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The war, Brazil and Finland

26 Apr

As the war escalates in Eastern Europe, Russian objectives become clear, greater control over the sources of energy and material available for war, this includes the Azovstal Steel Mill, where there are civilians and the battle has intensified.

There is the alleged deception of saying that the east would make an overland corridor to the Crimea annexed in the 2014 war, but this was never a problem for Russia because of its air fleet, and it has another exclave which is Kaliningrad, and it is also That’s why Ukraine started bombing Russian oil depots.

Vargas’ dictatorial Brazilian government even flirted with Nazism, but in July 1939, on a US visit to the Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Army, General Góes Monteiro, the US government promised to cooperate with Brazil’s military and economic re-equipment. in the construction of Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (the former CSN).

At the time, Brazil was given a credit of 17 million dollars with Eximbark, and an American base was installed in Rio Grande do Norte, strategic for military flights to Europe.

Before this period, Finland also had heavy industries that could help in the war, Sweden also had and provided material for both Germany and the allies, but in 1939 Stalin, then president of the Soviet Union, decides to invade Finland.

Finland’s parliament is deciding now to join NATO, and Russia threatens retaliation, last week Maria Zarakhova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “We have given our warnings, both publicly and through bilateral channels. ; they (both countries) know that, so there are no surprises. They have been informed about everything, about what (an eventual NATO membership) will entail”.

This causes a new escalation in the war and also involves Sweden that wants to join NATO.

The clash between Russians and Finland, which began on November 30, 1939, called the Winter War (photo), although with an army and smaller power, the Finns resisted the war and maintained the morale of the troop, the pact had just been made. the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (ministers of Russia and Germany, respectively), where Finland would remain neutral, but would lose part of its territory, a good part of its industrial park and pledged to maintain neutrality in the war, but Russia broke with the Germany and invaded Finland.

The peace treaty was signed on March 12, 1940, ceding 10% of Finnish territory to Russia and 20% of its industrial capacity to the Soviet Union.

More military might and war industries mean that there is no end to the war, greater NATO involvement means that global escalation is approaching, but hope for peace remains through increasingly difficult agreements.



Innocent lives matter too

07 Apr

The war of all horrors and inhumanities has its cruelest face in the death of innocents, for this reason the death of civilians is condemned, although war itself must be condemned, there is no just war, the only just opposition to war is peace.

As much as this is a fact, it is important to think about the death of the innocent, where there is always a certain dose of intentionality, to foresee possible developments and alert to more horrors, when it comes to totalitarianisms (see the previous post) there is always a horizon gloomy and worrisome.

For this reason, the death of innocent people must be investigated and punished, it is a totalitarian, absurd act.

If we think about the war in Vietnam, where the Napalm firebombs were used (photo), where something close to 1 million people died (there are estimates that speak of up to 3 million people), and also 300 thousand Combojans and more than 20 thousand Laotians, then in the West too, it counts the lives of innocents.

Also the war in Iraq, the crisis in the Middle East and the African wars must be seen.

The death and bombing of hospitals, maternity hospitals and even asylums in Ukraine, it is clear that these data must be proven, they indicate the cruelty of this current war, and this is important not only for a trial in war courts, but for thinking about the possible ramifications.

In a climate of the end of the pandemic, a probable food shortage, the imbalance of military forces with technologies and the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is very worrying.

However, this is also observed in the micro-cosmos, in social and individual actions, the absence of feeling and compassion for the helpless, the lack of true humanism and the neglect of life, because the pandemic is not over and various types of denialism are growing.

A sincere look at a humanity that suffers and sees itself threatened by an even harder future is the obligation of every sincere humanism, and a special look towards the innocent is more necessary.

Without a great humanity that looks to the Other who suffers, we will not have a promising future.



The narrative of totalitarianism

06 Apr

It is not just about the war that is the apex of totalitarian action, the attempt to submit peoples and governments to a unilateral truth, to a way of seeing the world that despises others and more than making a history of authoritarianism, it is necessary to understand its origins. and its narrative.

