Missing In Action — America’s Invisible President — Leading From Behind — Profiles in Cowardice — No Show In Paris Unity March — Shameful Behavior — Videos
The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Missing In Action — America’s Invisible President — Leading From Behind — Profiles in Cowardice — No Show In Paris Unity March — Shameful Behavior — Videos
President Obama was apparently not in France, though his public schedule was empty the day of the massive gathering.
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Leaders fr France & 40 Countries Lead Peace March in Paris | Video
This BBC World headline-only news clip was created based on footage recorded at 2200hrs SGT on 11 Jan 2015. Huge crowds and some 40 world leaders are taking part in a unity march in Paris after 17 people were killed during three days of deadly attacks. More than a million are expected to march through the streets. “Paris is the capital of the world today,” French leader Francois Hollande said. “The whole country will rise up.” The marchers hope to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a supermarket.
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Historic Footage of President John F. Kennedy’s Funeral
November 25th, 2014 marks the 51st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. John F. Kennedy made his first formal visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1961, to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the conclusion of the ceremony President Kennedy spoke to more than 5,000 people gathered in the Memorial Amphitheater.
President Kennedy’s address began; “We meet in quiet commemoration of a historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. … It is a tragic fact, that war still more destructive and still sanguinary followed [World War II]; that man’s capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow man.”
Eleven days prior to Kennedy’s assassination he returned to Arlington for the 1963 Armistice Day services. This time he did not address the crowd in the amphitheater.
On Nov. 22, 1963, while on a campaign trip to Dallas, President Kennedy was shot and killed.
President Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25th, 1963. There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.
President Kennedy’s coffin taken to Arlington.
President Kennedy’s coffin is taken from St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington D.C. to Arlington National Cemetery over the Potomac on November 25, 1963. Cardinal Cushing of Boston presides at the gravesite on the Curtis Lee Mansion hillside in Arlington, Virginia at Arlington National Cemetery. At the grave world leaders are seen such as the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Salassie, President Charles DeGualle, German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, and new President Lyndon Johnson. Army Sergeant Keith Clark plays taps after the gun salute. After this, The flag which rested on President Kennedy’s casket is handed to Jacqueline Kennedy, who then lights the eternal flame. With Mrs. Kennedy are the President’s brothers Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Eric Holder, top U.S. officials no-shows at Paris unity rally
The U.S. attorney general, in Paris for a terrorism summit with French President Francois Hollande, did not join world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the march and rally that drew a million people days after 12 were shot at satirical paper Charlie Hebdo. Others such as Obama and Vice President Biden were also not in attendance.
More than 40 heads of state came together in Paris to denounce a wave of terrorism that defiled the City of Light last week — yet there was one glaring exception: The U.S. sent only a low-level official.
French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and dozens of other world leaders all took part in the powerful denunciation of last week’s terror attacks that left 17 innocents dead.
Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas set aside their differences to march together on Boulevard Voltaire.
But the nation that stands as the symbolic face of the war on terror was nowhere in sight.
Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden showed up — and in fact, America’s only representative was its relatively unknown and low-profile ambassador to France.
Obama and Biden had empty public schedules Sunday, but the White House declined to comment on why they didn’t go.
The natural choice — Secretary of State Kerry, a Francophile who speaks the language — was in India for a longstanding engagement with the prime minister, White House officials said.
Kerry told NBC News he believed the uproar was “quibling.”
“We have offered, from the first moment, our intel, our law enforcement and all of our efforts, and I really think that, you know, this is sort of quibbling a little bit,” Kerry told the network.
Attorney General Eric Holder did go to Paris — but only for an anti-terrorism summit convened by Hollande ahead of the unity rally. Holder left Hollande and the others sometime after the group exited the Elysee Palace. Around the time other world leaders and dignitaries boarded buses to get to the front of the march, Holder was taping an interview for “Meet the Press,” NBC confirmed.
The White House said the attorney general was returning to the U.S. on Sunday night, The New York Times reported.
That left ambassador Jane Hartley, who raised more than $500,000 in campaign funds for President Obama, to carry thetorch.
