I used to think Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (seen here) was just a dangerous lunatic, played for a sap by merchants of death and other sinister figures.
But now the self-proclaimed corruption fighter has admitted to squalid corruption on behalf of his paramour and himself, it may be useful to see if his career throws any light on his madness, badness, or both, and on Jackie’s chums in the Bush fils regime.
What follows is largely courtesy of the Wiki, for which a major source is inevitably James Mann’s Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (Penguin, 2004).
It seems fair to say straight off that Wolfowitz has only two discernible talents: drafting rubbish that sounds vaguely persuasive, and using his own saliva to comb his lank hair.
Our hero (b. December 22, 1943) got a degree in mathematics and chemistry at Cornell in 1965. Like Dick Cheney and Bush fils, he did not risk extinction in the Vietnam war: he went to Chicago University to study politics under a couple of US supremacists, Leo Strauss (1899-1973) and Albert Wohlstetter (1913-97).
Strauss (pic), the Godfather of neoconservatism, said politicians should tell “noble lies” to lead citizens to their proper destiny. In 1969, Wohlstetter took Wolfowitz to Washington to lobby for ballistic missiles. His written stuff helped the missile programme squeak through the Senate.
In 1970-72, Wolfowitz lectured on political science at Yale, where one of his students was Lewis (Scooter) Libby (b. August 22, 1950).
In the first half of the 1970s, merchant of death profits were at risk from:
(1) Foreign Minister Henry Kissinger’s policy of detente. Wohlstetter slipped Wolfowitz into an arms control agency in 1972 to run a contra-detente line.
(2) Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency. They detected that the evil empire was in economic and military decline. Bush pere, CIA director for a year in 1976, recruited Team B, including Wolfowitz, to “reassess” the data. Most of their conclusions, including a claim that Russia had developed terrifying new weapons of mass destruction, turned out to be fantasy.
In 1977, Wolfowitz began to fear Iraq’s possible effect on US supremacy when, assiduously climbing the greasy bureaucratic pole, he got a job as Deputy Assistant Minister for War (Regional Programs). He moved to the State Department in 1980 as Director of Policy Planning (long-term foreign policy), and gave Libby a job there.
Wolfowitz was Ambassador to Indonesia 1986-89. He evinced no objection to the corruption of the dictator, Thojib Suharto and his pals, who are said to have trousered $US30 billion, some of it from the World Bank, nor to the murder of thousands in East Timor by agents of the dictatorship.
With Bush pere President 1989-93, Cheney was Minister for War (and busily outsourcing the military), Wolfowitz was Cheney’s Undersecretary for Policy, and Libby was Wolfowitz’s deputy.
The evil empire collapsed in 1989, thus proving the CIA analysts right and Wolfowitz wrong. Undeterred, he and Libby, at Cheney’s direction, began the task of realigning military strategy. In 1992, they reported that the US must be ready to engage in:
(1) Unilateralism (ignoring the rest of the world).
(2) Pre-emptive strikes against potential threats to US superpowerdom.
(3) Whatever it takes to remain the major outside power in Middle East oil countries.
The report was secret but soon leaked. Cheney hastily toned down the note of imperialism.
In the Clinton years, Wolfowitz worked in academia and as a paid “consultant”, i.e. lobbyist, for the world’s third largest war contractor, Northrop Grumann. Cheney (pic) ran Halliburton, a major oil services and construction company with operations in more than 120 countries. Halliburton did nicely out of World Bank contracts.
PNAC (Project for the New American Century) is a lobby group founded in 1997 with the stated aims of maintaining “American global leadership”, and the use of pre-emptive action against Iraq to “protect our vital interests in the Gulf”.
Charter members of PNAC included Wolfowitz, Libby, Cheney, and former (1975-77) War Minister Donald Rumsfeld. Robert B. Zoellick, who later imposed an Unfair Trade Agreement on Jackie, shortly became a member.
Early in 1998, Wolfowitz drafted a PNAC open letter to President Bill Clinton. It concluded …
“removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power … needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.”
When Bush fils was elected president by five judges in 2000, Cheney became Deputy President; Libby became gofer for Cheney and security assistant to Bush; Rumsfeld became War Minister again; and Wolfowitz became Deputy War Minister. The Wolfowitz-Libby Doctrine of 1992 was rebadged as the Bush Doctrine.
The New American Century began its terminal decline on Wednesday, March 19, 2003, when Bush (and Jackie) made a pre-emptive strike against Iraq and its phantom weapons of mass destruction.
Wolfowitz (seen here with comb) fatuously predicted that Iraq’s oil revenues would pay for its reconstruction, and that after the war was won fewer troops would be needed to keep the populace docile.
The World Bank aims to help develop third world countries and reduce corruption and global poverty. Wolfowitz had no perceptible competence in such matters, but Bush nominated him for president of the bank in January 2005.
Not everyone saw the job as a soft landing for a failed War Minister, as it was for Robert Strange McNamara (b. 1916) in 1968. Jim Vallette, research director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, saw Wolfowitz as Cheney’s guy on the bank. He wrote in Counterpunch (March 22, 2005):
“Cheney and Wolfowitz understand that global hegemony requires control over the three pillars of power: military, political, and economic. The World Bank sets the terms of global development. When developing countries started demanding a decrease in US political power in the institution, when the bank balked at supporting Wolfowitz’s reconstruction and debt cancellation plans for Iraq, and when a bank-commissioned study recommended getting out of the oil business, the World Bank became a natural target for a hostile takeover.”
Confirmed in June 2005, Wolfowitz insisted that Shaha Ali Riza, 52, now billed as his neoconcubine, get an annual pay rise of $A75,000 tax free. Part of the extra cash presumably found its way into his trousers.
The sleazy deal emerged on April 5, 2007. Wolfowitz later said: “I made a mistake, for which I am sorry”. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart (pic) observed:
“There you have it, one of the principal architects of the Iraq War apologising for something else. It’s like Charles Manson saying: ‘Sorry about the carpets’.”
Other architects of the war, Rumsfeld and Libby, have gone, and now first law officer Bert (Seedy) Gonzales, an architect of torture, is under the cosh for the lawyer’s worst crime: he can’t even lie convincingly.
But the smart money is saying Bush has more political and “loyalty” capital invested in Seedy, and that he will stay and Wolfie will go, presumably to a nice “consultancy” with a merchant, when a satisfactory replacement has been found.