Sunday, May 20, 2007

Perfidious or Privileged?

Gentle readers, please welcome today's guest poster, Mamma Loves!

Paul Wolfowitz will be leaving his post as the head of the World Bank next month. After weeks of questions about improper pressure to provide a job and large salary for his girlfriend (maybe he didn’t have anything else “large” to offer her?), continued backing by the Bush administration and finally a vote by board of the Bank, he decided to step down this week.

When GF initially called for a guest blogger this week to write about the “perfidy of Paul Wolfowitz”, Mr. Wolfowitz still held the position as head of the Bank. I believe he announced his resignation within hours of my agreeing to write this post. Initially I thought I’d write a piece outlining the reasons he should be replaced, but was then faced with an “oh crap” moment when I realized that ship had sailed. Not wanting to disappoint GF, I remain committed to the topic but had to figure out what to say instead.

I must admit I did have to look up perfidy when I first read it. I looked it up again today as I considered what to write. To save you the trip to, it means treachery. Now I think there is a difference between treachery (Dick Cheney) and an unexplained sense of privilege (George Bush). And as glad as I am that Wolfowitz is suffering for his actions, I’m not sure that I’d accuse him of perfidy.

Paul Wolfowitz studied chemistry and mathmatics as an undergrad at Cornell. Apparently influenced by John Hersey’s Hiroshima, he decided to go to graduate school for Political Science because…are you ready for this? He wanted to figure out a way to prevent a nuclear holocaust! Yes, the architect of the US war in Iraq has a life goal to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

Have you gotten up off the floor from LYAO? Just wait. It gets better.

While at the World Bank, Wolfowitz advocated cutting loans and debt relief in developing countries until they fixed the corruption in their governments (that is he cut funds to the countries that didn’t help the US in the war on terrorism—New York Times, April 13, 2007). So the man who thought third-world countries should go without funding to develop infrastructure and advance the health of their citizens because they were too corrupt just basically lost his job because of questionable use of influence. Anyone see the irony of this?

Despite these facts, I don’t know if I see all of Wolfowitz’s actions as that treacherous as much as I see them as the actions of a man who believes that rules don’t apply to him.

In my opinion, this attitude is fairly pervasive within the Bush administration (those who have given Wolfowitz his last few jobs). It’s this condescending approach to the public that I believe has turned off most of the country. The Administration seems to think they can pick and choose which laws apply to our citizens and to themselves. They seem to know which part of the world we should send our children to fight—even if their reasons are based on false information—but none of their children will go. I don’t mean to suggest that their behavior is any less appalling if it isn’t out and out treachery. Frankly, it’s more insulting, and it is unforgivable.

Interestingly, Tony Blair is being talked about as Wolfowitz’s successor. The pundits are saying that in the plus column he has his international connections. In the negative column, they say he admits that he’s a little shaky at maths. I don’t know why they’re so concerned. Obviously Wolfowitz math major wasn’t what got him the job, and it’s not like they owe Blair or anything.

Many thanks, once again, to Mamma Loves. Some of you already know her... those that don't should go give her a read!



soccer mom in denial said...

SMID loves Mama - and not just because you stepped up to the challenge. Great piece.

But this quote - "It’s this condescending approach to the public that I believe has turned off most of the country." has me wondering. Has the country really been turned off?

Amie Adams said...

When even my most conservative friends admit it's time for Bush to go, I hope they might be.

soccer mom in denial said...

Considering I live in a state where most conservatives hide their stripes (really) I don't interact with many (I'm making this sound like they are zoo inhabitants and that's not what I mean).

SO - the fact that your conservative friends are admitting that, I say "alleluia"!

Lawyer Mama said...

"I don’t know if I see all of Wolfowitz’s actions as that treacherous as much as I see them as the actions of a man who believes that rules don’t apply to him."

Exactly! I think this is the reason it took him as long as he did to step down. He kept flailing around insisting he was one of the good guys trying to get rid of corruption. Well, that was why he should have been even more careful to play by the rules.

Great post!

robkroese said...

What kind of rates can I get on a 6 month CD from this 'World Bank'?

jessabean said...

The sense of entitlement and invincibility that pervades the higher-ups in this administration is disgusting. They can make the rules, but they don't have to follow them.

Cannot WAIT for them to go...though I don't envy the person who has to clean up their mess.

Anonymous said...

Well done Mamma!

And Wolfowitz is just one of the many-Rove, Brownie, Gonzalez-who just do whatever the heck they want to with our government. At best they're incompetant (Brownie), and at worst they're using our governmental actions (Iraq war) for their own financial gain (Cheney).

It is truly, truly frightening that our own government has been hijacked by this group. And this is just the stuff that has come to light!

2008 can't come soon enough.

PunditMom said...

Excellent, Momma!