The defamation of the soldier and the policeman

Army in rescue operation for flood victims in RS
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By MANUEL DOMINGOS NETO*

Universal history reveals that great socioeconomic tragedies sharpen the scent of birds of prey

Anyone who follows my writings knows that I disagree with the prevailing conception of National Defense and support the need for military reform that guarantees us an effectively sovereign voice in the international game. I defend a reform that removes the military from its role as a multifunctional actor and leaves it as a warrior ready to shoot down meddling foreigners.

While this doesn't happen, it bothers me to receive photos and videos of those committed to demoralizing the actions of the Armed Forces in the floods in Rio Grande do Sul. No matter how specialized they are in fighting foreigners, the military can never stop acting in extreme internal situations .

Nothing I have seen, to date, in the Gaucho tragedy discredits corporations. A truck in a downpour does not prove inefficiency. Rather, show courage to face the torrent.

During the dictatorship, right after Act-5, when repression was exorbitant, I witnessed recruits and sergeants helping victims of a major traffic accident in São Luís do Maranhão. I was nineteen years old and an aspiring unpaid reserve officer. I was already active on the left, but I was moved by the commitment of young people my age carrying people with severed arms and legs. Many lives were saved.

In this episode, a major faltered and was demoralized. A sergeant told me: “Take command, midshipman, forget about that koalaira!”. An older warrant officer stayed by my side the entire time, helping me make decisions. I felt greatness in the soldier. The humanitarian feeling was greater than hierarchy.

I now imagine the commitment of thousands of boys in uniform helping the people of Rio Grande do Sul and I applaud, hoping that they are not under the command of cowardly officers.

I was also bothered by Janja's statement saying that she will ask her husband to remove “male police officers” from the shelters for those attacked, given that their presence would be more offensive than collaborative.

I think that, like National Defense, Public Security needs profound reform. I follow Luiz Eduardo Soares' formulations in this sense. But this does not go hand in hand with the gratuitous disqualification of professionals committed day and night to protecting those affected by floods. I applaud the police officers from Rio Grande do Sul! Janja offended gratuitously.

At this tragic moment in Brazilian life, unfair accusations and frivolous attempts to diminish the role of soldiers and police officers are part of, consciously or not, the clumsy effort to obtain dividends in the midst of the fight to save lives.

The government's actions need, at this moment, to be based on assistance to victims and the repression of lies that disrupt institutional action.

Due to the scale of the tragedy, the debate on the recovery of Rio Grande do Sul will be complex and time-consuming. Today, it is not even possible to know the extent of the damage.

Universal history reveals that great socioeconomic tragedies sharpen the scent of birds of prey. I'm from the Northeast and I know how the smartest and most unscrupulous people became rich and maintained power for centuries with the chronic tragedy related to prolonged droughts.

The defamation of soldiers and police officers at this moment is part of the construction of the image of the actors who have their eyes on the benefits that calamities provide.

I applaud the soldier and the police officer while I hope that their bosses refrain from seeking the glory that would falsely authorize them to rule everything.

* Manuel Domingos Neto He is a retired UFC professor and former president of the Brazilian Association of Defense Studies (ABED). Author, among other books What to do with the military – Notes for a new National Defense (Reading Cabinet). [https://amzn.to/3URM7ai]


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