Wolf(owitz) in a sheep’s clothing

The official investigation found that Mr Wolfowitz rode roughshod over bank rules and violated his own contract. In testimony by one key witness, Mr Wolfowitz threatened to expose other senior bank officials.

“If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too,” he was reported as saying by Xavier Coll, the bank’s head of human resources.

The report detailed Mr Wolfowitz’s circumventing of bank procedures, and slated the bank president for his “questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self-interest”, saying: “Mr Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply.”

– The Guardian

Paul Wolfowitz had given his Arab girlfriend $61,000 in raises for a job she actually left years ago to work for Elizabeth Cheney at the State Department. What a way to spend aid money.

The girlfriend of the married Wolfowitz, Shaha Ali Riza, now earns about $193,000 per year from the World Bank — that’s a tad more than Condi makes as secretary of state and, as you would have it, she doesn’t even pay taxes as she’s not American.

Wolfowitz, put out a memo yesterday taking full responsibility for brazenly stealing money from the world’s poor to pay for his girlfriend in an adulterous relationship. Hopefully the World Bank’s board will fire him later this week. But still I just can’t understand 2 things

i) why it is taking these guys so long when there is no question of the fact of his gross misconduct

ii) and why are there people (like Pauline Hanson, the Bush Administration) undermining their own integrity by still supporting this proven corrupt criminal?

This guy has proven to be more slimier than his former boss Rumsfeld. Instead of being ceremoniously evicted from his post as deputy defence secretary, he chose to move three blocks away from the whitehouse to the World Bank Presidency. But now natural justice had taken care of things. Hopefully he would be put out of any high office for good. I mean it is a no brainer that people who are architects in killing helpless civilians should never be appointed to head Humanitarian or aid organisations.

Even at the very begginning his appointment to the World Bank presidency has been controversial. He was one of the neo-con hawks responsible for the fiasco in Iraq. But Mr. Bush in his usual disregard for international concern had him up as President for The Bank in 2005 when only weeks before another controversial appointement : John Bolton as the US ambassador to the UN. 

“Mr [John] Snow [US treasury secretary] knows that the reaction from the board was unfavourable,” Reuters quoted one source as saying. “Mr Wolfowitz’s nomination today tells us the US couldn’t care less what the rest of the world thinks.”  

In retrospect, being a forefront supporter of the war in Iraq, it was mind boggling how he could alleviate poverty and help poor nations. He was substantially responsible for the creation of poverty in Iraq, how in freaking hell does he intend to help poverty stricken nations? It is clear that he has no track record in the humanitarian field but he is well known in the defence field. The guardian reported :

Peter Bosshard, the policy director of the International Rivers Network, an American NGO, said: “In his career, Wolfowitz has so far not shown any interest in poverty reduction, environmental protection and human rights. His election as World Bank president would most likely exacerbate the current backlash against social and environmental concerns at the World Bank, and would initiate a new era of conflict between the Bank and civil society.”

As a forceful proponent of the war against Saddam Hussein, Mr Wolfowitz will be viewed with suspicion by many in the developing world. Given the controversial nature of the choice, the secretive selection process – as well as the choice itself – is almost certain to invite criticism. Mr Wolfowitz’s appointment will not require senate confirmation.

Even the process of selection of a World Bank president is not transparent. It was a literally a shoo-in for the Wolf. The biggest joke of it all is that this joker wanted to fight corruption in the poor countries by tying aid eligibility to the level of corruption in the recepient country. Such initiatives seems like hot air designed to raise his profile and consolidate his position in the bank’s presidency. It did nothing more than delay the disbursement of aid and acted as a good excuse for not disbursing aid to regimes that are at loggerheads with the US. And now that he is exposed as not only corrupt but also as abusive he seems set to join the other two hawks who were forced out of their posts recently : Scooter Libby, John Bolton and Donald Rumsfeld.

For an institution that has it’s headquarters just three blocks away from the Whitehouse and run by a neo-con hawk at that, it would be hard to regard the World Bank as an intitution that is committed to making a positive difference to the world’s poorest countries. This institution would be better placed in the world’s humanitarian and social developmental arena without hypocritical wolves who pretend to fight corruption while being themselves corrupted. To this Wolf in sheep’s clothing – I say good riddance. The world can definitely do without another corrupt war-criminal.

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