In his first inaugural address, Barack Obama delivered a broadside “to those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent,” warning that such people “are on the wrong side of history.” Six years into a presidency marked by deceit and the silencing of dissent, it is interesting to look back on that admonition, though it is also intriguing to look forward. The history of the Obama presidency is yet to be written, but when it is, the record is likely to show that he was often in the wrong place as events unfolded.
This was the case during Iran’s “green revolution” in 2009 and 2010, when the people of that oppressed nation rose up against their tyrannical government. The U.S. could have made history by helping them overthrow the despotic Ahmadinejad regime, but instead the president stood by as an observer, watching the theocratic power structure ultimately crush the opposition.
He has missed other opportunities to be on the right side of history, but none is more poignant than the chapter that was penned today in Paris. According to the latest estimates, an incredible 4 million people gathered across France to denounce the butchering of innocents in the name of Islam. “More than 40 European leaders and almost every French official turned out for the massive unity rally,” New York’s Daily News observes, adding wistfully “but there was no sign of the U.S.”
Neither President Obama or Vice President Biden made the trip to Paris, although dozens of other world leaders and officials put ceremony aside and jostled for space amid the crowds in a stirring show of support against terrorism.
The U.S. did send Attorney General Eric Holder to attend a pre-march terrorism summit convened by French President François Hollande.
To add insult to injury, Holder skipped out on the rally, but that he did is no surprise really: Standing up against “the religion of peace” is just not his thing. Obama’s either. Holder, who appeared by satellite link on today’s “Meet the Press,” was asked by NBC reporter Chuck Todd whether he believed the United States was at war with radical Islam. Todd prefaced his question by noting that Hollande had declared that France was. Here’s Holder’s answer, which appears in the video that follows:
I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam. They use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions. We are bound and determined to hold them accountable, to find them wherever they are, and then to try, as you indicated, to come up with ways in which we prevent young people who become attracted to this radical ideology from becoming members of these groups and perpetrating these heinous acts.
Perhaps recognizing belatedly that Obama should have at least joined his peers on the international stage and carried out the pretense that he is in agreement that the Islamofascists have struck one time to many, the White House announced this morning:
On February 18, 2015, the White House will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris.
It’s kind of sad really. It’s like the kid who turns down an invitation to a birthday party attended by all the other children in the neighborhood, then after hearing how great it was, announcing in school he will be hosting his own party. I just wonder if any of the other children will come.