As the end of August draws near so does the two-year anniversary of the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan. What was supposed to be an orderly end to the nation’s longest-running war turned into a tragedy after a suicide bomber killed 13 American servicemembers and hundreds of Afghans.
Could the chaos and subsequent death have been prevented? The answer is almost certainly. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden, seeking a political win, pushed forward with ill-fated withdrawal against the urgings of his own military advisors to reformulate the plan.
On Monday, the parents of some of the deceased servicemembers spoke out about their treatment. Those included the mothers of Nicole Gee and Dylan Merota. While the former slammed Biden for calling the withdrawal a “success,” the latter revealed the insensitive encounter she had with the president in which he lied to her about his own son’s death. It was a heart-wrenching scene that the mainstream press chose to ignore for obvious reasons.
It’s not just the Gold Star families involved that suffered incredibly odd encounters with the president, though. Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who lost his arm as a result of the Kabul bombing, told a similar story in a recent interview with Shawn Ryan, claiming that Biden’s visit left his mother “furious”
Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a Marine who survived the explosion in Kabul that killed 13 Americans, says that when Joe and Jill Biden came to his hospital room, the president reached out to shake his hand even though his arm was gone, immediately started talking about his son, and… pic.twitter.com/5axewScAPk
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 8, 2023
VARGAS-ANDREWS: He walks in with him and Jill Biden, and their little entourage of people and like photographer, and (pause), right away, I remember him coming up to me trying to shake my hand, trying to shake my right hand. I look at him, and I’m like, “I don’t have an arm.” My left arm is in this big-*** cast with this giant orange ******* foam block around it. I’m completely immobile, all I can do is move my hand, and he says “Oh” and like kind of stands up and goes over to reach for my fingers because about an inch of my fingers are showing. Doesn’t greet me or anything. That’s what happened, just grabbed my fingers.
I was like, “Okay, that’s weird,” and, you know, almost immediately starts talking about how their son served in the military. Doesn’t say anything about what happened, just starts talking about how their son served in the military, and my mom is just like, she’s furious at this point. And they’re like taking pictures and stuff.
Almost all of those who have spoken out about their interactions with the president in the aftermath of the Kabul suicide bombing have told nearly the same story. It begins with Biden approaching them in a very impersonal manner before immediately launching into misleading insinuations that his son died in combat in Iraq. In reality, Beau Biden died of cancer years after returning home.
That points to Biden’s response being heavily scripted, given he seemingly said the same thing to everyone. According to Vargas-Andrews, the president didn’t even know his name, much less was he aware of the specific injuries he had suffered.
The oddity of Vargas-Andrews meeting with Joe Biden didn’t end with that, though. According to the Marine, after his mother stated the administration better take care of her son, the president then leaned in, just inches from his face to ask, “What do you want?”
VARGAS-ANDREWS: He leans over me, and he’s like this close to my face, and he’s like, “What do you want?”
INTERVIEWER: What do you want?
VARGAS-ANDREWS: Yeah, and he said, “What do you want?” I said, “What?” And he said, “What do you want?” I’m just like confused, I just got blown up and I just ******* saw my friends die next to me, and I just want to be myself. And he’s like, “Huh?” And my mom’s furious, and she’s like, “He said he just wants to be himself, he just wants to be him, he said he just wants to be me.” And he goes, “Oh, okay.”
And they just continued to talk about everything but what just happened, and then they just ushered him out of the room. He didn’t know what to say, they ushered him out of the room, and that was that.
Vargas-Andrews goes on to describe how his mother sought help from the administration, specifically asking First Lady Jill Biden for assistance only to be given the runaround and left with nothing. Throughout the interview, the Marine’s demeanor and tone aren’t ambiguous. He obviously felt that Joe Biden was not only just going through the motions in meeting with him, but that he was doing so in a way that was actively insulting. According to Vargas-Andrews, there was no apology or show of empathy, with the president choosing to talk about Beau Biden for most of the short-lived conversation.
To wrap things up, for those who want to see the full interview, I’ll post it below. Vargas-Andrews goes into intricate detail about what he and others experienced during the evacuation from Afghanistan. It’s definitely worth a partial or complete watch.