Better Late Than Never: John Kerry Shows Solidarity With France



Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris today to meet with leaders and deliver a speech at city hall, in an apparent effort to make up for the U.S.’s absence at Sunday’s mass anti-terror rally.

Kerry explained to French Secretary of State Laurent Fabius that he was unable to attend on Sunday because of a previously arranged trip to India; this trip, he said, was to “share a big hug for Paris” in the aftermath of terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish grocery store. Read more at The Guardian.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. Better late than never? This is what Kerry had to say just hours after the attack began:

    I would like to say directly to the people of Paris and of all of France that each and every American stands with you today, not just in horror or in anger or in outrage for this vicious act of violence, though we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause which the extremists fear so much and which has always united our two countries: freedom.

    No country knows better than France that freedom has a price, because France gave birth to democracy itself. France sparked so many revolutions of the human spirit, borne of freedom and of free expression, and that is what the extremists fear the most. They may wield weapons, but we in France and in the United States share a commitment to those who wield something that is far more powerful – not just a pen, but a pen that represents an instrument of freedom, not fear. Free expression and a free press are core values, they are universal values; principles that can be attacked but never eradicated, because brave and decent people around the world will never give in to the intimidation and the terror that those seeking to destroy those values employ.

    I agree with the French imam who today called the slain journalists martyrs for liberty. Today’s murders are part of a larger confrontation, not between civilizations – no – but between civilization itself and those who are opposed to a civilized world. The murderers dared proclaim “Charlie Hebdo is dead,” but make no mistake: They are wrong. Today, tomorrow, in Paris, in France, or across the world, the freedom of expression that this magazine, no matter what your feelings were about it, the freedom of expression that it represented is not able to be killed by this kind of act of terror. On the contrary; it will never be eradicated by any act of terror. What they don’t understand – what these people who do these things don’t understand – is they will only strengthen the commitment to that freedom and our commitment to a civilized world.

    I’d like to just say a quick word, if I may, directly to the people of France.

    (In French.)

    We wish our friends in France well, and we stand in strong solidarity with them.


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