International Information Programs
March 21, 2005

March 21, 2005





**  Naming Bolton gives UN reform a "chance."

**  Backers say Wolfowitz would bring "impressive qualifications" to the World Bank presidency.

**  Critics see Wolfowitz nomination as a "reward for the hawk" and a "questionable choice."

**  The Wolfowitz and Bolton selections are a "slap in the face" to the "international community."




Bolton nomination is a signal of 'sentiment in Washington'--  Outlets claimed that "if the UN really wants...reforms," America could not have chosen "a more appropriate partner."  The center-left Irish Times proclaimed that Bolton's "performance there should be an utter revelation" that will "change the face of the UN forever."  Conversely, some Euro papers stated that Bush "chose his most irritating, stinging, inconvenient and unbearable adviser to talk with the world," and that the nomination was "bad news" for those who desire American multilateralism.  Writers also suggested that the choice of Bolton was a "political undertaking" after he was not named Secretary Rice's deputy. 


Wolfowitz a 'controversial but astute' choice--  Writers who supported Wolfowitz said that he "emerged because of his impressive qualifications."  A German daily asserted, "he will take seriously the mission of the World Bank" and that the institution could "profit" from his leadership.  One Czech commentator viewed the nomination as a "good step" while Denmark's center-left Politiken urged Europe to "let sleeping dogs lie in Iraq and give Wolfowitz a chance."  The conservative Australian found Wolfowitz "a sound choice" based on his reputation as "a humanitarian and an optimist" and his prior experience as "an effective U.S. ambassador."


'Wolf in sheep's clothing'--  Britain's center-left Independent opined that "the world will find it difficult to work" with Wolfowitz, and that his credentials don't "outweigh his ideological baggage."  Skeptics claimed that Wolfowitz is not known for his previous diplomatic experience, but rather his "political misjudgments" in Iraq and his "humiliation of allies" who opposed the war.  Some analysts feared that "Wolfowitz could be tempted to convert the institution of the Bank to finance Bush's crusade in this world."  Japanese and Euro financial papers said it was "high time to review" the "absurd U.S. right" to nominate the Bank's president.


'Bush thumbs nose at the international community'--  Critics saw the two nominations as a "provocation" and "punch in the stomach" to opponents of the Iraq war.  These outlets observed that the nominations "may complicate Washington's attempts to repair strained relations with old friends and allies," and that they "badly fit with the more multilateralist dialogue" that Bush recently exhibited. Germany's business daily Handelsblatt declared that "Bush did not give a damn about the reaction of the rest of the world."  A Brazilian paper saw the nominations as reflecting the "steadfastness" of Bush's "supremacist foreign policy," while India's centrist Hindu argued that the tapping of Wolfowitz and Bolton was "a new standard in Orwellian double-speak even for an administration that often insists black is white."


Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888,


EDITOR:  David Meyers


EDITOR'S NOTE:  Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment.  Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion.  Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet.  This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.  This analysis was based on 61 reports from 27 countries over 9 - 21 March 2005.  Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "The World's Poor Can Rejoice At This News"


The center-left Independent declared (3/21):  "Some of Mr. Wolfowitz's critics have commented on the appropriateness of George Bush sending one of the planners of the Iraq war to take charge of the World Bank.  The attempt at sarcasm is pitiful.  An architect of Operation Enduring Freedom moves to an organization committed to enduring development in order to underpin freedom: nothing could be more appropriate."


"Wolfowitz Might Be Success At Bank.  But Odds Are Against It"


The center-left Independent editorialized (3/18):  "The difficulty with Paul Wolfowitz is that much of the rest of the world will find it difficult to work with him.  He may, as is claimed on his behalf, be a highly competent administrator and fundraiser.  He may also be 'compassionate and decent', as President Bush described him.  But this is nothing like enough to outweigh his ideological baggage.  It is hard to escape the impression that he is being parachuted in to reshape the bank as an arm of U.S. policy cloaked in false multilateralism."


"Crying Wolfowitz:  A Controversial But Astute Choice"


The conservative Times commented (3/18):  "Part of the presentational problem about Mr. Wolfowitz's elevation has nothing to do with him.  It is that it has followed the choice of John Bolton, a prominent figure at the State Department during the first Bush term and another articulate 'neocon', to be the U.S. permanent representative ('ambassador') at the United Nations.  To confuse and conflate the two appointments would be illogical.  Mr. Bolton's promotion was a political undertaking which might have been compensation for his failure to obtain the berth as Condoleezza Rice's deputy at the State Department.  Mr. Wolfowitz, by contrast, has emerged because of his impressive qualifications for his new job.  His White House links are an asset."


"A Poor Choice For The World Bank"


The independent Financial Times remarked (3/18):  "Mr. Wolfowitz's comments on the likely costs of the Iraq war and prospective popularity of the invading forces in Iraq put his judgment in question.  But, above all, the world would view a bank directed by Mr. Wolfowitz as no more than an instrument of U.S. power and U.S. priorities.  Every piece of advice the bank gave and condition it set would be made illegitimate, in the eyes of recipients, by the perception that it served the interests of the world's 'sole superpower'.  The impact on the bank's legitimacy would be hugely damaging."


"Wolfowitz At The Door"


The left-of-center Guardian held (3/17):  "NGOs fear that Mr. Wolfowitz's free-market outlook, combined with existing U.S. interest in downsizing the bank, could run counter to development policy-making trends under the admired outgoing president, James Wolfensohn.  Some worry that his strong emphasis on human rights may complicate relations with China.  What is crucial is to continue the focus on poverty reduction that--in a hopeful sign--was begun by Robert McNamara, the former U.S. secretary of defense, and also a hate figure before he took over in 1968."


"Bolton From The Blue"


An editorial in the left-of-center Guardian read (3/10):  "According to one view, seating Mr. Bolton at the security council's famous horseshoe-shaped table may be a way of keeping him well away from Washington while ensuring that reform at the UN goes America's way.  In recent months the administration has stopped undermining the secretary general, Kofi Annan, and has not sought to exploit his difficulties with the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.  But that is to put a positive gloss on what looks like bad news for those who want America to engage more closely with other countries."


"America Firster: Bolton Can Spur UN Reform, If He Chooses To Be Constructive"


An editorial in the independent Financial Times asserted (3/9):  "Bolton is hardly likely to reinvent himself as a born-again multilateralist.  But if US policy were to be changed in that direction by the decision-makers in Washington, it would carry more weight with the UN's many critics on the Republican right if it came out of the mouth of Mr. Bolton....  The dispatch of one of Washington's staunchest unilateralists to the UN may yet turn out an inspired decision.  But the onus will be on Mr. Bolton and his masters in Washington to prove this so."


