Posted on January 25th, 2021


The storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021 has made a significant impact on the domestic politics of the USA. It is   seen as a possible sign of things to come.

The Capitol attack was preceded by several other similar events. There was a white    supremacist rally, in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.  White supremacists marched through the streets chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. In the 2000 Presidential election, the recount in Florida was   disrupted by Republican Party   agitators. In April 2020, armed protesters went to the State Capitol in Michigan to protest Covid 19 lockdown. They were in a violent mood.

Arieh Kovler, a political consultant who studied extremist Trump messages anticipated the attack. On January 6, armed Trumpist militias will be rallying in DC, at Trump’s orders,” he wrote on Twitter on December 21st. It’s highly likely that they’ll try to storm the Capitol after it certifies Joe Biden’s win.”

 These people were sharing maps of Washington D.C, said Kovler. They had a map of the tunnels in the basement of the Capitol, and they were talking about how they’re going to stop Congress from leaving.   They imagined there was going to be mass executions of Congressmen, said Kovler. Others who had also seen the Twitter feeds had emailed the Washington DC police warning them of a possible siege. 

Analysts say much of the activity on January 6 was chaotic, disorganized and indicative of a spontaneous riot.Many did not know what to do when they got into the Capitol building. However, analysts observed”The people who made up the herd did not appear organized, but within them clearly there were people who were organized. You had a riotous mob and within that you had domestic terrorists who were clearly planning something.

There were attackers in organized columns. A woman shouting instructions on a megaphone. More than a dozen men wearing assault force-type garb push up the Capitol steps in a line, cutting through the dense crowd toward the building’s doors. Several carried zip ties that could be used to restrain hostages. Attackers had said things like Hang Mike Pence, find lawmakers and bring them to justice.

The participation of the militia, the discovery of pipe bombs planted nearby, and the apparent threats to capture members of Congress and the Vice President, were signs of plotting. There was planning and coordination, said analysts.

There appears to have been communications between those inside the building and outside, as well.  It is possible that the attack was planned, with help from insiders. Many, who broke into the offices of top legislators such as Speaker’s office, appeared to know how to navigate the maze-like Capitol.”They knew where to go. Somebody on the inside of those buildings was complicit in this,” analysts said.

It was also noted that groups of Trump supporters had toured the Capitol for “reconnaissance” a day before the attack. They could only have gained access to the Capitol complex from a Member of Congress or their staff.

Analysts also added if the intruders were Black Lives Matter the security services would have picked off the intruders before they reached the entrance. Instead, many police were supportive, taking selfies with the invaders, removing barricades, and ignoring the rioters’ antics, reported the media.

The attack on the Capitol cast its shadow on the inauguration of the new President. Some did not attend as they were worried about security. Others had come wearing bullet proof vests. The Capitol attack was not pushed under the carpet, by the media at the inauguration, as one would expect.  It was given prominence at the function itself. It was mentioned in the very first speech by Senator Amy Klobouchar.

The NBC coverage of the proceedings, continually recalled the attack on the Capitol, Video clips of the event were shown. NBC ended its coverage saying that there have been 120 arrests, 350 under investigation and the FBI was going ahead with arrest for possible sedition, conspiracy, or murder.   

 US remains tense and anxious. US recognizes the attack on the Capitol as a significant event in American politics and it is not something that can be attributed to Trump alone. 70,000 voted against Biden. There is genuine fear as to the power of this group. The roads used by the President on inauguration day were fenced in, including the route to Arlington cemetery. Television observed that this type of protection is usually associated with places like Kabul, not Washington.

US is now considered a deeply divided nation. There is disagreement regarding the Presidential vote. Only Sixty-five percent of Americans believe Biden was legitimately elected as president, 147 republican House and Senate members had voted to overturn the Presidential election even after the attack on the Capitol, said Economist.

An NBC poll found that Americans were deeply polarized, they felt divided, pessimistic and worried about the future.  Country is facing an economic crisis, said one commentator .US  suffers from unemployment and homelessness though is more hidden than in say, India.

The Hindu said, Biden would do well to remember, as he goes about dismantling the Trump legacy, that 74 million people voted for his opponent, and Trump has encouraged them to believe that the election was stolen. If the Capitol building attack was an indication of the unhinged rage seething below the ostensibly peaceful transfer of power, it may not be long before the America of economically disenchanted white privilege again rears its head in a manner that today’s political victors find unsavory,” concluded  Hindu.

There is a growing far right, white supremacy militia movement in the U.S. There are  more than 180 armed militias today. There is one colored militia the NFAC, the rest are white.  They are more open, better armed, that the earlier KKK.

The Proud Boys ,a leading militia, is a far-right  white supremacist  group. It  is patrols Maga [Make America Great Again] marches across the country.  “American Wolf”  militia from the Washington  state can be seen out on patrol during Black Lives Matter rallies. They are against the Black Lives Matter movement. They are also  against  the creation of a socialist society in US. Had  they made such a statement in Sri Lanka, they would have been lynched themselves.

In Wisconsin armed  right wing militia swaggered openly in public spaces, unchecked, during Presidential election time. In Michigan  they were against lockdown. They said  that government could not tell them what to do. They had wanted to kill the Governor as well.

During the  US Presidential election of 2020  militia groups were parading in the streets of America’s city, fully armed.  Emboldened by President Trump’s aggressive rhetoric, far-right vigilante groups have been training with firearms, patrolling the streets and even planning high-profile kidnappings, reported the media. They are well organized. They are armed. They carry their weapons openly and make it clear they’re not afraid to use them”. If the election does not turn out their way there could be violence, feared the media.

