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Hillary Clinton's Cold War Strategy Didn't Work in Brazil PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Weisbrot   
Monday, 08 March 2010 03:16

Clinton meets with Lula in  BrasíliaHillary Clinton's Latin America tour is turning out to be about as successful as George W Bush's visit in 2005, when he ended up leaving Argentina a day ahead of schedule just to get the hell out of town. The main difference is that she is not being greeted with protests and riots.

For that she can thank the positive media image that her boss, President Obama, has managed to maintain in the region, despite his continuation of his predecessor's policies.

But she has been even more diplomatically clumsy that Bush, who at least recognized that there were serious problems and knew what not to say. "The Honduras crisis has been managed to a successful conclusion," Clinton said in Buenos Aires, adding that "it was done without violence."

This is rubbing salt into her hosts' wounds, as they see the military overthrow of President Mel Zelaya last June, and subsequent efforts by the US to legitimize the dictatorship there as not only a failure but a threat to democracy throughout the region.

It is also an outrageous thing to say, given the political killings, beatings, mass arrests, and torture that the coup government used in order to maintain power and repress the pro-democracy movement. The worst part is that they are still committing these crimes.

Today nine members of the US Congress - including some Democrats in Congressional leadership positions - wrote to Clinton and to the White House about this violence. They wrote:

    "Since President Lobo's inauguration, several prominent opponents of the coup have been attacked. On 3 February, Vanessa Zepeda, a nurse and union organizer who had previously received death threats linked to her activism in the resistance movement, was strangled and her body dumped from a vehicle in Tegucigalpa. On 15 February, Julio Funes Benitez, a member of the [water and sewage workers] trade union and an active member of the national resistance movement, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen on a motorcycle outside his home. Most recently, Claudia Brizuela, an opposition activist, was murdered in her home on 24 February. Unfortunately these are only three of the numerous attacks against activists and their families ... "

Clinton met on Friday with "Pepe" Lobo of Honduras, who was elected president after a campaign marked by media shutdowns and police repression of dissent. The Organization of American States and European Union refused to send official observers to the election.

The members of Congress also asked that Clinton, in her meeting with Lobo, "send a strong unambiguous message that the human rights situation in Honduras will be a critical component of upcoming decisions regarding the further normalizations of relations, as well as the resumption of financial assistance."

This was the third letter that Clinton received from Congress on human rights in Honduras. On 7 August and 25 September members of Congress from Hillary Clinton's own Democratic party wrote to her to complain of the ongoing human rights abuses in Honduras and impossibility of holding free elections under these conditions. They did not even get a perfunctory reply until 28 January, more than four months after the second letter was sent. This is an unusual level of disrespect for the elected representatives of one's own political party.

For these New Cold Warriors, it seems that all that has mattered is that they got rid of one social democratic president of one small, poor country.

In Brazil, Clinton continued her cold war strategy by throwing in some gratuitous insults toward Venezuela. This is a bit like going to a party and telling the host how much you don't like his friends. After ritual denunciations of Venezuela, Clinton said, "We wish Venezuela were looking more to its south and looking at Brazil and looking at Chile and other models of a successful country."

Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim responded with diplomacy, but there was no mistaking his strong rebuff to her insults: he said that he agreed with "one point" that Clinton made, "that Venezuela should look southwards more ... that is why we have invited Venezuela to join MERCOSUR as a full member country."

Clinton's rightwing allies in Paraguay's legislature - the remnants of that country's dictatorship and 60 years of one-party rule - are currently holding up Venezuela's membership in the South American trade block. This is not what she wanted to hear from Brazil.

The Brazilians also rejected Clinton's rather undiplomatic efforts to pressure them to join Washington in calling for new sanctions against Iran. "It is not prudent to push Iran against a wall," said Brazilian president Lula da Silva." The prudent thing is to establish negotiations."

"We will not simply bow down to an evolving consensus if we do not agree," Amorim said at a press conference with Clinton.

Secretary Clinton made one concession to Argentina, calling for the UK to sit down with the Argentine government and discuss their dispute over the Malvinas (Falklands) Islands. But it seems unlikely that Washington will do anything to make this happen.

For now, the next crucial test will be Honduras: will Clinton continue Washington's efforts to whitewash the Honduran government's repression? Or will she listen to the rest of the hemisphere as well as her own Democratic members of Congress and insist on some concessions regarding human rights, including the return of Mel Zelaya to his country (as the Brazilians also emphasized)?

This story may not get much US media attention, but Latin America will be watching.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC. This article appeared originally in the Guardian.



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Comments (97)Add Comment
Crack Pipe
written by Luigi Vercotti, March 08, 2010
Mark, Your writing is so absurd there isn't time nor energy to adress it all. "efforts by the US to legitimize the dictatorship there as not only a failure but a threat to democracy throughout the region."

The new president in Honduras was democratically elected. Zeyalla was, per their consitution, properly removed. The only threats to democracy in the region are the governments or countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil.. And leftist dorks like you. INstead of sitting in your cubicle in DC or wherever and writing this crap, get a job as a waiter and really serve humanity. Homo.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree.... Again
written by fired chc, March 08, 2010


Mr. Luigi Vercotti wants to be famous!

Mr. Vercotti, here is a solid ways to become famous instantly. Do as follows:

Step 1 - Remove your nose-ring.

Step 2 - Inhale some smoke, lose your nostrils, and blow the smoke out.

Step 3 - As the smoke will flow thru your nose hole, film it with your web camera.

Step 4 - Post it on YouTube titled as the "Human Chimney."

Step 5 - Apply for the Oscar's next year!


Who knows, you may become the most famous idiot on planet earth.


Hugs,

Costinha
with friends like these.....
written by john in cheshire, March 08, 2010
The Falklands are British. The Falklanders want to remain British. The idiot Clinton - abused wife that she is - should remember who are the friends of her country. Especially when the arsehole they currently have in the White House is removed and normal service is resumed.
...
written by João da Silva, March 08, 2010

Especially when the arsehole they currently have in the White House is removed and normal service is resumed.


You call PBO an "arsehole", because he is a person of "color"?
Friends??
written by leo Boneville, March 08, 2010
If this about friendship than Brazzil is acting correctly because let's be honest, the US of A is about as fake of a friend as they come.. To Brazil at least... The United States opposes Brazil's lobby to a permanent seat in UN security council as well as act as an anti-Brazilian. Party when it comes to Brazilian goods... Brazil imports a lot of American product.. How much do the US of A import out of Brazil?

And let's not even start talking about promoting Brazilian tourism in the US.. The American media blasts Brazil as a dangerous country and unsafe for Americans..

Yeah.. with friends like that.. who needs enemies...

Leo Boneville
Honduras - I stand shoulder 2 shoulder with the people.
written by Justice Nature, March 08, 2010
President Obama separated the United States from almost all of Latin America and Europe by accepting the military coup that overthrew Honduran democracy.

The coup reflected a "yawning political and socioeconomic divide," The New York Times reported. For the "small upper class," Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was becoming a threat to what they call "democracy," namely, the rule of "the most powerful business and political forces in the country."

Zelaya was initiating such dangerous measures as a rise in the minimum wage in a country where 60 percent live in poverty. He had to go.

Virtually alone, the United States recognized the November elections (with Pepe Lobo the victor) held under military rule -- "a great celebration of democracy," according to Hugo Llorens, Obama's ambassador.

The endorsement also preserved the use of Honduras' Palmerola air base, increasingly valuable as the U. S. military is being driven out of most of Latin America.

After the elections, Lewis Anselem, Obama's representative to the Organization of American States, instructed the backward Latin Americans that they should recognize the military coup and join the United States "in the real world, not in the world of magical realism."

Obama broke ground in supporting the military coup. The U.S. government funds the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, which are supposed to promote democracy.

The IRI regularly supports military coups to overthrow elected governments, most recently in Venezuela in 2002 and Haiti in 2004.

But the NDI has held back. In Honduras, for the first time, Obama's NDI agreed to observe the elections under military rule, unlike the OAS and the United Nations, still wandering in the world of magical realism.

Given the close connections between the Pentagon and the Honduran military, and the enormous U.S. economic leverage in the country, it would have been a simple matter for Obama to join the Latin American/European effort to protect Honduran democracy.

But Obama preferred the traditional policy.

In his history of hemispheric relations, British scholar Gordon Connell-Smith writes, "While paying lip-service to the encouragement of representative democracy in Latin America, the United States has a strong interest in just the reverse," apart from "procedural democracy, especially the holding of elections, which only too often have proved farcical."

Functioning democracy may respond to popular concerns, while "the United States has been concerned with fostering the most favorable conditions for her private overseas investment."

It takes a large dose of what has sometimes been called "intentional ignorance" not to see the facts.

Such blindness must be guarded zealously if state violence is to proceed on course -- always for the good of humanity, as Obama reminded us again in his Nobel Prize address.
response to friends??
written by Roberto Ferreiro dos Santos, March 09, 2010
Good friend Leo,
I think in this thought you might have made a mistake. For sure the EUA is the largest importer of finished goods from Brasil. China is the largest importer of unfinished goods or raw products. In this sense I guess you can say for China that they are doing what Beltrano did to us from Portugal - they are robbing us of resources for centavos because politics are selling lots to get riches. At least the americans are buying things that we are make to create a job for Brasilians.
And is true, as nordestino I have fear of traveling in Rio, SP, and even Fortaleza. If my family have fears of it, of course the strangers would as well.
I have good american friends that read our journals and it is mostly our reporting that help hurt tourism. This and reality that these places really are dangerous. We are not helping ourselves, the problem is not with the EUA, the problem is with ours.
Better politicians who obey and enforce our good laws. All people have to obey the law, not just the poors.
I'm sorry for my english, but I love to read all of your postings. They make me think more. Don't stop, but we must solve Brasils problems, not blame others. We are the ones to make this country great, not others. We are Brasil!
thank you for reading my thoughts. roberto
good points roberto
written by asp, March 10, 2010
people throw out statistics but dont break it down

thanks for breaking it down

this article seems really slanted and sensationalist
...
written by Baen Brodie, March 10, 2010
Smartest woman in the world; just ask her.
...
written by João da Silva, March 10, 2010

Smartest woman in the world; just ask her.


Not so smart as Cris,Dil, Michelle and Angie.smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif

P.S: I bet our friend Dr.Cata is clueless as to whom I am talking about.smilies/cool.gif

Cheers
the government of the USA is like that of brazil
written by Forrest Allen brown, March 10, 2010
Look at all the idiots who are in office .
i do not know what is worse them or the people whom keep putting them in office

the US gave brazil 20 billion to help petrobras drill off shore .
it imporst millions of dallors of goods from brazil so much when the US congress went to not vote them as a favored trade partner they gave back the goldman boy.
as far as brazil not being safe for gringoes well it is not by any means look at the way tourtist are treated in brazil .
and cliton saying the islands belong to argtina well concider the sorce she is still married to the second biggest womanizer in US history

LB you still spouting off about thing you know very little about .

Joao we just hiked the grate wall what a walk back on the pale horse to relax then off to ???????????????
and i am sure PBO is an a*****e you did get the pic of his wife comming off air force 1 dresed like a comon street walker
...
written by Nicholas (usa_male), March 10, 2010
Forrest, tell us, how the Brazilian people treat gringoe's. I doubt you can tell us, because I doubt you've ever been there. Second, speak for yourself, from where ever you're from, but do not speak for Americans aka US citizens. Third, the US government invested 10 billion dollars in Petrobras, but it was and isn't Tax money, though i do have to agree with a foreign fool like you that their are idiots in my government.
...
written by Lloyd Cata, March 10, 2010
Not so smart as Cris,Dil, Michelle and Angie.