This is how Hannah Arendt faced the issue when she wrote in 1951 “The origins of totalitarianism”, she seemed convinced that after the end of the second world war the problem did not end there, there she talks about hell, the nightmare, the Metamorphosis of Kafda, the onion and even the ugliness of an omelet, among so many other things, when the stories of Auschwitz reached their hands.

When trying to describe the totalitarian experience, the dilemma Arendt faced was that this experience could not be explained, not by political philosophy or traditional concepts, it is not as the culmination of a process of developing something from a past.

I remember a striking sentence by Lygia Fagundes Telles, who died these days when she would have turned 99 on April 16, wrote: “There is no coherence to the mystery or logic to the absurd”, dictators and their narratives only have logic in systematic propaganda, and in a cheerleading than other fanatics who support him and identify with him.

This form of narrative that Arendt wrote found opposition in a contemporary such as Voegelin to which she replied: “I did not write a history of totalitarianism, but an analysis in historical terms of the elements that crystallized in totalitarianism” (ARENDT, 2007, p. 403) ).

He also wrote in the “Crisis of the Republic”, that the first fundamental difference between totalitarianism and the other categories present in history is the fact that totalitarian terror “turns not only against its enemies, but also against its friends and defenders”. “; a second difference would be its radicality, which makes it capable of eliminating not only the freedom of action of individuals as tyrannies did through political isolation., eliminating not only opponents but also unreliable allies, there is a clear parallel in the current war.

In her note number 81, Arendt wrote: “The total number of Russians killed during the four years of war is estimated at between 12 and 21 million. In just one year, Stalin exterminated around 8 million people in Ukraine alone. See Communism in action, U.S. Government, Washington, 1946, House Document No. 754, pp. 140-1”, again the similarity with the current War is not by chance, and after Butcha these days Mariupol (photo) will be able to live a similar drama.

The last topic of Arendt’s book is: “Ideology and terror: a new form of government”, anyone interested in avoiding totalitarianism just read it, it is likely that someone will become aware of this terror.

ARENDT, H. (2007) Origins of Totalitarianism. trans. Roberto Raposo. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras (in portuguese).



Can the blind lead the blind?

25 Feb

In a conflict situation, the parties involved must be arbitrated by a third party that is neutral, but does not yet exist.

The escalation of the war between Ukraine and Russia continues this Friday morning, Russian tanks approach Kiev as Ukraine’s defense troops resist as best they can with anti-tank attacks and bridge explosions, such as the one on the Teteriv River, that hamper the arrival of the Russians in Kiev, they also managed to hit some tanks with anti-tank batteries.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine informs that the Russian tanks would already be 32 km from the capital, and the objective is the fall of the government and the consequent Russian occupation of the country, the Eastern European allies that are part of NATO: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia invoke Article 4. of the NATO treaty that any country affected implies a reaction from the 30 member states.

The entry of NATO would be the beginning of a world escalation of the War, certainly China would position itself in favor of Russia while the USA and its allies outside Europe would position themselves in favor of Ukraine, which is already happening, but Brazil remains in a complicated situation due to the visit of the President of the Republic at an inopportune time to Russia, but the vice president has already condemned the Russian action.

In the early hours of this Friday, the situation in Ukraine becomes dramatic with the possibility of an imminent assault by Russian forces on the Ukrainian capital Kiev, without a reaction from the allies, despite having ceded arms to the Ukrainian army, within hours of occupation of the country can be total.

The security council as we reported yesterday has already spoken out against the Russian advance, although Russian rhetoric says that it was only to keep the peace and previously that it would not invade Ukraine, it is already known that they are just war rhetoric.

Who would be the forces, countries and people capable of convening an emergency diplomatic meeting, the sanctions imposed on Russia’s banks hit three of Putin’s allies in this financial market: Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg.

Another sanction was the interruption of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is ready and connects Russia with Germany, Putin accused the coup saying that this will make the price of gas soar and Europe depends on it.

But the central problem remains, who can give light to a dialogue between the blind, as the biblical reading says that alludes to the fact that a blind man cannot guide a blind man, and adds (Lk 6, 42): “how can you say to your brother?: brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when you don’t see the beam in your own eye? Hypocritical! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

It’s not about the supporters of a football match, but about human lives and the rights of peoples and nations that are at stake, there is no supporter that has light but the one that wants peace, the sides in conflict, that I allude to Biden and Putin, must accept some kind of moderation to avoid a world war, or the return of the cold war.



