There are three types of people, a saying goes: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what is happening. The same may go for nations. There are those nations that make things happen, nations that know what is happening, and nations that have little to no idea what is happening.
The nations that make things happen are the obvious ones – the major powers that make up the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council. They are the USA, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia.
The nations that know what is happening are the middle powers, like Australia, Canada, Spain, the Scandinavian countries, as well as the vanquished powers from the Second World War, like Germany, Japan and Italy.
And the nations that don’t know what’s happening are many of the rest – the Bangladeshes, Pacific Island nations, Equatorial Guineas and many others like this. They are too small to matter and are merely hapless pawns on the grand chessboard of global affairs.
As mentioned, there are some powers who would be great powers but for having been defeated in the Second World War, namely Germany, Japan and Italy. These nations have had no choice but to accept their subordinate position, watching affairs somewhat on the sidelines, maintaining a respectful distance and silence.
And then there are the emerging powers, eager young bucks aw6kxtling for a place at the table, either to sit with the old guard or displace it altogether. Brazil is one of these aspiring new powers.
But those that make things happen enjoy the commanding heights, their experience and cunning making the incline the emerging powers must scale a steep and challenging one. Whether Brazil has what it takes to reach the summit of global affairs is the subject of this piece.
The Big Boys’ Club
The big boys on the playing field are of course the permanent members of the Security Council. And the big boys within that council, the dominant force, are the Anglo-Americans, that is, the British and Americans. France belongs there only because they ended up on the right side of the Second World War, plus, I suppose, because they have some residual status stemming from their history. But Russia and China represent the preeminent forces outside the dominance and control of the Anlgo-Saxons, those who represent a roadblock to Anglo-American global hegemony.
Previously Germany presented the biggest danger to British hegemony, assuming this role from the French, who had struggled for centuries against la perfide Albion until eventually burying the hatchet in an Entente cordiale in order to face the German threat.
As F W Engdahl argues in his book, Britain’s balance-of-power grand strategy involved supporting weaker powers on the Continent in order to oppose the strongest power, that is, in order to maintain the balance of power such that British hegemony would not be threatened. And of course the best option was to play the two strongest powers off against each other so that they may eventually go to war and, in so doing, cancel each other out of the equation, leaving the British sitting pretty.
And indeed this constituted Britain’s grand strategy from the latter part of the nineteenth century, century and, for that matter, continues to this day. While Germany has been taken out of the equation, there still remains Russia to be done away with. And now there is China rising up and proving to be a handful for the Anglo-American powers.
The Powers That Be
At this stage it becomes necessary to clarify exactly who these Anglo-Americans are. What is being referred to is not the average Joe in the United States living in the suburbs trying to pay off his mortgage, or his British counterpart thereof. Such average schmucks don’t know what’s going on, and nor are they meant to. They’re not the ones who make things happen, or watch things happen. They’re the ones who wonder what’s happening.
For example, Mr Joe Average has no idea how banking works , and as a result is being screwed, swindled into being a slave to debt and forced to spend most of his waking hours struggling to pay off this debt conjured out of thin air by a private banking cartel.
This banking cartel, with its centers of power divided between the Batman of the City of London and the Robin of Wall Street, finally won at the beginning of the twentieth century its battle to run and control the United States. Although presidents like FDR and JFK resisted this money power in the interests of the people, they in the end could not prevail, and, ever since JFK, American presidents have firmly been under the control of this financier oligarchy.
This oligarchy represents a government that is not of the people, by the people and for the people. Because of this, it must necessarily be a shadow government, operating behind the scenes in secret , because it does not enjoy the approval of the people.
This oligarchical system of government traces its roots back principally to the Venetian oligarchy , which for more than a millennium cunningly practiced its diabolical form of statecraft and political intelligence, manipulating and controlling its European neighbors, playing one off against the other for its own nefarious ends.
Eventually this oligarchy transplanted itself to the British Isles, and from there has continued to be a menace to mankind.