Cristina K, Dilma R, Madame Bachelet, Angela M smilies/grin.gif

You passed the new girl on the block, Laura C smilies/cheesy.gif
Roberto is correct
written by Fredo, March 11, 2010
Brazil and USA have much in common. Our politicians often make many problems for each other instead of working together. But, there are many good people in both countries. Yes, the USA does buy much from Brazil, especially finished products. Most Americans love Brazilians. There are dangerous cities in both USA and Brazil. We do not live in a perfect world. Do not believe all that you read from the media. Be a part of the solution instead of the problem by looking at the good in our relationship and trying to help each other.
God and the End of the World - Deus e o fim do mundo.
written by Ricardo C. Amaral, March 11, 2010

God and the End of the World - (Deus e o fim do mundo)

Um dia, Deus, muito insatisfeito com a humanidade e os seus pecados, decidiu pôr fim a tudo.

Deus reuniu então todos os líderes mundiais para comunicar-lhes pessoalmente a sua decisão de acabar com a humanidade em 24 horas.

Deus disse: "Reuni-vos aqui para comunicar que extinguirei a humanidade em 24 horas".

E o povo dizia:"Mas, Senhor..."

Nada de MAS, este é o limite, a humanidade vai abandonar a Terra para todo o sempre!

Portanto, voltem aos respectivos Países e digam ao Povo que estejam preparados. Têm 24 horas!


O primeiro a reunir o povo foi OBAMA.

"Americanos, eu tenho uma boa notícia e uma má notícia para dar.

"A boa notícia é que Deus existe e que ele falou comigo". Mas, claro, já sabíamos disso.

A má notícia é que esta grande Nação, o nosso grande Sonho, só tem 24 horas de existência. Este é o desejo de Deus".


Fidel Castro reuniu todos os cubanos e disse:

"Camaradas, povo Cubano, tenho duas más notícias.

A primeira é que Deus existe... sim, eu vi-o, estava mesmo à minha frente!!!

Estive enganado este tempo todo...

A segunda má notícia é que em 24 horas esta magnífica Revolução pela qual tanto temos lutado, vai deixar de existir."


Finalmente, no Brasil, Lula dá uma conferência de imprensa:

"Brasileiros, hoje é um dia muito especial para todos nós. Tenho duas boas notícias.

A primeira boa notícia é que eu sou um enviado de Deus, um mensageiro, porque conversei com ele pessoalmente.

A segunda boa notícia é que, conforme constava do Programa do Governo, em apenas 24 horas, serão erradicados para sempre o desemprego, o analfabetismo, o tráfico de drogas, a corrupção, a pedofilia, os problemas de transporte, água e luz, habitação, de burocracia, e, o mais espectacular de tudo: todos os impostos vão acabar, assim como a miséria e a pobreza neste País!! É o Governo cumprindo tudo o que prometeu!!!"

.
ahhhh r amoral....
written by asp, March 11, 2010
i knew you were a great stand up at heart...

funny
good to hear from forrest also...
written by asp, March 11, 2010
now if augustus would come back, we could get some balance back to the forum
Forrest
written by João da Silva, March 11, 2010

Joao we just hiked the grate wall what a walk back on the pale horse to relax then off to ???????????????


Hey Forrest, are you reenacting Genghis Khan? smilies/cheesy.gif

Welcome back and great to hear from you.smilies/smiley.gif
asp
written by João da Silva, March 11, 2010

good to hear from forrest also...


I wonder when ch.c is going to be released from the Libyan jail to give further "balance" to the forum.smilies/cheesy.gif
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 11, 2010

You passed the new girl on the block, Laura C


Which country did she conquer? Now I am the one who is clueless.smilies/sad.gif
Justice Nature
written by Lloyd Cata, March 12, 2010
In his history of hemispheric relations, British scholar Gordon Connell-Smith writes, "While paying lip-service to the encouragement of representative democracy in Latin America, the United States has a strong interest in just the reverse," apart from "procedural democracy, especially the holding of elections, which only too often have proved farcical."
It takes a large dose of what has sometimes been called "intentional ignorance" not to see the facts.


Well said, my friend. This 'intentional ignorance' is being exposed every day by the truth. The liars and their lies no longer even pass their own smell test. They freely admit to 'orchestrating the coup, in order to restore democracy'. Everyone around the world recognizes the 'gunpoint election' in Honduras. It was a worse farce than the Afghan election. It certainly takes a certain amount of this 'intentional ignorance' not to just call the lady a liar to her face, but pretending to swallow these lies is becoming difficult, even for ignorant people.

Cheers
The "Posture" Does Not Match The Promise Of Goodwill
written by Lloyd Cata, March 12, 2010
We do not live in a perfect world. Do not believe all that you read from the media. Be a part of the solution instead of the problem by looking at the good in our relationship and trying to help each other.

Certainly it is in the interest of any nation to have relations, in all sectors, that are beneficial to both societies. There has been such balance at times in the US-Brazil relationship. It is not Brazil which has threatened this relationship. The present US 'posture' of militarization and interference in the sovereign rights of other nations cannot be ignored under the premise of 'democracy' when it amounts to blatant imperialism. Drugs, 9/11, and terrorism must not be allowed to become the excuse for interference, invasion, and occupation. When the 'shadow' government in the US no longer represents a threat to its neighbors there will again be a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual sovereignty. It is the good people on both sides who must prevail, but ignorance of the truth is not part of the solution.
che guevarra is dead !!..shot like the criminal dog he was...
written by eagles talons, March 12, 2010
caka,caca,poopoo, cata,,,listen marxist wannabee ,,why not enter cuba and ask for asylum ...
...
written by hunh?, March 13, 2010
weird article: claims Clinton failed with a "cold war" strategy. I guess we are looking at the same thing and coming to far different conclusions. I guess the same could be said for the diverse responses to the article as well. I will skip commenting on the Falklands and Honduras and cotton subsidies, and mention only the issue of Brazil aligning itself with Iran. What Clinton did not openly mention was that Petrobras has millions of dollars in investments in Iran, and consequently Lula, and Brazil are willing to pretend that Iran is some kind of peaceful democracy that everyone is picking on and "backing into a wall". I guess Brazilians might accept when Lula talks nonsense about Iran's right to have nuclear power for peaceful purposes when the rest of the world knows this is profound bulls**t. Brazilians voted for the guy even though his party was mired in corruption, so it shows Brazilians will turn a blind eye to any situation or leader even if they are corrupt, so we should not be surprised that they could spin this situation into "stop picking on the poor innocent Ahmadinejad".

Iranians are being tortured, beaten and arrested and killed by this brutal regime. The author of this story seems to miss this point, and talks only about silly cold war issues that are not relevant. Why do not Brazilians or Lula speak honestly about this brutal government. Just read any newspaper story about this regime and you will see the obvious. But it is hard to teach someone something when their own self-interest contradicts them learning something new.
hunh?....Hhhmmm
written by Lloyd Cata, March 13, 2010
What Clinton did not openly mention was that Petrobras has millions of dollars in investments in Iran,

...and US has just invested $10B in Petrobras. Not enough to change policy because China followed with their own $10B investment, so there is approximate parity on Iranian investment. It would be nice if humanity did not see such hypocrisy of using media to promote one side of the story, when funding the Iranian regime is shared by everyone with a profit motive. Iran has had to pay premium prices for just about everything...not that it is unavailable but there are many profitable western interests involved in Iran. Just as there were in Germany prior to WWII.

Just read any newspaper story about this regime and you will see the obvious.

I congratulate you on your vision, sir, because I never, never, never, consider what is in newspapers to be 'obvious'. There is usually far more to the issue than the media can or decides to portray. For the most part I find them repetitive of each other. If they would stick to the facts, of course, most of them would readily be seen as unnecessary. When you see Western support for Libya, the latest junior member of the Empire threaten a nation such as Switzerland and the 'practices' of each regime, Libya has no greater foundation for human rights as Iran, but the media focus has been diverted, purposely, to admiration for Mr. Q and scorn to Mr. A. Yet Libya has admittedly killed more Americans than Iran has killed. Both have committed more atrocities than Cuba. Since there is no media balance there cannot be trust in media to report that which is not in the interest of the 'state'. A 'free press' is not to be confused with an 'objective press'...but...but I don't simply read the words.
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 13, 2010

A 'free press' is not to be confused with an 'objective press'...but...but I don't simply read the words.


Brilliant statement, sir and I must congratulate you for stating the not so "obvious".The entire world is very upset with Mr.Lula for befriending the Persians who to my limited knowledge of world history have not invaded another country for a couple of centuries. He has been receiving flack from that harridan Angela, the not so serious French President Sarko, an ex-KGB officer and many other "Western" leaders. Of course, I wouldn't say the same about your charming Sec of State, who just mildly "cautioned" Mr.Lula to go slow in cultivating friendship with his Persian counterpart. Of course, this well intended advice was accepted and as usual brushed aside.

Whilst on the subject, I did get to read your comment on the Israeli government in another thread. Another thing the biased "western " media do not report is that, in spite of the that government´s brutal treatment of Palestines and systematic destruction of Lebanon (causing countless number of "collateral" damages), their President Mr.Shimon Pires was received with open arms by Mr.Lula. In case you are unaware, we are buying dozens of UAVs from Israel for guaranteeing total "security" during the 2010 Olympics for the visitors and athletes alike. Besides this arrangement, we are recruiting Mr.Giuliani as well as GWB´s poodle as "security consultants".

As we speak, our Air Force 1 is getting ready to fly Mr.Lula to Israel tomorrow to meet with the authorities over there to discuss as how to bring about ever lasting peace to that region. I am yet to see this news given enough coverage in the national or international media. So I am unable to understand why Mr.Lula´s giving an "abraço" to Mr.Ahmednijad should be classified as a "treacherous act" by the "western" media. The only plausible explanation is the one you gave:

A 'free press' is not to be confused with an 'objective press'.

As you may recall, we have clashed with each other over several issues in the past.However, I wholeheartedly agree with your differentiating between "free" and "objective" press.smilies/wink.gif
...
written by Baen Brodie, March 13, 2010
I'd go with the "free press" as the most important; then, you at least have an opportunity to seek the "objective" press. Not that I'd accuse a socialist or communist "state run" media source as biased. I'm sure that Pravda was always objective. smilies/wink.gif
...
written by Baen Brodie, March 13, 2010
Joao and Dr. Cata! There you guys go again, getting me interested in something I don't have time for!smilies/cheesy.gif I'm busy but I check my favorite site, and you guys are bringing up a good point. I can't recall a recent invasion by Iran of anyone. However, one of my very best friends was on an anti-tank crew that struck one of the leading Iraqi tanks invading Iran. His story is incredible. His target caught on fire, and he tried to save the occupants, even though they were his enemy. The following Iraqi tanks tried to hose him off the turret of the lead tank with their machine guns, and he barely made it out of there in one piece. He quickly decided that he was not going to make a very good soldier and escaped from there to Africa then to the States. His brother was a fighter pilot in the war. His insights into Iran's history have always charmed me. He is one of the finest, hardest working, most humorous people I know; a true brother to me. His current analysis of Iran is scary.
Dr. Cata. I wrote down your comment about a free press not being an objective press. I'm going to use that as often as I can so people think i'm a genius and smarter than i actually am. smilies/grin.gif
...
written by Baen Brodie, March 13, 2010
May I add that the Iraqi war was a fiasco that the "empire" invested heavily in. Probably one of the few times in which Iraq and Israel ever cooperated.
...
written by hunh?, March 14, 2010
Cata et al. You missed my point entirely. You are going on about the free press not being objective... yada yada yada. i never said it was. So spare me the trite Media Literacy 101 lecture. Of course you should always read the press in a highly critical manner. What strikes me as naive, however is that most Brazilians here seem to be NOT reading their own president's analysis of Iran so critically. You don't need to read the BBC or NY Times to understand that Iran has pushing forward with developing nuclear weapons, just read Al Jazeera, a Middle Eastern paper, that is reporting similar stories on Iran. Check out their coverage of the Iranian government's brutal reaction to peaceful protests by the majority of Iranians who feel that the election was stolen from them. You don't even need the major news agencies: just look on Youtube at home made videos of militias beating protestors. This is a regime that is held together by brutal force. It's obvious to the world. Yet, Lula seems to be willing to cultivate this allegiance based on Petrobras investments. Why have Brazilians on this site been silent on the brutality of this regime? Have you seen the pictures of bloody protestors? seen innocent protestors shot and killed? Does this not disturb you???? or is it more important to your ego to have Lula thumb his nose at the US, even if it is on the wrong side of history? The majority of Iranians are against this regime, so why are Brazilians bending over backwards to hug this tyrant? money, money, money! More blood for oil! Now it's Brazil's turn, yet I don't hear any vocal criticism against such deals as I heard against the US blood for oil war in Iraq.