On War and Blindness

23 Feb

It is always blind or just egocentric that inability to look at the Other, they want your attention just to demand their gifts and accomplishments, so they are egocentric, but social and cultural blindness is broader, in it lies the inability to accept different cultures and peoples, they say they do not constitute a relevant group or do not have an advanced culture, where the issue of advancement depends only on the referential, the most common in both cases is to claim the other’s gaze on themselves, without there being reciprocal.

The essay on blindness by José Saramago, which we have already posted here, talks about this social blindness seen as a virus that spreads and begins to blind everyone, and which was turned into a film by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles, with a screenplay by Don McKellar, and we call it our post-essay of Intermittencies of Death, another essay by Saramago.

Camus also described in his novel The Plague, about a disease that hit his native country (he was Algerian) and that saw that there comes a time when the truth seems to offend everyone, even the once sensible: “but there comes a time in the story in which anyone who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death” because it is “an idea that may make you laugh, but the only way to fight the plague is honesty”, this forgotten and even ironic virtue nowadays.

Camus says that overcoming fear and pain “I understood that all the misfortune of men came from not having a clear language. So I decided to speak and act clearly, to put myself on the right path”, this implies not only wisdom and courage, but also overcoming human blindness.

In a more forceful passage the author will say: “Men are more good than bad, and in fact that is not the point. But they are more or less ignorant, and this is what is called virtue or vice, the most desperate vice being that of ignorance, which thinks it knows everything and then authorizes itself to kill”, but then there is hatred and war.

This seems to be a path of no return that we are walking, not just on the lit fuse in Ukraine and Russia, but in all humanity, the blindness of the time of the wars seems to have returned in full and everyone is pointing the finger at each other, and Karl Klaus warned journalists who were also riding the wave: “War, at first, is the hope that we will get along well; then there is the expectation that the other will get screwed; then, the satisfaction of seeing that the other did not do well; and finally, the surprise of seeing that everyone was screwed.

The Bible also does not lack this metaphor: the blind Bartimaeus who begs for sight, for the healing of the man born blind (incredible because he did not have a cognitive system to see) and went to wash himself in the pool of Siloam and the two blind men of Galilee, is It is clear to most theologians that this cure is to see the truth that men refuse to see: Love and Peace.

The regional and national polarizations are gradually becoming global and the feeling that the other is going to “get screwed” is the growing and pure blindness, we will all get screwed.


Possible agreements and impending conflict

22 Feb

Attacks that took place over the weekend in the separatist regions Donesk and Lugansk could undermine diplomatic possibilities around Ukraine, both Ukraine and Russia through the separatists want to establish territorial boundaries before a possible agreement, but tests carried out with rockets with nuclear charges in the border region are more provocative than they seem, while Russia recognizes the so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk and People’s Republic of Lugansk.

News agencies reported on Monday that “the president said he plans to sign the relevant decree in the near future”, referring to the recognition of the breakaway regions and informed leaders Emmanuel Macron (France) and Olaf Sholz (Germany) of his intentions. .

With this, the Minsk protocol that established a balance of forces in the three lithium regions, as Crimea was also part of that agreement, seems to be broken and Moscow’s expansionist objective is clear, now with defined objectives, Ukraine must give up part of its territory for the People’s Republics, and Crimea is not even mentioned being therefore a region already considered annexed to Russia, the doubt now is whether the Kremlin’s wishes stop there, the troops on the borders show no sign of limits.

The calculations of American intelligence analysts is that 75% of Russian military forces are dedicated to the conflict, everything suggests that it is not just about tactical support for the rebels of the republics in dispute, now what is expected is the recognition of the countries for this independence, unfortunately, is a sign for all nations and thus makes the conflict world, although the military involvement is still of the forces of NATO and Russia, besides Ukraine it is clear that it is not yet a member of NATO.

It is possible for diplomacy to act, it is always possible even on the verge of a war, what lies ahead with bombers in the Donesk and Logansk region is an internal civil war, if both NATO and Russian troops get involved in the fragile limits of pacification can quickly break apart.

