It's disappointing that President Barack Obama isn't attending the funeral of the great Vaclav Havel. I heard rumors that he might not be attending, which brought back memories of him dissing the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but hoped he'd do the right thing. But the White House has sent notice of the official delegation, and President Obama is not on the list. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is going and former President Bill Clinton will be with her. But what sort of message does it send that our president won't be paying his respects to one of the champions in the great fight of the 20th Century against communism?
But our participation is almost more reminiscent of Russia's. They're going to be represented by their Presidential Ombudsman for, um, Human Rights. OK, not quite that bad.
But can't he tell that this is an important occasion? If not for him, than for so many of the people in his country who love and admire the work of Havel (along with Reagan, Thatcher, John Paul II and the other heroes who vanquished this oppressive enemy)?
It would be one thing if he were just giving back Churchill busts and the like but making sure to attend important events commemorating the victors in the Cold War. But when you put it all together, it leaves something of a bad taste in the mouth, no?