Obama’s Absence From Paris Rally: Egregious Diplomatic Error, Or Much Ado About Nothing?

Some are criticizing the President for not going to Paris for yesterday's rally.

World Leaders Paris

Yesterday, what many estimated to be the largest crowd to appear in the streets of Paris since the city was liberated from the Nazis in 1945 brought some estimated 1.6 million people into the streets in a show of unity in the wake of the attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket. Along with them were some 40 world leaders including leaders from most of the nations of Western Europe, several African nations with ties to France, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas. The United States, meanwhile, was represented by our Ambassador to France and that led many to wonder why the U.S. had not sent a higher-ranking representative to the march, especially given the fact that Attorney  General Eric Holder was already in Paris for security meetings and neither President Obama nor Vice-President Biden had anything on their schedules this weekend:

The heads of Great Britain, Germany and Israel were there.

But President Barack Obama didn’t attend a unity march in Paris on Sunday, days after the deadly attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Nor did his secretary of state, John Kerry, who has deep ties to France.

Holder: Not yet sure which group is behind Paris attack

Kerry was in India, attending an entrepreneurship summit with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi — with whom the United States is hoping to develop much closer trade ties.

Instead, the United States was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.

Attorney General Eric Holder was also in Paris, attending a security summit on combating terrorism. He recorded interviews that appeared on several U.S. news outlets Sunday, but was not spotted at the unity march.

No one from the administration would speak on record about the U.S. representation at the march.

“Attorney General Holder — a Cabinet level official — is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today. He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley,” a senior Obama administration official said.

An administration official added: “As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S. — don’t forget several public statements from the President, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy.”

Beyond that, the official said “all relevant components” of the U.S. government have been aiding their French counterparts, in some cases on “essentially a minute-by-minute basis to support their efforts.”

On Sunday night, a White House official who also asked not to be named added: “It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this – for once this event is not about us!” The official did not address how other prominent world leaders were able to work around the security requirements.

Politico’s Edward Isaac Dovere raised questions:

France’s top diplomat in the U.S. tried, diplomatically, to make the best of it.

“Thank you to Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary at the Department of State, who has represented the U.S. Authorities at the demonstration in DC. A friend,” Ambassador Gérard Araud tweeted Sunday evening, as criticism of the administration mounted.

And though it’s symbolism — Obama made several statements last week condemning the terror, and the government has been supporting French efforts throughout — the symbolism has caught a lot of attention.

“I wish our US President had gone to Paris to stand with our European allies,” tweeted James Stavridis, the retired Navy admiral and current dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

“It’s stunning, truly stunning,” said Aaron David Miller, who among other responsibilities during his time at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations, helped deliberate over which officials to send to which events. “It’s a poster child for tone deafness.”

Miller said he could see only two explanations for not sending the president, vice president or even first lady Michelle Obama to Paris: either that there was a deep terror threat, or that Obama might be secretly planning a larger event with NATO allies — bigger than the visit that British Prime Minister David Cameron (who was in Paris Sunday) will be making to the White House at the end of the week. But there’s no sign of such an event being organized, and Miller said there’s no reason to believe one is coming.

But Miller said he couldn’t see a reason to skip the rally even if there is a bigger leader event in the planning, and the idea of a security threat didn’t make sense either: After all, the security in the area met the standards of so many other leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, combined.

It’s unclear what role security concerns might have played in the decision to have no senior American officials take part in the Paris march. As a general rule, the Secret Service doesn’t let either Obama or Biden be in the open air in areas that haven’t had a full security sweep, and the White House tends to be mindful of having security precautions create distractions around events.

But a forceful president could dismiss such concerns to make a public point about terrorism. “You want to counter that, and you want to show up,” Miller said. “It’s very much about symbolism. And France and the United States, for a longer period of time, embody the very propositions that are under attack

And CNN’s Jake Tapper, who typically is rather restrained in editorializing, is fairly critical of the Administration:

The United States, which considers itself to be the most important nation in the world, was not represented in this march — arguably one of the most important public demonstrations in Europe in the last generation — except by U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley, who may have been a few rows back. I didn’t see her. Even Russia sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

I say this as an American — not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN — but as an American: I was ashamed.

I certainly understand the security concerns when it comes to sending President Barack Obama, though I can’t imagine they’re necessarily any greater than sending the lineup of other world leaders, especially in aggregate.

But I find it hard to believe that collectively President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Attorney General Eric Holder — who was actually in France that day for a conference on counterterrorism — just had no time in their schedules on Sunday. Holder had time to do the Sunday shows via satellite but not to show the world that he stood with the people of France?

There was higher-level Obama administration representation on this season’s episodes of “The Good Wife” on CBS.

I get that the President visited the French Embassy in Washington and that Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in French, and I certainly understand that the American commitment to security in Europe rivals no other. But with all due respect, those are politicians spending money that they didn’t earn and sending troops whom they don’t know.

And this is not just a matter of the current occupant of the White House.

I find it hard to believe that Speaker of the House John Boehner and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had more worthy pursuits on Sunday than standing side-by-side with our French brothers and sisters as they came together in an inspirational way.

After September 11, the first world leader to visit the United States was France’s Jacques Chirac, though the most forceful conversation about France in Congress that I can recall came a few years later during debate over whether to invade Iraq and revolved around renaming pommes frites in the U.S. House cafeteria.

And I’m frankly floored that not one of the people who is contemplating running for president in 2016 has yet to even tweet on the subject of the momentous demonstration in Paris, much less attend France’s biggest rally in the history of the republic.

I imagine that Hillary Clinton and her husband are kicking themselves for not hopping on a corporate jet to get here. Can you picture Hillary and Bill walking in the front row, arm-in-arm with Netanyahu and Hollande?

Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan attended the Green Bay-Dallas football game Sunday and at least one of them sent his potential rivals mischievous tweets as if they were contemplating running for president of Beta Theta Pi.

And Jeb? Mitt? Crickets.

Why? I hope it’s not American arrogance, a belief that everyone should express shock when something bad happens to us but that our presence at an international rally is worth less than a ticket to the Green Bay game when the victims speak in accents we don’t understand.

As a preliminary matter, I think it’s fairly easy to dismiss the criticism that President Obama, or even Vice-President Biden, should have been the one to go to Paris yesterday on a trip that, obviously, would have been very last minute. to say the least. The most obvious reason for this, of course, is the fact that both men travel inside of a security bubble that is unlike anything that any other world leader lives with on a daily basis. Even the simple act of the President traveling the few blocks from the White House to Capitol Hill involves multiple levels of security, closed streets, counter-assault teams on rooftops and, of course, a massive motorcade. All of this follows the President everywhere he goes, whether it is withing the United States or on an overseas trip. How, exactly, is security of that type supposed to be reconciled with a crowd of nearly two million people at close quarters like the one we saw in Paris yesterday? Quite obviously, it can’t and had President Obams traveled to Paris this weekend he likely would not have been able  to participate in the march for this very reason. The same likely would have been true for Vice-President Biden who also travels inside an extensive security bubble whenever he travels. One can, perhaps, criticize the extent to which we have allowed the Presidential security bubble to grow, but it is a reality of the office and the idea that the President can just pick up and decide to take a trip to a foreign country on a whim is simply absurd. Certainly, the Secret Service is capable of putting together last minute security plans when they are required to, even for international trips, but those types of last minute trips are unusual for Presidents for a reason; because they are difficult to plan and, quite often, disruptive. Given all of that, the idea of the President or Vice-President going to Paris to march with other world leaders, which in the end is merely a symbolic act in any event, seems to be rather silly and likely would have led to logistical issues that would have taken away from the real purpose of the march, which was for the people of Paris themselves not an opportunity for politicians to get their picture in the paper.

At the same time, I think one can argue that it would have been appropriate for the United States to have been represented by someone above a mere Ambassador at an event that had Heads of State, Prime Ministers, and Foreign Ministers in attendance. As noted, Attorney General Eric Holder was present in Paris on Sunday and even did several of the Sunday morning shows via satellite from Paris. Why he was unable to attend the rally is unclear. In the end, though, I have agree with Ron Fournier that the Administration made a mistake here, but that it certainly was not a major one nor does it demonstrate anything about American commitment to the War On Terror:

Get a grip. Just as Obama has a responsibility to recognize and exploit the power of presidential symbolism, his critics must not forget the importance of context. There are bigger things to worry about – and more important failings of the Obama administration – than the delicate feelings of the French.

His critics seem to forget a few things.

1. The United States has some 66,000 military personnel deployed in Europe. More than 6,800 U.S. service members have died in post-9/11 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. treasury finance intelligence and military operations across the globe, making the United States the most stalwart enemy of terrorists.

2. The president of the United States doesn’t need to march in the streets of Paris to prove his nation’s commitment.

3. Somebody should find out how many federal agents, spies, and intelligence assets the United States has dispatched to Europe since the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Does anybody think the Obama administration hasn’t flooded the zone?

4. Obama’s presence at the rally would have been disruptive. The apparatus that follows the U.S. president is isolating and suppressive – a direct counter to the vibe that organizers achieved in the streets of Paris.

5. Obama and his national security team are rightly worried about the next 9/11. Only hard work and good luck have kept the wolves at bay this long. An attack like the ones in Paris last week keeps U.S. national security personnel awake at night because among their greatest fears are so-called lone wolf attacks on soft targets in the United States. There could have been a copycat.

Here’s my thought process: Had there been an attack on U.S. soil while Obama marched in Paris, I would have wondered whether the president and his team had taken their eyes off the ball. Wouldn’t that be the natural reaction? The conservative Outrage Machine would have demanded impeachment proceedings.4

It’s also worth noting that  had Obama gone to Paris many of the President’s critics on the right would have accused the President of making the march “about him” rather than a way for the people of France to express their grief and outrage over the attacks and their support for the ideas of liberty that have long been an important part of their national culture. Had Biden been sent as the representative, then the comments would have been all about how we were somehow “insulting” France by sending a “buffoon” like the Vice-President to such an important event in the capitol of one of our closest allies. In that sense, the Administration would have been criticized no matter what it did. So, yes, it was perhaps an error to not send someone higher ranking than an Ambassador to what turned out to be the biggest rally in modern French history, but the idea that the President himself should have gone is really rather silly.

Update: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that they now recognize it was a “mistake” to not send someone of a rank higher than Ambassador to Paris:

The White House conceded Monday that it made a mistake in not sending a senior official to the weekend unity march in Paris.

“I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily briefing.

“Had the circumstances been a little bit different, I think the president himself would’ve liked to have been there,” Earnest said, noting that the rally came together quickly late Friday and it would’ve been difficult for President Barack Obama to attend.

“We’re talking about a march that came together in about 36 hours, and a march that took place outdoors,” he added, explaining some of the security challenges that a presidential trip would have presented. He added that the security measures necessary for the president to attend the Sunday rally would have had a “significant impact” on the millions of people who gathered in Paris.

Earnest declined to describe the administration’s decision-making process about the trip, though he did say that the issue did not reach the president. Earnest said he didn’t know what Obama was doing while on White House grounds on Sunday.

Perhaps more significantly, it turns out that the world leaders didn’t really take part in the march at all:

Heads of state including David Cameron, Benjamin Netanyahu and François Hollandehave been criticised for what some believe is a misleading photo opportunity.

The world leaders were pictured supposedly at the forefront of a march of one million people on the streets of Paris, protesting the actions of Islamist militants who slaughtered 20 in a spree lasting three days.

A photo has emerged which suggests the politicians were in a heavily guarded street which was closed to the public, prompting critics to accuse them of abusing the situation.

Politicians fought to be at the front of the picture, which many said showed them heroically “leading” the marches.

Critics suggest the government figures were misleading the public and it was all just a “photo op”.

Had Obama gone, this, no doubt, would have been the basis for his critics to attack him.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Barack Obama, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics, World Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    It’s also worth noting that had Obama gone to Paris many of the President’s critics on the right would have accused the President of making the march “about him” rather than a way for the people of France to express their grief and outrage over the attacks and their support for the ideas of liberty that have long been an important part of their national culture.

    That was my thought until you said it better. I could already hear the noise about “empty symbolism” and “narcissism”.

    Sometimes, you just can’t win these days.

  2. anjin-san says:

    I was a little surprised that Holder did not participate, seeing as he was there. As far as Obama goes, the security issues raised by having him participate might have created a major headache for the French at a time they do not need more headaches.

    Doug is quite correct that Obama can literally do nothing right in the eyes of conservatives. If he had participated, Fox would be running banner headlines about how Obama’s ego drove him to steal the show from the French, and his lack of respect for the victims.

  3. munchbox says:

    President Obama said during a 2012 speech the “future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    so why would he attend a rally to support this people? Says a lot doesn’t it?

  4. CB says:

    Heh, it’s good to have a little levity during times like this, especially when…wait, what? These clowns are serious??

  5. Butch Bracknell says:

    My gosh, if we only had an available senior cabinet level officer responsible for security who has his own airplane and security organization. Secretary Hagel, call your office.

  6. Pinky says:

    This is another example of the new verb tense that I want to create, the predictive imperfect tense. Something didn’t happen, but if it did then the Republicans would have done something horrible, so let’s get mad at the Republicans for it!

  7. Jack says:

    How, exactly, is security of that type supposed to be reconciled with a crowd of nearly two million people at close quarters like the one we saw in Paris yesterday?

    Maybe we are spending to much time, effort, manpower, and dollars providing security for US government officials? Netenyahu, who is arguably on every terrorist’s hit list made the trip and participated. Maybe if US officials were in less of a bubble and had to interact with average people, rather than hand picked, upper class, party affiliated yes men more often they would understand the plight of the middle and lower class.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  8. Ken says:

    @munchbox: What exactly does it say?

  9. gVOR08 says:

    Obama will catch less stuff for sending no one than he would have had Holder taken a prominent place: Lower level official. Only there because he happened to be there anyway. Trying to take the limelight from the real world leaders. Yahdah, yahdah.