FRANCE:  “Why Wolfowitz?”


The unsigned editorial in left-of-center Le Monde read (3/20):  “George W. Bush’s signs of opening up to the world in general and Europe in particular since his re-election have quickly reached their limit...and the President is reverting to the unilateralism that characterized his first term in office. Mr. Wolfowitz has stated that he will not be Washington’s man at the World Bank...but it will be difficult for him to convince anyone of this within the international community as his personality suggests anything but the U.S.’s openness or humility....   On the contrary, this nomination looks like a new manifestation of America’s arrogance...indifference or even cynicism towards poor countries....  What if Europe, spurred on by numerous NGOs, decided to veto this nomination? It would have to take on the responsibility of yet another diplomatic crisis with the U.S. In short, Mr. Bush’s decision makes the warming of transatlantic relations increasingly difficult.”


“The Real False American Springtime”


Pascal Riche wrote in left-of-center Liberation (3/21): “...These two nominations were met in Europe with saddened astonishment....   It fears that Bolton will undertake a crusade against the UN...and that Wolfowitz, who has devoted his career to spreading western-style democracy in the world...will be tempted to use the resources of the World Bank to punish some and reward others. Europeans have an easy way to stop this: by vetoing his nomination.”


GERMANY:  "Wolfowitz Nomination" 


Right-of-center Main-Post said (3/21):  "The World Bank is the biggest donor for development projects.  There are quite a few experts who are now afraid that the dependence of poor countries on western companies or governments could and should grow again under Wolfowitz.  It is certain that the World Bank with its influence and its power to differentiate between well-liked and disliked powers presents a sensitive interface between rich and poor nations.  This does not tolerate any ideologization.  It must be doubted whether Wolfowitz as author of the Bush doctrine of preventive self defense can guarantee this."


"Bush's Clear Gesture"


Kurt Kister opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (3/18):  "When President Bush recently visited Mainz, he stressed how important consultations are for him.  What this means can now be seen in the case of Paul Wolfowitz.  Bush decided to make the controversial Pentagon man the president of the World Bank.  Only then did he call Schröder, Chirac, and other leaders to inform them of his decision....  Of course, Wolfowitz is experienced in leading large-scale bureaucracies, but is better known for his political misjudgments, his humiliation of allies thinking differently and because he pursued his ideas whatever happens.  Wolfowitz's nomination for the post of World Bank president, a classical institution of multilateralism, is a clear gesture by the president.  It resembles someone who gives others the finger.  As ambassador to the UN, [Bush] nominated John Bolton, who thinks little of the UN; and now Wolfowitz for the World Bank.  Did anyone believe that we would experience a different, chastened Bush during his second term?"


"Hawk In A Dovecote"


Malte Lehming filed the following editorial for centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (3/18):  "The neo-conservatives are in the limelight again....  The two arguments used to legitimize the Iraq war--WMD and Iraq's alleged link to terrorism--have never been the main reasons for the conservatives' [policy].  They were interested in spreading democracy in the Middle East....  And all of a sudden, it worked.  Free elections in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq; in Lebanon people take to the streets to demonstrate for independence....  The Iraq war is now getting its justification from the neo-conservative ideology.  In light of history, it could even be the most plausible one.  And President Bush is openly heading this movement.  He sent Bolton to the UN, and Wolfowitz to the World Bank.  With these promotions he expresses his personal esteem, but does it also mean he disdains institutions?...  But we will not do justice to Wolfowitz if we reduce his personality to a warmonger.  He will take seriously the mission of the World Bank to eliminate poverty.  But he also knows that poverty quite often has political reasons....  The World Bank can profit from Wolfowitz.  He proved that he is guided by his faith.  The work of the staff of 10,000 will certainly not become easier.  Who knows?  Maybe some day in the future, the world will be surprised."


"George W. Bush's Forked Tongue"


Bernd Pickert opined in leftist Die Tageszeitung of Berlin (3/18):  "Those who thought of coincidence when President Bush nominated John Bolton as UN ambassador must realize at the latest now that the Bush administration is speaking with a forked tongue in transatlantic relations; first the charm offensive, then the nomination of two people who like no one else represent the part of U.S. foreign policy that had really stirred up the transatlantic conflict.  Bush is treating the Europeans like he treats the opposition at home.  He speaks of a new beginning, accommodation, and cooperation but is then embarrassing them with polarizing moves and abuses all those as obstructionists who dared to reject such moves.  But if the nice words of transatlantic partnership should have an effect, the Europeans must make clear as quickly as possible that the new relationship cannot be described by unilaterally keeping still.  Wolfowitz's rejection would be the first step to straighten relations....  The problem is that the World Bank and its orientation is much too important for the poor majority of peoples to be exposed to bad games.  This is another reason why Wolfowitz's nomination is an affront.  Kofi Annan's commissioner for the millennium goals, Jeffrey Sachs, called Bush's choice 'inappropriate.'  But this is rather a diplomatic description."


"Reward For The Hawk"


Wolfgang Koydl observed in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (3/17):  "One of the characteristics President Bush estimates the most among his staff members is an unshakable loyalty....  His most loyal supporters can rely on the president to remember them and to reward them for their reliable services.  Obviously, Paul Wolfowitz is also among the lucky ones....  But as much as the president thinks highly of Wolfowitz, as controversial is he among the European partners.  They consider him a driving force behind the Iraq war, the ugly face of unilateralism, and the hawk that does not show any consideration for the views of the allies.  But Bush seems to have learned his lesson from the past.  Before he informed the press on Wednesday, he discussed Wolfowitz's candidacy with several European colleagues on the phone.  It seems that Bush this time does not want to create faits accomplis.  But it is uncertain whether he was able to dispel European doubts.  In Europe, people like to remember the other American who changed from the Pentagon to the World Bank and who took his odd views on the U.S. role in the world with him:  Robert McNamara."


"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing"


Andreas Rincke argued in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (3/17):  "Do you still remember President Bush's announcement that he wants to consult more with his European interlocutors in his second term?  In the meantime, Washington seems to have forgotten this intention.  With two decisions the Bush administration has now caused doubts about the seriousness of its promises:  first, John Bolton's nomination...and now Paul Wolfowitz's nomination for the job as World Bank president.  To put it in cautious terms: President Bush did not give a damn about the reaction of the rest of the world.  Many will consider Wolfowitz's nomination a provocation, and there is the great danger that he will be more detrimental than useful for the reputation of this institution....  Since the Americans have the right to propose a new president, Wolfowitz could be prevented from getting this job only by causing a new transatlantic dispute.  And this is something the Europeans do not want.  But his nomination should at least be a reason to question once and for all the absurd U.S. right to nominate a candidate for this post."