The violence that resulted was the storming of the Capitol building and the militia were there.  Militias  such as the violent Three Percenters, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, participated in the attack on the Capitol. Some had traveled to Washington from as far as Hawaii., reported the media.

There is another angle to these militias. TIME has noted that these militias   go to Ukraine for training. Ukraine’s Azov Movement, has been recruiting and training American citizens for years, reported TIME. Ukraine’s Azov Movement, was an obscure militia in 2014. After the Ukraine ‘revolution’ of 2014,   it has now blossomed into a full scale training unit with a vast arsenal of weapons to train on. White supremacy militias come over from USA for the training

But Azov has grander  own plans. Azov  mission is to form a coalition of far right groups across Europe, with the ultimate aim of taking power throughout Europe,   said TIME. Azov plans to lead the white nations of the world  on a final crusade for their  survival against Jews and Muslims.

The US has its admirers in Sri Lanka .They are providing us with howlers. Cassandra compared the Capitol invasion with two events in Sri Lanka Parliament. The first is the  opening of Parliament chamber to members of the public  in 1956.

There is difference which Cassandra has missed. The Sri Lanka public were not storming Parliament to kill and destroy, they came to rejoice. this was Ape Aanduwa, voted in full of hope and the  public wanted to see where the decisions were made. SWRD correctly allowed them to come in. The second    event was simply an antic carried out by the  MPs themselves  inside the chamber. There is no comparison between it and the Capitol invasion.

Another commentator said that after the  Capitol invasion, there was no call  in the US to change the constitution, and  the military did not influence the voting. The biggest howler of all was the reference to Trump.

This commentator  said that after Trump lost, the US showed charity and gave Trump the Presidential helicopter and  the Presidential Plane to go home in. The  writer  compared it with the treatment given to Sarath Fonseka by Mahinda Rajapaksa .  This is nonsense. Donald Trump remained President of the United State of America until  the new President was appointed. It is in his capacity as President  of the United States that Trump used the official planes. NBC  TV showed the plane arriving at Florida,  recording  Trump’s last few moments as President. 

It is advisable for Sri Lanka to look at the larger picture when it comes to   world politics even if it may not impact directly on the Bay of Bengal. Two new power blocs have emerged in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt on one side and Turkey, Iran, and Qatar on the other reported analysts.  These are  sort of pro and anti-US power blocs. These rivalries are now bleeding  into the Arabian Sea  said analysts. ”  Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Iran are active  in the Arabian Sea.

Iran holds a pivotal position in the Middle Eastern frontier.  If sanctions against Iran are relaxed, Iran would play a much larger economic role in the oil trade. The recently concluded Abraham Pact between UAE, Israel and Bahrain backed by Saudi Arabia was intended to deter Iran.

It will not be easy to deter Iran. In January 2021, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired long-range ballistic missiles against targets in the Indian Ocean  in a two-day exercise .The missiles were fired from central Iran at targets located in the northern Indian Ocean and destroyed them from 1,800 kilometers away. The exercise also featured a drone attack on a missile defence system and the launch of a  “new generation” surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. The launch showed Iran was ready to respond to any “ill will” by its enemies, warning that in such cases “they will be targeted and destroyed by our missiles”.This was a message to USA.

Two of these countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia have a connection with Sri Lanka. That is why Sri Lanka must watch events in the Arabian Sea. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are strategic allies. Saudi Arabia has links with  extremist  Muslim  organizations in Sri Lanka. Iran  and USA are enemies Iran has supported the government of Sri Lanka.

President Biden  clearly intends to  continue US policy of  opposing China.  Biden said  Chinese President Ji was a thug. China returned the compliment. As US President Biden took oath of office in Washington,  China sanctioned 28  US persons who  have “gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people and seriously disrupted China-US relations.”

The list includes Mike Pompeo ,Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro, national security advisor Robert O’Brien, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell, health secretary Alex Azar and UN envoy Kelly Craft, Trump national security advisor John Bolton and former senior advisor Steve Bannon. The officials and their family members will be prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the foreign ministry said.   The companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China,”  said China.

Also as Biden became President in US, China   sent eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets into Taiwan’s  air space, followed by a further  15 including 12 fighter jets  the next day. China usually sent reconnaissance aircraft, this time China sent fighter jets and bombers. It was sending a message to USA. USA responded. US replied that it  firmly supported Taiwan’s independence  and would not budge from that position.  

Biden   intends to continue  US policy of ‘DOING ASIA” and plans to do so, using India. Biden has nominated at least 20 Indian Americans, including 13 women, to key positions in his administration. This list is  of course led by Kamala Harris, the Vice President  of the USA. As many as 17 of them would be part of the powerful White House complex. This is something new for this small ethnic community that constitutes one per cent of the country’s population, said the media.

Three other South Asians will also hold key positions. Pakistani-American Ali Zaidi as Deputy National Climate Advisor White House; Sri Lankan American, Rohini Kosoglu as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President and Bangladeshi-American Zayn Siddique, Senior Advisor to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

 However, former US Secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, a very experienced official, thinks that US should not go to war against China because  if it does so,  US will lose. China has the military capability to strike USA directly,  on land, bypassing ocean warfare.  US does not have the military strength to fight China in the South China Sea, Bay of Bengal  and  elsewhere, either.

USA knows this and plans to fight the  US-China war using a coalition, the Quad, which includes the armies of USA, India Australia and Japan. But This  Quad may  dissolve before war starts. China is baiting both countries. There is the Senkaku island issue with Japan. But  Australia and Japan can finally  be persuaded to leave the Quad and join China. The Quad will  then become a Duo , India and USA.  China and Pakistan will  then simultaneously  attack India on its northern and western  borders. This will prevent India from participating in any war other than its own. USA will be left to fight alone.(Continued)

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