  10. James Pearce says:

    In that sense, the Administration would have been criticized no matter what it did.

    No doubt.

    But you know there’s going to be fools on the right (out of sheer ODS) and fools on the left (out of sheer anti-imperialist naivete) who are arguing that the Administration deserves the blame for the attacks. Those people should be ignored, in contrast to 2012, when they were listened to.

  11. Scott says:

    @Jack: Here I agree with you. Too many “important” people think that they can’t be replaced or that they are indispensable. As a country, we should strive to lessen the imperial presidency. I think we would be better off.

  12. Argon says:

    Should’ve traveled with Cheney and then dropped him off at the Hague on the way back.

  13. Scott says:

    @Pinky: Just goes to show how predictable (and tedious) the national media has gotten.

  14. ernieyeball says:

    The most obvious reason for this, of course, is the fact that both men travel inside of a security bubble that is unlike anything that any other world leader lives with on a daily basis.

    And there is this:

    Secret Service protection for Obama began after the Senator received a death threat in 2007, while serving as the junior Senator of Illinois and running for president.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_threats_against_Barack_Obama

    These names come to mind. Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley…
    John F. Kennedy. 41 very short years ago. I was a sophomore in High School.
    I remember it like it was yesterday.

  15. munchbox says:

    it says that there were more officials at the criminal michael browns’ funeral than in Paris is what it says….I know these things are tough to see when you head is inside of obama’s rear.

    seems to be rather silly and likely would have led to logistical issues

    I know it would be hard for him to coordinate the movement of his feet…one in front of the other…

    represented by someone above a mere Ambassador

    hence the reason none of you care about this….

  16. michael reynolds says:

    We should have sent Biden at least, and it was a missed opportunity for Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, as well as various other candidates.

    Mr. Obama simply will not engage in symbolism. I realize symbolism is empty at some level, but it’s still important. He won’t explain, he won’t justify, he won’t reiterate, he won’t drive home a point, he won’t do the symbolically right thing. He’s most often right, but I’ve never seen a president so incapable of touting his accomplishments. His confidence is a personal strength but a political weakness.

  17. Jack says:

    @ernieyeball: To paraphrase Lloyd Benson, I knew JFK and [OBAMA] is no Jack Kennedy.

  18. lounsbury says:

    Insofar as no other North American leaders were there, not even a Quebecois rep, I can assure the Deeply Concerned that the pissing and moaning is purely your idiot domestic politics, and really has nothing to do with diplomatic reality this side of the Pond.

    USA, not the only country in the world you know.

  19. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: They should have promised him a free 18 holes on a premier golf course–then he would have made the trip.

  20. CB says:

    @lounsbury:

    We’re not all this stupid, only most of us.

  21. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    Something didn’t happen, but if it did then the Republicans would have done something horrible,

    I think you would really benefit, Pinky, from stepping outside the bubble you often find yourself in. Apparently you haven’t seen much of the lefty criticism that renders this statement, well, weird.

    It’s not just about Republicans, dude. We’ve got fools like munchbox who are so eager to slam Obama for supposed sympathies with Muslim terrorists. And then we have fools on the left who are bitching about Obama being too vigorous in fighting the War on Terror.

    Invent your special verb tense. But apply it equally, please.

  22. Dave Schuler says:

    I think the non-attendance is lousy atmospherics but has little practical significance.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    You’re right: JFK was a fascinating guy and a lousy president. Mr. Obama is a less fascinating guy and a much better president.

  24. munchbox says:

    ..But sending 3 officials to a criminal’s funeral is good atmospherics?

  25. jewelbomb says:

    @James Pearce: I’m not arguing with you, but I am curious which mainstream figures on the left are arguing that the President is too vigorous in fighting the WoT. Aside from a few fringe Green Party types, I haven’t really seen this unless you’re referring to those criticizing certain tactics (drones) rather than the vigor with which terrorists are being fought by the administration.

  26. ernieyeball says:

    @Argon:..Should’ve traveled with Cheney and then dropped him off at the Hague on the way back.

    Cheney could have been shackled to Henry Kissenger for that drop.
    See The Political Cause of 20,492 Deaths in Vietnam.

    Mr. Kissinger was opposed to publication of “The Haldeman Diaries,” and it is easy to see why.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/06/opinion/abroad-at-home-the-lying-machine.html

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Holder was in Paris, but couldn’t be bothered.

    But Obama was appropriately honored at the gathering…

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Mr. Obama simply will not engage in symbolism.

    Jesus H. Christ, in what universe do you dwell in?

    During the 2008 campaign, he practically traveled with his fake Greek pillars.

    Almost every single event he commemorates with a picture of himself — Obama on Rosa Parks’ bus commemorating her death, Obama contemplating JFK’s portrait, Obama posing for selfies at Mandela’s funeral. His accepting the Nobel Peace Prize was nothing but symbolism — he hadn’t done a damned thing to earn it, and he still hasn’t.

    “Obama doesn’t engage in symbolism?” Take away symbolism, and there’s practically no Obama left.

  29. ernieyeball says:

    @Jack:..To paraphrase Lloyd Benson, I knew JFK and [OBAMA] is no Jack Kennedy.

    That would be Lloyd Bentsen, Jack. But we all know you don’t know jack sh!t when it comes to facts.
    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/17/the-mother-of-all-put-downs

  30. Slugger says:

    How about it would have been a moderately good thing to go and a mildly bad thing not to go. Everything that happens is not apocalyptic.

  31. Jack says:

    @ernieyeball: So I spelled his name from memory rather than looking it up, big effing whoop. Nonetheless, you got the message– you holier than thou piece of trash.

  32. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Yep. Him and Jimmay! Two of the top presidents in history…just look it up.

  33. jewelbomb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Almost every single event he commemorates with a picture of himself

    You seriously can’t be ignorant enough not to understand that people take a lot of pictures of the President of the United States, especially when he is doing official business. Perhaps some of your critiques would be better received if you didn’t make a fool out of yourself with petty observations like the ones above.

  34. Jim says:

    This would have been an opportunity to deploy a former president or 3, with GHW Bush excused for health reasons.

  35. C. Clavin says:

    What are the optics of Obama and the US leading that parade versus what actually happened?

  36. ernieyeball says:

    @Jack:..That’s Mr. White Trailer Trash to you Hambone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1SiSUrvUnk

  37. Will Taylor says:

    why is this a story??

  38. C. Clavin says:

    We should have sent Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Hayden…that way another country could have taken them to The Hague and we would have killed 2 birds with one stone.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Good luck with that. He is still the CIC no matter what else you do.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As far as Biden being a buffoon, we certainly wouldn’t want to set a precedent, would we? Oh, wait a minute…

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    That will stand as one of your funnier episodes of cluelessness.

    People snap pictures of a president? Why, I never!

  42. danimal says:

    I’ll believe this matters when I see any type of evidence that the French themselves are upset. So far, all I’ve seen is the usual suspects bitching and moaning about the issue du jour.

    The Beltway journalists are crying because the President failed to walk in a Paris parade to honor slain… journalists. When a journalist says “Je suis Charlie,” they mean it far differently us mere mortals.

    One of the more endearing parts of Obama’s profile is his thinly veiled contempt for the journalist class. This issue is best viewed as a proxy war between Obama and the journalistic courtier class that believes it really runs Washington.

  43. Nikki says:

    Personally, I would have taken offense if any U.S. official showed up at that rally because that would have meant that our government finds it easier to take a stand with the people of France than it does with its many and very own citizens during their various rallies.

    And that’s why no U.S. government officials were present.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As far as Eric Holder not being at the march, what is more important? A publicity stunt or actually trying to do something about stopping the next one? Style or substance, eh? Ooooppps, My Bad.

  45. munchbox says:

    The Beltway journalists are crying because the President failed to walk in a Paris parade to honor slain… journalists

    …nothing to see here.

    I would have taken offense if any U.S. official showed up at that rally because that would have meant that our government finds it easier to take a stand with the people of France than it does with its many and very own citizens during their various rallies.
    And that’s why no U.S. government officials were present.

    So Nikki…were you upset when he sent three officials to the criminal michael brown’s funeral?

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh and just to point out what should be obvious to anyone with half a brain, maybe... just maybe…. he wasn’t in meetings during the morning talk shows (late afternoon/evening in Paris) but was in meetings during the march (Noonish Paris time???)

  47. Nikki says:

    @munchbox: Not at all since Michael Brown was a U.S. citizen.

  48. SenyorDave says:

    If at all possible, Biden or Kerry should have been sent. This White House has some real issues when it comes to optics. A few weeks ago a couple had a wedding moved last second because of Obama playing golf. This wasn’t a Fox News story, it was real and Obama apologized. That should never have happened, and somebody should have been fired over that.

  49. Nikki says:

    LGF says the world leaders weren’t actually at the rally either.

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @danimal:

    I’ll believe this matters when I see any type of evidence that the French themselves are upset. So far, all I’ve seen is the usual suspects bitching and moaning about the issue du jour.

    You definitely got it right.
    To me, this is yet another predictable opportunity for Republicans to complain about the president. If he had gone to Paris the criticism would be that this is just another hypocritical campaign photo-op by a president who supports Muslim terrorists anyway.

  51. Inna Simone says:

    This is total BS!

    What about all the talks about democracy and freedom of speech?

    Is Obama in more danger than Netanyahu? Or his life is much more precious?

    Not to mention Biden!

    And what about Kerry? Is he invaluable too?

    I am ashamed to be an American.

  52. Andre Kenji says:

    I have a problem with Heads of State and members of governments attending rallies and demonstrations – rallies and demonstrations are supposed to be used to petition for the governmental redress of grievances. Demonstrations are supposed to be against the government, not attended by them.

    Rallies that are organized by Heads of State are something that we usually see on dictatorships or in authoritarian regimes, not on Democracies. No one from ANY government should be there.

  53. jewelbomb says:

    @Inna Simone:

    I am ashamed to be an American.

    Oh Christ…if this is what it takes, you were never much of a patriot to begin with. I mean seriously. Get a friggin’ grip.

    Edit: given how silly this comment was, it occurs to me now that it might have been snark. If so, nice work. Given the severity of some people’s ODS, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between parody and earnestness.

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Inna Simone:

    Seriously. You’re ashamed to be an American because we didn’t send a high level delegation to a march. That did it?

    How about when we discovered that the US Government was torturing people and lying about it to their legal overseers?

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Inna Simone:
    Ashamed? Move. I hear Ukraine is nice.

  56. JKB says:

    It’s also worth noting that had Obama gone to Paris many of the President’s critics on the right would have accused the President of making the march “about him” rather than a way for the people of France…

    Well, yeah, because Obama can do no right. Uhm, because he’s a Lefty. Just as a Republican is always right by their nature. Except in the eyes of Progressives who just can’t seem to go right, much like NASCAR drivers.

  57. Gavrilo says:

    @ernieyeball:

    These names come to mind. Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley…
    John F. Kennedy. 41 very short years ago. I was a sophomore in High School.
    I remember it like it was yesterday.

    JFK was killed 51 years ago, not 41 years ago, genius.

    That would be Lloyd Bentsen, Jack. But we all know you don’t know jack sh!t when it comes to facts.

    Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?

  58. JKB says:

    John Boehner should have gone once it became clear Obama wasn’t sending anyone of significance. Third in line and after the recent election far more representative of the American People.

    Nancy Pelosi flew to Syria right after she became Speaker for a little cowboy diplomacy.

  59. ernieyeball says:

    @Gavrilo:..JFK was killed 51 years ago, not 41 years ago, genius.

    By gawd yer right. Should have run it through my calculator twice. Please accept my humble apologies for my error.
    (How come it took all you Wizzards that long to catch it?)

    Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?

    I was married to her for a while. Yes she is!

  60. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    No, sorry, John Boehner is not more representative of the American people.

    1) Mr. Obama got more votes than the entire Republican Congress membership put together. 40 million votes were cast for GOP House members, and 22 million Americans voted for Senate Republicans in 2014, and of course those are duplicative not additive. 40 million vs. 66 million for Mr. Obama in 2012.

    2) The only people who voted for Speaker were members of the House. The people have no say.

  61. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jewelbomb: You aren’t seriously misunderstanding what I was saying, are you? I’m limited to the links I can put in here, but here are two examples of the Narcissist In Chief.

    Obama observes the 58th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ protest

    Obama pays tribute to Neil Armstrong

    There’s also the “Obama honors JFK’s legacy by staring at portrait,” “Obama looks serious while staring into a mirror,” and a host of others. The “posing for pictures with others” is a complete diversion.

    I repeat: Eric Holder was already in Paris when the march took place. It would have been good for him to attend, as the personal representative of the President. Instead, he found something more important to do.

  62. Inna Simone says:

    @JKB:

    I agree: John Boehner would be much BETTER than nobody at all.

  63. PD Shaw says:

    @ernieyeball: I’m pretty ambivalent about this topic (and endorse Dave’s view above, bad optics of no practical significance, but Obama went to Cairo, Afghanistan, Turkey, the West Bank, etc. The whole assassination risk seems like hand-waiving for something that he considered more of European issue.

  64. ernieyeball says:

    @Inna Simone:..John Boehner would be much BETTER than nobody at all.

    Instead, the United States was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.

    I suppose that makes you less than “nobody at all.”

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama went to Cairo, Afghanistan, Turkey, the West Bank, etc.

    On 36 hours notice? To be part of a crowd this large? I have a few questions:

    A) When was the last time an American president traveled this far (overseas) on notice this short?

    B) When was the last time an American president joined a crowd this large outside the US?

    C) When was the last time both happened together?

    These are serious questions that I have seen no one ask, let alone answer.

  66. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: @Inna Simone: No, Obama should have asked W. Bush to represent us in Paris. The response might have been instructive.

  67. Inna Simone says:

    @ernieyeball:
    “… the United States was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley” is exactly what I mean – “nobody at all.”

