Impeachment – This Too Shall Pass

Even though the impeachment of Dilma has temporarily come to a reality, this cannot last. The situation, both in Brazil and in the wider world, is unsustainable. The Vice-President of Brazil stepping in has a very low degree of support within the country, and this will become increasingly evident in the coming days.

This absence of a any foundation for the stand-in government is not just political, it is also economic. The Vice-President’s economic policy rests on cutting back social policies that bring the less well-off into the mainstream of society, and cutting back on employment related benefits, in favour of the large industry organisations that helped organise and finance the coup.

This short-termist point of view, seeking gain for themselves to the detriment of others has to and will backfire, because it is against the laws of the Universe. When we fail to recognise others as similar to ourselves, as human beings, we really are acting against our own best interests, but it does inevitably take time for us to realise this.

But, there is no free lunch, however much anyone says or believes to the contrary.

The capitalist position is that money must rule or dominate the discussion, and this one has dominated the world stage ever since Margaret Thatcher took power in 1979. Just as there have been Marxist dictatorships in the east, so we are now under capitalist ones in the west.

The Marxist position is that labour must revolt because the capital will never cede its position.

Both these positions are to say the least, narrow-minded, each being blindly opposed to the other and not ceding their own point of view.

The true facts are that we are in this together and have to negotiate. The two sides have to get around the table and communicate. The situation illustrated in Brazil is that labour is being denied the right to be represented in government, because their position is that money should rule, that they should not support  government through paying taxes because the money is theirs, and that they have the right to take power.

But none of these governments with illegitimacy last, because eventually they realise that things are not working as they expected. Democracy is ultimately about sharing power, not taking it simply because you are unable to understand how the other feels. So neither the coup by force nor the revolution of the proletariat can work and last or be sustained.

In a coup of the right or revolution of the left, neither of these sides is recognising the existence of the right of the State to exist, a State which can hold the balance between the two sides. Once the two sides recognise that, a degree of harmony can be reached that is beneficial to all parties.

I am encouraged by the fact that the wider world is looking on with a certain degree of objectivity, seeing what is really happening and even outlets that can be let us say attached to or identified with a monetarist position, such as the weekly magazine The Economist, can see the absence of what we have come to expect from a democratic liberal state, the rule of law.

A story comes to mind that is useful in such situations.

A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused and called the sages to him. He said, “I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state. I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy, will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must be made sad.”

The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally they came to a decision as to the character of this ring which would suit their king.

The ring which they had devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend:

THIS TOO SHALL PASS

A Saída para Brasil, e para nós

O Brasil está amordaçado ou bloqueado por um grupo que busca dar um golpe contra a democracia. Se estas pessoas que conspiram a favor do golpe dissessem realmente a verdade do que se encontra por trás de tudo isso, inclusive suas relações promíscuas com a imprensa, grupos estrangeiros e empresários locais, de acordo com a legislação brasileira, eles ficariam presos por muitos anos. Cometeram diversos crimes contra a economia e conspiram abertamente contra um governo eleito de forma democrática. Creio que a única chance destas pessoas seria de dar uma anistia contando abertamente a toda a verdade, do que realmente for dito atrás das portas fechadas.

Eles já tem as rédias de diversos poderes da república, tendo inclusive em suas mãos muitas das alavancas destes e querem tomar o resto para se salvarem, até da própria liberdade. Eles estão reagindo com animais selvagens na sua própria defesa, muito compreensivelmente, embora que suas manipulações aparecem muito grotescas para uma pessoa olhando de fora, como na votação no Congresso para a impeachment da Presidenta eleita democraticamente, Dilma Rousseff.

Outros exemplos desse desespero são a discussão na coluna de cartas dos leitores do jornal, The Guardian, sobre o em regimes da mídia oligopólio no Brasil, e do anúncio da condenação de José Dirceu pela operação Lava Jato antes mesmo da defesa ser ouvida. Era essa operação que levou a esse confronto entre o governo e um complô que busca derrubar o governo. Os golpistas estão mostrando cada vez mais desespero ao perceberem que eles terão seus privilégios contrariados caso a verdade e a democracia prevaleçam.

