AND – Comment on a furious comment / Military crisis and splits reach new heights / Countdown
AND Editorial, 31st March 2021 – Comment on a furious comment
The situation in Brazil suffers jolts and sensible modifications by blows, as was already estimated for any moment, and for the moment such alterations have occurred in the first echelon of the government. Trapped, Bolsonaro sees his extreme right-wing constables being discarded one by one in the dispute with Congress, the Supreme Courts Tribunal (TSF) and the press monopolies, without being able to come to their rescue. After Pazuello – the butcher, it is Ernesto Araújo – the obtuse, who falls off his horse, while others are removed from posts or allocated to new positions. Arthur Lira and Rodrigo Pacheco, presidents of the House and Senate, respectively, had also raised the tone, after a manifesto of bankers. Meanwhile, the population is hungry and Brazil has become, in the hands of the de facto military government, the world epicentre of the pandemic with the horrifying toll of over 320,000 deaths. The attempt at impeachment is not discarded (especially if we reach the scandalous figure of 5,000 daily deaths by Covid-19 in April) as an alternative to deflate by anticipation the outbreak of protests and to resolve the political crisis in the manner of the big house, that is, by mere palace rearrangement that would prevent the independent intervention of the masses, a measure already prescribed by the counterrevolutionary preventive offensive that has been going on for more than five years.
What would the extreme right do in this case?
In this sense, it is illustrative to read a commentary by retired Army Colonel Gelio Fregapani on the Defesanet website, entitled “Will we have a civil war?” Who read only the “arguments” would conclude that he is just one more of those crazy people who abound in the Bolsonarist swamp. It happens so that this gentleman, today a proselyte in pyjamas, was the commander of the Army’s Jungle Warfare Instruction Centre (CIGS) and is considered one of the formulators of this type of combat by his peers. He is not just any illiterate, therefore: he is a graduate illiterate, whose words instil others to act. His comment, a mixture of cynicism and fascist profession of faith, confesses what everyone already knows, which is that these people are preparing for declared civil war.
It is typical of impostors to replace analysis with logic. Thus, everything they cannot explain is wrapped up in shadows and explained away as conspiracy, which always confirms what their “brilliant” minds foresee. They are epistemological torturers: they do not investigate reality – which requires effort and study, and willingness to interpret data that contradict the premises – they only demand that it confess what they want to hear. The language of these pickaxes also obeys this intention: it is commonplace for those who do not know what to say to choose the difficult word in order to impress the public. The spectre begins his text like this: “The modern science of conflicts, Polemology, teaches us that when there are irreconcilable differences and equivalent and reactive forces, all the conditions for conflict are ready, which, according to its magnitude, we call war”. War derives from irreconcilable divergences between forces. Profound, sir! It only lacked the insertion of the word “psychosocial” for the manual of fascist nitpicking to be complete.
The great “strategist” continues, according to the known scheme of the extreme right, presenting the government of Bolsonaro – the captain of the jungle, as an interruption of a long cycle of “leftist” administrations and victim of successive conspiracies. It says that after Bolsonaro’s “overwhelming” victory, “this gave us some sense of tranquillity because, no matter how big the fanaticism of the leftist segments, their violent reactions would be defeated in the same way they were in Xambioá”. Everything there is a lie. First of all, Bolsonaro’s victory was not overwhelming, since he only won in the second round and in a record-breaking election in terms of blank and null votes and abstentions. It is a foolish mistake to assume that he has all this popular support today, even less than two years ago. Secondly, the “glory” that this pariah sings about the glorious Araguaia Guerrilla took three military expeditions, tens of thousands of soldiers and officers mobilized, terrorism against the local population and the widespread use of torture and murder of prisoners of war to be achieved, against a few dozen – yes – brave guerrillas. Pyrrhic victory, you miserable little Tupiniquim Nazi!