  68. ernieyeball says:

    @PD Shaw:..Obama went to Cairo, Afghanistan, Turkey, the West Bank, etc.

    What do I know? (damn little.)
    It might help to know how much time was available for the security arrangements for the junkets you cited compared to the lead time for this event.

  69. Inna Simone says:

    @gVOR08: @gVOR08:
    I agree again. It would be much BETTER. If nobody/ambassador is there, it’s the message by itself.

  70. Andre Kenji says:

    It´s already bad enough that Lindsey Graham and John McCain are doing diplomacy for the United States by themselves. We don´t need Boehner to do that.

  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama should have asked W. Bush to represent us in Paris

    Freedom fries!

  72. Will Taylor says:

    I have issues with Obama, but this is not one of them. It might have been nice to send someone from the administration, but i’ll save my criticism over a real issue. i understand the 2016 campaign is already underway, but there’s more pressing issues to deal with. I’m more concerned with actions than empty speeches and symbolic gestures.

  73. Inna Simone says:

    @Andre Kenji:
    Was not my suggestions. You have to take this issue with JKB.

  74. ernieyeball says:
  75. gVOR08 says:

    @Inna Simone: I think you missed my point.

    It’s only 240 miles from Paris to the Hague. Do you think even Obama could have been able to get guarantees of immunity for Bush on such short notice? Do you think Bush would have gone without guarantees?

  76. KM says:

    @Inna Simone :

    @JKB: I agree: John Boehner would be much BETTER than nobody at all.

    Then where the hell was he, genius? He’s got a plane, or failing that, a credit card right? Why didn’t he buy airfare and take the redeye? Where were any of them if they were so damn worried about this issue? Boehner, Paul, Cruz… hell, Palin’s not doing anything right now, you could have sent her if you felt you needed to upstage the actual demonstrators!

    For someone ashamed to be American you’re certainly living up to the stereotype of the boorish one. I cannot stress this enough – this is not about Obama and this is not about you. “Je suis Charlie” is in French because it’s for the French. The rest of the world is there to support them, not steal the spotlight and make it all about their petty political woes and grudges. Only 40 world leaders…. There are more then 40 countries (196 to be precise) in the world so by your reckoning France got majorly dissed by most of the planet.

    Let France grieve. Give them support. Don’t be selfish and denigrate their pain by making your asinine concerns front and center instead of them.

  77. James Pearce says:

    @jewelbomb:

    I am curious which mainstream figures on the left are arguing that the President is too vigorous in fighting the WoT.

    This is tricky. Too many pitfalls there. I say a name, and maybe he’s a lefty, just not “mainstream” enough. Or maybe he’s the kind of “mainstream” that would defend the president’s policies, not because they’re awesome, but that’s because that’s their role on CNN.

    I’m talking about general tendencies. On the right, the criticism tends to be complete and utter nonsense rooted in “Kenyan anti-imperialist/ terrorist sympathizer” crap. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but the right is under this delusion that they make their own weather, so it gets repeated ad nauseum.

    On the left, it’s a much different story. They’re instinctively non-violent and they’re instinctively anti-war. They also tend towards useless symbolism over helpful (if blunt) action. (And I’m one of them!)

  78. Inna Simone says:

    @KM:
    Roughly 40 world leaders have stole the spotlight from the French already. One more spotlight thief would not make that much of a difference.

  79. Inna Simone says:

    @gVOR08:
    That would’ve been a problem for Obama. I am not so sure about Bush.

  80. Bokonon says:

    @Will Taylor: But … but … but … symbolic gestures and televised sound bites and drama and visuals are how the GOP governs!

    Or at least, that’s how the GOP presents the business of government for general consumption, while the real action happens in quiet rooms, behind closed doors.

  81. anjin-san says:

    It is kind of amusing, in a sad way, to hear all this concern about the sensibilities of the French from the right – people who have been trashing France pretty much forever.

  82. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes: Presidents are in pictures.

    Look, here are 19 photos of Ronald Reagan posing with celebrities including one where he pretends to punch Mohamed Ali.

    How are you so dumb that you can’t anticipate the obvious response? Are you drinking too much? Smoking too much weed? Perhaps sticking knitting needles into your ears and stirring your brain?
    Because as dumb as you started out, you’ve still gotten dumber.

  83. Will Taylor says:

    @Bokonon:

    Thats Politics across the board. I’m sure if Bush didn’t attend while he was in office, you would have a number of folks on the left complaining. It’s a bullshit media story regardless of who is the president.

  84. ASK says:

    good history question:

    “When was the last time an American president joined a crowd this large outside the US?”

    Has any US president ever appeared walking (no limo) in a protest march, in the US or elsewhere?

  85. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:
    It is a travesty that he didn’t go. Why does the hate freedom of expression and love terrorists. I’m ashamed to be represented by any body of which he is the leader.

  86. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Apparently I’m so dumb now that the possibility that morons like you would respond without actually looking at the links I provided didn’t even occur to me. How moronic of me to not take into account just how idiotic you could be. I apologize.

    The two links I posted showed Obama honoring Rosa Parks by posting a picture of him sitting on her bus. NO ONE ELSE IN THE PICTURE, JUST OBAMA.

    The other was his tribute to Neil Armstrong, showing Obama looking up into a twilight sky. NO ONE ELSE IN THE PICTURE, JUST OBAMA.

    I took your commercial success as a writer as an indicator that you had a modicum of intelligence and integrity, and would actually look at the links I offered before reacting to them. Instead, you decided what they showed and reacted to your own conclusions, which bore absolutely no resemblance to reality. I should have taken that into account.

    I’ll really try to avoid that mistake again, but I can’t promise that I might occasionally slip up and think of you as a semi-intelligent human being. It’s a flaw of mine.

  87. Moosebreath says:

    @PD Shaw:

    “I’m pretty ambivalent about this topic (and endorse Dave’s view above, bad optics of no practical significance”

    That’s where I come out as well. In a sane world, this would be relegated to the bottom of page 15, absent some grumbling in France. In the world in which we live, it’s been the top story most of the day on CNN.com.

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And again, Attorney General Eric Holder was already in Paris. He could have gone.

    The White House has already acknowledged that not sending someone was an error. So all this spinning by the Obama apologists is now just… amusing.

  89. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Damn dude, stop whining. Has the latest Zimmermann scandal hit you that hard?

  90. al-Ameda says:

    @Inna Simone:

    I am ashamed to be an American.

    Would you like extra Freedom Fries with that shame?

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    NO ONE ELSE IN THE PICTURE

    Take another look at your Armstrong photo.

  92. Tyrell says:

    There are good arguments on both sides of this. There are some crazy arguments from both sides. My understanding is that AG Holder was in France. Sec. Kerry was in India. It seems like one of them could have gotten there in time to be in the front of the line with the rest of the world leaders who were there. The image on tv of those leaders lined up arm to arm was an impressive, historic event. While I understand some of logistics and travel problems concerned with the president traveling, especially on short notice, this was a top priority, all hands on deck event. I don’t know where Biden was; he could have gone. I would also like to have seen Putin, the leaders of China, Japan, Iran, and Egypt. I do not know if the leaders of Spain, Canada, Italy, and Canada were there or not. The president should have sent Sec. Hagel, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Patrick Dempsey, and the head of the Navy Seals, Rear Admiral Losey. This would have sent a message.

  93. Inna Simone says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Too greasy! I am on a diet. Thanks, though.

  94. gVOR08 says:

    @Inna Simone: Oh for… Are you putting me on, or are you completely oblivious to the fact that there are credible allegations of war crimes against W. Bush.

  95. Inna Simone says:

    @gVOR08:
    Good luck with that!

  96. DC Loser says:

    Maybe Obama should have asked Bush and Cheney to go to Paris 😉

  97. Inna Simone says:

    @DC Loser:
    That was already suggested earlier. Don’t steal somebody else spotlight!

  98. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: You are correct. It’s Obama and a couple of sentient props. Thank you for the correction.

    But the point remains: Obama seems to think the greatest tribute he can offer anyone is a picture of himself. Or, in the case of the Queen of England, an IPod loaded with his speeches. He’s all about the narcissism and symbolism.

  99. gVOR08 says:

    @Inna Simone: DC’s welcome to it. In fact I’m signing off and deferring to him for any further discussion.

  100. C. Clavin says:

    For 50 years every single President has had a photographer constantly shadowing them. Every single one. Now the kooks think it’s a problem…because Obama.
    Fools.
    http://www.pbs.org/program/presidents-photographer/

  101. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Damn dude, stop whining. Has the latest Zimmermann scandal hit you that hard?

    Who? Did Germany send another telegram to Mexico again? You’d think they’d have learned their lesson from the last time…

  102. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:
    They aren’t allegations…both Bush and Cheney have admitted to war crimes.

  103. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The White House has already acknowledged that not sending someone was an error.

    They should have never done that.

    The reason: Because dude’s like you will use the admission of error to bolster the argument that there was an error.

    They should have said the American people stand with the French people and that the American president has scheduling conflicts, the kind you get from being the leader of a sovereign nation.

  104. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    But the point remains

    You said this:

    NO ONE ELSE IN THE PICTURE

    If that wasn’t your “point,” you wouldn’t have said it. IN CAPS. You also said this:

    Apparently I’m so dumb now that the possibility that morons like you would respond without actually looking at the links I provided didn’t even occur to me.

    You were criticizing someone else for allegedly not looking at your picture when the one who posted a picture “without actually looking” at it is you. If the other person was “dumb” and a ‘moron’ for supposedly not looking, what does that make you?

    a picture of himself

    I’m pretty sure Obama is not the first president to present “a picture of himself” (as C. Clavin has pointed out). He’s just the first black one to do it.

  105. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: After Bush? Now you’re ashamed? I have a solution: Leave.

  106. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Tell me, does your definition of narcissism apply to Presidents standing alone before Mr. Reagan’s coffin? Like this one: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/06/11/national/REAGAN.FUNERAL.SLIDE.9.jpg

    Does it apply to wanna-be POTUSes like this one? http://badattitudes.com/MT/aRomney-at-Wailing-Wall.jpg

    How about Prime Ministers? http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/winston-churchill-at-sea-war-is-hell-store.jpg

    It’s okay if you’re white. But the nation’s first black president sitting where Rosa Parks sat, why that’s an outrage!

    Yeah: you’re a moron.

  107. michael reynolds says:
  108. Mikey says:

    This was a pretty minor screw-up. Yes, someone besides the ambassador should have been present. Secretary of State Kerry would have been a good choice, and he could have been positioned as a busy President’s high-level representative. But in the grand scheme, it’s really a nothingburger.

  109. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: Apparently you haen’t figured oput that torture is a war crime and Bush does not get to define what is and what is not torture. OK OK maybe as far as the US goes, but not international law which is what they enforce at the Hague.

  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Should I bother to spell out the point I’ve made repeatedly? If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the Usual Gang of Idiots will find a way to deliberately misinterpret (that’s a semi-polite way of saying “lie”) it.

    When Mr. “he doesn’t do symbolism” feels the need to pay tribute to someone, the most common and predictable way is to post a picture of himself with some sort of connection to the person being honored. Whether it’s JFK or Nelson Mandela, we can be guaranteed we’ll be given a picture of Obama showing how deeply moved he is.

    One can only imagine what would happen if we had a president who did symbolism…

  111. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Not to mention this narcissist jerk acting all, “Hey, I can write a prayer, too!” http://www.radioislam.org/jewish-photos/manipulat-the-wold/Pope-John-Paul-II-WailingWall.jpg

    OMG, it’s another one! http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/CFOI/pope_western_wall_2.jpg

    It’s an epidemic of narcissism!

  112. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Plus, Michelle moved out to make room.

  113. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Gee, I wonder if I can find a picture of GW Bush by himself… or Reagan…

    Idiot.

  114. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: You forgot the captions on those. Here, let me help you with a couple of them:

    President George W. Bush poses in his pickup to commemorate his efforts on the bailout of GM and Chrysler

    President Abraham Lincoln, studying a hangnail, reflects on the sacrifices made by the brave men of the Union Army during the Civil War.

    The pictures alone don’t sell it. You need to invoke the innate narcissism to get the proper effect.

  115. Inna Simone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That has also been suggested before. Plagiarism, you know…

  116. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Also, what, like this guy is the only one who can bowl? Narcissist! http://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/ap4704191214.jpg?w=1100

    And this guy acting like he’s the only guy with a microphone! http://schillerinstitut.dk/drupal/system/files/roosevelt%2520fireside%2520chat%25202.jpg

  117. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    the point I’ve made repeatedly

    This is the point you’ve “made repeatedly:” that when Obama does what other presidents have done, it’s suddenly a problem because Obama.

  118. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No, you just need to be a clueless racist moron who vomits out whatever bile comes bubbling up without taking ten seconds to realize that someone could spend the entire day making him look like an idiot.

  119. jukeboxgrad says:

    Inna:

    Plagiarism

    Find out what the word means.

  120. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: It’s not plagiarism, it is just repetitive. But apparently, you aren’t listening. I figured I was wasting my time, but hey… Maybe this time I’d get lucky?

  121. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Even though I usually don’t agree with you, I had to smile at that one. Nice knowledge of history.

  122. Inna Simone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    plagiarism is ‘the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person’. So, it was plagiarism.

  123. jukeboxgrad says:

    using another person’s words or ideas

    You must think the “ideas” you’re talking about never appeared anywhere prior to this thread.

  124. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: Ok, who was the first cave man to say “Leave”? Name him and I will gladly and happily give credit.

    (really… this is the best you can do? this counts as “conservative thought”? we are sooooo fwcked.)

  125. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What’s wrong, little boy? Your munchbox puppet getting beat up so bad you need to drag out your standard phony persona?