This oligarchy is currently faced with a number of major challenges. The fractional-reserve-banking debt casino is finally reaching its mathematical end-point. If the global economy is worth about sixty trillion dollars, and the fictitious derivatives debt amounts to about 1.5 quadrillion dollars – then this debt can’t be paid. The current insistence on austerity measures – cut public services and such to service a debt that is unpayable – is cruelty on stilts. Resistance amongst the masses is rising, and the Oligarchy, long in anticipation of arriving at this juncture, has slowly been instituting a police state, especially with the implementation in the US of the Patriot Act and similar measures in the UK.
The other major challenge for this oligarchy lies in the part of the world not under its control. Having finally sidelined Germany as a major threat to its hegemony in the middle of the twentieth century, this oligarchy is now left with the behemoths of Russia and China standing in the way of its global hegemony.
Pax (Anglo-) Americana
Halford Mackinder was a British geographer who helped found geopolitics and geostrategy. He is particularly remembered for his Heartland Theory , which can be summarized as follows: “Who controls East Europe commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island controls the world.” This theory had some influence on Nazi strategists in encouraging their “drive towards the East” during the Second World War.
The importance of this theory for British strategists was to serve as a warning of the possibility of having another power, or concert of powers, dominate the Eurasian landmass and therefore make irrelevant British maritime supremacy that was otherwise able to control the seaborne trade routes. The same concern governs US geostrategists, as they, a maritime power, endeavor to stop any rival power from dominating Eurasia and, from there, the world.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the eminence grise of the Obama Administration, who previously served as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, wrote of America’s geostrategic exigencies in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives .
He begins in the book: “It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.”
Speaking of America’s historical moment, he says: “For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia – and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”
Elaborating on this theme, he states:: “How America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”
His geostrategic advice for maintaining American preeminence is as follows: “To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”
He continues further on: “Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power.”
His conclusion is essentially that Eurasia’s importance places on the United States a “premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.”
The “barbarians” the Anglo-American oligarchy must keep from coming together are essentially the Russians and the Chinese. The Russians have long struggled against and resisted British geopolitical intrigue – “the great game” – and were crucial in frustrating British efforts to defeat the Union during the US Civil War. They bore the brunt of Hitler’s rampage during the Second World War, the German leader having been nurtured and funded by Anglo-American intelligence, which is to say the financier oligarchy (though they didn’t count on Hitler turning West and becoming a Frankenstein that threatened the existence of its creator).
This oligarchy, after having hobbled Russia by defeating Soviet communism, almost finished her off with the shock therapy instituted during Yeltsin’s chaotic and disastrous reign, during which Russia was looted by ravenous local oligarchs and brought to its knees.
Patriotic Russians in the Russian intelligence community decided enough was enough and put a stop to this wholesale destruction and pauperization of the country. They sent most of these oligarchs scurrying away with their ill-gained billions to London and Tel Aviv and, with their man Putin and the helm, set about resisting further foreign efforts to weaken Russia and eliminate it from the global equation by dividing the country into five or so smaller nations that could be easily handled by any major multinational.
An obvious part of the resistance and push-back is militarily. Russia has focused on investing in and keeping at the forefront of key areas crucial to its defense, such as the Topol-M ICBM that is designed to penetrate any missile defense; highly advanced and capable fighter aircraft like those in the Sukhoi flanker range, equal to or better than their Western equivalents (with the exception of the F-22); and the most advanced surface-to-air missile systems in the world in the S-300, S-400 and now S-500 systems, designed to neutralize the West’s advantage in air superiority.
Another part of the resistance is in the information war. A major player in the Russian Resistance is General Leonid Ivashov, who was previously the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and is currently vice-president of the Academy on Geopolitical Affairs. Conscious of the sort of dominance the Anglo-Americans enjoy in information warfare, General Ivanov and his colleagues have set about mounting a counter-attack.
