Sunday, April 22, 2007

today : hungry like the wolf

Personally, I think it's quite cute that Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Ali Riza are apparently in love. Good for them - especially good for a neocon for not shying away from hooking up with someone with a Muslim name. One wonders if Ms Riza has the problems at Newark arrivals that many other people whose names contain the word Ali seem to suffer? I don't frankly care who he spends his evenings with, or what he does with them. In fact I am happy if they have found some kind of personal happiness. However, if you are the political appointee of the leader of the free world, sent in to head up and spread ideology through an important international institution, then perhaps it's not a good idea to get your girlfriend (in whatever roundabout way) a fifty thousand dollar pay rise and a surprise promotion.

In itself, PW's actions are not the worst crime in the world. They are not half as bad as, say, urging, planning and cheerleading a stupid, bloody and unwinnable war based on invented evidence, pre-school level strategy and a quite crazy ideolgical stance. There is quite a valid argument that Mr Wolfowitz pulled some strings for his 'bird' at State in order to avoid a conflict of interests at the World Bank. After all, they were both quite open about their relationship and if they were to be seen working together in the same NGOrganisation people would inevitably leap to conclusions that may very well be false. A little nepotism (or, if we are being kind, the softer charge of cronyism) was, in this case, the lesser of two evils.

But the fact is that Wolfowitz and his ilk don't give a shit. What we are seeing is a government - and perhaps an entire class of Americans - down to the last red reminder of its moral bankruptcy. Their entire system is peopled by politicians and their cronies who believe that propriety and fair play is for the little folks. The American dream is now a dream of knowing the right people. Cronyism is the lifeblood of these people. That's how the pony club captain became Head of Fema (one wonders if that was through 'ponyism'?). In fact it's how Bush became President at all.

Wolfowitz's pronouncements sound just like the ones made by any selfish and corrupt person who believes their position of power places them above everyone else. "Let's move on, draw a line under this, get past this," are the PR bon mots I am hearing more and more. They are the mantra of politicians when they are desperate to get their negative stories out of the news cycle. The belief is that if a story lasts less than a week then people will forget about it and it will go away.

As I said. I don't care what PW or anyone does in their private life. But sometimes that private life crosses over into the public arena. This is one of those cases. Ms Riza should find have found herself a job somewhere else by using her talents and experience like the rest of us mere mortals.

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