who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Tide finally turns against Wolfowitz As the Board has apparently adjourned for lunch. everyone is holding their breath. "How can he stay?" "Whatever is he thinking?" "Surely they'll not pay him to leave!" "Maybe he won't go, oh no." Fortunately the fix seems to be in.

Although no less than six members of his security detail are scheduled to fly out tonight to Germany, where the Development Minister has withdrawn his invitation, Paul Wolfowitz remains beleaguered in his office. Perhaps he is reading the transcripts, too.

Maybe from the Robin Cleveland interview, where when asked why Shaha couldn't have moved to an independent group, even an ED's office, Robin said: "after you meet with her this afternoon, you see if you would like her to come work for you" Pulling up the drawbridge.

Canada no longer supports the US position of delay, now that the process is over. The Europeans are falling in together. Michael Goldfarb in Huffington Post summarizes why Paul Wolfowitz's (dwindling) US supporters don't get it.

"The Bush Administration and its enablers in the think-tanks and the press are so far gone in their inability to recognize that American power is wildly diminished that the orderly functioning of the world is now jeopardized. By forcing Wolfowitz's resignation the partners hope to rescue the Bank's reputation but also rescue Washington from itself. Not out of a sense of altruism, but because the international order cannot function so long as the most important country on earth is led by people blind to reality in the way drug addicts are blind to reality." Meanwhile, Wolfowitz's supporters inside the Bank are recycling links to old WSJ op-ed pieces. INT staff are allegedly behind that, but who knows?

And even the Washington Post gives a Wolfowitz a grudging push, finally, in an editorial Wednesday morning. Like so much of their news coverage, which has been lazy and lacks the insight and depth of the FT and the NYT, the editors are making this a local bit of scandal, and give only passing reference at the end to what should be a newspaper-of-record's perspective.

But the bank still matters as an institution that helps the world's poor. Bush administration officials so far have fought for Mr. Wolfowitz to keep his job. That's no longer in the bank's best interest.

They've got that right, as Sebastian Mallaby pointed out. And they are right that the whole affair makes you want to go out and wash your hands. The old Board did not do its job, so let's not blame the current Board for trying to make amends.

Voice of Reason ~ May 16, 2007

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