Like millions across the world, I was engrossed by the images broadcast by CNN and other mainstream media last night of the US Capitol building, the seat of American democracy, being invaded, vandalised, and its elected political occupants threatened.
The Trump mob were intimidating, vicious and violent. Some form of chemical agent was sprayed on police officers guarding the steps and entrance to the building and many reports suggest some of the mob were armed. This assault on the Senate building and chamber halted a meeting and forced Senators, their staff and office workers to flee in fear and/or lie in hiding beneath chairs and benches. With the deplorable record of public shootings in high schools and other public places across the US no wonder so many people in that building were literally frightened for their lives.
Make no mistake about it: what happened last night was acutely embarrassing to America and will seriously undermine its already tarnished reputation across the globe as an authority on democracy and the rule of law. The country with over 800 military bases in 70 different countries swaggers across the planet as the self-appointed world policeman but it dispenses hypocrisy and deceit, not justice and the rule of law as it breaches international law after international law in relation to unilateral economic sanctions, abuses of human rights, and committing multiple war crimes with wanton abandon. Its decade long persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is testimony to its anger at being exposed as the superpower rogue nation it is.
Chickens Coming Home to Roost
The loss of life and promotion of fear and alarm by the Trump-supporting mob who have been intoxicated by well oiled, but substance-free lies about voter fraud since Trump’s decisive defeat at the polls on November 3rd is sad and criminal. What happened last night in Washington demands condemnation from all but as I watched I could not prevent myself from thinking about the old saying ‘chickens coming home to roost’. Here in the heart of America, they were experiencing a microcosm of the disruption, chaos, fear, and alarm which they regularly stoke and organise in any country which refuses to bend the knee to their big business, military-industrial complex agenda.
Cuba has been subjected to illegal economic sanctions for over fifty years and suffers daily from restrictions on essential medical and manufacturing supplies which cause great hardship. They as a nation refuse to crumble and continue to support a socialist system which puts people before profits. How they must have struggled to resist smiling in Havana at the scenes of chaos and illegal disorder which engulfed their bullying neighbour last night.
Venezuela has had legitimate presidential and assembly elections denounced for years by the US, and four years ago a no-mark who didn’t even seek election was recognised by Washington as the representative of the country in defiance of the wishes of over six million who voted for Nicolas Maduro. Cruel, brutal, crippling, and illegal economic sanctions were imposed and tightened by Trump over the last four years which prevented access to vital medical equipment and medicines, and have caused over 40,000 premature deaths. America’s condemnation of Venezuelan elections now shrinks into the realm of puerile and pathetic propaganda in the context of a country with an outgoing President with more than seventy million votes continuing to claim the election was rigged and the vote was fraudulent.
United States Record of Bombing Countries into Democracy is Shameful
For decades, the US has invaded sovereign countries, bombed sovereign countries and/or trained and funded violent opposition groups to subvert elected socialist governments in sovereign countries like Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua and more recently Bolivia all in the name of democracy and the rule of law. Last night that very same country witnessed its own assault on its capital by a mob of US citizens determined to overthrow the outcome of an election that their candidate and scores of elected Republican politicians have labelled unsafe, undemocratic, fraudulent. There is not a shred of evidence to support these claims of vote-rigging but lies repeated often can sometimes seep into the psyche of individuals willing to fall for simplistic solutions to serious problems and follow tyrants with an ability to manipulate and deceive.
Above all else what the attempted insurrection in Washington must deliver is an end to American interference, involvement and illegal actions designed to subvert the internal affairs of other sovereign nations. This sobering experience of attempting to deal with wholly unsubstantiated claims of election fraud and rigged elections ought to jolt the US into realising they are now receiving some of their own putrid, deceit laced medicine. Instead of trying to rule the world they ought to spend much more time, effort, and resources in sorting the severe poverty, racism, low pay and educational ignorance which haunts and pollutes their own country.
Biden Must Deal with Severe Domestic Problems
The richest nation on the earth is riddled with homelessness, hunger, poverty, discrimination, ignorance, and grotesque inequality, which is reflected in the lack of a universal health care system which adequately cares for all. The single biggest cause of bankruptcy across the US is the inability to pay medical bills.
America must concentrate on its own huge problems and stop meddling in the affairs of other nations which choose an alternative to the free-market madness which delivers nothing but instability and inequality on a grand scale.
It is notable just how clearly the deep-seated racism of the US was reflected in the Washington riot and invasion. In June last year, the Black Lives Matter movement marched in Washington in protest at yet another unarmed black citizen being murdered by white police officers in an act of deadly brutality. George Floyd was choked to death on the ground without any justification. He was murdered. Thousands of black and white citizens gathered to march in the US capital city. The National Guard was deployed and tooled up for battle, over 5,000 of them. An army helicopter hovered menacingly above the protesters while several hundreds of Washington and US Park police had batons drawn, tear-gas canisters ready and police horses mobilised by the hundreds. There was no attempt by the mainly black crowd to invade the Senate building.
Racist Policing Evident in Washington Last Night
Compare and contrast that level of military-style precision and preparation with what happened last night. The #StopTheSteal protest was widely advertised. Trump was behind organising it and agreed to speak. The intelligence from previous events clearly showed the dominance of activists with a tendency to be armed and dangerous. Yet, what precautions were taken to defend the Senate from possible invasion? Next to nothing compared to the #BLM precautions. Up until the actual riot and violence the mainstream media was filled with Republicans pontificating about the 1st Amendment right to protest. A right they were not so keen to defend in relation to the BLM marches. The predominantly black protest was over-policed. The predominantly white protest was under-policed. Any credible investigation will surely expose racist attitudes at the heart of the decisions which were made that left the Senate inadequately protected.
Regardless of Trump’s delusional deceit designed to deflect from the fact he failed to win the November election Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in less than two weeks’ time. There is talk of invoking an amendment which would facilitate the removal of Trump from office before then. I hope it happens but until the US stops exporting violence, hypocrisy and dishonest engagement wrapped up in rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law, it will always miss the real priorities at home in relation to poverty, ignorance and inequality. And a Trump-like demagogue will seek to exploit the endemic racism and ignorance which clings to much of the US like a vile cancer. Biden the Vice-President was guilty of supporting deadly and counter-productive US imperialism which ignored the domestic problems. If Biden the President does the same the US will remain as racially and economically divided as it is today and stability and progress will not be possible.