THE BLOG

Paul Wolfowitz: "Wildly off the Mark"

05/25/2011 12:05 pm ET

When General Eric Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, told reporters a month before the Iraq war began that "something of the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" would be needed to stabilize post-war Iraq, then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz snapped to reporters that the general was "wildly off the mark." Wolfowitz went on to say: "I am reasonably certain that [the Iraqis] will greet us as liberators; and that will help us to keep requirements down."

In March 2003, Wolfowitz ebulliently declared, "Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator." That same month, Wolfowitz told the Congress, "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

On July 27, 2003, Wolfowitz appeared on Meet the Press where he told Tim Russert, "It's hard to conceive that it would take more force to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army. Hard to imagine."

All of Wolfowitz's arrogant and dubious assertions about the outcome of the war in Iraq were proven wrong before the end of 2003, yet in 2005 his expertise so impressed President George W. Bush that he named Wolfowitz to head the World Bank.

Predictably, Wolfowitz, the neo-con's neo-con, has now made a total shambles of the development goals of the World Bank through even more displays of arrogance and dubious assertions. He has alienated his staff, and led poor nations from around the world to rebuke him for his attempts to link all debt relief and loans to unrealistic, ideologically driven, and phony "anti-corruption" measures. Wolfowitz's tenure at the World Bank has been as disastrous as his record at the Pentagon. The man is incompetent and a liar. He even hooked up his longtime paramour, Shaha Riza, with a financially lucrative post under his command.

Wolfowitz is ruthless and corrupt, and he has disgraced the military, the World Bank, and his alma mater, Cornell University, where his father was a math professor. Wolfowitz represents everything that is wrong with the Bush Era: people who screw-up are promoted because of their ideological purity rather than their abilities; there is no accountability for lies and misguided policies that have cost thousands of people their lives; those in power never admit an error in judgment or a mistake; etc.

Bush thinks he's a king, and Cheney is running the country like a CEO from Enron. Wolfowitz has been one of their key players ever since his days as Cheney's assistant when he was Defense Secretary under Bush I, and his time with the Project for a New American Century. It is time for Wolfowitz to be relieved of his post at the World Bank before he can do even more damage.