O Brasil deixou de fazer parte da comunidade internacional? Desde quando?
O que é este blog?
Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;
Meu Twitter: https://twitter.com/PauloAlmeida53
sexta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2022
O Brasil deixou de fazer parte da comunidade internacional? Desde quando? - Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Mediu é um dos melhores assembladores de crônicas inteligentes que tenho visto.
They come from the capital city and from rural townships. Some wear makeup and jeans while others are clad in traditional robes though they leave their silver hair uncovered. They are all Iranian women uniting against the Islamic Republic’s oppressive regime.
Nationwide protests – that have spread to Iran's 31 provinces – broke out on Sept. 17 after Mahsa Amini, 22, a young Iranian woman, was allegedly beaten to death by the regime’s “morality police” for failing to fully cover her hair.
🌖A symbol like the moon🌖. Mahsa, a name of Persian origin that means like the moon, has emerged as a symbol of the ayatollahs’ oppressive system that sometimes sends women to “reeducation centers” for failing to comply with strict modesty requirements – sometimes with deadly consequences.
Iran has a long tradition of mass demonstrations, including those that led to the 1979 revolution and the country’s current system of clerical despotism. However, in recent years many of the country’s mass movements have had their momentum halted by brute government force. Will this time be different?
Not your grandmother’s revolution. There are several indications that this uprising is different from previous ones. Historically in Iran, anti-government movements were galvanized by an overlapping set of economic and political grievances. The 2009 Green Movement, for example, which saw millions of Iranians take to the streets in defiance of the totalitarian government, was moved to action after a rigged presidential election that saw the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad return to power despite conspicuous electoral irregularities.
Moreover, mass protests in 2019 over the hiking of fuel prices as well as broader economic grievances spread to more than 200 cities before being violently quashed in a crackdown known as “Bloody November.”
This time, however, the primary motivating factor is … sisterhood. Incensed by years of oppression at the hands of Iran’s morality police, Iranian women are leading the call for revolution. In most instances, women spanning the generational divide are risking their lives by tearing off their headscarves – and burning them – in a show of defiance against the gray-bearded ayatollahs who govern their bodies.
To be sure, there is an amalgamation of interests on the ground. Iranian men disillusioned with the dismal state of the economy and lack of political agency have joined protesters in calling for change. From 2012 to 2020, income per head shrunk by 68%, and around 40% of Iranian households now live below the poverty line.
Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, says that while there are indeed economic undertones to these protests – pointing to crippling Western sanctions – “a serious component of the uprisings are middle class women who are highly educated, globally wired” and united by mutual loathing of a system that enforces mandatory veiling. Indeed, the movement is diffuse and leaderless – centered around one key demand: to let women choose.
Conversely, the 2009 Green Movement was led by old school reformist politicians with deep ties to the established regime. Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister during the Iraq-Iran war who adopted the traditional Islamic color of green for his campaign, co-led the protest movement along with Mehdi Karoubi, a Shia cleric, after the two ran in the 2009 presidential race. They were both placed in 2011 under house arrest – where they’ve remained for over a decade – for their roles in the Green Movement after emerging as key protest leaders jostling for power withina system they were deeply entrenched in.
But Dabashi says that being leaderless is not necessarily a bad thing. “We have had too many leaders,” in the past, he says, adding “that revolutions used to be on the level of epics that required a hero,” which could be distracting.
Still, the current dynamic of the movement means that the situation is much more fluid. “We don’t know what’s going to happen on the next page because there's a democratic distribution of characters,” Dabashi explains. As a result, “there’s no clear agenda, political program … or identifiable objective that in a week they can point to and say this is what the uprising achieved.”
Looking ahead. Iran’s security forces, including the notoriously brutal Basij paramilitary that’s part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, are known for using coercive means to quash dissent. Already in recent weeks, there have been reports of at least 75 deaths.