And, Joao da Silva, what does it matter if Iran hasn't been at war for centuries, if it is teetering on the brink of destabilizing the area NOW? Besides, they were in a bloody war with Iraq that killed millions. You make a point about dealing with Israel despite its treatment of the Palestinians as being troubling as well. I agree. Brazilians and others around the world should be speaking up and pressuring the Israeli's as much as possible to treat the Palestinians fairly. I would like the US to shift its policy to support both Palestinian and Israelis. The recent condemnation by H. Clinton of the expanding settlements in Israel seem to be a promising sign that things may be shifting in this direction. Yet, one hypocrisy does not justify another. Besides, Iran is a far more unstable regime, threatening to use nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map. This is a much greater threat to world peace.
Brazil's blood for oil deal
written by hunh?, March 14, 2010
congratulate you on your vision, sir, because I never, never, never, consider what is in newspapers to be 'obvious'. There is usually far more to the issue than the media can or decides to portray. For the most part I find them repetitive of each other. If they would stick to the facts, of course, most of them would readily be seen as unnecessary.


Well what contrary evidence can you provide that shows iran is not developing nuclear weapons? Lula is playing fast and loose with the facts, yet you seem more critical of the multiple stories of various investigative journalists and spies from various governments who have testified on the extensive network of tunnels currently built to house nuclear weapons as well as labs devoted to enriching uranium. Is anyone checking the "facts" that Lula is throwing around on this regime? Where is the evidence to the contrary? You all seem blinded by nationalistic jingoism. It is not an issue of Brazil following the US. Who cares about that? I hope Brazil defies the US wherever the US is supporting repressive regimes and practices. Yet, this is not an issue of Brazil needing to follow the US, but of Brazil needing to follow universal standards of fairness. Ask the millions of Iranians who have been protesting on the streets who Brazil should be supporting. Their blood is running in the streets, while your president hugs this tyrant to make a deal for Petrobras and oil.
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written by João da Silva, March 14, 2010

And, Joao da Silva, what does it matter if Iran hasn't been at war for centuries, if it is teetering on the brink of destabilizing the area NOW? Besides, they were in a bloody war with Iraq that killed millions.


Do you remember who sponsored the war and who started it?
An Insincere Apology Followed By A Phony Outrage
written by Lloyd Cata, March 14, 2010
Let's review;
1) Last week Col. Qhaddafi threatened Switzerland - and the US apologized 'to' Qhaddafi for some second-rate diplomats statement about his threat.
2) Then Israel announces more confiscation of Palestinian property while the US Vice-President is visiting the Palestinian donkey they call a leader, Abbas. The VP is so confused by the 'diplomatic slap in the face' that he can hardly choke down his dinner the next day with Netanyahu. It must have been some real slimy food for him to swallow the explanation of a 'timing error'. Not any backtracking on the go-ahead for illegal settlements, just a 'diplomatic faux pas'.

How this must feel to 'every' Palestinian. How this is exploited throughout the Islamic world. How this was a direct message to Obama not to interfere with Israeli ambitions concerning their Palestinian 'subjects'. How the world is silent in its embarrassment for an American president who is helpless before the Zionist lobby in the US.

...and then Hillary jumps in and expresses her 'outrage', because Biden is still reeling from the backhand he took, and still not sure the Israeli Mossad didn't poison him with that slimy crap he had to swallow.

Folks, at some point this must stop! The US and the EU, indeed the 'Quartet', appear helpless in the face of this Zionist action. For sure, their economies would be in severe peril if the Jewish State decided to rearrange its portfolio in Western instruments. They are all too vulnerable to stop 'anything' Israel decides to do. The case can be made that for all its insecurity Pakistan nor Iran is the biggest danger to world peace, but it is Israel with its (sshhhh)nuclear arsenal and a disturbing habit of thumbing its nose at world opinion. There is no indication that they want to live with the Palestinians or side-by-side with a Palestinian state. The game is up; either the Palestinians find somewhere else to live or die trying to kill Jews. Those are the choices for 'every' Palestinian...and they are the choices Israel presents to the world. For all his lies, threats, and ruthless behavior, Mr. Ahmadinejad does not appear to be such a monster to the Palestinian people, and his desire to destroy the Zionist state gains stature and credibility in the Islamic community. A sadder prospect for Mid-East peace has not existed in many years, and it was not the doing of anyone outside of Israel.

Sorry for the rant...but, hell I just lost that little bit of daylight I saw at the end of the tunnel toward peace...and it sucks!
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written by hunh?, March 15, 2010
Despite the hypocrisy of Israel, I don't see how Lula can come to the defense of Iran's A. when his own people are desperately trying to overturn his government. The Palestinians may not see him as a tyrant if he is willing to stand up to Israel, but it doesn't make him a hero to his own people. His government is widely unpopular. I would be eager to see change there as many of the Iranians are sick of this regime. Why do I not hear anyone address the fact that this regime is sending thousands of brutal militias out in the streets to repress popular unrest and protest????

Cata: I am not as pessimistic about the chance for peace in the Middle East. There is a large portion of Irsraeli society that wants this to happen. Likewise there are many American Jews who are equally interested in seeing Israel reconcile with the Palestinians. Nobody every thought Ireland would see peace after hundreds of years of fighting, but peace has come there at last. I believe it can happen. There will be many changes in this region. I believe a more democratic government is not far off the horizon for Iran either.

Joao da Silva: You say
As we speak, our Air Force 1 is getting ready to fly Mr.Lula to Israel tomorrow to meet with the authorities over there to discuss as how to bring about ever lasting peace to that region. I am yet to see this news given enough coverage in the national or international media. So I am unable to understand why Mr.Lula´s giving an "abraço" to Mr.Ahmednijad should be classified as a "treacherous act" by the "western" media.


Well I just read the BBC story about Lula visiting. I am curious to hear how he plans to bring "ever lasting peace there as well". Many see Lula hugging A. as incongruous with the consensus forming among several EU nations as well as among Russia and to a lesser extent China. China, I believe, is aware of what A. is doing in terms of nuclear weapons, but they have much invested there, and China INC. has been willing to sell weapons to just about any brutal regime that can pay for them, so I don't look to them for moral guidance either. I suspect most nations are disappointed in Lula because it seems he is coming to this conclusion without presenting any evidence showing that iran intends to use nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes, instead he is just claim he does not believe the will develop nuclear weapons. I have heard no spy or intelligence gathering from Brazil that would indicate the opposite, yet they are simple making this claim. Why? Petrobras multi-million dollar investments in Iran? Lula thinks it will make him look like a global leader to contradict everyone else? I think it will only further tarnish his credibility with more stable nations that would like to work with Brazil. And in terms of his plans for bringing "lasting peace to Israel" I have only heard him talk about bringing everyone together to play soccer. And then what? just a publicity stunt. And again, when hundreds of thousands of protestors flooded the streets of Iran after the rigged elections, Lula agrees with A. claiming they are all behaving like a bunch of disgruntled soccer players. With all due to Brazil and it's fine soccer tradition, and with all due respect to Lula for whatever good he has done for Brazil, but come on now! This is what Brazil has to offer? soccer diplomacy? such silly talk! And his position on Iran is utterly naive as well, and I guess it doesn't matter how much blood is spilled by innocent Iranian protestors, so many Brazilians here seem willing to stick their head in the sand on this one. You say the press is not objective: yes, that is obvious, but your position is not objective either: you seem to be just accepting the silly baseless self-interested comments Lula makes, while Petrobras continues to further its business there. Now, if it was only a soccer match that was at stake that would be one thing, but Iran is going down a path that threatens to destabilize the region, and even neighboring Russia understand this, as well as China INC. that will potential have a major oil supply disrupted.
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written by hunh?, March 15, 2010
I also don't mean to disrespect Brazil's effort to play a greater role in world politics. It is reasonable for Brazil to play a larger role relative to whatever expanding economic or political power it is experiencing, but it looks like Brazil is taking its first step in that direction, and in my opinion, the first steps look pretty bad.
hunh?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 15, 2010
I am not as pessimistic about the chance for peace in the Middle East. There is a large portion of Irsraeli society that wants this to happen. Likewise there are many American Jews who are equally interested in seeing Israel reconcile with the Palestinians.

I don't wish to demean those of the Jewish faith, but they are also hostage to the Zionists who keep the conflict going by refusing to stop this settlement agenda. It has been going on constantly since Camp David, illegally and with violent force, removing Palestinians from their property. "Oh, another Palestinian suicide-bomber, sure, let's now steal some more land!", great logic. "Those stupid Palestinians, if they wouldn't try to blow us up we wouldn't be able to steal their land. Of course, when they stop trying to blow us up, we'll steal their land until they find some more suicide bombers, then we'll kill a bunch of them and steal more of their land. After all, the only one who will challenge Israel is some idiot Iranian who is a puppet of the mad mullahs."
Each time the world expresses its outrage at this practice Israel enters into "negotiations" that have some 'land-for-peace' agenda, and each time the Israelis are willing to trade less of what was taken in the last round of negotiations. The only negotiation Israel is interested in is the one over who will take the rest of the 'worthless Palestinians". It is clear that the Israeli choice is Lebanon, a place they have practiced their 'genocide' against the Palestinians before. It is no 'secret' that the Israeli intent is to spur a 'Great Palestinian Exodus to Lebanon and Syria, where they have uninhibited ability to strike at any time for any pretext. Hamas just becomes another Fatah, in exile and subject to Israeli manhunts. We have seen this before, the world has seen this before, Palestinians have seen this before. What a great 'light show' was Gaza. The Israelis stage a withdrawal from Gaza under 'pretext' of peace. The know that the heart of Palestinian insurgency Hamas is in Gaza. It is a given that they would have some type of militant action(ineffectual homemade rockets) from mostly stupid thugs who are Hamas. So what they have actually done is now turned Gaza into an Israeli 'free-fire-zone' to kill anything in Gaza that in any way 'appears' to be a threat to Israel, to use internationally banned weapons...and in the process 'blockade' food from international relief agencies, medical supplies, and unbiased reporting from Gaza. Quite a successful operation if you can get the rest of the world to see you as the 'victim' and are 'afraid' for your very existence. 'Self-defense' is perfectly legitimate, "don't you think?"

Why do you 'really' think Rabin was killed and his killer is a celebrity in Israel?