Russia is not closed to diplomacy, but the announcement of a reconnaissance action is clearly a request for Ukraine to retreat, while there are military accusations from both sides.

It may seem like a local conflict, but let’s remember how the conflicts of the first and second wars were born, which were for dominance in border regions and which seemed only local problems.

It will be with strong diplomacy in this region that a worldwide escalation can be avoided.




Covid-19 situation is undefined in Brazil

21 Feb

While bets on a fall in Covid-19 continue, we emphasize that it would be safer to think about a second semester in relation to protocols in particular for distancing, the death chart shows a blur this month (see chart), and the study on the new omicron variant BA.2 are still in their infancy, and the WHO is investigating other subvariants, although BA.2 has been the main one in the increase in new cases, in the state of São Paulo 3 cases have already been detected.

It is being called a “stealth omicron” (stealth) because it manages to escape vaccines, with lower severity, but the subvariants are still being studied, both the severity (which for now is lower, but still lethal), while if observes in this month of February the Ômicron is dominant and an increase of those of the subvariant BA.2.

While most studies point to less seriousness, scientists from Japan from the University of Tokyo, Kumamoto, Hokkaido and Kyoto point out that the subvariatne may be more aggressive than the original, because it affects the lungs more severely, and we already know that this has been the case. more serious factor, and therefore called SARS-Covid (SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

Kei Sato, a researcher at the University of Tokyo who conducted the study, argued that the most important thing at this point would be to monitor more closely and “establish a method to detect BA.2 specifically would be the first step” in many countries, as we had already posted. have a “new” testing policy in this case.

Many cases are not counted because there is no mass testing and many are asymptomatic.

If we look at the data from Denmark where BA.2 cases are very high (data from Our World in Data) we observe that the number of hospitalized (almost 1,500, 33 in ICU) and deaths (33), is a reference if not we take care to avoid a new generalized infection, once the omicron is spread, despite the authorities not reacting.

We continue to ask for a clearer protocol, with distance and a policy of avoiding agglomerations, but it seems that for political reasons this has been abandoned.



The hunger in World

09 Feb

The Welthungerhife report shows the map of hunger in the world, where it is evident the concentration in Africa where the poorest countries are and also remnants of a period of colonization (there is still this presence there) that mattered little to the population.

The countries with the lowest per capita income in dollars are concentrated there: Somalia: $953, Central African Republic $996, Republic of Congo $1203, Mozambique $1338, Niger: $1503, Malawi $1503, Liberia $1623 and Madagascar $1630 , there are also wars over the division of territories, diamonds and the extraction of minerals:, as is the case with the phosphate ore in which they are involved: Spain, Morocco and Mali, but also Western Sahara rebels fight for independence in territory claimed by Morocco .

The war that has economic interests and neo-colonization behind has always been present there, Somalia is a typical example of this as it led the country to even greater misery and the Pandemic made the crisis more alarming.

There are still no conclusive studies on the real impact of the pandemic in this territory, a recent report called “The State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the world (SOFI) of 2021 trans some efforts of United Nations agencies to map and outline a policy and estimates that a tenth of the global population, estimated at around 811 million people in the world are undernourished in this period of the Pandemic, which shows an alarming picture.

A war of global proportions could further aggravate this situation, also more egalitarian health policies (a distribution of vaccine proportional to the number of inhabitants, for example) are necessary measures to prevent that, in addition to poverty, the number of deaths continues to grow in the aftermath of the pandemic.




Little history of Ukraine

08 Feb

In the 3rd century the region was inhabited by the Goths (250-375), the region was called Aujo, there was a Cherniacove culture there, the Ostrogoths settled in 350 with the influence of the Huns, to the north there was a people who had a Kievan culture (then later Kyiv or Київ).

The origin of today’s Ukraine is in Slavic tribes that arrived in this territory in the 5th and 6th centuries, in the 9th century Viking invaders arrived, called Varigi, the Mongols invade in the 13th, King Igor I with a young Varigi teenager named Olga united the peoples, this kingdom called Rus had Kiev as its capital, the king will be killed and Olga takes power with great vigor and courage, and dominates the peoples, Olga will occupy a special role and then convert to Christianity with great work in favor of the poor .