"The Neo-Con Banker"


Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg had this to say (3/17):  "This decision is like a punch in the stomach of all the critics of the Iraq war....  A few days after John Bolton's nomination...President Bush seems to provoke the world again to the maximum.  But in reality, Wolfowitz's nomination only shows how much Bush sees himself confirmed in his previous course and how serious he is about his declared project to spread democracy and freedom across the world.  Wolfowitz is one of the most ardent advocates of this program, and in the future he is likely to try to use the economic levers for this program.  As far as his qualifications are concerned, he brings along the necessary experience.  The Europeans should take advantage of these chances....  Wolfowitz knows economically and politically disadvantaged regions quite well....  It is certainly right to say that he is a convinced, pigheaded idealist.  In Iraq, this has probably resulted in fatal arrogance.  But if such a do-gooder changes from the military control levers in the Pentagon to the conference tables of development cooperation, this can, in the end, be a gain for all sides involved."


"Bolton's Mission"


Dietmar Ostermann commented in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (3/9):  "The experience with the Bush administration in general and John Bolton in particular tells us that persons stand for programs.  Insofar, the nomination of the undiplomatic hardliner as, above all, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is a signal.  And it is not a good one.  As undersecretary of state for arms control, Bolton torpedoed the negotiations on strengthening the bio-weapons convention and those with North Korea.  He rejects the European negotiation approach on Iran's nuclear program.  Bolton was the architect of the U.S. campaign against the International Criminal Court.  For him the UN is a debating club, which can, at best, be used for American interests, but which should otherwise be ignored.  When Bolton did not become the number two in the State Department under Condoleezza Rice, European diplomats interpreted it as a hopeful signal for Washington's moderate course.  And now?  The nomination of the hawk can be seen as an affront, especially against the UN.  If Washington's rapprochement with Europe were pursued on the back of the UN, it would be costly.  At the end of the day, this decision reflects the sentiment in Washington.  Since there is movement in the Middle East, we can notice a renaissance of hard-liners at Bush's court."


ITALY:  "Many Perplexities And A Test For Europe"


Alessandro Merli concluded in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore (3/17):  “Various European countries reacted lukewarmly...while NGO’s were chilly.  If Wolfowitz, who is seen as the mastermind of the Iraqi war, is nominated, it will not be easy to ‘sell’ the World Bank as an institution that takes cares of the poor in the world.  The choice is comparable to that of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the UN.  As in that case, it is considered by some as a provocation and as more evidence that Bush despises multilateral institutions.  The choice raises two questions.  The first is what Europe will do, given that Wolfowitz’s name had already been informally submitted to them, receiving negative feedback.  The Europeans could oppose it, with the support of emerging countries, by reciprocating the veto that the U.S. gave European candidate Caio Koch-Weser for the [International] Monetary Fund.  But it will be interesting to see if European countries will be able to move together, as they have tried to do at the IMF.  The second question concerns the criteria for choosing nominees to head financial institutions (until now the World Bank has gone to the U.S. and the Monetary Fund to Europe), which should be more transparent, taking into account capabilities, and not only citizenship, and the fact that the world has changed since the system was created 60 years ago.”


"America, The UN And Tough Diplomacy"


Gianni Riotta wrote in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (3/9):  Bolton, 56 years of age, former attorney, is the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: President George W. Bush chose his most irritating, stinging, inconvenient and unbearable adviser to talk with the world...John Bolton’s nomination is an error and the Senate would do well not to confirm him. Chances are that once in New York, Bolton could turn from a hawk into a diplomat. But the resentment that has been accumulated towards him because of his rough manners will cause us to waste precious time and the world and the United States cannot run the risk of focusing their attention on a false plot rather than on real wars.”


RUSSIA:  "Financier Hawk"


Artur Blinov stated in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (3/18):  "The World Bank may lose face as a leading international organization involved in financing development.  It risks becoming a financial prop for 'democratization' in poor countries, with the architect of that policy, Paul Wolfowitz, nominated for president of the bank."


AUSTRIA:  "Bush Shapes The Future World Order"


Independent Salzburger Nachrichten declared (3/21):  "Both Bolton's and Wolfowitz' nominations are a slap in the face for the international community. They show that George W. Bush does not care one bit what his friends and allies think - and even less what his critics might say....  The fact that the President opted for Wolfowitz seems to indicate that George W. Bush is not just seeking to leave his mark on American society but also on the rest of the world -- just as he is trying, by nominating one or more members of the US Supreme Court, to determine the development of social politics in America over the next generation. In international politics as well as at home he has succeeded in shaping the concept of the future. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush has created facts that go far beyond the developments in both those countries."


"What Next:  Rumsfeld As UN Boss?"


Hans Kronspiess argued in centrist Die Presse (3/18):  "With Wolfowitz, a pronounced political figure takes over the chief position in the globally most important development aid organization.  The 61-year old Wolfowitz is going to try to change the World Bank politically as well....  Wolfowitz is someone who acts.  It seems certain that his actions as future World Bank president will provoke resistance.  His nomination in itself has been greeted with little enthusiasm in Europe.  However, it is remarkable that the U.S. president is prepared to renounce one of his most important political associates.  Is this a sign that Bush suddenly takes international organizations seriously?  Will he put into practice his announcement to give priority to diplomacy over military strength?  Or is this an attempt at populating international organizations with neo-conservatives that will put into practice his ideology?  Bush is full of surprises and that holds true for his second term as well."


"Difficult Times For The World Bank"


Editor Richard Wiens commented in independent Salzburger Nachrichten (3/18):  "It really seems strange that it should be Wolfowitz, the spiritual father of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, who is considered the right man at the top of the World Bank and thus for the alleviation of poverty in the world....  It is at any rate not a confidence-building signal in the direction of those countries whose inhabitants' existence depends on the policy pursued by the World Bank.  Wolfowitz's nomination once again makes clear how outdated the nomination rituals in two of the most important institutions in the global economic system are.  A European in the International Monetary Fund, an American in the World Bank--this was the simple formula according to which the world was divided in the post-world war period.  However, this has changed and it is high time that those countries which are most affected by the World Bank's policy are given a loud voice there....  If Wolfowitz should really become World Bank president, he will start out with a high mortgage.  There is a small chance that this will be motivation for him to try and be a president for whom the fight against poverty is a matter near to his heart.  For such a fight though, he will need allies--and to find those has so far not been one of Wolfowitz's strong points.  That man can really only surprise in a positive way."