I suspect most nations are disappointed in Lula because it seems he is coming to this conclusion without presenting any evidence showing that Iran intends to use nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes, instead he is just claim he does not believe the will develop nuclear weapons. I have heard no spy or intelligence gathering from Brazil that would indicate the opposite, yet they are simple making this claim.

What wonderful 'evidence' was presented by 'all' the Western 'intelligence' agencies to promote the Iraq War and the needless murder of more than 1 million Iraqis. How proudly, even today, the GWB advisor Karl Rove tells everyone in the media that it was the 'intelligence' that made it 'certain', without doubt, that Saddam was prepared to 'use' his 'chemical, biological, and nuclear WMD to kill Americans. Now the cry goes out that Iran is also an existential threat to America and we are supposed to believe 'that' because of the 'undeniable intelligence'. There can be no doubt that the mullahs know that any attack against Israel will leave Iran a radioactive slag and the Persian history will be finished.

The same 'intelligence' that completely missed the Indian and Pakistani nuclear ambition is supposedly to be trusted to 'know' what is going on in Iran. I may be blind and ignorant, my friends, but I am certainly not stupid, and I am long past trusting 'intelligence' produced to justify the mass slaughter of innocent people.
Hhhmmm
written by Lloyd Cata, March 15, 2010
At he risk of disturbing João, in his enjoyment of the tea and crumpets, here is 'a bit' of verification of what I am trying to say;

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704259304575043101789714506.html

So maybe Mr. Murdocks move to UAE is not as innocuous as may seem. Let's see how this media titan plays his hand in Islamic society.smilies/wink.gif
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written by hunh?, March 15, 2010
well, Lloyd, while I am in agreement with you in questioning US or any other imperialist initiatives, I also think you are blurring some distinctions, seeing every move by the US as an imperialist venture. I think there is more nuance to the picture. They US both is implicated in imperialist ventures that are in their interest, just as most large and small nations pursue regional practices that resemble those of super powers seeking to protect their "interests". Yet, the US also has a history of attempting to operate as an agent looking after its own interest as well as the world's interest. The case of Iran has not been simply seen as a threat to the US as you say. In fact it is the initiative of Great Britan, France, Russia and China in the UN that is considering sanctions and other multi-lateral moves. I guess the blowback for the idiotic "intelligence" that informed the Iraq War is still haunting the US, and now it is used as an excuse to not believe any such claims it makes about other nations posing a threat to stability. This is understandable, however, you are not mentioning some small differences: the US is not proposing invading Iran, only sanctions to bring Iran to the bargaining table. Next, this is not the US alone, this is all the other nations I mentioned, and you might make the argument that they in fact have the most to loose from Iran initiating an nuclear arms race in the region. Russia shares a border with Iran, China depends heavily on oil trade, France and Britian and the EU would feel the effect of war or any greater tensions resulting from the Israeli-Iran nexus heating up by nuclear threat. In fact, most are trying to avoid greater conflict by acting now, and NOT promoting war as you suggest. You also mention GWB et al. but we are now in the era of Obama, and there are some substantial differences: Obama is promoting eliminating nuclear arms entirely, and he is currently negotiating vast reductions in the US nuclear arsenal. Second, he is dedicated to multi-lateral solutions in contrast to Bush and the neo-con militaristic hawks that surrounded him.
It seems however, that Brazil and S. America, like many other countries an regions, are not able to note such differences. It is more convenient to paint the US as the evil empire exploiting the world. I see more nuance to the picture. It seems if the relations between the US and S. America deteriorated in the last few decades, you can blame it on imperialism and arrogance, but I also think now Lula and much of S. America may miss a historic opportunity to work with the US if it does not realize there has been a shift in policy since GWB left.

Besides, and more importantly, no one has addressed my questions here is: why are Brazilians eager to defend A. when his own people want this repressive regime to go? Do you know about the Petrobras investments in Iran? Are they influencing Lula's position??? Does it matter that this regime is beating and torturing its own people for simply protesting???? Nobody has said a word about this: neither Lula, nor you nor anyone else here. And again I ask, what evidence does Lula or Brazil have for believing that iran is not aiming to make nuclear weapons???? Simply doubting it is not enough when the stakes are so high. Those who believe the contrary also need hard evidence.
And
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 15, 2010

Good day, Dr.Catasmilies/smiley.gif

At he risk of disturbing João, in his enjoyment of the tea and crumpets, here is 'a bit' of verification of what I am trying to say;


Our good friend ASP must be still in his cabana and hasn't had time to fetch some Grad A sugar for my tea. So I guess I have to wait till he wakes up.smilies/sad.gif

I presume you read the WSJ link first and that galvanized you into writing the long comment! Steal the land,build nice condos, obtain citizenship, sell them for a very nice profit to the "natives" and get the hell out of there. Rehearsal for Rio Olympics 2016?smilies/cool.gif You are not blind,ignorant nor stupid, my friend. Just have incredible capacity to connect dots and commas.smilies/cool.gif

Oh, mark my words. WSJ and Al Jazeera might "merge" in the not too distant future to transmit messages of "peace" urging the Palestinians to coexist with their "masters" and live subserviently! LMAO.

As for your earlier statement about "peace" eluding you at the end of the tunnel, I was never optimistic. I think that Mr.Lula also knows it and I wouldn't be surprised if his efforts to mediate peace negotiations have the tacit support of your PBO & HRC. But lets not forget that he has less than one year to go and Bill Clinton also tried to negotiate peace in the ME during the last 3 months of his mandate. Who knows, the next President of Brasil will decide to reverse his foreign policy. BTW, the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" seems to be enthusiastic about his visit to Israel during this week and has called him "Prophet of Dialog".smilies/wink.gif

As for your statement:

that Saddam was prepared to 'use' his 'chemical, biological, and nuclear WMD to kill Americans. Now the cry goes out that Iran is also an existential threat to America and we are supposed to believe 'that' because of the 'undeniable intelligence'.


Hopefully Mr.Ahmedenijad doesn't meet the same fate of Mr.Saddam Hussein.smilies/cheesy.gif
...
written by Baen Brodie, March 15, 2010
Dr. Cata! Help me, I'm confused! Does the fact that Brazil, meaning Lula, wants to increase trade agreements with Israel and considers Israel the "perfect" trading partner for Brazil mean that he accepts Israel's construction of new housing in what was expected to be Palestinian land? His comments sure perplex me, especially after he mentions the fact that he speaks of Brazil's neutrality. Let's see, how many new alliances, "some Strategic" is Brazil now in?
I am also interested in the most interesting fact that Israel's "Rafael" defense company is making insertions into Brazil's military market at the same time the French "Rafael" is also. Is there any connection? Who knows. But it is interesting that the founder of the company that created the Rafael was Jewish, and when the French government embargoed French aircraft from Israel after the '67 war, Israel was able to recover the blueprints of the French Mirage by chance from an empty barn in Switzerland! "What an interesting co-incidence." The most creative minds couldn't make such stuff up. I'm sure, however, that Lula will also be purchasing billions of trade items from the Palestinians.
I just found this information revealed on the Internet about 15 minutes ago concerning Lula's visit to yet another alliance member.
Just wondering. Thanks.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 15, 2010
Joao. My family, too, enjoys tea and crumpets. you must be the product of excellent breeding.smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
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written by Baen Brodie, March 15, 2010
Joao, I meant to add distinguished, as well!smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
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written by hunh?, March 15, 2010
Still no one can tell my why Brazilians are defending and hugging A. when his own people are trying desperately to overturn his brutal regime?

Lula, "prophet of dialog"? Doesn't he have enough conflicts at home to repair? how about starting with the bitter quasi-war like situation between the rich and poor of Brazil? I'd be more impressed if the "prophet" put his mind to this task. or even the Landless movement which he seems to have turned his back on.
Seems like Lula is just throwing himself in the limelight hoping to gain some praise for Brazil. If he had some credentials as a to negotiator or some political economic leverage to bring to bear against either parties, or if he was known for some kind of greater moral vision like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, then I might understand his visit. But his own government has been plagued by corruption, and despite some success with initiatives to support the poor (bolsa de famila, Zero Hunger Project) and I am not aware of any major conflict that he has previously helped others negotiate successfully. Seems like hubris to me; a publicity stunt.
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 15, 2010

Joao. My family, too, enjoys tea and crumpets.


I wish I could do it frequently, Captain. But hard to find them here.smilies/cry.gif Anyway, the credit for introducing "tea and crumpets" in the discussions goes entirely to our other distinguished fellow blogger ASP. smilies/grin.gif

Your info about the trade between Brasil and Israel is 100% correct, though right now the trade balance is heavily in favor of our (yet another) "strategic partner". As I have written earlier, we have signed an agreement to buy about 30 UAVs (worth $340 Billions) to be used during the Olympics 2010 to hunt down the potential "terrorists" ruthlessly.smilies/cool.gif This agreement was signed during the visit of Mr.Shimon Perez who honored us with his presence 2 weeks before the visit of Mr.A. We buy other stuff related to defense industries from Israel and so they should not have any complaint. A couple of months ago, our defense minister was visiting them.

I also know that Israel has been investing in other "strategic" industries in Brasil via Europe.

I'm sure, however, that Lula will also be purchasing billions of trade items from the Palestinians.


Your sense of humor can be matched only by very few people like our friend Dr.Cata.smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 15, 2010

CORRECTION:

As I have written earlier, we have signed an agreement to buy about 30 UAVs (worth $340 Billions) to be used during the Olympics 2010


Should read:

30 UAVs woth $340 Millions
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 15, 2010

Hi Doc. Mind asking your grandson to translate the following link for ya?:

http://www.estadao.com.br/noti...4664,0.htm

Is Avigdor Lieberman related to your senator Joe Lieberman?smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif

I wonder where our other distinguished fellow blogger DnB is.smilies/cool.gif

Ricardo must be speechless after reading your comments.smilies/wink.gif
hunh?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 15, 2010
It seems if the relations between the US and S. America deteriorated in the last few decades, you can blame it on imperialism and arrogance, but I also think now Lula and much of S. America may miss a historic opportunity to work with the US if it does not realize there has been a shift in policy since GWB left.

At least we are clear on why relations are difficult. What appears to be missing is an indication by Washington that the Monroe Doctrine is a relic of past imperialist practice that no longer drives the relationship. There is nothing in the posture of 'present' US policy for a different framework for the relationship. This was readily apparent in the Honduras, when right-wing reactionaries in the US interfered in the Honduran political affairs. It is not a question of the right or wrong of Mr. Zelaya, but the admitted sponsorship and continued support for the coup and the continuous persecution of Hondurans 'today'. Again, 'purposely' ignored by MSM. You cannot simply blame 'past' practices when the US 'admittedly' promoted a coup to 'restore democracy'. It is right for all the neighborhood to be cautious of such 'imperialistic practices'.
There may be 'hope' that with Obama things will be different, but labeling Cuba a terrorist state in order to deny them economic freedom simply flies in the face of a new relationship...and then to use suicidal hunger strikers as a show of Castro's brutality is further propaganda for their past imperialistic 'actions'. So Cuba is associated with North Korea, which everyone in Latin America knows is plain propaganda. That's Obama, my friend, and we have discussed here many times that Latin America cannot expect much from his campaign of 'hope'. Better to prepare for the 'stick' that is what the bases in Colombia represent.

And again I ask, what evidence does Lula or Brazil have for believing that iran is not aiming to make nuclear weapons???? Simply doubting it is not enough when the stakes are so high. Those who believe the contrary also need hard evidence.

