OPINION / OBSERVER
US should be careful of an ‘American Spring’
Published: Jan 07, 2021 09:38 PM

A member of a pro-Trump mob bashes an entrance of the Capitol Building in an attempt to gain access on Wednseday in Washington. Photo: AFP



The world has again been stunned by the US - American protestors have broken into its top legislative body. On Wednesday afternoon local time, the US Capitol was thrust into chaos after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed Congress as it was certifying electoral votes of the November presidential election. The process was forced to a halt, lawmakers had to be evacuated, and an unarmed woman died after being shot by law enforcement. 

Peaceful transfer of power is supposed to be a crucial political tradition of the country. Yet what happened Wednesday has become a turning point. World leaders, including US allies, expressed their shock toward the incident. A tweet of Mohamad Safa, Lebanese permanent representative to the UN caught the most eyeballs - "If the United States saw what the United States is doing in the United States, the United States would invade the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States."

This is a perfect narrative of US logic according to which some observers said the US should be sanctioned for opening fire against innocent protesters. They say the country should be invaded and its leader should step down or be overturned. 

Yet when American politicians can finally work at the center of the "beautiful sight" of democracy, they are not happy. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, "The storming of the US Capitol today is unacceptable. Lawlessness and rioting - here or around the world - is always unacceptable… Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting." 

That's a really interesting comment. Now let's remember when a similar scenario happened in Hong Kong last year, during which protesters broke into the legislative building, Pompeo's exact wordings were, "We stand with the Hong Kong people" and support their "freedom of expression." When the same thing takes place in the US, how could he so shamelessly define it as lawlessness, rioting and unacceptable? 

He underlined nothing but selfish double standards. He should be reminded that no Hong Kong police has turned guns toward protesters, not to mention killing any of them. The woman who got shot was later identified as a US Air Force veteran. When will Pompeo ever stand with his own people? 

The secretary of State, who is frenetic in doing one thing only - stirring up troubles and confrontation worldwide, has sent only one message: protest and turmoil are good and democratic across the globe, but not in the US. In the US, crackdown means "justice," even if it needs gunshots toward unarmed people. He made clear that US standards are different at home and abroad. Yet he might never think that the same thing he orchestrated elsewhere could back fire on his own soil.

A netizen posed on Twitter in Portuguese that this is the first attempt coup in the American continent without the participation of a US embassy. The view is echoed by many internet users, saying if there are US embassies in the US, the riots will be much more violent and successful.

Under Pompeo's watch, both the US international image and strength are declining faster. He tweeted on January 1, "We're so much safer today than four years ago." This was written during a week where there was one coronavirus death every 33 seconds in the country. When Trump's supporters stormed US Capitol on Wednesday, the sixth day of the new year, the term "Civil War" began trending on Twitter. 

Sadly, there are more Pompeo-like politicians in the US who are good at playing double standards. If they blindly continue this mentality and tactic, they will only dig graves for themselves. They will have to be careful with this question - will an American Spring one day sweep the US?


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