  126. Inna Simone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I do refer you to C. Clavin, # 1994252.

    @ a href=”#comment-1994252″>C. Clavin</a

  127. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And really guys, you are pissed because we did not spend somewhere between a few thousand dollars to a couple million to have somebody higher than an Ambassador represent the US for this? Really? A photo op? You have your panties in a bunch over a missed photo op?

    Maybe I’m the one that should leave.

  128. Inna Simone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    May be…

  129. wr says:

    @Inna Simone: “I am ashamed to be an American.”

    If you choose to renounce your citizenship, the US will only be better for it. A win-win.

  130. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: So now you accuse him of plagiarism? Go argue with him.

  131. Inna Simone says:

    @wr:
    You might be quite right, may be the US will be better. It’s hard for me to tell but this is too expensive. Want to pay?

  132. Inna Simone says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    No, I am accusing YOU of plagiarism. He was first.

  133. wr says:

    @Inna Simone: Wow, you’re a boring troll. Define a personality and stick with it. Show some originality. Maybe a little wit now and then… or come up with something outrageously offensive like our resident bridge-dwellers.

    Surely there must be an online course in trolling you could sign up for. Because right now you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

  134. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Inna Simone: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAA….

    Apparently you never heard the words “America, love it or leave it.”

    Idiot. And for the record? It is impossible to plagiarize that which is in the public domain. Jus’ sayin’…

  135. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh, and giving credit where credit is due***, SatanicPanic:

    Obama should troll the right by responding “I’d like to attend but, frankly I am still upset about France’s refusal to join the Coalition of the Willing”

    *** I wouldn’t want to get Inna Simmone’s panties any more bunched.

  136. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:

    I’m with you: can we get some better trolls? The only guy who writes from the right who ever actually has anything to say is Pinky.

    Otherwise, the routine never changes:

    1) They hear something on Hannity or Limbaugh and think, “My, that’s amazingly clever!”
    2) They trot it over here and regurgitate it.
    3) They are eviscerated on facts and logic.
    4) So they start right back at step #1.

    It never penetrates their head bones that for some reason the drivel they hear on the radio gets blown up in ten seconds when exposed to other points of view. They never learn, the never progress, they never even become wilier. They never question the underlying ideology that is so easily dispatched by bored liberals killing time on the internet box. It’s like watching dogs trying to open a locked door – it starts off funny and ends up kind of sad.

  137. Jeremy R says:

    @Inna Simone:

    Is Obama in more danger than Netanyahu? Or his life is much more precious?

    Netanyahu wasn’t invited and neither was Biden or Obama. Netanyahu initially announced he wasn’t going to attend, partly because of the security complexities of the event, but later reversed himself when he discovered some of his political rivals were going.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.636557

    French President Francois Hollande conveyed a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend asking him not to come to Paris to take part in the march against terror on Sunday, according to an Israeli source who was privy to the contacts between the Elysees Palace and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. …

    According to the source, Netanyahu at first acquiesced to the French request. In any case, the Shin Bet security service unit that protects public figures considered the arrangements for the prime minister’s security to be complex. And so, on Saturday evening, Netanyahu’s people announced that he would not be flying to Paris because of security concerns.

    However, on Saturday night, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett announced their intention to go to Paris and take part in the march and meet with the Jewish community. When Netanyahu heard they were going, he informed the French he would be attending the march after all.

    According to the source, when Cohen informed Audibert that Netanyahu would be attending the event after all, Audibert angrily told Cohen that the prime minister’s conduct would have an adverse effect on ties between the two countries as long as Hollande was president of France and Netanyahu was prime minister of Israel.

    And according to Andrea Mitchell:

    https://twitter.com/mitchellreports/status/554618689459613696

    Official tells me POTUS/VP weren’t invited to Paris + security for them wld have been disruptive – so U.S.signaled France not to invite?

  138. Inna Simone says:

    @wr:
    Not everybody could be original, witty and funny as yourself. I am trying… but somehow nothing ‘outrageously offensive’ comes to mind. Some people are destined only to be boring.
    BTW, you don’t have to respond to this – waste of time.

  139. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Who? Did Germany send another telegram to Mexico again?

    So what’s the story here? George was not your first Zimmermann? Did you have a long and passionate bromance with the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire in a previous life? How cruel for a… a person such as yourself to be trapped on the wheel of karma.

  140. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Z-man is your fixation, not mine, annie. But the idea that a guy who was accused of a heinous crime, acquitted by overwhelming evidence of his innocence, and yet is still called a murderer and has somewhat credible threats on his life — and will for the rest of his life — might be a bit messed up by all that is… unsurprising.

    Your side didn’t get him in court, so you’ll hound him for the rest of his life for the sin of being innocent. I dunno why you want to brag about that, but I don’t understand a hell of a lot of the stupid things you do, anyway.

  141. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Apparently you haven’t noticed the umpteen times it’s been mentioned that Eric Holder was in Paris at the time of the march. But he had better things to do, apparently…

  142. Ken says:

    “@OzarkHillbilly: It is impossible to plagiarize that which is in the public domain. Jus’ sayin’… ”

    Not true. “Public Domain” is about who holds the copyright, and is irrelevant to the concept of plagiarism. Otherwise college students could simply release all of the term papers they wrote last year to the public domain, allowing this years students to copy them in toto without repercussion

  143. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Apparently you haven’t noticed the umpteen times it’s been mentioned that Eric Holder was in Paris at the time of the march. But he had better things to do, apparently…

    There’s almost always better things to do than stuff like this….

    That said, where should we have put Holder? Arm in arm with Merkel? Third row? I mean, he’s just an AG, and only a titular one at this point. Surely he should be behind all the heads of state….

    Seems to me like you’re just trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, bud. Think about it. “Sorry, couldn’t make it,” the note from Obama says. “Out fighting Islamic terrorism.”

  144. munchbox says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What’s wrong, little boy? Your munchbox puppet getting beat up so bad you need to drag out your standard phony persona?

    no i am right here wallowing in my 57 down votes to the quote that got you bobble heads bobbling….

    the future shall not belong to those who slander islam.… <-that one then i pointed out that the zero did in fact send three officials to the criminal michael brown’s funeral as a sign of solidarity…

    so it is up to you lap dogs to see where the chips fall…. criminals funeral OK because he was a citizen or more muslim terrorism….nothing to see folks!! and Jack beat me to it…it should have came with a round of golf…

  145. anjin-san says:

    In other news:

    British Prime Minister David Cameron had harsh words for the Fox News guest who on Sunday said the British city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim.”

    During an interview on Monday with ITV News, Cameron called Fox News “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson a “complete idiot” over the comments.

    “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day,” Cameron said, “this guy is clearly a complete idiot.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/david-cameron-fox-steven-emerson-idiot

    At a time like this, why is Fox News alienating our closest ally?

  146. Inna Simone says:

    @Jeremy R:
    Who cares if Netanyahu wasn’t invited, he went anyway. Obama / Biden / Kerry could’ve done the same.

  147. michael reynolds says:

    @munchbox:
    I like the decision to avoid capital letters. That way we totally think you’re someone different.

  148. MUNCHBOX says:

    better asshat?

  149. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: What is there at the Hague ? What is the deal with that ?

  150. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I like the decision to avoid capital letters.

    I guess it’s kinda hard to use the shift key when you’re quaking with rage over who went to a stranger’s funeral….

  151. MUNCHBOX says:

    I guess it’s kinda hard to use the shift key when you’re quaking with rage over who went to a stranger’s funeral….

    or say defend the position of sending three officials to a criminal’s funeral….

  152. munchbox says:

    @anjin-san

    in other news….by which i mean to say nothing to see here….

    “The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defense group that fights Boko Haram, told The Associated Press.

    He said the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. “No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” Gava said.

    An Amnesty International statement said there are reports the town was razed and as many as 2,000 people killed.

    ….#bringbackourgirls?

    wait that hashtag is so old at this point….they must have brought them back by now?

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-10/news/57913249_1_boko-haram-maiduguri-mike-omeri

  153. anjin-san says:

    @MUNCHBOX:

    or say defend the position of sending three officials to a criminal’s funeral….

    Are you really going to run with that cheese? Ronald Reagan honored Menachem Begin in the White House. Do you know about the King David Hotel bombing? By our closest ally? That Begin was a wanted terrorist with a price on his head? And you are really whimpering about Michael Brown’s funeral?

    Really, spare us your Faux outrage. As we saw today, letting that crew do your thinking for you is a bad idea.

  154. Davebo says:

    @Tyrell:

    What is there at the Hague ?

    Well, there’s the statue of Johan de Witt. And Albert Plesman, and lots more!

    If you ever get a chance you should visit! Though personally I prefer Harlem.

  155. Davebo says:

    @anjin-san:

    Really, spare us your Faux outrage. As we saw today, letting that crew do your thinking for you is a bad idea.

    Trust me. Letting him do his own thinking would be much much worse.

    Sometimes indoctrination is the lesser of two evils.

  156. michael reynolds says:

    @MUNCHBOX:
    Nah, you’re the same old asshat.

  157. Tillman says:

    Ah, another 150+ comment thread on OTB. Munchbox nearly beats Florack’s record for downvotes (which in my memory is 68, but I haven’t been here that long), and Jenos makes a specious observation. All is well.

  158. munchbox says:

    @asshat i see you are confused again….

    Nah, you’re I am the same old asshat.

    fixed it for you….

    hey @anjin-san nice we’re talking about semi current events here…lets bring up reagan and the seventies.
    o
    r
    l
    i
    k
    e
    SAY radical islamist terrorists on the other thread….better talk about Christianity. That one was a new low…even for you guys…pretty pathetic.

    so yeah back on topic….0bama sent three people to the criminal’s funeral…

    and hey, you have anything to say about the “in other news” since you like to change the subject? boko harma #bring our over 2000 dead back….

  159. munchbox says:

    thanks Tillman! I sure rile those bobble heads up….

  160. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s my theory. Jenos tries to play nice, see, but that doesn’t work. So he unleashes. . . munchbox! Yeah, baby, and that teaches us a lesson. Because who can withstand the force of munchbox’s blazing intellect? Who? Who I ask you? Okay, everyone, but in Jenos’ mind it’s a very different reality.

  161. anjin-san says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Jenos has an edge – when you don’t have a wife or a girlfriend, you have a lot of time to invent new personas…

  162. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..What is there at the Hague ?

    See:

    The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt)[2] is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

    This is a place where goons like Henry Kissenger and Richard “the Dick” Cheney would be tried for their crimes…if there was a god.

  163. Socraticsilence says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hah, such wit, just like that senile actor at Romney’s massive failure of a convention prior to his landslide defeat, I can truly see why your beliefs are embraced by an aging minority of the American public.

  164. bill says:

    eh, this was for those loser countries with muslim issues, not us…….

    what an embarrassment this lame duck is.

  165. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Sorry, mickey, but your little folie a trois (and gaining) is a complete and total crock. I have no idea who munch is, but I’m 100% certain it ain’t me.

    And I’ll even go one step further: I’m currently posting from a hospital’s IP, and have been for a couple of days. If any of the authors here would like to verify that publicly, and that munch has never shared a posting IP with me, I would not object to a technical violation of their Terms of Service.

    But back to the topic at hand: I’m sure Holder had better things to do in Paris besides attend the march. Besides, Obama’s announced he’s holding his own little summit on the matter soon, and that silly little rally will be dwarfed by the fierceness of unrestrained #hashtag warfare and reassurances that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

  166. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But back to the topic at hand: I’m sure Holder had better things to do in Paris besides attend the march.

    Gave you an upvote for that. Not just because you’ve acknowledged that Holder may have indeed had better things to do, which hints at a spark of reason, but also because you acknowledged that the “topic at hand” is not Michael Brown’s funeral.

    This doesn’t make your point any more salient (it’s still petty and weak) but it does redeem you in ways that Munchbox could only dream.

  167. humanoid.panda says:

    @Inna Simone:

    Who cares if Netanyahu wasn’t invited, he went anyway. Obama / Biden / Kerry could’ve done the same

    Nothing broadcasts respect for someone quite like showing up uninvited in a major even they are organizing. Why don’t you try doing that next time one of your neighbors is having a party and report us what is going on?

    [And by the way, media in both France and Israel had flayed Bibi for showing up uninvited and screwing up the security plan for the event: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.636737%5D

  168. Tony W says:

    I love that this is the sort of criticism we see of Obama. The economy, etc. is so good that we’re down to crap like this. Fine.

  169. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: Gave you an upvote for that. Not just because you’ve acknowledged that Holder may have indeed had better things to do, which hints at a spark of reason, but also because you acknowledged that the “topic at hand” is not Michael Brown’s funeral.

    The “better things to do” was sarcastic, so please take back your condescending uptwinkle. And while I didn’t bring up that Obama sent a special delegation to Brown’s funeral, it’s certainly informative about where his priorities lie. Did he send anyone to the funerals of the two NYPD cops who were assassinated? (I honestly don’t recall, and don’t feel like checking.)

    Since you brought Brown up to me, any thoughts now about how pretty much all the evidence indicates that the shooting was justified? And the “hands up, don’t shoot” was a complete fraud pushed by Brown’s partner in crime, and had no basis in reality?

    But back to the topic at hand… Holder was already there, and the rally was obviously going to be huge. It would have been a really good show of solidarity with our putative allies if he’d shown up as Obama’s personal representative, but he didn’t. Another blown opportunity.

    At least Obama hasn’t taken the chance to reiterate his declaration that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

  170. Ken says:

    @munchbox: President Obama said during a 2012 speech the “future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    so why would he attend a rally to support this people? Says a lot doesn’t it?

    @Ken: @munchbox: What exactly does it say?

    Apparently munchbox lacks the courage of his convictions. Argument by innuendo and dog-whistles because he doesn’t have the balls to just come out and say what he really means.

    So sad

  171. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It would have been a really good show of solidarity with our putative allies if he’d shown up as Obama’s personal representative, but he didn’t.

