time on his own son.”
Schmitz acknowledged that Biden was likely attempting to relate to the sense of grief family members felt after their loss. Ultimately, though, he felt more consoled by military leaders.
Tensions continue to rise over failures in Afghanistan, even now. Although the US military officially departed the zone on August 31, many allies and American citizens remain locked in place within the country. Some face mounting fears that Taliban leaders will target them for harassment or execution over their history of providing aid to the United States.
They can’t go to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for help, either — it’s neither operated nor staffed by anyone who can facilitate their return home. While Secretary of State Antony Blinken did say the Biden administration intends to provide options for extraction for the foreseeable future, he didn’t clarify exactly what that might look like.
Blinken’s promises also seem to clash with a recent travel advisory from the State Department, which warns of “civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and COVID-19,” within the region. That’s difficult news to bear for the 100-plus allies and Americans who remain in Kabul.
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