White House Admits Mistake With Paris Unity March; Senator Cruz Complains About Lack Of U.S. Leadership

parisWhite House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted yesterday that the White House made a mistake in not sending a higher ranking U.S. official to Sunday’s Unity march on the streets of Paris that drew over 40 world leaders and 1.5 million peaceful marchers to move in solidarity for freedom in response to last Wednesday’s terror attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, and then later at a Parisian kosher store.

During an afternoon press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Earnest acknowledged the mistake which led to worldwide criticism of the decision.

“Here at the White House we believe that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to the march beyond just a U.S. ambassador” Earnest admitted before reporters.

The only important U.S. representative sent by the White House to join in the Paris unity march on Sunday was U.S. Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley who was barely noticeable among the parade of worldwide leaders and millions of French people.

Instead of marching in Paris, President Obama spent Sunday at the White House while Vice President Joseph Biden was over at his home state in Delaware.

Secretary of State John Kerry was in India attending a summit meeting.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was present in Paris on Sunday but for whatever reason he did not participate in the unity march for freedom.

On Monday Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) wrote an article on Time.com criticizing the White House’s decision to not send President Obama to the unity march  which has symbolic importance to the collective conscious of the world in resisting terrorism and standing unified for freedom.

“Many of our allies gathered together in Paris yesterday in an admirable display of determination. Our President should have been there because we must never hesitate to stand with our allies. We should never hesitate to speak the truth. In Paris or anywhere in the world” Cruz wrote.

Cruz also explained that the absence of key U.S. leadership at the Paris unity march symbolizes a lack of American leadership in the world.

“The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it’s dangerous” Cruz wrote.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) was questioned on CBS’s This Morning about the decision to not send a higher ranking U.S. official to participate in the unity march.

Rubio said that it was a mistake to not send a higher ranking U.S. official and emphasized that it was a missed opportunity to support France.

“We recall after 9-11 what it felt like to have all these nations around the world rally to our side and take up our cause after we suffered so greatly on September 11, 2001. The French are going through a similar trauma” Rubio said.

“I thought it would be important to have someone there” Rubio explained before acknowledging that he believes that someone from President Obama’s administration should have been present at the unity march.

Rubio repeated the White House’s explanation that there was short notice given about the Paris unity march for President Obama to immediately respond and also cited the logistical problems with Obama’s security team.

Secretary of State John Kerry initially referred to the worldwide criticism directed at the White House as “quibble” and downplayed its overall significance.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “quibble” means “to argue or complain about small, unimportant things”.

The White House must truly believe that the Paris unity march which drew millions to the streets of Paris, the largest in French history, and symbolizes free speech and global unified resistance to terrorism, was actually not “quibble” after all because Secretary Kerry later announced on Monday that he will travel to Paris on Thursday and express solidarity with the victims of the Islamic terror attack.

-Johnathan Schweitzer                           schweitz31@gmail.com

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