    What are the odds Jenos spent 2001-2007 screaming about the cowardice and perfidy of the French, 2008-2010, denouncing French style death panels that Obama wanted to impose on US healthcare system, and 2010-2012, complaining along Romney that Obama wanted to make the US stagnant and socialist just like France?

  172. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Also, I am fairly confident you spent the 2008 electoral season fuming that Obama was a celebrity who cared about display and making effete Europeans liking him much more than he did about America. I wonder where the newfound concern for European opinion came from.

  173. munchbox says:

    @Ken I responded to your question…
    And nikki answered for you… said it was a ok because the criminal was a citizen…

    So as we are arguing over the zero burger…Isis has hacked us centcom…http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/01/12/centcom-twitter-account-apparently-hacked-by-islamic-state-sympathizers/

    And boko haram slaughtered 2000 people….

    #I thought michelle obama took care of that problem with her cardboard sign ?

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-10/news/57913249_1_boko-haram-maiduguri-mike-omeri

  174. Andre Kenji says:

    ISIS has hacked the CENTCOM´s Twitter account, not CENTCOM.

  175. munchbox says:

    Yup that what the link says bravo you can read!

  176. humanoid.panda says:

    @Andre Kenji I also love the implication that Obama should have personally made sure that the Centcom has powerful enough passwords on its social media accounts..

  177. munchbox says:

    @humanoid.panda …the implication is that while you morons bleat on about how this means nothing the islamists are there spreading around the globe. Did you read what they posted …it’s all nothing to see here… Just like the boko haram massacre of civilians…care to weight in about that? Its all just so reassuring…# bring back our girls

  178. Neil Hudelson says:

    Things I’ve learned from this thread:

    Conservatives are pants-shittingly scared of both photographs and twitter hackers.

  179. humanoid.panda says:

    @munchbox: Yes, once the twitter account of Centcom had fallen, its only a matter of time before the rest of the world does.
    Look, you are not worth engaging, but people whose IQ is in the triple digits know that Islamist terorism is a problem. Not a civilization-ending-pant-wetting problem, but a problem. This is why the US, under Obama is conducting operations against it all around the world.
    Now for Nigeria- Boko Haram is a terrible group. There are only 3 ways to fight groups like this:
    1. Hoping the local government is competent enough to do so. (it is not).
    2. Creating an international coalistion anchored by local sources (the US under Obama is doing it very succesfully with ISIS using the Kurds as its ground forces). That option is also problematic, because there are no forces like this on the ground.
    3. Invading and occupying the area.

    Now, besides twirling like a derwish screaming Michelle Obama, and exercising your psychsexual demons, what of the three options you support? If its one of the first 2, how would you go about creating conditions for success? If it’s the latter 3, how are you going to sell it to the American people? Please, be specific.

  180. humanoid.panda says:

    Hell, I’ll be generous: lots of people on the Left are being way to cute about this problem by comparing it to abortion bombings and whatnot- say what you say about the religious right in the US , it had shown very little proclivity for organized violence. The fact that morons like Munchbox (who, I think is a sock puppet of Jack, not of Jenos: same rage and sexual obsessions) exist and spew idiocy doesn’t mean that people need to deny real-existing problems out of fear of giving them any ground.

  181. al-Ameda says:

    @munchbox:

    And boko haram slaughtered 2000 people….
    #I thought michelle obama took care of that problem with her cardboard sign ?

    (1) I thought Sarah Palin took care of everything with her cardboard brain.
    (2 What should Michelle Obama have done to prevent the Boko Haram massacres?

  182. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @humanoid.panda: What are the odds Jenos spent 2001-2007 screaming about the cowardice and perfidy of the French, 2008-2010, denouncing French style death panels that Obama wanted to impose on US healthcare system, and 2010-2012, complaining along Romney that Obama wanted to make the US stagnant and socialist just like France?

    Guilty on the first point. In fact, I think I mentioned it in a previous thread here. But I’ve been quite impressed with the way the French have been conducting themselves since the attacks, and feel a smidgen ashamed of those previous remarks.

    However, the fact that the French have tolerated the Islamist presence and actions for so long indicates that I wasn’t totally incorrect, just that they’re waking up. Over at Ace of Spades, one of their commenters referred to the “no-go zones” where authorities have abandoned enforcing laws to the locals in a rather insightful way:

    Let’s call those ‘No-Go Zones’ what they are…they’re Colonies.

    It’s not immigration if you are ceding them territory. It’s Colonization.

    Which has absolutely jack squat to do with anything. Unless you’re one of those simple-minded, binary dolts that insists that if I say something bad about some people once, I can never ever ever say something good about them in the future. Unless, of course, I go the whole sackcloth and ashes routine and apologize for every aspect of my existence.

    In which case, you are cordially invited to bite me.

    And our allies got a good message the other day. When all those people stood up for Western civilization and against Islamist terror, Obama didn’t choose to stand with them. And with his Attorney General right there in the city, he had every opportunity to send a very significant representative.

    As the White House has admitted, that was an error. And a totally unforced one.

  183. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: (2 What should Michelle Obama have done to prevent the Boko Haram massacres?

    Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing. Was she afraid that people might think she approved of Boko Haram?

    It’s a variant of the old advice: “it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Similarly, it’s better to not try to act, than to act and achieve nothing.

  184. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    You just blew up every irony meter in the known universe.

  185. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: And you are keeping your commentary record totally spotless: all ad hominem attacks, zero on substance. Your comments are as empty as a Kardashian’s skull.

    However, I suspect they might be a bit less disease-ridden.

  186. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: (2 What should Michelle Obama have done to prevent the Boko Haram massacres?
    Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing. Was she afraid that people might think she approved of Boko Haram?

    Of course, general protest here in America, thousands of miles away from Boko Haram is an empty gesture. It is better to sit quietly and wait until conservatives let us know what is worthy of protest.

  187. humanoid.panda says:

    However, the fact that the French have tolerated the Islamist presence and actions for so long indicates that I wasn’t totally incorrect, just that they’re waking up. Over at Ace of Spades, one of their commenters referred to the “no-go zones” where authorities have abandoned enforcing laws to the locals in a rather insightful way:

    Sorry to tell you that, but pretty much every city in every country has no-go areas where public order doesn’t really exist (in Communist Moscow in the 1980s, there were neighorhoods dominated by pumped up body builders who horsewhipped Silvester Stalone and had fondness for Swastikas). Those areas nearly always pop up when large and dispossesed immigrant communities congregate in urban areas (as even cursory examination of American history will reveal). Calling them colonies is evidence of paranoia, not “an astute observation.”

    As for the French tolerating Islamism: this is comically off the mark. That charge can be leveled at the British and Dutch governments, who did indeed endorse multicultural ideas in a somewhat naive way, but the French government had de-facto banned the public practice of Islam!

  188. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Get back to me when you have a counterpunch that is not covered in marshmallows 🙂

  189. C. Clavin says:

    This pretty much wraps up the utter stupidity of those looking to score political points over this nonsense.
    https://www.billoreilly.com/mp/Bumper-Stickers/Boycott-France%20-Bumper-Sticker/18704.html?pid=18704

  190. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    if I say something bad about some people once, I can never ever ever say something good about them in the future

    This is not what I said, at all. You, and the people from whom you drew talking points have spent a decade insulting and demonizing Europeans in every possible way. You spent years making fun of Obama for being diplomatic and caring about what Europeans an international institutions have to say (leading from behind!).In the immediate aftermath of the event, several Right Wing commentators had strongly implied that Europeans brought it on themselves by tolerating Muslims in their midst. Yet, you all turn on a dime, and blame Obama for insulting Europeans (and evidence that any Europeans were insulted is scant indeed…) . The hypocrisy and stupidity displayed here is vomit-inducing

    PS: For bonus points, anyone cares to write an Earth 2 screed by Jenos in which he complains that Obama hijacked the rally, made it about himself, and made it harder for Parisians to make it due to his security demands?

  191. Neil Hudelson says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Hush, you, with your facts.

  192. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: and by horsewhipped Stalone, I mean worshiped Stalone. Freud rules.

  193. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Let’s call those ‘No-Go Zones’ what they are…they’re Colonies.

    It’s not immigration if you are ceding them territory. It’s Colonization

    I have no idea whether that astute commentor is aware of this, but this is exactly the line people who theorized about the Yellow Peril and the coming race war between the White and Mongoloid races used about Chinatown in the 19th centuries. It is good to know that no insane paranoid spew ever goes to waste.

  194. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Jenos Idanian at 10:42 AM: And our allies got a good message the other day. When all those people stood up for Western civilization and against Islamist terror, Obama didn’t choose to stand with them.

    Jenos Idanian at 10:52 AM: Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.

    My, what a difference ten minutes can make.

  195. anjin-san says:

    Now about those “no-go zones” – As W.C. Fields said, you can indeed fool some of the people all of the time:

    Claim: A number of localities in the United States, France, and Britain are considered Muslim “no-go zones” (operating under Sharia Law) where local laws are not applicable.

    FALSE

    Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/nogozones.asp#jB2EKKEF9cKXx5MT.99

    Steve Emerson’s lies about Islamization of certain parts of Europe and de facto rule of Sharia Law in them are so egregious that we saw Prime Minister Cameron publicly call him “a complete idiot.” Emerson is now furiously walking/running back his statements. Yes, this is the same David Cameron who has recently been lauded by the right for marching in Paris. Congratulations Fox News, the head of state of our closest ally is now calling you on your BS. I’m sure our allies are thrilled that you are trashing them with this BS on cable TV.

    This tall tale is the European cousin of the email driven meme that Dearborn is now under Sharia. I suspect event the Kardashian girls are not dim enough to fall for it – after all, this sort of thing is generally limited to shut ins who consume large quantities of cheap vodka. But clearly the readers over at “Ace of Spades” are all in for it. Sad.

  196. KM says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.

    Then what is the point of this thread? What is the point of complaining about the US non-presence in a bunch of people walking around with signs and chanting “Je Suis Charlie”? Why are some many on this thread whining about Obama not making an empty gesture by attending? Why is Inna Simone bitching “nobody important” was there?

    Let’s face it: nothing happened at this rally of any real importance or impact because it’s a RALLY. Not a legislative session where actual laws were passed, not a military meeting or mission where shit got done, not even a navel-contemplative discussion of great minds coming up with theories or plans for others to implement. Nothing was physically accomplished in an real tangible sense – it’s all an “F-U” to the haters and “We Stand Together” that means little without specific concrete details and actions. It’s a rally, a protest like the 1,000s of others held around the wold a year. People walk, people talk, people offer support that in emotional in nature and not practical in terms of actual life. The police did actual work in chasing the killers down, the military and intelligence communities are doing actual work in helping stop it from happening again. Plain ol’ Pierre on the street that day did nothing but offer vocal sentiments and provide optics but goes home feeling like he’s made a difference in the world.

    Je Suis Charlie is no different from #BringBackOurGirls in that respect. It accomplishes nothing but attention to the cause. If you despise Michele Obama for her hashtagvism, start hating on yourself for the old school marching. In the end, it’s all “empty gestures” made for comfort, support and bringing forth the conscious of the world. It’s the same damn thing.

  197. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    that silly little rally

    As OzarkHillbilly already pointed out, the staged, misleading photo op was a “silly little rally.” Look at the photo most people haven’t seen. Link:

    … “Seems world leaders didn’t “lead” Charlie Hebdo marchers in Paris but conducted photo op on empty, guarded street.” … “All those world leaders: Not exactly ‘at’ the Paris rallies.”

    You said this:

    He’s all about the narcissism and symbolism.

    And this:

    Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.

    If Obama had spent your precious tax dollars to be part of that staged, phony photo, we would be hearing your ilk whine about his “narcissism and symbolism,” and his “empty gestures.” Heads you win, tails I lose.

  198. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.

    That explains the hundreds of comments you made protesting the waste of time/money/effort associated with the countless symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare made by the GOP house.

  199. Pinky says:

    I assume that most of you are the same person.

  200. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I assume that most of you are the same person.

    Yea. You are the same guy who assumes that we all think dead cops is a Christmas present. Buzz off.

  201. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I was being facetious about assuming most of you are the same person, but the truth in it is that sitting around honing your grudges against people on a website is thoroughly pointless. And that isn’t what I said – a nice illustration of what happens when you sit around honing grudges, thank you.

  202. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Sorry, Jenos, I’m just not going to discuss Michael Brown with you. I’m not scandalized by the Obama Administration sending people to his funeral and I’m not scandalized by them not sending people for the parade in Paris. Not only that, but I don’t think one has anything whatsoever to do with the other. If you’re reading the tea leaves to determine “priorities,” consider the entirety of his administration, not two isolated public relations events.

    I will not forget how Obama was quietly plotting the elimination of Osama Bin Laden while the right wing obsessed about Obama’s birth certificate.

    As for this:

    At least Obama hasn’t taken the chance to reiterate his declaration that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    When will it get through your head that President Obama is fully committed to defeating Islamic terrorists and simultaneously respecting the religious beliefs of religious people.

    Seriously, Jenos, you would benefit from just a smidge of generosity towards your opponents and a little bit of intellectual integrity. How can you possibly focus in on a single out-of-context quote while ignoring Obama’s foreign policy entirely?

  203. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    Unless you’re one of those simple-minded, binary dolts that insists that if I say something bad about some people once, I can never ever ever say something good about them in the future.

    There you go, busting the irony meter again. You said this:

    … reassurances that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    And in a later comment you ‘took the chance to reiterate your declaration:’

    At least Obama hasn’t taken the chance to reiterate his declaration that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    A more complete quote is this (link):

    The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt … The future must not belong to those who bully women … The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. … Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on a prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist. … In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.

    He also said this:

    And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. … There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. There’s no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.

    So congratulations on proving that “you’re one of those simple-minded, binary dolts that insists” that I cannot simultaneously criticize “those who slander the prophet of Islam” while also condemning “mindless violence.”

    I realize James Pearce just made the same point.

