The official response of the Obama administration to the recent beheading of two Americans in Syria by ISIS has been muddled at best. The often timid and tepid statements by various White House spokesman, the State Department, and even the President himself in response to these specific tragedies and the general threats poised by ISIS have been vague, confusing, contradictory, and sometimes downright silly. (You do know that the members of ISIS are Muslims right? The White House apparently isn’t even sure on that one.)
Though the sharpness of the rhetoric by both Obama and Secretary of State Kerry has increased somewhat in the last day or two, only very limited airstrikes have been carried out over the last few weeks and in a stunning statement Obama admitted that his administration has ‘no strategy yet’ for dealing with the ISIS strongholds and bases of power in Syria. And according to the State Department ISIS isn’t even at war with the US. Tell that to James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the blasted to bits ISIS fighters around the Mosul dam. Very similar statements were made in regards to pre 9-11 Al Qaeda, and the seeming hesitancy to acknowledge the truth of the situation by the current administration is somewhat disturbing.
In stark contrast to the muddling mediocrity oozing from Washington, potential presidential wannabe Vice President Joe Biden took to the road, and took it upon himself, to take a very hard stand against ISIS in regards to their latest outrages against the civilized world.
Biden on Wednesday delivered a fiery response to the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff, calling ISIS barbarians and letting them know that the U.S. will “follow them to the gates of hell.”
…They somehow think that it’s going to lessen U.S. resolve, frighten us, intimidate us. But, if they think the American people will be intimidated, they don’t know us very well…
…The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand…
…When people harm Americans, we don’t retreat. We don’t forget. We take care of those who are grieving, and when that’s finished, they should know, we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice. Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside.
With the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in his hoped for future, this speech may be the first breakout attempt by Joe Biden to distance himself from the many failed policies and numerous disappointments of the Obama administration and appear more in line with public opinion and outrage. Can you imagine Barack Obama saying or acting like this in regards to an enemy other than House Republicans or Fox News? The taint of the Obama era is not something you want sticking with you if you going to run for president, and it will be a burden to either a Clinton or Biden candidacy.
This may be the new face of a new Biden who sounded more like a Bush-era neocon evoking 9-11 and bin Laden than a ranking member of an administration that ran and won a campaign based on abandoning Iraq at our earliest convenience. We are seeing the results of that failed Obama/Biden campaign pledge and policy play out now before our eyes and it appears that ‘Crazy Uncle Joe’ is trying to get ahead of the entire issue by going out, talking tough, and being his own man. Any way you look at it, he is articulating and peddling something that sounds significantly different from the official vacillating White House line.