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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

UPDATE: Where were we? A lost opportunity it would seem for sure - About 40 World Leaders, Hundreds of Thousands of People Attend March in French Capital

 
UPDATE in the form of an article from The Wall Street Journal entitled Obama, Biden Absent From Paris Solidarity March.

WASHINGTON—There were two notable exceptions as world leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday in an emotional show of solidarity following the terrorist attacks in the French capital. Neither President Barack Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden attended the events, and their absence drew criticism.

The White House sent Attorney General Eric Holder to Paris, along with a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, for meetings with French officials in recent days. But the administration chose not to have the president or vice president represent the U.S. during Sunday’s events, which drew more than 40 world leaders and millions of demonstrators in the streets of Paris.

While assorted leaders were front and center during public events in Paris on Sunday, the Justice Department said Mr. Holder attended a ministerial summit on counterterrorism and a second meeting with world leaders hosted by French President François Hollande.

But no U.S. official was a fixture in the day’s memorable moment featuring Israeli, Palestinian, French and German leaders linking arms as they marched in defiance of the terrorism threat. The highest-ranking American official at the march was the ambassador to France.

“What’s missing in this picture? American leaders,” Shibley Telhami, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who focuses on Middle East policy, wrote on Twitter in a post accompanied by a photo of the leaders. “Even Palestinian and Israeli leaders in front line of Paris march.”

As recently as Friday, Mr. Obama said France is America’s oldest ally and pledged to offer any needed assistance. He also spoke on the phone with Mr. Hollande and visited the French Embassy in Washington last week. Victoria Nuland, an assistant secretary of State, attended a march in Washington.

Neither Messrs. Obama nor Biden had public events scheduled on Sunday. Mr. Obama was at the White House, while Mr. Biden was at his home in Delaware, according to his public schedule.

Late on Sunday, after criticism of the White House absence grew, the French ambassador to the U.S., Gérard Araud, through his personal Twitter account, said thanks to “Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary at the Department of State, who has represented the U.S. Authorities at the demonstration in DC. A friend.”

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