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April 13, 2007

Some Day My Prince Will Come/With A Long, Self-Justifying, Whiny Memoir

If you've read articles about Paul Wolfowitz in the past few years, they all have sections like this from his recent New Yorker profile, in which he speaks of what he hopes to do "some day" once he's no longer president of the World Bank:

"I can't start saying things that draw me into what is a major debate about Iraq policy," he said when I asked him whether he still thought that invading Iraq had been a good idea. "There's a lot in the record out there that I hope to correct some day, because I've been mischaracterized fairly often...but this isn't the time for me to do would be totally disorientating for this institution if my views became a subject of major discussion right now."

According to Steve Clemons, this "some day" of which Wolfowitz speaks so wistfully may arrive in the next 24 hours. It's unclear how accurate Clemons' information is, but when you're World Bank president and the Financial Times is calling for your resignation, things can't be good.

AND: From Global Class War by Jeff Faux:

The examples of personal corruption at the top that are occasionally exposed are usually small-time—tickets to a Super Bowl game, a job for a mistress, a paid-for trip worth a few thousand dollars. Why, asks the citizen, would someone jeopardize their career for such small amounts? The answer of course is that if they thought about, they would not. People of power and influence live in a world of class perquisites. They have been taking tickets, jobs for mistresses, and free trips for decades. This last one, where they got caught, is usually just a piece of bad luck. They drift over the line so often that they don't really think about it.

In a sense I feel bad for Wolfowitz. He's been a faithful errand-boy for the world's richest people his entire career, providing their various rape-and-pillage schemes with an intellectual veneer they could never come up with themselves. During these decades he must have witnessed scenes of decadence and corruption that would make Caligula blush. Yet when he tries to imitate his patrons on one-millionth the scale, his career is ruined. Life is so unfair!

Posted at April 13, 2007 09:57 AM | TrackBack

I'm sure he will land on his feet. We take good care of our war criminals here in the US.

Posted by: ran at April 13, 2007 10:44 AM

Yes, that's exactly right. They'll find him some plush job where he can natter on about world affairs until he keels over.

So I shouldn't really have said his career will be ruined. He'll just have to go back to providing the intellectual gloss for the raping and pillaging, rather than getting to wield the levers of power directly himself.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 13, 2007 10:49 AM

In interesting contrast to Wolfowitz's remark to Cassidy is the story Clemons tells of Wolfie going to meet a reporter in a restaurant, recently, and carrying - folders that he claims proved Saddam had a working relationship with Osama bin Laden.

Like, maybe he thought Saddam had found jobs for OBL's girlfriends or something.

Being a big fan of folly, I'm waiting for Hitchens all out Slate defense of his buddy. In the Pundit Insanity Reality Show (from which Ralph Peters has been excluded, since he really IS insane), it is down to Krauthammer or Hitchens. I'm pulling for the Hitch. Oh, I hope he doesn't disappoint me!

Posted by: roger at April 13, 2007 11:26 AM

It seems that everything that is going on today can be boiled down to one thing, the never ending war of the rich against the poor. Perhaps one question would be is how much will Pope Paul walk away with? Probably more than you or most people will ever see in their life. If a poor person steals a loaf of bread and gets caught they go to jail but I doubt very much Pope Paul will ever see the inside of a jail cell after all he will too busy counting his money.

Posted by: rob payne at April 13, 2007 11:44 AM

Because things are surging so swimmingly in Baghdad, two vacancies opened in the Iraqi Parliament yesterday. Maybe Wolfie and his girlfriend can fill them.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at April 13, 2007 12:59 PM

This has been a bad year for the whole corrupt & fanatical right wing of the Republican party, and I couldn't be happier. Wolfowitz is the latest, but other key aspects of the right-wing takeover of our country are getting hit:

-Don Imus and Ann Coulter finally get discredited (one hopes this makes Rush Limbaugh run for the soothing bosom of his pain meds).

-There's pressure on Democrats to ignore Fox News completely in the next election.

-People are openly questioning the politicization of the prosecutor's office, with plenty of ripple effects from the orginal firings (e.g., scrutiny this week into federal prosecutors in MN or WI). Why is Gonzales still around? because the Bushies fear what a confirmation hearing for the next AG would be like.

Yeah, Wolfowitz or the rest of them will never truly get what they deserve, but I care more about starting to undo what these idiots have done to our country and our world. It's going to take a decade of news like this, but it's just so great to wake up every morning to hear the latest take-down, and to have hope that the reversal is finally happening.

...or the plot is finally working:

Posted by: at April 13, 2007 01:52 PM

Didn't you read the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene? One of those laws is "Never outshine the Master".

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 13, 2007 01:55 PM

Hey, give him a break. He has said he was in "uncharted waters." This seems to mean that the need to act ethically was a new experience for him, and he didn't know what to do. . . give me a break.

