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May 07, 2007

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It is important with this administration to speak in real clear terms, not vague, easily misconstrued language like, "al Quida determined to strike in U. S".

This is such a nice read, it's too bad the Times has replaced the original article with a rather blunter one.

you got a real nice job picking the President of the World Bank there

It would be a shame if something should happen to it ...

why do I get the feeling that this group of World Bank Machavellians ain't from Mayberry ???

Emptywheel, you read between the lines better than anyone I know. You could title this post "Leaking Truth to Power." I wonder if Robert Bennet heard the evidence collected by the committee before this article hit the web. It will not be long that Wolfie resigns (on a Friday.) If he's smart, he'll have a new job to start the following Monday. I wonder if Yale will take him back? Maybe Georgetown? Is the AEI looking for a new President?

i'm not impressed.

if the euros wanted to take over, and they could have done so,

then they would have.

they didn't.

i infer they cannot.


anybody who has watched the bush admin should understand that these boys do not respond to bluff;

like some politicians,

they only respond to the overt presence of power that threatens them.


so far,

neither the american congress,

nor the world bank board

have show any capacity to intimidate the bush admin.


my personal opinion,

expressed many times over the last two years,

is that the bush admin will only accede (respond)

when americans take to the streets of washington, d.c. in the hundreds of thousands.

but alas,
our bourgeois nation either does not understand the necessity of going into the streets or is unwilling to so so.

Marcy, you are the reason that I *always* have a browser tab opened to TNH and check multiple times per day. Thank you.

Jeff

Ah, that is a pity--it was a classic in original form. I'll have to go back and read the revised version. But I'm fascinated with this. Today's article:

European officials did not disclose details of how they were communicating with the Bush administration, but they said the suggestion that Mr. Wolfowitz resign in return for having an American successor was first raised with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. in mid-April.

Now check back to when Bennett was hired. April 23? In response to the deal? So for the last two weeks, we've been just trying to get the best deal for Wolfie, in order to save the presidency?

And here's an interesting bit:

Mr. Wolfowitz’s lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, said the bank was giving Mr. Wolfowitz too little time to rebut its conclusions before a board vote later this week.

“I don’t feel it would be appropriate to share the report, but I am deeply troubled that they have only given us 48 hours to respond,” he said in an interview. “This is not fair to Mr. Wolfowitz.”


The earlier version was quite vague about timing. Did they always give Bennett a deadline, but only Bennett was going to admit that? And what a nice touch, that the deadline won't allow a Friday news dump on this.

I love it. The blackmailers being blackmailed. Serves 'em right

The article doesn't answer my big question: Why do the Japanese and the Canadians still support Wolfie?

And the Bush administration pushes back with its own threat through a WaPo article:

Under an agreed-upon arrangement that has lasted since the inception of the bank six decades ago, the U.S. president selects the president of the World Bank while Europe decides who runs the bank's sister institution, the International Monetary Fund. President Bush has said he wants Wolfowitz to stay. If the board overrides his wishes, it will jeopardize Europe's claims on the IMF, said a senior administration official.

The Post also has an assessment of Wolfowitz's prospects in a vote that is more favorable to Wolfowitz:

In interviews this week, bank officials and analysts said even the governments opposing Wolfowitz were unlikely to authorize their executive directors to vote to remove him, which would risk a fresh imbroglio with the Bush administration.

Ah, the NYT: supplier of captions for the hearing-impaired.

i infer they cannot.

No, I think they can in the end, though they'd probably love it if the guy in the middle stepped aside so that nobody's bluff had to be called.

There have been rumblings for years in the foreign policy press that they and some of their non-OECD clients would like to change the allocation between IMF and WB, and votes against the US have been lining up for years (and not just in the World Bank; these Bushies are unbelievably stupid little boys about how to maintain power).

The Wolfowitz affair is a believable last straw for some wavering members. But it's not a one-shot isolated thing. It's an opening salvo, which is why a few like Japan and Canada, who are probably more exposed to the US with less recourse than any country on this list, might continue to waver or not come around—yet.