A saída para o Brasil ou qualquer país que está passando por uma situação similar, por exemplo o Reino Unido e os Estados Unidos, é a criação de uma Comissão Cidadã da Verdade, ou seja, uma comissão legitimamente instituída, com ampla participação de todos os setores da sociedade, especialmente da opinião pública, no sentido de fazer um acordo com os supostos envolvidos, ou seja, “nos digam a verdade e ganhem a liberdade”. Teriam que abrir publicamente suas contas bancárias, onde quer que se encontrem, devolvendo aos cofres públicos o dinheiro obtido a partir de atividades ilícitas.

Dizer que existe um Estado de Direito democrático em regimes nos Estados Unidos, no Reino Unido e no Brasil não é verdade mais. Se parar para pensar por cinco minutos verá isto como um fato. Quem está no poder tem antes de mais nada um primeiro objetivo : fazer tudo o que seja possível para encobrir qualquer ato ilícito. Partido desse pressuposto, só nós podemos pará-los através do que propus acima. Não tem mistério. É uma questão de bom senso. É só aplicar.

Brazilian Congressmen articulate rewarding House Leader with pardon if impeachment is approved

Revista Forum

“Any other Congressman would not have resisted the pressures from the Planalto Palace. We are going to save him”, explained Congressman Dirceu Sperafico (PP-PR) to the site Congress in Focus.

Federal Congressmen are already articulating a pardon for the Leader of the House, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) if the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff (PT) is approved this Sunday. Cunha is facing hearings in the House Ethics Committee for having lied to the Petrobras Hearings in March 2015, when he stated he had no accounts in any tax havens.

The articulators of the pardon argue that the role of Cunha as the conductor within the House of the process to impeach the President justifies that he be saved by his peers. “Eduardo Cunha played a fundamental role in our approving the impeachment of the President. He deserves to be pardoned”, Osmar Serraglio (PMDB-PR) defended. “Any other Congressman would not have resisted the pressures from the Planalto Palace. We are going to save him”, explained Congressman Dirceu Sperafico (PP-PR).

Despite the grave accusations against him, the Leader of the House has the backing of at least 200 Congressmen faithful to him, many of them belonging to the BBB or beef, bullet and Bible sectors. Besides the leaders of the PMDB and PSC parties, the latter party led by the evangelical sector, the pardoning of Cunha has sympathizers in the PR, PP, PRB parties, the last one being linked to the Universal Church, as well as the SD, DEM and PSDB parties.

Swiss investigators identified deposits of US$ 4.8 million and of 1.3 million Swiss francs in two accounts identified by them as belonging to Cunha and his wife, the journalist Cláudia Cruz. The House Leader is also a defendant in a Supreme Court case under accusations of corruption and money laundering.

The articulation to save Cunha has already taken its first steps within the House, with the resignation of Congressman Fausto Pinato (PP-SP) from the seat held on the Ethics Committee. He was the first rapporteur of the House Leader case and defended that the investigations be proceeded. During the elaboration of his report, Pinato made statements to the Federal Police saying he had received threats against him. Congresswoman Tia Eron (PRB-BA) was nominated in his place, an evangelist like Cunha and his declared admirer.

With information from http://congressoemfoco.uol.com.br/noticias/bancada-pro-cunha-prepara-sua-“anistia”/ Congresso em Foco

BRICS Under Attack: The Empire Strikes Back In Brazil

By Eric Draitser

Washington Launches Its Attack Against BRICS. The Destabilization of Brazil and Argentina

Global Research, April 22, 2016

Having removed the reformist President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Washington is now disposing of the reformist President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Washington used a federal judge to order Argentina to sacrifice its debt restructuring program in order to pay US vulture funds the full value of defaulted Argentine bonds that the vulture funds had bought for a few pennies on the dollar.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/27/us-vulture-funds-argentina-bankruptcy

These vultures were called “creditors” who had made “loans” regardless of the fact that they were not creditors and had made no loans. They were opportunists after easy money and were used by Washington to get rid of a reformist government.