But it’s one thing to crack down on a group of poor Iranians protesting high fuel prices. It is quite another to arrest or shoot women who are demanding change from across the generational spectrum. The regime can’t shoot millions of women who refuse to put their hijabs back on.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but Dabashi says that things aren’t going backwards. “An epistemic shift has happened in terms of the partition of the relationship between the nation and the state,” he says, adding that “the ruling regime has now painted itself into a corner that if mandatory veiling disappears so will the Islamic Republic itself.”
The supreme leader and his regime has a time-tested approach for quashing dissent. Still, each confrontation with the Iranian people leaves the regime a little more bruised and battered.
Military Offensives, Hybrid Attacks – And No Peace in Sight
Military Offensives, Hybrid Attacks – And No Peace in Sight
“In war everything is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. Those difficulties add up and cause friction, which nobody can really imagine who has not witnessed war”. Thus Clausewitz. An effective plan of attack is based on a simple idea, for a plan that is too complex to explain to one’s own commanders, will not be executed. But the best plans go awry, first of all because, naturally, the opponent also has a plan. This renders war very unpredictable per definition, as Vladimir Putin has experienced – as well as the many military and academic analysts in the West.
The Self-Defeating Offensive
I had expected active fighting to have fizzled out long before the summer. After a few weeks, it was clear for all to see that Russia could not achieve its initial objectives of regime change in Kyiv and occupying (at least) half of the country to the Dnepr river. My assessment was that Russia would halt offensive operations once it had conquered the land bridge between the Crimea and the Donbass, and dig in there.
With hindsight, that would have been smarter on their part. At that time, the Ukrainian armed forces were not yet capable of launching a powerful counterattack. Russia could have consolidated its control over occupied territory, making a counteroffensive at a later stage even more difficult. Undoubtedly, some in the West would have been tempted to probably still adopt sanctions, but to basically accept the fait accompli on the ground.
By keeping on the offensive tough, Russia paradoxically weakened itself more than Ukraine. Russia did conquer more territory, but only by overstretching its (unexpectedly low) military power. At the same time it fortified unity and resolve in the West to fully support Ukraine and to punish Russia. The brutal war crimes of the Russian army further strengthened that dynamic. Thanks to its own strong will to fight and with Western support, Ukraine not only blocked the Russian advance, but in some sectors of the front even succeeded in driving it back.
What we see now – nuclear bluff, fake referenda and sabotage of the Nordstream 1 and 2 gas pipelines – are signs of Russian weakness and frustration with defeat on the battlefield. The actual impact on the war may be limited. Putin’s tale of Western aggression, against which ultimately nuclear weapons can be deployed, must veil Russia’s failure from his own public. For how to explain that a supposedly inexistent Ukrainian nation fights so hard that mobilisation must be decreed, if not by a Western conspiracy? The referenda and illegal annexation of more lands will not stop Ukraine from continuing its efforts to liberate its entire national territory.
Sabotaging the pipelines in the short term ratchets up energy prices again, which hurts Europe, but in the long term it will hurt Russia more. They are their pipelines. Before the war I wrote that the EU should signal to Russia: if ever you cut off the gas, it will never be reconnected again. That has now become very certain indeed.
Nevertheless, these acts of sabotage (a form of “hybrid attack”) do represent an escalation. We, the EU and NATO countries, are not at war with Russia, and the unspoken understanding remains that direct war between nuclear powers must be avoided. Such hybrid attacks, which remain below the threshold of military violence and as long as they don’t cause loss of life, the West will not quickly consider to be an act of war. (Although at its summit last June NATO did explicitly decide, for the first time, that the option to do so exists). But we must react when sabotage, or other far-reaching hybrid attacks, happen on our territory.
For now, we attempt to deter hybrid attacks by building up strong defences. But we ought also to deter by threatening retaliation. Whoever paralyses a port through a cyber attack or blows up a pipeline in any EU or NATO country, ought to know that the EU or NATO as a whole will launch a counterstrike against their infrastructure. The West should develop a doctrine along those lines, but that debate had only just started before the war.