Journals writing in English have sprung up, giving an alternative, Russian perspective on things. Indeed, since the writers have sources in Russian intelligence, and since it is in the Russian intelligence community’s interest to tell the truth with regards to this struggle, such journals provide what amounts to the last word on what is really going on in geopolitical matters. So whenever in doubt concerning geopolitical matters – go to the Russians! The mother think-tank is the Strategic Culture Foundation , which has spawned the likes of the New Eastern Outlook and Oriental Review .
The Russian version of the BBC, RT , is another form of the information-warfare riposte the Russians are offering. Apparently doing rather well, the network has opened up RT America , offering the alternative-news crowd in the US a prominent platform, as well as opening Spanish – and Arabic – language versions – doing well enough, at least, to worry Hillary Clinton . Why leave it only to the Anglo-Americans to shape global opinion?
The Russians, it must be said, seem to be enjoying annoying the Anglo-Americans with RT. They seemed, for example, to report with undisguised glee the goings on of the Bilderberg meeting in Spain in June 2010, breaking a forbidden taboo in the media. Hitherto the existence of this organization was officially denied and belief in its existence was limited to wild-eyed conspiracists. But with RT loudly proclaiming its existence from its rooftop, the pretense could no longer be maintained after all these decades and the Bilderbergers are now obliged to have a website and the Economist magazine (the mouthpiece of the British establishment, centered around the City of London financier oligarchy, the most powerful establishment in the world) readily acknowledges its existence and admits to its editor being an occasional attendee, albeit in a dismissive way designed to belittle its importance and significance.
NATO had promised Gorbachev that it wouldn’t expand into Eastern Europe if Gorbachev did not intervene in Germany’s reunification. With NATO having evidently had its fingers crossed when making this promise, having subsequently expanded right up to Russia’s borders, Russia firmly put its foot down against this encroaching encirclement in the Georgia War in 2008, perhaps instigated by the then incoming Brzezinski faction to test Russian resolve.
At least as long as Putin is around, or at least the faction he’s associated with, Russia will have resolve and will continue to defy the Anglo-American oligarchy.
China, perhaps in line with its Confucian tradition, has conducted itself with rather more restraint and finesse in its response to continuing Anglo-American attempts to encircle it and then break it up. The grand strategy is to gradually starve China of vital resources until she is forced to go into Russia’s sparsely populated far east, causing Russia and China to fight it out and thereby cancel each other out, just as the British hoped to have the Russians and Germans cancel each other out in the Second World War (which was partially successful).
Toward this end, the US, as a sea power, has been busy endeavoring to dominate the vital naval choke points of seaborne trade crucial to China’s continued growth, namely the Hormuz Strait, Bab-el-Mandeb and the Strait of Malacca, such that a blockade of these crucial seal lanes would cripple China.
China has responded to this threat to its sea lines of communication with what has been called its String of Pearls policy by an internal US Department of Defense report entitled “Energy Futures in Asia”, which describes it as the “manifestation of China’s rising geopolitical influence through efforts to increase access to ports and airfields, develop special diplomatic relationships, and modernize military forces that extend from the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, across the Indian Ocean, and on to the Persian Gulf.”
In response to the threat posed by the choke point in the Strait of Malacca, the Chinese have endeavored to build overland transportation corridors to transport vital resources to China and bypass such choke points. Burma and Pakistan are two countries where the Chinese are making such endeavors, with the construction of a deep-water port in Sittwe, Myanmar, and a large port in Gwadar, Pakistan, which is also probably a naval base for the Chinese only 200 miles or so from the Strait of Hormuz.
The Anglo-Americans have responded by trying to destabilize Myanmar and effect regime change through the Saffron Revolution and, with regard to Pakistan, seem intent on breaking up the country into three or so smaller pieces, with the part containing the large port in Gwadar being included in the new country of Baluchistan.
Efforts to destabilize and break up China are ongoing, perhaps starting with the Tienanmen uprising in an early attempt at a color revolution in 1989, most recently with the Uighur unrest in western China, and the continuing agitation for a particular, narrowly defined set of “ human rights “, which is in reality meant to create divisions that will result in the fragmentation of China into feuding petty fiefdoms who are no match for Halliburton or whatever other unprincipled multinational out there.