  204. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san:

    This tall tale is the European cousin of the email driven meme that Dearborn is now under Sharia. I suspect event the Kardashian girls are not dim enough to fall for it – after all, this sort of thing is generally limited to shut ins who consume large quantities of cheap vodka. But clearly the readers over at “Ace of Spades” are all in for it. Sad.

    I wouldn’t go as far as arguing that there is no such thing as “no-go zones”: as I said above, neighborhoods which the police leaves to their own means are not a rare occurence on either side of the Atlantic. However, this has to do with crime not religion. In other words, think the Wire rather than Glenn Beck.

  205. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pinky:

    that isn’t what I said

    Really? You said that in response to anjin-san saying this:

    You are the same guy who assumes that we all think dead cops is a Christmas present.

    That isn’t what you said? Then it must have been an entirely different Pinky who said this:

    If some of you guys believed the things you’ve typed over the last few months, two dead cops should be like an early Christmas present for you.

    Someone then correctly described this as “a truly disgusting comment.” And this other Pinky was also a coward who refused to support his disgusting accusation with even the tiniest shred of proof.

  206. humanoid.panda says:

    @James Pearce:

    Seriously, Jenos, you would benefit from just a smidge of generosity towards your opponents and a little bit of intellectual integrity. How can you possibly focus in on a single out-of-context quote while ignoring Obama’s foreign policy entirely?

    What are the odds of him coming back to the thread after the collective evisceration he just underwent, you think?

  207. anjin-san says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I’m not saying there is no such thing as a neighborhood that is so bad that societal institutions have largely broken down. We have those here in California. But the idea that Europe is peppered with areas that have been de facto ceded to Muslims by local and national governments and are now functionally under Sharia is simply an invention of the right wing media, just as the Zombie meme about Dearborn is.

  208. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: And yet, if you look at the first statement (what I was accused of saying) and the second statement (what I said), you’ll see a big difference. Let’s include the first line of my referenced comment as well:

    I don’t think that any OTB’ers are happy about these murders, but if some of them were ideologically consistent and honest with themselves, they would be.

    If Anjin-san wants to quote me, he can quote me. If he wants to paraphrase me, he has to capture the meaning of what I said. If he wants to make stuff up, well, then, he’s not even being a good archiver of grievances, which as I said isn’t something a person should try to be in the first place.

  209. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san: I don’t think we are in disagreement about this, but there is a major difference between the two cases. In the European case, there really are networks of radicals who are eager to appeal to dispossessed, young men, give an ideological explanation for their troubles, and turn them into a weapon. That doesn’t exist in American poor neighborhoods. That is a real problem, and Jenos’ idiotic exploitation of it should not obscure it.

  210. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pinky:

    I don’t think that any OTB’ers are happy about these murders

    And then you proceeded to promptly contradict yourself, which is your problem, not mine. You said what you claimed you didn’t say. It was a disgusting statement, and your utter failure to support it with proof shows that you’re a coward.

    If he wants to make stuff up

    “Make stuff up” is precisely what you did. And it’s what you’re still doing when you try to pretend that you didn’t say the disgusting thing you said.

  211. munchbox says:

    In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered “no-go” zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

    http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2006/11/the-751-no-go-zones-of-france

  212. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    I assume that most of you are the same person.

    Yes, je suis Charlie’s Angels

  213. munchbox says:

    Islamic extremists have launched a poster campaign across the UK proclaiming areas where Sharia law enforcement zones have been set up.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019547/Anjem-Choudary-Islamic-extremists-set-Sharia-law-zones-UK-cities.html#ixzz3OTsYRJrx

  214. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: One more time. Some, not all, of the people on this site, if they thought through the consequences and implications of the things they’ve said over the past months, and actually meant them, would find that their sentiments supported the NYPD murders. I don’t think anyone on this site would applaud them. I don’t think some of them are consistent enough and honest enough with themselves to see the intellectual corner they’ve painted themselves into. I cannot provide quotes to support that they’ve painted themselves into the corner, because they haven’t said that they have. They don’t believe that they have. But: they have. They can track through the paint and deny it if they want to – and I sympathize with them, because it’d stink to have to admit that one’s positions were consistent with such acts. If you want to make this and every subsequent thread about that position of mine, feel free. I’ll probably feel compelled to reiterate it once every dozen or so times. But that’d be boring. At least do me the courtesy of conveying my statement accurately.

  215. Neil Hudelson says:

    @munchbox:

    Oh, hell, well if someone has put up a poster…

    The conservatives fear of photographs continues apace.

  216. C. Clavin says:

    @munchbox:
    By linking to that nut job I can only assume you are trying to convince us it’s not true.

  217. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: Sorry, Jenos, I’m just not going to discuss Michael Brown with you. I’m not scandalized by the Obama Administration sending people to his funeral and I’m not scandalized by them not sending people for the parade in Paris.

    So you’re only interested in irrelevancies that advance your agenda. Got it.

    When will it get through your head that President Obama is fully committed to defeating Islamic terrorists and simultaneously respecting the religious beliefs of religious people.

    when it actually starts happening. He’s already backed the Libyan rebels, the Syrian rebels, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; there are three very concrete examples of Obama supporting Islamic terrorists who were interested in suppressing dissenting religious beliefs.

    Seriously, Jenos, you would benefit from just a smidge of generosity towards your opponents and a little bit of intellectual integrity. How can you possibly focus in on a single out-of-context quote while ignoring Obama’s foreign policy entirely?

    Been generous before, blew up in my face every time. Maybe it’s my current brush with mortality, but I find I lack the patience I’ve demonstrated in the past.

    A whole bunch of Western nations decided it would be a good thing to send leaders and major representatives to stand united in Paris after the latest Islamist atrocity. A really big public showing of solidarity . Obama chose to pass on participating. With a whole slew of possible responses, his one was “nah.” Even telling Eric Holder to take a little break from whatever he was already doing in Paris and skip across town for an hour or two was more than he felt like committing the US to.

    This should not have been a tough decision. It was essentially a gimme. And they blew it. Further, they’ve admitted they blew it.

  218. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pinky:

    would find that their sentiments supported the NYPD murders

    I’m not surprised to see you doubling down with your disgusting accusation.

    I cannot provide quotes

    Because your accusation is a lie.

  219. munchbox says:

    @ neil ….its always the same with you and your type isn’t it? Nothing to see here …move along…

    In the videos, the ‘Muslim Patrol’ is heard to say, “Alcohol banned. This is a Muslim area. Muslims patrol the area.”

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2458/_muslim_patrol_vigilantes_attempt_to_control_london_streets

    A backdrop to the massacre in Paris on Wednesday by self-professed al Qaeda terrorists is that city officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/7/french-islamist-mini-states-grow-into-problem-out-/#ixzz3OTsDRklr

  220. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    I’m just saying, again, that if some of the commenters thought through what they’ve said, they’d find comfort in this double-murder

    Here you go, an exact quote of your words. If you want to keep digging, I have a shovel you can borrow.

  221. humanoid.panda says:

    @munchbox: If you were to read the Snopes article someone posted, something you won’t do, you will discover that Pipes had renounced that claim.

  222. Mikey says:

    @munchbox: In an update to that very post, Pipes wrote:

    Jan. 16, 2013 update: I had an opportunity today to travel at length to several banlieues (suburbs) around Paris, including Sarcelles, Val d’Oise, and Seine Saint Denis. This comes on the heels of having visited over the years the predominantly immigrant (and Muslim) areas of Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, Berlin, and Athens.

    A couple of observations:

    For a visiting American, these areas are very mild, even dull. We who know the Bronx and Detroit expect urban hell in Europe too, but there things look fine. The immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails.

    These are not full-fledged no-go zones but, as the French nomenclature accurately indicates, “sensitive urban zones.” In normal times, they are unthreatening, routine places. But they do unpredictably erupt, with car burnings, attacks on representatives of the state (including police), and riots.

    Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones.

    In the face of the actual evidence, he changed his mind and acknowledged his mistake.

  223. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    danielpipes.org

    I’m glad you’re such a big fan. Pipes said this (link, 7/8/13, updated 1/13/14):

    In an article, “Rampaging Islamists,” I listed Libya as one of the over thirty countries where the Innocence of Muslims video had prompted demonstrations, rioting, or violence in September 2012; it seemed obvious at that time that the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi fit into the much larger context of agitation and hostility sweeping so many Muslim communities.

    But then, after Barack Obama nominated Susan Rice as his national security adviser, her having repeatedly stated that the attack had been a “spontaneous” response to Innocence, a demonstration that “spun out of control,” prompted a backlash against this account of what happened on Sep.11, 2012. The conservative interpretation focused entirely on Al-Qaeda and rejected any role for Innocence.

    Despite this consensus, I stood by the contention that Innocence played a part in the events that night. Now, the journalist John Rosenthal confirms this connection at “New Evidence Links Benghazi Attack to Anti-Muslim Movie,” where he argues that Innocence served as a “catalyst” for the attack on the US mission.

  224. James Pearce says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    “What are the odds of him coming back to the thread after the collective evisceration he just underwent, you think?”

    I wouldn’t bet against him on that….

    Jenos has a reputation around here. Some people think he’s a troll. (I’m not one of them) But he is reliable. He’ll slam the president for any damn fool thing, defend the right on any damn fool thing, and he’ll always be back.

    @Pinky: I thought that we already established that your statement:

    I don’t think that any OTB’ers are happy about these murders, but if some of them were ideologically consistent and honest with themselves, they would be.

    was a reflection of your lack of your poor opinion of lefties rather than an accurate appraisal of lefty views.

  225. munchbox says:

    it’s funny because I searched snopes for the same topic up until yesterday and they had nothing on it. but curious now its there posted on the 13th. So are you saying the French government doesn’t know what it is talking about? or the swedes?

    Swedish police have ceded control over 55 “no-go zones” to predominately Muslim criminal gangs. An extensive report mapping out 55 no-go zones was released Oct. 24, showing where law enforcement has all but handed control to criminal gangs.

    http://europenews.dk/en/node/86314

  226. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.”

    Says the man right after a message in which he screamed like a little baby because Obama didn’t travel to France for a photo op.

    But you keep right on calling people hypocrites, little boy.

  227. James Pearce says:

    @James Pearce: Typo! Should read:

    “a reflection of your lack of generosity and your poor opinion of lefties rather than an accurate appraisal of lefty views.”

  228. wr says:

    @Pinky: Oh, so it’s not that we’re happy about dead cops, it’s that if we weren’t so stupid we’d realize we were happy about dead cops.

    You have my formal invitation to kiss my @ss.

  229. Rafer Janders says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    In the European case, there really are networks of radicals who are eager to appeal to dispossessed, young men, give an ideological explanation for their troubles, and turn them into a weapon. That doesn’t exist in American poor neighborhoods.

    I’m sorry, have you never heard of the College Republicans National Committee?

  230. wr says:

    @Mikey: “In the face of the actual evidence, he changed his mind and acknowledged his mistake.”

    And thus is now considered a RINO, no doubt.

  231. humanoid.panda says:

    @Rafer Janders: This is what I was talking above. I have no more fondness to republican policies than you do, but comparing the GOP to the Salafists is simply insane. The closest comparisons to the salafists on the US scene would be some militia groups, and they have nowhere near what Salafists possess in terms of money, reach, channels of communication, and following.

  232. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    So are you saying the French government doesn’t know what it is talking about? or the swedes?

    You didn’t cite “the swedes.” You cited (indirectly) Daily Caller lying about a Swedish report.

  233. humanoid.panda says:

    @munchbox: The English language rendition of that report is circulating among on European far right sites, with the Daily Caller being the only (semi-) respectable media organ reporting on it. I’d wage good money that the Swedish origin has little to do with that rendition. Of course, even if we take it as a loyal source, that rendition refers to criminal gangs that control certain urban areas, a phenomenon that exists in nearly all major cities worldwide and has zilch to do with creeping sharia.

  234. humanoid.panda says:

    it’s funny because I searched snopes for the same topic up until yesterday and they had nothing on it. but curious now its there posted on the 13th

    So did the same nefarious forces that led Snopes to write a story in order to mislead you also colluded to have Pipes renounce his story a year ago? Is there no limit to perfidy?

  235. Pinky says:

    @wr: Most people don’t think through the implications of their beliefs. I’m not saying any person here is necessarily stupid, self-deluded, or evil, and I’m not saying I’m free of those traits myself. OK, well, Clavin is stupid. I’m saying that. But only because he’s stupid, and always accuses other people of being stupid, so I figure that observed stupidity is an open subject with him.

  236. munchbox says:

    It’s not either the video or a terrorist attack; it can be a bit of both. (2) That the video has some connection to the attack does not reduce the Obama administration’s incompetence and its culpability for the what followed that night. (July 8, 2013)

    good article there Junkie…

  237. munchbox says:

    @mikey

    I don’t see that in the article why don’t you provide a link?

  238. PJ says:

    @munchbox:

    it’s funny because I searched snopes for the same topic up until yesterday and they had nothing on it. but curious now its there posted on the 13th. So are you saying the French government doesn’t know what it is talking about? or the swedes?

    No, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The report doesn’t mention Muslim gangs nor does it say that that there are no-go zones where law enforcement has “all but handed control to criminal gangs”.

    In Sweden, there are currently 55 geographic areas where local criminal networks is considered to have negative impact on the local community. The areas are spread across 22 cities – from large cities to small towns and is considered socio-economically disadvantaged. The large criminal the impact on the local community appears to be linked to the social context in the fields rather than on the willingness of criminals to take power and control of the local community.

    The criminal actors in the fields do not appear to be part of structured gangs, but rather in loosely connected networks, broad-based youth environment. They are generally assessed have low strategic capability. There are some exceptions in urban areas, where a few network is described as more structured and considered to possess a higher strategic capability.

