March 17, 2005


Why Paul Wolfowitz? (NY Times, 3/17/05)

There was a time when Mr. Wolfowitz might have seemed like a reasonable choice. He served three years as the American ambassador to Indonesia during the Reagan administration. And he was the persuasive communicator who once wrote that security and poverty are connected - that the solutions to global conflicts don't necessarily lie in arms control, but in poverty reduction and economic development. And he obviously has the president's trust - which he will need if he is going to make the wealthiest nations fulfill their vow to make 2005 the year for development in the world's poorest regions.

The capacity of the bank to do good is enormous. In so many places in Africa, Asia and Latin America, World Bank projects are where the rubber meets the road: they include such things as building a well in a village in Mali so young girls can spend their mornings in school instead of walking two miles to a river to fetch parasite-infested drinking water, and building all-weather roads to help 200 million people in rural India. Its decisions can mean life or death for hundreds of millions of people. As a development organization, it lends money to cure market failures, financing projects whose returns would not attract other lenders.

We can only hope that Mr. Wolfowitz reverts to his earlier incarnation in his new job.

Do you suppose the Timesmen ever read the U.N. reports on why the Arab world is lagging behind everyone else in terms of development? Who has ever done more than Mr. Wolfowitz and his superiors to bring to the region the three things it lacks most: freedom, knowledge and womanpower.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2005 7:31 AM

First the Guardian doesn't trust him. Now, the NYT.

That should clinch it.

(Gotta love that "previous incarnation" bit; but then we all know about full moons 'n things....)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 17, 2005 8:46 AM

Why Paul Wofowitz?

Christopher Hitchens

"Yes that's all very well," said the chap from the BBC World Service, "but what about this man Vulfervitz who seems to run the whole show from behind the scenes?" For the fifth time in as many days, and for the umpteenth time this year, I corrected a British interviewer's pronunciation. You see the name in print, you hear it uttered quite a lot in American discussions, you then give a highly inflected rendition of your own. ... What is this? In my young day, the BBC had a special department for the pronunciation of foreign names for the guidance of those commenting on Thailand, say, or Mongolia. But this particular name is pronounced as it is spelled. "Very well," said the BBC chap, with a hint of bad grace. "This man Wolfervitz ..."

Why Paul Wolfowitz?

To kick such peole as this smarmy British interviewer dickhead in the nether regions with a steel toed boot as hard as we can.

THAT's why Paul Wolfowitz.

Posted by: Andrew X at March 17, 2005 9:07 AM

Nobody could be worse than McNamara

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 18, 2005 7:51 PM