BELGIUM:  "Paul Wolfowitz"


Foreign editor Jean Vanempten stated in independent financial De Tijd (3/19):  "If Wolfowitz...does become president a super hawk will be at the helm of the World Bank - whose official task is to promote economic growth and to eradicate poverty in the world.  Wolfowitz’s profile does not really tally with that job.  He is the great architect of the war in Iraq....  The danger in this story lies in Wolfowitz’s convictions and ideology, and his ties with the American administration.  Many pressure groups fear that Wolfowitz will put those issues on the agenda that benefit the American strategy.  Just like McNamara at the time did not always make a distinction between America’s defense policy and his function at the World Bank, Wolfowitz may be in the grip of his neo-conservative friends in the government and the corporate world...”


CROATIA:  "Hawk At World Bank's Head"


Kresimir Fijacko wrote in Zagreb-based, government-owned Vjesnik (3/18):  “However, the ‘hawk’ from the Pentagon could prove to be the wrong person, at a time when the World Bank is once again in the middle of a debate over its strategy of assistance to the poor, and tactics of persuading the rich to give a little more to those who have much less.  Regardless of Bush’s compliments to Wolfowitz as a man who has ‘experience in managing a huge bureaucracy,’ many believe that something else is more important than that.  Namely, that Wolfowitz was the ‘father’ of the war in Iraq, and that he has totally failed in designing the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.  Neither is a very good reference for the World Bank.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Nomination Of Paul Wolfowitz To Head World Bank A Good Step"


Frantisek Sulc opined in center-right Lidove noviny (3/18):  "Wolfowitz at the head of the World Bank is not a bad choice.  He can help President Bush 'press' American policy through the World Bank.  It would not be surprising if the World Bank gets more involved in the renewal of Iraq and the Middle East in next few years.  The growing American budget deficit is becoming a big problem and Bush needs to deal with it somehow.  Any contribution will be helpful."


DENMARK:  "Bush's Hawkish Appointments Turns Administration More Moderate"


Center-right Berlingske Tidende carried the following analysis by its Foreign Editor, Tom Jensen (3/21):  "The appointment of Bolton and Wolfowitz means that the Bush Administration has, in reality, moved considerably to the right.  Before Bolton was named in connection with the U.N., he was a influential player at the Department of State.  He was responsible for a number of controversial issues in the foreign policy arena including U.S. rejection of the ICC and Kyoto.  Similarly, Wolfowitz was an extremely powerful Deputy Secretary of Defense who had been largely responsible for the war in Iraq.  The appointments have therefore made Condoleezza Rice more powerful than ever.  Indeed, Rice's star appears to be shining so brightly, that only last week, she was forced to deny rumors that she was intending to run for the White House in 2008."


"Give Wolfowitz A Chance"


Center-left Politiken editorialized (3/18):  "The appointment of Bolton and the likely appointment of Wolfowitz appear controversial...but, in the final analysis, it is up to the Americans who they select....  Furthermore, why should Wolfowitz be considered as a poor candidate?  He is controversial because of his role in the Iraq war, but that should not necessarily detract from his suitability to lead the World Bank.  Wolfowitz is one of the Bush administration's most thoughtful and visionary members.  He was an excellent ambassador to Indonesia and is known to have good relations with a number of pro-democracy activists in the region....  Furthermore, he has a solid background within academia.  In light of this, it might be wise for Europeans to let sleeping dogs lie in Iraq and give Wolfowitz a chance."


"Clear Signals From Bush"


Michael Seidelin observed in center-left Politiken (3/18):  "President Bush has not gone soft (on foreign policy issues).  His recent appointment of John Bolton at the UN and the fact that he has put Wolfowitz forward as the new leader of the World Bank, send clear signals to the international community....  It looks like the U.S. vision of how best to combat terror and promote democracy is the one that will continue to set the international agenda."


"Bush Thumbs Nose At The International Community"


Niels Bjerre Poulsen commented in center-left Politiken (3/18):  "Few people doubt Wolfowitz's intellect, but a number of errors of judgment over Iraq and his evident disregard for the opinions of the international community have not exactly made him the perfect candidate for the job at The  World Bank."


"Bush Doctrine Remains The Same"


Left-wing Information stated (3/9):  "Shortly before he was appointed Deputy Secretary of State in 2001, Bolton said on NPR that there was only one member of the UNSC that should have right of veto – the U.S.  There is no reason to believe that Bush, Cheney or Rice disagree with this absurd point of view.  The Bush Administration thinks influence should be decided in terms of military power.  The U.S. will be able to do what it likes during the 21st century if it continues to be the world's most powerful military nation.  Last Monday, Rice called Bolton an advocate of effective multilateralism.  What this means in real terms is unclear, but it seems to be imply that the U.N. will have to become better at following U.S. foreign policy."


FINLAND:  "Wolfowitz Is A Questionable Choice"


Leading, centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (3/19):  “President Bush’s second term in office has not begun in as a cooperative spirit as initial statements indicated.  Important choices for nominations give the opposite signal.   When preparing for the Iraq war, Wolfowitz made gross mistakes which he has not admitted or taken the responsibility for.  They have slowed down Iraqi reconstruction and cost heavy casualties which could have been voided with better planning and wiser policies…. In all of his public activities Wolfowitz has been more of a salesman of his ideological prejudices than a pragmatist respectful of realities.  Wolfowitz’s close relationship with President Bush is also a very questionable advantage.  He may see the World Bank merely as a political tool for the White House.  Even if that is not the case, the impression has been created and it will be difficult to dispel.”


HUNGARY:  “Wolfowitz’s Task”


Foreign affairs editor Ivan Zsolt Nagy opined sardonically  in liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap (3/19):  “Consequently, within a short time, the emphasis of the U.S. Middle East policy may be shifted from military to economic, and thus Wolfowitz’s transfer may be seen in a very different light. Not to mention the fact that as World Bank President, he may be able to pay attention to his favorite toy Iraq which, thanks to the war and the (also) the unpreparedness of the occupiers, has by now reached the same level as Haiti and Senegal. To win from here is a nice challenge.”


