- 12 de jul. de 2020
- 7 min para ler
“We Shall not Surrender”: Open Letter to UK PM Boris Johnson
Dearest Mr. Prime-Minister, Boris Johnson:
I do sincerely hope you are doing more than fine during these turbulent, very complex and challenging days. The British people and the world need a strong and resolute leader: the task we all are facing are unlike any other we have faced before in our living times. The generation to which each of us belong, with a gap of just a few years between us, Mr. Prime-Minister, has always lived in a pretty much stable democratic society and in the climate of a relatively peaceful coexistence among nations in the global arena. Never Fracis Fukuyama’s theory about the “end of history” seemed so dead wrong. History is alive as long as there is any human being alive.
And a very dangerous new phase of History might be written out of this pandemic crisis wreckages. Regadless our knowledge that crisis periods in organized political communities are a common thing, being the prosperous moments mere exceptions, one might not underestimate the impact of the moment we are living right now. Moment of anxiety, moment of fear, moment when our people are havind second thoughts about the merits and strenghts of our cherished free and democratic model of society organization.
Portugal and the UK acknowledge the emergency of new international enemies that are conducting systematic efforts to undermine our political system and our very way of life – that is why we need at the present, more than ever in our recent history, competent, diligent and effective diplomatic and intelligence services. Diplomatic and Intelligence services that reveal themselves to be up to the demanding challenges of these times, allowing national governments to give one another the crucial data and context for them to decide correctly and with all fairness. Trust is, as you know better than anyone else holding such a high public office in Europe, an incredibly valuable assent in modern –day international affairs.
Our communities safety and the public tranquility of our States must not be put at risk either by our internal or external enemies. Currently, Mr. Prime-Minister, you know (again!) better than anyone else that Portugal and the UK share a common menace: the rise of a barbarian empire which is the Chinese Communist Party. Communist China has a lot of explanations to provide to the whole world – they will give us those explanations, either volutarily or forcefully for sure.
In order to counter (and defeat) such an evil enemy, we need the strength of unity. The strength of a brotherhood forged by centuries and centuries (…and centuries) of close friendship and stronger alliance. Portugal and the UK must stand side by side, closer than ever before in recent times, so that we achieve our common goals of prosperity and security. I have no doubts that your Excelency is pretty much aware of the Communist China threat to UK national and economic security and how Portugal’s geostrategical position is vital to safeguard UK’s vital interests. The UK knows that can count on Portugal to cooperate in any matter to make sure that imperialist Communist China will never put the brave British people and economy in jeopardy. Mark my word.
As Portugal has repeteadly demonstrated over the years, brother protects another brother: the Portuguese people cheer with the UK’s success and mourn whenever the UK is attacked by international enemies. By fanatic criminals – that is why Portuguese people showed all our solidarity after, for example, the terrorist attacks in Manchester and Portuguese security forces have collaborated intensively and in total good faith with MI5 in order to identify and capture those who preaches the evil of terrorism.
And, now, fighting against this virus must be another chapter of the remarkable cooperation and brotherhood of both our countries. The UK casts no doubt that Portugal will always faithfully execute the oldest Alliance Treaty (remember the historic Treaty signed in 1373 and still in force, that has proclamated ever since an eternal alliance between our two beloved countries?); and Portugal is truly confidant that the UK will never – ever! – betray a brother nation, with whom King Edward III sworn an eternal friendship seven centuries ago. Back then, Portugal and UK were very well aware that we are maritime countries, whose brave people are used to navigate in agitated waters – together, however, we would always, throughout the ages, help each other find the lighthouse to get back to our common destiny safely. That we would never drown each other.
Therefore, Mr. Prime-Minister, I am pretty sure thar the decision of your Government to exclude Portugal from the “air corridor” was just a honest mistake based on some misinformation and lack of communication between Portuguese and British public administrations. The gross information your officials have worked with does not reflect the real situation living here in Portugal and, specially, does not protect British interests in Portuguese territory. Again, I am not here to point fingers; I am here to shed a light on how the decision of your Government poorly serves UK’s vital interests.
Firstly, Mr. Prime-Minister, you are a brilliant intellectual man – you realize how numbers are never wrong, but they do quite often fool us around. It is up to us to avoid being fooled by numbers , by putting them in the right context. The reality is that Portugal is a much lower-risk destination for UK tourists than most of the countries your Government has exempted from mandatory quarantine.
