[OPE-L] Wolfowitz Controversy

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri May 18 2007 - 16:20:03 EDT


I understand that Wolfowitz resigned after all.  There have been a
number of perspectives on this controversy put forward by Leftists,
but the most unusual one may be the one which was put forward by
Sidney Gluck.  Sidney may be not be such a solitary figure - he may be
speaking for Beijing.

In solidarity, Jerry


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Insight into Wolfowitx Controversy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


The  newsprint and electronic reporting has been replete with stories about
Paul  Wolfowitz none of which has brought to light the real controversy
between  Wolfowitz and some of the old hands in the world capitalist
banking system. It  was easy for someone to accuse the head of the World
Bank of favoring a  "girlfriend." This is hardly a political event, nor
did some events much more  egregious in male/female relations result in
any Senatorial presidential  impeachment (you know what I'm referring to).
From  that point on, it would appear that the European countries are
angling to name  the next head of the World Bank, a position which has
been monopolized by the  USA. Then it would appear that the European
countries pressured the USA to make  some compromise to effect a
resignation and it looked as though that might  happen until Condoleezza
Rice, in a more sober and non-pernicious statement,  questioned the reason
members of the World Bank Board are so intent on  Wolfowitz's ouster.
(Reference the attached New York Times article [which I deleted, JL] by
Steven R.  Weisman titled, "Some Leeway for Wolfowitz, Who Gets a Good
Word from Rice"  published online on May 10, 2007).
In  truth, the real argument underneath all of this power play is
Mr.Wolfowitzs  actions since 2005 in which he found reason to praise
China as being the most  effective in eliminating poverty. In this
atmosphere, one recalls an incident  during President Bush's Latin
American tour about a particular moment when Bush  spoke in Columbia and
Chavez, simultaneously, in Uruguay. Chavez asked Bush,  "Why can't you
mention my name?" He goes on to ask, "Since you've been President  for
seven years, did you just learn of poverty in Latin  America?"
The  records show a progression of public statements by Mr. Wolfowitz
highly praising  the Chinese for their real accomplishments in poverty
reduction. He was  negotiating with the Chinese to establish a system of
loans to help the  strengthening of China's economically backward west.
We  list quotations from his public statements beginning in April  1, 2005
and continuing through October  14, 2005:
    *   "The  goal of poverty reduction is as valid in China as it is
elsewhere . . . I am  prepared to listen and prepared to be an
international civil servant." ("World  Bank to Work with China to Cut
Poverty: Wolfowitz." People's Daily Online.  April  1, 2005)
    *   "There  are nearly 200 million people living in extreme poverty in
China in spite of  enormous progress that has been made in the last 20
years . .  . We're in the  process of moving from China as a major
recipient of World Bank assistance to,  at some point in the future,
probably China will become a significant donor to  the World Bank."
("Wolfowitz: China Still Needs World Bank." China Economic  Net. October
10, 2005)
    *   "China, as we all know, has been the  fastest growing economy in
Asia for the past 20 years and has lifted more than  400 million
people above US$1 a day poverty levels in that time . . . And when  we
talk of China these days, we tend to think only of Shanghai and
skyscrapers, of trade surpluses and rapid economic growth and above
all, of  amazing poverty reduction . . . I am looking forward to
seeing firsthand how
China has tackled poverty on such a massive scale. I think the world has
a lot  to learn from their experiences and I think the Bank can work with
China to  share those lessons . . . Today people who make  cars in Germany
or saris in India are equally challenged by China's rise.  People who
export iron ore from Australia or Europeans who buy cheaper  clothing
benefit from the effects of China's rapid growth and increased  com
petitiveness. . . The country faces some important challenges, especially
in the areas of environment, natural resources, and climate change, on the
one  hand, and with remaining poverty and growing inequality, on the other
. . .  These issues all affect the sustainability for growth. China needs
more and  better infrastructure to provide a framework for industry and to
keep the  cities operating efficiently. It needs to deal with an ageing
population . . .  It needs to continue moving - probably even more rapidly
- towards a more  effective legal system and a better investment climate."
(Wolfowitz  Viewing
China from Both Sides." WorldBank.Org. October 12, 2005
    *   "It's  stunning what they've done with very little to work with.
The house we were  just in is a fairly big house; the woman takes care
of the house and the  livestock - five sheep and a cow and a whole
bio-gas cooking operation. And  the husband's off earning money to
make it all work . . . It's very  impressive. I can't imagine doing it
myself. You
have to be somewhat in awe of  what people who, you give them a little bit
of a chance, will make a better  life for themselves and their children.
It's really quite amazing. We've seen  it in other countries; we see it
here in China, and it's inspiring . . .  I've been in Shanghai, I've been
in  Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou, all within the last 5 years. We talk
--  correctly -- about how much China's accomplished. This is also a
demonstration  of how much more work there is to be done.
I'm very proud that the Bank is  participating in it . . . There's still a
lot of poor people in the world,  even here in successful countries like
China." ("WB President Impressed by  China's Poverty Reduction." Embassy
of the People's Republic of China in  India. October  14, 2005)
Furthermore,  we quote him on poverty reduction in other areas of the world.

    *   "The  fact is that when it comes to poverty reduction, it is not a
question of  American foreign policy, or British foreign policy or South
African foreign  policy. It [poverty reduction] is a unifying goal and it
is one that I believe  in deeply. Each organization has to focus on its
primary mission and its core  competencies and the World Bank's are in the
areas of poverty reduction."  ("Wolfowitz Sets Africa Poverty Aim." BBC
News. April  1, 2005)

Through  many trade and investment deals that China has established in
Africa and Latin  America, it has enabled these countries to advance their
development and create  a base for eliminating poverty in their countries.
 There  is undoubtedly a lengthy rebuttal of charges against Mr. Wolfowitz
which will  ultimately reveal that the case against him was on flimsy
charges, hoping that  they would succeed in removing him as the head of
the World Bank (which is  obviously friendly to the Chinese regime). It is
becoming apparent that there  are many shifts in the positions taken by
officials in the Bush Administration  and notably those officials that are
in contact with world leaders, and  particularly those in Eastern Asia and
China, appear to have developed a higher  sense of diplomacy while the
Administration continues to waffle.
May  11, 2007
New  York City
*      *      *

Sidney  J. Gluck


Professor  Emeritus at the
New  School for Social Research

Co-President  of the
US-China  People's Friendship Association, NY Chapter

Chairman  of the
US-China  Society of Friends

Host of Pacific  Rim News Review
Manhattan News Network  Channel 34


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