U.S. allies responded with shock and dismay at the storming of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters, while adversaries gloated over the chaos.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a sometimes ally of Trump, condemned the "disgraceful scenes" on Capitol Hill. "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," he said on Twitter.
At a later news conference, Johnson added, "Insofar as he encouraged people to storm the Capitol, and insofar as the president consistently has cast doubt on the outcome of a free and fair election, I believe that that was completely wrong."
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the images she had seen of rioters breaking into the Capitol made her "furious and also sad."
In a video posted to Twitter by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Merkel added that charges of voter fraud in the U.S. election "set the atmosphere that made last night's event possible."
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter, "Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he expects U.S. institutions to recover quickly but added a cautionary note. He told Vancouver News 1130, "We're going to continue to do what we need to do to make sure that Canadians are well served in our relationship with the United States, regardless of how things unfold."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also expressed confidence in America's democracy, while adding that he might advise his citizens to avoid travel to the U.S.
Morrison said he found the riots in Washington "terribly distressing, they're very concerning. … As a result, we are making some changes to our travel advice."
French President Emmanuel Macron called the events in Washington an aberration. "What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America, definitely. We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy," he said on Twitter.
Predictably, Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela took a different tack, charging that the incident at the Capitol exposed U.S. claims of exceptionalism as a sham.
"The holiday of democracy is over [in the U.S.]," Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russia's parliament, said in a Facebook post. "America no longer charts the course, and therefore has lost all rights to set one, let alone to impose it on others."
An editorial posted by China's state-run foreign news outlet CGTN mocked America's political system as contributing to disorder.
"Never-ending campaigning [by U.S. politicians] seems to have turned them into soundbite-making machines who forget their actual job description is to solve problems, not keeping their position in Washington at the expense of everybody outside of it," it said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani charged that what happened in Washington was to be expected.
"What we saw in the United States last night showed the failure and frailty of Western democracy in the world," he said, according to Iran's Tasnim news agency, as reported by CBS. "The spread of populism in the United States and the arrival of someone like Trump to power created great problems for America and the world, especially in the Middle East."
Venezuela said the U.S. could no longer preach to the world about its democratic values while experiencing blowback from its policies abroad.
"With this unfortunate episode, the United States is experiencing what it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression," Venezuela's Ministry for Foreign Relations charged in a post on its website, Time reported.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.
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