Monday, March 21, 2005

Can you like him?

American Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, who is considered one of the most influential economic thinkers, has resoundingly condemned the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz as the president of the World Bank. Even the Bank’s staff have raised their opposition to Wolfowitz’s appointment. Stiglitz accused President Bush of either being deliberately provocative or so insensitive as to appear provocative.

Wolfowitz has been the principal architect of the Iraqi invasion, which has killed more than 1500 young American men and women, maimed/wounded several thousands more, cost more than US$200 billion (and still rising), added on to a mounting national deficit and divided the nation - all these for the worst possible loss (instead of the expected gain) to America's immediate and strategic interests!

I am personally inclined to believe the latter of Stiglitz's condemnation, that of a Bush so insensitive as to appear to be provocative, rather than being deliberately provocative. I have noted that Bush has been slowly removing some hardcore right wingers like Wolfowitz (to the World Bank) and Bolton (as ambassador to the UN – now, can you beat that insensitivity?), instead of promoting them within the Administration,like he did with Condoleezza Rice.

I believe that Bush, now secured in his second term, has become more aware of who had led him down the garden path and been responsible for his current state of woe and unpopularity, both at home and with his allies.

Bush has probably become very disenchanted with those ultras who fed him lies. He can't sack or demote them because that would only reflect on his own incompetency, so he moves them either sideways or upstairs but out of the Administration's core.

But Wolfowitz needn't be unduly concerned that he would suffer in any way the same fate as those GIs in Iraq - he should still be as snugly safe in his new air-conditioned office at the World Bank headquarters as he had been at the Pentagon.

Related posting:
Can you trust him?

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