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The Fire Next Time. Jair Bolsonaro and Crimes Against Humanity.

“Some of them were angry
At the way the earth was abused
By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
And they struggled to protect her from them
Only to be confused
By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
In the naked dawn only a few survived
And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge”

— Jackson Browne, Before the Deluge




Jair Bolsonaro may succeed in becoming one of the most successful mass murderers in history.

The deliberate destruction of the Amazon Rainforest should provoke an international effort to remove him from power. Given the threat the destruction poses, every option should be on the table ranging from strict diplomatic isolation, an embargo, designation of Brazil as a rouge terrorist* state, and the cutting off of investment with those who continue to invest not only hit with massive penalties but faced with the prospect of being arrested, sent to the Hague and put on trial for crimes against humanity.

The destruction of the rainforest should be treated as an attempted genocide.

All members of the Bolsonaro regime should be told in no uncertain terms that a failure to stop the fires will lead to their being prosecuted as criminals.

The argument that others in Brazil, innocent and regime opponents will suffer, misses the point. They can’t breath under water or in a cloud of carbon-monoxide any better than anyone else.

Of course, America is being led by corporate fascists, religious zealots, crypto confederates and spineless corporate liberals.

England is trying to decide if it wants to set itself on fire now or later and none of the other major powers is about to lift a finger because they are invested in Brazil, and are either gangsterocracies, like Russia, or ideological psychotics like China who are also dealing with a potential revolution in Hong Kong and a lunatic in the White House.

That leaves, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, and some coalition of other nations and NGOs and individuals, acting to put enough pressure on the fascists in Brazil to topple the regime.

And don’t think for a minute that those countries aren’t also invested in Brazil.

What’s more likely is that Bolsonaro will succeed in destroying the rainforest and quite possibly the planet.

Speaking to survivors after the Second World War, Hanna Arendt kept encountering the same lie: We didn’t know, they said.

It would, she responded, require a near criminal lack of imagination, to be true.

We know.

Now, imagine the worst.

The train has left the station.

Except this time the cattle car is full with the environment and when it reaches its destination, the poison gas will be aimed at everyone.



*A designation applicable to any number of other countries including The United States. And of course one of the primary reasons no one is going to accuse anyone, even a goon like Bolsonaro, of environmental crimes against humanity. Open that door and there is enough blame to indict just about everyone in power.

Addendum: Some hope, as France and Germany among others bring some political, and economic heat. But take note of The Times calling Brazil a democracy which is like defining Mussolini as, flamboyant.

NY Times

4 comments on “The Fire Next Time. Jair Bolsonaro and Crimes Against Humanity.

  1. “Speaking to survivors after the Second World War, Hanna Arendt kept encountering the same lie: We didn’t know, they said. It would, she responded, require a near criminal lack of imagination, to be true.”

    It was a real eye-opener when I read Derrick Jensen back in the 1990s. He made it clear how silence operates within the human psyche and throughout society. And he often turned to specific examples within Nazi Germany.


    1. rauldukeblog says:

      It’s a curious quality of human consciousness and culture – the keep quiet and go along attitude.

      I’ll add DJ to my list of books to read:-)


      1. I’m not sure what I think of Jensen these days. But he sure shaped my thought back then. He goes into immense detail about the history of violence and oppression. And he puts into context of what we have learned from the social sciences about trauma and victimization, dissociation and splitting, etc. His work is educational, if a bit depressing. He because more radical and darker in his later works, and I lost interest in his writings.


      2. rauldukeblog says:

        I took a cursory look at his work and opinions. He seems a bit to a lot off on a few issues and correct on some others. It does amuse me to read about yet another American social critic using the dreaded structuralist/pomo methodology and how they are essentially shunted out of any mainstream platform/discussion.

        I’m always struck by trips to the library and just how much information there is – how much detailed, nuanced discussion, and how we live in an atmosphere of such atrophied sham debate which is presented as being the epitome of sophisticated and complex.

        Not to say Jensen is correct but another causality of the echo chamber.

        Liked by 1 person

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