Imposing Neo-Conservatism at the United Nations and World Bank:  Has Bush Gone Mad?

Imposing Neo-Conservatism at the United Nations and World Bank:  Has Bush Gone Mad?

  In mid-March, President Bush nominated the U.S. Defense Department’s number two man, Paul Wolfowitz, to head the World Bank and appointed the U.S. State Department’s number two man, John Bolton, as the American ambassador to the United Nations.  Both of them are among the top half dozen Neo-Cons in Washington and both have been highly critical of all international institutions during the era of unilateral preemption to forestall global chaos.

  At the same time, President Bush is touting freedom and democracy as the framework for American foreign policy in dealing with the rest of the world.  Pundits the world over are wondering whether President Bush has gone mad.  Others are wondering whether, despite his seemingly best efforts at doing so, Bush has not gone mad after all.  The proof is in the pudding.

  Religious people say that the intent is what counts.  This has been the butt of many jokes, including the famous essay by the humorist Robert Burns half a century ago, entitled “The Importance of Being Earnest.”  This, however, is really a serious issue.  The mystical and charismatic gurus teach that one should never worry about anything, and least of all about whether whatever one does will succeed in its purpose.  Muslims are educated to leave all results up to Allah, so that they need worry only about doing what Allah may want them to do. 

  In the politically correct world this is considered to be totally impractical, because in a world without higher purpose results are what matter, not intent.  The Neo-Cons are thus politically incorrect because they are downright religious in insisting that their intentions are what count, despite the fact that the results of their policies may be highly questionable. 

  Bush’s nomination yesterday of Wolfowitz to head the World Bank is a case in point.  Wolfowitz no doubt was influential in causing Don Rumsfeld to state two days after 9/11 that the attack on the symbols of American power was caused by the desperation of people throughout the world mired in poverty and oppression.  By Post 9/11 Day 3, this view had become treason, so it was never repeated.  We may hope that Wolfowitz is not another Nixon, who was truly schizophrenic in having two totally distinct personalities, one the highly moral humanitarian and spiritually very aware person when he was not challenged, and the other as a monster when he was.

  The family of Wolfowitz’s father all died in the Holocaust, which gave him a conscience (unlike many other Jews who lost their consciences) and turned him into a leading humanitarian anti-Communist as distinct from “kill a Commie for Christ” hate monger.  He is no doubt very perceptive, despite his naivete, as shown by the fact that on his own initiative he asked to address the first Shi’a summit convention in Washington a few weeks after the invasion of Iraq.  He knew who really would call the shots there.

  Wolfowitz could be a real surprise, because he seems to believe passionately that economic development is essential for political democracy.  This contrasts with McNamara, who went from Defense to the World Bank almost four decades ago to install the anti-democratic, top down management approach that made him famous during the Vietnam War.  I severely criticized McNamara in my position paper for Nixon, later published in the summer 1969 issue of Orbis, “New Directions for American foreign Policy,” and in my 1997 book, Shaping the Future, because he said that economic development requires the concentration of power at the top.  This, of course, is what the World Bank has been doing ever since, much to the delight of the corrupt mafia types that cow-tow to the United States and run most of the Third World countries. 

  Wolfowitz might undertake a reversal of this policy, but there is no way he can make a difference unless he recognizes the need for institutional change at the very roots of the world’s system of money and banking in order to reverse the constantly growing wealth gap.  Instead of calling for a new Bretton-Woods conference, as recommended by the Center for Economic and Social Justice (see [url=][/url]  to address the real causes of chaos in the world, in his naivete Wolfowitz may do to the world’s economy what he did to Iraq by relying on superficial stop-gap measures that do not address the real problems and the real solutions.  We can no longer afford the past failures of politically correct thinking based on blind faith that the good intentions of “democratic capitalism” will produce good results, when, in fact, this naive ideology is the dynamo behind the growing wealth gap both within and among nations and constitutes the major threat to world peace, justice and freedom.

  In the meantime, for our own peace of mind perhaps we should follow Mad Magazine’s idiot spokesman, “Why me worry?”!