Thousands of troops patrolling Washington’s commercial and residential districts with empty roads webbed in caution tapes is the current atmosphere of the world’s most powerful capital.
Behind the web of checkpoints, the streets have been strangely quiet for days. The world has taken the opportunity to compare Washington with areas abroad occupied by America.
“It is a sad, shocking sight to look at our Capitol and see similarities to my time in the Green Zone, to feel that sense of doom and danger for what ought to be a celebration of democracy. Just the fact that we have to have 20,000 soldiers and heavily equip [them] to secure a presidential inauguration is really going to undermine efforts to tell folks overseas, ‘It’s going to be OK. The U.S. is back.’”A former U.S. diplomat living nearby Virginia, while comparing the scenario in Washington with Iraq’s capital during the war said.
“They’re going to look at these images and question whether we’re less than four years away from a return to this kind of politics. It is just going to be seared into the minds of foreigners and foreign leaders for the decades to come.”Bruen said.
The only tourists seen in the area usually overcrowded with tourists from all over the world are the National Guardsmen. D.C officials have requested the travelers to avoid going to the area. Crossing the street seems like going through airport screening, checking everything from the cameras of reporters to the water bottles carried by them.
Dan Freeman, who grew up few blocks away from the White House found the images of US violence alarming.
“I was moved to tears when I witnessed what was going on at the Capitol on the 6th.”He said.
Undoubtedly, the presence of 25,000 troops has propelled Americans and International observers to compare the huge show of military to US doings in Baghdad and Kabul. As they say, “The troops are not foreign invaders, and they’re not there to stay. But the impact of the last two weeks may well be.”
The US partners are now trying to grasp what happened in Washington; which was once perceived as the model of democracy.
“We cannot believe that actually happened, because we all learned democracy from [the] United States. The United States is a kind of standard of democracy. So that chaos happened on Capitol Hill, we feel sorry for that.”Wang Ting-yu, the co-chair of the foreign affairs and national defense committee in Taiwan’s parliament said.
“The main reaction has been one of jaded indifference and blasé desolation. But underneath that, one could still sense an authentic sadness at the spectacle of familiar forms of fragmentation, dysfunction, and polarization now affecting the United States.”Jalel Harchaoui, the Paris-based senior fellow at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime said.
An Israeli diplomat, Alon Pinkas said “To many who study, observe, respect, and love America, these dystopian pictures seem out of [a] third-rate movie. But [they] are just the final manifestation of what Donald Trump has done to America.”
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