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the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48,
Limits of Solidarity
Kramer, O Estado de São Paulo (conservative), São
Paulo, Sept. 14, 2001.
Brazilian government is watching what Americas next step will
be in the wake of Tuesdays attacks in the United States, keeping
in mind that George W. Bush is already playing (a few months into
his mandate) for the future of his presidency. In the Itamaratys
[Brazils Ministry of Foreign Relations] unofficial estimation,
the American president may as much rise above the first and worst
impression he made as sink definitively into the isolationist and
unilateral posture that, in the view of Brazilian diplomacy, inflamed
anti-American feeling in the world, a sentiment now replaced by
If the U.S. reaction is disproportionate and ends up hitting countries
or peoples whose only sin is sharing their national or religious
identity with the authors of the attack, Brazilian diplomats believe
international solidarity will find its limits, within the lines
of rationality and the goal of peace.
George W. Bush took office piously believing that the United States
is not only the center of the world but the universes reason
for being. In contradistinction to his predecessor, Bill Clinton,
Bush has not thus far demonstrated any tact in the art of managing
U.S. dominance and its coexistence with the complexities of diverse
Hence his difficulty in fulfilling accords, following treaties,
establishing partnerships, and taking into account the other.
But the unprecedented nature and audacity of Tuesdays terrorist
attack brought down the illusion of the inviolability of American
territory and exposed the real meaning of the concept of international
reciprocity. This is an important factor to be taken into consideration
in the decision-making process of the American government.