Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It Wasn't That Obama Was AWOL In Paris---The United States Was AWOL

Pres. Obama hosted the San Antonio Spurs championship basketball team at the White House. Rest assured, that's a rally he would never miss. WH Press Secretary

  • In my piece yesterday, I had to admit I had mixed feelings about the Paris marches. This was largely due to many of the world leaders who took part in the marches. Some of them restrict free speech in their own countries. In addition, many are cowards when it comes to admitting who the real enemy is---Islamist homicidal maniacs. For example, for countries like France, they now are living with the outcome of stressing diversity and multiculturalism over its own nation state.
  • Nevertheless, one can argue it was one of the few times in geopolitical history when symbolism actually merged with some degree of substance. Historically, symbolism trumps substance in politics (Bill Clinton comes immediately to mind), but that wasn't the case in Paris.
  • Having said that, Pres. Obama and his administration have been taking a lot of heat for not attending the Paris march. And rightly so. It was a stunning and conspicuous absence by the leader of the Free World. Even if Obama was busy (he wasn't according to the WH calendar) or security was an issue (which could have been handled--after all, Bibi Netanyahu was one leading the march), Obama should have sent a high-profile administrator to the march. In fact, the administration admitted that themselves yesterday. They said they blew it. 
  • By not attending the march, they also lost several significant opportunities. For example, it was an opportunity for the United States to project its strength to the world and to the Islamist. That alone would have been a powerful message considering the damage done by this administration to our reputation in foreign policy. 
  • It would also have been an opportunity for the United States to mingle with the 40 or more world leaders and to show the world and the enemy that our democracies are worth defending.
  • Again, this would have clearly merged symbolism and substance. And while this particular march may not result in "unity" in confronting the enemy, the perception alone could have been worth it. After all, our own civil rights marches transformed our nation for the better. Who knows what the outcome of these marches will be?
  • Whether it was arrogance on the part of the Obama administration or it's failure to recognize the significance and importance of standing firm with our allies against the Islamist onslaught, the administration blew it---again.
Note: during the same period, Islamist murdered 17 people in France, it was reported Boko Haram murdered at least 2000 people. Yet---no marches.