Joe Biden Inauguration is a Simulated War Zone, Washington DC Occupied by Military to Hail New Chief
As America hailed in its 46th commander in chief, the streets of Washington DC were laid out for tank warfare. Sprawling from the razor-wire perimeter of the National Mall, a labyrinth network of concrete barriers and metal fences transformed the once lively city into a physical obstacle course fit for a king.
There was none of the usual regalia heralding the new leader. No jubilant crowds of revelers. Not a gasp of celebration nor protest. The capital was under military occupation. None but the highest echelons of society were allowed to witness the swearing in of Joseph R Biden. For the unwashed masses, it was a simulated war zone, obstructed by Secret Service checkpoints and military patrols. It may even have been the largest war game ever held at the capital, with tens of thousands of soldiers and police officers mobilized from across the nation to repel an advancing enemy army.
But there was no enemy army.
Downtown, most businesses were closed. Most buildings were boarded up. Every intersection, every driveway, every alleyway, and every garage entrance, was blocked by jersey barriers. Some intersections were even sealed off by lines of eight-wheal Mack trucks. The infamous eight-foot "non-scalable" black mesh fences dashed across streets and around blocks for miles, demarcating the intricate boundaries of the security zones. Digital wanted posters for enemies of the state illuminated every bus stop, showing different crime scene photos from the Capital riot every 6 seconds.
It was an inauguration defined by absence, haunted by inaugurations past. Four years ago, even as violent anti-government protesters made vehicle fires and hurled bricks at police officers, the city still teemed with celebration. This time, it was an oppressive affair, violating democratic norms and betraying the American spirit.
Perhaps these are unprecedented times. That at least can rationalize why this inauguration was carried out under military diktat. But that can never justify the cost this inauguration inflicted upon our democracy. We can hope that another inauguration like this never happens again. But hope just may not be enough.
There isn’t much else to say. For posterity, photos from the event follow.