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The Boy Who Cried Wolfowitz

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Jayne Stahl
It looks like Paul Wolfowitz, leader of the World Bank, and his mentor, George W. Bush, got a stay of execution from the board, or is that "bored," of directors, who put off deciding whether or not to give Wolfie the proverbial ax until next week, a postponement Houdini would die for. Wolfowitz who, some might argue, makes Attila the Hun look like a socialist, fate lies in the balance not for alleged attempts by his aides to abort family planning, and wreak havoc on envrironmental policies, but for garden variety nepotism; giving a hefty raise, and promotion to his "companion" (International Herald Tribune) a.k.a. mistress.

So, it isn't the fact that, as many assert, he was among the principals who masterminded the muscular empire-building blueprint that led to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Baghdad, and may well ultimately lead to the decimation of Tehran, it comes down to the simple, inescapable, and ludicrous matter of not being able to keep it in his pants, and not knowing what to do with it when he takes it out.

How tired are we of these embarrassingly puerile, and inconsequential attacks on leaders which, more often than not, do little more than deflect attention away for the true high crimes and misdemeanors for which they deserve censure? No one is suggesting, even for a minute, that Wolfie shouldn't step down, but the spotlight needs to be adjusted, and the focus squarely placed on meaningful, substantive activities like, for instance, the efforts by his aides to meddle with the bank's policies on contraception and family planning, as well as protecting the environment. Whether he orchestrated the transfer, and pay increase of his girlfriend or not pales in comparison with some of the other allegations made against the man. What, do we have a pack of Puritans running the World Bank, too? If you're going to demand that he step down, do so for the right reasons.

Aren't we also tired of hearing all the mea culpas from defrocked celebrities? First, it was Mel Gibson, then Michael Richards, then Imus, now Alec Baldwin and his abusive voicemail message; puh-leeze...we have deranged youngsters who buy handguns on the Internet, then pump 100 plus rounds of ammunition into their classmates, we have villages being blown to smithereens in Iraq, we have war ships ready to move into Tehran, we have a president who signs nuclear cooperation treaties with India, then threatens nuclear annihilation in Iran, we have an attorney general who admits to being involved in firing eight U.S.attorneys andsays he never read their performance reviews, who wants to hear about an irate message left by a celebrity on his eleven year old's answering machine, for chrissake?

How ready are we for both Big Al and Wolfie to resign, but whether or not Wolfowitz deserves to have the blitzkrieg knocked out of him by the World Bank, and Big Al steps down, it's time to face the music. Anyone who tells you that the course we're on is going to be significantly altered by either man's resignation is flat out lying to you. We have a president who has already had the opportunity to appoint one too many Supreme Court justices to the bench and, if we let him have his way and his stay, may yet have the chance to appoint, and annoint another. And, as a result of last week's ruling, a woman's right to choose is now officially on life supports. Moreover, thanks to some newfangled terror legislation, habeas corpus has become as vestigial as an appendix, and been disappeared by the same government that brings you "enemy combatants" in lieu of prisoners of war, Abu Ghraib, and NSA electronic surveillance in defiance of FISA law. Surely, that has to mean more than Don Imus' rants, or those of Mel Gibson.

Mr. Gonzales was right; his stepping down really won't solve anything. Donald Rumsfeld's resignation didn't bring us any closer to solving the quagmire that is Iraq nor, for that matter, did it prove to be Viagra for this administration's flaccid approval ratings. Sadly, it is doubtful anything will change by Wolfowitz' departure, either. One thing is certain: until we, as a civilization, start talking about the things that matter, nothing else will.
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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.
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