www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

"Mission (Actually) Accomplished!" We are retiring. Good luck with the search for a successor.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Economist

Wolfowitz agonistes - World Bank, 5 May 2007

The World Bank's president will not go quietly.....this week, as he gave his testimony at a hearing held by the bank's directors, it was once again easy to see him as the man who defied world opinion in plotting the Iraq war. He believes he is the victim of a "smear campaign" designed "to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am an ineffective leader."

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7 comments:

wolfowitzmustresign said...

The Economist

Wolfowitz agonistes - World Bank

5 May 2007


Wolfowitz hangs on

The World Bank's president will not go quietly

THE president of the World Bank wrongfoots many people who meet him. They expect a partisan ideologue and discover a personable intellectual. They brace themselves for a swashbuckler, but find a chinstroker. Both sides of Paul Wolfowitz's personality have been on show in the past month, as he has fought for his job in the face of growing outrage about the generous deal he secured for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, who left her job at the bank after he was picked to lead it.

At the bank's spring meetings in April, he showed his introspective side, apologising for his handling of what he described as a “painful personal dilemma”. Then he sought to draw the poison circulating through the bank's staff by promising to look again at how he ran the place, relying less on a coterie of confidants and drawing more on the experience of career employees.

But this week, as he gave his testimony at a hearing held by the bank's directors, it was once again easy to see him as the man who defied world opinion in plotting the Iraq war. He believes he is the victim of a “smear campaign” designed “to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am an ineffective leader.”

He lashed out at the bank's donor governments, several of whom think he should resign, for using the affair as an excuse to welsh on their promises to replenish the bank's coffers. He attacked the bank's directors, who he said must have known about the terms of Ms Riza's deal long before the crisis erupted. For them now to censure him would be “frankly hypocritical”, he said. Nor did the bank's staff entirely escape his scorn: Ms Riza is only one of hundreds, he pointed out, who take home more money than America's secretary of state.

Ad Melkert, chair of the ethics committee to which Mr Wolfowitz turned to handle the case, finds it “incomprehensible” that Mr Wolfowitz became so minutely involved in setting the terms of Ms Riza's departure. But Mr Wolfowitz seems to believe that the directors actively wanted him to get involved. Perhaps they were afraid of Ms Riza. She believes that one of the directors, presumably from the Middle East region on which she worked, had it in for her. “They were worried about lawsuits,” Mr Wolfowitz's lawyer says, “or her yelling about women's rights.” So they figured this was one “hot potato” best left in her boyfriend's hands, not theirs.

“Only when the cloud of these unfair and untrue charges is removed,” Mr Wolfowitz concluded, will it be possible to decide if he can be an “effective leader of the World Bank.” But to remove those charges, he seems willing to antagonise the very people—staff, shareholders, directors—who will determine his effectiveness in the future.

He may have to go. In the process he risks bringing some of the temple down with him.

Anonymous said...

Like we do at the end of a traditional Hollywood movie, we feel intense jubilation to see the baddies having to prepare themselves to expier their faults:

- Mr Elmert whose decisions have caused inumerable pains to his countrymates and who is near 0% of approval in his country,
- Mr Bush who will probably end up at the lowest and will be remembered as an arrogant and stubborn president who has sent thousands of young Americans to their death.
- Mr Wolkowitz, the "âme damnée" of the latter, who, whatever the legality of his action, reveals himself as a pathetic greedy old person who has tried to impress his mistress by encriching her.

Anonymous said...

Here's a real goody from the Hartford Courant, called 'His Own Worst Enemy.'

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-wolfy.artmay04,0,3018595.story?coll=hc-headlines-editorials

Anonymous said...

An awesome takedown from the Philadephia Inquirer:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20070504_Editorial___Paul_Wolfowitz.html

Anonymous said...

Sophisticated analysis on the nature of corruption and the WSJ crowd's inability to see what's going on except in only manichean terms:

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=050407B

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