FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama in Brazil

by BRUNO LIMA ROCHA

For the first time since John F. Kennedy, the USA has a charismatic leader to the point of being popular in other lands, becoming a reference for the electorates of different countries. And, because of his path and ethnic culture, Obama through that his image has an obvious penetration in the Brazilian public opinion.

The American diplomacy strategists operate with this certainty. They are manipulating that symbolic projection with coherence to their interests. There are two axioms in politics that may explain this modus operandi. One of them is to “divide to reign or to conquer”, and the other is the “going deep to grass roots popularity of a politician’s” image, accentuating an imaginary representation and not the real or factual projection.

In the action of dividing to reign, the Department of State focus is the rapprochement of the Brazilian diplomatic agenda to the western hemisphere. This obviously implicates a slow removal from Latin America centered theories. It can be explained with an analysis of President Obama’s speech, eulogizing our country in the discursive actions and projecting Brazilian leadership in the Continent. At the same time, the United States has a shy position about recommending the seventh larger economy in the world for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat. In this subject, Washington acted in an identical way, dividing G 20 leaders and specially BRIC countries, putting India and Brazil in opposite positions.

Going back to Obama’s tour, his imaginary penetration in Brazil can be explained by a special combination of an upper class super education basis (as a political scientist and lawyer with very good oratory skills) with the image of an experienced community organizer in Chicago ghettos. The mirror effect works. While he enchanted the Brazilians in Rio and Brasília, the coalition (with NATO leadership) attacked loyalist Muammar El-Khadafi targets in the Libyan territory. It is possible to build a popular character in other societies without passing through media gatekeepers and their way of manufacturing consent. This administration has the know-how to speak directly with the people of other countries without “paying taxes” to local media conglomerate. That’s why Obama has given little or any attention for the Latin-American media (leaders in media business) and put all the emphasis in White House propaganda apparatus, including live blogs and the broadcast through internet, diffusing a big part of President’s public agenda.

A possible characterization of the passage of Obama for Brazil is the exercise of the diplomacy through putting emphasis in people and exalting similarities in both countries path. Barack Hussein said that USA and Brazil are huge “new” western countries with powerful states, composed for a multi-ethnic population and with a slavery common past. This seems very sympathetic and pleased residents of the world largest afro-descending nation. Brazilians self-esteem arose in the heights after that. Here comes the second characterization, which analyzes Obama as the great Imperial Power public relationships, attracting the attentions for this inclination. This tactical maneuver created a game of mirrors among what audiences are seeing: a nice and high educated USA president, and the typical Imperialist way, promoting a “humanitarian bombing”, attacking a dictator until recently tolerated.

In George W. Bush times, anti-imperialist positions were easy to spread and to be explained. The son of Reagan’s former vice-president is less qualified and worse as political operator. When Bush Jr. has come to São Paulo to accomplish a calendar with Lula, in November of 2005, the chaos was formed in the largest Brazilian city. Jeb Bush’s brother’s cortege interrupted Down Town traffic in a working day and had against itself a protest action with great proportions. For Latin America social fighters, 11/05/2005 was an unforgettable day. Now, in the last summer days at the southern hemisphere, the couple Michele and Obama, two former students of Ivy League universities like Bush Jr., generated a different sensation with the visit of a US President. Sunday, March 20 begun with a visit to City of God (Cidade de Deus, a huge mix of slum and project in Rio’s west zone) and ended with a creative speech to a VIP audience in the Theatro Municipal. After that, in Brazil, Obama became a brilliant star.

Barack Hussein Obama II is capable of many feats. A well trained Public Relations and propagandist professional, he could execute a typical hearts and minds operation, enchanting all kind of audiences, from the bottom to the top of social pyramid. The “old school” psychological operation was so well done that almost nobody in Brazil noticed the maneuver.

BRUNO LIMA ROCHA is a political scientist, professional journalist and university professor. He is also the editor of Estratégia & Análise website (in Portuguese, Spanish and English) where is concentrated the majority of his papers, articles, radio programs and analysis.

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
Charles R. Larson
A Review of Mary Roach’s “Grunt”
David Yearsley
Stuck in Houston on the Cusp of the Apocalypse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail