Using Democratic Institutions to Smash Democratic Aspirations (the Brazil Model)

Clarity emerges around the political persecution of Lula, Brazil’s former president. But what is still blurry for many is the actual case against him, writes Vijay Prashad.

By Vijay Prashad
Tricontinental: Institute
for Social Research

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has now been in prison since April 2018. More than 400 Brazilian lawyers have signed a statement that expresses alarm at what they see as procedural irregularities in the case against him. They call for the immediate release of Lula. The Asociación Americana de Juristas – a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the United Nations – has called Lula a political prisoner. Lula was convicted of corruption and money-laundering, despite a lack of solid evidence. Two lawsuits against him remain unfinished.

Now, more evidence emerges about the collusion of the lead judge and the lead investigator in the prosecution of Lula thanks to excellent reporting from The Intercept. The political motivations are now on the record: they, on behalf of the oligarchy, did not want Lula – who remains hugely popular – to be the 2018 presidential candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT). Brazil’s right-wing has begun a horrible campaign to malign the journalists of The Intercept, notably its editor Glenn Greenwald. Using the same tactics of hate, misogyny, and homophobia to defame their journalists, they hope, will distract from and delegitimise the damning evidence of their corrupt tactics.

Clarity now emerges around the political persecution of Lula. But what is still blurry for many is the actual case against him. The details of his case remain murky, with many who sympathise with Lula unsure of how to understand the corruption charges and his apparent conviction. This newsletter is dedicated to providing a primer on Lula and the case against him.

Who is Lula? 

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (73 years old), a metalworker and trade union leader, helped found the PT, Brazil’s main left party. He won two consecutive elections to govern Brazil from 2003 to 2010. At the close of his second term, Lula had an approval rating of 86 percent – the highest in the country’s history. His poverty reduction programs – particularly his hunger alleviation schemes – earned his government praise from around the world, which is why some are calling for him to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Income redistribution through social programs such as Bolsa Família, Brasil sem Miseria, the expansion of credit, the increase in decent work, and the increase in the minimum wage lifted almost 30 million (out of 209 million) Brazilians out of poverty. The number of public university campuses more than doubled, leading to a 285 percent  increase in Afro-Brazilians attending institutes of higher education. Brazil paid off its debts to the IMF and the government discovered a massive new oil reserve in the Santos Basin, off the coast of São Paulo. This oil will eventually change Brazil’s strategic position in the world.

Paul Guiragossian, “La Vendeuse de Fleurs”, 1985.

Why was Lula arrested? 

There are two narratives that exist to answer this question. The first— the official narrative, propagated by the bourgeoise— is that Lula is in prison on charges of corruption and money laundering. His cases remain pending before the courts. Curitiba’s Public Prosecutor’s Office – led by Deltan Dallagnol – was in charge of an investigation around corruption allegations at Brazil’s state energy firm, Petrobras. Because a car wash became part of the money laundering investigation, the Task Force was known as Lava Jato (Car Wash). The Task Force uncovered activity by contractors such as OAS and Odebrecht, who had – it turns out – remodelled an apartment on the coast and a farm in the interior that were supposedly owned by Lula. These firms, it was said by the Task Force, had gained concessions from Petrobras. The Task Force argued that Lula benefited from the contractors, who in turn benefitted from state largess. This was the allegation. The second narrative — further substantiated by recent reporting from The Intercept of collusion between the main judges in the case against Lula — shows evidence of political persecution and a coordinated attempt to stop Lula from winning the presidential election and put a halt to the country’s progressive social agenda. In this narrative, the corruption charges against Lula were manufactured in order to recover the right-wing’s control of the government, despite a lack of evidence against him.

Lola Alvarez Bravo, “Unos Suben y Otros Bajan,” 1940.

Is there evidence against Lula? 

Actually, no. The prosecutors could not prove that Lula had ever owned the apartment or the farm. Nor could they prove any benefit to the contractors. Lula was convicted – bizarrely – of unspecified acts. Former OAS director Léo Pinheiro, who had been convicted of money laundering and corruption in 2014 and was to serve 16 years, gave evidence against Lula; for this evidence, his sentence was reduced. There was no material evidence against Lula.

Who convicted Lula? 

