Contrasting White House Responses to Beheadings

A young American journalist is beheaded by a masked, gutless and ideological thug. The second grisly brutality in so many weeks against one of our citizens.

Of course our government’s highest officials gave official and personal responses. The contrast in these responses is stark and curious.

President Obama gave genuinely gracious words about Steven Sotloff, his bravery, his service to truth as well as compassionate and caring words of consolation to his family.   He condemned the attacks and stated, as you can see in the video below,

“Our response is clear. And that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so that it’s not longer a threat, not just to Iraq, but the region and… to the United States.”

Degrade and destroy. A curious word: degrade.

“…till its no longer a threat”? Kill it or disable it? How about until it no longer exists?

The New York Time’s report on President Obama’s response was interesting in its first paragraph:

President Obama vowed on Wednesday to punish the Sunni militants whose videotaped beheadings of two American journalists he said had “repulsed” the world, saying the United States would lead a regional and international coalition to beat back the terrorists.

“punish”       “beat back”      “degrade”

And this follows his recent admission that he had not yet developed a strategy for confronting ISIL after the previous beheading of American journalist James Foley.

Vice President Joe Biden commented on the Sotloff brutality as well, but took a very different tack in his public comments. His were stark and strong words, like a fire and thunder Southern preacher. He spoke as a leader who is clearly outraged by such savagery against one of his citizens and what will happen to the vermin who committed it.

“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.”

What do you think of the approach of each these reactions and their distinct contrasts?

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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