Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A nice endorsement for Wolfowitz 

...from Indonesia.

Or more precisely
Jusuf Wanandi, co-founder, member, trustee and Senior Fellow of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, in today's "Jakarta Post":

"I met Paul Wolfowitz for the first time when he was head of Policy Planning at the State Department, and then again as Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific in the early 80's. We became close friends when he was ambassador in Jakarta from 1986 to 1989. He remains a friend of Indonesia, although he has not had the opportunity to visit Indonesia many times since he left Indonesia and joined the government. He was one of the best U.S. ambassadors in Indonesia since I have been following U.S. affairs when Marshall Green was ambassador in 1965.

"Not only was he an official representative of the U.S. President, dealing with the Indonesian government and bureaucracy, but he was also actively engaged with Indonesian society. Everything he did was full of enthusiasm. He has shown his empathy for the Indonesian people and its diversity in his dealing with many groups in society. He showed his empathy to the Indonesian people when, at his farewell address, he mentioned the need for flexibility and openness in the Indonesian political system under president Soeharto.

"This has created strong reactions among the elite and the Indonesian government particularly. He was one of the few Western ambassadors who kept a close relationship with Muslim groups and was the first Western ambassador ever to have been invited to give a lecture at Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta. He was delighted to learn about their progressive ideas and interpretation of Islamic teachings...

"Will he be good for Indonesia as the World Bank president? For sure, he is a person that has great empathy towards a developing Muslim country that is trying hard to make democracy work and would like to modernize the country by efforts to alleviate poverty, educate the people and keep them healthy.

"We might argue about his methods to achieve democracy in the Middle East, especially Iraq, but he has the right idea that change has to happen in that region towards modernization, democracy and economic development. With the elections in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, a start has been made, but the outcome is still a question mark. So many things still have to fall in place, and they need luck in the future to secure sustained freedom and democracy, peace and modernization."
Which all clearly makes him an unsuitable candidate for the task of the president of the World Bank, an organization which "provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge sharing services to low and middle income countries" - kind of like Indonesia - "to reduce poverty."


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