Where Were We?

Monday, January 12, Press Secretary Josh Ernest answered a question about America’s failure to send “someone with a higher profile” to the rally of more than a million in Paris that followed the shocking terrorist killings in that city.

“Well, Steve, as I mentioned to Jim, I’m just not going to be in a position to sort of unpack the scheduling planning discussions that we have here. But what I can tell you is that there are some who have suggested that the U.S. presence at the march should have been represented by somebody with a higher profile than the ambassador to France. And I guess what I’m saying is that we here at the White House agree that somebody with a higher profile should have also included.”

 Ernest went on to say that the White House had only thirty–six hours notice in which to arrange security for a top US official to travel to Paris and be present at the rally. Not, of course, he added, that our security people couldn’t have managed it . . . etc. etc.

Forty world leaders made it to Paris.

Let’s see: I wonder how Prime Minister Netanyahu arranged his security? They must move more swiftly in Israel.  

Or, maybe Prime Minister David Cameron could have given us some tips as to how the Brits expedite security. We might then have been able to show up for the single most important international expression for freedom that has taken place in a decade or more.

So much for all the talk about our leadership in the war against terror: all our posturing about solidarity and our commitment to combatting terrorism wherever we find it. What do we do? We allow our Ambassador to take some time out from the office to represent us at this rally.

It didn’t have to be President Obama, not even V. P. Joe Biden. Couldn’t Secretary of State John Kerry or even Attorney General Eric Holder, have been the face of the USA as a concerned partner nation?

What were we thinking? How did we miss this opportunity to SHOW UP? Is the United States government not aware of how arrogant, self-serving and ineffectual we appear to so much of the rest of the world?

Having spent twenty-seven summers in England, I have been   bombarded by these kinds of comments about our country and--- get this---England is our friend!

I am appalled and right now, this week, I have to admit, I'm embarrassed to be an American.


Written by Cecily Stranahan, our companion on this journey of reflection and self-discovery. Visit Cecily's Blog at LifeOpeningUp.blogspot.com