[A French public affairs consultant and scholar weighs in on the US response to Charlie Hebdo]
Written by Dr. Sylvain Charat
US Secretary of State John Kerry had just finished his speech in the city hall of Paris, on January 15th, when he introduced on stage James Taylor.
The singer came with his guitar and sang “You’ve Got A Friend “.
“When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights… “
Was that a US diplomatic official statement?
“You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am… “
Obama, Obama, where are you?
Well, he was not in Paris with the 3.5 million people on January 11th. Maybe the President’s advisers and experts thought it would be a little French kind of picnic and decided to send only Jane Hartley, US ambassador in Paris.
Unfortunately it happened to be the largest worldwide gathering ever, as well as the biggest US diplomatic “faux-pas”.
Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary, acknowledged that a higher-ranked official should have been sent to the oldest ally of the United States, as President Obama considers France.
So, in order to repair this mistake, President Obama decided…not to come to France.
In his stead, sent both his Secretary of State John Kerry (to hug French President Hollande), and James Taylor, to sing a hippie song to the French people.
Is that a new US diplomatic doctrine? Guitars against kalashnikovs?