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Washington is “locked down”, but not because of the pandemic.

Washington is "locked down", but not because of the pandemic.

On the evening of January 17, the Capitol and surrounding areas were blocked by a fence in Washington, D.C. ( Photo by Liu Jie, Xinhua News Agency)

For days, Washington, the capital of the United States, was full of tension.

In the core area of the District of Columbia, wire fences, concrete roadblocks and security checkpoints can be seen everywhere, forming a blockade area nearly 5 kilometers long from east to west and nearly 3 kilometers from north to south.

National Guard soldiers armed with M4 rifles patrol around the clock to check incoming and outgoing vehicles in detail.

The purpose of such a wide range of security is to ensure the smooth progress of the 59th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the presidential inauguration as a “National Special Security Event (NSSE).” In accordance with the requirements of the Washington, D.C. state of emergency, the U.S. Secret Service updated the joint transportation plan around the presidential inauguration on the 17th, including road closures, pedestrians, parking restrictions and other measures.

Today, for the presidential inauguration, Washington, D.C., has adopted stricter lockdown measures than the epidemic prevention and control.

The analysis believes that the defense of the U.S. capital is like a big enemy, reflecting the deepening of the degree of social tearing in the country, even to the point of incompatibility.

“Washington looks like an armed camp”

Living in the U.S. capital, many Washingtonians have become accustomed to the security measures taken to welcome the new president. But Washington, which is currently in a semi-military management state, still makes them feel very strange.

“We seem to have been taken hostage.” The Washington Post interviewed Charles Wilson, a 62-year-old Washington resident. According to the introduction, Charles has participated in almost all presidential inaugurations since he was 11.

And this time, she is going to board a train to Florida, because “it will be safer there”.

Soldiers with live ammunition, military vehicles roaring by, helicopters hovering… The tension reminds American girl Julie Dana of the “Darkest Moment” on September 11, 2001.

The only difference is that the country came together two decades ago, but now it is falling apart.”

In modern American history, no new president’s inauguration was held in such a fierce domestic riots. Former U.S. Secret Service Director Marg said, “We are in wartime.

Every angle is under consideration, and the fighter will be launched on the runway and ready to be put on standby.”

Since the declaration of a state of emergency in Washington, D.C., on January 11, National Guard soldiers have been stationed in Washington in several batches. Matthew Miller, the head of the Washington area of the U.S. Secret Service, made harsh remarks that chaos and illegal acts like those that hit the Capitol would never be allowed to happen again.

“In the eyes of some American tourists, this safety is reassuring but creepy.” As the presidential inauguration approaches, the U.S. Today reports that downtown Washington is packed with troops and law enforcement.

“Washington entered the wartime system.” The reporter of the Capitol Hill described that “Today Washington looks like an armed camp”.

25,000 National Guard members are deployed

Obviously, Washington’s tense nerves are the sequelae of the Capitol incident.

On the afternoon of January 15th local time, U.S. congressional police arrested a man who tried to pass through downtown Washington, D.C. with forged documents.

Police found a pistol and more than 500 rounds of ammunition on him. At that time, 17 bullets had been pressed on the magazine.

In an internal announcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that from January 16 to the inauguration day of the President of the United States, there may be “armed protests” in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In response to possible riots, the U.S. government has increased its efforts at the security level. On January 11, the U.S. government sent 15,000 National Guard soldiers to Washington.

Two days later, an additional 5,000 troops were sent. It is expected that by the time of the inauguration of the president, about 25,000 National Guard members have been deployed to Washington.

According to the United States today, the number of National Guards currently stationed in Washington is four times that of the total number of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In contrast, the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is only about 5,000.

The U.S. National Guard is a reserve force, and large-scale mobilization in such a short period of time in peacetime is rare. Lieutenant Colonel Alysia Benson, an officer of the Washington Air National Guard, said that the recruitment and deployment speed of the National Guard may be record. Usually, it will take months to coordinate airlifts alone to deploy troops of this size.

The tree wants to be quiet but the wind doesn’t stop.

Fox News reported that Democratic Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee issued an “ominous hint” on Monday local time that there may be Trump supporters in the National Guard aimed at protecting President-elect Biden and that they “want to do something to Biden”.

In an interview, Cohen told CNN that he had been reminded that former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by his bodyguard, and he also said that anyone in the National Guard who supported Trump was suspicious.

Although there is no real evidence, Cohen’s words have attracted attention in American public opinion.

The Pentagon had previously undergone rigorous background checks on National Guard soldiers deployed in the capital to exclude soldiers from links with extremists and other violent groups, the Washington Post reported.

Investigators found that some demonstrators had links with law enforcement officials and the army, including at least two U.S. military personnel, which increased the U.S. government’s concerns about potential internal threats.

Political “decent” or no longer exists

Tensions have also exacerbated Americans’ concerns about the difficult way to carry out the presidential handover ceremony.

Earlier, Trump has made it clear that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration, which will make Trump the fourth outgoing president in American history to miss the inauguration of his successor, and the first time in more than 150 years.

In American political life, the inauguration of the new president is very symbolic.

In order to give the impression that the people are temporarily opposed and reunited at the end of the election, the two presidents often make public appearances.

In addition, since Reagan, the outgoing president will leave a handwritten note to his successor in the Oval Office.

However, Trump has not called to congratulate Biden on his election or admit defeat so far.

Biden angrily denounced Trump for “embarrassing the United States and embarrassing us worldwide”. At a rally to raise political funds, President-elect Bai said that his inauguration must be the “most distinctive” in American history.

It is worth noting that just as Biden held his inauguration ceremony, Trump also intended to hold an “outgoing ceremony”.

The British Guardian reported on the 18th that he plans to leave the White House before the inauguration ceremony on the morning of the 20th and hold a grand farewell ceremony at the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, where the presidential plane Air Force One is parked.

It is reported that at the farewell ceremony, Trump will fire 21 salutes, play military music and walk on the red carpet, and then leave Washington in Florida on Air Force One.

Some analysts believe that the scene of “two presidents holding ceremonies” symbolizes the rift that is difficult to heal in American society.

CNN noted in an article on the 19th that ideological separation between the two parties is increasing as political confrontation in the United States intensified.” Political confrontation undoubtedly makes it more difficult for Washington to make progress on solving major problems.

According to a new Pew Center survey, 53% of Americans plan to watch Biden’s inauguration, while only 25% of Republican voters said they would.

Seeing that the United States no longer has political decency, Time asked in its article, which developed industrialized democracies in today’s world are more politically divided or more politically dysfunctional than today’s United States?

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