You naturally would put the impetus on Lula to prove Iranian intentions that would refute your 'intelligence', which you would use as 'absolute evidence'. Frankly, it is not President Lula's business or objective to agree with the US or Iran on its nuclear ambitions. He can recommend to both parties and promote Brazil's interests, but he is not so stupid to 'interfere' in Iran's legal rights. That is what is missing in the debate; Iran's legal rights...and the US has not shown 'any' evidence that Iran is doing anything outside its international obligations. The propaganda of 'fear' is ripe in the USA, my friends, and Americans have much to be fearful of, but the #1 fear in America is surely becoming their own government, since >80% of them recognize that it is broken.

Latin America need only fear that past imperialist practices do not become the framework for present and future actions...and the posture of the Empire has not shifted to one of equals. Perhaps if Mr. Lula felt that he had the confidence of Mr. Qhaddafi in the agenda of the Empire things would be different, but then he would have to be the ruthless murderer that so many of their 'friends' are, even today.
...And Don't Get Confused
written by Lloyd Cata, March 15, 2010
My absolute disagreement with the US government on many issues, in no way, reflects my opinion of the American people. That they are themselves beginning to understand that their government is broken, in so many ways, is the 'real hope' in the world.
There are millions and millions in America who are awakening to the danger of the 'shadow government' operating in their name around the world. They understand what it means when the political process is turned over to the most greedy capitalists to the extent that the wife of a USSC justice collects corporate political money to 'stop Obama'.

The hope is real, but the 'actions' are ominous, and blindly hoping for a better outcome is unfortunately 'intentional ignorance' in the face of 'actual evidence'.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 15, 2010
Dr. Cata! I loved your statement, "intentional ignorance' in the face of 'actual evidence." One more superb quote of yours for me to copy to my little book of eloquent Dr. Cata quips.
However, when does one trade in his intentional ignorance for actual evidence? Do we ignore Ayatolla Khomeini's statement on February 10 concerning the imminent destruction of Israel until we see the actual mushroom cloud above Tel Aviv? For me, that would be sufficient evidence, but perhaps a bit too late. At some point, words must mean something, especially his.
Your advice notwithstanding, I have a difficult time anymore believing in any politician of any persuasion. Slowly, I'm becoming a Doubting Thomas.
Baen Brodie
written by Lloyd Cata, March 15, 2010
Does the fact that Brazil, meaning Lula, wants to increase trade agreements with Israel and considers Israel the "perfect" trading partner for Brazil mean that he accepts Israel's construction of new housing in what was expected to be Palestinian land?

As a working engineer, a few years ago, I worked for an Israeli firm that publicly listed Iran as one of their base customers in the ME. Don't mistake 'trade' for agreement or cooperation. Trade is 'commerce' based on the buyer/seller relationship. Peoples who have only the interest of money will trade with anyone who who has the price.

Mr. Lula probably understands that during the depths of the Cold War, US and Russian trade in agricultural commodities never suffered because it was, and remains, a symbiotic relationship. This 'trade' relationship was engineered by Armand Hammer, who was the foremost capitalist in the US/USSR relationship. We also have history of Mr. Hammer's activities in Latin America. Occidental Petroleum is well known in the Third World and not for its generosity or consideration toward the local people. Of course, the Empire uses these 'trade' relationships to try and influence the internal political affairs of their 'host' country. So sanctions and embargo become 'political' tools instead of the means to expand the productivity of their people. Would you have Mr. Lula to subscribe to such a policy? Would you have him sacrifice the livelihoods of his people to satisfy the 'suspicions' and propaganda of foreign opinion?
We have experience with this fear-mongering of the 'red' menace of Russian nukes, decades of propaganda against the 'yellow' menace of Chinese nukes, and now the 'terrorist' menace of Islamic nukes. Yet we still live in a world in which the 'only' nation to use nukes against another 'people' is the USA.

It is admirable that Obama wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons. I believe he does wish for a nuclear-free world. His arguments in this respect will join with others in history who perfected such weapons, and in conscience, later denounced their own creations. The unfortunate truth is that Mr. Obama has himself funded a new generation of smaller, cheaper, less detectable nuclear weapons...modernization of 'shock & awe' indeed.
No nation with the full range of nuclear capability has ever been invaded by 'anyone'. The debate over whether nukes are offensive or defensive weapons still goes on around the world. What concerns many intelligent people around the world is that the US also will not adhere to any 'no first use' policy. Now looking at this in the context of not recognizing the International Criminal Court(of which Bush and Cheney would have to answer), you can see how this would give people pause in what is 'purpose' and what is 'propaganda'...or shall we say, "what is the purpose of the propaganda?". Let Lula decide for Brazil, as Obama decides for the US. Nobody is happy to give such a decision to the Iranians, but trying to deny them that decision may cost more untold millions of lives...unnecessarily.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Dr. Cata. Thanks for answering so quickly. Again, I have to admit that you make perfect sense, at times. The grain sales to Russia and so forth, I remember them. Also the fact that Mr. Hammer was given unusual capitalist opportunities in Russia that few were. You have a good memory, Dr. Cata, and, again, have made several more excellent points, some of which I must concede that I agree. Kudos! But you still have not answered my original question as to when we replace ignorance with evidence. But I'm beginning to see that on the individual scale, such decisions are meaningless, especially as it pertains to the Iran/Israel debate, unless it pertains to how deep we want to dig our own fallout shelter and how well we wish to stock it. Still, you answered the question to the best of your abilities and I enjoyed your answer.smilies/smiley.gif
João da Silva
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
Your link was very informative, and it really brightened my day. It clearly shows Lula has his history, dignity, and sense of decorum intact. He understands the significance of any recognition of Zionism as a foundation for peace. He understands that Zionism is not Judaism. He is trying to form a relationship between the Brazilian people and the Israeli people, not between Brazil and the reactionary forces in Israel. smilies/wink.gif

The Lieberman's are not related other than in the manner of all Jewish people being related.smilies/smiley.gif

I wonder where our other distinguished fellow blogger DnB is

Could be he's looking for some excellent Brazilian sugar, but I'm betting he's doing his research to amaze us with further excellent critiques smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif

Ricardo must be speechless after reading your comments.

I never underestimate Ricardo Amaral to rise to the occasion. He has high ambitions and intricate plans, which he will gladly share with us once he has 'irrefutable intelligence' that Brazil and China will have better results than Hitler and Mussolini. smilies/wink.gif
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written by hunh?, March 16, 2010
I repeat what I said before below since no one seemed to address my questions except Cata's comment about not needing to provide evidence. Why you all seem to praise each other as "esteemed" bloggers here, can you take a minute to answer these questions:

no one has addressed my questions here is: why are Brazilians eager to defend A. when his own people want this repressive regime to go? Do you know about the Petrobras investments in Iran? Are they influencing Lula's position??? Does it matter that this regime is beating and torturing its own people for simply protesting???? Nobody has said a word about this: neither Lula, nor you nor anyone else here. And again I ask, what evidence does Lula or Brazil have for believing that iran is not aiming to make nuclear weapons???? Simply doubting it is not enough when the stakes are so high. Those who believe the contrary also need hard evidence.

Finally, Lyod C. I believe the Monroe Doctrine is more or less dead as it has been practiced by the US in S America. And yet I think many people are still living off the fumes of the Left rhetoric of the 60s. China is more likely to buy up S. America in the future than the US, but I hear nothing but paranoia and inane jingoistic rants against the US on this site. It is very tiring and unfair. I think Brazil and its politicians use this old relation to score patriotic points, but the reality has changed.
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written by hunh?, March 16, 2010
Brazil should be speaking out against the brutality of the Iranian regime, not because the US agrees with this, but because they believe in justice and fairness. The Iranian people would prefer this. Yet, Petrobras investments are blinding Brazilians to the reality here. Lula is spinning this as Brazil standing up to the US, but it's not a US issue. The Russians are now favoring sanctions. Do you think they are doing this simply because the US thinks it is right? They have a lot to lose with Iran destabilizing the region. They border Iran, and on another level, they know what A. is doing in regards to nuclear weapons. This has nothing to do with the Monroe Doctrine, it has to do with world peace on another side of the world. If Brazil wants to be a legitimate voice on the world stage, it needs to show some sensitivity to this issue.
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written by hunh?, March 16, 2010
Lyod C., you also said something about Americans fearing much, and fearing nations of the Middle East. The current position of the US has very little to do with fearing Iran in any direct way, as in 9/11. I personally have little fear of 9/11 like terrorist and absolutely no concern about Iran being a direct threat to the US. The point of the US taking this stand against Iran's nuclear weapon development is not simply about some economic interest or fear: its about doing the right thing; speaking out against tyrants; doing what is fair. And you seem to be too lost in some kind of fantasy of demonizing the US to see this. While the US motives are always complex and self-interest of business is always part of it, there is some other level that you seem to be missing. And that is the nuance that is missing from your critique. While the US has had a legacy of imperialism, it also has a legacy of fighting for human rights, speaking against tyranny, etc. You seem to only want to focus on the unseemly aspects of the US.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Is Iran a barbaric, despotic, theocracy run by a bunch of thugs and an immediate threat to Israel? Only time will tell. Maybe its crash development of ballistic missiles, constant war games, endless threats, and uranium enrichment are, indeed, for peaceful purposes. But from what I see on YouTube and the media, something isn't right inside its borders.
In addition, everyone speaks of a potential Iran/Israel conflict. That would be a disaster, but I wonder how destructive it would be compared to an all-out Shiite/Sunni war for the supremacy of Islam. I find it difficult to believe that Saudi Arabia and its surrounding Sunni Satellites have any confusion or doubt concerning a nuclear-armed Iran and its intentions. I would be very interested in knowing what is going on deep in the sand behind Saudi Arabia's secret borders.
When the giant flash-bangs begin going off in the middle east in a few years, I wonder how many of us will be sitting in our patios enjoying tea and crumpets and arguing Iran's legal rights? Seems an interesting time in history.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Dr. Cata is correct and that Iran is truly just a misunderstood, peaceful country.
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 16, 2010

Your link was very informative, and it really brightened my day.


I am happy to know that my humble contribution brightened the day of an erudite scholar such as your good self. smilies/smiley.gif

It clearly shows Lula has his history, dignity, and sense of decorum intact. He understands the significance of any recognition of Zionism as a foundation for peace. He understands that Zionism is not Judaism. He is trying to form a relationship between the Brazilian people and the Israeli people, not between Brazil and the reactionary forces in Israel.


In this regard, I have to defend Mr.Lula´s action (or inaction) and hasten to add that his intention was not to deliberately offend the Israelis nor the "founding father" of that country. We must put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Brasilia which did not coordinate with the staff of our Itamaraty while working out the itinerary of Mr.Lula´s visit to their country. They should have informed their Brasilan counterparts beforehand who Mr.Herzl was and the visiting dignitaries are required to lay wreaths on his grave.

Of course, the International and Israeli media are to be blamed too for not promoting Mr.Herzl´s image in Latin America! Instead they dedicate most of their time talking about the warmongering heroes or bashing their Arab neighbors, which is quite saddening.smilies/sad.gif

So Mr.Lula´s polite refusal to include this ceremony in his busy schedule at the last moment was quite understandable. Of course, what is not acceptable was Mr.Lieberman´s boycotting the important speech our President gave in the Knesset. The negative and grouchy attitude of that lady Tzipi Livni towards Mr.Lula reminded me of Angela Merckel.

Mr.Lula by now must understand how difficult it is to bring about peace among the Israelis themselves, let alone between them and rest of the Middle-East.smilies/wink.gif

I hope he still goes ahead with his plan to visit Tehran in May.smilies/cool.gif

hunh?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
Sir, I am well aware of the good that 'the American people' do around the world, military and civilian. Americans are the most 'giving' people in the world and have laid down their lives for the sake of others.