“Chance For The UN”


In liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap, Ivan Zsolt Nagy pointed out (3/10):  "[Bolton] is truly one of those Republican foreign affairs politicians with whom some sort of a change could be enforced in the UN; moreover, in such a way that it could be sold even to hardliner American conservatives. In the eyes of the latter, Bolton who has repeatedly emphasized the United States’ role as the only superpower, repeatedly criticized the UN, and who is able to infuriate everybody is a figure credible enough: if something is connected to his name they will accept it even if they loathe it.  And it is true in the reverse as well: if the UN really wants some type of reforms (and they say they do) this American administration could hardly have appointed a more appropriate partner than Bolton. As a UN diplomat told CNN, it is like when the Palestinians have to bargain with Sharon: at least they know that if they agree on something the other party will also honor it.”


IRELAND:  "An Irishman's Diary"


The center-left Irish Times (3/11) article by Kevin Myers claimed:  “Tears of joy should be running down all our cheeks at the appointment of John Bolton as US ambassador to that vast wheezing, corrupt monster the United Nations....  He is not so much a bull in a china shop but a bodkin-wielding debunker in a balloon parlor....  At one level the failure of the UN is structural: an organization which can put Libya in charge of its human rights committee is clearly a spark plug or two short of a full engine. But at another, it is a question of personal corruption, as in the fiasco of food and medicines for Iraqi oil....  Enter...John Bolton, and watch the UN shake to its wretched foundations as he hammers his 95 theses onto the door of the Palace of Corruption in New York....   If the UN had had its way, Saddam and his lovely boys would still be ruling in Iraq, UN officials would be making millions from the oil scandal, and thousands of Iraqis would be dying because of malnutrition and a lack of medicine This doesn't mean that the US was right in everything it did. It should not have insisted it had evidence of weapons of mass destruction, and it should have gone in more properly prepared...but we know what judgment the Iraqis made about the decision to hold a general election in the middle of an insurgency...The events in Hilla showed us something else too - that all over Iraq thousands of patriotic young men are volunteering to serve their country, and if need be, die in the course of doing their duty and building up a working democracy....  There would be no prospect of freedom in Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, if matters had been left to the UN: yet in all these territories, liberty now strains at the leash....  To be sure, the cost of Iraqi freedom has been horrific, but so too was the cost of tyranny....  Watch John Bolton now. His performances there should be an utter revelation. Hear the pop, pop, pop as the balloons of organizational conceit, of insufferable vanity, of institutionalized corruption are exploded. Better still, observe him take on the remaining protectors of tyranny in the forum of the UN's main assembly, and watch them pale and cringe. Most of all, watch him change the face of the UN forever.”


"US Appoints Critic As UN Ambassador"


Conor O'Clery noted in the center-left Irish Times (3/8):  "President George Bush yesterday named John Bolton, one of a small but influential group of neo-conservatives at the heart of the administration, to be US ambassador to the United Nations...Mr Bolton (56), a sharp critic of the UN and of hard-line regimes, will replace John Danforth....  Mr Bolton acknowledged yesterday he had written critically about the UN before now....  Mr. Bolton is popular with supporters of Mr. Bush's drive for democracy, but has been targeted by both conservative and liberal critics in the past....  Yesterday's announcement caused considerable stir among diplomats at the UN yesterday. Apparently seeking to reply to concerns at UN headquarters, Dr. Rice stressed that ‘the United States is committed to the success of the United Nations, and we view the UN as an important component of our diplomacy’....  European diplomats noted that Mr. Bolton led US opposition to EU plans to lift a 15-year arms embargo and sell weapons to Beijing. Last month in Tokyo, he strongly criticized China for not stopping Chinese companies from selling missile technology to Iran. North Korea was so angered by his denunciations that Pyongyang refused to negotiate with him and he was removed from the US delegation...”


NETHERLANDS:  "No Cannons But Butter"


Influential liberal De Volkskrant asserted (3/21):  “Wolfowitz might not be known as a developmental or bank expert, but he does have an eye for the link between poverty and security.  Last week Wolfowitz said it was not just noble to help conquer poverty but it was also a matter of ‘enlightened self interest.’  And on his tour through the Tsunami-hit regions, Wolfowitz said that American aid to the victims helps reduce the attraction of extremist movements and to ‘make the world a better place for all.’  For, the rich are less receptive to the lure of terrorists.   In this light, Wolfowitz’ transfer to the World Bank perfectly fits the course of his career.  During the first three years after September 11, his anti-terrorist policy was very focused on the short term and on the use of America’s military power.  At the World Bank Wolfowitz would be able to develop a long-term strategy in which economic development and fighting poverty are essential as a solution to the terrorism problem…. If the World Bank can resist the urge to see Wolfowitz as a strange guy, it could benefit from his intellect, his unconventional way of thinking and his aversion to the status quo. Moreover, critics should be happy that he is leaving the Pentagon and that after his appointment at the World Bank he would only have one more weapon available to support his ideas, and that is money:  20 billion dollars per year.  No cannons but butter.”


NORWAY:  “Sent Out From The Hawk’s Nest”


Independent Dagbladet commented (3/20):  “The political architect behind the Iraq war, Paul D. Wolfowitz, will most likely be the new president of the World Bank… The characteristic of these neo-conservatives is… a faith in their own excellence so strong that they rarely feel like spending time on long-winded diplomacy… The promotion of the Deputy Defense Secretary, taking an economic grip on the whole world, is one of the last pieces in the puzzle that President Bush is now laying down for his new four-year term in the White House. The other pieces are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director Porter Goss, Intelligence Director John Negroponte, UN-ambassador John Bolton and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The common denominator is a tight bond to President Bush and a common understanding, sort of a mission, to go out and make both the United States and the rest of the world his disciples. First the White House, then the rest of the world, seems to be the President’s motto… Like President Bush, Wolfowitz has the courage to run over anybody in order to ram his will through. A lot points in the direction of Wolfowitz’s appointment, but the responsibility now rests on Norway and the rest of the world to demand more sensitivity from the man than what he has proved willing to provide so far.”


"The Signals Of Power"


Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (3/19):  "Wolfowitz has been a symbol and a supporter of the new U.S. doctrine stating that U.S. interests are best cared for through the will to exercise power. The watchword states that if the United States shows leadership, the rest of the world will follow. The World Bank deserved and needed the United States to nominate a person with indisputable skills and reputation. There is now a fear that Wolfowitz, almost by instinct, will see the Bank as a sort of extension of the U.S. government, fighting for the same U.S. vision of how the future world should look. The appointment of Wolfowitz happens shortly after John Bolton, another leading neo-conservative, has been appointed to be the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. The United States sees itself best served by being represented in the world organization by a person who has been skeptical toward finding unifying, multilateral solutions inside the framework of international organizations and agreements. Shortly after his reconciliation tour of Europe, President Bush is sending signals, through his appointments of Wolfowitz and Bolton, that power is still what matters.”


