Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wolfowitz to Resign

In what amounts to a "plea bargain"--his cooperation/resignation in exchanged for softened allegations of his misconduct--it appears that Paul Wolfowitz will soon be ousted from the Presidency of the World Bank. See the New York Times article for the details. At last report he was still negotiating with the Executive Board, but with that kind of deal on the table there is no way he can go back to running the organization anyway, so it is effectively over for him.

And not a minute too soon in my book. I have a very high regard for the World Bank (unlike many other progressives) because I've seen its work from the inside. I know its mission, I know the specifics of how it works, I know what doesn't work so well, and I know how dedicated its staff members are. It has flaws, many of which are the result of being under the thumb of the U.S. government and its own agenda, and it would be nice if a more independent leader could really take on the challenge. But Wolfowitz could never be that guy. I believe that George Bush appointed him in order to weaken the institution, and that is what has happened. I hope the Bank will recover once Wolfowitz is gone.

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