Replying to Marta

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at
Sat Sep 25 18:08:05 MDT 1999

I would like to add some commments to the ongoing debate. To think that
one has scored a victory over the present Australian government (who,
from the news I see in the media here, is hardly in a great hurry to
begin peace enforcing in E.Timor, therefore adding an extra risk to the
remaining Maubere - ie E.Timorese - out of a false sense of security )
by "forcing" said government to send troops to ET which will certainly
be used to foster Australian imperialist interest there, is certainly,
on a Marxist view, not psychotic, but perhaps only *undialectical*,
since s/he is denying the 1st. tenet of Marxist doctrine that one should
view things from the point of view of *totality*. Humanitarian rescue of
victimised populations is something that exists as least since the
Peloponnesian War, if not earlier, and therefore opposing it altogether
would be absurd; but the fact is that no rescue operation is strictly
similar to another, given differents circunstances, and therefore must
not be considered as good in itself, as a Kantian Categorical

Let's put things concretely: if a sizeable Brazilian contingent were
sent to E Timor, there would be no doubt that FH Cardoso would exploit
its presence there to strike all kinds of business deals with the future
E Timor government, to gain face before an international public, etc.
However, given the fact that the materials means the Braz. government
has to exploit its strategic ends in the region would be hopelessly
inadequate to the grand task, the Left could tolerate the presence of
such a force as being not so great a burden on the political activity of
the Maubere masses, as well as stop the killing rampages of the
Indonesian military, given the fact that any defeat of the Indonesian
military caste will have as a side effect weakening the Habibie
government and therefore raising the level of independent political
activity of the masses in Indonesia proper. By the same token, one could
*even* tolerate a peace enforcing Brazilian force in Angola as far as it
opposed the killing rampages of a creature of Apartheid and the CIA like
Savimbi - the commercial deals of Braz. capitalists and the MPLA
government notwithstanding - given the fact that a UNITA government in
Angola would be a giant setback for the Angolan masses. But on no
grounds should anyone who think him/herself Left applaud a Brazilian
expedition to Colombia, were it to be supposedly directed for the
humanitarian rescue of the U'wa, poor peasants, or anyone, given that
the maintenance, unchallenged, of a neoliberal government in Colombia,
would only contribute to the permanence of the present strategy of
passive integration in the world market pursued by the various Latin Am.
bourgeoisies, that is keeeping the Lat.Am. worker and peasant masses in
an abject state of political passivity and future recipients of
humanitarian aid, as opposed to the their possibility of taking the
future in their own hands. These various scenarios should, I think, give
Marta perhaps some food for discussion and thinking.

Carlos Rebello

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