Originally posted by finnegan
"Populist" naturally is a poor substitute for considered policy making. However, the point of politics and elections is that there are different, usually conflicting ideas about the nature of a country's interests and the priorities within them. If there was an agreed, objective definition of the interests of a country that might carry more weight. In our ...[text shortened]... ind this "debate." Perhaps "populist" politics are those that appeal to the wrong people?
The current administration has been criticized heavily by the national media for decisions which have unquestionably been made in the name of ideology as opposed to national interest. These criticisms don't always get international attention but are widely noted within the country. There are numerous examples of these, to cite one of them I'd say lula's ingratiations with the MST (landless workers' movement) and effective condonation of their criminal acts is perhaps the most obvious example of these decisions. It doesn't stop there, Lula's questionable behavior extends beyond national issues, for instance, there was this incident during a visit to cuba where he was asked about the treatment of a certain political prisoner, and his reply was (Im paraphrasing) "Im sure he must have done something to deserve his incarceration...he is no different than a common criminal". Then there is his closeness with hugo chavez, and constant defense of his actions, among other infamous stances of Lula's.
Similarly, we know that US policy explicitly prioritizes the interests of the USA, so that it is plausible that other (South) American countries might perceive a conflict with their own interests and make a point of dealing with that conflict
Indeed, and thats a fair point, however, the ideological moves Im referring to regard other latin american countries, and obviously Iran. I haven't seen anything by Lula that would suggest he has some serious disagreement with the US.
We also know that big, wise USA likes to patronize their neighbours with advice that, in reality, is poorly judged and accuse those countries that seek autonomy of being - well, usually of being communist.
There is some truth to this statement, but I don't think we should ignore the fact that most of the time these countries who according to you "seek autonomy" do have socialistic tendencies indeed, venezuela being the best example, wouldn't you say the takeovers and vitriolic anti-american rhetoric justify criticism from the US?
Furthermore, I wish we wouldn't have to rely on generalizations and vague assumptions like this one you just presented, do you have an example of these so-called "poorly judged" advices?