Judge Sérgio Moro convicted Lula. He became a celebrity and is now the minister of justice in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro. It is clear that Bolsonaro won the election because Lula was not permitted to run. Moro’s conviction delivered the presidency to Bolsonaro, who then rewarded Moro with the ministry appointment. Moro not only tried Lula in his court, but also in the court of public opinion. The corporate media was on the side of the prosecution, and leaks from the court created an image of Lula as the enemy of the people. Bizarrely, the press often seemed to have information from the court before Lula’s defence attorneys. When Lula’s lawyers filed a habeas corpus petition to get him out of jail, the army’s commander-in-chief sent the Supreme Court a message on Twitter to instructing them not to grant the petition. The petition was denied.

Yutaka Takanashi, “Tokyo-jin,” 1983.

Should Lula have been allowed to run for president? 

The Brazilian Code of Criminal Procedure says that one can only go to prison when their appeals run out. Article 5 of the Constitution notes,”No one shall be considered guilty before the issuance of a final and unappealable prison sentence.” Why Lula went to jail in the first place requires an investigation. Judge Moro argued that it was because he was found guilty in the Appeal Court based on a plea bargain. This is murky. The UN’s Human Rights Committee said that Lula should have been allowed to run for president last year because his appeals had not been exhausted. Not only did the judiciary and the prosecutors not allow Lula to run, but they also did not allow him to meet the press and so influence the election.

What has been the role of the United States in the Lava Jato investigation? 

Odd how the US Department of Justice officials visited Judge Moro during the investigation, and how US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in 2017 that the U.S. justice officials had “informal communications” about the removal of Lula from the presidential race. On 6 March 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice said that it would transfer 80 percent of the fines it received from Petrobras to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to set up an “anti-corruption investment fund.” It is fair to say that this is a payment to the Lava Jato team for its work on removing Lula from the presidential race.

Gustav Klimt, “Death and Life,” 1910.

What was the real corruption in this case? 

Messages seemed to constantly be exchanged between the Moro and the Lava Jato team led by Dallagnol. These have now been revealed by The Intercept and scrutinized by a range of forensic and political analysts. It is clear that the judge and the prosecutor colluded to find Lula guilty and lock him away. The first instance of corruption is this brazen collusion between two parts of the government. The second instance of corruption is the role of the United States in this case, and the pay-out to Dallagnol’s department for services rendered.

The persecution of Lula is a story that is not merely about Lula, nor solely about Brazil. This is a test case for the way oligarchies and imperialism have sought to use the shell of democracy to undermine the democratic aspirations of the people. It is the methodology of democracy without democracy, a Potemkin Village of liberalism.

At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we are studying this phenomenon closely. You have already seen our dossier on the hybrid war against Venezuela and our dossier on lawfare in Brazil. The arrest of human rights defenders from Julian Assange to Ola Bini as well as the arrest of whistle-blowers from Chelsea Manning to David McBridge are part of this chilling effect against the sentinels of democracy.

 

We are taking seriously this evisceration of democracy. We are going to look at the role of money in elections (test case: India) and voter suppression, as well as the reduction of ‘politics’ to the festival of elections, the allowance of states to crush the basic institutions of civil society, and the role of immiseration in the defeat of the democratic spirit. We need a new theory of actually-existing democracy.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, journalist, commentator and a Marxist intellectual. He is the executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the chief editor of LeftWord Books.

This article is from Tricontinental

32 comments for “Using Democratic Institutions to Smash Democratic Aspirations (the Brazil Model)

  1. Larry
    June 27, 2019 at 16:15

    Well, the Great USA was founded by slave owning oligarchs like jefferson, washington and all the rest. The USA never changed its nature. It always was a corrupt to the core, imperialistic ‘republic’.

  2. Nuestramerica Visual
    June 27, 2019 at 03:05

    https://www.facebook.com/GuerraJudicialEnLatinoamerica/videos/2216014971787286/ Militar de Estados Unidos explica el Lawfare en Latinoamerica como “Técnica de decapitación de líderes para alcanzar objetivos militares”, aclarando que “Allá abajo lo llaman Guerra Judicial, tienen otra terminología: yo lo llamo Lawfare”. Fragmento del documental “Guerra Judicial en Latinoamerica – Lawfare in the Backyard” –

  3. James Williamson
    June 23, 2019 at 09:51

    Superb article! Thank you, Vijay and Consortium.

