Parade Politics: Accusations Fly Over Who Was Present And Who Was Not In Paris For the March For Free Speech

President_Barack_Obama220px-Erdogan_croppedMuch of the talk after the massive march for free speech in Paris this weekend was the absence of President Barack Obama with other world leaders. It was an embarrassment for our country and slap in the face to the French. Instead, the Administration sent Jane Hartley, one of its bundlers turned diplomats who were given a major appointment for raising money for the President. Even though Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris that very day, he did not even stick around to march with other leaders. The Administration is now admitting that it blew it but there is a mystifying lack of basic competence and foresight at the White House at such moments. Rather than attend the rally, Obama stated in town for a photo op with the San Antonio Spurs. It was a shameful image to leave with French. This was not the only such controversy over who was present and who was not.

225px-BenjaminNetanyahuIn what is an astonishing was the outburst from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the appearance of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu. The French had asked Netanyahu not to attend but he insisted that he would be there. The French then arranged for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to attend as well. Erdogan however, lashed out at Netanyahu for “daring” to attend an anti-terror solidarity march as a leader of “state terrorism” against the Palestinians. He demanded that Netanyahu “give an account for the children, women you massacred.”

Many civil libertarians could ask for the same account from Erdogan who has rolled back on civil liberties, particularly free speech and free press rights in Turkey. For Erdogan to attend a free speech rally is like seeing former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad march at a gay rights rally.

Erdogan’s appearance only deepens the question of what the French are marching for in a country that has led the effort to regulate and curtail speech, including years of threats directed against the victims of these acts.

116 thoughts on “Parade Politics: Accusations Fly Over Who Was Present And Who Was Not In Paris For the March For Free Speech”

  1. Thank you Elaine for the article you posted. Yeah, we’re all hypocrites in one way or another, however, this was a massacre, whether it was killing journalists or not, one of our high ranking officials should have been there. Period.

  2. Ross–are you for real? When Bush walked out, he was sending a message of not agreeing with the nations. When Obama didn’t go to a funeral, he was sending a message of we don’t care and have not respect for France’s dead or their problems. Yet, France is one of few countries who have sent planes over to the Middle East to bomb Syria.
    Our president is a disgrace and embarrassment to the US!

  3. I saw an interview on CNN with a blonde, kinda ditsy. She is our Ambassador to France! OMG

  4. Though John Kerry was out of the area in another meeting. I believe he would have been welcomed by the French people. He at least a few times addressed their nation on television and he quite fluent in French.

  5. Well, he has to have something to have his administration remembered by doesn’t he?

  6. The President was engaged with military and intelligence advisors on the war which is coming soon when we send ground troops to Yemen, Iran, Syria. Had he gone to hold hands with Hollande, the right wing would say he was drumming up an ally for war and the left wing would say that he was needed at home. He already has the ally for war in Yemen. The terrorists have moved France out of the safety zone and into the world of revenge. I predict a ground troop invasion in Yemen and/or Iran, Syria, Irag within weeks. I predict another terror attack soon. The turban heads are in a frenzy to kill us. When the war starts y’all wont worry about Obama not being there to hold hands with the Hollande artFay.

  7. Wow, Jeff. I donated money[first time to any pol] to Obama in 2008. I guess I must have become a “RAAACIST” in the interim.

  8. This is a very appropriate metaphor for those that gave this once great country Obama. And yes, the car is America, the deer is Obama and the liberal is behind the wheel.

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