What I, and a growing number of Americans, have come to realize is that our generosity, and in fact, our lives are being used by 'special interests' in the US government and industry to pervert the 'expansion' of democracy. This cabal of elected and unelected officials are, in fact, a 'shadow government'. They are 'critical' government and industry leaders, leaders of various 'think tanks', and former military/intelligence professionals. The concept and original funding for this cabal springs from the Cold War and national disaster planning agenda for the 'survival' of government in case of catastrophe. This was done both in Russia and the US, because the idea of someone pushing the 'button' was very real and the 'idea' of ultimate survival a real possibility.
When the level of nuclear weapons became so large that Mutually Assured Destruction(MAD) was a 'given' due to the forces that would be unleashed causing planetary death, MAD forced both sides to reconsider, since the survivability was effectively zero. However, the concepts and planning groups for such an eventuality continued among 'select' people in position to move forces and materials 'under the radar' of government and media scrutiny. You say, "where is the proof of this?", and I recommend to you the "Adventures Of Colonel Oliver North". It is still unimaginable to the US military that such a 'junior' officer was given authority, with a 'Presidential Letter', authorizing him to conduct 'covert' military and diplomatic operations, on 2 continents, completely outside the military 'chain of command'. That is irrefutable and there are court documents and testimony to prove it.

Perhaps you remember the name G. Gordon Liddy, another 'soldier' in service to the same cabal. Now we see clearly that Cheney is the public face of this organization. Now we see clearly how 'intelligence' was manufactured to create fear among the American people. The world was shown 'irrefutable evidence' of WMD. Evidence 'deliberately' manufactured to promote a needless war that has since morphed into an 'expansion' of democracy. It is just 'stubborn ignorance' to relegate these actions to 'fiction'. You know how they say, "Facts are stubborn things", well, "Truth is an immovable object".

So before you attempt to 'take the high road' with me about America maybe you should consider that I might have more allegiance to the ideals that this country stands for than the 'media patriot' Mr. North or his senior members in the cabal, like Mr. Cheney. Must I stand silent as they maneuver and murder innocent people around the world to promote a democracy that flaunts national and international laws, endlessly enriches their corporate patrons, and endangers the lives and livelIhood of every American? I DON'T THINK SO!

BTW, the American military, being the most professional on the planet, has refused to go through another Oily North episode, so now we have the rise of 'corporate armies'. Mercenary corporations to project 'internationally' the military aspects of the 'shadow government in the USA. Blackwater/Xe, Halliburton, Triple Canopy, etc., are not fictions of imagination my friend. They are serious people dedicated to carry out the orders of people with the means and the money to affect 'change' around the world.
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 16, 2010

That would be a disaster, but I wonder how destructive it would be compared to an all-out Shiite/Sunni war for the supremacy of Islam.


This war is unlikely, unless the "Empire" pursues its "divide and conquer" policy. Did we in the west know about this division until the "war on terror" started? Even Dr.Cata might find it difficult to explain what exactly is the difference between a Shiite and Sunni! Believe me, I have talked to some highly educated Muslims and they couldn't clarify the differences!

Dr.Cata and I have predicted a "major event" to occur in the near future in that region. In fact he had predicted to happen on the February 12th( of this year). It did not and I think the prediction still holds good. Hopefully it is not a "preemptive strike" by a particular party on Iran.

The Brasilian newspapers are giving a wide coverage of Lula´s visit to Israel and the statements made by their leaders with regards to Iran. I also read that the ambassador of Israel in D.C made a statement saying that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has never been so bad as it is now since 35 years.

You are right. It is an interesting but worrisome time in history.

Since This Is About Hillary Clinton.....
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
Let's not forget that it was she who coined the term, "vast right-wing conspiracy".

Apparently she knew quite a bit before becoming Secretary of State, don't you think?
hunh?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
And I really suggest you read the words of President Lula in the other thread in this forum. Read it carefully because he has made a commitment to truth that appears to be impossible for the US government. Perhaps you can explain that!
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Joao. You asked who might have even been aware of the Shiite/Sunni conflict until recently? Well, unfortunately, as a reader of all things military, I'm one of those, especially when it comes to the Six-day War and Egypt claiming it might have lost to Israel because so much of its military force was distracted by the civil war in Yemen. The civil war in Yemen makes for fascinating reading and continues well into today.
The Iraqi and Iranian war was also an example of what I'm speaking. however, my prejudices are probably preformed by speaking and listening to those who were involved in the battle.
Yes, I'm well aware of the Israeli and Islamic conflict, perhaps to a greater degree than most, but I am still unsettled by which is the greater problem: Jewish/Arab relations, or Shiite/Sunni relations. I also wonder at times if Iran's saber rattling is nothing but a crude attempt to win back Islamic pride. For so long so much money, energy, and manpower has been thrown into Israel's destructions by so many other countries. Indeed, the populations of the Islamic nations equal almost 1.3 billion people! Today, Israel only boasts a little over 5 million? In addition, Israel has no resources or land to speak of, so it is only proper to conclude that some evil force is allowing it to win battle after battle instead of being smashed as commonsense would suggest.
It's easy to believe that America keeps Israel afloat, and that might be true, after 1973, but before, The US was openly against military aid to Israel, which explains the completely massive and overwhelming presence of the French into Israel in the 60's. But to me, all that is beside the point; this is a dynamic and ever changing world. For example, who would ever believe that the US would elect a socialist president?
Unfortunately, I don't believe that anyone in this world can remain just a spectator for long. I moved out of a target zone several times,; i'll do it again if I have too.
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written by hunh?, March 16, 2010
B Brodie write:
When the giant flash-bangs begin going off in the middle east in a few years, I wonder how many of us will be sitting in our patios enjoying tea and crumpets and arguing Iran's legal rights? Seems an interesting time in history.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Dr. Cata is correct and that Iran is truly just a misunderstood, peaceful country.


Baen, as you seem to be saying, neither the Saudis or nations near Iran are simply being duped by the US. Personally, rather than crossing my fingers, I go with the international effort to limit this problem before it gets out of hand. This is what the UN effort is all about, but seems that Lula et al. do not see this. Why should we be crossing our fingers and hoping its not true and instead calling this nation out? As you say, Youtube videos from Iran protestors tell quite a lot if you do not trust international papers. By the way, one headline I heard today is that the reform party protesting the rigged elections has been banned, and that 6 people have been condemned to hang because they participated in the demonstrations against the rigged elections. Again everyone is talking about the Cold War, the Iraq War, relations of Brazil and China, and the EU, and US, etc etc, but nobody is addressing the simple fact that the majority of Iranians have come out in protest of this regime. They have been beaten in the streets and killed for doing so, and yet Lula et al. want us to believe this is a regime bent on peaceful nuclear research. This is not something we want to cross our finger on and hope it all comes out good. It will affect the entire world, and now is the time to speak up, not after the bombs have fallen.
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written by hunh?, March 16, 2010
Why is Lula not befriending this regime when the masses of Iranians are protesting against them in the streets??? Follow the money: check the hundreds of millions of dollars in investments Petrobras has there. Lula is not standing up for the underdog. No, he is supporting the investments of Petrobras. Most international companies are pulling out of Iran, but not Petrobras.
João da Silva
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
In this regard, I have to defend Mr.Lula´s action (or inaction) and hasten to add that his intention was not to deliberately offend the Israelis nor the "founding father" of that country.

Not so fast, my friend! I am certainly not ready to ascribe Mr. Lula's reluctance to visit this Zionist shrine to ignorance or surprise. Shall we just say diplomatic faux pas is not limited to Israelis smilies/wink.gif

I am immensely pleased by his entire remarks as seen in the forum;

http://www.brazzilmag.com/component/content/article/83-march-2010/11972-for-lula-israelis-and-palestinians-need-someone-to-tell-them-the-truth.html

Although unfamiliar with the details, the Sunni/Shiite division in Islam would be equivalent to the Catholic/Protestant division among Christians. Tensions are reported to be over Mecca and the Land of the Prophet. The Shiite's naturally would like to have authority of these areas and they are firmly under control of Sunni's, with the backing of Washington. It was worse when US troops were on the ground in Saudi Arabia. Remember that was one of Al Qeada's original demands that the infidels must leave this area of the Holy Sites. There was no way for the Saudi royals to keep the US troops and maintain their Islamic identity, so this is one of the first times in history that an entrenched American force had been 'peacefully' removed from foreign soil. This is another aspect of the Iraq War that gets little attention.

There is little reason for war between these branches of Islam, except by those wishing to, as you say, "divide' the Islamic community. Understand that the Iran/Iraq War was really about "Baathist" Sunni who were more secular than the fundamentalist Shiite's.*** Saddam's life is an interesting story about how he, like many, were dissident and militant. How he was 'rescued' and 'selected' for the leadership *** Saddam's persecution of Shiites certainly displeased the Islamic revolutionary government in Iran, and with US backing Iraq attempted to break the Shiite-led revolution. The old-time Revolutionary Guard in Iran will never forgive the US for this massacre of tens of thousands of Iranians. No matter what is said, one way or the other, it was US provocation and supply of military weapons; including chemical and biological agents that was responsible for the war and the massive loss of life on both sides. Of that there is little argument, hence the US charge that Saddam was still in possession of such weapons.
Attempting to revive such Sunni/Shiite hostilities is surely a tactic in the playbook of the Empire(because more than the US would be involved), but it would involve the possibility of setting the ME on fire and that is the Iranian argument for nuclear weapons. Iran as a Islamic Republic is surely not going to use a nuclear weapon against Saudi Arabia or their brother Shiites in Iraq. So who's interest is it to revive conflict between these two branches of Islam?
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Dr. Cata, I respectfully disagree with you, when you assert that there is little reason for war between these branches of Islam. There are plenty of reasons for war between the two and there will always be. Am I missing something? The Middle East, militarily, is in a constant state of flux. Just examine what is happening on the borders of Saudi Arabia lately. There is a vicious war going on, and no one knows about it because we are too busy paying attention to the more storied actors of the press. Iran has real gripes about the way they have been treated as do the Sunnis, who rightfully claim that Iran has taken over vast amounts of Arab land given to them by the "Empire."
I firmly believe the world is fascinated by the Israeli/Arab situation and in the process is missing the truth behind much of the real struggle.
And if you doubt Iran's ability or spirit to defend itself from actual or perceived insults, then there is a great deal about what Iran can do and has done to defend itself on the Internet.
Let me remind everyone that both Iraq and Iran lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians in the last war between the Shiites and Sunnis. Indeed, they even used chemical weapons on each other. That alone tells me they would hardly hesitate to nuke an enemy, Jewish, Islamic, or Christian. Can anyone forget the War of the Cities? Unbelievable. Where was the Islamic humanity behind that? And the repeated human-wave attacks against machine gun equipped Iraqis?
I could go on and on about Iran's willingness to defend itself, its perceived and actual mistreatment by surrounding Arab states, and etc.
One thing, however, that never fails to amaze me, and this is little known except by those who spend too much time studying military arms, is that Iraq's number three contributer of arms in their was against Iran was, you guessed it, unbelievably, Brazil.
Words Having Meaning
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
Certainly Iran has gone 'over the top' in its condemnation of Israel and its threats to 'remove' the Jewish State. Stupid propaganda and holocaust denial are surely proof of the imbalanced state of minds running Iran today. However, some may remember all the tirades from the Kremlin during the Cold War when Russian leaders would promise to 'bury the West' and the US in particular. Perhaps you remember that Nikita Khrushchev predicted that he would kill the US, and the 'capitalists' would sell him the bullets to do so? I am glad President Lula addressed this rather forcefully and we will see if it has effect on Mr. A.

