Washington chaos leaves image of 'exceptional' America in tatters

Sydney (AFP) – The storming of the US Congress left America’s image as a beacon of democracy severely tarnished Thursday, with allies unable to hide their shock and authoritarian regimes gleefully exploiting the unrest. In normal times, a state-backed gang rampaging through a legislature to demand a lost election be nullified would have US diplomats marching to their laptops to draft a statement of condemnation.  But after the deadly violence in Washington on Wednesday, it was the turn of officials in capitals from Bogota to New Delhi to call for calm.  In a string of statements, leaders could…

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