By MAUREEN DOWD
Paul Wolfowitz may be out of a job soon, but think of what an amazing résumé he’ll be shopping around:
President of World Bank: 2005-2007
Responsibilities: Reining in European lefties, raining tax-free money on Arab girlfriend, and giving anti-corruption efforts a bad name.
Achievements: Paralyzed the international lending apparatus to the point where small countries had to max out their Visa cards to pay for malaria medicine. Learned the traditions of many cultures, including those of Turkey, where you apparently are not supposed to take off your shoes at mosques to reveal socks so full of holes that both big toes poke blasphemously through.
Deputy Secretary of Defense for President George W. Bush: 2001-2005
Responsibility: Starting a war.
Achievements: Mismanaged the world’s most powerful army. Shattered the system of international diplomacy that kept the peace for 50 years. Undermined the credibility of American intelligence operations. Needlessly brought humankind to the brink of nuclear war. Destroyed Iraq.
Demented Visionary: 1993-2001
Responsibility: Concocting a delusional plan for regime change in Iraq with pals like Shaha Riza, Ahmad Chalabi and his merry band of Iraqi exiles who conjured up phony intelligence about Saddam’s W.M.D.
Achievements: Imagining an Iraq that didn’t exist.
Having Wolfie back on the job market is a tremendous opportunity. What do we want destroyed next? Could this walking curse on the world run Halliburton into the ground?
At the Pentagon, Wolfie tried to help Vice get rid of anything multi — multilateral treaties, multilateral institutions, multilateral alliances, multiculturalism. Multi, to them, meant wobbly, caviling, bureaucratic and obstructionist. Why be multi when you could be uni?
In the end, the forces of multilateralism took their revenge: Old Europe got rid of Wolfie.
But not before his gal pal played the multicultural victim card. In her statement to World Bank directors, Shaha complained that she had been denied promotions even before Wolfie got there. “I can only attribute this to discrimination — not because I am a woman, but because I am a Muslim Arab woman who dares to question the status quo both in the work of the institution and within the institution itself,” Shaha wrote.
She said that she had “met a wonderful American woman who told me that I should fight back for ‘us’: WOMEN. It never occurred to me as an Arab and Muslim woman that one day I would be asked by an American woman to fight on her behalf.”
Already aggrieved, Shaha got really furious when Wolfie came in 2005 and she was told she’d have to work out of the State Department.
“I was ready to pursue legal remedies,” she wrote in her statement, adding, “my life and career were torn asunder.”
According to Xavier Coll, the bank’s human resources vice president, Shaha outlined conditions for her departure that were “unprecedented” in terms of guarantees and rewards and way out of line with bank policy. Mr. Coll deemed it “inappropriate and imprudent for the president to offer Ms. Riza these terms.”
Bob Bennett, Wolfie’s lawyer, told Michael Hirsh of Newsweek that it was Shaha who “worked up the numbers” on a $60,000 raise to a $193,590 salary and cushy new deal. “She was outraged that she had to leave,” Mr. Bennett said.
The self-righteous Shaha played on Wolfie’s guilt, becoming “greedy in terms of power,” as a friend of the couple told Newsweek. Even though she had been a mere flack a few years ago and then a gender coordinator at the bank, Shaha mau-maued her man into giving her a salary that topped the secretary of state’s.
It’s like when Bill Clinton tells friends that he has to work hard to get Hillary elected president because he feels he owes her for bringing her to Arkansas in the 70s and interrupting her career. (But do we?)
Or when Tony Soprano gets Carmela some fancy piece of jewelry after he strays. Indeed, Wolfie sounded Sopranoish when he agitatedly told Mr. Coll to warn those at the bank he believed were attacking him: “If they $%#! with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to $%#! them, too.”
Wolfie used public compensation for private contrition. Gilt for guilt — not a good deal.Read full post and comments:
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