Posted by: bob at April 13, 2007 02:58 PM

Suskind link got lost. I'll try it in the clear:

Posted by: Sam Thornton at April 13, 2007 03:46 PM

Why is Wolfowitz excluded from this newly created and (still) vacant War Czar position? He's got experience at the Pentagon AND seems suitable to funnel cash from the treasury to his homeys.

I for one would like to see more of him. It would provide more fodder and anecdotes to the inevitable 1000 page apologetia tome to be published down the line.

Sending him into the wilderness seems cruel.

Posted by: Ted at April 13, 2007 06:56 PM

His defence is that he he had to engage in corruption in order to avoid violating the ethics rules, which he would never do. Surely you can understand that?

Posted by: Pastor Doodah at April 13, 2007 09:18 PM

Say, isn't that the old Kodack motto, "Some day my prints will come" ?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 13, 2007 09:36 PM

They'll find him some plush job where he can natter on about world affairs until he keels over.

well, he was previously dean of the (surely satirically-named) Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, so this won't be hard.

Posted by: snuh at April 14, 2007 05:34 AM

He was a face. Nothing more. Especially when you consider the fact that the U.S. Government and any "position" in said government is a complete fraud. For obvious security reasons the structure of power in the U.S. was, is and always will be hidden to most people outside as well as inside of the country. The elites know that most people in the population would not be cool with them or their world view at all so thay throw these hacks and clowns at us via the media. Fucking putrid man. Empire sucks!

Posted by: at April 14, 2007 03:55 PM

This is a glorious moment in Bush history, actually. Whenever you scratch a bit at an act of apparent corrupt dealing in this administration, you soon find a whole underground labyrinth of disgustingness, a sort of fantasy rightwing Dungeons and Dragons game. According to a Washington Post article that misuses the word "working" (Woman in World Bank Controversy Working on Mideast Project)
article/2007/04/13/AR2007041302172.html, having nothing to do, the State department eventually sent her over to a shell foundation set up by the Bushies apparently for reasons of their own - maybe it is like the official foreign policy wing of the Republican party, the IRI (talk about your potential Logan act violators!). This is the part that makes a guy like me get dreamy:

"The Foundation for the Future, as the effort is called, has made no grants and held only two board meetings since its creation 1 1/2 years ago. Though Shaha Riza, who has been romantically linked to Wolfowitz, is not listed as part of the staff on the organization's Web site, she is the only person working in the group's offices, located within the Henry L. Stimson Center, a think tank. The Washington office is listed as a "branch," according to the site, which promises that soon a main office will be established in Beirut.

"It is basically just her running this thing," said Tamara Cofman Wittes, research fellow at the Brookings Institution Saban Center for Middle East Policy, who closely tracks democracy programs in the region. She said the board members had no experience in grant-making and thus had "started from zero," with no bylaws or grant-making guidelines. She said the board has had a goal of trying to make its first grant by summer, nearly two years after the organization was formed."

That's what 56 million dollars gets you - peanuts, but to think that it was probably rerouted to some Cheneyesque plan or another, and who knows? might end up purchasing a few faked IEDs with Made in Iran stamped on them, well it makes me feel all righteous inside. Sometimes I feel like hatred is distorting my view of these people, and the whole circle of D.C. bigwigs, but we live in a rare time when hatred is actually clarifying. This is the golden age for a satirist. I don't really think you can understand these people if you don't hate them enough.

Posted by: roger at April 14, 2007 08:54 PM

Sweet Smiths reference.

Posted by: Weston at April 14, 2007 09:57 PM

how do you screw up being World Bank President?

all you have to do is sit there and decide which swathe of humanity you want to coerce into the socioeconomic empire of the US government, and then withhold their funds till they do it or are faced with death in significant numbers from starvation (or lose huge tracts of arable land to misguided power projects, or something similar. see john perkins' excellent confessions of an economic hitman for more)

the fact that wolfie can screw up even this, one of the cushiest jobs in the world, speaks volumes about why the invasion of iraq is going so freaking well.

Posted by: almostinfamous at April 14, 2007 10:24 PM

paul wolfowitz went to the pentagon with the goal of ending terror, bloodshed, and tyranny in iraq. then he went to the world bank with a single-minded goal of fighting public sector corruption.

my heart goes out to paul in this time of trial, for he is clearly being tested. i'm sure i speak for everyone in hoping that he stands strong in not giving a rat's ass what really happens.

Posted by: hibiscus at April 15, 2007 04:41 AM

Ripped the words out my friggin' yapper man. LOL!
Like I posted earlier, Wolfie never fucked up; He wasn't even there! He was a stooge from the start. What a joke our "all powerful military empire" is. Ha! Just a mess o' stupid ass arrogant cops with nothin' to do if you ask me...All very laughable. Very laughable indeed. Unless of course you're Iraqi, Afghani or Pakistani.

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