I wouldn’t be surprised if this came from the folks at Crooked Timber or Daily Kos, but instead this insanity about ‘Brazil being a world leader’ comes from the Financial Times.
First of all, what is this thing about a country being ‘cuddly’ or its foreign policy being ‘rainbow’? Are we talking about a country or a woman?
Second, what do these people think ‘world leaders’ are? Are we talking about financial power? Military strength? Cultural influence?
This might sound like my usual anti-brazil bias but honestly, what is this? Brazil is a big economy just because it has a lot of people… Maybe John Paul Rathbone should visit the country and tell us whether a mess like that can ‘lead’ anything. It can barely lead itself!
But the most irritating point is about foreign policy. Brazil is not a ‘nice’ country in this aspect. It is a coward one. Lula and his gang are good ol’ pinkos who don’t even try to hide their love for Castro. But differently from Hugo The Clown, Lula is not willing to pay the price for his beliefs. So he plays ‘nice’ with Obama because he is dependent on the US. He plays ‘nice’ with Iran because he wants some more international trade going on (like in the 80s, where Iraq was a big ‘client’).
So why not be honest here and just say that Brazil is doing whatever it wants with no clear principle in mind but its own profit? One could even argue all countries are like this (which I disagree) but please, stop with the ‘friend of many nations’ talk.
Principles are hard to define and even harder to follow. Economically, philosophically, it is what forms a culture. If there is one thing that Brazilian culture doesn’t have a concept of is being a leader.