“She’s not my special lady, she’s my fucking lady friend”

“I made a mistake, for which I am sorry.”

-World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, apologizing for intervening to give girlfriend and World Bank employee Shaha Riza a raise.

One wonders whether Wolfowitz would be willing to say the same regarding the following:

“There has been a good deal of comment – some of it quite outlandish – about what our postwar requirements might be in Iraq. Some of the higher end predictions we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army – hard to imagine.”
(Paul Wolfowitz to the House Budget Committee, February 27, 2003.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Iraq

8 Comments on ““She’s not my special lady, she’s my fucking lady friend””

  1. Mike Harrison Says:

    For the record, Paul Wolfowitz is a douchebag, and was an ill-suited choice to lead the World Bank.
    Thanks, Hasdai, for dredging up his ridiculous outlook on Iraq 4 years ago… classic administration cheerleading. Do any of these idiots have a grip on reality?

  2. HW Says:

    The only thing Paul seems to have a grip on is Shaha.


  3. Love the title.

    It’s neocon foreign policy, redux: we fuck the Arabs; they learn to love it.

  4. ERG Says:

    Wolfowitz was deeply wrong and Hasdai picked the quote that will probably be his epitaph. But there is every indication that though Wolfowitz was a primary force in shaping the argument to overthrow Saddam (and he was far, far from alone on this) his ideas were widely ignored on how to handle the post-invasion. If in an alternative universe he had full control over the post-invasion planning would we still be where we are? Quite possibly. But I am tired of the conventional narrative that imbues Wolfowitz with super-human influence on the thinking of the Bush administration. In case you haven’t noticed, people like Cheney and Rumsfeld are quite fond of thinking for themselves, and they are not – by any stretch of the definition – neoconservatives. In fact, an argument could be spun (I will refrain from spinning it) that the problem with Iraq is that the plan and implementation was not neoconservative enough!

  5. HW Says:

    Evan has a point, broadly. But the decision to limit the size of the post-invasion force was a key blunder of the Iraq project, and Wolfowitz most publicly sold a smaller occupation force and savaged those who disagreed. Wolfowitz was undoubtedly part of a broader cast of characters and not some malevolent demon who engineered the debacle himself. But I wonder what Evan means about the problem with Iraq is that the plan and implementation were not neoconservative enough – an argument he states without claiming to spin.

  6. Mike Harrison Says:

    It was groupthink writ large… repeat the idea that U.S. troops (saviors) would be welcomed with open arms enough times, and everyone simply accepts it.
    How well-received would someone have been in these Bush admin meetings if they said what probably could have been known even then: U.S. troops would be seen as invaders and would be greeted with armed opposition?
    Not that anyone had to predict the shitstorm the situation has become, but it seems like they didn’t even consider it.
    Very frustrating.

  7. ERG Says:

    In a nutshell: Many of the prominent neoconservative advocates of the overthrow of Saddam have been advocating since the Summer of 2003 that many, many more troops need to be injected into Iraq to maintain, and then once lost, restore, stability. That seems to be the angle espoused by Bill Kristol and advocated in the halls of power by John McCain. In this respect, Kristol never bought the light footprint motif. In fact, he has been advocating since the mid 90-s for a substantial increase in the size of American armed forces. This is now a policy adopted even on the Left. So, though Kristol has very little feel vindicated about, on this small point I think he was prescient.

    Conversely, you have someone like Richard Perle, who claims that the Iraq policy went off a cliff when we shifted from a liberation force to an occupation force – when we sent in Paul Bremer to set-up an OCCUPATIONAL AUTHORITY and we did not hand power over immediately to Iraqis. Now, Perle’s argument has always seemed a good bit muddled to me on this. I am not quite sure who in the summer of 2003 we would have been able to hand power over to. Presumably Ahmed Chalabi and his exile kin. This seems implausible to me. But there it is.

    So there seems to be two (perhaps contradictory) neoconservative narratives on the table. Where does Wolfowitz fit-in? He has refrained from speaking out about Iraq since he left his post at the Pentagon. According to John Cassidy’s spendid profile of Wolfowitz in the New Yorker he “wanted to establish a new Iraqi government made up of prominent Iraqi exiles, including Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress. When the White House ruled out this option, he changed tack, advocating local caucuses and regional elections, which he hoped would eventually result in the creation of a new central government.”

    Furthermore: “After Bremer arrived in Baghdad, Wolfowitz’s influence in the Pentagon waned. An ambitious reconstruction program that he had helped plan failed to materialize; relations with his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, deteriorated; and by the end of 2004 many of his suggestions were being ignored.”

    The argument that can be spun is that had either the Kristol approach or the Perle/Wolfowitz approach (or some combination thereof) been adopted we would be in a better spot in Iraq.


  8. I wonder sometimes if it’s not a less-than-the-sum-of-its-parts combination:

    Cheney: “We should liberate Iraq”
    Rumsfeld: “We want a lean military”
    Bush: “OK, let’s do both — go into Iraq and cut back on the manpower.”


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