For my country, Belgium, in particular, this is of crucial importance, for as the host nation for EU and NATO headquarters, it is a primary target for hybrid attacks, and the Belgian state holds the primary responsibility for averting them. That is a core message of the country’s first ever National Security Strategy, adopted in December 2021.
No End in Sight
Meanwhile, let us not forget that militarily, Russia is far from finished. We see the ongoing protests, but the regime (which is much more than just Putin) is firmly established. We see how many try to escape mobilisation, but tens of thousands have now joined the ranks and will shortly reinforce Russian positions in the occupied areas. That will not enable Russia to seize large parts of territory again, but it may allow it to stabilise the front. Sadly, it is far from certain, therefore, that Ukraine will be able to liberate all of the sizeable territory that Russia still holds.
As stated above, war is especially unpredictable. At this point in time, the most likely outcome still seems that both sides will eventually fight each other to a standstill, and that large active operations will cease at least temporarily – hopefully when the front has moved as much as possible to the east. Winter conditions may contribute to this, though one should not forget that in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, major battle continued well into December.
If there were indeed a (temporary) lull in the fighting, would this create conditions for tentative talks, or would the war just flare up again next spring, with more firepower deployed on both sides? Or might Putin, faced with the defeat of his ambitions, be tempted to opt for massive escalation and use the nuclear weapon against Ukraine, in spite of the risk of an escalatory spiral? For that might in turn invite a direct intervention by the United States and its European allies. Nobody can know anything for certain.
The West must in any case prepare to support Ukraine on a structural basis, economically and militarily, and to render its economy structurally independent from Russia. A peace agreement remains the ideal outcome, but is impossible as long as Russia is not prepared to make major concessions. We better adjust therefore, if the hot war ever ends, to a long-term frozen conflict, with an ever present risk of renewed escalation.
Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop (Egmont Institute & Ghent University) struggles to see a likely positive scenario.
Eleições no Brasil: a CNN sobre a tensão pré-eleitoral no Brasil - Rodrigo Pedroso, Marcia Reverdosa and Camilo Rocha
Brazil’s presidential vote is just days away. Voters are comparing it to ‘war’
By Rodrigo Pedroso, Marcia Reverdosa and Camilo Rocha, CNN
Updated 12:39 PM EDT, Thu September 29, 2022 - 03:41 - Source: CNN
'There's something strange going on': Some fear a coup in Brazil
Brazil’s upcoming presidential election has been shrouded by an unprecedented climate of tension and violence. As the Oct. 2 vote approaches, episodes of harassment and attacks have intensified, with even neutral players like poll institutes turning into targets.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who aims to be reelected, is currently lagging in the main polls behind leftwing former President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. And the battle between these two very different household names has divided the nation – with experts saying the level of political anger is different this year
“The polarization we’re facing this year is different from just a political polarization,” says Felipe Nunes, CEO of Quaest Research Institute, which conducts polls in Brazil.
“This year we are seeing affective polarization — where different political groups see each other as enemies, not as adversaries.”
Several of his group’s researchers have been harassed while conducting polling this year, Nunes added.
Another well-known research institute, Datafolha said that one of its researchers’ lives was threatened, after they refused to interview a self-identified Bolsonaro supporter in the city of Ariranha, outside of Sao Paulo.
The disgruntled man accused the researcher of bias, and accused him of only interviewing “Lula’s supporters” and “tramps”. He then beat and threatened him with a knife, says Datafolha, which filed a police report
“One of the polling guidelines is to not interview someone who offers himself. It has to be random for statistical purposes,” said Jean Estevao de Souza, electoral researcher project coordinator at Datafolha, to CNN.
“The most typical cases (of attacks) are of people who offer themselves and when the researcher explains that he cannot be interviewed under that circumstance, the person starts filming, offending and cursing.”
According to Datafolha, 42 other cases of harassment and violence against its employees have been reported since September 7 this year.