    The actors can be roughly divided into a younger and an older layer to some extent tied together of kinship. The younger is usually included in the loosely structured criminal networks centered around a few influential people. Their crime is less complex and consists often drug sales to abuse ranks, thefts and burglaries in the neighborhood. The older people are more structured and is involved in more organized crime such as advanced thefts and organization of drug supply to the areas.

    Frequently crime among the local criminals in areas including open drug trafficking, criminal settlements which manifests itself in serious violence on public place, various forms of extortion and unlawful influence and acting out dissatisfaction with society. All of the above expressions manifesting public criminal power and become a reminder of what the criminal actors are capable of. the along with active pressure on the local community in the form of threats, violence and blackmail assumed to be the basis for the fear Police believe exist in the local community. The fear manifests itself in that it is difficult to get people to participate in the lawsuit against the local criminals.

    Development of the areas has led to difficulties in investigating crimes. Police have also in other respects difficult to work in these areas, including due to the surroundings reacts against the police in providing assistance or by attacking police vehicles.

    Police difficulty in curbing the problems mentioned can be a contributing factor to the public in several cases understands that it is the criminals who control the areas. Such a view may be contested role of the police as a guarantor of security, and term reduces the public’s tendency to turn to the police. The situation in these areas is of concern and, in many cases meant that police have not been able to fulfill its task.

  239. jukeboxgrad says:

    humanoid.panda:

    I’d wage good money that the Swedish origin has little to do with that rendition.

    The report (pdf) can be found here. It’s easy to paste portions into Google Translate. The Daily Caller article is here. It’s pretty easy to figure out that they are lying.

  240. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    the Obama administration’s incompetence

    I realize you cannot grasp the difference between statements Pipes proves and statements he does not prove.

  241. PJ says:

    Right-wing news sites and bloggers lying? I’m SHOCKED.

  242. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, I seem to remember that you concluded that.

  243. Neil Hudelson says:

    @munchbox:

    It’s always the same with you types…Nothing to see here …move along…

    Not quite. Just “nothing to see.” You are welcome to move along or not, I don’t really care.

    And we are saying “there is nothing to see” because a report of someone putting up a poster is the very definition of non-news.

  244. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    I searched snopes for the same topic up until yesterday and they had nothing on it

    humanoid.panda already explained why your complaint is ridiculous, but I’m going to underline what he said. Earlier you cited Pipes saying this:

    In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered “no-go” zones by French police.

    You failed to notice that on the same page he says this:

    Jan. 16, 2013 update: I had an opportunity today to travel at length to several banlieues (suburbs) around Paris … Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones.

    So your claim that Snopes allegedly “had nothing on it” is quite irrelevant. The problem is that you cited Pipes making a claim that he withdrew two years ago. You looked at his page and noticed the part you wanted to see while ignoring the part you didn’t want to see. Thanks for this nice illustration of how conservatives mislead themselves and others.

    And it’s nice that Pipes posted his update, but the update is buried further down the page. The update should properly appear directly underneath his false title: “The 751 No-Go Zones of France.”

  245. Rafer Janders says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    This is what I was talking above. I have no more fondness to republican policies than you do, but comparing the GOP to the Salafists is simply insane.

    That is what’s known as a joke.

  246. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A whole bunch of Western nations decided it would be a good thing to send leaders and major representatives to stand united in Paris after the latest Islamist atrocity. A really big public showing of solidarity . Obama chose to pass on participating. With a whole slew of possible responses, his one was “nah.”

    As Jenos Idanian once said “Empty gestures are worse than doing nothing.”

  247. humanoid.panda says:

    @Rafer Janders: Mea culpa.

  248. KM says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    In the European case, there really are networks of radicals who are eager to appeal to dispossessed, young men, give an ideological explanation for their troubles, and turn them into a weapon. That doesn’t exist in American poor neighborhoods.ideological explanation for their troubles, and turn them into a weapon. That doesn’t exist in American poor neighborhoods

    Actually we do. They’re called gangs. Oh the ideology is different: get that paper, get back at the Man, etc it’s very much the same concept. Find people with weak social bonds, deep-seated needs and issues and give them a goal: do this for me and you will be powerful and strike back. Weaponry is provided, targets are painted. The only appreciable difference is gang members kill to achieve a goal while terrorists kill because it’s the goal. Some gangs are right up there with the big boys of terror in terms of body count and horror they rain down on people.

    I do agree that this is an issue that gets overlooked because it’s been appropriated by certain groups. Jenos et al, like a stopped clock, has a point there there are weak points in the social fabric that serve our enemies well and would do us credit to fix. It’s nowhere near as apocalyptic as they claim but we can’t ignore a salient point just because we don’t like who’s saying it. The less no-go zones are out there, and the betterment the lives of its residents, means one less source of angst in the world and that can only be a good thing.

  249. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky: I concluded that because you failed to make your case. We asked you repeatedly to back it up. You did not and could not.

    I still don’t know exactly why you believe that. Your inability to convey a reason for that belief has led me to conclude there is no reason for it.

    At any rate, when you say to someone “This is what I think you think” and that person says, “Well, no, this is what I think,” you need to revise your thinking. You don’t get to continue thinking the erroneous thing.

    Well, I mean you can….but then that would make you a fool, wouldn’t it?

  250. wr says:

    @Pinky: “Most people don’t think through the implications of their beliefs.”

    The fact that this may or may not be true of you does not make it true of anyone else here. Please keep your projection to yourself.

  251. Rafer Janders says:

    @KM:

    The only appreciable difference is gang members kill to achieve a goal while terrorists kill because it’s the goal

    Not even — for many gang members, the “goal” is only really an excuse to do the killling.

  252. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: I thought attending the event was a security risk? And “standing with our allies” is a good gesture, hardly an empty one.

  253. CB says:

    If this thread hits 300, do we all win a prize?

  254. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What is the criterion by which you decide what’s a hollow and wha’t a good gesture.

  255. humanoid.panda says:

    @KM: Here’s a key difference between Islamic radicals and gangs though: in places where the state is strong and functional, gangs don’t want to do anything with the police, and are usually very happy to keep maintaining their territory. Radical networks, on the other hand, nothing more than to challenge the state, undermine and manipulate it. Put simply, if we legalized drugs tomorrow, 90% of gang activity would dissipate. Is there any political move we could make to make ISIS/Boko Haram/Al Qaeda to stop doing what they are doing?

  256. humanoid.panda says:

    @wr: If what Pinky really thought that “thinking things through” meant that “lefitists” ought to support cop killings, that necessarily implies that whomever complains that Obama is not forceful enough on terrorism ought to support a coup d’etat against him. After all, American security is at stake, and the Commander in Chief is not fulfilling his duties!

  257. nick says:

    Sad that this ridiculous non-issue garners one of the longest comment threads at OTB I’ve ever seen. Seems the media really can gin up issues out of nowhere.

  258. Moosebreath says:

    @CB:

    “If this thread hits 300, do we all win a prize?”

    Given the lack of importance of this topic, I think the opposite is the case.

  259. wr says:

    @humanoid.panda: “What is the criterion by which you decide what’s a hollow and wha’t a good gesture.”

    Which position will annoy more people.

  260. wr says:

    @nick: “Sad that this ridiculous non-issue garners one of the longest comment threads at OTB I’ve ever seen”

    At least the gun bores haven’t started in on this one…

  261. PJ says:

    @CB:

    If this thread hits 300, do we all win a prize?

    @Moosebreath:

    Given the lack of importance of this topic, I think the opposite is the case.

    Munchbox, etc will all get diplomas from the Fellowship of Internet Trolls.

  262. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    I don’t see that in the article why don’t you provide a link?

    You are obtuse. The link you are asking for is the same link you used yourself. I also posted it. One more time:

    Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones.

    Pipes cleverly buried those words in a place where they are easy to miss. Try searching for the word “regret.”

  263. KM says:

    @CB:

    “If this thread hits 300, do we all win a prize?”

    Drink’s are on Doug? Getting us all in one room might be a hoot…. or a police report waiting to happen. 🙂

  264. Tyrell says:

    @ernieyeball: Dr. Kissinger: a loyal patriot who strived tirelessly to achieve peace with honor in the US efforts against aggressor communist forces, the forces of evil and tyranny.
    Cheney: I am not and was not a Cheney fan, never voted for him and Bush. 9/11 and what was the prevailing opinion of a majority of the American people ? Find and wipe out the terrorist murderers – period. It did not matter to me which party was in.
    Some sort of “war crimes trial” nonsense ? Don’t try to pull that.

  265. Ken says:

    @munchbox: @Ken I responded to your question…

    Ctrl-F “@ken”…nope

    Ctrl-F “ken ” … nope

    Ctrl-F “ken,” … nope

    Ctrl-F “munchbox”

    Ah, there it is. FYI, it’s customary to address the person to whom you are responding – it saves one having to read every single comment in order to follow a specific conversation. Especially in longer threads like this one.

    @munchbox: it says that there were more officials at the criminal michael browns’ funeral than in Paris is what it says….

    Apparently your definition of “a lot” is on par with what most people would call “a trivially true and mostly irrelevant fact”

    I know these things are tough to see when you head is inside of obama’s rear.

    Ooooohhhh burn! That’ll teach me to mess with someone as smart as you. Oh yes it will

  266. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    At least do me the courtesy of conveying my statement accurately.

    As the few remaining functional irony meters in the world melt down…

  267. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @humanoid.panda: What is the criterion by which you decide what’s a hollow and wha’t a good gesture.

    There’s no hard and fast rule, obviously. But the idea that a bunch of illiterate savages obsessed with taking sex slaves and who explicitly reject Western ideas and technology might be swayed by pictures posted on the internet and intimidated by hashtags is pretty hollow.

    On the other hand, when dealing with media-savvy jihadists, a mass assembly with a whole bunch of important figures in public as an act of solidarity has value as a rallying point and morale boost.

    Likewise, the US deliberately choosing to not participate, when it would have been extremely easy for a high-profile US figure to attend (not only was AG Eric Holder in Paris, we have plenty of high-ranking diplomats and military figures in and around Paris anyway.

    It turns out that our ambassador to France did attend. And since she’d gotten the job by raising over half a million dollars for Obama’s election, that can be read as a sign of just how important it was — everyone knows that fundraising is one of Obama’s top priorities.

    And on that note, I think I’ll retire from this thread. As noted, it’s gotten far more attention than it deserves, and I don’t feel like contributing any more to breaking the Big Round Number landmark.

  268. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: As the few remaining functional irony meters in the world melt down…

    Bastard, you’re making me add another comment.

    I am SO tempted to do a custom Google search of this site and see just how many irony meters you’ve melted down here. What’s the proper term for a cliche’ of a cliche’ of a cliche’?

    Get some new material, dude.

    Hell, get some material.

  269. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What’s the proper term for a cliche’ of a cliche’ of a cliche’?

    That would be:

    Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Don’t try to be clever Jenos, nature did not equip you for it.

  270. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Holy crap.

    Over 3,500 results for “anjin irony meter” on a Google search.

    Jesus H. Christ, how the hell have you been getting away with that without being called out?

  271. PJ says:

    Oh, the troll doesn’t want his diploma.

  272. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    how the hell have you been getting away with that without being called out?

    Well, here you are “calling me out” – it’s pretty intimidating. Wow. This must be what it feels like having the Muppets tell you they are going to kick your ass.

    Now why don’t you tell us all how you have won a great victory here on this thread today, then actually go away, instead of making one of your pouty little threats to go away?

  273. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: I’m in the exact same bag. I’m fairly sure I’m the only real person who comes to this site because I have this odd hankering to debate advanced chatbots.

    Sure, you may be trying to fool me on this pseudo-Turing test, but you’re not!

  274. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And on that note, I think I’ll retire from this thread. As noted, it’s gotten far more attention than it deserves

    But that’s not why you’re retiring….

    You’re retiring because of this:

    “It turns out that our ambassador to France did attend.”

    Kinda moots your whole point, doesn’t it?

    But no…..now it’s about campaign contributions or something. Just admit it, dude. You must criticize Obama over everything.

  275. Tony W says:

    @KM: Not sure how we’d ever manage to get us all in a room together, but if we did I’d be happy to buy a round.

  276. Tillman says:

    @CB: No, but munchbox wins one for a new record of 75 downvotes! Florack has been deposed from his throne!

  277. munchbox says:

    Tillman Awesome! Thanks lap dogs; it means so munch to me! James Pearce, Doug mentioned this but she is just a mere ambassador. ..kinda like Chris Stevens that’s why nobody cares apparently.

  278. PJ says:

    @Mutt Williams aka Jenos Idanian #13:

    And since she’d gotten the job by raising over half a million dollars for Obama’s election, that can be read as a sign of just how important it was — everyone knows that fundraising is one of Obama’s top priorities.

    Since 1960, there have been 18 US Ambassadors to France appointed. One of them was a career diplomat.

    None of the last seven Presidents have appointed a career diplomat as Ambassador to France.
    Gerald Ford appointed one (political.)
    Jimmy Carter appointed one (political.)
    Ronald Reagan appointed two (both political.)
    George H.W. Bush appointed one (political.)
    Bill Clinton appointed two (both political.)
    George W. Bush appointed two (both political.)
    Barack Obama appointed two (both political.)

    But surely you have been complaining for at least the last 38 years or so about Presidents not appointing career diplomats to France…

  279. munchbox says:

    @Ken

    “Apparently your definition of “a lot”

    Don’t believe I said a lot …but three is significantly more then zero.

  280. James Pearce says:

    @munchbox:

    but she is just a mere ambassador

    I see…..so the complaint goes from “they didn’t send anyone!” to “they sent a mere ambassador!”

    A complaint that’s even easier to dismiss!

  281. anjin-san says:

    @James Pearce:

    I see…..so the complaint goes from “they didn’t send anyone!” to “they sent a mere ambassador!”

    This is a bit like the “Obama sent a low level delegation to Thatcher’s funeral” meme I see often on Facebook. The “low level” delegation included George Schultz and James A Baker III. I can only assume that people who repost it are too frigging ignorant to know who those gentlemen are and what level they operate at.

