Millions of people took to the streets of France today in a show of solidarity against terrorism. Roughly 3 million people — “more than the numbers who took to Paris streets when the Allies liberated the city from the Nazis in World War II” — backed over 40 world leaders during the event. The U.S. government, for all intents and purposes, decided not to send a single recognizable person.
There was Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. There was President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. There was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
There was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. There was Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. There was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and a whole host of other dignitaries.
President Obama was nowhere to be found. Vice President Joseph R. Biden was nowhere to be found. Eric Holder was actually in Paris — but he didn’t attend the rallies. Perhaps he decided to sit in a bathroom stall while the entire city marched in the streets. (The official line was that he was in a “meeting.”)
The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks perpetrated by Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12. On Friday, gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four more at a kosher supermarket. All three men died in shootouts with authorities, but Coulibaly’s common law wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, has fled to Syria.
Given the nature and motivation for the attacks — and their links to the Islamic State group — it is embarrassing that a.) the Obama administration didn’t arrange to get U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry out of India in time for the Paris march, and b.) that zero Democrats or Republicans in Congress took part.
The Islamic State group has made it abundantly clear that it plans to attack on U.S. soil. When that happens, it will be a telling sign if the only representatives who meet with our elected officials in the aftermath are no-name career bureaucrats already shuffling around embassies in the nation’s capital.