The proselyte says that his victory “disarticulated the reactive forces of the left, momentarily abandoned by its enormous herd of corrupt people, who benefited from bribes and even brazen theft”. Of course, the cupola of the Armed Forces is not shorn of corruption scandals, ranging from embezzlement during the Paraguay War – a war whose original and greatest corruption is the very cause that motivated it, in the service of the spurious interests of British imperialism – to the overpriced production of chloroquine these days, not to mention the tons of picanha and beer while the masses go hungry. How about a word, illustrious gentleman, about the crime of international drug trafficking caught red-handed on the presidential plane, which did not even merit the expulsion of the military officer caught red-handed? Or about the misappropriation of public resources by the Bolsonaro family, already widely proven and confessed by his henchman Fabricio Queiroz? As you can see, “accuse the adversary of what you do”, seems to be the whole ethic of this scoundrel that inhabits the basements.
About the pandemic, the genius of the race pontificates: “To make things worse, the Corona Virus epidemic came to the aid of the opponents, who took advantage of it, not caring about the deaths it caused or the breakdown of the economy. In this they were very successful, instilling fear in the population and blaming the deaths on the Executive, with their hands tied by the TSF.” As can be seen, it is not said, but hinted, that Covid-19 is nothing but a worldwide conspiracy to overthrow Bolsonaro. What’s more, in the face of the plague, presumably, the population should have been “fearless”, read, flocking at will, taking to the streets without masks, celebrating the genocidal policy of the federal government. The cowardly man whispers half his reasoning, but does not have the courage to say it in full. Say: damn the pandemic! Let’s celebrate Eros and Thanatos, Persephone and Hades! Let’s make Brazil a world experiment in killing! By the way, be coherent, Mr. Gélio: don’t take the “globalists'” vaccine. How’s that?
The most curious part comes next: “supported by the TSF, the ideological left has been advancing in the preparation of the armed struggle; it is forming combat troops, including foreigners with military training”. We do not know that the TSF – moreover, shamefully bent to the generals, as became clear in the episode of Villas-Bôas’ tweet – prepares the armed struggle, while those who are already carrying it out in an undeclared manner are the Armed Forces themselves and their auxiliaries, in vile clandestine operations against peasant masses in the Amazon and Rio de Janeiro slums. As for foreigners in Brazil, it is Bolsonaro who will hand over the Alcântara base to the Yankee Armed Forces, an ignominy never committed by even the worst handoverists who have ever held the presidency. In this vein, the agitator continues: “Fachin, Minister of the TSF, frees thousands of bandits (along with Lula), and prohibits the police from entering the favelas. They hide weapons in strategic places in the favelas of Rio and SP”. Further on: “In fact, we are already at the beginning of the war. The 35,000 prisoners were released with some intention, or how to reinforce the guerrilla fighting force, and force the Army to act in unfriendly police missions.” On Bolsonaro’s successive decrees legalising the purchase of weapons and ammunition to arm his pandillas of fascists across the country, not a word. None, either, about the explosion of the actions of paramilitary groups (“militias”), which are already the largest criminal factions in the country. Silence or strategy? Ineptitude or deliberate bet on chaos?
Let us skip the other daydreams and solecisms. Let us conclude: “We are millions willing to fight to the death for our country, while those who only want to take the property of others may even kill, but will hardly be willing to sacrifice themselves for this”. Naturally, as seen in the case of the sacrificed deputy Daniel Silveira, who cried day in and day out in the Special Prison Battalion of the Rio Military Police, or of Sara Winter (do you still remember her?) who, after a few weeks of house arrest, abandoned the noble cause she defended. “Of course we don’t want a civil war, but if there is one, we will fight. It will not be in the name of ideologies, but in the name of God and the Homeland.” It is possible to glimpse an ex-MP from somewhere in Brazil, expelled from the corporation and today a killer for the pay of bicheiros or “militia”, going to tears with such beautiful words.
These high-level reactionary people will not go home or disappear from the scene. If the rearrangement of the ruling classes manages to get around the crisis by keeping the masses out of the process, they will continue to wallow in the basements, despised as stinking monsters by the perfumed liberal. Now, if the masses rise up against the rotten order of exploitation and oppression, these will be the dogs of rank and file mobilised to confront them. In one thing, and only in one, we agree with the theoretical genocide: in the bowels of Brazilian society, immersed in the greatest crisis of its recent history, and the worsening of class antagonisms, a civil war is brewing. Only those who don’t want to see it don’t see it.
AND Special Editorial, 03rd April 2021 – Military crisis and splits reach new heights
The simultaneous and combined resignation of the three commanders of the Armed Forces (AF) is the public and unheard of explosion in the recent history of the country of a very serious military crisis. This crisis is in turn generated by the economic crisis of the system of exploitation, the putrefaction of the political system, and the division among the “powerful”.