  4. Douglas Baker
    June 21, 2019 at 17:50

    American fascist slogan “Democracy Now” for the continued institutionalization of imperialism with countries penetrated reduced to colonial benefits for the financially occupied countries’ citizens.

  5. Dunderhead
    June 21, 2019 at 17:35

    Well better Marxist then Trotskyite, anyway Prashad is right on in his assessment of Brazil not to mention Bolsonaro. On the other hand Prashad does failed to mention the once again idiotic support that Bolsonaro has had from the right leaning libertarians specifically the Reason magazine crowd, not to mention the Brazilian Libertarian movement who just couldn’t seem to get past Bolsonaro was not represented by the workers party this is a tragedy, stigmatize’s cooperation between liberals and conservatives generally speaking. Though I do not personally believe in voting as it tends to lead to these winner take all fiascoes in which no one is served it would be nice however if folks could find someway to elect their representatives without trying to disenfranchise the other guy.

  6. dean 1000
    June 21, 2019 at 11:44

    Really informative article about Brazil. No country has an effective means to protect whistleblowers and good politicians like Lula from the machinations of oligarchy and plutocracy. A completely revamped judicial system seems obvious. It awaits genuine free speech – public access to the means of mass communication.

    Like BW Bartoo I would like to hear more.

    • dean 1000
      June 21, 2019 at 11:47

      Sorry. I should have wrote DW Bartoo

  7. Edson
    June 21, 2019 at 10:12

    You should be ashamed publishing this kind of journalism! The truth is out there, not in this article! Lula claims his innocent of all eight criminal proceedings. He is just experiencing the consequences of his own acts and he is in the right place at right time and thanks to judge Moro we are not another “Venezuela” right now.

  8. geeyp
    June 21, 2019 at 03:10

    It seems we have arrived at the point where the only ones awarded Alfred’s award are imprisoned. At least they will have earned it, unlike some others I know of.

  9. Robert Mayer
    June 21, 2019 at 01:28

    Thanks CN4 running Vijay’s article & thanks Vijay4 adding content re:Ola Bini.
    Can an American citizen be held, as Ola, in US without charge? Davino Watson for1!
    Body of AUMF & enemy combattant law?
    Gauntanamo Bay as of 12/11/2018: 40+ No Habeus Corpus detainees!

  10. Chris
    June 21, 2019 at 00:52

    “His poverty reduction programs – particularly his hunger alleviation schemes – earned his government praise from around the world, which is why some are calling for him to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Income redistribution through social programs such as Bolsa Família, Brasil sem Miseria, the expansion of credit, the increase in decent work, and the increase in the minimum wage lifted almost 30 million (out of 209 million) Brazilians out of poverty.”

    The author is economically illiterate. How embarrassing. The author should read how increasing the minimum wage kills small business, helps big corporations, and will accelerate the rise of automation. Take a look at the states/cities in the US that have enacted the $15/hr minimum wage: Not only has this resulted in the firing of workers, but those that did keep their jobs are working fewer hours.

    Brasil has been in economic contraction for years…so where are you getting your figures from? This is pathetic. I would love to debate this Marxist “intellectual” and put him in the dumpster…I submit that Vijay Prashad is working on behalf of large Multinational Corporations, and hates the working poor.

    • Luiz Souza
      June 27, 2019 at 16:30

      Dear Cris, who do you think you are?
      Well, as a knower of nothing you only say blunders, you do not know anything about how the Brazilian social welfare network works in the towns small s of the deep interior, poor agriculturists when they turn 65 receive a minimum wage per month, when it increases this resource, consumption increases and makes the economic wheel work, 60% of Brazil’s GDP is due to consumption.

  11. DW Bartoo
    June 20, 2019 at 22:57

    This article is much appreciated, as is the larger body of work of its author, Vijay Prashad.

    I hope that Vijay shall not take it amiss were I to ask that he consider writing an article about the need for seriously organizing the efforts of those many who read and comment upon the articles at this site, to develop an effective means of raising awareness among the many, not simply of narratives, such as Russiagate, but of the deeper, pervasive corruption within many societies, as he described in Brazil around the blatant persecution of Lulu, as commenters on this thread have delineated about the U$, even as it is “very likely” that the U$ has played some part in the persecution.

    The reality, in the U$, is that the concerns and perspectives of what once was termed “the left”, have essentially no power of suasion nor have had for decades.

