Vice President Joe Biden's vow that America will dog the terrorists who posted videos of the beheading of two journalists "to the gates of hell," was all "chest-thumping" and no action, says Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard.
"It's not only that it rings hollow — it's almost offensive, honestly," Kristol said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"If you're not going to do anything, just don't do anything … Say this is too hard, we're not committed to this. But all that bravado and chest-thumping and then to do nothing?"
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Speaking at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Biden said the Islamic State militant group responsible for beheading James Foley and Steven Sotloff won't intimidate the United States.
"The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand," Biden said. "As a nation, we're united. And when people harm Americans, we don't retreat, we don't forget."
A videotape showing Sotloff's murder was broadcast Tuesday, two weeks after the same group released a video showing Foley's killing.
"We will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice," Biden said. "Because hell is where they'll reside."
Kristol likened Biden's warning to that of "the schoolyard bully who talks a good game and then slinks away."
"Is that the image we want the United States to project in the world? This kind of rhetoric by Biden at this point is self-defeating," Kristol said.
Kristol believes President Barack Obama has continuously wavered on America's response to the threat of ISIS.
"He wavers back and forth, occasionally saying we're going to degrade and destroy it and then most of the time having more of a containment attitude," Kristol said.
"He does seem to have sort of half-talked himself into thinking that containment is a reasonable option and then that we can work with our international partners.
"It's all a fantasy. Unless we're willing to commit to destroying them, no one's going to join with us … You've got to think of it as a war. That's the fundamental thing. We're pretty good at fighting wars, you know."
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