Leaders from around the world, including Israel, Germany, and England, gathered in solidarity against terror at a massive anti-terror rally in Paris on Sunday, following this past week’s terrorist attacks in France that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 17 people.
Noticeably absent from the rally, however, were both President Obama and United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, who has “deep ties” with France, reports CNN.
John Kerry was reportedly in India at an entrepreneurship summit with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, working on developing a tighter trading relationship between the United States and India. President Obama, meanwhile, was focusing his support for France from the U.S.
Though neither President Obama nor John Kerry were in attendance, the United States was represented at the Paris rally by Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Along with Hartley, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was also in Paris at a security summit on thwarting terrorism. Holder was seen in interviews on many Sunday morning news shows, but like John Kerry and President Obama, he was not seen at the Paris anti-terror unity march.
In a somewhat defensive tone, a senior Obama administration official addressed the absence of President Obama and John Kerry from the Paris rally.
“Attorney General Holder, a Cabinet level official, is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today. He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary (Alejandro) Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley… As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S., don’t forget several public statements from the President, his call to (French President Francois) Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy.”
Some, however, are calling President Obama and John Kerry’s absence from the anti-terror Paris rally a mistake.
One of those is Fareed Zakaria, who spoke on the air with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who was at the rally.
Zakaria called France the “deepest ideological ally” of the United States, and having a member of the U.S. senior administration like John Kerry or President Obama standing shoulder to shoulder with other leaders would have been meaningful.
While security for President Obama and/or John Kerry may have been a challenge, it didn’t stop other world leaders from attending, noted Zakarias. At the same time, President Obama and John Kerry’s not being there also showed that radical Islamic terrorism is “not all about America,” said Zakarias.
“Many people have tended to think that Islamic terrorism wouldn’t exist without America. This is really a struggle between the civilized world and a band of extremists. Even if you take the U.S. out of it… the civilized world is up in arms.”
Jim Hoft noted in a Gateway Pundit report that, while President Obama and John Kerry weren’t there, more than 50 other world leaders marched side by side in the Paris anti-terror rally, including King Abdallah of Jordan, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Israeli, and Malian leaders.
But again, not President Obama or John Kerry.
[Images via Gateway Pundit]