As the parents of American journalist James Foley expressed their loss to the public, president Obama was joyfully fist-bumping with former NBA star Alonzo Mourning on the golf course.  James Foley got five minutes worth of the president's attention; Alonzo Mourning got five hours.

What kind of message does the president's actions send to the parents of Foley, the American people and to those responsible for this horrific act?  For one, it shows that the president doesn't seem to take the issue seriously.  If he did, he would have made his remarks about Foley's execution at the hands of ISIS militants and then headed to the Situation Room, or at least back to Washington.  This is the first American killed at the hands of a radical group, which has expressed its desire to “drown all [Americans] in blood.”  Shouldn't the president at least pretend to be concerned?

This isn't the first time the president has acted this way.  If you will recall, the morning after the Benghazi attack, which left four Americans dead including Ambassador Chris Stevens, Obama jetted off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas.  He promised “to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”  We know how well that's turned out.  In the case of James Foley, Obama similarly promised that “we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.”

We've also since learned that the United States failed in a secret attempt to rescue Foley and other Americans held by ISIS.  The operation took place earlier this summer and failed when the hostages were not present at the location of the raid.  There is believed to be at least four other Americans being held by ISIS.  Why would the administration decide to leak this report now other than to try and save some face for the president?  In addition, we also learned that the United States refused to pay a $100 million ransom demanded by ISIS.  Apparently we will pay ransoms to retrieve alleged deserters (Bowe Bergdahl) but not for other Americans.

Since the execution of Foley, the U.S. has carried out 14 more airstrikes in Iraq.  But where does our strategy go from here?  We have an expanding ISIS force in the region.  We also now have ISIS killing an American and threatening to kill more.  What, exactly, will our response be beyond empty words from Barack Obama?  That's been a big problem with Obama is that he says all the right things, but then little actually gets accomplished.  Will ISIS be yet another example of this lack of leadership?

It's interesting to note Obama's message yesterday during his brief remarks: “ISIL speaks for no religion.  Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”  One could say that ISIS takes the Islamic faith to an extreme, but at the end of the day they are doing what they are doing in the name of a radicalized version of their religion.  ISIS itself has declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, which is an Islamic state.

This falls into a pattern throughout the Obama administration of shying away from criticism of those who act in the name of radical Islam.  Our efforts in the the war on terror became “overseas contingencies.”  A shooting at Fort Hood in the name of “Allahu Akbar” is designated as “workplace violence.”  The 9/11 Commission report states, “The terrorists were at war with us, but we were not yet at war with them.”  At what point will the president come around and be clear about what it is we are really facing here?  Dick Cheney told us last night, “The intelligence is there for all to see. There's no question about what's happening. But this president and the people around him refuse to recognize it and certainly refuse to deal with it.”

Now we are learning that the United States Justice Department is opening up a criminal investigation into the execution of James Foley.  These are radical foreign terrorists, yet again the Obama administration has seemingly decided this is a domestic criminal matter rather than an act of war.

Our president and his administration seem to have misplaced priorities and completely lack a sense of appropriateness when it comes to timing and optics.  Now, more so than ever, we need leadership.  Where is the leader of the free world?  On the ninth hole.