A crowd of almost 4 million joined 40 world leaders in Paris yesterday in a march of solidarity against terrorism and violence. Noticeably absent…President Obama…Vice President Biden…Secretary of State John Kerry.
Yesterday was an opportunity for the United States to show that it stands with the world as an equal partner in the fight against terror. What better stage for the president to make the case for the global war against violent extremists…to rally the world in support of the effort. What better venue to emphasize that terrorism is not something that only occurs in a far and distant land; that it is home grown…alive and well in our communities and neighborhoods.
Certainly no nation has contributed more in blood and treasure to quell the reign of terror and bring violent extremists to justice. But optics matter! This was an opportunity lost.
On the other hand…
…while no one can question America’s significant contribution to the war on terror it is just as certain that no nation, through its interventionist policies, has done more to foment the anger and hatred that has mushroomed into what we now call “radical Islam.” America’s occupation of Islam’s holiest places along with its support of oppressive rulers and dictators is cited by the reasonable and the radicals as the root cause of extremism. Young men are recruited to avenge the oppression levied on their families by rulers whose pockets are lined by the US government.
So perhaps it is appropriate that America’s leaders were not present in yesterday’s rally. For how hypocritical would it have been for US leaders to march in solidarity against violence and terrorism when they bear at least some responsibility for its occurrence?