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Question from a Desperate Man

Olavo de Carvalho
Zero Hora, September 23, 2001

 

A few weeks ago I mentioned in passing the maxim of Sun-Tzu: “Appear weak when you’re strong, and strong when you’re weak.” It sums up the key behind timing, the rhythmic alternation in Communist rhetoric. Anatoliy Golitsyn, the KGB defector and probably greatest mind on the subject in the Western media, provides the following interpretation: when the Communist movement is involved in some long-term global maneuver, time can be bought with soft, sweet, simple talk suggesting frailty, division, and hesitation, in order to placate Western suspicions with a flowery show of conciliatory sentiments and some “modernizing” approximation to democratic values. In the threat of danger and in need of restoring the warlike spirit and martial discipline to the foot soldiers, it’s time to abandon all affectation of prudence and stir up fierce threats and shows of force.

At this moment, this movement is engaged on the most far-reaching and complex operation in its history: reorganize itself on a global scale, moving from a centralized, hierarchical structure based in the USSR, to a flexible, multi-centric organization with diverse sources of financial support, transitioning from the Soviet money-laundering machine into a complex network of independent sources, ranging from respectable multinational companies founded with secret KGB funds to smuggling operations.

This is not the time for blusters, rather it’s time to play the nice guy, the poor guy, to play dead. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were the rash work of fearless allies, Taliban lunatics. Applauding them ostensibly would be the declaration of a war which the Communist forces are not prepared to fight. Condemning  them “in totum” would be humiliation before the U.S. Therefore the command words, ambiguous and elusive, are emanated from Cuba and obeyed uniformly by leftist militants around the world: vocally condemn the violence of the attacks, but provide moral legitimacy and blame the victims through allegations of “those who reap what they sow.”

D. Luciana Genro, state representative of the labor party, was one of the many voices that, in the general chorus of leftism, faithfully echoed the message of the master in the Brazilian press, condemning the attack while explaining it as the logical  — and, in the bottom-line, just — reaction of communities pushed to desperation by the oppression of the U.S. empire.

This rationale is clearly insane. No country is under the occupation of U.S. troops, while places like Lhasa, Tibet, have fewer Tibetans than Communist Chinese soldiers. Afghanistan has never been violated by the U.S., rather by the Soviets who killed a million Afghanis and who abandoned the country only when U.S. support tipped the scales in favor of the Islamic militants. The Iranian revolution never encountered U.S. military opposition, rather it received some secret support in toppling Rez Pahlevi. Finally, during the Gulf War when there was a chance to invade Baghdad and turn Saddam Hussein into atomic dust, the U.S. stopped at freeing Kuwait and left the Iraqi dictator humble but intact, in his little throne of shadows. In general, the economies of the Islamic world would all have gone to hell if not for the U.S. support, and the only thing that Muslims can really object to about Yankee imperialism is that it prevents them from annihilating the Jewish population of Israel, as so many of them would so like to do.

Comparing one kind of desperation with another, there would be greater reason to smash two Boeings into the Kremlin or the Palace of Celestial Peace rather than the World Trade Center.

To reveal this to D. Luciana, but in simple, didactic terms, accessible to her recalcitrant neurons of this stubborn pupil who skipped the democracy classes, journalist Diego Casagrande conceived a pedagogical little story in which liberal and conservative gaucho voters, faced with such desperation at the rise of the prepotent Labor Party in their state, beat the representative as well as Father Roque, also a Labor Party representative, who accompanied her in such an inauspicious and hypothetical circumstance.

In the short example, smaller than a regular paragraph, Casagrande reveals the moral of the story: no matter how great the desperation, nothing can justify such evil acts against two respected individuals or anyone else.

The message could not be any clearer: if desperation cannot justify the beatings of D. Luciana and Father Roque, it cannot justify smashing planes into buildings.

Surprisingly, D. Luciana interpreted the story in a different manner and said that Casagrande was inciting people to beat her and Father Roque, before announcing plans to sue the writer.

I don’t think I could have been any clearer than the writer of this little story. I believe I am a reasonable university professor, but I admit that I have little skill in child pedagogy. So I’ll give up explaining anything to the representative, and limit myself to present to my readers the following dilemma, which troubles me at this difficult moment. The FARC has already killed 30,000 people in its country and, thanks to Fernandinhos Beira-Mar and “tutti quanti”, have gained control of a good share of the Brazilian illicit drug market. I would like to do something about that, to prevent Brazil from becoming the next Colombia. I would like to, but I cannot. Here, the FARC receives official recognition, welcoming from the governor of Rio Grande, and homage from the World Social Forum. Even Fernandinho himself, a dangerous drug dealler, cannot be touched: shortly after being captured, waves of misinformation filled the press, intending to cover up the macabre alliance between the country’s number one bandit and the international revolution.

Therefore, my hands are tied. I can do nothing. I feel desperate. What do the readers think? If, in this extreme situation, I hijack, I don’t say a Boeing, but maybe a twin-prop Embraer and smash it into the Piratini Palace, would I be morally justified in my desperation? Or better yet: if, in light of my complete lack of piloting skills to such an enterprise, I find something closer at hand and choose to smash my notebook into Dr. Olivio Dutra’s head, could I allege in defense that I merely released the tempest that was created by his official acts?

And if Diego Casagrande, in trying to dissuade me from such terrorist inclinations, writes a story to show how it would be ugly if Dona Luciana and Father Roque, in despite of their unger, decided to beat me, could I conclude that he induced them to be violent with me?