I Must Be Hallucinating.

April 18th, 2007at 11:49am Posted by Eli

I could have sworn I just read a MoDo column with some actual substance:

In addition to the story about Paul Wolfowitz’s giving his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, a promotion and a $60,000 raise because he felt guilty that she had to be transferred from the World Bank to the State Department when he took over, The Times reported yesterday on more imperialist hanky-panky.

Steven Weisman and David Sanger wrote that in 2003, when Wolfie was No. 2 at the Pentagon, the office of his consigliere, Douglas Feith, directed a private contractor to hire Ms. Riza, then at the World Bank, to spend a month traveling in Iraq to study ways to set up the new government.

(…)

Wolfie and Shaha did not let a little thing like World Bank rules — which barred the bank from providing economic assistance to an area under military occupation — keep them from pushing the neocon delusions.

When she returned, Ms. Riza briefed members of the executive board of the World Bank on her trip, giving them a sanguine account of Iraq’s future and the fate of women there.

“The bank was under a lot of pressure at the time to do something in Iraq very quickly,” Jean-Louis Sarbib, a former bank vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, told The Times. But some of the bank’s directors, he said, were “very concerned about why she was briefing the board, under which authority and with whom she had gone there. I did not know anything about this at the time, and I was the vice president, and she was reporting to me.”

As they rushed to war, the neocons delighted in blowing off international treaties, international institutions and diplomats, treating them as impediments and whiners. So it only made sense that Wolfie wouldn’t hesitate to blow off rules he didn’t like once he began running an international institution himself.

(…)

Despite fears among the bank’s member governments that Wolfie’s smug and stupid behavior is impairing the bank’s credibility, he has dug in his heels and said he will stay put. The president has backed him up. [Gee, there’s a surprise…]

Astonishingly, W., Wolfie, Dick Cheney and the Prince of Darkness himself, Richard Perle, have learned nothing from their mistakes of blindness and hubris, except to sweep them under the bed and indulge in more blindness and hubris.

[MoDo then makes reference to Richard Perle’s appearance on PBS, advocating “regime change” in Iraq]

In America last week to promote a book about the occupation of Iraq, Ali Allawi, Iraq?’s former finance minister, told a group at the Council on Foreign Relations that the Bush administration had invaded an “imagined” country.

The Financial Times reported Mr. Allawi as saying that “the Iraqi exiles who advised the U.S. war planners described the country of their memories. Sadly, the Iraq with a solid infrastructure, a solid middle class and a secular tradition had ended ‘decades ago.’ ”

I suppose it’s only fitting that the imaginary country’s WMDs would turn out to be imaginary as well.

From a broader perspective, the Bushies’ “rules for thee but not for me” mentality is one of the defining characteristics of an authoritarian dictatorship.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Media,Republicans


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