The release of Luiz Inácio by the Supreme Courts Tribunal (TSF) is a very relevant ingredient in this episode. The decision of the TSF is the result, on the one hand, of an accumulation of centre-right forces in the Supreme Court seeking to deal a death blow to the “Lava Jato” (guaranteed by its demoralisation with the disclosure by the “hackers” of the deceit and Yankee meddling) and, on the other, by the action of parts of the military right that seeks to allow the creation of the false polarisation Bolsonaro versus PT.
Furthermore, Bolsonaro – the weakling, isolated in public opinion, a willing hostage of the voracious greed of insatiable parliamentarians thirsty for public funds and harassed by the innumerable crimes he committed after assuming the presidency – pressured the Armed Forces High Command (AFHC). Perceiving the aggravation of the difficulties for the counter-revolutionary offensive represented by this new event, unprecedented until then, he sought to conquer new positions, carrying out provocations – like the disturbances by military police in the Northeast – and demanding the departure of the Army Commander, Edson Pujol. His objective to increase tension in the military to bargain new positions and, above all, to counterattack the departure of the Nazi abortionist Ernesto Araújo (Foreign Relations), his last ideological “cadre” in the first echelon, failed.
Additionally, according to the reactionary press, Bolsonaro pressured senior active-duty officers to make pronouncements in the “Villas Bôas style”. Something rejected by Edson Pujol and, probably, with the support of the former Minister of Defence, Fernando Azevedo, who seek to disassociate the image of the institution with that of the government. It is symptomatic that all the former commanders, and even the former minister, have stressed that they leave their posts fulfilling their duty to “not allow the politicization of the Armed Forces” and to maintain them as “permanent state institutions”.
Therefore, those who think that Generals Luiz Eduardo Ramos and Braga Neto are with Bolsonaro and against the former commanders of the forces that left their posts are mistaken, and those who believe that the replacements are Bolsonaro’s people are also mistaken. The resignation of the three former AF ex-commanders – on the one hand, pressure from Bolsonaro and, on the other, a fact fed by the AFHC to wear Bolsonaro down among the officialdom – gave way to the appointment of three others who, in essence, maintain the same position as the previous ones, a result of the actions of Mr. Braga Netto, the new minister of defence. The possible differences in the details cannot compensate for the enormous wear generated by his attempt, always despised in the barracks, to intrigue in order to deepen the division in the command of the forces. However, Bolsonaro, obstinate, increases his presence in the auxiliary forces (military police) seeking to multiply his pieces on the board and be able to pressure the AFHC as an ineutralisable instabilising element.
Thus, the hegemonic right wing in the AFHC advanced more positions, even in the first level of government. It kept key posts and dismantled another advanced post that Bolsonaro held in Foreign Affairs, from where he sabotaged international relations in the business of obtaining the vaccine, as well as damaging the economy’s most important asset, agribusiness.
With Bolsonaro’s failed manoeuvrer, Bolsonaro’s isolation is such that the AFHC is in condition to consolidate the position of trying to stop the disgrace of the pandemic caused by Bolsonaro’s genocidal policy, with which the generals have been complicit, appeasing, so as not to divide the AF. They are trying to reverse the failures in obtaining vaccines and the vaccination plan, having the name of the institution linked to the criminal action of the Ministry of Health, in addition to the incompetence of its chief logistics general.
The AFHC is racing against time in an attempt to stop the death toll, because if its daily average, which has already exceeded 3,000, reaches 5,000, it could explode revolts that until now have been dampened by the daily search of the impoverished masses for survival, to keep their jobs and find a way to get by, against the lack of health care and the collapse of hospitals. If such a process explodes, it will be untenable for the president of the House to hold up the impeachment process of Bolsonaro, and with this, all the justifications will be given for the complete military intervention of the Armed Forces. In short, the consummation of the counter-revolutionary military coup. In the imminence of such disorder, it is evident that the Armed Forces will be united in the intervention and will hardly act to remove Bolsonaro by force, for fear that such an act would divide the Armed Forces.
