France Attacks RallyMillions 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.”)

France Attacks RallyFor the Obama administration, today was just like any other day: Ambassador to France Jane Hartley was asked to roll out of bed, brush her teeth, and meander on over to the march.

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.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

20 comments

    1. I’m sure that the White House Press Secretary or whomever will say, “Oh, well, the U.S. was adequately represented by our ambassador.” Really? Come on. Give me a break. I think that what France has gone through this week warrants a little more than some political appointee who probably got the job because she bundled a lot of money for the president.

    2. Called it. 🙂

      The New York Times reported June 6, 2014:

      President Obama on Friday nominated Jane D. Hartley, the chief executive officer of an economic consulting firm, to be ambassador to France, once more propelling a campaign fund-raiser into a prominent diplomatic position. …

      The Center for Responsive Politics listed her as a “bundler” who raised more than $519,000 for Mr. Obama’s re-election effort. Her husband, Ralph L. Schlosstein, is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

    3. Come to think of it, that ambassador was left hanging out in the wind herself, something this administration seems to have a track record of doing. You would think protocol would require you to also show your solidarity with the ambassador, to provide her some sort of backup, emotional support, whatever. She’s actually living in the midst of this violence and tragedy, risking her life so to speak, to represent America. Where’s her Commander in Chief or at least one of his representatives?

  1. The lack of representation was embarrassing after the administration said all Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the grieving French…..politics aside, they went thru a national tragedy this week. It seemed everyone was shoulder to shoulder except us!

    It was nice to see the French born NBA players receive warm responses with their “Je suis Charlie” shirts at multiple arenas around the country; hopefully it gets back to the French people that we are empathetic and supportive.

    I was also encouraged to see the French, and many many Muslim French denounce these acts; hopefully the terror groups get isolated and called out.

    1. The lack of representation was embarrassing after the administration said all Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the grieving French…..politics aside, they went thru a national tragedy this week. It seemed everyone was shoulder to shoulder except us!

      I totally agree.

      I’m not sure if you saw Lizard19’s comment, but I would like to make something clear: he is not a plant. Years ago I remember people wondering if Howard Stern just created characters to call into his show and say ridiculous things, and I sometimes wonder if readers think that about Lizard19. 🙂 In some way it’s good that he has his blog so people can see for themselves if necessary — yes, indeed, he really does believe what he says.

  2. maybe they didn’t want to stand next to the ambassador of Saudi Arabia as that lovely nation flogs a blogger 1,000 times, or Netanyahu, who presided over the killing of 17 journalists in the carnage rained down upon Gaza. supporters of free speech? hardly. this attack has been disgustingly exploited. good to see U.S. officials not participating.

    1. They would be standing with the people of France and Europe who still believe in the freedom of expression — not people defined by Lizard19 and others as unsavory characters who just so happen to be in attendance.

      Using Lizard19 logic, the U.S. should just do away with the State Department. Its members have to attend functions put on by international organizations where vile regimes sometimes wield incredible clout. **Slow clap for Lizard19**

    2. Yeah, I’m sure that’s precisely the reason.

      Or, we could use Occam’s Razor: The administration is inept to the Nth degree.

    3. Jake Tapper hits a home run:

      I say this as an American — not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN — but as an American: I was ashamed.

      I certainly understand the security concerns when it comes to sending President Barack Obama, though I can’t imagine they’re necessarily any greater than sending the lineup of other world leaders, especially in aggregate.

      But I find it hard to believe that collectively President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Attorney General Eric Holder — who was actually in France that day for a conference on counterterrorism — just had no time in their schedules on Sunday. Holder had time to do the Sunday shows via satellite but not to show the world that he stood with the people of France?

      There was higher-level Obama administration representation on this season’s episodes of “The Good Wife” on CBS.

  3. Yes it was a miscue of the Obama Administration to not have a more visible representative there.
    but
    Look at France’s combat operations in Africa against Radical Islamic Terrorists. Who’s got France’s back. The United States of America. The French government knows it can count on the United States where it really counts.

  4. AFAIK, the Obama apologists did not start citing “security concerns” until after there was bad publicity about his failure to attend. And I don’t see how security would have been any more of a problem for the POTUS than for any of the other diplomats and heads of state who attended.

    It’s ironic that a lot of the champagne socialists voted for Obama (and for Kerry in 2004) because he was so sophisticated and cosmopolitan (as opposed to that bumpkin, Bush), and would improve our relations with the French.

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