US plots Colombia invasion.

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at
Wed Sep 1 17:34:00 MDT 1999

Carlos Eduardo Rebello wrote:

> The
> national thrauma created by the sending home in bodybags of conscripts
> that enlisted to wear decent clothes, learn to write, read and drive,
> have a pair of boots, etc., or of middle-class concripts that hadn't
> enough influence to dodge the draft plus the present sorry state of
> things in Cardoso's regime, would create all the conditions to a major
> turmoil, that would have consequences, I believe, very similar to the
> Portuguese colonial wars of the 60s and 70s, about which João Paulo
> Monteiro could tell something...

Well, actually the portuguese soldiers didn't behave very badly, from a
strictly military point of view. They were mostly stolid peasant lads used
to walk around on the fields in silence, immersed in their thoughts. On
duty, in patrol missions in Africa, they wouldn't panic easily. And, of
course, they were used to obey any orders without much discussions. On the
home front, the fascist and obscurantist regime kept all opposition silent
(except on the Universities). Families of dead and maimed soldiers were not
"news". Suffering was a strictly private matter. The whole country was
resigned and plunged in its "apagada e vil tristeza" (silent and vile

Of course, this all changed with the April 74 revolution. From one day to
the next, military discipline collapsed. No-one would do any fighting
anymore and it was politically impossible to send fresh troops to Africa.
"Nem mais um soldado para as colónias" (not one more soldier sent to the
colonies) was the cry on the streets.

Now that Portugal is a much more urbanized country, with democratic
institutions, aggressive and sensationalist mass-media and this kind of
softening of the belly that comes with a certain measure of economic well
being, this country would NEVER again be able to wage a protracted war of
attrition for 14 years in three different theaters. It would be simply

As a matter of fact, though Britain still likes to do some very strident
saber rattling once in a while, I don't think any western european country
has the stomach for conducting any war these days. Except, of course, the
ones where apparently only the enemy dies.

> Nverthless, such a dream of deploying
> Braz. troops to Colombia could only come only to the mind of CIA
> officers, that are thinking in a manner very similar to the Portuguese
> army diehards that made the infamous *Brigada do Reumatico*.Even Cardoso
> will ask to be counted out.

Ah, ah. The "brigada do reumático" (the rheumatism brigade) was the
nick-name the young officers of the April 74 revolution gave to the fascist
high military commands of the early 70's. In the long world history of
military pompous asses, you would be hard press to find another such bunch
of nulities. And the ones in command now are exactly the same stuff. Well,
lets close this post here, before I start revealing too many of the most
delicate military secrets of the country.

João Paulo Monteiro

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