"A Provocation Against The UN"


Social-democratic Dagsavisen observed (3/10):  "The nomination of John Bolton as the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN can hardly be seen as anything but a provocation. After President George W. Bush for some weeks has praised and emphasized the importance of diplomacy, he now sends to the UN a man who throughout his career has made his notorious abhorrence of the UN his trademark… We already know what to expect from his tough style and ability to convince. He could run up against a wall. The UN consists of independent countries that will not, just like that, accept Super Power Ambassadors who get diplomacy mixed up with kicking people in the behind. The United States also needs the UN more than ever before… The UN needs reforms…. The Security Council is out-dated and desperately needs an enlargement that opens up for countries of the third world. But if the criticism is going to result in reforms, clever negotiations are necessary. Whether John Bolton is the man the UN and the world need is, for now, highly unlikely.”


SPAIN:  "Bush Releases A 'Hawk'"


Left-of-center El País observed (3/18):  "Bush's election of two neocon 'hawks', Paul Wolfowitz...and John Bolton...badly fit with the more multilateralist dialogue that this president seems to be exhibiting in this second mandate.  Wolfowitz's case, the Pentagon designer of the war on terrorism and the badly planned and illegal invasion of Iraq, is especially offensive.  That the head of the World Bank has been always an something that many countries are starting to disagree with, but in any case not everybody is good for the position.  The former secretary of state, Colin Powell, would have been more acceptable....  Bolton's arrival (as the U.S. ambassador to the UN) when the United Nations has to confront ambitious internal reform is not precisely a sign that Bush wants to undertake it with a constructive spirit.  One of the president's objectives is to reform existing international institutions.  Although the assistance given can't be politically conditioned...Wolfowitz could be tempted to convert the institution of the Bank to finance Bush's crusade in this world."


"Bush's Candidate"


Centrist La Vanguardia contended (3/18):  "The minimum that can be said of Wolfowitz's appointment as the U.S. candidate to the presidency of the World that it has caused an evident surprise.  In some way, this institution is associated with developing programs and the kindest face of transnational capitalism, while Wolfowitz is preceded by his deserved reputation of 'hawk' and 'neocon'....  Certainly, the antiglobalization movements and the demonstrators that the IMF summits now systematically attract...have a 'villain' to denigrate in Wolfowitz...who will always be accompanied by his description as an ideologist of his country's intervention in Iraq."




AUSTRALIA:  "Another Bush Choice That Speaks Volumes"


The national conservative Australian took this view (3/18):  “If there were any lingering doubts that George W. Bush's second-term agenda would be about consolidating his world view, which combines tough-mindedness with idealism, yesterday's choice of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank should finally dispel them....  Mr. Wolfowitz's nomination will be...controversial, but he is a sound choice.  He is a deeply thoughtful intellectual who has previously been both an assistant secretary of state and an undersecretary of defense....  Though the liberal side of his character goes unrecognized by a Left elite blinded by hatred over his role in Iraq, he is a humanitarian and an optimist.  As U.S. ambassador to Indonesia he was popular and effective, and a passionate and successful advocate of dialogue between the U.S. and Islam.  If democracy is flowering in the Middle East, it is largely due to Mr. Wolfowitz's moral vision.  Both as ambassador to Indonesia and as assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, he dealt with development and poverty issues similar to those that will occupy him as World Bank supremo....  Mr. Wolfensohn kept the World Bank relevant.  But with an entire continent, Africa, still in the grip of poverty and disease, Mr. Wolfowitz's challenge is to make it effective.”


CHINA:  “Newly-Appointed U.S. Ambassador to UN Doesn't Like To Cooperate"


Yang Xiao commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (3/9):  “White mustache, gloomy, with cold eyes and a face hardly bearing a smile.  This is John Robert Bolton, the Deputy Secretary of State wearing his normal look, but with a different identity after President Bush nominated him to be the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN.  The nomination has aroused a great disturbance in Washington political circles and UN headquarters in New York....  It is unreasonable for Bush to nominate Bolton--a man that has been so deeply critical of the UN in the past.  A senior U.S. senator states that Bush has sent the wrong signal to the world in nominating Bolton.  The Associated Press reports that Bolton’s nomination would start a fierce fight within the U.S. Congress.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "UN May Benefit From American's Blunt Talking"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post said in an editorial (3/10):  "On the face of it, the decision to nominate John Bolton as the U.S. representative to the United Nations is disastrous.  After all, Mr. Bolton's reputation as a bull in the diplomatic china shop  -- and a critic of the UN bureaucracy -- is well established.  One of his famous pronouncements about the international body suggests that 10 stories of its New York secretariat building could disappear and not be missed.  Another compares the UN to an overgrown coral reef....  So long as Mr. Bolton can be an effective advocate for the necessary bold action -- while not alienating the other diplomats -- his presence might yet have some positive results.  It will be a question of whether he shoots from the hip or takes more careful aim....  However, the UN ambassadorship is a position in which Mr. Bolton will be required to implement the policies of U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  He will also be confirmed by legislators and to some extent accountable to them.  As strong as Mr. Bolton's own opinions are known to be, he will likely be in no position to express them so freely once he is representing the American viewpoint to the international community.  We can expect the confirmation hearings to feature a more muted Mr. Bolton -- and vows to pursue persuasion and co-operation."


JAPAN:  "Don't Use World Bank as U.S. Policy Instrument"


Liberal Asahi editorialized (3/21):  "President Bush's nomination of DOS Under Secretary Bolton as its U.N. Ambassador and of DOD Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz as a candidate for the next World Bank President indicates the Bush administration's interest in managing the two global institutions in an "American" way....   A review of the decade-long 'practice' of automatically choosing an American as World Bank President is long overdue.  There has also been criticism that the U.S. and the World Bank are coordinating to impose a market economy system on developing nations.  If Wolfowitz, as top banker of the lending institution, tries to prioritize the spreading of U.S.-style democratic values over assisting economic development, long-standing global confidence in the World Bank will plunge sharply.  We urge Washington to refrain from using the World Bank as its 'foreign policy tool.'"


