During the last week there have been a series of terror attacks in France. It started with the attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper that mocked Muhammad in a cartoon. This attack sparked a movement of support for freedom of the press and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie became a trend on Twitter.
Two days after this attack, hostages were taken and four people were killed in a kosher grocery store. While the President did respond to this attack, it was merely symbolic.
Politico-“Obama took a few seconds away from a community college proposal roll-out in Tennessee because he said with events unfolding, ‘I wanted to make sure to comment on them’— but never then or afterward specifically condemned that attack.”
“Don’t look for the president or vice president among the photos of 44 heads of state who locked arms and marched down Boulevard Voltaire in Paris. Nor did they join a companion march in Washington the French Embassy organized in Washington on Sunday afternoon…Joe Biden was back home in Wilmington, Delaware. Neither they nor any high-level administration official attended either event.”
Even Politico acknowledges that the little action Obama has taken on these attacks is merely symbolic in nature.
“And though it’s symbolism—Obama made several statements last week condemning the terror, and the government has been supporting French efforts throughout—the symbolism has caught a lot of attention.”
Former State Department employee, Aaron David Miller, said he could only think of 2 reasons for not sending the President, Vice President, or First Lady: a terror threat, or a larger event with NATO allies.
“…bigger than the visit that British Prime Minister David Cameron (who was in Paris Sunday) will be making to the White House at the end of the week. But there’s no sign of such an event being organized, and Miller said there’s no reason to believe one is coming.
But Miller said he couldn’t see a reason to skip the rally even if there is a bigger leader event in the planning, and the idea of a security threat didn’t make sense either—after all, the security in the area met the standards of so many other leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, combined.
It’s unclear what role security concerns may have played in the decision not to have any senior American officials take part in the Paris march. As a general rule, the Secret Service doesn’t let either Obama or Biden be in the open air in areas that haven’t had a full security sweep, and the White House tends to be mindful of having security precautions create distractions around events/
In addition to the President’s lack of action, “Attorney General Eric Holder and deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were also both in Paris on Sunday for ‘substantive meetings.’ Neither joined the march,” reports Politico. This incident sends a clear message as to where the administration stands on this issue. It’s one thing to not make a special trip to join the march. It’s whole other thing when you’re there anyway. You can’t just drop by for a couple hours?
As stated by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Obama’s lack of action sends a clear message as to where he stands on this issue. When a media outlet which is generally in your pocket is criticizing you, you know you’re doing something wrong.