There was not a presence of President Obama, the First Lady, the Secretary of State, the Vice President, and on down the line of those in leadership who normally attend these international events. The absence of American officials was particularly poignant as video emerged of the world leaders lined up to lead the march, linking arms and walking in unison as the crowd cheered. It was another missed opportunity for this tone deaf and woefully incompetent Obama administration.
Even CNN noticed. The on air talent anchoring the coverage noted the absence of the president and the others. As one or two tried to make excuses, as they do, for the president and his administration, those were easily knocked down. All of the other leaders present faced the same security and logistics concerns. Yet, they attended and did the right thing.
World leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, joined the march.Attorney General Eric Holder was already in Paris for talks on terrorism and even appeared from the city on Sunday morning shows. He was said to be attending the march, yet left town before it took place.
They observed a minute’s silence before the march began.About 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers – including elite marksmen on rooftops – were deployed to protect participants.The march was split into two routes for security purposes. Both rallies began at the Place de la Republique and finished at the Place de la Nation.
US Attorney General Eric Holder, already in Paris for anti-terrorism talks, was supposed to attend but was a no-show at the massive unity rally, which honored the 17 men and women killed there last week by terrorist gunmen, officials said.Holder attended meetings about militant extremism in Paris and even made the Sunday morning talk-show rounds but skipped town before what was billed as the largest rally in French history.Before the rally, he pledged US support.“On this day, we are all French citizens,” Holder said. “I am a citizen of France, and we stand in solidarity with the French people.”US officials gave no clear reason for Holder’s absence.The rest of the world noticed the absence. Remember after 9/11/01 here in America and the unity expressed from the world leaders to our nation? France was one of the first to do so and President Chirac was the first world leader to visit the White House after that tragic day.
THIS SENTENCE sums up the problem quite nicely: "What is astonishing about Obama is how his White House continues to make rookie missteps nearly six years into its tenure on Pennsylvania Avenue." The author of that piece was writing about another misstep in foreign policy but the sentiment holds true in this case.
This president has a weak record on foreign policy and wishing away terrorism isn't a viable strategy. As he continues to work diligently to release those held in GITMO and close the facility, it is not lost on those interested in world events that this president has once again lost an opportunity to lead. He is dangerously naive and his rigid ideology persists despite the growing levels of danger in the world. Let's remember how important foreign policy and national defense is as we begin the process of nominating the Republican candidate for President in 2016.