By early last week, Wolfowitz seemed to be the one doing more backing up than either the Bank board or his staff. Swopa provides a round-up. Compare the following "proffer" from Wolfowitz around last Monday—

"Only when the cloud of these unfair and untrue charges is removed, will it truly be possible to determine objectively whether I can be an effective leader of the World Bank," Wolfowitz said.
—to what a panel of the bank's directors concluded Monday/yesterday.

Dear Frank Probst:

The Japanese support PW in the WB Board because they always support the US (in the famous Board discussion of debt relief for Congo (Brazzaville, not Kinshasa), 22 of 24 chairs spoke against PW's position; the other 2 were the US and Japan. The Canadians sometimes disagree on substantive matters (eg, recent family planning controversy and global warming) but not on balance of power issues within the Board.

The entire world is chatting up this story, too, and so far no push back from the Wurlitzer (if the Wurlitzer pushes back, you'll see a rash of stories with the exact same line -- AP, Reuters and UPI would all carry it, small papers would pick it up). Tells me that the ruling junta here is confused and doesn't yet know what to do about Wolfie. Does Wolfie have something on them they don't want him to publish if they were to can him? Are they not pushing back because they are negotiating with the comb-sucker to exit gracefully?

I just love the fact that our corruption and disregard for rules and ethics is on display to the rest of the world. It sure is sending a great message about how bright and shiny our country is!

It also says that no matter how wrong or ill-conceived an idea might be, our President will back it up regardless! Obviously, he has no sense of right and wrong...

"this group of World Bank Machavellians ain't from Mayberry ???"

These are the progeny of the people who invented Chess. Their latest complex move removed another pawn, but Wolfowitz, the neocon's Castle, is still in place. Apparently not for much longer.

Maybe Bush will appoint a real money-man this time, some West-Texas banker or some Houston CEO to replace the academic, that mis-manager Wolfowitz?

Too bad Kenny Lay "retired" so permanently to that tax shelter in the Caribbean, imagine what he might accomplish with access to all that money for poor people!

Rayne

I kind of figure if they were able to get rid of Bolton, eventually, then they can get rid of Wolfie. But I suspect they are madly negotiating, not least trying to put together a majority that will support Wolfie. I wonder how many millions of dollars in aid poorer countries are getting offered over Wolfie's girl toy problem.

I am more than a little surprised at the mess Mr Wolfowitz has gotten himself in. He is reputed to be very, very bright.

I guess it is another one of those incidents where we can use the expression love is blind or just plain stupid.
Moving her was ok, but jumping her salary so much was reckless, and brought attention. Supposedly she ended up with more take home pay than Condi Rice.

Anyway, the Bush Administration will probably twist some arms, and give away some stuff to try to keep him there until the next President comes along. I don't know if they will suceed.

On America’s business partners:

Frank Probst asked: “Why do the Japanese and the Canadians still support Wolfie?”

First Prostratedragon opened: “It's an opening salvo, which is why a few like Japan and Canada, who are probably more exposed to the US with less recourse than any country on this list, might continue to waver or not come around—yet.”

Then RKimble answered with: “The Japanese support PW … because they always support the US. … The Canadians sometimes disagree on substantive matters (eg, recent family planning controversy and global warming) but not on balance of power issues within the Board.”

When I see how all the house Alaskans jumped in with both fins on Ms. E. Wheel’s last story to identify each ASS in the Veco Indictment, I have to wonder where are the resident Japanese & Canadianese bases on Wolfo?

FWIIW, which admittedly is not a lot, I’m inclined to think with Japan it’s no more than business as usual. I can’t recall any sign since the US first started occupying Japan in WWII that they’ve shown any inclination to risk their perceived economic lifeline.

But to suggest that equates to actual support, you'd think we’d see either some symbolic presence in Iraq like with the little lab mice nations, or at the very least in Afghanistan [even the Canucks got unstuck from their muck to join the Taliban in theirs.]