"Bush Departing From Neo-Con line"


Liberal Mainichi writer Megumu Nishikawa observed (3/21):  "President Bush now appears to believe that greater cooperation from the international community is essential for political stability in Iraq.  From this thinking emerges a view that the continued presence of 'neo-con' officials in the Bush administration would be detrimental to the 'internationalization' of reconstruction efforts in Iraq.  Bush's nomination of Wolfowitz as a candidate for World Bank President suggests that the neo-con intellectual has been asked to move from the forefront to the backburner."


"World Bank Is Not A U.S. Bank"


Business-oriented Nihon Keizai opined (3/18):  "There is speculation that U.S. political influence would grow within the World Bank if Paul Wolfowitz, often seen as a hard-line 'neo-con' security strategist in the Bush administration, is selected as the next president of the international lending institution.  With this year marking the aid organization's 60th anniversary, it is high time to review whether the bank should continue to be a 'U.S.' bank....  There is strong opposition to a possible Wolfowitz presidency because of concerns that the World Bank, under his leadership, would devise and implement aid strategies in a manner favoring the Bush administration's Middle East policy.  It is a cold reality that major powers tend to have a bigger say in the aid institution's decision-making process.  We believe, however, that allowing a single power to exercise undue influence would be problematic.  Japan, as the second largest financial contributor, must check the U.S. move."


SINGAPORE:  "Give Wolfowitz A Chance"


The pro-government Straits Times editorialized (3/21):  "Is Paul Wolfowitz the war-gamer fit to be the next president of the World Bank? ...For the sake of fairness, Mr. Wolfowitz's critics would do well instead to consider the experience in total that he will bring to the bank. Although he is not an economist, he should nevertheless have an understanding of the dynamics of the developing world, gained from his time as America's ambassador to Indonesia. Indeed, the bank already has enough development experts; what it needs at the top is someone to point them in the direction the bank should go. Here, Mr. Wolfowitz's experience in helping manage the US Defense Department bureaucracy could prove valuable in what should be the task of prudently matching resources - always limited - with achievable goals. What should those goals be? ...The early officials of the bank were prescient in their faith in the private sector as the best guard against poverty. Given Mr. Wolfowitz's ideological persuasion, it is likely he will focus more of the bank's work in this direction. That said, the World Bank for now would still need to continue its traditional lending duties. But today, there is a much lower tolerance for waste. Indeed, the real test of a Wolfowitz presidency at the bank may well be how he manages to promote greater institutional safeguards against corruption among some of the bank's borrowers. He should be given a chance to show doubters how well he can perform as a multilateralist."


THAILAND:  "U.S. Names Man To World Bank"


The top-circulation, moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post editorialized (3/18):  “The public memory of Mr. Wolfowitz as one of the main architects of the Iraq war is an obstruction he will have to negotiate if he is confirmed as president of the World Bank.  What worries many observers is that his nomination follows the unpopular choice of John the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.  Mr. Bolton is reputed to be a fierce critic of the world body, and a man with esoteric ideas about diplomacy.  Does this prove that a second term in power in the U.S. brings less consideration of critics?”




INDIA:  "A Gratuitous Snub"


An editorial in the centrist Hindu read (3/16):  "U.S. President Bush begins his second term by promising to follow a multilateral approach to international affairs. Then he nominates a strident unilateralist, John Bolton, for the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. This is a new standard in Orwellian double-speak even for an administration that often insists black is white. As Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs during Bush's first term, Bolton spearheaded efforts to wreck weapons control initiatives such as the anti-ballistic missile treaty. If Mr. Bolton does become envoy to the U.N., he will have a platform from which he can endlessly proclaim his disdain for international institutions. After all, this is the person who once declared "there is no such thing as the United Nations." What is even more disturbing is that this particular nomination appears emblematic of a further shift towards unilateralism in U.S. foreign policy. While Colin Powell as Secretary of State made at least a pretense of following an inclusive approach, his successor, Condoleezza Rice, is likely to give fuller rein to the administration's hawkish impulses ... Most member states agree that the United Nations system needs reform...."


PAKISTAN:  "Bolton's Nomination To The UN Not Good Omen"


An editorial in the Lahore-based liberal English-language Daily Times read (3/11):  "Bolton’s earlier appointment to the State Department was opposed by former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, with whom Mr. Bolton was never on the best of terms.  Even the current secretary, Condoleezza Rice, herself considered a tough inner-circle neo-con, is said to have blocked Mr. Bolton’s nomination as her deputy secretary.  Dr. Rice instead picked Robert Zoellick, the U.S. trade representative, who was good at consultative diplomacy.  She also signaled that one of her former key aides at the National Security Council would take over the arms control portfolio at the State Department previously held by Mr. Bolton.  Could Mr. Bolton’s appointment then merely be an attempt by the administration to find a prominent position for a key ally?...  Forty-three Democrats voted against Mr. Bolton’s nomination as under-secretary for arms control four years ago.  They are again gearing up to give battle, though it is likely to be a losing battle.  U.S.-UN relations have remained strained at the best of times and even during the days of President Clinton’s multilateral diplomacy.  It is difficult to see how those relations can improve with someone like Mr. Bolton in the saddle with a propensity to shoot from the hip.




CANADA:  "Bush Steams Ahead"


The nationalist Ottawa Citizen opined (3/21):  "George W. Bush's naming of two close loyalists to high-profile international jobs shows the U.S. president intends to keep pushing the world in the same direction, with all the good and bad that suggests.... Fans of the UN and the World Bank are a-flutter, and understandably so. Both nominees are bound to ruffle internationalists' feathers. Good.... The Bush administration's critics may not be keen on having either Mr. Bolton or Mr. Wolfowitz in a position of international prominence, but people who recognize the good Mr. Bush has done should be cautiously optimistic about them both."


"Why Wolfowitz Works"


The leading, centrist Globe and Mail opined (3/17):  "Paul Wolfowitz comes to the World Bank with lots of baggage.  In many quarters within the United States and around the world he is vilified as the hawkish neoconservative behind the invasion of Iraq.  Coming on the heels of the appointment of hard-line America Firster John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, his nomination as bank president by U.S. President George W. Bush may complicate Washington's attempts to repair strained relations with old friends and allies....  That is the knee-jerk reaction.  Mr. Wolfowitz may have baggage, but it includes many of the skills needed to run the bank, a United Nations agency that provides low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries....  Most important, through six U.S. administrations, he has been a champion of policies that promote democracy and freedom.  How the United States brought freedom to Iraq is controversial, to say the least.  But whichever way it comes, freedom is essential to the healthy development of any country.  All the richest and most stable countries in the world are democracies, and that is no coincidence.  If Mr. Wolfowitz can use his influence as World Bank leader to press democratic reform on the world's poorest countries, then his critics will have to eat their words."


