Paul Wolfowitz should have resigned weeks ago, and the longer
he’s holding desperately onto an untenable position, the more painful his departure
is going to be, both for him and for the USA. Steven Weisman
today that no one’s really interested in doing deals any more:
There had been talk in recent weeks of an arrangement in which Mr. Wolfowitz
would be offered the option of resigning in return for some kind of resolution
saying he acted in good faith in the handling of a pay and promotion package
for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion. But on Thursday it appeared too late for
such language to be included in any resolution to be adopted next week.
European officials have encouraged the United States to go along with Mr.
Wolfowitz’s ouster in return for a promise that President Bush could
continue the tradition of the United States picking the next president. But
that possibility has not been seized by the administration in its talks with
It’s worth noting that the Europeans are incredibly reluctant to force a board
vote on Wolfowitz. They don’t want to anagonize their allies, the Americans,
and they don’t want to damage the Bank more than it has been damaged already.
But the intransigence being shown by both Wolfowitz and the Bush administration
is forcing their hand. A sad state of affairs, indeed.