It’s hard to believe that the Europeans could be so reactionary and, well, racist as to give importance to this new objection to the Wolfowitz nomination reported in the WaPo’s most recent carp festival – “Europeans Resist Wolfowitz for World Bank“:
Adding fuel to the controversy is concern within the bank staff over Wolfowitz’s reported romantic relationship with Shaha Riza, an Arab feminist who works as a communications adviser in the bank’s Middle East and North Africa department.
Both divorced, Wolfowitz and Riza have steadfastly declined to talk publicly about their relationship, but they have been regularly spotted at private functions and one source said the two have been dating for about two years. Riza, an Oxford-educated British citizen who was born in Tunisia and grew up in Saudi Arabia, shares Wolfowitz’s passion for democratizing the Middle East, according to people who know her.
You would think a Jewish and an Arab intellectual (both quite adult) being romantically involved would be applauded by “progressive” Europe, but I guess not. So what is the reason for their WDS — Wolfowitz Derangement Syndrome — other than the usual envy expressed by the ever-bilious British pol Clare Short who is quoted in the same article as saying on their TV: “America is going to do what it likes or hard cheese.”
Another article in the Financial Times reports that some Europeans and “development economists” were concerned that Wolfowitz was “ill-suited” for the post, apparently because he wasn’t properly educated in their specialty, as if development economics were particle physics or open-heart surgery. It’s hard to take that seriously, considering the deputy defense secretary is easily one of the brainiest government officials on either side of the pond.
So it must be his well-known role in the instigation of the Iraq War, but according to the latest poll, 61.5% of post-war Iraqis now feel their country is headed in the right direction as opposed to 23.2 thinking negatively, a stunning differential of nearly 40% which dwarfs any similar polls I have ever seen about America and Europe. The only conclusion we can draw from this is perhaps we should have invaded Europe. It would have cheered them up.
In sum, what is the cause of this Wolfowitz Derangement Syndrome that is creating such a brouhaha in Europe? Well, let’s hope it’s not a fear that Wolfowitz, as World Bank president, might want to make all aid dealings of the bank transparent. That wouldn’t reflect well on our European friends, would it?
UPDATE: But not to worry. As Soccerdad reports, Europe’s own anti-fraud organization OLAF says “that it found no conclusive evidence that European aid was used to fund terror.”