>Of all the idiotic things Bush has done, this is right up there. It proves, beyond a doubt, that he is ignorant and does not give a damn about either poverty alleviation or the international community. This is a disaster and will render the World Bank useless. I’m disgusted. And if I hadn’t already resigned, I’d surely have to quit now.
See this from the NYT:
Bush Throws Support Behind Wolfowitz for World Bank PostBy DAVID STOUT
WASHINGTON, March 16 – President Bush today nominated Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense who was one of the architects of the administration’s campaign to topple Saddam Hussein, to be president of the World Bank.
Mr. Wolfowitz, 61, would replace James D. Wolfensohn, who is stepping down as the head of the bank on June 1 upon completion of his second five-year term. “He’s a compassionate, decent man who will do a fine job,” Mr. Bush said at a White House news conference. The president said he had already notified leaders of some other countries of his choice.
The announcement is virtually certain to stir debate, especially in Europe, since many European countries strongly opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq and might see the selection of Mr. Wolfowitz as deliberately provocative.
On the other hand, even though Mr. Wolfowitz is not widely regarded as an expert on development, he once served as assistant secretary of state for East Asia and as Ambassador to Indonesia, posts in which he oversaw United States policy for parts of the developing world.
By tradition, the United States chooses the head of the World Bank, a 184-member institution whose mission is to try to reduce poverty, while the Europeans pick the director of the International Monetary Fund, which tries to promote financial stability in emerging countries. The World Bank announced that the 24 members of its board of directors had begun consulting the countries they represent on Mr. Wolfowitz’s candidacy.
Since the United States is by far the largest shareholder in the World Bank, Mr. Bush has clout as well as tradition on his side, whatever objections may arise to Mr. Wolfowitz in Europe.
Still, European leaders who dislike Mr. Wolfowitz may be tempted to defy tradition and contest the nomination – especially since President Bill Clinton did just that in blocking the appointment of Caio Koch Weser, the German candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, because Mr. Clinton considered Mr. Weser too weak.
Mr. Wolfowitz has been included among the cadre of administration officials who have been labeled neoconservatives. As such, he has been a firm believer that the overthrow of the Baghdad dictator provided an opportunity to sow the seeds of democracy throughout the Middle East, and thus impose a measure of long-range stability upon the region.
But because violence and chaos in Iraq has not abated in the nearly two years since Mr. Hussein was deposed, Mr. Wolfowitz and his like-minded colleagues have come under fresh criticism. President Bush, however, has remained steadfast in his position that the sea change that the United States brought about in Iraq will be worth it in the long run, no matter the cost.
As recently as a week ago, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, insisted that President Bush had asked Mr. Wolfowitz to stay on as the No. 2 man in the Defense Department. There was no telling whether Mr. Di Rita was misinformed, or whether the White House’s thinking changed in the ensuing days.
Mr. Wolfowitz has been deputy defense secretary since early 2001. From 1989 to 1993, he was under secretary of defense for policy. For three years during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, he served as Ambassador to Indonesia.
Mr. Wolfowitz has taught at Yale and Johns Hopkins and has written widely on foreign policy. He received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University an a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.