Olga is a separate chapter, after being a strong queen and to a certain extent cruel to her enemies, her son takes over the kingdom and she converts to Christianity, built churches, carried out evangelization campaigns, but was unable, however, to convert her son. Sviatoslav (Svyatoslav I), helped the poor and sick people so much that he became a saint recognized by the Orthodox Church in the year and by the Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, his son did not convert, but his grandson Vladimir I converted and also was declared a saint.

The Variagi commanded several strategic points in Russia and explored transport and trade, so during the 10th and 11th century, the territory of Ukraine became the center of a powerful and prestigious state in Europe, called at the time Kiev Russia (recall was the kingdom of Rus) and were also the basis for many subsequent Slavic nations (such as Greater Bulgaria and Belarus, for example), in addition to the Russians themselves who were then just scattered Slavic tribes.

The state was conquered by Casimirio IV of Poland, while the heart of ancient Kievan Russia passed to the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but the marriage of Grand Duke Jagellan of Lithuania to Queen Hedwig of Poland, changed control of the sovereigns. Lithuanians to most of the Ukrainian territory and thus returned to Ukraine.

We take a leap into history, which is also rich in the medieval period, a civil war that lasted 4 years after the Russian revolution (1917) in 1921 Ukraine becomes a Soviet socialist republic, with purges and land grabs that Ukrainian farmers refused to deliver, Ukraine is a major grain producer.

The Stalinist period and the Nazi occupation of its territory, which caused more than 10 million deaths between 1930 and 1945, Ukraine resisted Russian collectivization and Nazi invasion, Ukraine in the Soviet period was responsible for ¼ of Soviet production in the agricultural sector producing 40 million cereals, a record for the time.

Finally, the problem of the Crimean territory, which has its origins in the war of 1853 and 1856 where there was a conflict between Russia and an alliance formed by France-United Kingdom-Kingdom of Sardinia (today part of Italy), in 2014 the war is reborn with the takeover by Russia, it should be clarified that there was a contract between Ukraine and Russia in a kind of leasing for the concession of the Balkan port where Russia’s largest maritime fleet is located, in Sevastopol, which was thus an independent territory of Ukraine.

Thus, among the most absurd analyzes is the one that says that Ukraine would be unviable as an independent state, it is weakened by an internal war and under Russian pressure.





Pandemic increases and countries do not care

07 Feb

The news is from the BBC in Portuguese several countries (United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Greece and Sweden), tired of the change in routine, many countries, environments and even sanitarians relaxed in control because the Isolation is indeed difficult, in Brazil the number of deaths has reached thousands.

The pressure is actually political and economic, and the authorities will find themselves under pressure to reopen the economy and thereby free up environments for commerce and social interaction, but the economic cost can also be serious with the number of people who will leave, even Even if it is for less serious cases, it is visible in some sectors, in the case of Brazil, that many employees contract Covid in the Omicron variant, and in this case they must leave for at least 10 days, but here it was also reduced to 5, that is. , more contagion.

Last Tuesday (1/2) the WHO declared its concern about this relaxation, but European commissioners and health experts rushed to say that the end of the pandemic is near, there are small signs that the peak (we are still at it) could attenuate, but it is too early to infer that we can relax, the normal thing would be to wait for the low curve (graph).

According to Agência Brasil, Brazil Agency of Health recorded 197,442 thousand cases on Friday and 1,308 deaths in 24 hours, this amounts to 26,473,273 cases and 631,802 deaths, due to the high number it is very unlikely that the cases are just unvaccinated or children.

The vaccination of childrens for the most part is still the first dose, and in many states today they will be back to school, they could at least wait a little, but countries that return to work need to have a place to leave their children, so the motivation is also economic and not really a concern for the children.

It is very likely that the Pandemic will enter a cooling cycle, perhaps it will not disappear completely, but care should be maintained and this is not what is observed, except in some Asian countries where they seek to raise tolerance to zero, an example is the restrictions of the Winter Olympics on Pequim and also the Club World Championship held in Abu Dhabi that are in the news all over the world, just make a comparison of the measurements there and the measurements here.