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Thread: Bush picks Wolfowitz for president of World Bank

  1. #16
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    Those are some very good points you've found there Oliver, and I hope Wolfowitz is the man for the job. (Couldn't agree more about the points made re. the UN too.) BUT, aren't the two biggest issues facing the African economy debt and trade subsidies? All the clean water in the world isn't going to help that; what do you think Wolfowitz's intentions would be on this score?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver craner
    So yeah, Wolfowitz is not a bad choice at all
    for who? that's the point surely? for bush and US business interests he's going to be fantastic, for those countries that have to deal with world bank reconstruction it will continue to be a nightmare.


    (incidently the world bank policy on H2O is currently to privatise it and profit, not give the people clean water)

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver craner
    Do you want me to defend Wolfowitz? I have done, and criticised him, accordingly...so if you want that, then read it

    http://worldwarfour.blogspot.com/200...12712489599670

    (You might have to scroll down: it's June 01 'Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns')
    well-balanced analysis

    and you're right, historians will be the final judge

  4. #19
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    I can't believe someone just equated Chevez to Pinochet and no-one objected.

    As I understand it, Oliver's take on Wolfowitz is that he's the bit of the American administration that actually believes it's own propaganda about spreading democracy. And I don't agree with that, but you know, fair enough.

    However what this has to do with economic ideology, I don't know. I just presume that, as a Republican, Wolfowitz takes a standard neo-liberal position, which has been utterly disastrous for developing countries in Africa.

    The problem with the HIPC debt relief programme is not that it didn't have enough ties - this 'throwing money at dictators won't help' kind of attitude. It was tied to structural adjustment programmes that mean cutting spending on education, healthcare, clean water etc. The patronising drivel about 'supervising' the way that the few miserly pennies the rich north are willing to stop extorting out of Africa couldn't be more off the mark. Yes, give money to NGOs doing good work, yes, fight for democracy and transparency, but also stop forcing governments to hand over many times the sums they were originally lent in never-ending interest payments.

    If you don't want them to spend it on arms, control your own arms trade.
    If you don't want kleptocrats to steal the money, have a word with the Swiss govt and their banking regulations.
    If you don't want multinationals bribing corrupt officials, then pass laws in the countries where ther headquarters are and jail their executives.



    Now Wolfowitz probably won't be any worse than anyone else Bush would nominate, but he's, on his record, probably a bit more driven ideologically, which is the last thing we need.

    If anyone knows that Wolfowitz is actually an internationalist Keynesian type then apologies and let the good times roll!

  5. #20
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    Chevez=Chavez
    ther=their

    Sorry

  6. #21
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    Actually, I am genuinely interested in what his economics are like. The general tone of the commentary has been about America vs the rest of the world, rather like the first post in this thread and I haven't read anything about what he'd actually do in the World Bank.

    I'm off home now, but I expect a full analysis from Oliver by Monday morning.

    Cheers

  7. #22
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    I don't really know enough about Wolfowitz to make any sort of judgment on his potential role in the World Bank. He certainly dropped the ball massively as one of the most prominent people to dismiss Gen. Shinseki's estimates for the number of troops needed for the occupation of Iraq - an enormous fuckup.

    More reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wolfowitz

    Also, if you want to read a good debate on the efficacy of debt relief (with arguments both for and against), check out this post from Abiola Lapite:
    http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com...ony_blair.html

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver craner
    You didn't start this thread just to bait me did you Dave? (Do you mean bait or bate, incidentally?)
    Hohoho, yes I did mean bait...and no, I was genuinely suprised and angered by bush's pick and wanted to discuss. but when i started this thread, i knew who would be the first one to dissent.

    Anwyay, as for the post you quoted, I agree with Rambler that the analysis of the UN and the World Bank's failings are pretty accurate, but the idea that Bolton or Wolfowitz are going to turn these organizations into idealistic outlets of international benevolence is kinda silly. Wolfowitz will use the World Bank to maintain America's dominant position in the world. period. If nocking over a few dictatorships happens to help the cause, then i'm sure that's what will happen. But if keeping some third world country poor and destitute so some US corporation can keep its profits up is what America needs, then that is what will happen.

