Tuesday, March 22, 2005

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Fred Barnes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today had great commentary about President Bush's cowboy diplomacy:
The president's idea is simple: No more Mr. Nice Guy. He believes international organizations have failed largely and must be challenged and reformed. He was miffed when outgoing U.N. Ambassador John Danforth rushed to the defense of Kofi Annan in the midst of the Oil for Food scandal. Mr. Annan opposed the war in Iraq and even declared it illegal. More important, he's viewed by Mr. Bush as part of the problem at the U.N.

Assuming Mr. Wolfowitz is confirmed as president by World Bank leaders, he'll bring impressive credentials and strong opinions. He's experienced in Third World development issues, having been ambassador to Indonesia and assistant secretary of state for East Asia. He's also a champion of democracy and free markets as indispensable weapons in the fight to eradicate poverty. What Mr. Bush admires is his fearlessness and willingness to take on the status quo. The president wants results at the World Bank, a senior aide said. Mr. Bush thinks there has been too much stress on process, not enough on results. "Process trumps results" at the World Bank, the aide said. The yardsticks for success are out of whack. The only one that matters, in Mr. Bush's view, is how much poverty has been reduced. "Wolfowitz will bring a sharp focus to results," the aide said. That's his agenda.

Mr. Bolton will bring a sharp focus to corruption, waste and left-wing ideology at the U.N.--precisely the matters the U.N. would rather not dwell on...

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