Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Alberto Gonzales, Andrew Bolt, Greg Sheridan, Paul Wolfowitz, US politics on Saturday, 18 August, 2007|
Greg Sheridan thinks Paul Wolfowitz is lovely. And it looks like he thinks that because Wolfowitz told him that he is. Unfortunately, he probably should have asked around a bit:
PAUL Wolfowitz is a lightning rod for much of the hostility from those legions of people who hate the Bush administration. The arch neo-conservative, one of the architects of the invasion of Iraq, the man most associated with the decisive use of US power, he talks most passionately of development in Africa. This reflects his last big job, president of the World Bank.
He was forced out of this job for allegedly organising an over-generous promotion out of the bank for his partner. It was an absurd charge and the bank ultimately decided he had behaved ethically. Nonetheless there was a kind of frenzy of hostility to Wolfowitz, really from the day he started at the bank.
Greg, you might have started by reading your own newspaper:
The 4 things Wolfowitz did wrong
He violated the code of conduct
He broke the staff rules
He broke his contract
He damaged the bank
Sheridan’s claim that Wolfowitz is, and was found by the World Bank to be, squeaky clean, is absurd. Even if you give Wolfowitz credit for his work toward stability and economic development in Africa and his anti-corruption initiatives while at the World Bank, there is plenty that he deserves criticism for – including the fact that he himself contributed to corruption in the organization by involving himself in setting up a rapid career progression for his girlfriend, as well as setting up some loyal Bushies with cushy, tax-free jobs, and diverting the World Bank’s resources away from climate change issues. Let’s not even start on his involvement in developing the doctrine that led America from the tragedy of September 11 to the doomed invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with the terrorist threat.
Sheridan’s crush on all things American appears to have coloured his perceptions of everyone and everything from the US of A. It’s the flipside of the mentality Shaun Cronin has written about, in which any criticism of American leadership or policy is anti-American. In Sheridan’s case, America is wonderful; therefore, all people from the USA are wonderful, even someone with as dubious a track record as Wolfowitz. Consequently, he must have been misunderstood and persecuted, the poor man:
He looks well and he seems to have absorbed all the strife that befell him. He agrees what happened to him was an injustice, but says: “I don’t feel particularly bitter or resentful, I manage to get on with other things. I’ve developed some of the feeling for Africa that I’ve long had for Indonesia. It would be exciting to be able to help.”
Andrew Bolt has been getting in on the scandal denial lately as well. In a blog entry pointing out the atrocious inaccuracies in a piece by Patricia Maunder about Jon Stewart’s satirical targets, Bolt threw in a howler of his own:
– Gonzales had to testify to Congress about allegedly sacking eight US attorneys from the Justice Department. No scandal involved.
There are a couple of issues here that make Bolt’s claim an outrageous distortion of reality. First, Gonzales has had to testify before Judiciary Committees several times lately, in relation to two separate issues – the US Attorney firings and the authorization of the warrantless domestic surveillance program, which happened while Gonzales was White House Counsel. So it’s not just a single scandal. And second, it’s a bit of a scandal when the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman asks for the nation’s top justice official to be investigated for “inappropriate conduct” when giving sworn testimony (and lest anyone try to spin this as a Democrat witch-hunt, note that Republican Senator Arlen Specter has been as derisive of Gonzales’s credibility as anyone). Here is a top-six list of the biggest lies in Gonzales’s testimony.
I think we have reached a point where the flaws and limitations of many who have worked in the Bush administration, including both Wolfowitz and Gonzales, have been laid bare. Some might argue that they have brought some positives that offset their problems – a view I would strongly disagree with, but could at least understand. What I don’t quite get is this willful ignorance, accompanied by complete misrepresentation of the facts, demonstrated by two Australian commentators to the obvious failings of these flawed gentlemen.
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