America’s image around the world is being tarnished by the violent federal response in Portland

| Jul 26, 2020

By Mark Hannah, Senior Fellow

This article appeared in Business Insider on July 26, 2020.

Last month, the European Union urged a foreign government to handle civil unrest with “full respect for the rule of law and human rights.” The country the EU admonished was not some war-torn dictatorship. It was the United States.

While this declaration may have seemed like excessive concern a few weeks ago, it now seems prescient after federal agents using paramilitary gear and tactics stormed Portland, rounding up protesters in defiance of its local and state government.

There’s a special irony in the fact that this police response came in reaction to a movement that grew out of protests over the abuse of police authority. 

America’s international leadership was already precarious, and this brutal and tone-deaf response to legitimate public frustration further imperils it. Countries already resentful of America’s world-policing now watch in dismay as jackbooted federal officers, armed like warfighters and with dubious legal authority, descend upon its own people.

Read more of Mark’s article in Business Insider.

Written by Mark Hannah

Mark is a senior fellow with the Independent America project at the Institute for Global Affairs and host of the podcast, None Of The Above.

Read more from Mark

This post is part of Independent America, a research project led out by IGA senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how US foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

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