Monday, April 16, 2007

Who is the victim here?

Sitting in the lounge waiting to board the first of 3 airplanes today. Hoping I don't get waylaid in Chicago. Looking at the weather news, I would say my chances are 50/50.

For a guy who only got 3 hours sleep last night, I feel pretty good this am. It was supposed to be a low key kind of night, but one thing led to another and............ Tell me again how beer is supposed to be good for you. Maybe the first two, but after 8 I think the healing powers dwindle.

Reading this morning in the paper about how Wolfowitz's squeeze thinks that she is a victim. Victim? That's rich. I would classify it a little differently:

The woman at the heart of the controversy that has embroiled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz says she is a victim and was forced into a job transfer because of their relationship.

Shaha Riza said promoted into a high-paying job at the State Department in 2005, on
Wolfowitz's approval. She says that at no time did she report directly to Wolfowitz and that he had proposed to recuse himself from any decisions involving her to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

She said the ethics committee of the World Bank's board had required her "to go on external assignment contrary to my wishes."

Riza adds that "I have now been victimized for agreeing to an arrangement that I have objected to and that I did not believe from the outset was in my best interest," she said.

Her comments were made in a memo to an ad hoc committee of the World Bank looking
into the circumstances surrounding her transfer. The memo was part of a set of
documents released by the bank on Friday.

Sorry my dear, but when one is making 184,000 dollars a year, the concept of being a victim goes right out the window. Especially when the man you are sleeping with makes 3 times that. Ever hear about the word "discrete"? When you and loverboy Paul made this thing public-which was reported again and again in the press, you had no choice but to move somewhere else. Nobody is complaining about that.

It is your boyfriend directing you to get a 60,000 dollar pay raise and 8% raises per year after that, that makes folks mad. Interesting, when the good Dr. Wolfowitz was at DOD, he could not be bothered to recommend to his co-worker Dr. Chu the same level of pay raises-all the while leading the country down a dubious path to a war that has done nobody any good. THAT's why people are upset.

Richard Cohen sums it up well:

As Paul Wolfowitz is proving, it turns out all is not fair in love and war. Only war. Take a nation to war for spurious reasons and no one much complains. But arrange a raise for your girlfriend, and you get booed in the atrium of the World Bank and have to visibly sweat in public.

As Henry Kissinger might have told Wolfowitz, kill a million people, no problemo. Show favoritism in the office and it's auf Wiedersehen. The Wolfowitz Rule, as it shall now be called, was applied to its eponymous creator when he was transferred from the Pentagon, where he was deputy secretary of defense, to the World Bank, where he became its president. That office is always filled by an American since America provides the largest share of the bank's capital. I can tell you this with absolute certainty, but after that, I have to admit, I quickly run out of knowledge about the World Bank. It makes loans to the third world counties, or something like that. All I know is that I lived in Washington for 28 years and never once saw an ATM for the World Bank. Go figure.

Anyway, the bank is where you go after you fuck up at the Pentagon. Robert McNamara went to the World Bank after directing the Vietnam war which, he later admitted, he knew at the time the U.S. could not win. He was, as always, right.

Look on the bright side. She can finally have time to darn his socks.

Now if someone had called her "nappy headed", then she might be a victim.


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