March 17, 2005


Wolfowitz at the door (Leader, March 17, 2005, The Guardian)

Past American appointments have been criticised for being nobodies. This time the problem is different. Mr Wolfowitz's intelligence is not in doubt, though his career at the Pentagon, as an investment banker and as US ambassador to Indonesia are only indirectly relevant to the most important development institution on earth. But he is gravely handicapped by his reputation as the neoconservative godfather of the Iraq invasion, whose unpopularity explains the froideur with which yesterday's news was received in France and Germany. Mr Bush's choice follows his nomination of John Bolton, a state department hawk and unilateralist, as the next US ambas sador to the UN. European governments badly wanted the bank to be led by a doveish figure such as Colin Powell, the former secretary of state; that would have been welcomed as evidence of the more multilateralist approach his successor, Condoleezza Rice, has promised.

NGOs fear that Mr Wolfowitz's free market outlook, combined with existing US interest in downsizing the bank, could run counter to development policy-making trends under the admired outgoing president, James Wolfensohn. Some worry that his strong emphasis on human rights may complicate relations with China.

So let's see if we have this straight: his experience as a banker, diplomat and manager of one of the largest government agencies in the world isn't directly relevant, while his beliefs in human rights and free markets are disqualifiers in tackling poverty?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2005 12:00 AM

the ngo's are worried they will have to get day jobs, and give up their cushy "misery" gigs. boo hoo hoo. don't want human rights getting in the way of relations with china.

Posted by: cjm at March 17, 2005 12:56 AM

Better Red Than Expert.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 17, 2005 1:52 AM

The Guardian must have been pulling for Bono.

Posted by: Dave Sheridan at March 17, 2005 4:08 AM

Funny how there seems to be an explicit "must pass French and/or German" muster for any foreign policy action to be accepted by the Left. I guess it is the Dems Senate-in-exile and Chirac is Harry Reid.

Posted by: Moe from NC at March 17, 2005 7:10 AM

Did OJ write the title for the Guardian?

Posted by: Bob at March 17, 2005 10:36 AM

Actually, ever darn article on Wolfie everywhere on the web seems to contain a wolf pun/allusion of some sort.

Posted by: Bob at March 17, 2005 12:18 PM