Needless to say, the Chinese and Russians aren’t going to take this all lying down, and have set about organizing amongst themselves to resist these efforts aimed at their destruction.
The Chinese in 2001 took the initiative of founding the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan enjoy observer status in the organization, and Belarus and Sri Lanka, neither of which are Central Asian countries, assumed Dialogue Partner status in 2009.
Sri Lanka was finally able to defeat the separatist Tamil Tigers after many years of civil war with the help of SCO members Russia and China. Sri Lanka is strategically important for the Chinese because it is located along its sea lines of communication. China is currently building what is widely considered to be a naval base at the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota. During the Sri Lankan government’s offensive against the Tamil Tigers, the Anglo-Americans jumped up and down screaming about human rights, and have since been threatening the Sri Lankan leadership with prosecution for alleged human-rights violations during the final fight against the Tigers.
And no doubt to the consternation of the United States, Afghanistan is part of what is called the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, a means by which SCO-member states can contribute to the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Of the geopolitical objectives of the SCO, Iranian writer Hamid Golpira stated :
According to Brzezinski’s theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is the key to global domination and control of Central Asia is the key to control of the Eurasian landmass.
It seems that Russia and China have been paying attention to Brzezinski’s theory, since they formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001, ostensibly to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security, but most probably with the real objective of counterbalancing the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia.
In addition to initiatives like the SCO representing resistance to the Anglo-American drive for global hegemony, there are other forms of multilateralism coming to the fore, such as the fledgling BRICS grouping, representing the aspirations of emerging powers for a seat at the table of global institutions and decision-making.
Brazil – Country of the Future?
Brazil, as a rising power, is basing its rise diplomatically on regional integration, with Brazil as the region’s natural leader. And in order to do this, it must displace the United States as the hegemon in South America. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is an endeavor of which Itamaraty is a principal driver, seeking to achieve South American union in emulation of the European Union.
Contributing toward this goal on the international stage, Brazil is in favor of a multilateral world as opposed to an Anglo-American unipolar world, cooperating with other emerging powers towards this end, especially the BRICS grouping but also IBSA . Brazil realizes that the rise of other emerging powers, and the multilateralism it entails, is the best guarantor of Brazil’s own rise. Brazil’s own economic rise, moreover, depends to a large extent on the economic growth of fellow BRICS member China, with its requirement for resources suiting Brazil, which it is well equipped to provide.
The American oligarchy has not taken too well to this prospect of losing regional hegemony. On news of the fledgling UNASUR creating a South American Defense Council (CDS), the US reactivated the Fourth Fleet, which had otherwise lain dormant since 1950. This sparked official enquiries from Brazil and Argentina as to the Fleet’s purpose. Not stopping there, the US shortly afterwards announced its intention to establish seven bases in Colombia, eliciting more alarm from South American nations, including Brazil.
In addition to Brazil’s foreign-policy establishment being aware that the path toward Brazil realizing the standing it is due is through regional integration and regional hegemony, Brazil’s military establishment has for some time now been keenly aware of foreign designs on the Amazon, both Green and (in due course) Blue, and has been adjusting and preparing itself accordingly.
I was having a meal with friends at the Oklahoma restaurant in Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, and the TV was on in the background showing the news. President Lula had recently decided to go ahead with construction of the Belo Monte dam and the footage was showing Indians protesting against this development.
Turning to one of my interlocutors I asked, “Do you think they should go ahead and build that dam?” He said that he thought they should. After watching the footage and news report some more, I soon followed up with, “Do you know those protesting Indians are funded by foreign interests in order to hobble the development of Brazil and hopefully steal the riches contained in the Amazon?” He nodded vigorously. Surprised, I asked him how he knew this – was there a magazine or newspaper that he read that informed him about this? He proudly announced that he had been an officer in the Brazilian Army for eight years, in the armored corps, and was still serving in the reserves as a lieutenant. Foreign designs on the Amazon were common knowledge in the military, he assured me.