    I'm sorry but I don't buy Wolfowitz's supposed altruistic reasons for war on Iraq. He's an imperialist through and through.

  9. #24
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    i was going to mention the chavez-pinochet thing but it's not worth it with oliver, he just says these things for effect.

  10. #25
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    good profile of the wolf in today's ft - they chose to highlight his close relations with suharto - didn't do much to make me feel better about the appointment but i hope i'm wrong

  11. #26

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    By the way, it wasn't as if the Pinochet-Chavev conflation was that easy...read the words 'money-washer'.... what was aid money used for in either case (a specific question)...

  12. #27
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    Wolfowitz acceptable as World Bank head, say Germans

    22.03.05 1.00pm


    BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Monday that the United States nominee to head the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, could yield positive surprises and Germany would not block his selection.

    Schroeder said he thought Germany could work constructively with Wolfowitz, the US deputy defence secretary, and approved of the tradition that the United States names a candidate for World Bank president.

    "The US president phoned me up to say what he intended and I told him Germany would not stand in his way," Schroeder told Germany's n-tv television. "I have the impression we could be positively surprised."

    Many European governments have reacted with private unease to Washington's choice of Wolfowitz, best known as the architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, at a time when they are trying to mend relations with the United States.

    Germany was a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, and the issue put a strain on ties that the two countries have struggled to repair.

    Schroeder is the first leader of a major European nation to take such a positive view of Wolfowitz's nomination.

    French President Jacques Chirac "took note" of the choice, his spokesman said last week, while British Prime Minister Tony Blair has remained silent.

    "I don't think the Europeans could really have insisted on another candidate," said Henning Riecke, transatlantic relations expert at the German Council on Foreign Affairs.

    "We mustn't forget Wolfowitz is an experienced diplomat who has experience of different ministries and who has worked intensively in development," he added.

    "On the strength of his profile he is entirely suitable for the post, so perhaps Germany said let us accept someone who is competent even if on several points he has pursued policies which Germany did not agree with."

    Last week German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said of Wolfowitz's nomination: "The enthusiasm in 'old' Europe is not exactly overwhelming".

    President George W Bush's controversial choice of Wolfowitz to head the World Bank will be discussed at the European Union summit on Tuesday.

    The European Commission said on Monday that Wolfowitz had accepted an invitation to meet EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel and explain his views on development and poverty reduction, the bank's key missions.

    Wolfowitz's approval by the bank's board -- which operates by consensus -- is widely seen as a foregone conclusion.

    - REUTERS

  13. #28
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    Monbiot on Wolfowitz's appointment

    "Martin Jacques argued convincingly in the Guardian last week that the US neocons are "reordering the world system to take account of their newly defined power and interests."(18) Wolfowitz's appointment is, he suggested, one of the "means of breaking the old order". But what this surely illustrates is the unacknowledged paradox in neocon thinking. They want to drag down the old, multilateral order and replace it with a new, American one. What they consistently fail to understand is that the "multilateral" system is in fact a projection of US unilateralism, cleverly packaged to grant the other nations just enough slack to prevent them from fighting it. "

  14. #29

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    Yes, but Monbiot's idea is that we all go and live in eco-communes: build homes out of timber and straw bales, wattle, daub and thatch, or live in yurts or zomes, home-make cider, bread, and goat's cheese, and get go-karts to run on vegetable oil. Sounds quite nice...in Somerset, during a hot English summer. His other idea is a Utopian, and frankly vacuous, "multinational system of global governance" based on the economics of Maynard Keynes. He suggests that the IMF, World Bank and UN be dismantled on the basis of these half-baked proposals, which is some vanity.

  15. #30
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    what do you mean 'yes but'? yes, this is a very good, well researched article presenting unanswerable arguments in a articulate level headed way, but i'm going to indulge in some snide irrelevant point scoring anyway? what's all that about? just admit it. I am oliver craner and i am in league with the devil. come out the satanic closet, you'll feel better about yourself. i am working for satan, go on say it!

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