Former Clinton aide and Kerry adviser hails choice of Wolfowitz for World Bank

James Rubin lauds neo-conservative crusade for “democracy”

In an op-ed piece in the March 22 issue of the New York Times, James Rubin enthusiastically endorses President Bush’s choice of Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense and a leading architect of the Iraq war, to head the World Bank.

Rubin, as assistant secretary of state, was the State Department’s main press spokesman during the Clinton administration. He served as John Kerry’s chief national security adviser in the Democratic senator’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Rubin’s column is not only a gushing tribute to Wolfowitz—a man who is rightly reviled around the world as a war criminal and held in contempt for his shameless lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and Al-Qaeda ties prior to the US invasion—it is an unabashed defense of the war and occupation, and the broader policy of imperialist aggression and neo-colonialism of which the Iraq war is a part.

Rubin explicitly solidarizes himself with the neo-conservatives and their doctrine of aggressive war, under the cover of a crusade for “democracy.” This leading Democratic foreign policy spokesman thereby leaves no doubt as to the essential unity of both parties of American big business in support of the United States’ drive for global hegemony.

Chastising fellow Democrats and Europeans who have criticized Bush’s choice of Wolfowitz for the World Bank post, Rubin writes: “Mr. Wolfowitz has supported the idea that the advanced countries should use their resources to promote democracy and prosperity around the world. Indeed, at the core of the neo-conservative mission is the expenditure of American resources in support of democratic values.”

(These values presumably include torture, kidnapping and incarcerating people without charges, razing entire cities to the ground, and establishing gulags in various parts of the world).

Rubin continues: “He is just the right person to build support for this critical task [reducing poverty] during the Bush administration.”

Answering those who criticize Wolfowitz for his role in the Iraq war, Rubin makes no bones of his own unqualified support for the invasion and occupation, while noting the Pentagon official’s mistakes and miscalculations. “But these were questions of means,” Rubin writes, “not motive. His motives were laudable and in line with a tradition of foreign policy idealism [sic!] that both parties have supported at different times: the use of American power to fight tyranny and support democratic values. Mr. Wolfowitz was one of the few Republicans who supported President Clinton’s interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo.”

Rubin underlines his central message by concluding: “Democrats struggling with the appointment of Mr. Wolfowitz may want to keep in mind that spreading democracy is a bipartisan mission.”

Shortly after the Democratic convention last summer that nominated Kerry as the party’s presidential candidate, Rubin told the Washington Post that had Kerry been president, “in all probability” he would have ordered an invasion of Iraq. Rubin’s Times column reinforces that statement, and makes crystal clear that had the Democrat been elected last November, there would have been no significant change in US policy in Iraq, and no letup in Washington’s preparations for new wars of aggression.