“Show of Solidarity: ‘We Must Stand Up’ — World leaders join more than 1 million people at huge rally to mourn victims.” So read The Tribune’s headline on its lead story Jan. 12. The story spoke of more than 40 leaders from around the world, including both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, who came together in Paris to march in opposition to Islamic extremism. The United States was represented by its ambassador to France. Attorney General Eric Holder, in Paris for a meeting on terrorism, made no appearance, nor did the president, the vice president or secretary of state.
As an American, I am both saddened and embarrassed by this inexplicable lack of grace, sensitivity and leadership. President Barack Obama’s advisers like to speak of “leading from behind.” With the attack on Charlie Hebdo, leading from behind has taken on the face of either colossal ignorance about the nature of the threat the world faces or, even worse, a lack of concern about that threat.
This is not “quibbling” about a breach of protocol, as Secretary of State John Kerry suggested. This is about protecting vital United States interests as the putative leader of the Free World. Shame on President Obama and his advisers.