Monday, June 20, 2005

Paul Wolfowitz, Neocon

The Guardian today reports that newly appointed head of the World Bank Paul Wolfowitz (or, as the BBC irritatingly insists on pronouncing it, Paul Volfovitz – you know, to remind us of his vaguely suspicious German heritage) is looking for additional aid for Africa after taking a tour of the continent. According to The Guardian, this bodes well for Tony Blair:
The remarks from someone so close to Mr Bush indicate that America may swing behind Tony Blair's call for extra aid as well as just debt relief.
An odd judgment, this, in light of The Guardian's declaration just yesterday that “Washington also appears to be unsympathetic towards the plight of Africa.” Appearances do change quickly over at The Guardian, I guess.

But most notable about today’s piece is not what it says, but what is missing from it. In the obligatory background characterizations which ostensibly give context to his statements, Wolfowitz is characterized as “a close ally of Bush” and was “seen as a Washington hawk during the Iraq war” (“seen as”…sigh). No where to be seen, oddly, was the usually ever-present “neoconservative” label.

When Wolfowitz was nominated by Bush to head the World Bank, and then later when he was confirmed, he made regular appearances in Guardian articles, which generally ranged from vaguely critical to openly hostile. All of them used the dreaded “neocon” label in order to cast the appropriate, if veiled, amount of doubt over Wolfowitz’s motives/goodwill/sanity.

Consider this, in which Wolfowitz was:

…the neo-conservative intellectual who helped translate theories on pre-emptive action into the reality of war.

Or this, in which he was:
…the neoconservative advocate of war in Iraq.
Or this, in which he was:
… the neo-conservative ex-Pentagon hawk
Or this, in which The Guardian worried that:
… Wolfowitz will arrive at the bank with a negative neocon mission, distrusting the very concept of overseas aid.
Or this, in which he:
…is widely seen as a neo-Conservative and one of the strongest voices calling for the invasion of Iraq. [who are these people whose sight The Guardian so often relies upon? – TAE]
Or this, in which he’s said to have a:
…reputation as a raging neoconservative.
Or…well, you get the picture. It seems pretty clear that The Guardian thinks it’s important that we know that Wolfowitz is a neoconservative. Or, at least, it did, back when it was trashing him. Perhaps when a person starts doing things deemed to be good, he can no longer be "seen as" one of those dreaded, raging neocons.


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