Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who served in Vietnam, is in France seeking to make public appearances aimed at smoothing over criticism the Obama administration snubbed the Paris Unity rally on Sunday. The rally was attended by 1.5 million people and key representatives from 40 nations including heads of state from Israel, Great Britain, Germany, France, and the leader of the Palestinian Authority. President Obama did not attend the event much less send anyone of significance to attend it in his place. It quickly became apparent that the hastily organized rally became a historic event which only further underscored indifference on the part of the president whose schedule was wide open that day.
On Friday, Kerry met with French President François Hollande to express the profound solidarity that Americans feel with the French. Many Americans, like Ben Shaoul, were appalled by the Charlie Hebdo attacks and are happy to see a diplomatic response. Kerry also visited the Hyper Cacher kosher market which was one of the areas hit by the terrorists last week. He placed a wreath at the memorial shrine. Afterwards, he traveled to the Charlie Hedbo memorial and placed a wreath there. The satirical weekly was the direct target of the terrorist who were displeased over the magazine’s caricatures of Mohammad. In the past, President Obama criticized Charlie Hedbo rather than defend their right of free speech and free press. Kerry also met with Joel Mergui who heads the nation’s Rabbinical Council. Despite the professions of solidarity, the Obama administration still cannot invoke the term “Islamic terrorism” in their description of the Paris attacks.