U.S. Policy of Accommodating Communist Leaders in Brazil and Elsewhere Self-Defeating

Bush Doctrine of Pre-emptive strikes Does not Apply to Marxist and Communist Regimes and Threats

By David T. Pyne, Esq

Play It Again Sam! (A Look Back on Bush’s Hypocrisy on fighting against dictators: December 20, 2002)

More than two months ago, this author called for the Bush administration to prepare a new strategy to counter the imminent takeover of Brazil by Lula’s Marxist coalition. At that time, we urged the administration to work with Brazil’s conservative military and its disparate anti-Lula congressional elements to present a strong and united front against the incoming Lula regime. Such a united opposition will be necessary to oppose and derail Lula’s inevitable attempts to implement a Marxist, anti-US, pro-Communist program likely utilizing extra-constitutional measures to solidify his control over Brazil. Unfortunately, recent developments demonstrate that the opportunity to help forge an effective opposition has been squandered.

The October election increased (Lula’s) Worker’s Party representation in the Brazilian Congress by two thirds. A few weeks ago, Lula formed a key alliance with Brazil’s largest political party, the PMDB, that has given the latter a governing majority in both houses of Congress and the support of several more governors. In Brazil’s lower house, Lula’s grand socialist coalition started out with 214 seats and now controls 288 out of 513 with the addition of the PMDB. In the Brazilian Senate, Lula’s coalition began with 27 seats and now controls 46 out of 81. As a result, Lula now has the votes to pass through a major economic reform package, which could shift Brazil’s economic system farther to the left. His majority in the legislature also opens the door to a default on Brazil’s debt and the resumption of a nuclear weapon program that has been suspended since 1994. Lula remains a Marxist revolutionary who has demonstrated the patience to pursue the gradual quasi-democratic Chavez path to Communism.

When freedom-loving people in Brazil looked to the president of the United States for leadership against the looming threat of a Lula presidency, the Bush administration did nothing, preferring to not interfere in the Brazilian election process. Since the election, conservative leaders in the US Congress and throughout the country have urged the president to meet with Lula’s opposition and unite to vote down his leftist legislation. Members of the US Congress have voiced their concerns to the President regarding Lula’s desire to restart Brazil’s nuclear weapons program.

Shortly after Lula was elected president of Brazil on Oct. 27, the Bush administration congratulated him on his victory and offered its support for his government. It was one thing for the administration not to take a stand in the Brazilian elections. That was bad enough. But to actually congratulate Lula on winning and support him in power is quite another matter. Such a policy is arguably immoral. The US policy of appeasement hasn’t worked to moderate Communist North Korea. It hasn’t worked to moderate Communist China or Communist Vietnam and it won’t work to moderate Castroite Lula.

The Bush administration has demonstrated great vision when it comes to fighting the war on terror, but it has faltered badly when it comes to confronting Communist tyrants. In virtually every case, it has chosen the path of appeasement when dealing with Communist dictators-in North Korea, in the PRC, in Vietnam and in Angola where Bush met with the Communist president mere days after the latter had Reagan’s favorite freedom fighter assassinated. Now, we are welcoming nations still controlled by renamed Communist party leaders — Romania, Poland, Hungary and to a lesser extent Bulgaria — into NATO. Has the fundamental Communist threat to freedom changed or have we? The administration has largely abandoned the Reagan Doctrine and anti-Communist policies that brought us victory during the Cold War. The only exception was in Nicaragua where the Bush administration showed great foresight and acted decisively to prevent the return of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas to power.

The administration may certainly be excused in viewing terrorism as a more pressing near term threat. However, it is important that it does not do so at the cost of neglecting critical medium- and long-term strategic threats, like an emerging nuclear beachhead in the Western Hemisphere aligned with Communist China.

The Bush administration’s policy on Marxist-led Brazil has been one of non-interference and accommodation, stemming perhaps from a desire to focus on the looming war against Iraq. If it continues as such it will be doomed to fail. The administration’s accomodationist policy only legitimizes the incoming Lula regime in the eyes of the world. This policy will help speed the transformation of Brazil into a major threat to the US over the next several years, particularly if Lula makes good his stated intention to build nuclear weapons and develop missiles with which to deliver them. Brazil already has a successful satellite rocket booster program, which could be converted into an ICBM program without much difficulty.

Now, the administration appears to be pursuing the course of “engagement” with Lula, a euphemism for the same appeasement which failed to moderate Communist leaders elsewhere. Presumably, Bush is willing to adopt such a discredited strategy because he has no idea how else to counter the Lula threat or because he refuses to recognize the threat Lula poses to peace and freedom in Latin America.

Accommodation and appeasement never work when confronting a Marxist leader like Lula who is allied with this country’s Communist and terrorist enemies. Containment, deterrence, and preferably Reaganite rollback are the preferred courses of action. Clintonian appeasement should be recognized the self-defeating policy that it is, however attractive it might seem, being as it is the course of least resistance. Rollback is exactly the policy the administration needs to implement when confronting the new threat from a Marxist and Sino-Russian aligned Brazil. The Bush Doctrine should be extended to apply not merely to terrorist threats, but to threats from Marxist-led rogue states as well. This new US policy should not be employed as a justification for pre-emptive strikes, which are illegal and rarely necessary, but rather as a concerted diplomatic, economic, and covert military effort to roll back Marxist gains. ***

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David T Pyne currently serves as DUV-PAC Chairman, President of the Utah Republican Assembly, and as Vice President for the Association of the United States Army’s Utah Chapter. A former national security expert, he has served as President of the Center for the National Security Interest, worked as a defense contractor and International Programs Manager, as an International Analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Department of the Navy, and as a Research Assistant for the Center for Security Policy.