#BarackNEstPasCharlie: Why Didn't Obama Go to Paris?
World leaders even gave a seat 4 #BarackObama and he never showed #ParisMarch #JeSuisCharlie #FranceUnityMarch #shame pic.twitter.com/4orEpkZbcY
— Wayne Dupree ★彡 (@WayneDupreeShow) January 11, 2015
It's sounds like one of Kipling's "Just So" stories -- "Why Didn't Obama Go to Paris?" ... for the #JeSuisCharlie march that brought out millions, including many world leaders, in an attempt to unify all against terrorism. None of his high-level associates went either - no vice-president, no secretary of State (although John Kerry did express condolences in his supposedly fluent French. Je me demande....). AG Eric Holder was in Paris and reported to be attending but at the last moment demurred. He was in a "meeting" -- with whom was never specified because most of the world's leadership was marching in the streets.
So why didn't POTUS show up? A liberal friend emailed me that it was admittedly a "political mistake." "Political," yes, but "mistake"? I doubt the decision was made innocently or even faintly by mistake. Obama is a man known for his political expediency more than anything, indeed above anything, and also for being a constant campaigner. It was obvious that going to Paris would have been good public relations and that therefore not attending was a deliberate choice.
There had to have been a reason for his non-attendance and the bizarre dissing of this event by his administration. I believe it stems from this: There are two words our president seems constitutionally unable to put together -- "Islamic" and "terrorism." For Obama (and, as a sideshow, the zany Howard Dean), these terms are mutually exclusive, an oxymoron. Appearing in Paris, Obama might be put in the unusual position of having to link them, our complaisant press rarely having the nerve to ask such an impertinent question. Holder, in a television interview from Paris (I think it was CNN -- there have been so many), danced around the question, hemming and hawing as if he couldn't quite make out what was being said or had been asked an embarrassing question about IRS emails.
This situation had already been amplified by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls doing something completely outrageous and unjustified, indeed anathema, in the Obama worldview. He declared war on radical Islam. From the NYT (who were probably equally mortified):
Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared Saturday that France was at war with radical Islam after the harrowing sieges that led to the deaths of three gunmen and four hostages the day before. New details emerged about the bloody final confrontations, and security forces remained on high alert.
“It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity,” Mr. Valls said during a speech in Évry, south of Paris.
Imagine, the nerve!