    The failure of those, in the U$, who support a sane, humane, sustainable future for humankind, as necessity to effectively organize either compelling narratives that would elicit interest in and enthusiasm for the changes such a vision requires, or to try to organize effective political alternatives (one ponders the roaring silence of the U$ Green Party between elections, when serious efforts of outreach and education, of soliciting perspectives and understood critical needs of the many, that is of listening, as equals, to the expressed concerns of people and asking what solutions the many perceive as necessary, for instance, the desire for guaranteed health care, not insurance, as a fundamental human right, can be built upon and expanded to other things.

    The rights of access to affordable housing, to clean water, to education, even including college or trade schools, must be available to all, to each and every human being, as should justly compensated worthwhile endeavor, meaningful work,

    This immediately allows society, itself, in its current form, with its glaring injustice and exploitation, to be examined.

    Krishnamurti once described society as being simply the way people treated each other.

    By that measure, our society reflects not compassion or empathy, but something quite different. Indeed, Margaret Thatcher infamously declared that there is no such thing as society, thus rendering concern about others unnecessary and a hindrance to unfettered greed and avarice.

    Yet, unless people who understand and care about these things can organize their thoughts, and themselves, can organize the involvement of others in a shared endeavor of both imagination and change, we shall remain ineffective and isolated.

    Part of what must be addressed is the current political economy.

    Politics and economics are not separate, as we pretend are church and state, but are intertwined.

    That was, once, broadly understood.

    At this time, despite the clear societal destruction of neoliberalism, with its steadily increasing wealth disparity, there is duopoly party intention to see that even the very mildest form of “socialism” will be attacked and maligned, will be regarded as “not serious”, not workable, and destructive of a non existent social comity.

    Frankly, this would be a moment most excellent for genuine Marxists to begin fashioning narratives powerful enough that the many might begin to feel what a socially directed political economy, benefiting all, could be and become.

    Again, my appreciation to Vijay and to Consortium News for presenting us this accessible and instructive article.

    DW

  12. old geezer
    June 20, 2019 at 21:24

    vijay is a marxist intellectual …
    and the reason he does not live in a country run by marxists is ?

    ( he’d have to live like a marxist, and freedom has it’s benefits )

    • DW Bartoo
      June 20, 2019 at 23:23

      Better that he dare live in countries clearly failing in their political economy, old geezer, that he might offer possibilities of necessary change and reconnected humanity.

      I am curious.

      How much Marx have you, personally, read or studied.

      What do you think of his comprehensive analysis of capitalism?

      Do you find it ironic that those who first dared overthrow a system of privilege were not, as Marx predicted, members of an industrialized society?

      Please realize that we, in the U$, have been long propagandized to fear Marx, to equate his analysis, with “godless Communism”.

      In fact, “Capital”, Volume I, remains the most thorough and “… incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates” yet published and, if you have not read it, then you have not the slightest idea, at all, of what it is really about.

      It is not a blueprint for coercion, for tyranny, or exploitation, or top-down power.

    • Chris
      June 21, 2019 at 00:57

      “Please realize that we, in the U$, have been long propagandized to fear Marx, to equate his analysis, with “godless Communism”.”

      The biggest Socialists work in Wall Street. You know nothing about history, or economics. What’s it like to be an idiot?

      At best, the author should be noted for pointing out corruption. Otherwise, he’s an absolute moron.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 21, 2019 at 14:02

      Ah, Chris, clearly you are more than capable of clarifying your claim that, “the biggest Socialists work in Wall Street.”

      Presumably, you refer to corporate socialism, the process by which, for example, big bankers were recently rescued from their own, let us call it “folly”, with a bailout worth trillions of dollars and the added reward of obscene bonuses for continuing to engage in the same “astute” behavior?

      While the cost of that bailout was shifted onto the many.

      Is that what you suggest?

      Essentially socialism for the rich and capitalism for the many, is that your claim?

      If so, then I quite agree.

      As you, apparently, are well and deeply versed in serious and subtle understandings of political economics, would you consider helping an “idiot” become wiser? Might you take a moment to compare and contrast what Adam Smith, (a somewhat well-known political economist of an earlier time, with whom you, no doubt, are very familiar) termed “the Vile Maxim” of those whom he called “the masters”, with what is currently called “neoliberalism” and the austerity measures enacted in, say, the U$, the U.K., and France?

