"On February 18, 2015, the White House will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists," the White House announced Sunday.

The tragic shootings in Paris have struck a cord. A million marched in the City of Lights, including President François Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.

American leadership was conspicuously absent. Attorney General Eric Holder stopped by to announce the summit but the New York Daily News reported that he did not join the leaders in the march and rally.


"Barack Obama n'est pas Charlie — or at least, he wasn't this weekend," Edward-Isaac Dovere reported in Politico.

Seems inexplicable, given the history. A conference must be held, but it is not clear that the United States should hold it.

I'd propose that such a meeting be held instead in Ottawa, Canada, for three reasons. First: The hurting and heartfelt world that marched in Paris was the one we see briefly here at World Cup soccer matches every few years. It may be as world economies have grown since World War II that this is the "real world": A world of ancient places finally reawakening to themselves after war's physical and psychological devastation.

Canadian scholar Irvin Studin, editor of Global Brief magazine, calls soccer "the world game" but it is a game in which we, the Americans, are oddly left out. Possibly we see places outside our own borders only as tabula rasa; abstractions of our idyllic imaginings. But they are not like us, not us. When Eric Holder hovers over them at such critical moments, our detachment is revealed.

Second: Canada is a good-willed, prosperous and unencumbered world citizen today and links the world in friendship, East to West.

Third: Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms at Canada's House of Commons. When a "lone wolf" terrorist stalked the halls, 59-year-old Vickers calmly went to his office, loaded his handgun, went back and shot him dead. Such a rare display of valor brought a sea change to Canadians and to all who noticed.

I have long called for moving peacemaking efforts like those of the U.N. and other globalist "establishment" groups (to coin a phrase) out of New York because it is the conquistador's nest, the apex of American power as power would rise in the post-war world. In the formulation of North America, George Washington and Queen Victoria knew better; power should find its heart in the benign center of otherwise warring forces or it could not be trusted. Why should the largest, wealthiest and most prone to intervention be first in arbitration?

Most politicians in America today view the world as a map drawn shortly after 1946 by Ambassador George Kennan, who fully repudiated America's domineering influence in the world in his later years. The warrior generation which forged that world is long dead. The hubris of the innocents who inherit the reins of power classically follows through three generations. Mitt Romney challenges the Russians in defense of a treaty signed in 1949, when he was 2 years old. President Obama wants to "pivot to Asia" to defend a treaty signed in 1954, almost a decade before he and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) were born.

Terrorism today is not a derivative of World War II, nor are New York or Washington necessarily the centers of real power. The world has moved on. Bring in Ottawa as arbiter and broker of these events.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at quigley1985@gmail.com.