But, let it be clear: it is a law of crisis dynamics in the country’s history and, in particular, of the dynamics of the Armed Forces’ actions since the events of Tenentismo, that they act to avoid their division at all costs. Their commanders know that the guarantee of the maintenance of the system of exploitation and oppression is the unity of their reactionary AF; they know that their division is the beginning of the ruin of this old order. The AFHC is working the consensus in the officerdom that full military intervention will surely be necessary to restore order if it falls apart, but they advocate that intervention under Bolsonaro is an adventure that will lead the AF into a bloodbath against the people. However, the generals are aware of the colossal difficulties into which the country has already plunged, a situation in which the TSF’s decision on Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has relevant weight, when the country is divided and on an accelerated march toward civil war, a situation already impossible to avoid in the course of time.
It is convenient to go to the declarations to prove this certainty: the president of the Military Club, Division General Eduardo Barbosa, of suspicious cognitive capacity, said: “A thief’s place is in jail!” and accused: “In Brazil, those who judge are politically aligned with those who are judged,” referring to the ministers of the TSF. The solution for this could not be other than the removal of those who judge or a firm guardianship over them, presumably, something that the AFHC did to exhaustion and openly in other conditions. However, today, due to the degree to which his contradiction with the center-right in the TSF has become more acute, it is not feasible to exercise it without generating enormous instability. But another general of equal mental qualification, Eduardo Rocha Paiva – a bizarre Bolsonarist – went further and openly preached a military attack, “called by the constitutional powers”, against the TSF and “in defense of the Nation”.
Let’s also see what General Santos Cruz, a former minister and today an opponent of Bolsonarism, says. For him, the decision to annul the convictions of Luiz Inácio “polarizes national politics”, and is negative. However, he continues: the Brazilian Armed Forces “cannot be rushed” (See! It is not a matter of the Armed Forces remaining subject to the so-called “civil power”, as the purveyors of constitutional illusions would like to interpret it, but rather, for this reactionary, it is a matter of not burning bridges…). And he says more: it is not convenient a pronouncement of the AF, as the tweet of Villas Bôas in 2018, because “there was the eve of the decision, now the decision is made”, and recalls that the issue will still be treated in the plenary of the TSF, perhaps suggesting that at this time it is worth an intervention. These are the so-called “legalist generals” who see the liberal prodigies of the old democracy.
It is clear: in the different positions of the reserve military top brass (those who can express themselves freely and, in a certain sense, express in relative terms the current positions within active service), the question is not whether the Armed Forces should intervene with threats and coercion, or not intervene; it is how, when, and where to do it.
Such a military crisis that has come to the surface like never before is, in the end, a good thing. It has exposed to all public opinion the moderating power exercised by the AFHC, and it unmasks this false fanciful democracy hooked on bayonets. It also lays bare the very preventive military coup d’état in progress. Large contingents will rise up in front of it, united and educated grain by grain, to defend the sacred rights of the people, threatened by this giant with feet of clay. Those who live will see.
AND Editorial, 13th April 2021 – Countdown
The countdown to the removal of the genocidal Bolsonaro from the presidency has been opened. Should the IPC be installed, which will occur in parallel to the worst moment of the pandemic, producing one day after another headlines about the crimes perpetrated by the federal government, the situation of the chatty captain may become untenable. There is no lack of reasons to bring him down: to the endless amount of heinous crimes committed by him during the epidemic we can add the economic debacle and misgovernment at all levels, which push the country into the abyss. From the cancelled IBGE Census to the lack of anaesthetics in hospitals, everything points to the failure of the political system. But it is not because of any humanist arrogance that an increasingly broad front, which encompasses sectors of the hard core of the big bourgeoisie and opportunists (as well as the useful naïve), is articulating his fall, but because he does not have the slightest capacity to fulfil the three reactionary tasks demanded by the big house, which are to restructure the old reactionary State, to boost bureaucratic capitalism and to conjure up the danger of revolution. In fact, Bolsonaro and his extreme right-wing minions demonstrate day after day to be an obstacle to that restructuring.
