|US Ambassador Jane Hartley|
attended the Paris march
Nobody should be fooled by this act of insincerity. If they really cared, they would have sent someone. The US was officially represented at the march by Jane Hartley, our ambassador to France. But she was already there and she's not a national leader.
The fact that over 40 foreign dignitaries managed to gather in Paris on the same day, and with relatively short notice, is impressive. However, the so-called leader of the free world, the President of the United States, was conspicuously absent. Sure, Barack Obama's a busy guy. But it's safe to say that those heads of state also have a lot on their plates, yet they were able to rearrange their schedules to pay respect to the slain, show their defiance of terrorism, support free speech, and represent their own nations in a respectable manner.
That was too much to ask of Barack Obama, it seems. He couldn't even send a cabinet member to represent him - and the United States - at the solemn event. Not even Secretary of State John Kerry could be bothered to fly to Paris from India, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday to discuss stronger economic ties "and set the stage for President Obama’s visit" on January 26.
Kerry will travel to Paris, reports The Daily Mail (UK), "after the U.S. government was shamed for not joining a rally yesterday for victims of the French terror attacks attended by 40 world leaders and a million people." The Daily Mail report says that Kerry tried to explain the absence of a major US official by saying, "I really think that this is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched."
Kerry's lame response - that a handful of minor US officials attended the march - seems to demonstrate a lack of understanding of the importance of public relations. It might also indicate an actual disregard for the tragedy of the 17 deaths at the hands of Islamist gunmen last week.
|Canada's Public Safety Minister|
Steven Blaney attended the march
Even more incredibly, Kerry won't go directly to Paris until later this week. He'll arrive there on Thursday after stopping in Bulgaria and Switzerland, and then only stay for a part of Friday.
But the US was not the only nation that failed to send a major leader to Paris. Canada's Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was his nation's only representative at the march. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pulled an Obama, but at least Harper takes a gutsier public stance against terrorists.
On Saturday, Blaney laid a wreath outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and met with RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agents who are working with French security agencies there. On Sunday, Blaney attended an international terrorism meeting, which Eric Holder also attended. Unlike Holder, however, Blaney attended the unity rally march on Sunday.
List of leaders who attended Paris rally Times of India
America betrays its values by not sending top U.S. officials to Paris unity rally Daily News
French Officials Defend Obama Amid Questions About Paris Rally Absence Christian Post
Why is Obama Unable to Call Terrorist Attacks Islamic Terrorism? The Blaze
Stephen Harper Is Right To Name The Enemy Toronto Sun
Charlie Hebdo attack: The Paris trap India Express