America’s adversaries are just loving this.
Leaders of governments dismissed by Washington as totalitarian dictatorships are relishing in the opportunity to draw attention to racism and violence in the land of the world’s sole superpower.
Indeed, they are taking particular glee in President Donald Trump’s widely criticized response to a deadly white supremacist rally, using the opportunity to decry the hypocrisy of America’s practice of scolding the world about equality, democracy and human rights.
“Behind the white supremacists is the power that has taken over the White House and the venues where decisions are made by the North American imperialists,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Monday.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei knocked America next: “If US has any power, they better manage their country, tackle #WhiteSupremacy rather than meddle in nations’ affairs. #Charlottesville,” he tweeted Wednesday.
Then China. “U.S. is not a human rights paradise, nor the world’s moral leader,” a headline in China’s state-run People’s Daily proclaimed on Thursday.
Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left one woman dead and Trump insistence that people who showed up to protest racists deserve some of the blame for the violence has been widely condemned, in the United States and abroad.
Iran, classified by Washington as a state sponsor of terror, balks at any Western effort to call out its government for frequent human rights violations. Hardliners there seize any opportunity to shift attention away from the country’s nuclear and military activities, putting Tehran constantly at odds with the United States
Trump promised on the campaign trail to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal agreed to by the Obama administration and five other major world powers, saying that once in office he would negotiate a better agreement. But while he continues to denounced Tehran, the president has continued to certify Iranian compliance with the current deal, a formality necessary to maintain constraints on the country’s nuclear activity. Both the U.S. and Iran have threatened to abandon the accord because of actions by the other nation it sees in violation of its letter or spirit.
In Venezuela, where Trump last week threatened a possible military strike in response to the country’s democratic breakdown, Maduro used Trump’s response to Charlottesville to further decry Yankee interventionism in Latin American affairs.
Maduro spoke at one of the “anti-imperialist” rallies his government organized Monday amid a months-long wave of protests by the opposition against the president’s tightening grip on power. The U.S. has responded by sanctioning a range of Venezuelan officials, including Maduro himself, and is debating imposing measures against the country’s profitable oil industry.
In communist China, media outlets were calling out what they cast as America’s absence of moral authority on equality. The state-run Global Times ran an editorial lamenting the “tragic time warp” in which U.S. race relations had landed.
The People’s Daily oped rejected criticism leveled this week from the State Department’s annual country reports on religious freedom, which noted severe restrictions in China. It said the U.S. has plenty of examples of discriminating against people of certain religions, such as Muslims.
“But it is not just hate toward Muslims that is on the rise. As the recent deadly racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, have shown, hate and terror are on the rise in America, and such problems are expected to increase,” the People’s Daily said. “In its eagerness to claim the moral high ground, the U.S. government has ignored the facts of its own situation, showing its bias against China.”
And in a direct dig at Trump, China offered some advice.
“The U.S. government should focus more on making America ‘great again,’ and less on making other countries more like America,” the People’s Daily said.