“If the highest-ranking official is an ambassador, I would say that’s a serious mistake,” said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), noting that America has asked other countries for troops in Afghanistan and Syria. “We are looking for cooperation from around the world … weshould have had someone therewho is instantly recognizable (so people) see …and say, ‘That’s the United States of America.’”
Plenty of regular New Yorkers were outraged, too.
“It’s really shameful that Obama, or even Biden, didn’t go to France,” said Tim Green, 43, who attended a vigil at the Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side on Sunday night. “It was a major terrorist attack. We know what that feels like. I hope the French know the American people stand with them, even if our President didn’t show it.”
Obama has made several public statements of support for Hollande, and U.S. security agencies are in near-constant communication with France, a senior Obama official said.
The official also suggested that security for Obama and Biden might have been too distracting — but that didn’t seem to be the case for other world leaders, including Netanyahu, who later went to a synagogue with Hollande and gave a speech.
“Today I walked the streets of Paris with the leaders of the world to say enough terrorism, the time has come to fight terrorism,” Netanyahu said.
Sunday’s rally brought out the biggest crowd in Paris’ history — even bigger than Liberation Day in World War II, local police said. Hundreds of thousands held up “Je Suis Charlie” signs or carried candles and flowers. The victims’ families wept as they walked along the boulevard named for the Enlightenment figure who helped define free speech.
One protester held a banner with Voltaire’s most famous line: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”
The official head count was more than 1.3 million — but French media estimated nearly 3 million. Nationally, nearly 4 million crammed into cities from Brittany to the Riviera. The rallies were echoed around the globe, in cities including London, Toronto, Madrid, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and on the streets of Brooklyn.
“It will have a chilling effect that America did not show up (at the Paris rally),” said filmmaker Leo Herrera, 33, in front of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn on Sunday. “This goes into the heart of what free speech is, so we should have a really visible reaction. I don’t think Obama sent any message, and that’s the problem.”
Meanwhile, the remaining staffers of Charlie Hebdo — the satirical magazine attacked last week by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi — said they’ll publish the next issue Wednesday.
Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said it directed the slaughter to avenge the disrespect to the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly’s satire.
The hunt for clues about the Kouachis — who were killed in a police shootout Friday — and their accomplices continued, with new developments Sunday:
Amedy Coulibaly, 32, the third terrorist, who killed a policewoman and four Jewish hostages at a kosher grocery store Friday, and shot a jogger two days earlier, made a ghostly appearance in a new video uploaded on militant websites. In it, Coulibaly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Coulibaly also suggested he and the Kouachis had worked together — even though they were suspected of ties to Al Qaeda — a rival to the Islamic State.
His widow, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, continues to elude authorities, who believe she holds key information about sleeper terrorist cells in France and elsewhere. She’s being sought in Turkey and Syria.
A terrorist attack or workplace violence?
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
Be on the lookout for people who lack a sense of humor and/or are easily offended. Political correctness kills.
On Wednesday two terrorist gunmen dressed in black with hoods masking their faces, apparently followers of the religion of peace, attacked and killed 12 including 10 employees and contributors of the provocative leftist satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in their Paris headquarter offices and two police officers. Ten others were wounded, five critically. One of the police officers, Ahmed Merabet, pleaded for mercy as he was shot in the head at point-blank range. Most French police officers are unarmed as are French citizens.
Witnesses said the terrorists brandished and fired AK-47 rifles or “Kalashnikovs’ and shouted in fluent French, “We are from al-Qaida in Yemen.” “The Prophet has been avenged.” And “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”
The terrorists shot and killed Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonner, aka Charb, deputy editor, economist and writer Bernard Marist, and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Philippe Honore and Bernard Verlac, aka Tignous, columnist Elsa Cayat, sub-editor Mustapha Qurrad, maintenance man Frederic Boisseau, a visitor Michel Renard, and Charbonnier’s police bodyguard Franck Brinsolaro.
Charlie Hebdo published cartoons and articles satirizing Islam and its Prophet Muhammad as well as other religions, including Christianity and Judaism. The paper also satirizes politicians, feminism, homeland security and nuclear energy. The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011 with Molotov cocktails and destroyed after it had published satirical cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. A year later, Charbonnier dismissed repeated threats against his life by stating: “I would rather die standing than live kneeling.”
