In response to the barbaric video released showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has expressed a targeted focus on these terrorists. At an appearance in Maine on Wednesday, Biden vowed that the United States would follow the terrorists to the gates of Hell for what they have done.
Biden was visibly disgusted when responding to the video showing ISIS’s beheading of a second noncombatant journalist was uploaded on Tuesday. The emotion that Biden showed was totally opposite to his political senior, President Barak Obama. Obama was calm with his statement on the situation. Saying that the U.S. would not forget the actions of the terrorist towards the two journalists, who the President called fine men.
However, as the Guardian Liberty Voice previously reported, there are journalists, American and many from various countries around the world, who have been taken captive by a number of terrorist groups. While Biden said that the U.S. would follow the terrorists to the gates of Hell, and Obama said the U.S. will not forget, that is little comfort to the families of Sotloff and James Foley, who both were brutally murdered by the Islamic State.
The stark contrast in the tone of responses from both Biden and Obama shows both the emotion and resolve the U.S. feels towards terrorists like the Islamic State, or anyone who harms Americans. The Obama administration has not stated the exact details of a response to the deaths of the American journalists, beyond the ongoing air strikes against the Islamic State. Obama, on the way to a NATO summit, stated that the beheadings were barbaric and that the acts of this terroristic group would stiffen the American resolve. In an emotional contrast, Biden, who was on the verge of screaming, called the ISIS terrorist barbarians and that the U.S. is more resolved than the terrorist group can totally understand.
Two weeks have passed since Foley was murdered, and while the U.S. was unable to save Sotloff, retribution will come according to the top two American leaders. How is still at the center of uncertainty. The Obama administration does not want to invade any country and end up in a war that costs more American lives. The stigma of the invasion of Iraq by former President George W. Bush is not something that Obama or Biden wants to repeat. However, the murders of two Americans at the hands of terrorists, according to both the President and Vice President, will not go unanswered,
Journalists, those who enter these war zones as noncombatants, know that they are putting their safety and their lives on the line. However, these journalists and their families are being put into a more serious life and death situation as terrorist groups, like the Islamic State continue to kidnap them and attempt to use them as leverage against the U.S.. American noncombatants having their lives threatened and eventually executed by terrorists each day is something that Obama and Biden are not okay with. What to do to rescue those still in captivity and bring the terrorist to justice is a question yet to be answered.
The current policy against putting combat troops on the ground takes the potential for an all-out ground campaign against these terrorists off of the table, at least as the policy stands today. It does not count out the possibility of a covert action to rescue any American citizens held captive by any terrorist organization. It is a safe bet that ISIS will continue to be targeted by U.S. airstrikes, until Biden and Obama can gather greater intelligence that can safely return U.S. hostages home safely.
By Carl Auer