The UK tourists preferred destinations in Portugal are the safest regions, in terms of risk of contagion, you may find around the globe. I agree that some additional sanitary controls should be put up by the Portuguese Government in national airports – that is, however, a total different question, which should be easily solved by a loyal, honest and fruitful dialogue between the authorities of both our countries. An eternal Alliance like the one Portugal and the UK have must not be harmed just because of some disagreement over the extension of airport controls. We can fix that bilaterally, shaping our duties to one another and refusing an one size fits all approach that causes so many losses to your country’s eternal ally.
Secondly, Mr. Prime-Minister, your decision is against your country’s own interests. It affects British interests as much as portuguese’s. The reason is plain to see: the British community in places like Algarve and Madeira are deeply engaged with the locals, so much so that any backlash in those communities economy will backfire against British economic own interests. There are a lot of business (small and medium size corporations, mostly people who voted for you) which have flourished in Portugal due to the ingenious British entrepeneurs who persuade, year after year, their countrymen about Portugal’s wonders.
The reckless decision to exclude Portugal from UK’s “air corridors” is a blow at these fellow British’s own interests – even a newspaper was created to circulate among the very welcomed British tourists to Portugal, by brilliant British journalists, for goodness sake! There is absolutely no other country that must be included in the UK “air corridors” more than Portugal does; after all, it is very difficult to think of a country where the British interests are so omnipresent and strong as they are in Portugal.
Thirdly, Mr. Prime-Minister, the decision of your Government might alienate Portuguese public opinion (extremely favourable to the UK) to promoters of hostile interests regarding the country’s alliance and brotherhood with the UK, which will be devasted to UK’s long term vital geostrategical interests.
Finally, Mr. Prime-Minister, do not forget that Portugal – even, in all fairness, during the current socialist and far-left Government’s term – stood with British people decision to exit from the European Union. Portugal understood the ambition, the drive and the spirit that had animated your countrymen and, from an early stage, expressed its desire to support the UK in any diplomatic way. The portuguese people – the driving forces of the country! – have been saying loud and clear that they strongly wish to create a special relationship with this post-Brexit UK.
The Portuguese Representatives at the European Union institutions have been active voices defending the UK and helping UK officials to get some major diplomatic victories. Despite some harsh voices who disagree with your decision to leave the European Union, the truth is that Portugal wants all the best to the UK and to the British people. Portugal wants Brexit to succeed, because Portugal wants the UK to suceed.
Imagine, Mr. Prime-Minister, if – and this is just a scenario which (I am sure!) will never, ever!, happen - the UK losses Portugal as a structural, reliable, ally in international diplomacy arena...that would be terrible for UK vital interests. And would be terrible for Portugal as well – our “Atlantic Nations” (Portugal, UK and USA) are condemned by geography and History to stand side by side, whether we want or not…
Mr. Prime-Minister, I am very grateful for your time and patience. I know that this letter is already too long, but serious matters need serious argumentations – and you are a specialist in voluminous writings, as it is proved by your forthcoming book about William Shakespeare and your majestic book on Sir Winston Churchill. I just ask you, Mr. Prime Minister, to be a leader capable of replicating Churcill’s greatness. Capable of following Winston Churchill’s example during this war we are living in.
Sir Winston Churchill realized that true politicians need to take harsh decisions, to have the intuition and the guts that the numbers, the technicalities, the theorethical explanations can not explain or teach you. We have been talking too much lately about the “R” – this is the right time, the right place and you are the right leader to start talking about the “P” and the “G”. The “P” stands for “Politics” and the “G” stands for “Good” – this is the time for “Good Politics” and “Good Politicians”. This is your time, Prime-Minister, Mr. Boris Johnson.
Please, be a leader. Be a true Statesman. If you do so, you will immediately recognize that the decision to exclude Portugal from UK “air corridor” is a disaster for UK geopolitical and diplomatic strategies.
The UK’s vital interests are being weakened, not protected, with such decision. A true leader , like yourself Mr. Prime-Minister Johnson, does not fear to change his mind and do what is absolutely right – that is why I am quite sure Portugal will be in UK air corridors very, very soon.
We shall not surrender to bloody hell (!) terrible administrative decisions that damages both of our countries and our people. The first quality that is needed now is audacity.
Looking very forward to hearing from you and, specially, to your resolute action…for good!.
