This article first appeared in Havok Journal on 14JAN15.
How seriously out of touch with reality do you have to be to work in the Obama administration? Does the body count decide who attends? Does the President really care what message he sends? Does the fact that our trading partners, military allies, friends, and even acquaintances decided to march as one not pass the diplomatic threshold for importance?
Forty world leaders marched in Paris in a show of solidarity. Who represented America? The ambassador. That’s it. The Attorney General was right there in Paris for a meeting about fighting terrorism, but he could not not be bothered to represent the United States.
Why was President Obama not there? Why was Vice President Biden not there? “A senior administration official told Fox News late Sunday that security requirements for both the President and Vice President can be distracting from events like this and that the U.S. government continues to work behind the scenes with France.”
Forty world leaders, including the Prime Minister from Israel marched arm and arm in the street and because of security, Obama did not go? The king is too important to socialize with the peasants who feel comfortable acting like regular citizens who are upset?
If any world leader had something directly to fear from a terrorist act, it would be Netanyahu, but he went. So in one message, President Obama says he is too important to waive security because of his importance, forty world leaders don’t matter in a meeting Obama did not call, and he is afraid to walk out in the open to send a message.
If the best excuse you have to show the world you don’t give a fuck is security arraignments, you need a better spin doctor in your press room. Tell Biden to put on his Chicklet smile and get out there, he is a spare for Christ sakes. It is his job to take one for the team and to be honest; losing him would be a benefit to the administration.
We have spoken before about the Obama administration penchant to allow junior staffers to mouth off about foreign leaders. We watched as the most senior member of the U.S. Military to be killed in action was laid to rest and his commander in chief was not present.
We watched the administration pander to specific groups and individuals in such a manner as to callously disregard not only protocol, but national security. And the one time that a show of unity might have made a resounding difference to our allies? The President’s security might disrupt the event so he did not wish to attend? I have an idea, waive the security and walk down the street like the rest of them.
What the hell is he doing with the plane we pay for him to use? Hop across the Atlantic, take in the march, shake hands with people who need to know where we stand, return home. How hard is this? What no bullet proof limo? Who cares? Sometimes the job is about risk — take it.
There is currently nothing going on in the United States that is as important as the march President Obama just missed. We could have solidified the primacy of place, the cooperation of allies, or just shown we give a damn. I guess since this was a terror attack in France it was not worth Obama’s time.
I am not the only one with that opinion either. A few million people in France might also wonder where the President of the United States was when a significant portion of the leaders of the world walked arm and arm down the street.
I know diplomacy is not the administration’s strong suit, but even the most inept media hack should have figured out that something more was necessary to at least pretend they give a shit.
I have no real understand as to why the administration felt they could bow out of this. Is possible that that the number of dead were not high enough? Was it because the French did not send anyone to Boston?
Diplomacy is a challenging business. I would wager a guess that the forty world leaders who attended exchanged a few emails or phone calls, maybe a text or two, on who was going, what was for lunch, and things like that. The number of leaders made this an event that the President should have attended.
This is my opinion of course, I am not the President. It is possible that we may have some crisis that required President Obama to give the finger to Europe. He might have had to answer some hard questions about Ukraine.
President Obama has done quite a few things that have disappointed me, but this tops the list. A leader leads. Time and again he has proven that he does not have what it takes to lead. Freedom was attacked in Paris on 6 January.
It does not matter if the men and women who died were French instead of American. What matters is that once again terrorism has struck and done so in a loud and horrifying fashion. World leaders decided to show that they would stand and the one nation who is supposed to be synonymous with freedom does not have a senior member of government present.
I am sure the President is busy. I hope nothing happens to disturb the important work he is doing for America. I would hate to think that the world is inconveniencing him.
Because next time it might be us and our friends won’t feel the urge to do anything. They will be remembering that time in France when they walked arm in arm, and America was not there.