President Kirchner resisted and, thus, she had to go.  Washington concocted a story that Kirchner covered up an alleged Iranian bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994. This implausible fantasy, for which there is no evidence of Iranian involvement, was fed to one of Washington’s agents in the state prosecutor’s office, and a dubious event of 22 years ago was used to clear Cristina Kirchner (image right) out of the way of the American looting of Argentina.

In Brazil, Washington has used corruption insinuations to get President Rousseff impeached by the lower house.  Evidence is not necessary, just allegations.  It is no different from “Iranian nukes,” Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” Assad’s “use of chemical weapons,”  or in Rousseff’s case merely insinuations. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, notes that Rousseff “hasn’t been accused of anything.” The American-backed elites are simply using impeachment to remove a president who they cannot defeat electorally.

In short, this is Washington’s move against the BRICS.  Washington is moving to put into political power a rightwing party that Washington controls in order to terminate Brazil’s growing relationships with China and Russia.

The great irony is that the impeachment bill was presided over by the corrupt lower house speaker, Eduardo Cunha, who was recently discovered to have stashed millions of dollars in secret Swiss bank accounts (perhaps his pay-off from Washington) and who lied under oath when he denied having foreign bank accounts.  You can read the sordid story here:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-complicity-after-vote-to-remove-brazils-president-key-opposition-figure-holds-meetings-in-washington/5521059

Kirchner and Rousseff’s “crimes” are their efforts to have the governments of Argentina and Brazil represent the Argentine and Brazilian peoples rather than the elites and Wall Street.  In Washington these are serious offenses as Washington uses the elites to control South American countries.  Whenever Latin Americans elect a government that represents them, Washington overthrows the government or assassinates the president.

Washington is close to returning Venezuela to the control of the Spanish elite allied with Washington.

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2016/04/new-coup-plot-hatched-in-venezuela.html

The presidents of Ecuador and Bolivia are also targeted.  One reason Washington will not permit its British lapdog to honor the asylum Ecuador granted to Julian Assange is that Washington expects to have its own agent back in as President of Ecuador, at which time Assange’s asylum will be repealed.

Washington has always blocked reform in Latin America.  Latin American peoples will remain American serfs until they elect governments by such large majorities that the governments can exile the traitorous elites, close the US embassies, and expel all US corporations. Every Latin American country that has an American presence has no future other than serfdom.

Washington’s Dog-Whistle Diplomacy Supports Attempted Coup in Brazil

By Mark Weisbrot, on Huffington Post

The day after the impeachment vote in the lower house of Brazil’s congress, one of the leaders of the effort, Senator Aloysio Nunes, traveled to Washington, D.C. He had scheduled meetings with a number of U.S. officials, including Thomas Shannon at the State Department.

Shannon has a relatively low profile in the media, but he is the number three official in the U.S. State Department. Even more significantly in this case, he is the most influential person in the State Department on U.S. policy in Latin America. He will be the one recommending to Secretary of State John Kerry what the U.S. should do as the ongoing efforts to remove President Dilma Rousseff proceed.

Shannon’s willingness to meet with Nunes just days after the impeachment vote sends a powerful signal that Washington is on board with the opposition in this venture. How do we know this? Very simply, Shannon did not have to have this meeting. If he wanted to show that Washington was neutral in this fierce and deeply polarizing political conflict, he would not have a meeting with high-profile protagonists on either side, especially at this particular moment.

Shannon’s meeting with Nunes is an example of what could be called “dog-whistle diplomacy.” It barely shows up on the radar of the media reporting on the conflict, and therefore is unlikely to generate backlash. But all the major actors know exactly what it means. That is why Nunes’ party, the Social Democracy Party (PSDB), publicized the meeting.

