The "new axis
of evil," which late American scholar Constantine
Menges predicted and all others denied is a consummated
fact. The hard earned Brazilian workers money, extorted
by taxes, gushes
in Havana and in Caracas to prop-up a
dictatorship in decline and fortify a dictatorship in the making.
When American analyst Constantine C. Menges wrote an article in the Weekly
Standard in 2002 predicting that Lula’s election to Brazil’s presidency
would create a "new axis of evil" between Lula, Venezuela’s Hugo
Chavez and Fidel Castro, Brazil’s journalists knew that he was right.
If the Brazilian media
refuted Menges’ claims with insults at the time it was because they knew that
his warnings could cause alarm in Washington and jeopardize the realization
of a prophecy in which they deposited their highest hopes.
was such an attractive perspective, that many, in the anxiety
of waiting, lost their judgment, bestowing the candidate virtues
that bordered the sublime. One Brazilian journalist came to
write that Lula was a national savior announced in the prophecies
of John Bosco, an Italian saint of the 19th century who foretold
many good things for Brazilian people.
An ideologically intoxicated
journalistic class can create an even greater barrier to truth than any kind
of official government censure.
Nothing in the universal
history of trickery compares with the Brazilian media’s job in hiding Lula’s
connections not only to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, but to all the revolutionary
movements on the South American continentincluding criminal organizations
like the Colombian FARC, Chile’s MIRall members of the São Paulo
Forum, which was founded and run by Lula.
On the eve of the election,
the general effort to polish the image of the Brazilian "messiah"
received a powerful reinforcement from the US Ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinak
who declared that Lula was the "embodiment of the American dream".
She did this without receiving
any criticism from the usual nationalist circles for this foreign meddling
in our elections. Of course, certain foreign meddlings, like certain animals,
are more equal than others.
All was going well, until
Menges, the spoiler, said what was forbidden but obvious. The reaction of
our journalists was immediate. Even though they had never heard of the columnist,
they labeled him as a coup mongering CIA agent, assigned with interfering
in Brazil’s electoral process.
Without perceiving the
contradiction, they also attacked in the opposite direction. They explored
the casuality that this regular contributor to the New York Times,
Washington Post and Commentary’s article was also reproduced
in the Washington Times.
They took advantage of
that fact to create a tie between the highbrow intellectual and the corporate
misdeeds of Reverend Moon, owner of the Washington Times paper, insinuating
that this was all a plot by the Korean guru to dodge an investigation that
was underway against him in Brazil.
Forgotten years ago in
an archive of the Federal Police in Brasilia, the investigation returned to
the papers as if it were an impressive scoop until it completely drowned out
the "São Paulo Forum" issue.
What is the professional
trustworthiness of journalists who are capable of a cover-up of such proportions?
I, for my part, complied with what should have been the obligation of us all,
I wrote to Dr. Menges asking for more information.
I discovered that the
man knew a thousand times more that he had written. He spoke based on the
facts. He was a serious scholar being questioned by a troupe of clowns and
Today, the axis which
he predicted and all others denied is a consummated fact. The hard earned
Brazilian workers money, extorted by taxes, gushes in Havana and in Caracas
to prop-up a dictatorship in decline and fortify a dictatorship in the making.
And until now the voters don’t know that they were fooled precisely for this
But it is not just for
this reason that it is too late to re-visit past events; it’s also late because,
Constantine C. Menges passed away on the morning of the 11th, of bladder cancer.
A son of parents who fled
to America from Nazism, he dedicated his life and formidable intelligence
to the defense of freedom, be it for the civil rights of blacks or against
He was a Professor at
several universities and wrote important books. All the news stories on Latin
America written in Brazil over the past decade are not worth a single one
of his reports that he distributed monthly to a circle of friends and admirers,
of which I had the honor to be included, albeit it at the bottom of the list.
Goodbye, Dr. Menges. And
while it is late, please accept an apology for my compatriots. They do not
know what they do.
Olavo de Carvalho is a philosopher and the author of several books, including
O Imbecil Coletivo: Atualidades Inculturais Brasileiras (1996) and
O Futuro do Pensamento Brasileiro – Estudos sobre o Nosso Lugar
no Mundo (1997). He writes for three very influential dailies in Brazil:
Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo (from Rio) and Zero Hora (from
Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul). His articles can be found at
To reach him write to email@example.com.
This article appeared
originally in the Rio daily O Globo.
the Portuguese by Gerald Brant.