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Monday, January 4, 2010

Brazil: Three Cheers for Non-Alignment

“You’re with us or against us” is alive and well, evidently, regarding the United States’ neighbors to the south. Brazil, the biggest of the lot, just seems to grow bigger and bolder. But Brazil has never towed the US line blindly, even when the two were fast friends in a periodic balancing act vis à vis more recalcitrant governments nearby. Its diplomacy—and its professional diplomatic corps—have long been among the world’s most independent and capable.

Brazil’s recent hosting of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reported to have caused some heartburn up north. But it shouldn’t have been any more vexing than the Brazilians’ own refusal to allow IAEA inspections of its nuclear enrichment sites just a few years ago. In fact, Brazil could serve as a profitable “good cop” or even, in the best Oliver North tradition, as a generous purveyor of goods that don’t work exactly the way the Iranians want.
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