Disgraceful, horrific, distressing: World leaders condemn chaos at US Capitol
Leaders from across the world denounced the violence at the United States Capitol, saying that the mayhem was in sharp contrast to the democratic values of the nation. All four living former Presidents of the US also expressed disdain, with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton directly blaming outgoing President Donald Trump for Wednesday's incident. Four people lost their lives. Here's more.
A pro-Trump mob descended at Capitol, in the heart of Washington, DC, to derail a ceremonial Congress session convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win. As the invaders broke windows, scaled the iconic building's walls, and clashed with law enforcement agencies, the Senators were rushed to a secure place. The rampage came to an end after hours, post which the session reconvened.
Expressing shock at what happened in the US, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi opined that unlawful protests can't be allowed to subvert democracy. "Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue, (sic)" he wrote. His British counterpart Boris Johnson called the riot "disgraceful" while supporting a peaceful transfer of power in the US.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, agreed with other leaders on a peaceful transfer of power. "We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition," he tweeted. First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, was horrified by the scenes. She said she was with the defenders of democracy.
The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in 🇺🇸 on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 6, 2021
Giuseppe Conte, the PM of Italy, wrote, "Violence is incompatible with the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms. I am confident in the strength and robustness of the institutions of the United States." French President Emmanuel Macron said the US and his nation share a commitment to freedom and democracy. "France stands strongly, fervently, and resolutely with the American people," he assured.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wrote on Twitter, "Democracy - the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard, and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob." Separately, Justin Trudeau claimed Canadians were disturbed by the attack on democracy in the neighboring country. "Democracy in the US must be upheld - and it will be," he opined.
Surprising political watchers, the Turkey government commented, "Turkey invites all parties in the US to use moderation, common sense to overcome this domestic political crisis." Similarly, the government in Venezuela stated, "Venezuela condemns the political polarization and the spiral of violence that only reflects the deep crisis that the political and social system of the United States is currently going through."
Within the US, former Presidents tried making sense of what happened. "History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation," Obama's statement read. He said Republicans can either fan flames now or "choose America."
Bush, the Republican President to take office before Trump, was jolted. "I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement," he said. Democrat Clinton called the violence an "unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country."
"The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another. The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers," Clinton added.
Jimmy Carter, also a Democrat, called the mayhem a national tragedy. "Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must," Carter suggested. And Biden, who will be sworn-in on January 20, said that the incidents confirm how fragile democracy is.
Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile. To preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 7, 2021