  282. munchbox says:

    Junkie I did try to delete that post fyi. Strange though after that one update Mr. Pipes posted two more updates about German and Sweden no go zones….go figure. So out of the 751 zones he regrets calling just three of the suburbs in Paris this. Nothing to see here after all.

  283. anjin-san says:

    @PJ:

    None of the last seven Presidents have appointed a career diplomat as Ambassador to France.

    In case you have not heard, the current President is black. That changes things.

  284. munchbox says:

    James she is already stationed in Paris you dolt.

  285. anjin-san says:

    @Tillman:

    Florack has been deposed from his throne!

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  286. munchbox says:

    And Doug said mere …

  287. munchbox says:

    In case you have not heard, the current President is black. That changes things.

    . The only thing this shows is that you are a moron.

  288. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: Kinda moots your whole point, doesn’t it?

    But no…..now it’s about campaign contributions or something. Just admit it, dude. You must criticize Obama over everything.

    You know, you’re right, I’m busted. You really ought to crow a lot over this, and give huge props and uptwinkles to the rascal who busted me on this one, who reminded everyone on this thread that the Ambassador did attend the rally.

    So, who was this hero who busted me?

    Why, it was me! I busted myself!

    Would you consider that a sign of “intellectual honesty?” I’m sure you would if it was anyone else, but when it’s me, I have to wonder…

  289. James Pearce says:

    @munchbox:

    James she is already stationed in Paris you dolt.

    So????

    We have to put a person on a plane for you to be happy?

  290. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Would you consider that a sign of “intellectual honesty?”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You are not a troll. You are not an idiot. You are not a fool. You can be reasonable.

    But you are also somewhat of a hack: overly credulous of the right, overly skeptical of the left, and as such, you can be easily led. I wish you were a more independent thinker. I wish you could see something like this and go, “Nah, I’m not gonna participate in the BS.” But your instincts are to go full wingnut.

    Never go full wingnut.

  291. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I believe munch’s point was that having the ambassador attend wasn’t a great commitment; it’s the sort of thing that ambassadors are supposed to do. But a Cabinet officer would have seriously outranked the ambassador, especially one as tied to Obama as Holder.

    It would even be enough for me to temporarily forget just how corrupt and vile Holder is…

    And what the hell; let me bring up a point that others have been so studiously avoiding. The second attack, as a form of payback, chose to target a Jewish-owned kosher supermarket. France — and Europe in general — is becoming more and more hostile to Jews. And it’s been, generally, a historical trend: when things start getting bad for Jews in a country or region, it’s not much longer before it starts getting bad for a lot of other people, too.

  292. Andre Kenji says:

    @KM: Gangs are different from terrorists, because gangs exists primary to exert economic activity like protection or drug dealing. It´s not unusual for drug gangs to combat petty crimes in the areas where they control so they can keep the cops out. Gangs hates large killings that call atention to them, terrorists are the opposite.

    By the way, drug dealing and other crimes are a much larger issue in the baunlileues than jihadism.

  293. munchbox says:

    So????
    We have to put a person on a plane for you to be happy?

    not at all but the point of all this was that zero can send three officials to a criminal’s funeral and send no one to this. And spare me the mere ambassador because she was already there. Could you imagine the uproar if she didn’t attend? Charlie Hedbo slandered the prophet so … Well the actions of the zero explain themself.

  294. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    Pipes posted two more updates about German and Sweden no go zones

    As usual, your reading comprehension sucks. Quote his words stating that there are “no go zones” in Sweden. You never will, because those words don’t exist.

    So out of the 751 zones he regrets calling just three of the suburbs in Paris this.

    And your reading comprehension still sucks. That’s not what he said.

  295. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..Dr. Kissinger: a loyal patriot who strived tirelessly to achieve peace with honor in the US efforts against aggressor communist forces, the forces of evil and tyranny.

    What a load of crap.
    See Anthony Lewis The Political Cause of 20,492 Deaths In Vietnam

    Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State, has taken exception to a recent column of mine. It noted that 20,492 Americans died in Vietnam while he and Richard Nixon made policy on the war, in the years 1969-72. It quoted H. R. Haldeman’s diaries as saying that on Dec. 15, 1970, Mr. Kissinger objected to an early peace initiative because there might be bad results before the 1972 election.

    In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, Mr. Kissinger said the column had pounced “on a single entry in 600 pages” of the diaries to show that “President Nixon’s Vietnam policy was driven by electoral politics.”

    A single entry? A few pages later in the diaries there is another.

    On Dec. 21, 1970, Mr. Haldeman recorded Mr. Kissinger opposing an early commitment to withdraw all U.S. combat troops “because he feels that if we pull them out by the end of ’71, trouble can start mounting in ’72 that we won’t be able to deal with and which we’ll have to answer for at the elections. He prefers, instead, a commitment to have them all out by the end of ’72 so that we won’t have to deliver finally until after the elections and therefore can keep our flanks protected.”

    And another. On Jan. 26, 1971, Mr. Kissinger discussed plans for “a major assault on Laos,” which he thought would devastate North Vietnam’s military capability. (The Laos operation turned out to be a costly failure.) “This new action in Laos now,” Mr. Haldeman wrote, “would set us up so we wouldn’t have to worry about problems in ’72, and that of course is the most important.”

    Of course. The overpowering reality in the Nixon White House, as so meticulously recorded by Mr. Haldeman, was that what mattered about any proposed policy was its likely political effect. (Mr. Kissinger was opposed to publication of “The Haldeman Diaries,” and it is easy to see why.)

    On Vietnam, the public wanted withdrawal of American soldiers from a war it increasingly hated. But Mr. Nixon had repeatedly said he would not be “the first American President to lose a war.”

    The political solution was to withdraw gradually, leaving South Vietnamese forces to carry on the war. No one could seriously expect them to withstand for long an army that had fought 500,000 Americans to a standstill. But the inevitable might be delayed, and a formula agreed with North Vietnam to let the United States claim “peace with honor.”

    Mr. Kissinger complained, in his letter, about the statement in my column that the United States could have got out of the war in 1969, before those 20,492 American deaths, in the same way it finally did in 1973: on terms that led before long to a North Vietnamese victory.

    Until the end, Mr. Kissinger wrote, the North Vietnamese insisted that a peace agreement remove the Nguyen Van Thieu regime in South Vietnam. It was only at the negotiating session of Oct. 8, 1972, that they dropped that point — and agreement followed.

    True. But it is a half-truth, leaving out the crucial fact. North Vietnam dropped the idea of a change of government in Saigon only when Mr. Kissinger acquiesced in its key demand: that its forces be allowed to remain permanently in the south.

    President Thieu saw that concession as a death sentence for his Government, and he strongly opposed the peace agreement. He was bitter at Mr. Kissinger for concealing the terms from him until after they were agreed, indeed deceiving him about the possibility of serious new U.S. negotiating positions.

    Who knows what might have happened if the Nixon Administration had made that crucial change in U.S. policy in 1969, conceding the right of Hanoi’s forces to stay in the south? Hanoi might well have abandoned, as unnecessary, the demand for political change in Saigon. In any event, the end result would have been the same after 1969 as after 1972: a North Vietnamese victory.

    President Nixon said in his memoirs that Mr. Kissinger had told him the 1972 peace agreement “amounted to a complete capitulation by the enemy; they were accepting a settlement on our terms.” Two years later North Vietnamese forces marched into Saigon.

    A fair test of Mr. Kissinger’s claim would be to put it to the families and friends of the 20,492 Americans who died in Vietnam during his years as policy-maker. Would they think it was worth four more years of war?

  296. munchbox says:

    Lol that not what he said! Go crawl back under your rock. Address the central thesis of the post? It’s the last comment before yours…

  297. al-Ameda says:

    @CB:

    .If this thread hits 300, do we all win a prize?

    Yes, two weeks at an NRA Convention, including a special dinner hosted by Ted Nugent and Wayne LaPierre.

  298. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I believe munch’s point was that having the ambassador attend wasn’t a great commitment

    Sending someone else wouldn’t have been a “great commitment” either. It’s a superficial gesture that means not a damn thing.

    We’ve been engaged in a hot shooting war for over a decade against Islamic terrorists. Anyone who doubts our resolve in this fight should consult, you know, the 21st Century.

    France — and Europe in general — is becoming more and more hostile to Jews.

    I read Kirchik’s piece too and was disturbed. Here’s a chilling thought on that, though:

    If right wing nationalist parties take over Europe, European Jews will have it much, much worse.

  299. James Pearce says:

    @munchbox:

    Well the actions of the zero explain themself.

    We get it, you don’t like Barack Obama. That’s alright. Half of the country (and Hillary Clinton) agrees with you.

    You can stop signalling now.

  300. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    Lol that not what he said!

    Correct. That’s why I’m challenging you to quote his words, and that’s why you cannot.

  301. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “It turns out that our ambassador to France did attend. ”

    It doesn’t “turn out” anything. It’s in the article Doug is writing about. It’s quoted right at the top of this page.

    So it turns out you’ve been wailing and whining and gnashing your teeth on a subject you turn out to know absolutely nothing about.

    What a change.

  302. Pinky says:

    Give thanks, men, to Leonidas and the brave 300! TO VICTORY!

  303. dennis says:

    @Slugger:

    Everything that happens is not apocalyptic.

    No, Slugger; but apparently, a black man in the White House is, to some.

  304. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ll really try to avoid that mistake again, but I can’t promise that I might occasionally slip up and think of you as a semi-intelligent human being. It’s a flaw of mine.

    What are you, 12? That you cannot see that you are clearly out of your league and outmatched in wits shows a boundless lack of self-awareness that even you, to date, haven’t shown. And that’s saying a lot. A lot.

  305. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    So it turns out you’ve been wailing and whining and gnashing your teeth on a subject you turn out to know absolutely nothing about.

    In other news, the sun came up this morning…

  306. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    However, the fact that the French have tolerated the Islamist presence and actions for so long indicates that I wasn’t totally incorrect

    You really have absolutely no clue how the French treat their Maghrebi immigrants do you?

  307. munchbox says:

    @junkie….

    Better check that Mr. Pipes’s website again he just updated it with anotherno go zone reference.

    Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, says that most big French cities have “no-go zones” where non-Muslims, including police, cannot enter:

  308. jukeboxgrad says:

    Better check that Mr. Pipes’s website again he just updated it with anotherno go zone reference

    The one who “better check” is you. You are citing an unsupported assertion he posted on 1/13. Now notice what he posted on 1/14 (today):

    ​I have visited predominantly immigrant (and largely Muslim) areas of Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, and Athens.​ In the case of Paris, I spent time both in Belleville and in such suburbs as Sarcelles, Val d’Oise, and Seine Saint Denis.

    Before my travels, I expected these areas to be similar to the worst areas of the United States, such as the Bronx or Detroit, where buildings are decrepit, streets menacing, and outsiders feel distinctly unwelcome.

    My experiences starting in 2007 belied this expectation. All the immigrant areas turned out to be well maintained, with safe streets, and no sense of intimidation. I walked around, usually with camera in hand, and felt at ease. I encountered no difficulties at all.

    That said, there is a reason why the French government calls these regions sensibles (sensitive, delicate). They contain many social pathologies (unemployment, drugs, political extremism), they seethe with antagonism toward the majority society, and are prone to outbreaks of violence.

    So, from an American point of view, these areas are a bit confusing: potentially dangerous, yes, but in normal times very ordinary looking and with no sense of foreboding. Thus, the term no-go zone does not accurately reflect the situation.

    Hilarious. Earlier you said this:

    So out of the 751 zones he regrets calling just three of the suburbs in Paris this.

    Really? Notice his use of the word “all.”

  309. Neil Hudelson says:

    You did it guys! Three hundred! Congratulations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlhKZaQk860

  310. Ken says:

    @munchbox: Don’t believe I said a lot …but three is significantly more then zero.

    Are you acting stupid on purpose? Or are you just trying to weasel your way out of the implications of your initial bullshiat dogwhistle?

    @@munchbox: munchbox: so why would he attend a rally to support this people? Says a lot doesn’t it?

  311. munchbox says:

    @ Ken

    sorry I thought you were referring to the fact that there was three official at a criminals funeral meaning a lot.

    but in the first sense it does say a lot. three people to the funeral for a criminal vs zero to the show of solidarity….whys that zero? because “the future won’t belong to the people who slander islam” such as Charlie Hedbo did.

    (Reuters) – Al Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting the Prophet Mohammad,

    “As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we…claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,”

  312. Ken says:

    @munchbox: sorry I thought you were referring to the fact that there was three official at a criminals funeral meaning a lot.

    but in the first sense it does say a lot

    And so the circle is complete. The fact is that there were three US officials at a funeral in the US and only one US official at a march in France. Twice now you’ve said that this fact “says a lot”, without actually telling us what exactly it “says”. I mean, we’re all well aware of the unsavory insinuations you’re making, but you don’t seem to have the balls (or perhaps the brains) to just say what meaning you think attaches to that fact

    So what exactly does it “say”?

  313. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In yet another blow to the argument that Obama is a narcissist and has to insert himself into every single story, two men free-climbed El Capitan, a remarkable feat in rock-climbing.

    Obama chose to honor their achievement by sending out a picture of himself posing with a painting of El Capitan.

    Bride at every wedding, corpse at every funeral…

  314. Steve V says:

    You know, I just don’t get this thing about these photos reflecting Obama’s alleged narcissism. I’m willing to bet he spends zero time whatsoever thinking about these little photo things that get sent out — there’s a staff that does this kind of thing — and that they probably don’t markedly differ from anything any other president has done. This is just one of those odd things that people who’ve gone around the bend with the partisanship latch on to. I’m sure Obama has a big ego, as do plenty of other people in public life, but this is just weird.

  315. Tyrell says:

    @ernieyeball: Very good points and I will get the book by Mr. Lewis.