How The World Sees The US Just Now
One thing Donald Trump just HATED about Barack Obama was that he made America look weak. The world was always laughing at us, according to Trump, who mostly just assumed the world must agree with him, and if not, they're just a bunch of idiot foreigners anyway. Remember, this is a guy who thought delegates applauding the completion of the Paris Climate Agreement were really applauding how brilliantly they'd screwed the USA.
Trump should be delighted to know that as Americans protest yet another police killing of an unarmed black man, and as Trump talks about using the military to "dominate" the American people, nobody's laughing much. They're looking on in shock and horror, but that's not laughter, so it's a win! Let's take a look at how international media outlets are covering the latest American Embarrassment.
Non-USA media outlets are definitely following events here closely, at least when they're not covering literal attacks on foreign journalists by American police.
Why, yes, that is a thing that happened Monday: US Park Police assaulted an Australian TV camera operator for no goddamn reason at all, after the poor guy had already been hit by rubber bullets earlier. Here's the video of America being great again, for the entire world to see:
Washington riots: Australian 7NEWS crew attacked by police live on air | 7NEWS youtu.be
That was certainly worth it, for Donald Trump to be photographed holding one more book he's never read.
Here's another video of the attack, from a not quite so painfully first person angle:
Police outside the WH just repeatedly bashed a cameraman as they pushed back protestors - just now on @ABC7News https://t.co/XyE2sI6I3v— Ben Siegel (@Ben Siegel) 1591051274.0
That was so good that a still of the attack was featured in the Canberra Times's coverage. America, making war on friends around the world!
Network Seven cameraman Tim Myers was hit with a riot shield and punched in the face, while reporter Amelia Brace was clubbed with a truncheon.
Both were shot with rubber bullets and struggled to breathe after tear gas was thrown at the crowd.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the attack as troubling and has asked for an investigation.
Mr Morrison has spoken to Seven to check on the crew's welfare and offer his government's support, should they wish to pursue a formal complaint against police through the Australian embassy.
He also ordered the embassy to investigate the incident and register Australia's "strong concerns" with local authorities.
We're sure the State Department will get right on that, possibly by informing the Aussies that there was no "tear gas" used (It was definitely tear gas).
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's bureau chief in Washington wrote an analysis piece explaining the unrest in America, noting it's not only about the killing of George Floyd, or about Donald Trump. The piece points out that in the USA, there are lots of poisonous animals that will kill you if they get a chance, and they aren't limited to the ones wearing blue uniforms:
Perhaps the closest thing to a common cause can be summed up in one word: injustice.
Justice is the word on almost all the protesters' lips and written on many of the placards they wave in the air.
This is a nation where 2.3 million people are locked up in a system of corporatised incarceration, funded by the taxpayer.
This is a nation where the wealth gap between white and black Americans hasn't changed in 60 years.
It's where the bottom 40 per cent of Americans own just 0.3 per cent of the wealth.
As of yet, US Park Police have not tracked down the bureau chief and his co-auhor and beaten them, but the week's not over yet.
In France, an editorial in Le Monde, which we just found out is not actually owned by the former bicycling champ Greg LeMond, contrasted the riots with the other big American story of the weekend, the launch of Elon Musk's phallus into space (via Google translation):
Two images of the United States collided in recent days: that of the launch of the SpaceX rocket, then of its successful docking with the International Space Station, a new episode of American genius in the conquest of space. And that, unbearable, seen by millions of people on social networks, of a black man on the ground, handcuffed, suffocating under the knee of a white police officer, dying in eight minutes, a new episode of an old drama and never mastered, that of police racism.
Correction/Update: Boy is my face red! My dumb throwaway Greg LeMond joke was tarnished by my mixing him up with Lance Armstrong, so I have removed the word "disgraced" from the description of the former cycling champ. Wonkette regrets the error.
On the other hand, the Le Monde editorial didn't think to link that shocking diptych to an earlier work that drew a very similar contrast, Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey on the Moon," from 1970.
Gil Scott-Heron - Whitey On the Moon (Official Audio) youtu.be
Also in France, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo put Donald Trump under the knee of an insouciant cop, which is a French word meaning a cold-blooded hands-in-his-pockets asshole cop with no concern for human life.
One of Germany's biggest papers, the Suddeutsche Zeitung, ran a headline Tuesday reading "Trump declares War on America," although it probably sounded better in the original German. Sounds to us like these Sudsy Deutsches are trying to hurt Trump's chances with German voters:
Trump chooses the toughest of all possible ways to deal with the riots. Instead of trying to calm the situation, the president is escalating and threatening to use the military against his own citizens [...]
The idea that the US President could make the 82nd Airborne Division jump over Los Angeles or Brooklyn because the governors there aren't supposed to be tough enough against looters is bizarre. That would throw the United States back to 1861. That was when the civil war started.
OK, Herr Hubert Wetzel, Washington correspondent, you have a pretty good grasp of history, but have you paid your NATO dues? Also something something Too Many Refugees.
And just to hit several perspectives at once, the Canadian site Global News reports that Iranian officials, who regularly crack down violently on protests, are enjoying having the chance to complain about human rights in the USA, which is just so mean of them. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif simply tweeted out a press statement from Mike Pompeo, with "Iran" crossed out and "the US" substituted.
The Global News notes that "Pompeo fired back in an angry tweet: 'You hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews.'" So I guess that means the USA is objectively the best!
But what about the parts of the world that love Donald Trump very much? A story from Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency featured Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov categorically denying that his country has been in any way stirring up trouble in American social media, so get ready for Trump to agree such a thing is nigh-UNPOSSIBLE. Antonov insisted that "US media" reports have it all wrong:
Everything that is happening in the United States is a result of the policy that has been conducted in the US in the field of inter-ethnic and inter-racial relations. It is an explosion of the contradictions that have been simmering for a very long time.
Antonov added, in a nice bit of Trump-friendly spin, that the frustration had been made worse by the coronavirus shutdown, "In the country there are 40 million jobless, who are tired of the lockdown." At least he stopped short of cheering on the armed loons protesting at state capitols. He also said that the rioting is the fault of "the marauders and provocateurs, who never miss a chance to take advantage of peaceful demonstrations," which was nice of him. He didn't specifically comment one way or the other on Trump's threats to send the US military against citizens, however.
As far as we can tell, none of Trump's dictator friends like Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have yet come out in favor of Trump setting The Troops loose on Americans. Indeed, Erdogan has criticized the killing of George Floyd as the result of a "racist and fascist approach" to policing. Civilized people send their army and friendly Syrian militias to wipe out despised minorities, not mere cops.
Maybe Erdogan simply wants to encourage Trump to unleash his personal security detail on Turkish-American protesters, as Erdogan did while visiting Trump in Washington in 2017. The District of Columbia charged members of Erdogan's goon squad with assault in that incident, but happily, Donald Trump later apologized for upsetting Erdogan like that.
Poor Donald. All those favors for a friendly dictator, and no "attaboy," much less an Attaturk.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.