And if Canada's such a house shill, then why did an aide to one of their current leader’s predecessors rustle Bush43 a few years back by calling him a “moron”? And why join the crusade in Afghanistan but not Iraq. Neither of those behaviors suggest lock step, or even good manners. The new guy in charge of the snow is supposed to be some homegrown neocon like the new French pretzel, which implies either actual support or a really strong inclination to suck for trade - but then why wouldn't they send a token company in with the Surge? It’s not as if the Moron in Chief couldn’t use the morale builder.

Besides, Wolfo's still got lots of big time support non-state actor - The Decider in Chief, the Big C, The Prince of Darkness, Bullet John Bolton, Doggie Feith - just not any who don't stink of Eau de Crypt.

That inclines me to express a mild surprise - that given how much of the world which which would [and has so often in the past] given over so many of their daughters and land and markets and energy and mining assets, not to mention a goodly portion of their national testicular tissue, all to purchase access or even just to prevent being themselves bombed back to the stone ages - that same motley assortment of funny little foreign fiefdoms is prepared to risk all that by pissing in the conflakes of such an impressive line up of worldly powerful players - over what? A truly situational matter of ethics,a single case of using one's position to make sure you get a little once in a blue moon.

Hey, do you think maybe as much as anything else this has to do with 'signs' ... like Speaker Pelosi's recent diva appearance in Libya, and Representative Waxman's current bid to overtake J.S. Rowland on the NYT best seller list, and Iran's own Ahmadi-Nejad pouring down scorn on Bush's brainpan like the French castle troops flung chamber pot contents over the King Arthur in Monty Python's Holy Grail?

I think I’d rather see the resident Canuck to get unStuck from his Muck before I’ll concede Wolfo’s “support” is any more than forebearance by the two biggest trade partners just trying to avoid needlessly offending a mutual market source.

Marcy, you are the reason that I *always* have a browser tab opened to TNH and check multiple times per day.

Same here. ;-)

LabDancer -- perhaps Canada and Japan have different reasons for being the only apparent supporters. Japan is highly exposed to the U.S. in terms of both trade and energy resource; they could be blackmailed into their current position with ease. Culturally they need to be able to save face, whether for themselves as the consider pulling away while increasing risk at home, or for the U.S., which is already devastatingly lacking in face. How does Japan extricate itself without pantsing itself or the U.S.?

Canada may be on the flip side; it could be using its position of apparent support as leverage. "Get Wolfie to quit on his own, or we yank support," in other words. We don't know that this is not going on behind the scenes. A lot could happen over the next 24-72 hours.

Oooh, just went and checked the temperature. Patient is not doing well at all, Dr. Wurlitzer still hasn't stepped in either. WSJ and BW both looking askance at Wolfie.

Just a matter of time and terms.

I haven't been able to figure out why the incredible level of support for Wolfie anyway. What's the element here that means so much to Bush&Co.? Why not just tell Wolfie that he gave it a good college try, here's a nice think tank or university position, and don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out? Now these bozos have created a Major Event and look even more stupid and corrupt than they did, which is friggin hard to do...and it's got sex in it, so it even makes the CNN news cycle. Dumb.
All I can come up with is that what someone around here mentioned the other day: Bush&Co are seriously into bunker mentality and think they still have power and can dictate things to go their way. They are oblivious to the level of scorn and disapproval the country--and world--regards them, and they KNOW that they are right in God's (and St. Regan's) eyes.
So, we have
(1) A religious level of 'rightness' driving their "decisions".
(2) A disregard for anyone else's opinion or reasoning.
(3) Then there's the complete disregard for any diplomatic standing in the world (like doing shit that is illegal, unethical, or disrespectful because it serves Bush&Co and their corporate buddies).
(4) And finally, they're in the bunker at this point and by God aren't gonna let any Lefties or Euros (same thing, right?) tell THEM what to do!
What a mess.

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