To illustrate with another example of dog-whistle diplomacy: On June 28, 2009, the Honduran military kidnapped the country’s president, Mel Zelaya, and flew him out of the country. The White House statement in response did not condemn this coup, but rather called on “all political and social actors in Honduras” to respect democracy.

This dog-whistle signal worked perfectly; most importantly the coup leaders and their supporters in Honduras, as well as every diplomat in Washington, knew exactly what this meant, even as statements condemning the coup and demanding the restoration of the democratic government came pouring in from around the globe. Everyone knew that this was, in diplomatic code, a clear statement of support for the coup. The events that followed over the next six months, with Washington doing everything it could to help consolidate and legitimize the coup government, were pretty much predictable from this initial statement. Hillary Clinton later admitted in her 2014 book, “Hard Choices,” that she worked successfully to prevent the return of the democratically elected president.

Tom Shannon has a reputation among Latin American diplomats as an amiable fellow, a seasoned career foreign service officer who is willing to sit down and talk with governments that are at odds with U.S. policy in the region. But he has had a lot of experience with coups. Some of Hillary Clinton’s released emails shed additional light on his role in helping to consolidate the Honduran coup. He was also a high-level State Department official during the April 2002 coup in Venezuela, in which there is substantial documentary evidence of U.S. involvement. And when the parliamentary coup in Paraguay took place in 2012 — something similar to what is happening in Brazil but with a process that impeached and removed the president in just 24 hours — Washington also contributed to the legitimation of the coup government in the aftermath. (By contrast, South American governments suspended the coup government in Paraguay from MERCOSUR, the regional trading bloc, and UNASUR [the Union of South American Nations).] Shannon was ambassador to Brazil at that time, but was still one of the most influential officials in hemispheric policy.

The U.S. State Department responded to questions about Nunes’ meetings by saying, “This meeting had been planned for months and was arranged at the request of the Brazilian embassy.” But this is irrelevant. It merely means that Brazilian embassy staff were, as a matter of diplomatic protocol, involved in arranging the meetings. This does not imply any consent by the Rousseff administration, nor change the political message that the meeting with Shannon sends to the opposition in Brazil.

All of this is of course consistent with Washington’s strategy in response to the left governments that have governed most of the region in the 21st century. They have rarely missed an opportunity to undermine or get rid of any of them, and their desire to replace the governing Workers’ Party in Brazil with a more compliant, right-wing government is fairly obvious.


Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and the president of Just Foreign Policy. He is also the author of the new book “Failed: What the ‘Experts’ Got Wrong About the Global Economy“ (2015, Oxford University Press).

Unpicking the Coup underway in Brazil – The Big Lie

The rationale behind the coup underway in Brazil is that Dilma, Lula and the Worker’s Party are corrupt. With no evidence, this has to be manufactured, hence the Mensalão and Lava Jato “investigations”, arriving at false conclusions to rationalize their belief in their own rightness. This is the big lie.

The belief the coup plotters and perpetrators hold is that Dilma, Lula and the Worker’s Party are a threat to the natural order as they see it, which is one of privilege for a few, themselves, the coup plotters and perpetrators.

The psychology of the big lie was explicitly detailed in the extract from Mein Kampf below, but shows how difficult it is to clear up afterwards, once people have taken it on board, in this case that Dilma, Lula and the Worker’s Party must have done something wrong to deserve all this negative attention once it has been repeated enough in the complicit mass media.

“The big lie is a propaganda technique coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf. Hitler asserted the technique was used by Jews to unfairly blame Germany’s loss in World War I on German Army officer Erich Ludendorff.

It’s usage is where a known falsehood is stated and repeated and treated as if it is self-evidently true in hopes of swaying the course of an argument in a direction that takes the big lie for granted rather than critically questioning it or ignoring it.

As a general rule, the most effective big lies are outrageous enough to be unbelievable, yet appeal strongly to the prejudices of the listeners and are stated in as bland and matter-of-fact terms as possible. It is sometimes even more effective to string several big lies together in a series of talking points.

The source for the expression comes from the passage in Chapter 10 in Mein Kampf:

“But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice. All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”