Words have meaning, and usually it is the underdog who is talking the loudest. 'Actions' are more significant and the recent movement of Iran's nuclear materials to an above-ground militarily accessible area has certainly confused the strategists. Openly daring its opponents to attack, but also revealing its openness, in contrast to Israel's 'secret' nuclear program that is under 'no' oversight or regulation by any international authority.

If Mr. Lula intends to speak the truth in the ME he is certain to piss off many people on both sides. Hopefully he has thick skin and dark shades for the media 'light show' he is about to face. But he can't do any worse than the poodle sent by HM to hand out grapes and bread to hungry Palestinians.
Breaking News...
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
US military underscores that Israel is endangering Americans by not making progress for peace.

This is the best news; that these generals have finally defined the interests of the American people above the interests of Israel. Without a resolution of the Palestinian issue there is no opportunity for peace in the region, and there is no rest for Americans who are fighting and dying to stabilize the region.

I have been waiting for this development for 30 years. Americans are waking up to the truth, because lies and propaganda is costing Americans blood and treasure. The light flickers again at the end of the tunnel smilies/smiley.gif
Baen Brodie
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
It's easy to believe that America keeps Israel afloat, and that might be true, after 1973, but before, The US was openly against military aid to Israel, which explains the completely massive and overwhelming presence of the French into Israel in the 60's.

Hhhmmm...why does this have a familiar ring to it??? Where else do we see the US following the French into disaster? Shall we start with Haiti...smilies/wink.gif
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Oh, yes, Dr. Cata. Mr. Khruhchev and his shoe!smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Dr. Cata. Haiti for sure, the Middle East without a doubt, World Wars one and two; Vietnam, anyone. Gee, why don't we all just join the French Legion? smilies/cheesy.gif We've already paid for the honor.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Dr. Cata, I keep forgetting that before Vietnam was called Vietnam, the area was collectively known as "French Indochina". Again, the world never learns.
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 16, 2010

Not so fast, my friend! I am certainly not ready to ascribe Mr. Lula's reluctance to visit this Zionist shrine to ignorance or surprise. Shall we just say diplomatic faux pas is not limited to Israelis


I knew you wouldn't fall into my trap!smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif

Enjoyed reading your essays addressed to "hunhu" about Americans being hoodwinked by a few and the other to me on the difference between s**te/Sunni. I have run into some Americans who share your views and pretty upset about being treated like a bunch of fools by their "elected and selected officials". The same applies to lots of Brasilians.

Will come back later to write more. Time for "Tea and Crumpets".smilies/wink.gif
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 16, 2010

Dr. Cata, I keep forgetting that before Vietnam was called Vietnam, the area was collectively known as "French Indochina". Again, the world never learns.


I am glad (and Dr.Cata will also be) to know that you are quite fast in learning to connect dots and commas.smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif

BTW, google "Sarkozy" and get to know his biography.smilies/cool.gif
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Joao. I don't know what to think. The truth is stranger than fiction. They should make another movie about the history of the world and call it, "The French Connection."smilies/cheesy.gif
Baen Brodie
written by Lloyd Cata, March 16, 2010
There are plenty of reasons for war between the two and there will always be. Am I missing something?

It must be me...but...but I'm not coming up with these reasons for Shiite/Sunni war. What am I missing?smilies/sad.gif

One thing, however, that never fails to amaze me, and this is little known except by those who spend too much time studying military arms, is that Iraq's number three contributer of arms in their was against Iran was, you guessed it, unbelievably, Brazil.

Don't forget that Brazil was under military government during most of this time and pretty much following US policy on anything. Also none of Saddam's chem/bio weapons are traced back to US. Just through cutouts in other countries.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 16, 2010
Dr. Cata. I'm trying not to fall for your cries for assistance in this manner. I know for a fact that you are ten times smarter than I am when it comes to history and computers and know more about Google than I do. Haven't you heard of the Iraq/Iran war? I'm sorry, but that was a Shiite/Sunni battle from the onset! The horrible thing about it was that a majority Shiite country was forced to fight another Shiite country because of a ruthless Sunni dictator. The only thing that kept that from going nuclear was that neither opponent had the bomb, but not that the FRENCH didn't try.
I'm not an apologist for Iran, I just tend often to see their point of view through all the hubris and rhetoric.

I just finished watching a YouTube video showing a Saudi F-15E cluster bombing some Yemenite tribesmen long supported by Iran. when you are finished with that, the Lebanese perspective is equally interesting.

I also loved your comment about Brazil being under an military dictatorship that was only following US policy.smilies/wink.gif Oh, please! There you go again. The CIA issued a report that expressed their concern about the nature of Brazil's arms sales. They weren't flattering and pointed out that Brazil would sell arms to anyone, US policy not withstanding.
If one studies the issue and examines how poorly Iran has been treated by the West, Russia, and the Arab world, one wonders why they took so long to develop the bomb. Just my opinion for what its worth. I'm not an apologist for anyone, just interested in a few obscure facts.

BTW, it looks as if the Saudis are getting a nuclear power plant, from guess who? Our friends the FRENCH. Will they soon follow with the own bomb? Who knows. Some people believe they don't have the expertise. But I suggest we look at history. Are such opinions stating that the Pakistanis and Iranians are smart and the Saudis dumb? The world's logic is becoming difficult to reconcile.
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 16, 2010

I also loved your comment about Brazil being under an military dictatorship that was only following US policy.


I urge you not to distort what Dr.Cata wrote, Captain. He did not say military "dictatorship", but...but.. "government". You are politically correct, though.smilies/wink.gif

I know for a fact that you are ten times smarter than I am when it comes to history and computers and know more about Google than I do.


Even, Dr.Cata would acknowledge that modesty is one of your greatest virtues.smilies/cool.gif

Haven't you heard of the Iraq/Iran war?


Now you are twisting the tiger by its tail. I decline to be nearby.smilies/sad.gif

I'm sorry, but that was a Shiite/Sunni battle from the onset!


Noooo, it was a set up.smilies/shocked.gif. Haven't you heard of "Rise and Fall of Shah Reza Pallavi"?

BTW, it looks as if the Saudis are getting a nuclear power plant, from guess who? Our friends the FRENCH.


Oh, Christ. This is a news to me. But..But..I keep on saying they are trouble makers. If Angela Merckel decides to invade France, again the Yanks and Brits have to save the French. Count us out please.smilies/sad.gif
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written by Baen Brodie, March 17, 2010
Joao, I've heard that after two successful attempts to repulse Germans from their borders, or after a minimum purchase of 36 Rafaels, the French give you a chateau in their alps. smilies/cheesy.gif My family has certainly earned theirs.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 17, 2010
Dr. Cata and Joao. Are you guys serious? I've been thinking about your comments to my assertion that the the central reason behind the Iraq/Iran war was religious.
You both believe it was because the Shah was disposed? If you think that, I believe you need to go deeper into the history of the area.
Pan-Islamism or Revolutionary Shia Islamism brought down the Shah, not vice-versa.
In addition, the ethnic differences between the Arabs and Persions only added fuel to a religious fever. Saddam wasdefinite concerned over the spread of radical Shia Islam into his mostly Shia populated fifedom.
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written by Baen Brodie, March 17, 2010
Sorry, it was very late when I wrote the previous. I meant fiefdom, not fifedom. Another thing; I'm an old guy with few computer skills. If I knew how, I would happily send my friends computer links that reference the central reasons behind the war. But to be honest, I don't think I've read anything that didn't reference religion as central. Still, I'm glad that you guys have the patience to ask the question; most just accept the easiest answer.
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010

Are you guys serious? I've been thinking about your comments to my assertion that the the central reason behind the Iraq/Iran war was religious.
You both believe it was because the Shah was disposed? If you think that, I believe you need to go deeper into the history of the area.


No, Baen. The central reason was (and still is) OIL and GREED. I am posting a link below that narrates the history of Iran. In it you will see a nice picture of Mr. Don Rumsfeld shaking the hands of late (but not lamented) Mr.Saddam Hussein.

BTW, I was old enough at that time to remember the war and also have seen the picture. Brasil was a large exporter of not only armaments, but also VW Passats to Iraq and if I recall correctly, when Mr.Hussein was forced to pass away, he still owed us $5 Billions in unpaid bills. I hope Dr.Chalabi or Mr.Al-Maliki honor the IOU.smilies/cry.gif

Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010
Sorry Baen, I forgot to post the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...25-1979.29



Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010

Another thing; I'm an old guy with few computer skills.


Gee, Captain, you sound like James Stewart in the movie "Flight of the Phoenix" I saw years ago.smilies/wink.gif

Please let me know what browser you use (IE/Firefox) and during the course of the day, I will let you know how to post a link in this message board.

In the meantime, please double-click your mouse on the link I posted above and it will take you directly to it. You deserve a return favor. Now I can land a Bombardier Twin jet on St.Marten runway easily.smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
Baen Brodie
written by Lloyd Cata, March 17, 2010
Haven't you heard of the Iraq/Iran war? I'm sorry, but that was a Shiite/Sunni battle from the onset!

There is no doubt, Baen, that there are historical animosities in the Sunni/Shiite branches of Islam. What I am simply trying to point out is that there are those, who for reasons of their own, 'will and do' exploit these animosities to the point of armed conflict. So there is little 'evidence' of their hand in the conflict...but as Joao has pointed out; if you look at the 'players' in the conflict you will see behind the curtain that there are 'others' pulling the strings. It is undeniable that Saddam had, and used, bio/chem weapons against Iran and his own people. His suppliers 'knew' what they were selling, those who trained his people in the use of these weapons 'knew' what he wanted them for, and those who were his 'friends' during this period 'knew' that he was the type of mass murderer who would use these weapons effectively. *** That is why the first wave of the Iraq invasion were suited appropriately in bio/chem gear ***. What they didn't know was that Saddam had used or destroyed his stockpile of these weapons because he continued to threaten them with these weapons even though the UN inspectors spent many months and found none.

The CIA issued a report that expressed their concern about the nature of Brazil's arms sales. They weren't flattering and pointed out that Brazil would sell arms to anyone, US policy not withstanding.

It is one thing for the CIA to chastise Brazil for arms sales to people that they don't want to have the weapons and another to promote the sales to people they want to have the weapons. Brazilian weapons were being used by 'others' throughout Latin America that was not approved.

Are such opinions stating that the Pakistanis and Iranians are smart and the Saudis dumb? The world's logic is becoming difficult to reconcile.

That opinion as to who is 'smart' enough to manufacture things is totally irrelevant. It is also widely known that given the materials any decent secondary school class could design and build a nuclear weapon. It is certainly not a matter of smarts, it is a matter of supply and determination. A.Q. Khan might have 'sold' the designs across the ME, but the 'centrifuges and parts' always came from third-parties.

You might know that my skills and history are certainly not infallible...but...but...for many years I have focused on conflicts such as these, primarily because in ignorance I became personally involved in this type of conflict. I still believe that ignorance is the primary precursor for war.

