UnNews:Mourning after: US delegation arrives in Paris

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Mourning after: US delegation arrives in Paris

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19 January 2015

Pas de Langue

The two statesmen expressing formal greetings, French-style. Hollande (left) can be heard gasping, Pas de langue, s'il vous plaît.

PARIS, France -- A small, sappy delegation representing U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in France within a week of that nation's million-person rally against the massacre at Charlie Hebdo.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry led the delegation and declared his desire to "give a big hug to all of Paris," starting with a visibly terrified François Hollande. Mr. Kerry delivered a speech in the French language, making left-wing reporters at MSNBC giddy that the French would finally have understood him though the reporters did not. As the French have lately begun frantically studying Arabic, neglecting their English, Mr. Kerry's ouverture was seen as the first step in a new rapprochement. It is the first foreign-language American diplomacy since Hillary Clinton delivered a pushbutton to the Russians that was supposed to say Reset.

By the time Mr. Kerry arrived, the free speech rally was over and the French had returned to the more routine business of jailing people for anti-Israeli and anti-Arab utterances, under the law with which it once charged Charlie Hebdo. However, Mr. Kerry solved possible resentment that the Americans arrived "a day late and a dollar short" by announcing an increase in U.S. foreign aid to France, up to parity with Al-Qaeda of Yemen, the other party to the recent strife. The U.S. prides its role in the region as "honest broker" between democratic governments and bands of assassins.

As reported, the U.S. had only Attorney General Eric Holder in town for the rally, and he had to catch a plane back to Missouri to arbitrate street protests for racial justice that his department had funded. The U.S. may also have an ambassador in Paris.

Mr. Kerry brought with him singer/songwriter James Taylor, who is apparently big over there, as Parisians famously have a soft spot for foreign lyrics. As well as the obligatory cover of Joni Mitchell's Free Man in Paris, the one-hit wonder sang his one hit, You've Got a Friend. Special lyrics commemorated the day and conveyed Mr. Obama's regrets as he "led from behind":

Winter, spring, summer or fall,
All you've got to do is call,
Unless the NFL is playing ball.

Mr. Taylor's encore was likewise sung with a view back to the White House: You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you.

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