Last year, after the bombing attack at the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, I wrote about the 13 members of our military who were killed. More than 100 Afghans were also killed in the attack. It is hard to sum up the magnitude of the world losing so many fine young people like that, people who gave their lives to serve their country. They were all so young and they all had such devotion to the country. A light went out of the world with their deaths. It’s hard to imagine the pain that their families had to be going through, particularly given that they might not have been put in danger in that same way if the withdrawal had been done correctly.
One of the families who has suffered immeasurably has been the family of Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui.
Hours before he was killed, Kareem Nikoui, a 20-year-old Marine, sent his father photos of himself helping a young Afghan boy and girl at the airport in Kabul. 💔
— Chao Deng 邓超 (@Chao_Deng) August 28, 2021
Not only was he taken from them in the attack, but his brother Dakota Halverson also committed suicide this month. Among the things that were troubling Dakota was the loss of his brother. According to his mother, Shana Chappell, Dakota would sneak into the cemetery at night to sleep near Kareem and he took his life across the street from the permanent memorial they have in the town to his brother.
Chappell spoke to Townhall two days after the death of her second son. She said she wanted Americans to know about the “ripple effect” of what happened in Afghanistan. She spoke about Nikoui’s lifelong desire to join the Marine Corps, what happened in the days leading up to the attack, what has happened to her family since then, what she thinks the Biden Administration should have done differently, and what Joe Biden said when she met him during the dignified transfer at Delaware’s Dover Air Force base last year. Chappell recalled how angry she was at Joe Biden for looking at his watch during his meeting with their family, as though he had someplace more important to be. She started trying to talk about her son, but Biden interrupted.
“He interrupted me and started talking about HIS son…This isn’t about your son. This is about MY son.”
The Gold Star mother of Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui describes her meeting with Joe Biden one year after 13 service members were killed in the Afghanistan suicide bombing: pic.twitter.com/FWDykuwZKd
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 24, 2022
“He interrupted me and started talking about his son. About his son,” she said incredulously. “And I remember looking at him and going, ‘What are you doing?’…’This isn’t about your son, this is about my son.’” She said that Biden said he just wanted to let her know how he felt. “His son died of cancer. So they had time to be there, spend time with him, tell him goodbye. My son died because of the very man I was talking to.” She told Biden that the blood of the 13 was on his hands.
You can see the full interview with Chappell here.
After she criticized Biden in an Instagram post, her account was temporarily deactivated, an outrageous move that they said was an accident. She also had her Facebook shut down.
Chappell thought this never would have happened under President Donald Trump and this happened because of the failures of the Biden Administration. She said she didn’t feel there had been any justice for the death of her son and she spoke about how that also affected Dakota.
Chappell had a message for Joe Biden at the end of the interview:
“If I could be face to face right now with him, I would let him know that he’s a coward. I’d let him know what a horrible job he is doing. He’s a failure, he’s always been a failure in everything he’s done. He always will be a failure. I would call him a traitor. He’s also a traitor. I would let him know what a very disrespectful human being he is. 13 kids gave up their lives for this country, and he wouldn’t say their names. Now I don’t want him saying my kid’s name. I don’t want my kid’s name ever coming out of that mouth…I would let him know that he showed what a coward he was when he immediately made sure that everything about Kabul disappeared…and it wasn’t talked about anymore, because he doesn’t want people to know…He’s destroying lives and our country.”
Chappell added that she didn’t fear this Administration. “How can you fear a bunch of cowards?”