The terrorists gained access to the Charlie Hebdo offices when cartoonist Corrine Rey, aka Coco, returned with her young daughter from kindergarten and was confronted and brutally threatened by the gunmen. They wanted her to enter the security system digi-code on the interphone so they could enter into the newspaper’s offices. Rey entered the code and then hid under a desk with her daughter. Rey saw the gunmen shoot two other cartoonists, Wolinski and Cabu. Rey said the shooting in the offices lasted about five minutes.
A police witness said the terrorists were asking for editor and cartoonist Charbonnier by name and shouting, “Where is Charb? Where is Charb?” The witness said, “They killed him, then sprayed everyone else.”
The terrorist gunmen exited the building and started shooting in the streets, according to witnesses. They shot and killed a police officer who arrived on the scene on a mountain bike. The gunmen fled in a black car. Police and security forces gave chase, but the gunmen abandoned their car when it was in an accident and escaped with a hijacked car.
The French police subsequently identified the two terrorist gunmen as French nationals and brothers Cherif Kouchi, 32 and Said Kouchi, 34. The brothers came back from Syria last summer. The younger brother was arrested in 2005 and sentenced in 2008 to three years in prison with 18 months suspended, for his involvement in a network sending volunteers to fight in Iraq with an al-Qaida affiliate. A third suspect Hamyd Mourad, 18, surrendered to police at Charleville-Meziers late Wednesday evening.
According to news reports, the brothers went to Syria last year where they were sent by al-Qaida to Yemen for terrorist training. Former White House counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clark said, “This looks like a team that was selected, trained probably over the course of a long period of time and sent in with this particular target in mind.” On Friday according to the Associated Press, a member of al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen said the group directed the attack on the French magazine.
Last Friday morning French security forces killed the Kourchi brothers who fired their weapons as they exited from a printing factory north of Paris. A hostage who had been held by the brothers was released unharmed.
National leaders expressed their reaction and support of France and the French people.
President Barack Obama said, “I want to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Paris and the people of France for the terrible terrorist attack that took place earlier today. … The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The values that we share with the French people – a universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silence by the senseless violence of a few.”
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said, “This is a direct savage attack on one of the principles of the French Republic we hold the most dear: Freedom of expression.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Shooting in France is not only an attack on French citizens, but freedoms of press and speech.
British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons said, “I know this House and this country stands united with the French people in opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never take us off these values.”
French President Francois Hollande called for a day of mourning and said, “Our greatest strength is our unity.”
In cities across France, the people are coming out for “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) rallies.
A similar Islamic terrorist attack took place in the United States on Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest Army post. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, M.D., psychiatrist, and practicing Muslim of Palestinian descent, shot and killed 13 people (12 soldiers and one civilian) and wounded 32, mostly uniformed soldiers. A civilian police Sergeant Mark Todd exchanged gunfire with Hasan, who was wounded four times and paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan was subsequently found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder in 2013 and was sentenced to death. Hasan has yet to be executed.
In a memorial service for the Fort Hood victims, Obama refused to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism has a role in the shooting and said, “no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts.” The Obama administration instead considered the slaughter as “workplace violence.” This despite the fact that Hasan was yelling “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and had exchanged emails with the American born imam Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida terrorist leader in Yemen. Obama subsequently authorized in 2011 al-Awlaki’s killing by missiles fired by two Predator drones.
On Sept. 11, 2012, an al-Qaida affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, attacked and killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and wounded 7 Americans, some seriously. Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice knew this was a well-planned, organized and executed terrorist attack, yet repeatedly mislead and lied to the American people claiming it was a “spontaneous demonstration” caused by an inflammatory YouTube video.
Obama went to the United Nations on Sept. 25, 2012, and said, “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world” and “I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. And the answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.” Later in his remarks, he said, “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.”
While Obama at least described the latest incident as a terrorist attack, he refuses to describe it as an Islamic jihadist terrorist attack, which all three events clearly were. The aim of those who practice political correctness is not to tell the truth but to limit and ideally stop the free expression and exchange of ideas and opposing points of view. Political correctness lives in the Obama administration. Political correctness kills. Time to tell the whole truth, not half-truths, Mr. President.
Raymond Thomas Pronk is presenter of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday -Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/
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