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The flak that the World Bank’s President Paul Wolfowtiz is getting currently really misses his main crimes: The invasion and occupation of Iraq and for waging the endless war of state terror. As Rumsfeld’s second-in-command Mr. Wolfowitz bears direct personal and official responsibility for the illegal war of aggression on Iraq and for posing threats to international peace.
The crime of war of aggression is the one of the most serious violation of international law.
Compared to this very serious and now fully documented crimes of war of aggression against another state, that has requested in killing of thousands of innocent civilians, and illegal occupying another country, nepotism and favoritism are small potatoes. It may well be that Mr. Wolfowitz bestowed considerable financial benefits to his mistress Shaha Ali Riza, herself another neo-con clown with quasi-feminist disguise, but such malfeasance cannot be compared to punishment that he, his boss, and their associated has inflicted on the Iraqi and the Afghan people.
Mr. Wolfowitz has a long and chequred history of serving power interest in various capacity. As the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, he was cosy with the Suharto regime right until its fall. The regime received crucial assistance in rounding up communists and in invading East Timor, prior to Wolfowitz’s tenure, but he continued U.S. support for the regime. Wolfowitz was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia when President Bush the first was praising and supporting dictator Marcos. During the second Iraq war, Mr. Wolfowitz berated Turkish military generals for not being able to check the Turkish parliament,s firm rejection of endorsing U.S. invasion of the Iraq war and thus denying U.S. military access to invading Iraq from the north.
Mr. Wolfowitz is at least indirectly responsible for the use of torture on prisoners of war, political prisoners, and setting up concentration camps in the name of war against terror. Wolfowitiz and Co., are self-confessed architects of wars of aggression.
Paul Wolfowitz is not the first war criminal to have served as the president of the World Bank. That distinction belongs to one of his predecessor, Robert McNamara, former U.S. Defense Secretary during the Vietnam War. After his job in Pentagon, he too headed the World Bank, without feeling too much remorse for the slaughter of Vietnamese peasants, women and children, napalming that country, as well as bringing the world to brink of nuclear war during the Cuban crisis. Years later, McNamara offered something apologized”but never to the Vietnamese, only to the Americans for causing them so much pain and suffering.
Woflowitz may or may not have to offer resignation for his personal corruption and nepotism to advance the salary of his mistress, but should not progressive activists world-wide seek to punish him for first-order crimes of war of aggression rather than his fourth-order crimes? It has been said that perhaps outside of Pentagon, he is less dangerous to the world and to humanity. But it is a bad morals and practical politics to have a war criminal directly responsible for planning and directing a major war of aggression head an international financial institution. Moreover, while the Bank does not command nuclear weapons and tanks, it yield enormous political and economic influence in developing countries. Hence, it is essential that war criminals should not be allowed to head global public financial institutions.
ABU SPINOZA is a pseudonym for an international economist.