Military support for Bolsonaro

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By MANUEL DOMINGOS NETO*

Some start to ask: how long will the military support the President? Others want to know if the military would support Bolsonaro's dream of closing the Supreme Court and Congress. There are also those who, with propriety, ask whether a possible military coup would rule out Bolsonaro

Military activism to elect Bolsonaro and guarantee his government exposed the fragility of Brazilian democracy. One day, this activism will be described in detail as an example of our endemic institutional corruption. Today, for those who love freedom, the most urgent thing is to capture the relationship established between the military and the presidency.

By “military”, it is understood the set of direct and aggregated members of the State force apparatus. This set of extraordinary capillarity hegemonized by the Army is sometimes referred to as the “military family”, an expression that, in itself, scratches the distinction between the public and the private. It is not up to the State to support armed brotherhoods. Most of this family is made up of reservists and pensioners. These are the big players in the current political framework. Everyone looks fearfully (or hopefully) at those who have weapons in their hands or hold government positions. Meanwhile, those in pajamas act wildly: there are millions acting frantically on social media trying to convince themselves and everyone of the sacredness of the mission to bury the criminal left, defeat the perverse Chinese and exalt Bolsonaro. Without this selfless militancy, it would be difficult for Bolsonaro to maintain the acceptance indicated by the polls.

Some civilians rooted for the military to guarantee “rationality” to the government and were bitterly disappointed. The President commits crimes of responsibility in spades, attacks science, common sense and civility; offends judges, parliamentarians, governors and journalists; feeds the collective idiocy and prepares chaos by relying on a network that disseminates lies. The institutions do not contain it, the opposition does not show strength and the military does not dominate it. Some start to ask: how long will the military support the President? Others want to know if the military would support Bolsonaro's dream of closing the Supreme Court and Congress. There are also those who, with propriety, ask whether a possible military coup would rule out Bolsonaro.

Declarations by military authorities swearing allegiance to the Charter deepen public anguish. Those with basic historical knowledge know the falsity of such oaths. The military is formed and organized to accomplish missions over sticks and stones. To that end, they do not hesitate to lure and plot cunningly. A soldier who does not learn to hide and camouflage does not reach the rank of corporal. Today, the military would have no reason or be able to abandon its offspring. On the contrary, he has a thousand reasons to defend and protect the Bolsonaro government.

In his own way, the president fulfills the role expected by the military: to ensure that South America does not leave the orbit of the hegemonic power, to annul the worldwide projection obtained in democratic governments, to contain the overcoming of the iniquities of the colonial legacy of slavery, to prevent libertarian cultural changes , to amicably hand over national riches to shady businessmen, including those riches that are under the feet of original peoples.

With a situation of lack of control, Bolsonaro could cease to be functional and would become disposable. Scams within scams are routine. But, in the current environment, there is no reason for the military to abandon Bolsonaro, including because the “left”, stunned and on the defensive, could, who knows, come back on top. The military thinks: these vile and criminal people, the incarnation of evil, would lock the safe, chase and charge for what I did and for what I failed to do. In addition, there is a risk of uncontrolled ranks. Segments or fractions of the “military family” would get upset and split the unit, perhaps starting civil war. There are paramilitaries encouraged, protected and galvanized by the “Myth”. Synchronized with fundamentalist religious militancy, the militiamen would act like uncontrollable beasts.

Abandoning Bolsonaro in the midst of a crisis, after having prepared his chair, the military would jeopardize the systematic effort that guaranteed his return to command in different ways. In addition, the Big Brother of the North would have its war planning impaired; he would be driven to remake his designs for South America.

It would not be easy to operate Bolsonaro’s “resignation”, even guaranteeing that he is not arrested with his children and that they are allowed to go into exile in Hungary: the man is unpredictable and can disrespect the “omertà”, like Sérgio Moro. Telling what he knows, Bolsonaro would implode self-proclaimed saviors of the homeland once and for all.

Removing Bolsonaro from the presidential chair would be much more complicated than the sophisticated operation to elect him. Replace him with Mourão… This general endorses the government's agenda and embodies aggressive backlash. He would have the backing of shady businessmen. He never tires of courting them. But he does not set hearts on fire, the poor man. He would not have votes to be elected councilor in Porto Alegre, where he was born. It is doubtful that it will preserve the small, fierce and indispensable Bolsonarist cheerleading squad.

Mourão could try to govern with brute force. But Commander Pujol, with his collegiate stars, would have to assent. Pujol was always at the top of his class at military schools. With so many handouts to memorize, I don't even know if he had time to read a classic. For example, Horace, the Roman who lived before Jesus and sealed: “Brute force, when not governed by reason, collapses under its own weight”.

* Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC/UFF professor, former president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and former vice president of CNPq.

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