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The Spin Cycle

Over at CBS I saw this article, Brazil Official’s Nazi Jab Makes Waves, with a sub-head “Brazil Foreign Minister Compares Rich Nations To Nazi Propaganda Chief” and I wondered what was going on.

It turns out, not a whole lot more that the US trying to avoid responsibility.

…Brazil’s foreign minister said rich countries’ deception in trade talks reminded him of tactics used by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels… “Goebbels used to say if you repeat a lie several times it becomes a truth.”

I had to piece that together because it is spread out all over the article, apparently to prevent people from figuring out the context and meaning.

The American reaction was stage managed:

His comments drew a sharp rebuke from the United States, whose chief trade negotiator, Susan Schwab, is the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Her spokesman described the reference to Goebbels as “incredibly wrong.”

The Brazilians managed to get in the last dig with this:

…Amorim’s spokesman Ricardo Neiva Tavares said the minister “regrets if Susan Schwab or anyone else was upset by his comments on a historical fact. He certainly did not intend to hurt anyone’s feelings, which he deeply respects.”

Goebbels was a Nazi, but he is also the individual who wrote the book on the most familiar tactic of the US administration, propaganda.

Everyone who has been paying any attention to the Doha round of trade negotiations has realized that the developed nations don’t really want to end their farm subsidies, because that causes political problems.  But rather than admitting it, they have been shifting the blame to the undeveloped countries.  It’s the same course that the US takes on climate talks, i.e. everyone else has to sacrifice before the US will consider doing anything.  The main difference is that the G8 nations are all taking part with the US in this case.


1 Michael { 07.20.08 at 9:33 pm }

If nothing else, we can get the Brazilians on being bad researchers. If memory serves, the quote they attribute to Goebbels was actually one of Goering’s remarks.

2 Bryan { 07.20.08 at 10:28 pm }

… until Goebbels claimed it was his to anyone who would listen.

Actually, Lenin said something similar, as did Hitler, but there are several sources for Goebbels and one for the OSS. It would seem to be a rather generic attitude in European government and revolutionary circles for some time.

3 Badtux { 07.21.08 at 6:27 pm }

Well, at least it wasn’t Nazi toddlers ruining my birthday. (Spam title of the week :-).

4 Kryten42 { 07.21.08 at 7:16 pm }

I think I like Brazil more every day! 😀

…just sayin… 😉

5 Bryan { 07.21.08 at 8:01 pm }

Brazil had some fun reactions to War On Terror™ methods used in the US, including making Americans have their finger prints taken, and then throwing the cards away.

They don’t like being pushed around and they are self-sufficient for oil and natural gas, so they don’t have to.

Their environmental policies suck, but they are getting better.

I don’t understand this attitude about toddlers, like teenagers they are loud and obnoxious, but that’s their function – accept it or avoid them. I personally think it’s funny watching adults react.

I don’t have a problem with small children. When I tell a child that I will jam my arm down their throat and turn them inside out they believe me and avoid me.

6 Kryten42 { 07.21.08 at 9:27 pm }

I don’t have a problem with small children. When I tell a child that I will jam my arm down their throat and turn them inside out they believe me and avoid me.

Ahhhh… I see we read the same “Parenting 101” book! 😉 LOL

I was at a BBQ on a stinking humid day, and there were 2 kids, who were fine, except for one boy about 12 who insisted on making the others scream! I was feeding the BBQ with wood, and I grabbed a thick piece and called the boys name, he looked at me with a cheeky grin and I snapped the wood in two with little apparent effort whilst glaring at him, and said “Imagine that is your neck!” All three kids had their mouths open and behaved, mostly. Whenever he forgot, I’d snap a piece of wood whilst staring at him. Fear works so well! LOL Was funny actually… They were more interested in how I did it! After that, they kept telling their little friends how strong I was, and wanted me to break things! I guess that’s one way to get respect from kids. 😉

I was a kid once, and I remember! Most adults seem to forget what they were like. I’m sure it’s generally on purpose.

7 Bryan { 07.21.08 at 10:26 pm }

Kids enjoy the bloody, icky and gory. If you are going to get through, you have to be more brutal than they can imagine, and then they spend their time trying to imagine it and leave you alone.