Two episodes, already exhaustively discussed in our editorials, mark a turning point in this process: the annulment of Lula’s convictions and the resignation of General Fernando Azevedo e Silva from the Ministry of Defense, which was accompanied by the commanders of the three armed forces, an unprecedented military crisis in the new republic. Lula’s release, on the one hand, and his return to the electoral scene, can be interpreted as anything but beneficial to Bolsonaro. This is no conjecture: Kássio Nunes, who until now has always voted in accordance with his godfather in the TSF, voted against the suspicion of Moro, which was only declared because Carmen Lúcia turned her coat. From an electoral point of view, both contend for the same bases (urban poor and middle classes), and everything indicates that these are increasingly detaching themselves from Bolsonaro, in a clear reversal of the 2018 scenario. There is also a tendency for a second inversion: in an eventual second round, it would be Luiz Inácio, waving the rotten flag of class conciliation, who would have better conditions to attract the civilian right, unlike what was seen in the last election, still under the auspices of the “Lava Jato”. For Bolsonaro, it would be better to face several anti-Bolsonaro, diluting the opposition votes; the chance that these votes are concentrated in one candidate increases his chances of defeat exponentially. It is, therefore, an episode that serves to further isolate the captain of the bush, and raises the price of the rate of protection in Congress, as is clear in the expansion of the space of the “centrons” in ministries and the slice that wants to grab the budget. The PT is not interested in any popular demonstrations that disturb the electoral march already underway and its attempt to attract sectors of the ruling classes, and even its support for impeachment is only lip service. But the inevitable and radicalised polarisation Bolsonaro vs Lula interests and serves, should it be necessary, the generals of the High Command to impose their intervention with the fallacious pretext of the “chaos of extremes”.
What is Bolsonaro left with? To bet on chaos and on his most loyal base, whose centre is in the Armed Forces. In his view, this is the political party that counts, capable of ensuring his survival, even if his popular support falls to even lower levels. In case of electoral defeat, it would be the card that would allow him to attempt to consummate his military coup by not transferring the government. For this, he needs to be able to drag the Armed Forces into his adventure, and he seeks to do this by generating such institutional instability that there is no other alternative for his High Command, faced with the possibility of splitting the corporation, than to embark, even if only in the aim of taking over its direction, as the only condition to save the old collapsing order. It so happens that, as the ship sinks, the generals of the High Command cynically seek to dissociate themselves from the government they have supported, which will go down in history as a genocidal government. The departure of the former Defence Minister and the other military commanders reinforces this attempt, since the strategy they are using is that of a non-declared white military regime, unlike Bolsonaro, who insists on declaring day in, day out the participation of “his army” in “his government”, the fascist military regime. As in politics there is no such thing as neutrality, in times of such serious crises to leave the government is to swell the ranks of the opposition, as happened with General Santos Cruz, who became the mascot of anti-Bolsonaro sectors of the press monopolies and participates in articulations to make a “centre” candidate viable, as the traditional right wing in Brazil calls itself. Braga Netto and the new military commanders, as we said in a recent editorial, fulfil the mission of keeping a close watch on the captain-in-chief, without altering in the least the directives of dissociation already in progress.
As for the democrats and revolutionaries, they must persist in the convocation and politicisation of the masses, and should major demonstrations against the government break out (a scenario which is not the most likely in the immediate future with the height of the pandemic) there is nothing else to do but to intervene with them, persisting in the prolonged struggle for democratic revolution, already raising the banner of “Down with the genocidal military government of Bolsonaro!” In fact, the independent intervention of the masses is a factor which the traditional right (parliamentary centre-right) and the opportunists – who are increasingly tending towards a national accord, under the tutelage of the military high command – do not count on, and for which they will endeavour to frustrate any possibility of this. The impeachment, as well as the anticipation of the electoral campaign, contrary to what the useful naïve think, are manoeuvrers launched to avoid the entry of the popular sectors on the scene, channelling their desires and their fury into the old palace game. And whatever the next developments may be, the only thing that the consistent fighters must do is to tighten their links with the masses, on the factory floor, in the slums, on the peasant land bloodied by centuries of combat. The division between the ruling classes will not be able, by itself, to solve the great Brazilian problems, for the simple fact that their differences are smaller than those that separate those ravenous hyenas from the people. At some moment, the forces of backwardness will unify, even if temporarily, in the attack on the revolutionaries and the masses to impose the three tasks said above. When this decisive hour comes, whoever is more conscious of their objectives and better organised will win.