October 16, 2021

“When People Are Dying, You Must Come Back From Vacation”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something.‘I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,’ Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,’ but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.’

Full-time workers in France are guaranteed a whopping five weeks of paid vacation every year, making his plea all the more urgent.

Obama is on a family and golfing holiday in a ritzy neighborhood of Martha’s Vineyard but says he will come back to Washington this weekend before returning on Tuesday to fun, sun, and more golf.

And people are dying. On Wednesday, the UN raised the level of humanitarian concern in Iraq to its highest possible rating and U.S. ground troops were deployed briefly to Mount Sinjar. These are both major developments. At the same time, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri continues to spiral out of control. Following nearly a week of rioting after an unarmed African-American teenager was shot and killed by police, the city is now being described as a “war zone.” Police are shooting rubber bullets and spraying tear gas at rioters and protestors alike. What’s more, two journalists were also arrested for very questionable reasons, and the crackdown on free expression is becoming a real cause for concern:

Meanwhile, photos surfaced last night of the president partying on Martha’s Vineyard with the Clintons and other luminaries. And, for my part, while I’ve always argued that the president deserves and needs a vacation, perhaps sometimes the optics of having tons of fun isn’t the best idea when, as Fabius put it, “people are dying.”