Thursday, January 15, 2015
Why Didn't Obama Go to Paris?
This article originally appeared in Eagle Rising.
On Sunday, dozens of world leaders gathered in Paris to join some one million marchers-in that city alone- to march in support of the victims of the two massacres that took place in that city last week. Signs of, "Je suis Charlie" and "Je suis Juif (I am Jewish) were everywhere. One person was conspicuous by his absence. That was the Leader of the Free World, President Barack Obama.
Yes, our attorney general, Eric Holder, was in Paris to attend a meeting of law enforcement officials, but he was not seen at the march itself. Even so, his presence would not have made up for the absence of Obama. The message that Obama has sent is that he just doesn't care that much. What else was more important that he had on his plate Sunday? Last I heard, he was planning to fly around this country to garner support for his latest series of executive actions. Was that more important than sending a message that he stands in solidarity with freedom of expression and against Islamic terrorism?
I seem to be answering my own question.
I suspect that Obama did not want to send a message that goes against his agenda, or perhaps, he didn't want to offend somebody. This is the man who couldn't bring himself to say, "Islamic" when speaking about the attacks in Paris, just as he has been unable to utter the word in commenting on previous atrocities.
As critical as I have been of France over the years, I have seen some very impressive signs coming out of that country lately. The performance of the French police in tracking down the Charlie Hebdo killers was professional and impressive. The response of the French people has been inspiring. Sunday's march-mirrored to lesser extent in other French and European cities- may possibly represent a true turning point in Europe's future though that still remains to be seen. If that is the case, history will record that Obama and his government missed a historic chance to be part of it.
President Obama should have been in Paris Sunday. That he wasn't speaks volumes about this man and his agenda.