This contrasted sharply with the civilian population who, from my experience, seemed to know nothing about such and, when told, struggled to care. For example, my housemates, in their late twenties, when not interested in smoking marijuana at the slightest excuse, were otherwise preoccupied on the weekend with going to the beach or, in the evening, Lapa or some club.
The general impression I got from my time in Brazil was that people tend to see their government less as an institution serving them and more as an obstacle to be avoided or, failing that, overcome by means of a deft application of jeitinho . The idea that my informing them of such geopolitical realities would rouse them into indignation and an insistence that their elected representatives do something about it was greeted almost with a look of dismay at such naivety. The response from them seemed to be, “What has it got to do with me? It is the responsibility of those who have responsibility for such things,” they seemed to say in their unresponsive looks.
Which explains the great disconnect between the military and the general public. While the military establishment appears fully aware of such shenanigans by foreign interests and governments in Brazil, the public appears utterly ignorant of such, treats it as far-fetched when told, or simply don’t appear to care altogether.
And there seems to be a great divergence between the military establishment and other establishments and institutions. Unlike, for example, in Anglo-Saxon countries, where the judiciary enjoys a reputation for justice, impartiality and so on, the Brazilian judiciary is renown for being corrupt. And the political establishment is extremely venal, indeed unashamedly so, the public having such little confidence in it that they show almost no surprise or even concern at the latest shocking scandal. (The only ones who seem to really get worked up over these scandals are the media and some students.)
Which makes the military establishment look all the better in comparison. I was surprised to learn that during the Dictatorship, the military leaders did not enrich themselves but instead would modestly retire on their military pension. Such propriety and probity is in such marked contrast to the civilian leadership that has followed the Dictatorship that one is left wondering whether the military establishment is from a different planet altogether rather than from the same country.
Indeed during the Dictatorship, lasting some 20 years, one is left perplexed not so much at how much abuse of power there was but in fact how little. In contrast to the dictatorships in neighboring countries such as Chile and Argentina, where many thousands were killed by the government, in the whole 20 years of military dictatorship in Brazil, the amount of killings was amazingly limited to less than 400. While of course this is regretful in itself, proportionately and comparatively, Brazil’s dictatorship appears positively benign. This is in spite of the fact that the Dictatorship based its existence on the threat of communist takeover, which, had it been allowed to succeed, would have presumably carried out far greater human-rights abuses than the Dictatorship was responsible for.
Use It Or Lose It
If the military establishment is the most noble of the other establishments and institutions in Brazil (as appears the case – I know too little of the institution of the Catholic Church, in Brazil or elsewhere, to comment on it), then it should come as no surprise that the military establishment would be the one most concerned about short- and long-term threats to the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and even social cohesion.
Colonel Gelio Fregapani was, before his retirement, a senior Brazilian army officer linked with strategic matters and their military implications. He held senior positions with the Army and State Secretariat and was also a senior officer in Brazil’s intelligence service, ABIN. He is an expert on the Amazon and was one of the founders and developers of Brazil’s jungle-warfare doctrine. He has graduate degrees in political science, politics and strategy, and government planning, and has written three books:The Amazon and Massive International Greed ; On the Inside of the Jungle ; and Secrets of Espionage . He has a regular column on the premier defense website Defesanet.
Colonel Fregapani has been outspoken about the threats posed to Brazil’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Amazon by foreign interests salivating over the Forest’s mineral wealth, and has been one of the main instigators behind the Brazilian Army’s orientation towards preparing to defend the Amazon from an outside aggressor.
Due to complaining perhaps too loudly about these threats as the head of the Amazon Working Group, an intelligence group comprising representatives of the armed forces, federal police and intelligence service, Colonel Fregapani was relieved of his command by Defense Minister Nelson Jobim.
