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Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was inaugurated as President of Brazil; the United States snubbed the celebration of Brazil's first leftist, working-class president by sending the U.S. trade representative, Robert Zoellick, whom Lula dismissed as "the subsecretary of a subsecretary of a subsecretary," after Zoellick warned that Brazil would be exporting its products to Antarctica if it didn't support President Bush's economic policies. Shortly after its first cabinet meeting, the new Brazilian government announced that it will postpone a planned $760 million purchase of military jets and said that the money could be better spent fighting hunger. "If at the end of my term of office," Lula said in a speech, "every Brazilian has the opportunity to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then I will have completed my mission in life." -- from Harper's Weekly.

I'm not sure what we can do, but we need to somehow support Lula, Chavez and other world leaders who are willing to take a stand against Bush's policies and the oppression of globalization. I'm going to search around a bit to find out exactly what Zoellick said. I'm sick of the "either with us or against us" approach that the Bushies take on every issue, with neither negotiation nor agreeing to disagree as options.