Wish we had a couple hours together because I do teach elderly to use computers. My claim is that with 2 hands and 2 eyes anyone can become proficient. A strategy proved by our friend, Ricardo, in relating the experience of illiterate children left alone with computers.
Keep trucking...and keep contributing to these discussions because I think we all learn something here.smilies/smiley.gif
LOLloyd
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written by Baen Brodie, March 17, 2010
Hi Joao. The Jimmy Stewart comparison was funny. I've been told that I often act like the character in the movie. I'm a little on the thin side, also. Great news concerning your flying skills. don't give up. When we finally meet, I don't want to waste a lot of time teaching you the basics!smilies/cheesy.gif Get it down, now, on your PC. Besides, if something goes wrong, you don't have so far to fall. Have you ever heard of a Neiva P-56-C? I have the American version.
I read the article you asked me too. I think we are speaking of the same thing, almost, but as I probably have more time than you to study, I have perhaps gone into greater detail. Yes, I know it was about oil, at least from the West's point of view, but I guess I still see it with a slight slant, probably from discussing it with my Iranian friends and from personal experience. I'm willing to concede that there are multiple points of view concerning this tragedy.
Just one more thing for you, especially since you adore all things French.smilies/cheesy.gif If you Google "France and the Iranian Revolution" in the Brussels Journal, you get yet another amazing article about the French experience and who was behind the Iranian revolution.
You guys have been a lot of fun and certainly have increased my knowledge, but its getting warm outside, and my working season is starting. I'll check in every so often, but, in the meantime, you guys take care.
Baen Brodie
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010

Have you ever heard of a Neiva P-56-C? I have the American version.


That explains your romance with Brasil in general and your protest against our buying RAFALE. smilies/cheesy.gif

I'll check in every so often, but, in the meantime, you guys take care.


You too take care and be tough on Dick Attenborough like navigators of yours.smilies/cool.gif
João da Silva
written by Lloyd Cata, March 17, 2010
Mr.Hussein was forced to pass away, he still owed us $5 Billions in unpaid bills. I hope Dr.Chalabi or Mr.Al-Maliki honor the IOU.

Methinks you should have brought your case to the Iraqi Provisional Authority since they authorized spending $1 Trillion for Iraq. You could have even shared in the 'war loot' generously provided by the American people. Now you are left with Saddam's IOU'ssmilies/sad.gifsmilies/sad.gifsmilies/sad.gif Poor yousmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif

I would expect preferential trade in exchange for past promises, if you know what I mean...smilies/wink.gif
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010

I would expect preferential trade in exchange for past promises, if you know what I mean..


I know what you mean perfectly. Sarko can give us the RAFALE fighters, Submarines and Choppers free. Angela can donate a couple of Nuclear plants. Your buddies "Poodle" and "Rudy" can give us free consultation as how to keep the "Towel Heads" from invading the "Sugar loaf mountain".smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
Llyod Cata
written by João da Silva, March 17, 2010

Methinks you should have brought your case to the Iraqi Provisional Authority since they authorized spending $1 Trillion for Iraq. You could have even shared in the 'war loot' generously provided by the American people.


On a serious note, have you read a book titled "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" written by a reporter of the Washington Post? I did get to read the excerpts and it was enough to know about the "Coalition Provisional Authority". I wonder what Paul Brenner is doing these days?smilies/wink.gif

I bet he is not teaching the elderly how to use the Computers.smilies/smiley.gif
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written by hunh?, March 18, 2010
From what I understand, the differences and tensions between Sunnis and Shiites are based less on religion and more on politics. In other words, the Saudis are more concerned about Sunni dominance as it reflects well on their strength in the Middle East. On the other hand, the Iranians are a growing regional power, which threatens the influence of the Saudis who have been more dominant in the past. I believe the religious differences are a somewhat trivial compared to these greater political concerns.

I didn't get the humor in the US following France. Watching millions of fellow Americans give their life in any war is not laughing matter to me, even if they were deceived by their government and told they were fighting for freedom and against communism. I also don't get why the US being in WW II was a mistake. Brazil spent much of its time aligned with the fascist, looking for any opportunity to make trade deals, while the US stood up with France against the evils of fascism. I can only imagine what the fascist would have done if no one had stopped them.

Likewise, I agree with Baen where he mentions the CIA noted Brazil would sell arms to anyone. Not much has changed: Lula hugging A. of Iran seems less cryptic to me once I saw read about Petrobras' 2 billion dollar investments in Iran.

Joao: I am like the Americans you mentioned who does not condone the violence and oppression of Palestinians by Israelis. Despite popular ideas about Americans, many of us, including most of my progressive Jewish friends, are sickened and outraged by Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. the news about the US being displeased with Israel is not news to me. Obama and others have hinted at this before the election. And for years now, many have said that unqualified support for Israel is a security threat to the US. Just read Jimmy Carter's writing and you will see the seeds of discontentment were there for decades.
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written by hunh?, March 18, 2010
Joao: worrisome time? My hope is that the US will increasingly pressure Israel to create a homeland for the Palestinians. This seems no more far fetched than the peace that came to Ireland after hundreds of years of fighting. It seems in the realm of possibility.
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written by hunh?, March 18, 2010
While I acknowledge the extensive history of Empire, much of which the US is implicated in promoting. I find it hard to hear Brazilians pontificating against empire, when in fact, if given half the chance, from what I have seen from them, they would dive for the opportunity to be an imperialist empire like the US and others. In fact, much of the complaints I hear on this site, I believe are not motivated from a higher vision that Brazil has to offer the world. No, much of it can be likened to the Christian resentment that Nietszche spoke of: the sheep invent a religion (Christianity) of the weak, that they use to stifle the powerful. They wrap themselves in morality, but really do not differ much from the wolves. Lula hugging A. of Iran while the blood of protesters was still flowing in the streets of Iran is perfect illustration of Brazilian hypocrisy: while Brazilians rant against the US for supposedly invading Iraq for oil, Lula is sucking up to A. because Petrobras has $2 billion invested in Iran. Blood for oil they called this deal in the Iraq war. This is Brazil's blood for oil deal. The deal for oil is more important than the blood of innocent Iranians shed in protest against this brutal regime. And not one of you has anything to say of this?
hunh?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 18, 2010
I didn't get the humor in the US following France. Watching millions of fellow Americans give their life in any war is not laughing matter to me, even if they were deceived by their government and told they were fighting for freedom and against communism.

Stick around, my friend, you will learn all about 'gallows' humor and satire.smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif

Happy to see you understand how lies and deceit are precursors for unnecessary war. Have you also heard about Gulf of Tonkin, which was a lie, and McNamara is also a confessed war criminal? At what point is it 'too much' that innocents should die and the pockets of the liars should be enlarged by death and destruction? You keep "barking" about Lula's lack of 'intelligence' and the Petrobras deal, but never produce one bit to prove Israel or anyone else is endangered by Iran, except for its own people. Instead of your attack against peaceful Brazil and Petrobras here is some 'intelligence' for you;

( http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07...-scam.html )

Well, the Iranian nuclear material is now sitting in the desert, in plain sight as a gesture of openness. It is quite possible that this development was influenced by Pres. Lula, but I don't know that. The equivalent of emptying the gun and putting the bullets on the table. We 'do know' that this has confused the hell out of the liars, who are scrambling to form new reasons to attack Iran.

I have every sympathy for the Iranian people, just as I do for the suffering of the Cuban people, but I am unwilling to believe lies and propaganda that would bring the destruction of their societies. Believe what you want, that is your right, but understand that when you propagate lies and defend liars, there is more innocent blood on your hands than Mr. Castro or Mr. Ahmandinejad.
New Reason To Attack Iran... But...But... Haven't We Heard This One Before?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 18, 2010
( http://www.washingtontimes.com...aeus-says/ )

We have known for many years that members of OBL's family was in Iran(under very close watch). Now apparently Iran is helping OBL to kill American troops. What a fortuitous development since the 'nuclear threat' has shown to be such nonsense.
Why Not?
written by Lloyd Cata, March 18, 2010
"Is it not the greatest good to remove the thorn from our Islamic brothers foot than to outrage him with a situation that should have been solved long ago?"

Are we an 'intelligent' civilization or are we sheep to be led to the slaughterhouse? Can base lies and manipulations lead us to behave in the most inhumane manner? That is 'one' of the decisions that the American people face in the continuing torture investigations. The rejection of this practice by agents of the Empire is a hopeful sign for America.

To continue to advocate for the Zionist expansion into the occupied territories is simply inhumane. There is nothing propping up this occupation but a web of lies and deceit. Notwithstanding that Israel does have enemies that continually threaten the safety of Israelis. In the Thermonuclear Age, all humanity lives under the same constraints. The solution is certainly security for peace, not 'land and security' for peace. Every incident of 'forced' property seizure, every incursion into Palestinian territory simply aggravates the conflict. It is simply an inhumane activity against a defenseless people infiltrated by extremists armed with homemade rockets and small arms.

Everyone is caught up in the drama of the moment, and that is by intention, because there is 'no logical reason' and no humane excuse for the Palestinian people to not have their own state. The major powers sat down and 'created' the nation of Israel, and the world was obligated to respect that decision, just as we accept so many edicts of 'the major powers', many that were unjust and are still in conflict today. They decide and the world accepts. Why have they 'decided' to allow this inhumanity toward the Palestinians to continue, these many years? How long must the world watch this people suffer under an 'abusive' occupation.

We must each raise our voice to resolve this unnecessary death and destruction on both sides. We must not be silent in the face of lies and deception, because that is all that is preventing the creation of a Palestinian homeland that is capable of preventing its own worst elements from threatening its neighbors. The Palestinian people are willing to accept 'limited' government with the assistance of the 'international community', but certainly not under Israeli control or influence. So why must they continue the vicious cycle from terror to refugee to terror, under the 'authority' of occupation and expansion.

Our Islamic brothers need only that we 'help' remove this thorn from his foot, and I ask each of you, "Why not?"
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written by Chrnno, April 26, 2010
You know I could come here and try to convince you all that the world is not as black and white as a lot of people here seem to think and that there is no easy solution to it's problems but I will not and instead I will go toward another approach.

You believe Iran wants to have nuclear bombs, in fact you believe they want to use those bombs(which even if the first one is true I find rather absurd but let's not go there) and you suport sanctions?

I just want to get this right you say they want to have nuclear bombs and have the ability to build them in a short time and then you propose to do things that will just give them more reasons to pursue it further or even use them? That simply makes no sense at all.

The way I see it there are 2 basic ways to deal with it. Either you end with the current government(by war or simply helping the people overthrown it as it IS a extremely violent goverment) or you try to talk them out of it. Sanctions, at least for me, are meaningless because I simply can't see how they are going to have any effect if you want an example just look at Cuba.

Well, that just what I think and I don't claim that it is right, hell I could be completely misundertanding the whole situation but I do think it's something worth considering and you people have missed completely.

Also just for the record I don't know if Brazil is doing it right, hell I don't even know if it is the right thing to do but it seems to be far more logical than the attitudes of most countries(People seem to ignore there others countries besides Brazil who think this way). I guess it remains to be seen but personally I feel a lot more worried about the countries that currently have nuclear arsenals(USA, Russia and Israel first with China and North Corea behind) because they all have an history of doing far worse than Iran has ever done. And after all who do you worry more about the one who has already done it or the one that may do it?

One other thing is that someone said Brazil is christian and well, while there is a large part of our country following it(at least in paper, i find that there are in fact more people who say they follow than ones who actually do) there is also people from pretty much every religion and country. We are a country built on diversity, we have had immense amounts of people coming from Africa, Europe and Asia(mainly Japanese) so don't say it's uniform because it's exactly the opposite.

So feel free to criticize me all you want but I am a little disapointed. When I found this website I thought it would be interesting to discuss my country with people looking at it from different angles but I am rather disapointed after reading a lot of it's articles and comments as they seem to vary between "Brazil is going to rule the World" and "Brazil sucks" with few posts actually interesting.

The reason I posted on this one is because this one is the only one I found that even aproaches a reasonable discussion.

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