Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Neoconservatism Redux

Yes, I know. Another Arab with an agenda.
So what? You don't want to look at what he sees?

Sidelined by reality, the neocons are today, if not altogether on the run, suffering public disgrace for their arrogance, hubris and the failed grandiose plans they had dreamed up to regroup the geopolitics of our part of the world in response to their imperial conceptions.

Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby is facing time in a federal prison; Douglas Feith (he with the life-size picture of Theodore Herzl in his living room, according to a profile of him in the New Yorker) may end up at the margins of the American Enterprise Institute, a bastion of neoconservatism, where he will join those other two equally disgraced neocon hardliners, Richard Perl, nicknamed the Prince of Darkness, and David Frum, who coined the phrase “Axis of evil”; Donald Rumsfeld was fired from the Pentagon amid accusations that he had lost the Republicans their majority in the last Congressional elections; Dick Cheney is so reviled by the public that he is seen as being beyond the pale; Conrad Black, the neoconservative movement’s generous contributor and one of the most ardent supporters of Israel in the US, is on trial for fraud; and Paul Wolfowitz, whose humiliation is now on public display, is fighting for his career, and his reputation, for all it’s worth, at the World Bank, where he has been president since 2005.

Now for the benefit of those who have been cloistered in a Tibetan monastery these last four weeks, here is a recap of the Wolfowitz scandal. This involves his girlfriend, one Shaha Reza, an employee at the Bank, whom he had seconded to the State Department upon taking office (to avoid conflict of interest) and given a hefty increase in salary, from$133,000 to $194,000 (tax free) – presumably higher than that earned by Condi Rice.

It later transpired that it was Wolfowitz himself – not the board of directors – as he had claimed initially, who instructed the chief of human resources at the bank to offer Riza those unusual perks. As the Financial Times pondered at the time: “What then do we have here? The answer is an apparent violation of bank rules: favouritism bordering on nepotism, and a possible cover-up.”

Wolfowitz, like the other neocons, is charming in public, evincing the erudite urbanity of a reasonable intellectual; but underneath that veneer, he, again like the other neocons, seethes with the radicalism and histrionic tactics of the combative, predatory neoconservative ideologue who wants the world around him, by hook or by crook, to adjust to his sensibility – or else. And there was no reason to believe that, when took over at the World Bank, he shifted gears.

Lots more at the link.
More than you probably want to face if you are among those who have been following this crowd blindly for the last four or five years.

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