Perhaps the chasm separating the civilian and military leadership in Brazil is such that the civilian leadership often doesn’t believe what its military tells it. But if this act was meant to stop the military from continuing to complain about the threat to the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it didn’t work, as shortly afterwards, no less than General Augusto Heleno publicly criticized the government’s indigenous policy, echoing many of the complaints raised by Colonel Fregapani.
The General was expressing alarm over the 2007 UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous people, to which Brazil was a signatory, but which, interestingly, the Anglo-Saxon countries of US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with their own indigenous populations, did not sign on to.
The Brazilian military is firmly of the view that such a move constitutes a grave threat to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and intimates that this is by design rather than out of genuine concern for the interests of indigenous people. They advocate for a presence by the Brazilian government in the region, not only militarily but in terms of the provision of basic social services by the state and so on.
General Heleno, first of all, is a general, and, secondly, was the first commander of the Brazilian-led UN mission in Haiti. At the time of publicly criticizing the government’s indigenous policy, he was commander in charge of the Amazon region. So perhaps given his standing and position, unlike Colonel Fregapani, the government was not willing to fire him.
As a result of damaging revelations from such investigations into CIA abuses like the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission in 1975, President Reagan in 1981 signed Executive Order 12333, allowing the privatization of many functions of the CIA in order to avoid the type of negative scrutiny experienced in such investigations.
Various NGOs would therefore be set up, and foundations co-opted , to act as fronts for what the CIA had hitherto been doing covertly for decades. Thus, when the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a major NGO used by the US government to bring about regime change, was set up in 1983, Allen Wenstein, who helped draft the relevant legislation, remarked : “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Thus, it ought not to be too surprising that Brazil’s intelligence service suspects that many of the numerous NGOs operating in the Amazon, purportedly for the benefit of the indigenous population in most cases, are actually CIA and MI6 fronts.
The grand strategy these Amazonian pathfinders seem to be preparing is probably that of securing autonomy for Indian “territories” – that just so happen to sit atop vast mineral wealth – and then eventually have these territories declare independence. Once this has happened, the indigenous leaders who have been so well manipulated will have their newly independent nations ready and ripe for exploitation by people far too guileful for them.
These same interests have also been making noises over the years about the internationalization of the Amazon, arguing that due to its rich biodiversity and therefore importance to the rest of the world (as “the lungs of the Earth”, for example), it ought to be treated as a “collective public good” and so ought to be under international control rather than remain under the allegedly poor management of the Brazilians. To such an argument the lapidary response of Senator Cristovam Buarque cannot be surpassed.
Brazil’s Checkmate Move
Faced with this mounting pressure to internationalize the Amazon from various international voices on one side, and growling pressure from the Brazilian military to do something to protect the nation’s sovereignty on the other, the government, perhaps falling back on that famous Brazilian jeitinho , came up with a brilliant response that completely took the wind out of the sails of what is admittedly a cunning and sophisticated effort at appropriating the Amazon by the Anglo-Americans.
The Brazilian government came up with the Amazon Fund , essentially challenging these international interests to put their money where their mouth is – with the handy proviso that Brazil administers the efforts to protect the Forest and thereby retains sovereign control over its own territory. The Fund’s website states that it is “aimed at raising donations for non-reimbursable investments in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the preservation and sustainable use of the forest in the Amazon Biome.”
With that deft application of a checkmate, there has been little noise heard about internationalizing the Amazon since. The threat, however, still remains of indigenous groups manipulated by foreign interests consolidating their separation and perhaps eventually attempting secession.
Toward this end the Brazilian Army has been investing in its jungle-fighting skills, to the extent of consulting with the Vietnamese to gain from their experience fighting the Americans during the Vietnam War, such that they are now confident that they have the best jungle-training school in the world as well as the world’s best jungle fighters. If Raposa-Serra do Sol, for example, were to choose to declare itself an independent Indian nation, even with UN approval, the Brazilian Army has made it clear that it will ignore such a declaration and will fight whoever disagrees with it.
