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Wolfowitz to World Bank

President Bush has nominated Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank. This is the WaPo story on the same.

Discussions - 6 Comments

This is a quote from Steve Hayward’s book, THE AGE OF REAGAN, "McNamara had also undermined his stature with the one person who counted most - President Johnson - and by the fall Johnson was ready to rid himself of McNamara. On November 28, {1967} Johnson named McNamara {who Johnson had esteemed so highly in 1964 that he seriously considered him to become his running mate} to head the World Bank." Page 115.

Lets see how fast the left makes the comparison of McNamara being moved to the World Bank in 1967, to that of Wolfowitz being moved thereto in 2005. The departure of people like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and now Wolfowitz will be seen as an admission by the administration that their policy of spreading democracy has been a costly failure.
Recall when Bill Kristol came out and called for Rumsfeld’s resignation that it triggered a wave of columns and commentary about the neo-cons supposedly looking for scapegoats.

Some of the parallels to the Veitnam period are eerie:

1} A falling dollar;
2} Soaring deficits;
3} A Texan President with an ambitious domestic agenda, {LBJ with his ’Great Society" vis-a-vis GW’s "Opportunity Society"};
4} An American military tasked with nation building: and
5} A hostile elite and an equally hostile major media.

My brief list makes no claim to being comprehensive. But of course the similarities are superficial, and it is clear our policy is gaining traction in the mideast.

Could someone ask Steve Hayward to write a piece comparing and contrasting the Vietnam conflict to the War on Terror.

I would like to read it.

I’ll have to think about the Vietnam-Iraq War comparison, but I don’t think the Wolfowitz-McNamara comparison is right in this case. The World Bank is more important now than it was in 1967. It is now in the middle of a lot of international politics and UN business (especially in climate change and environmental stuff), and Bush has made a serious point about changing how international aid is done. Combined with the Bolton nomination for the UN, I think this shows that Bush is serious about shaking up some of these international bodies rather than just going along or rewarding a favorite person. (That’s another point: The World Bank is now considered a plum, so you wouldn;t use it to send someone into exile who displeased you in the Administration. That’s what the EPA is for. Or Ambassador to Micronesia, or something.)

Micronesia is an important ally why suggest that President Bush cares little for Micronesia?

I guess the U.S. is too busy to care unlike us Canadians.

All will tremble before the mighty Canada-Micronesia Axis!

I don’t know about all of you, but I got the impression that Christie Whitman was deeply disappointed being named Director of the EPA, and I got that impression from the get go.

I was not at all surprised when she came out and wrote some flakey tell all.

Both my crack about the EPA and Micronesia were old obscure jokes. In 1977, when a group of conservative Democrats asked Carter to appoint some conservative Democrats to foreign policy posts, and gave him a list of 50 names, Carter appointed only one--a trade representative to Micronesia! This prompted Pat Moynihan to complain--"Not even Macronesia--just Micronesia," as a way of noting their impotence in the Carter administration.

Likewise the recent pick of a career employee to run the EPA (first time ever) suggests that no Republican of any stature wants much to do with that hopeless agency. I could say a lot about the original Whitman appointment (having been mixed up a little with the Bush EPA transition team in 2000-2001), but it is a long and boring story.

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