"George W. Bush, Nobel Peace Prize?"


Réal Pelletier wrote in centrist French-language  La Presse (3-14):  "Not only was Mr. Bolton a champion of the war in Iraq, he has called for the strong method before, against North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba. He is the man necessary to regain control of the United Nations according to United States national interests."


“Pair Of Reformers"


The centrist Winnipeg Free Press commented (3/11):  "President George Bush's nominee for United States ambassador to the United Nation has been described as a 'neo-conservative pitbull' whose contempt for the operations of the UN is legendary. John Bolton has not even been confirmed in his post yet, and already senior bureaucrats are wringing their hands in deep anxiety. Allan Rock, Canada's ambassador to the UN, is not usually thought of as a neo-conservative - his Liberal credentials are impeccable - and he is seldom described as a pit bull. He has admiration for the idea of the UN. But if Mr. Rock is not a pit bull neither is he a lap dog. The United Nations may become a better place for having the two of them there together.... Mr. Bolton...believes that the UN needs renewal and positive change. His record indicates that he would try to accomplish this by more vigorous means than Mr. Rock might favor, but the fact is that the two ambassadors and their governments share a broadly similar goal. Some previous American ambassadors have been outspoken critics of the United Nations and the organization still survives. President Bush is no admirer of the UN, but neither is he the most hostile of American politicians towards it. Both he and Prime Minister Paul Martin want quick and effective UN reform -- Mr. Martin has said that the reform panel's ideas reflect Canada's thoughts. Mr. Bolton and Mr. Rock may seem like unlikely comrades in arms - and they would be. But they both take orders from their governments and both of their governments want UN reform. A mingling of their two different styles may be necessary to achieve it."


ARGENTINA:  "Bush Names A 'Hawk' To Preside Over The World Bank"


Ana Baron wrote in leading Clarin (3/17):  "U.S. President George W. Bush named Paul Wolfowitz, the neo-conservative hawk within his administration who promoted and planned the war on Iraq, as the new president of the World Bank.  By doing so, President Bush unleashed great controversy, particularly in Europe....  Given that Wolfowitz lacks experience in development issues and has a reputation for favoring pre-emptive military actions instead of the diplomatic resolution of the international conflicts, many wonder in Washington why Bush decided to nominate the current number two at the U.S. Pentagon to preside over a multinational lending agency like the World Bank.  Among the sources is said that Wolfowitz's nomination means that Bush simply wants to close the World Bank.  Others suggest that his purpose is taming it.  As a matter of fact, the World Bank policies related to the fight on poverty, environmental issues and international trade, in which the reduction of farm subsidies is promoted, appear as almost 'communist' compared to the policies of the Bush administration."


"The US At The UN"


An editorial in leading Clarin read (3/14):  "John Bolton's nomination as US ambassador to the US has confirmed that President Bush will insist on maintaining a unilateral foreign policy... President Bush and US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice have sought to open a new stage of détente and rapprochement in their recent trip to Europe but signs are still contradictory. Now that the UN still has the challenge posed by its structural reform ahead, the fact that the US has named a hard-liner and unilateral representative (as US ambassador the UN) does not announce good times for agreements that are vital to the institution and international politics."


BRAZIL:  "Before Becoming A ‘Hawk,’ Wolfowitz Spoke Like Lula"


Political columnist Clovis Rossi commented (3/20) in liberal Folha de S. Paulo:  “Before becoming one of the biggest hawks of the Iraq war, Paul Wolfowitz thought the same way [Brazilian] President Lula does and says today…. Lula repeats in the international fora he has attended that the war he wants to wage is against hunger and poverty, which will make the world safer. The question now is if the Wolfowitz nominated for the World Bank is the ‘communicator’ concerned with poverty, or the hawk that preferred to use arms in Iraq?...As the World Bank’s chairman, will Wolfowitz select which nations are entitled to receive resources based on their greater or lesser adherence to U.S. foreign policy?  Or will he use the bank as a lever of the so-called policy to expand democracy?... If he does so, it is very likely that the bank will lose its meaning because most of the nations using its resources are not democratic....  For Brazil, another problem related with the Wolfowitz nomination for the World bank is the ongoing discreet discussion about who is entitled to obtain the bank’s resources: the really poor nations, or also average income nations such as Brazil?  Wolfowitz has not entered the discussion, but if he inclines towards exclusive preference to those very poor, Brazil will lose a valuable and relatively cheap source of foreign investment.”


"The World, Oh Well The World"


Center-right O Estado de s. Paulo editorialized (3/18):  “President Bush appointed the dean of neoconservatives, Paul Wolfowitz, to head the World Bank, the multilateral organization aimed at fighting poverty and fostering development.  No one in Washington worked more for the invasion of Iraq--with or without the support of the UN--than Wolfowitz....  For the second time in two weeks, Bush has insisted on reaffirming the steadfastness of his supremacist foreign policy....  It is not possible to support the selection of the most unilateralist of the American ‘public intellectuals’ for a position that requires an occupant legitimized by two criteria:  first by a preference for dialogue...second by a familiarity combating poverty and fostering economic progress....  In view of his ideas about security, development and democracy, we fear that Wolfowitz will treat nations according to their adherence to the Bush administration’s peculiar views of the ‘war on terror,’ considering the U.S. global interests and the nature of the nations’ regime....  Wolfowitz is part of a government that believes that the World Bank should loan less so that needy nations resort more to the financial market.  In terms of competence, his curriculum is questionable:  it is not known how much he understands about developing economies.  The mistakes he committed in his previous position were notorious.”


"A Neocon In The World Bank"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo emphasized (3/18):  “Like Bolton, Wolfowitz is one of the U.S.' most preeminent neocons.  Considered the architect of the invasion in Iraq, he was the number two in the Pentagon.  The appointment of Wolfowitz, however, involves more intense repercussions....  European public opinion sectors are supporting an attempt to veto Wolfowitz.  It is hard to understand Bush’s decision....  In addition to being unpopular in Europe, Wolfowitz is repudiated by important NGOs operating in poor nations....  Analysts fear that Wolfowitz’s enthusiasm towards ultraliberal solutions, in addition to Washington’s insistence on downsizing the World Bank, may lead to a dismantling of the bank.”



Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

This site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Back To Top

blue rule
IIP Home  |  Issue Focus Home