[guest post by Dana]
At the massive unity march in Paris Sunday, and with some 40 world leaders in attendance, one world leader was notably missing in action: President Obama.
Officials from across Europe and elsewhere, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, were in Paris to attend the rally.
In a rare display of unity, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel also participated.
(The linked NYT article does not mention the president’s absence.)
As a reminder, President Obama referred to France as our “oldest ally” in his condemnation of the attacks:
I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.
It should be noted that the White House announced today – as world leaders gathered in Paris to confirm their support and stand in unity with the French people in their fight against
radical Islam terrorists who use Islam – that it will be hosting a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in February. Originally planned to take place this past October, the summit was delayed for unexplained reasons:
In the lead-up to the midterm elections, White House spokesmen repeatedly refused to discuss the reason for the delay or even to confirm on the record that it had been postponed.