      Now, you might think this a trivial matter, not worth your time nor attention, yet it might reveal certain parallels in elite behavior, then and now, which just might have historic value, perspective and all that, along with furthering understanding around the consequences of what some might consider to be dangerous, excessive accumulationdof wealth concentrated in too few hands.

      You know, beyond the shallow, “Well, they must be doing something right, look at all the money they are making!”

      As well, since you would be in the general vicinity, you might address the privatization of resources, as it compares to the Enclosure Acts of England, and the loss of the Commons.

      It is obvious that your literary style is terse and curt, but even a, “Bah, humbug!” would be received with humble reverence and great appreciation.

      As to the author’s short-comings, you shall have to take him to task quite on your own, assuming he dare even show his face after such a dressing down as you have delivered him this fateful day.

    • rosemerry
      June 22, 2019 at 17:03

      old geezer needs to reactivate his brain cells!

  13. Fran Macadam
    June 20, 2019 at 20:10

    The most believable assessment so far.

  14. Jeff Harrison
    June 20, 2019 at 19:20

    This comes as no surprise to me. When Dilma Russeloff was impeached for no high crimes and misdemeanors but merely because the votes were in the legislature, I assumed that the US was once again screwing some unfortunate country over in favor of the military and the oligarchy. As usual, I was right. We’ve gotten away with it so far. Hopefully, it will blow up in our face soon enough. I’m tired of my country messing around with the rest of the world, making people miserable and poor so that the already filthy rich can move toward obscenely filthy rich.

  15. DW Bartoo
    June 20, 2019 at 18:56

    Ever since I read “I Claudius”, by Robert Graves, many decades ago, the next to last line of chapter 2 has stayed prominent in my thoughts when contemplating how so very much power has become vested, in the U$, both outwardly, and openly, in the Executive branch and, far less openly, in the so-called “intelligence” agencies, which operate in dark and dangerous secrecy, at tremendous cost, in wealth, in trust, and through the creation and dire consequences of “blow-back”, all while being free of restraint or meaningful “oversight”, a fig leaf notion designed to reassure a gullible citizenry that all is subject to their “democratic” control.

    That sentence reads, “Had their sole and arbitrary power not been disguised under the forms of ancient liberty they would never have held it long.”

    The book is about the process by which the Roman Republic was changed into a tyranny of power vested not in the Roman Senate, but rather in what quickly became a hereditary emperorship of the Caesars.

    Graves posits that, after Julius Caesar was assassinated, Augustus and his wife, Livia, developed “… legal, social, administrative, religious, and military reforms”, bringing about a “… seemingly admirable reconstitution of the State … only made possible by military defeat, secret murder, or public execution of almost every person who defied the power of this energetic pair.”

    Now, of course, the transformation of our Republic has been both more subtle but also more blatant, as befits a more modern and far more powerful empire, which has convinced many of its citizens that it not an empire at all, that its sole purpose is humanitarian, and that it enjoys its hegemony, not by the “right” of “might” but because it has a covenant with the god worshipped, in a profound coincidence, by the three religious groups presently engaged in a war, not fully proclaimed, but long fought and most especially as a result of a certain event, which has “changed everything” for our empire, ushering in an era that has seen wars, not “won”, but highly profitable for some, the use of torture as policy, defended as “necessary” and rendered “legal” by an “office of legal counsel”, even as widespread, global and domestic, surveillance has been legitimized to protect what is termed “The National Security State”, from foreigner and citizen alike, all of whom are subject to being considered “terrorists” if it please the secret courts established to use an now empty form of law to destroy the rule of law.

    Yet, even though more citizens of the ” “indispensable and exceptional” nation, now styled “The Homeland”, are coming to understand what is going on, many more still yet have no real inkling of what is happening, even as the increasing economic precarity of the many, owing to a clever economic theory termed “neoliberalism”, a modern rendition of what Adam Smith called the “Vile Maxim” of those he called the masters,
    savages the many, domestically, and in many places worldwide, still, silly myths are believed and the military budget swells to almost 70% of the budget, if the monies for those secret “intelligence” agencies are honestly included in calculating the actual cost of the overarching policy of U$ empire, known as Full Spectrum Dominance.

    Augustus and Livia could never have imagined the power clutched in the hands of the few, today, any more than does the “average” citizen.

