Wednesday, March 16, 2005


What to say about Bush's selection of neocon stalwart and uber-jingoist Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank? Yes, just more in a long record of disdain for the multilateral cooperation.

Leave aside for a minute that Wolfowitz's academic experience is in international relations and security--not economic, social, or political development--and that his professional experience is whispering in politician(s)'s ears--not in running large bureaucracies. Wolfowitz's only experience with development is Iraq (aside from being the front man for US policy propping up a military junta in Indonesia). Not a real promising track record in nation building.

A few words of advice for Prof. Wolfowitz, should the World Bank executive board approve his selection: You can't build stable, sustainable societies by blowing shit up.

In the meantime, prepare the pies.

UPDATE: Jim Vallette of the Institute for Policy Studies answers the rhetorical question, "Why Wolfowitz?":

The United States fears democracy and reform at the Bank. In a
confidential June 2003 note to the World Bank board, then-Executive
Director for the United States Carole Brookins wrote a terse rebuttal.
“Giving population and other factors a weight in voting strength would
create a radically different, less desirable and non-financial structure
for the Bank,” she said.

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are now striking back with another
demonstration of “shock and awe,” by nominating Paul Wolfowitz, a primary
architect of the Iraq invasion and the botched reconstruction efforts
thereafter. Wolfowitz must be approved by the World Bank’s executive board
to get the job. For the sake of the world’s poor, let’s hope that the
board rebuffs this nomination.

Over decades of political work, Wolfowitz and longtime buddies Donald
Rumsfeld and Cheney have mastered the art of packaging raw geopolitical
and corporate objectives into initiatives named otherwise. Strategic oil
fields have preoccupied them in and out of office.

It is almost a natural progression for the Bush/Cheney administration to
want someone this steeped in blood and oil in charge of the World Bank. He
was a weapon of mass deception for corporate quests in Iraq. At the Bank,
he can serve the same function under the cloak of poverty alleviation.

More here.


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