Friday, March 18, 2005

"Mr. Magoo Goes to Washington" 

Salon.com's title was so great, I had to reprint it, and a teaser from the article on the Bush nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank. Apparently,
one needs to help lead the nation in a disastrous, bloody war, in order to be president of the World Bank (a la Robert MacNamara):

The nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to be president of the World Bank, following his commission of a long and costly series of blunders as deputy secretary of defense in George W. Bush's first term, comes as no surprise to those familiar with his career. Wolfowitz is the Mr. Magoo of American foreign policy. Like the myopic cartoon character, Wolfowitz stumbles onward blindly and serenely, leaving wreckage and confusion behind.

Critics are wrong to portray Wolfowitz as a malevolent genius. In fact, he's friendly, soft-spoken, well meaning and thoughtful. He would be the model of a scholar and a statesman but for one fact: He is completely inept. His three-decade career in U.S. foreign policy can be summed up by the term that President Bush coined to describe the war in Iraq that Wolfowitz promoted and helped to oversee: a "catastrophic success."

Even the greatest statesman makes some mistakes. But Wolfowitz is perfectly incompetent. He is the Mozart of ineptitude, the Einstein of incapacity. To be sure, he has his virtues, the foremost of which is consistency. He has been consistently wrong about foreign policy for 30 years.