    • June 21, 2019 at 13:56

      “Now, of course, the transformation of our Republic has been both more subtle but also more blatant, as befits a more modern and far more powerful empire…” Actually, similarities are deeper than you give them credit. Rome had a mixed political system, with elements of oligarchy, democracy and limited dictatorship (dictator is an office of Roman republic with, well, dictatorial powers). The drift to permanent dictatorship took at least 100 years of “more subtle, if at time, more blantant” events.

      At the end of the day, greed, narrow group interest and thirst for power did not emerge recently, and political forms of democracy were copied from Rome, so one should expect multiple parallels.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 21, 2019 at 15:36

      The parallels are many, just as you say, Piotr Berman, with the significant difference of improved “technologies” of surveillance, social conditioning, and weapons of mass destruction capable of mayhem on a scale undreamt of in Ancient Rome.

      Perhaps, were U$ians more intimately familiar with the actual history of Rome, our Republic might have not been lost, as Franklin correctly surmised it would be and, could have been steered away from its oligarchic foundation toward actual, participatory democracy.

      What do you think?

  16. June 20, 2019 at 18:04

    “Democratic institutions?” The Western world is the same den of vipers and thieves that we’ve been for the last 500+ years during which we have plagued the rest of humanity with century upon century of genocide, slavery, and endless plunder capped of by two World Wars, now followed with our ongoing neocolonial murder and mayhem. There are no “democratic institutions” in the West, as we common citizens have no say whatsoever in our actual institutional structures. We are simply here to periodically cast our “symbolic vote” in order to lend a veneer of legitimacy to what is essentially a large international criminal enterprise – the governments and intelligence services and corporations of the West. Elections allow us only to participate in our own mystification.

    The sooner we come to terms with this reality the less time we’ll waste waiting for Amnesty International to stop it’s disgraceful shilling for regime change wars, or to finally designate Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning as “prisoners of conscience.” The sooner we’ll stop expecting honest and truthful reports from the “Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)” instead of yet more fabricated Western war propaganda. The sooner we will realize that no, Europe is not going to finally stand up to the U.S. and refuse to follow along with our latest war-mongering or regime-change criminality, because Europe is “part of this Western international criminal enterprise.” Witness how quickly and seamlessly Merkel, May and Macron parted with any public respect they had for international law while they embraced the Orange One’s illegal and immoral designation of “random Guaido” as the president of Venezuela. European leaders appear destined to follow dutifully along with the what is literally criminal and insane U.S. foreign policy actions, it would appear, until they finally see mushroom clouds forming through their office windows.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 20, 2019 at 19:47

      Superb and encompassing comment, Gary Weglarz, very much appreciated!

  17. John Neal Spangler
    June 20, 2019 at 15:47

    It is an Oligarchy that controls the most important politicians and the police/judiciary. In US top FBI/CIA are all tools of Oligarchy. MSM to run 24/7 propaganda, and rigged elections. 1984 meets brave New World

  18. Bob Van Noy
    June 20, 2019 at 15:40

    “We need a new theory of actually-existing democracy.”

    Man do we ever. We are now getting an inside look at color revolutions background, in real time.
    Time to put a stop to them and investigate the investigators. And, most clearly, this must be an extra governmental process because of the depth of corruption. It’s surprising in size and depth only. Most people who have been paying attention have realized this for many years…

    Thank you Vijay Prashad and Consortiumnews!

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 20, 2019 at 15:48
    • Bob Van Noy
      June 20, 2019 at 16:06

      “During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis President Kennedy barely held off the Pentagon brass who wanted to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The world was at the brink. Those events should be studied. Kennedy told his closest advisors following the harrowing debates inside the government about how to deal with the crisis that the military leadership “was mad.”

      A quote from the following linked article:

      https://www.globalresearch.ca/exposed-pentagons-cyberwar-against-russia/5681226

    • June 20, 2019 at 18:07

      Bob – and sadly it is quite clear that our military leaders today are literally as “mad” as they were during JFK’s time.

    • Jeff Harrison
      June 20, 2019 at 19:25

      You are, I hope, aware that Costa Rica has no military. Literally. There was a military coup in 1948 and after they regained a civilian government, they simply abolished the military. Haven’t had a coup since.

  19. June 20, 2019 at 14:33

    “We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.” https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dictatorship-of-the-small-minority-3f1f83ce4e15

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