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Domestic terrorism blights our new home 

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As I watched the insurrection at the Capitol Building live in Washington DC on January 6, I struggled to control my emotions. The disturbing images and video footage filled me with dismay and disbelief.

The scenes brought back some old memories, which I had hoped to erase permanently. Not once after I made the United States my new home in 2009 did I imagine I would see what played out on Wednesday night.

While waiting for my resettlement to the United States, I learned that everyone looked up to this nation as a “beacon of hope”; on January 6 I felt we, as a country, witnessed an attack on that vision.  

As I attempted to shield my five-year-old daughter from those terrifying images, I wondered whether the country of her birth is no longer a safe place. This awful incident at the Capitol could be part of a new era where Trump and his allies might continue to play the cards of violence and chaos in order to divide and rule.  

I draw this conclusion because I’ve seen and experienced firsthand how dictators and autocratic regimes rise by spreading misinformation and inciting violence in an attempt to remain in power. 

The regime in Bhutan, where I was born, did everything it could in the 1980s and 1990s to blame others in the same fashion Trump does now. It also deliberately singled-out people who weren’t native-born.

In Nepal, where I stayed as a refugee for close to two decades, I saw how the dictatorial king made an unsuccessful attempt to rule the country forever. In the same country, I also witnessed closely how insurgent Maoists took thousands of innocent lives and caused billions of dollars of damage to infrastructures. Despite those horrendous realities, maoists always claimed they were peaceful.         

Now as a United States citizen building a life and a family here, I feel the same — Trump has dictatorial tendencies, and he is capable of using home-grown terrorists and other extremists to advance his political agenda and attempt to remain in power.

The Capitol incident is nothing less than an act of ‘domestic terrorism’ incited by a serving president and executed by a crowd of his supporters including some who could, by their actions, be well described as ‘domestic terrorists’. 

Those hoisting the confederate flags, and others who were armed and stormed the Capitol Building, clearly had plans to incite violence aimed at overturning the outcome of the election. 

And it seems they felt inspired by Trump’s call to those attending a rally a few hours earlier – at which he spoke – to march on the Capitol Building. He even said he would march with them, which of course he didn’t, rather choosing to watch the situation unfold from the comfort of the White House.

This insurrection not only shook the country, it also left the world watching in disbelief. Some world leaders were quick to point the finger at Trump for inciting such a violence. 

Trump, although he has now reversed his position, initially called these acts a peaceful protest, which is and should be a cause of grave concern; some might have joined the rally to air their political beliefs, but it is clear that others had more sinister aims to terrorize the nation. 

As the stand-off at the Capitol Building continued, president-elect, Joe Biden, took a different view describing events as “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation”.

And Biden went further. “Don’t dare call them protesters,” he said, “they were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”

There was a shift of tone from Trump 24 hours after the march on the Capitol Building when he claimed he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem” and promised that his focus would now turn to “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”

Despite the change in rhetoric, the more Trump lingers in the office, the more damage he could create by promoting his unsubstantiated claims about the election results despite the fact Congress has certified the votes from every state and affirmed Biden’s win. We still have less than two weeks before Biden is sworn in, and that’s a heck lot of time for Trump to cause more damage to our democracy and the country.

But what about the future? As Trump and his allies attempt to rewrite American history with hatred and violence, those of us who consider such concepts as alien have a different and a significant role to play. Our role is to restore the values and principles that are the foundation of this country in order to ensure that the US remains a beacon of hope and a land of opportunities. 

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The author is the Executive Editor of this news site. Views expressed here are those of the author. BNS welcomes diversity of opinion. 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Thakurji for representing and publishing the views of concerned Bhutanese in diaspora on the reprehensible and beastly act of insurrectionists on 6 Jan 2021 on the Capitol Hill. Most of us knew that for last four year dangersome devils were in the making. They manifested out in the open on Jan 6th strangulating democracy and rule of law in the US.

    We are confident that the Biden-Harris government and the decent American people will be able to sideline these violent extremist forces fathered by Trump and his enablers over time. The US is resilient enough to bring values and decency back to politics and lead the world towards deepening and consolidation of democracy and peace.

    Thakurji please keep raising the voice of reason as individual constructive opinion can matter in the eventual collective good of communities

  2. Indeed a very boldly-written piece of opinion!
    Trump-effect is not going to go away anytime soon. We all need to remain vigilant and I agree, as you concluded that “Our role is to restore the values and principles that are the foundation of this country in order to ensure that the US remains a beacon of hope and a land of opportunities.”

    Looking forward to reading more of your articles, @TP Mishra.

  3. This is a deft analysis of the state of play in the US. And bold. The write up rightly examines the incident at Capitol as a symptom of a deeper malady that plagues the US as a society. All citizens have their roles towards fixing the problem but that must begin by prosecuting those responsible to the furthermost extent allowable under law. Thanks TP ji for this well-written and and timely piece!

  4. Thank you TP bhai for this insightful article and the analysis. US constitution stands as the pillar of democracy for every nations in the world to learn from and emulate. It is sad to see the utter failure to respect the rule of law and provision of this invaluable document and the history of nation building peacefully. I totally agree with Sangay D that your conclusion is very meaningful and that should be the direction of new and emerging citizens including our Bhutanese Diaspora to uphold the values and principles that bind United States of America. Bhutanese Diaspora should start thinking about reflecting the words of John F. Kennedy’s words on the role of citizens of each country where he states the following “”Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest form of appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

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