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Où était Barack?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In a show of solidarity with the French people both the leaders of Great Britain and of Germany, along with many other heads of state attended a Paris memorial service for the recent victims of the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris.The President of the United States Barack Obama was noticeably absent.


Attorney General Eric Holder, who just happened to be in Paris on other business was the highest ranking American official in France at the time, but was also not seen at the ‘Unity March’ being held as part of the memorial services.

Last August Barack Obama sent Attorney General Eric Holder along with three members of the White House staff as his personal representatives to attend Michael Brown’s funeral in Ferguson, Missouri.Apparently the deaths of a dozen Frenchmen in Paris murdered by Islamic terrorists doesn’t even merit the same courtesy as the death of a thug killed on an American street by the police officer he attacked.

Is Barack Obama tone deaf or he is just sending a subtle, symbolic message.Is telling the world that he’s less concerned about the deaths of citizens from ‘one of the former colonial powers that exploited poor Africans’, than he is about the death of a young black man at the hands of the racist and oppressive American police ?

In most public comments the Obama Administration continues to refuse to identify Islamic terrorism by name, and avoids like the plague putting the two words together in one sentence.Most notably previously describing Islamic terrorism as “Man-Caused Disasters” and “Workplace Violence”, or just plain “terrorism” with no attribution.

Following the Paris attacks even the Egyptian leader has stepped forward and denounced the violence being committed around the world in the name of Islam.Recognizing that Muslim nations share in the responsibility for this wave of violence by tacitly allowing radical Imams to preach violence and hatred in Mosques, and teaching in madrasas a religion of hatred and violence to Muslim children.


During the Unity March in Paris the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron walked arm in arm with the French President Francois Hollande.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself well-acquainted with the horrors of Islamic terrorism marched nearby.Barack Obama wasn’t there.

One would think that the Obama Administration would recognize this memorial service as not just an appropriate gesture to honor the French and all the victims of terrorism, but also as a potential opportunity to meet with other world leaders to show a united front in the war against extremism. And perhaps even take advantage of this gathering of leaders as an opportunity to develop with other nations an effective strategy in preventing future attacks by ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups.

Perhaps, but Barack Obama wasn’t there.

In fairness to the Obama Administration it could be that the only senior administration official available to send was Vice President Joe Biden.Considering Biden’s history of sticking his foot in his mouth and saying inappropriate things at the wrong occasion, the administration probably chose wisely in not sending Joe Biden to serve as Barack Obama’s personal representative at such a somber occasion.

Curiously though, why wasn’t the attorney general seen at the memorial Unity March ?He was in France after all, and it would have seemed an entirely appropriate gesture to have the administration’s senior official in France at the time represent the American people.Yet not only wasn’t Barack Obama there, Eric Holder wasn’t there either.


Though the United States and France have had their ups and downs over the years, the French have been our allies for over two centuries.Close allies whose citizens have fought and bled alongside American troops on many battlefields during our own Revolution, the War of 1812, the ‘Great War’, and World War II.

As an American of French heritage on my maternal side, whose French ancestors fought in the American Revolution and at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, I’m personally offended by the pathetic display of the Obama Administration during this time of sadness for the people of France.

So while the Obama Administration might fail to deliver a strong, supportive message of solidarity against Islamic terrorism, the American people will stand firmly beside the people of France.

And in this important time when civilized nations must stand together against the evils of Islamic terrorism, we Americans will loudly and proudly proclaim, God bless America, AND ‘Via la France’ !

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