Veterans who spoke to the Daily Caller are not impressed by President Joe Biden’s historic feat of visiting two active war zones during his first term.
Upon return from Biden’s trip to Israel, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates tweeted an article that boasted about how the president has visited two active war zones, which the Huffington Post noted is “two more than all the previous presidents combined.” The sentiment and Biden’s trip to Israel left veterans “underwhelmed” and instead feeling like the visit was for optics and a “political agenda.” (RELATED: White House Appears To Reveal Identities Of Special Operators In Israel In Social Media Post)
“With President Biden going over there, it’s great when a wartime president goes to a war zone,” Rob O’Neill, a former U.S. Navy Seal, told the Daily Caller. “It’s good for morale and most presidents do that stuff but this is a media show and it’s obvious. It’s all for a political agenda. It’s not for the greater good.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday while in Israel that Biden would be traveling to the country in an effort to reaffirm the United States’ support of Israel during its war with the terrorist organization Hamas.
“The interesting thing is we haven’t declared war,” Martin Bailey, former U.S. Special Forces member, told the Daily Caller. “It’s not our war zone, as far as Israel and [Hamas]. I guess it’s somebody else’s war zone.”
While in Israel, Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he “wanted to personally come” to the country to demonstrate his support, adding that Americans are grieving with Israel. The president later said the United States would provide Israel with what they need to continue to fight in their war against Hamas as well as funding for the Iron Dome, the country’s missile defense system.
Bates pointed the Daily Caller to comments from Netanyahu, who thanked Biden for visiting the country during their war with Hamas.
“Your visit here is the first visit of an American president in Israel at a time of war,” Netanyahu told the president during a bilateral meeting.
Michael Herzog, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, also praised Biden for visiting Israel, adding that the president brought “meaningful solace.”
Biden’s trip to Israel, however, left Bailey “underwhelmed.”
“I don’t think a whole lot of it, I mean, I’ve been to a lot of war zones and it’s not that big of a deal,” he continued.
Biden announced during his trip to Israel that the United States would be sending $100 million in aid to Palestinians, despite the United Nations reporting that its fuel and medical supplies meant for Gaza were stolen by Hamas, according to the Times of Israel.
The president’s trip was also supposed to include a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss humanitarian aid, though the plans were canceled after a bombing near a hospital in Gaza. The perpetrator of the bombing is still disputed amid conflicting reports from Israeli forces and Hamas.
The HuffPost article touting Biden’s visit to two war zones, Israel and Ukraine, in eight months, added that “even some current Republicans expressed grudging respect for Biden.” The article quoted several “Republicans” including former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller, who voted for Joe Biden and left the GOP in November 2020, and Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who praised Biden’s trip to Israel.
Tim W., a former Navy Seal of 22 years whose surname is being kept anonymous so he could speak candidly, told the Daily Caller that he didn’t believe that Republicans were praising Biden for his trip to Israel.
“Let’s be honest — nobody wants a President to drop in on a war zone, what a pain in the butt,” Tim said. “If we’re giving respect, how about my daily commute into Philadelphia.”