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Though 16 percent of U.S. adults believe the evacuation from Afghanistan was handled “very or somewhat well,” the parents of two U.S. Marines who were murdered during the bombings Thursday at the airport in Kabul don’t appear to be among them.
In an interview with The Daily Beast published Friday, one of the parents expressed outrage at the Biden administration for a job certainly not well done.
“They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security. I blame my own military leaders. … Biden turned his back on him. That’s it,” parent Steve Nikoui said in anger.
Nikoui’s son, Kareem, died at the age of only 20 …
Kareem Nikoui, US Marine. Killed in the Kabul Airport terror attack. pic.twitter.com/M2YnKpYZ9v
— Greg Kelly The PROJECT is a Secret (@gregkellyusa) August 27, 2021
U.S. Marine Kareem Nikoui was one of our fallen warriors from the cowardly terrorist attack in Afghanistan.
He was born the same year of the 9/11 attacks.
Kareem would often bring home 10-15 Marines on the weekends and holidays to his parent’s house for homecooked meals. pic.twitter.com/ZeWYwD8D7a
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) August 27, 2021
In a separate interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Nikoui added that the operation at the airport in Kabul was a “turkey shoot.”
Collins Dictionary defines a turkey shoot as “a battle or other conflict” where “one side is so much stronger or better armed than the other one that the weaker side has no chance of winning at all.”
“Basically, it’s funneled into like a single-file type [of] entry point at which, you know, if you have any sort of chaos of any sort, they would all gather to that one funneled area [in] which they would all be susceptible and I think that’s exactly what happened,” Nikoui told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“It was just basically so chaotic and not really planned out. Now, I’m a carpenter and even I could spot that with my untrained military eye,” he added.
Listen to his interview below:
(Video: Fox News)
Critics believe the “turkey shoot” and subsequent bombing that left over a dozen Americans dead could have been avoided had the Biden administration set up its evacuation base at Bagram Airbase instead of the airport at Kabul.
Kabul was reportedly chosen instead of Bagram because of the cap on troops demanded by President Joe Biden, according to reports.
Yet when questioned about the decision during his first-post bombing press conference on Thursday, the president tried to deflect blame onto the military:
Biden says just now that military commanders told him “Bagram was not much value added”. Well, this is not quite what Gen Milley said the other day. He said the military had to choose because of a cap on troop numbers–presumably a political choice by Biden https://t.co/WUJHHn3JFR pic.twitter.com/o5BkHb90lB
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) August 26, 2021
Mark Schmitz, the father of Jared Schmitz, who also died at the age of just 20, expressed similar anger toward the Biden administration and its so-called “leadership.”
“Be afraid of our leadership or lack thereof. Pray every day for the soldiers that are putting their lives at risk, doing what they love which is protecting all of us. I think they’re the only ones that we can honestly say have our backs,” he said in an emotional interview Friday with St. Louis station KMOX.
Listen to the interview below:
Both Nikoui and Schmitz described the horror they experienced learning that their sons had been murdered.
Nikoui told The Daily Beast he’d been at home “glued to the TV,” waiting to hear about his son’s fate, when several Marines showed up with the news.
Stunningly, the Marines were “more choked up than me,” he said, adding that he wound up “actually trying to console them.”
But ever since they left, he’s been having to console himself and his family.
“I haven’t gone to bed all night. I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on,” he said to The Daily Beast.
Schmitz has been no less devastated.
“The Marines came by last night at two-forty in the morning to give us the horrific news. … His life meant so much more. I’m so incredibly devastated that I won’t be able to see the man that he was very quickly growing into becoming,” he told KMOX as he broke into tears.
Below are the names of all the killed heroes who’ve been identified thus far:
Remember these names!
Heroes of our military who made the ultimate sacrifice
Maxton Soviak, 22
Kareem Nikoui, 20
David Lee Espinoza, 20
Rylee McCollum, 20
Jared Schmitz, 20
Hunter Lopez, 22
Daegan Page, 23
Ryan Knauss, 23
Darin Taylor Hoover Jr., 31
& 4 whose names we’ll learn
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 28, 2021
Nikoui and Schmitz’s powerful testimony comes amid poll numbers from The Economist/YouGov showing that only 16 percent of U.S. adults, but an astonishing 28 percent of Democrats, believe the evacuation was handled “very or somewhat well.”
It’s not clear why they feel this way given the abundance of evidence demonstrating that the evacuation was botched from beginning to end.
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 28, 2021
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