Berlin – As the angry mob at the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy, the rest of the world watched once unimaginable scenes in Washington with dismay and disbelief.
And many of them force their way into live broadcasts of armed protesters US Capital A warning was seen for all democracies in the world: if it could happen in the United States, it could happen anywhere.
“We are currently witnesses to the attack on the very core principles of democratic structures and institutions,” said Peter Baer, German government coordinator for Trans-Atlantic Affairs, who was watching live scenes on TV from Washington. “It’s not just an American national issue, but it shakes the world, at least to all democracies.”
Shocking as the violence on Wednesday was, some were not entirely surprised that Trump was ending this way in the presidential race.
“This is what happens when you hate,” said Stephen Sejourne, a member of the European Parliament and a close aide of France’s President Emmanuel Macron. wrote On twitter “Let us protect and protect our democracy, because it cannot be accepted.”
Many leaders directly blamed President Trump for the violence.
“Peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of every democracy. A lesson once taught to the world by the United States, “German patriarch, Olaf Scholz, wrote. “It is an insult that Donald Trump is reducing it by inciting violence and destruction.”
Jeremy Hunt, a Conservative former foreign secretary in the United Kingdom, said on Twitter that Mr. Trump “shames American democracy tonight and torments his friends but he is not America.”
Even the Secretary-General of NATO took the unusual step of weighing on a domestic issue in a Member State. Jens Stoltenberg wrote in a tweet, “Shocking scene in Washington, DC.” “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”
For many foreign leaders, the scenes in the US also absorbed the uneasy echoes of the recent attacks on democracy at home.
Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister A distinction was drawn between the storm of the Capitol and the recent attempt by a crowd of far-flung German protesters to enter the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building.
“Inflammatory words will lead to acts of violence – at the footsteps of the Reichstag, and now in the Capitol,” Mr. Maas wrote On twitter “Contempt for democratic institutions has a devastating effect.”
“Enemies of mass democracy will be happy about these incredible pictures from Washington DC,” Mr. Maas said.
And they were.
In Russia, the violence neatly fits into the Kremlin propaganda narrative of a crumbling American democracy. Russia’s state-controlled news channel, Rosia-24, broadcasts the chaos in the Capitol on a divided screen, showing happy conservative Christmas celebrations in Russia on one side, violent devastation in Washington on the other.
Blood-soaked Americans on the ground recalled the channel’s coverage of American-backed street protests in Ukraine in the winter of 2013–14, reinforcing Russia’s message that the United States is now home to the violent fruits of its own foreign splatter at home Cutting.
The world’s mightiest and dictator “must be in a mood of excitement and celebration,” Yossi Melman wrote, A writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Glorious democracy in the world is as shameless as a third world country.”
Violence over this message will reveal the fragility of American democracy.
Mexican newspaper columnist and television host Ana Paula Ordorica said, “As a Mexican, this is the first time that the United States, which is an example of democracy, is becoming a counter-argument.” Election in November for Televisa. “This is something that, in general, America does in another country.”
Amid expressions of horror and concern, there were also some optimistic voices, insisting that this was the final coup of the Trump presidency rather than the end of Western democracy.
“I trust the strength of America’s democracy”, Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted. The new chair of “@Joe Biden Uniting the American people will remove this time of tension. “
Kiriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece Tweet: “American democracy is resilient, deeply rooted and will overcome this crisis.”
Melissa Eddy and Christopher F. Schuetze contributed reporting from Berlin; Andrew Higgins and Anton Troyanovsky from Moscow; Natalie Kittroff and Oscar Lopez from Mexico City; Aurelian Breden from Paris; David M. from Jerusalem Helbfinger, Isabel Keshner and Adam Rasgon; And Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.