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Despite US Push, Brazil Says No to UN Mission in Lebanon

Brazil has decided not to send troops for the United Nations peace mission in Lebanon, in spite of strong lobbying from the United States, according to the Argentine press.

Talking in Beirut, Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, confirmed Tuesday, August 15, that Brazil will not be part of the UN mission. A few hours later Argentina’s Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Roberto Garcia Moritan made a similar announcement.

Apparently Argentina and Brazil coordinated a common position in the issue in spite of the strong pressure from United States for the integration of troops from the two countries to the peace effort.

Both Brasilia and Buenos Aires assessed that in the event of a participation in Lebanon with forces, political disadvantages were greater than benefits.

Argentina in the last ten years has suffered two major terrorist attacks: one against the Israel embassy in Buenos Aires which was flattened and a second against a local Jewish organization that left hundreds dead and wounded. President Kirchner administration believes that an active involvement, even for peace purposes, could generate further risks, points out the Argentine press.

Brazil on the other hand has at least ten million residents who descend from Lebanese and Syrian immigrants and also a very powerful, in financial terms, Jewish community.

In Beirut Amorim is quoted telling Lebanese Premier Fuaud Siniora that the “Lula administration has no expectations of mediating in a crisis of such nature”.

If the request was in a context of “clear undisputed willingness to peace, we would be present”, pointed out Amorim who arrived in Beirut with nine tons of relief aid, mostly donations from the Lebanese community in Brazil. “One thing is a cease fire, but it’s also crucial that dialogue is resumed”, Amorim summed up Brazil’s position.

Apparently the Brazilian official was very impressed to see Brazilian flags and colous flying from many of the Israeli bombed quarters in Beirut. Actually the Brazilian Air Force rescued many Lebanese-Brazilians during the month long conflict.

Amorim also made it clear the Lula administration has no intention of debilitating its relations with Israel.

“We want to maintain the good relations with Israel. And we also want to persuade them to resume dialogue because that’s where hope lies,” emphasized the Brazilian official.

From Chile, another country with significant Middle East and Jewish communities, plus a long record of collaboration with UN peace efforts, the attitude was similar. Chilean military sources said that the Lebanese situation needs hardy proven forces and a solemn commitment from both sides.

“First it’s the duty of countries with high military capability, and then with a stabilized situation, Chile could operate in the zone”.

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  • ABC

    Not known to many
    The dear friend above lack knowledge of history. Firstly Brazil fought the II World War against the nazis in Italy. Not known to many (because of Hollywood continuing expressed preferencialAmerican propaganda) with fiercy battles the Brazilian Army was responsible for the opening of the passage of the Apenines where the Germans had the most important stronghold in Italy. Without the Brazilian victory passage to the North of Italy would be impossible. The Brazilian Forces completed all the missions confided to them and compared favorably with the American divisions of the Fourth Corps. Unfortunately, the heavy symbolism of Monte Castello has obscured the FEB’s victory (Brazilian Expeditionary Force) at Montese on April 16, in which it took the town after a four-day gruelling battle, suffering 426 casualties.47 In the next days it fought to a standstill the German 148th Division and Fascist Italian Monte Rosa, San Marco, and Italia Divisions, which surrendered to General Mascarenhas on April 29-30. In a matter of days the Brazilians trapped and took the surrender of 2 generals, 800 officers, and 14,700 troops. The 148th was the only intact German division to surrender on that front.48 Although they had little preparation and served under foreign command, against a combat-experienced enemy, the “Smoking Cobras,” as the FEB was nicknamed, had shown, as one of their songs put it, the “fiber of the Brazilian army” and the “grandeza de nossa gente” [greatness of our peoplej.49

    American leaders wanted the FEB to stay in Europe as part of the occupation forces, but Brazilian military and civilian leaders rejected that role. Unhappily, over American objections, the Brazilian government decided to disband the FEB upon return to Brazil. The American military had hoped that the division would be kept together to form the nucleus for a complete reformation of the Brazilian army. FEB veterans would slowly introduce the lessons of the war finto the General Staff School and Military School curricula. But the chance to use the FEB experience to project Brazilian influence on the post-war world order was lost. Those making the rapid decisions in late 1945 that led to the FEB’s demise could not know how quickly the United States would demobilize, or how quickly the alliance with the Soviet Union would collapse. Perhaps if Brazil had maintained occupation troops in Europe and a standing cadre of combat-hardened troops at home, it would have had a different post-war international position.

    Nowadays Brazil is considered one of the countries which more contributes to the UN sending troops n several places.

    Should you know more about Brazil?

  • CH.C.

    No balls….as usual !
    Brazil and South American countries have never ever done something for peace…..unless they get many advantages.
    You have been highly critical against Israel……despite it was the Hezbollahs who started all this war !
    But now….you retract yourselves and dont want to irritate neither the Muslmims nor the Jews. But none of them would be against a UN peace mission, regardless of the participating countries involved.
    You just cover your ass. One day you criticze Israel harshly and the next day……you refuse to participate in the peace UN mission.

    You just play a double game with everything you do and say……..as usual !

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