On Wednesday, it was not the president but the vice president who had strong words for ISIS militants. According to CNN, Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to an audience at an event on the New Hampshire-Maine border stated, "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."
Biden spoke in memory of journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded by ISIS militants on Tuesday, just two weeks after James Foley was executed on video in the same gruesome manner. The vice president vowed that Americans would not be frightened or intimidated by the heinous acts and described the perpetrators as "barbarians." He also went on to say, "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." The Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that 20 journalists have been kidnapped near Syria, the majority of which are being held by ISIS.
After being strongly criticized on Wednesday regarding the statement he made last week advising that he has no strategy on ISIS, President Obama attempted to do damage control saying he was referring to a military strategy in Syria that "might" require congressional approval. He went on to state, "Our objective is clear. That is to degrade and destroy (ISIS) so it's no longer a threat," he said. "We can accomplish that. It's going to take some time, it's going to take some effort."
The vice president's statements are in such contradiction to the president's. Biden doesn't even try to contain his disgust while vowing retribution. Obama on the other hand stated that 'justice will be served' and that he wanted to obliterate ISIS following the execution of Steven Sotloff. However, only minutes later was vowing to make it 'manageable'. Whatever that means. As usual, the president's response is vague and without clear direction or purpose. The emotion that Biden showed was in stark contrast to President Barack Obama.
Biden probably overheard the chorus of bipartisan calls from Congress. The demands to act more aggressively, and come up with a concrete strategy to combat ISIS that goes beyond the ongoing targeted air strikes. He reminded the audience how we rallied and came back after 9/11. How we dusted ourselves off, made sure Osama bin Laden would never again be a threat to America, and remain united as a nation. That we don't forget, and we don't retreat when people harm Americans. Spoken like a true leader.
This Joe Biden seems light years apart from the less-than-bright straight man of the president. Up until now he has been treated as kind of a slow relative, incapable of making an intelligent statement. Who knew he had it in him? After his fiery response to ISIS, it's the president who is looking a tad bit sluggish. Could it be the vice president is considering a 2016 presidential bid?