Divide and Rule
The Brazilian military, as the most alert Brazilian institution to such threats, has been keenly aware of the modus operandi of foreign interests threatening Brazilian sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, while the military has displayed a commendable awareness of and adaptation to these emerging challenges of asymmetrical or fourth-generation warfare, such is the nature of this new form of often subtle warfare that its methods and stratagems may nevertheless go unnoticed by even those on the lookout for them.
The strategy of divide and rule is an ancient one used throughout the ages by the ruling class or elite to keep the lower orders divided and weak, whether in far-away colonies or within their own societies.
As already mentioned, the powers that be are oligarchical in nature, the Anglo-American oligarchy currently enjoying top-dog status in this regard. Given that this oligarchy resides in what most of its inhabitants assume to be liberal democracies, their power and control must necessarily be disguised and hidden. As American writer Michael Lind has observed : “The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist…”
One way of doing this is for the family fortunes of these oligarchical clans to be transformed into foundations. Thus (in the US) the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, Pew Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and so on, which are used by the ruling elite to maintain social control through foundation-funded divide-and-rule social engineering, playing one group of the population against the other, so that in the end, Wall Street’s interests are never threatened.
A major threat to the US ruling elite came in the 1960s in the wake of the Vietnam War defeat and the anti-war, student and civil-rights movements. Leaders like Martin Luther King threatened to offer an inclusive united front to collectively advance the overlapping interests of the civil-rights movement, the labor interests of the working class, and the anti-war movement. His Poor People’s Campaign, for example, presented a mortal threat to the Oligarchy.
The Oligarchy swung into action with its counterinsurgency strategy of employing the foundations to fragment and divide the lower classes into petty squabbling narrow-interest groups that could never unite to threaten Wall Street.
Under the guiding hand of Skull & Bones patrician McGeorge Bundy, the Ford Foundation set about throwing the Molotov cocktail of provocateurs into such coalitions as those Martin Luther King was attempting to form.
These provocateurs were Black Power advocates like the Black Panthers, extremists like H Rapp Brown, with his incendiary “burn, baby, burn” statements like “violence is as American as cherry pie” serving the purpose of fueling a backlash from the middle class against the demands of the militants.
The Ford Foundation has continued to further divide the American lower classes into ever fragmenting petty feuding narrow-interest groups. It’s not just between “blacks” and “whites” in which the Foundation has sought to exacerbate and emphasize – or even create where none previously existed – difference, it founded Hispanic identity and continues to fund such extremist and divisive groups as La Raza and Aztlan.
To further fragment the middle and lower classes, such foundations are adding to this glorious cacophony radical feminism, homosexual activism, the LBGT category of identity-politics, and so on and on. Other oligarchs look after things within the right wing, such as the Koch Brothers, co-opting and funding the Tea Party and other right-leaning groups, while the likes of George Soros operate under left-wing cover, capturing and taming left-wing groups. The late comedian George Calin lamented this divide – and – rule strategy with humor.
Beware of Foundations Bearing Gifts
The Anglo-American oligarchy’s interests obviously extends beyond its English-speaking borders – the world is its oyster, after all. And as already mentioned, this oligarchy is facing some challenges, as the uppity emerging countries presume to occupy a seat at the table rather than being content to wallow in the plantation.
And indeed! The presumption of a country like Brazil, which seems to have rather forgotten for the moment its place in the world – that it resides in America’s backyard; and that it should never presume to enter the casa grande through the front door!
I have already spoken here about the designs on the Amazon forest (and no doubt there will be designs on the Amazonia Azul soon enough), and have previously touched on the nefarious intentions of the Ford Foundation in Brazil, albeit with sarcasm and humor. Now I will elaborate on it.
It would seem that the Anglo-American oligarchy is intending to invest in Brazil the same divide-and-rule counter-insurgency strategy it has employed through its foundation fronts on its own societies with such success. Brazil, as a relatively homogeneous and cohesive society, must therefore be divided up into fragmented and feuding narrow interest-groups that will serve to hobble Brazil’s successful rise.
Clearly the vast class divide already existent will not do, perhaps because with economic growth it will naturally diminish. The races – or “races” – will have to be divided. An American-type race- and color-consciousness will have to take root, inculcated into and ingrained in the upcoming generation so that the Anglo-American oligarchy will be able to play them off against each other once they’re older. Divide and rule, it is called.
Unfortunately the Brazilian government, evidently lacking the necessary sophistication and insight to be able to discern such ill intentions, has been happily obliging these devious plans. The Oligarchy snaps, “Jump!” and the artless Brazilian government eagerly responds, “How high?”
Extraordinarily absurd for a country like Brazil, Brazilian state and federal governments, at the behest of the Ford Foundation, are institutionalizing racialism , giving the concept of race legal standing for the first time in the country’s 500 years of history.
Of course the Ford Foundation means well and has the best intentions of Brazil and its people at heart in all this. Of course.
French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Loïc Wacquant, in their article, “On the Cunning of Imperialist Reasoning”, on pages 44-48, bewailed this forcible imposition of what they refer to as “the quasi-universalization of the US folk-concept or ‘race’ as a result of the worldwide export of US scholarly categories” on countries like Brazil so far removed from the American situation.
Brazilians themselves, alarmed at this brazen attempt to deform and deface their nation’s identity and social reality, have been mounting a valiant defense. Led by UFRJ academics Yvonne Maggie and Peter Fry, a resistance brésilienne of sorts has been forming, manifesting major efforts such as Demetrio Magnoli’s One Drop of Blood : A History of Racial Thought and Dangerous Divisions : Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil , edited by Fry and Maggie, to less academic and more grassroots efforts like the Against the Racialization of Brazil blog and the Mixed Nation Movement .
Who will prevail – the Anglo-American oligarchy through its Ford Foundation front, or Brazilians committed to safeguarding the integrity of their nation? Only time will tell.
But such is the rate at which the Foundation’s divisive efforts are bearing fruit that a Brazilian lawmaker has already proposed the creation of “white” ethnic territories, evidently in emulation of “Indian” territories or “black” territories already being vigorously agitated for, in order “to preserve the cultural rights, exercise community practices, and cultural memory and racial identity of the white ethnicity”. This in Brazil.
Fortune Favors the Strong
The Brazilian military has already fulfilled its national duty to safeguard the nation against foreign threats, whether in the traditional conventional sense, or whether in the newer, more asymmetrical sense as seen with the threat posed against the Amazon.
However, the even more asymmetrical (and therefore subtle and challenging) threat aimed at Brazil’s social cohesion seems to have gone unnoticed even by the otherwise alert military, such is the often subtle nature of fourth-generation warfare. Or, if it has been noticed, which I somewhat suspect, it appears not to have been accorded the importance it deserves.
The threat to the society’s social cohesion ought to be treated as important because, although a relatively long-term project, and seemingly not such an immediate threat, once a racial mentality takes hold, once Brazilians’ minds have been captured and controlled into genuinely thinking that they belong to a “black” community or “white” community that is, or ought to be, segregated, with differing identities and diverging interests and so forth, then this mentality will be very hard to remove once it’s taken root.
The practical result of this will be that Brazil’s population will become the playthings of foreign oligarchs, mercilessly played off against each other.
Do Brazilians have the will and the nous to resist? Do Brazilians have what it takes to sit at the adults’ table? Or will they be played and manipulated, too naive and unsophisticated to have any hope of challenging the global powers that be? Perhaps they’re not ready for the big time. But then perhaps they are. Time will tell.
Peter de Mambla is an Australian who recently spent a year in Brazil. He has a bachelor’s degree in politics from Monash University and is currently undertaking a juris doctor at the University of New England. He has a great interest in geopolitics and, more broadly, questions concerning the good life. He can be contacted on: email@example.com
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