'When people are dying, you must come back from vacation': French foreign minister seems to slam Obama for golfing while Iraq burns
Obama is on Martha's Vineyard while Iraq undergoes regime change and terrorists slaughter ethnic and religious minorities
Calling heads of state to lobby participation in humanitarian assistance program – in between golf and fundraising
Washington Post columnist wrote that the president 'risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns'
By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor, Mailonline
Published: 16:49 EST, 13 August 2014 | Updated: 01:26 EST, 14 August 2014
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something.
'I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,' Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,' but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.'
Full-time workers in France are guaranteed a whopping five weeks of paid vacation every year, making his plea all the more urgent.
Obama is on a family and golfing holiday in a ritzy neighborhood of Martha's Vineyard but says he will come back to Washington this weekend before returning on Tuesday to fun, sun, and more golf.
As town after Iraqi town is conquered by ISIS, an Islamist terror group that claims it has established an 'Islamic state,' Obama's approach has consisted so far of airlifting humanitarian supplies to victimized groups, protecting the aid drops with airstrikes, and begging for help from allies.
Britain, France, Italy and other European nations have backed the humanitarian assistance with material and personnel, reported The Wall Street Journal, which first broke news of the French diplomat's criticism.
Meanwhile Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been encouraging a nascent Iraqi government from a safe distance, while assuring Americans that the U.S. won't enter another prolonged war with boots on the ground.
Eyebrows went up Wednesday in Washington, though, when the White House announced that Obama was leaning toward deploying ground troops to Mount Sinjar, a northern Iraqi hideout to which tens of thousands of Yadizis, a persecuted religious minority group, have led from ISIS.
Deputy press spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters that the president would green-light such an operation, led by U.S. Marines, if commanders in the field recommended it.
Less than four hours later, reporters observed troops landing on the mountaintop.
Obama, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Wednesday, is 'open to recommendations in which the United States is helping to facilitate the removal of these people from the mountain on a humanitarian mission.'
That rescue mission, he told reporters, 'is separate than saying U.S. forces are going to be redeployed in Iraq in a combat role to take the fight to [ISIS].'
Despite a busy series of negotiations and decision-trees, and the looking possible collapse of Iraq, Obama remains on vacation.
He has logged barely one-third as many vacation days as President George W. Bush did, but the timing of is being called into question.
'Even presidents need down time, and Obama can handle his commander-in-chief duties wherever he is,' Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote on Monday.
'But his decision to proceed with his getaway just 36 hours after announcing the military action in Iraq risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns.'
Since the communications and war apparatus of the commander-in-chief travels wherever the president goes, Obama can conduct matters of state from a Masachusetts vacation island almost as easier as he can from the Oval Office.
So reasons for his planned return to Washington on Tuesday, while it may please the French, remain a mystery.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2724271/When-people-dying-come-vacation-French-foreign-minister-slams-Obama-golfing-Iraq-burns.html#ixzz3AMKQi9bz
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook