Lula Inaugurates A New Era Of Diplomacy

Wednesday 2 June 2010 by CEPRID

Leonardo Boff


Earthcharter Commission

The agreement the President Lula from Brazil and the Prime Minister of Turkey reached with Iran on the production of enriched uranium for peaceful uses has a singularity that deserves to be noted. That agreement was accomplished through dialogue, mutual trust, born of looking each other straight in the eye, and of negotiations following a win-win logic. No intimidation, imposition, threats, pressure of any type, least of all, no demonization of the other.

That was, and still is, the strategy of the militarist and imperialist powers who do not see that the world has changed. They are bogged down in the old big-stick paradigm, of negotiations with stick in hand or of direct and harsh interventions, where anything goes; with shameless lies, as in the case of the unjust war against Iraq, with sophisticated military violence against one of the poorest countries in the world, as in Afghanistan, or the well known military coups organized by the CIA in several countries, especially in Latin America.

Curiously, this strategy has never borne a single fruit. The United States is losing all the wars, because no one defeats a people ready to sacrifice their lives, to the point of becoming «human-bombs» to face an enemy armed to the teeth, but full of fear and exposed to world shame and derision. What the United States has accomplished is to feed anger, rancor, and the spirit of revenge, the breeding grounds of all terrorism.

The biggest threat to world stability today is the United States, because the illusion of being «the new chosen nation» —which is the meaning of «manifest destiny» in which neo-cons, the strongest such as Bush, blindly believe— makes them think they have the right to intervene anywhere in the world. The United States pretends to define human rights, while shamelessly violating them, it claims to impose democracy when, in fact, it is creating a farce. The United States seeks to open the free market to their multinationals so that they may freely exploit the resources of the host countries, their oil and gas.

Lula’s diplomacy directly contradicts the diplomacy of the Security Council and Barack Obama. Lula looks forward and adapts to the new. Barack Obama looks to the past and wants to reproduce the old.

The old paradigm presupposes the existence of a hegemonic and imperial nation, in this case, the United States, that follows the paradigm of the enemy, in line with the theoretician of the political philosophy that lay the foundation for the regimes of force, Carl Schmitt (+1985), as he himself did with Nazism. In his book, The Concept of the Political, Schmitt clearly says: «the political existence of a people depends on its capacity to define who is friend and who is enemy...the enemy must be fought and must be psychologically disqualified as bad and ugly.» Was that not exactly what Bush did, calling the countries from which the terrorists came, «evil countries» against whom an «infinite war» had to be waged? This argument is systemic and is still at work in the minds of the Northamerican leadership. Policies inspired by this already discarded paradigm can cause dramatic situations, which seriously risk destroying the planetary human project. That paradigm is militaristic, reductionist and myopic, because it does not perceive the historic changes that are occurring, in line with the current phase of the planet’s history, which demands strategies of cooperation that seek to protect the Earth and to take care of life.

The new paradigm, embodied by Lula, assumes the singularity of the present historical moment. Our basic perception has changed: we are all interdependent, together we inhabit the same Common House, the Earth. No one has a particular destiny of its own. A common, globalized, destiny appears: either we care for humanity, so that there is no division between those who eat and those who go hungry, and we protect planet Earth, so that she not be destroyed by global warming, or we will have no future. We are definitely bonded to one another.

Lula, with his fine perception for the new, acted reasonably: Iran cannot be isolated and punished. Iran must be brought to the negotiating table, with trust and without prejudice. This attitude of respect will bear good fruit. And it is the only sensible one in this new phase of human history. Lula creates and inaugurates the future of the new diplomacy, the only one that will guarantee us peace.

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