In his first inaugural address, Barack Obama delivered a broadside “to those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent,” warning that such people “are on the wrong side of history.” Six years into a presidency marked by deceit and the silencing of dissent, it is interesting to look back on that admonition, though it is also intriguing to look forward. The history of the Obama presidency is yet to be written, but when it is, the record is likely to show that he was often in the wrong place as events unfolded.

This was the case during Iran’s “green revolution” in 2009 and 2010, when the people of that oppressed nation rose up against their tyrannical government. The U.S. could have made history by helping them overthrow the despotic Ahmadinejad regime, but instead the president stood by as an observer, watching the theocratic power structure ultimately crush the opposition.

He has missed other opportunities to be on the right side of history, but none is more poignant than the chapter that was penned today in Paris. According to the latest estimates, an incredible 4 million people gathered across France to denounce the butchering of innocents in the name of Islam. “More than 40 European leaders and almost every French official turned out for the massive unity rally,” New York’s Daily News observes, adding wistfully “but there was no sign of the U.S.”

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