October 19, 2021

Why Did President Obama Stay Away From Paris This Weekend?

In case you were wondering why President Barack Obama, or Vice President Joe Biden, or Secretary of State John Kerry weren’t in Paris for the unity rally against terrorism on Sunday, so were a lot of other people. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria called it a “mistake” by the President. The New York Daily News ran the above headline on the front page, along with this article, headlined “Eric Holder, top U.S. officials no-shows at Paris unity rally.” There were more than 40 world leaders who did attend, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reportedly was not wanted there by French President Hollande. He came anyway.

According to the Washington Examiner, “A search of the White House website reveals that Obama had nothing scheduled for Sunday, so the administration cannot say Obama had a scheduling conflict.”

The person that the White House did send was Ambassador Jane Hartley, who The Washington Post described as a “bundler” who “raised at least $500,000 for Obama in 2012.” Her reward was becoming Ambassador to France. Not bad.

Also, according to MSNBC, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland attended on behalf of the U.S.

Stung by the criticism, the administration announced early Monday that Secretary of State Kerry will be going to France later in the week to show his solidarity with the French. The New York Times reported that “Mr. Kerry added the visit in part to answer criticism that the United States had sent only an ambassador, not a higher-ranking official.”

The White House hasn’t specifically answered the question, but it may be that President Obama doesn’t want to associate himself with the views of the French prime minister who declared that France was at war with radical Islam. Obama has repeatedly avoided saying that. In fact, the White House has just announced that on February 18th, it “will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris.”

It’s always “violent extremism” that we’re fighting, according to the President. He refuses to tell the truth, or perhaps to face the truth.

The administration, along with most of our media, refuse to acknowledge the clear link between jihadist, Islamic ideology and the spate of terrorism and other brutal attacks perpetrated in the name of Islam. I cited numerous examples in my recent column titled “Paris—The Latest Example of Jihadist Islamic Terrorism.”

[Update, 1:10 p.m.  While many news organizations reported that Victoria Nuland attended the rally in Paris, such as  Voice of America, CBS, and CNN, mostly quoting Secretary of State John Kerry, Bloomberg News’ Josh Rogin was at the rally that took place in Washington D.C, took photos, and is reporting that Nuland was actually at the rally in Washington, not in Paris]