With all my warmest regards,
João Lemos Esteves
- 6 de jul. de 2020
- 4 min para ler
America is stronger than ever before on this Indepedence Day. Although the superficial evidence might prove differently, a more attentive and wiser look will definitely show that America is sending to the whole world a message of reslience, of strength and of victory over adversity. That America is defeating the most troubled times of its history since the Civil War.
Do not forget that America has never faced a war within the beautiful and godly American territory – this is the very first time that a foreign threat has aimed directly at USA national security, democracy and system of liberties. President Trump is the first genuinely American War President since President Lincoln – the others, in the last decades have fought difficult conflicts but always overseas (with the exception of the Pearl Harbor attack, during WWII, but this was an isolated and located episode).
And this war against the Chinese Communist Party’s virus is even more problematic than the Civil War itself. I am not referring to the moral dimension or the human costs of each war; I am just referring to rules of engagement, to war strategies and military discipline one needs to win a decisive battle. There are a lot of bibliography, historical experiences, studies, treatises on how to win a conventional war, how to know your enemy, how to explore their vulnerabilities, on how to attack to win with no mercy (even though with a sense of justice). However, there are no bibliography, no memos, no guidelines or whatsoever on how to win an “unconvencional not conventional” war. You might think that I just wrote a redundancy: but, take my word for it, this is the first example of a brand new kind of international conflicts – it is not simply an “unconventional war” any more; rather, it is much more serious (and dangerous) than that.
It is an unconventional war by unconventional means – and by unconventional enemies in an unconventional world. This world is a world where traditional American allies have turned their back to America, prefering to cuddle Communist Imperialist China. This is a world where Chinese communist regime is setting up a strategy to beat the USA by trapping America economic, financial and geopolitically. This is because Chinese Communist regime knows far too well that American military capacity is unbeatable – the only way for them to succeed is by forcing a war by another (and any other!) means. And they have a propaganda machine like never seen before in the history of mankind – Chinese communist regime’s elite dominate pretty much all these global mainstream media, starting with CNN (in the USA), with Globo (in Brazil), through Sky News (in the UK) and so forth.
It is brutal and an existential threat for our free world (and for our common human destiny!) that our press, which theoretically should promote our democratic values, are captured by one of the most barbarian regimes on the face of the earth. And the situation, unfortunately, is even worse: Chinese communist regime has already put a dollar sign in some of the political decision makers (some of the most powerful, by the way) peace of mind.
Having this said, I repeat: America is stronger than ever. No, no, I am not insulting the people who have tragic and regrettably died – on the contrary: insulting the memory of our fellows who have died is letting China off the hook for its responsibility in the spread of the virus (and in its creation? Time – and the intelligence – will answer…). No one who wishes to lead the free world can have second thoughts regarding his toughness vis-a-vis China. China – this Communist China – is the most existential threat to America and the free world. Beating this Chinese Communist Party is the new 4th of July we need to make happen as sooner as possible.
After this realistic analysis, let’s not forget that this is the weekend to celebrate and be optimistic. It is the weekend to celebrate America and Americanism – as President Trump says over and over again , to be an American is to be optimistic, to “believe that our better days are yet to come”. This weekend is for you to – with safety and with all the precautions to not be caught by Chinese Communist Party’s virus! – enjoy all the American blessings, including the simple things of life, like the unmatchable American delicious Milkshakes, an iconic Dr. Pepper soda and, of course, a deep fried Twinkie (there is nothing better!). And enjoy them while the radical left does not ban them all!
For those who insist to be the prophets of doom, remember them that, at the very beginning, America was considered an inviable, impossible, political project – today, America is the most powerful country in the globe.
In every 4th of July of the past, there were voices proclaiming the end of America – and here America is…stronger than ever before, fighting a war that America is destined to win by far. And only a brave and ingenious people, like the American people, would be able to defy all the predictions, all the economists analysis and financial reports – adding more 4.8 milions of jobs and decreasing the unemployment rate during these turbulent days. America never fails.
In this Independence Day when America celebrates its glorious past (not judging or destroying America’s history, but learning from the past how to do better and better in the present and in the future), every American citizen knows deep down that the tasks ahead are so important and complex. That America needs to wake up (even more) to the global threats to American values and security with no hesitation. Every American citizen, in this new war against faceless enemies, need to be wide awake.
In short, this new chapter of the great American history that is now starting can not be looked at with sleepy eyes – rather, the challenges ahead requires, more than ever, energetic, dynamic and fearless eyes. A true great leadership again. An American leadership that the free world so much needs at the present time".
With all my best regards,
João Lemos Esteves