Critics accuse Bolsonaro of fueling fire
While violence has been seen on both sides of the political spectrum, critics accuse Bolsonaro of deliberately fostering distrust and frustration among supporters toward the Brazilian electoral system. And increasingly, as his performance flags in the polls, Bolsonaro’s ire has turned toward research organizations like Datafolha.
Datafolha has been repeatedly named – and the accuracy of its polls questioned — by Bolsonaro. In a speech in Brasília during the celebrations of Brazil´s 200-year Independence Anniversary on September 7, Bolsonaro discredited Datafolha projections, a common theme in his speeches.
“I’ve never seen such a big sea here with these green and yellow colors. There is no lying Datafolha here,” he said. “Here is the truth, here is the will of an honest, free and hardworking people.”
During a campaign event on Sept. 23, Bolsonaro kept the tone in a speech to his supporters in Divinópolis, Minas Gerais state. “We are the majority. We will win in the first round. There is no election without people in the streets. We don’t see any of the other candidates holding a rally that comes close to 10% of the people here,” he said.
Recent polls have shown Lula leading Bolsonaro in recent weeks.
Attempts by politicians to discredit polling institutes are not new in Brazil, says Datafolha’s Estevao de Souza. “But we never faced harassment and attacks on the researchers on the streets until this year.”
“The rhetoric of attack on the institutes by the president’s campaign, which tries to discredit the polls, ends up circulating among the most radicalized supporters and it is reflected in the streets,” he said.
Verbal sparring between the two leading candidates — though not uncommon in Brazil — has also added to the poisoned atmosphere, with Bolsonaro repeatedly calling Lula a “thief,” and Lula recently describing Bolsonaro as vermin.
Given the charged national dialogue, some Brazilian voters have chosen to refrain from discussing their electoral preferences in public, according to a Quaest poll.
“We recently asked voters if they feel it’s more dangerous to say their opinions or whoever they want to vote for. And around 80% of respondents claimed it’s more dangerous to talk about politics right now than it used to be in the past,” continued Nunes.
‘Repeat with me: I swear to give my life for freedom’
Attacks on polling researchers are just one example of the political hostility seen in Brazil as the nation prepares for the vote.
During a speech accepting his party’s nomination for reelection on July 23, the Brazilian president called on supporters to give their lives “for freedom.”
“Repeat with me: I swear to give my life for freedom. Once again,” said Bolsonaro to the crowd who repeated his words.
There have been repeated clashes between Bolsonaro and Lula supporters – the most emblematic episode being perhaps the shooting death of Workers Party member Marcelo Arruda on July 9 by the Bolsonaro supporter José da Rocha Guaranho, who was later charged with aggravated murder.
Guaranho, who was also shot and subsequently hospitalized, has said he doesn’t not remember what happened.
Such high profile incidents have caused fear among some potential voters – and could risk deterring people from voting at all. On the streets of Sao Paulo’s iconic Paulista avenue, voters interviewed by CNN expressed frustration over the bitter atmosphere around the coming elections.
“There is too much tension, it’s almost turning into a war. It seems that Lula and Bolsonaro are like football teams. People are angry at each other,” said 33-year-old Erika de Paula, who said she was still undecided but would not vote for Bolsonaro.
Felipe Araujo, who considers himself a moderate supporter of Bolsonaro, wished the elections would end soon. “(The elections) are very polarized between the two main candidates. And there is a lot of fighting between people. I sincerely hope this ends soon. It has contaminated all of the environments, work, family, friends,” he said.
Voter turnout will be crucial at this historic juncture for the country – which could see Brazil’s leadership double down on Bolsonaro’s agenda or else take a left turn under Lula.
But four in ten Brazilians believe that there is a high chance of political violence on election day and – although voting is compulsory in Brazil – 9% said they were are considering not voting at all for fear of violence, according to a Datafolha poll earlier this month.
“These tensions and attacks are very bad for the research work, but also for the election, for the political environment in general, and for democracy itself,” said Estevao de Souza from Datafolha.