Bob Zoellick, the investment banker who’s the leading candidate for the World Bank job, according to Irish punters, is the only Republican we’ve heard of who actually hugs endangered animals instead of blowing their heads off.
But will this dog hunt as the new World Bank president?
As Zoellick‘s name continues to percolate, keep in mind that he was the designated hitter back in the 2000 presidential campaign to lay out the GOP’s foreign policy objectives.
His patter back then sheds light not only on what kind of internationalist he is but also on how 9/11 fit so beautifully into the GOP’s foreign policy objectives. No wonder everyone in the Bush regime was so motivated to invade Iraq.
Back in 2000, Zoellick, experienced in international diplomacy — unlike the deposed Paul Wolfowitz, who spent his time in Indonesia cozying up to Suharto and the army — was a war hawk who wasn’t a hawk. He’s not a neocon, but he was a signatory on their “New American century” manifesto to Clinton about Iraq before the Bush regime took office.
If you want to understand Zoellick, go back to January 2000, when he, Condoleezza Rice, and other Republicans mapped out the GOP’s world view for that year’s presidential campaign.
The essays by Zoellick and Rice in the January/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs show just how lucky the Bush regime was that 9/11 happened.
In “Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest,” Rice, then a Stanford professor, wrote:
Clinton, of course, wasn’t special enough. Zoellick, in his essay “Campaign 2000: A Republican Foreign Policy,” summed it up:
Zoellick ripped Clinton’s “uncertainty on when and how to use American power — frequently hesitating, then overcommitting, and regularly failing to match means with ends,” adding:
And here was Zoellick on Clinton’s moves on permanently unhappy Haiti:
Feel free to compare this with George Bush Jr.‘s Iraq policy.
Anyway, Zoellick also noted:
Things never change, do they? Zoellick continued on this thread, but just note what has actually happened since the Bush regime took power. Here’s Zoellick:
“Much hubris but little credibility.” Uh-huh. After castigating Clinton for the very things that Bush Jr. wound up doing, Zoellick laid out the GOP plan, proclaiming that “five principles distinguish a modern Republican foreign policy.” Here’s the somewhat lengthy passage — please bear with me:
Second, a modem Republican foreign policy emphasizes building and sustaining coalitions and alliances.
Third, Republicans judge international agreements and institutions as means to achieve ends, not as forms of political therapy. Agreements and institutions can facilitate bargaining, recognize common interests, and resolve differences cooperatively. But international law, unlike domestic law, merely codifies an already agreed-upon cooperation. Even among democracies, international law not backed by enforcement mechanisms will need negotiations in order to work, and international law not backed by power cannot cope with dangerous people and states. Every issue need not be dealt with multilaterally.
Fourth, a modern Republican foreign policy must embrace the revolutionary changes in the information and communications, technology, commerce, and finance sectors that will shape the environment for global politics and security.
Finally, a modern Republican foreign policy recognizes that there is still evil in the world — people who hate America and the ideas for which it stands. Today, we face enemies who are hard at work to develop nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, along with the missiles to deliver them. The United States must remain vigilant and have the strength to defeat its enemies. People driven by enmity or by a need to dominate will not respond to reason or goodwill. They will manipulate civilized rules for uncivilized ends.
What happens when evil falls into your lap? What happens when you ignore the warnings, as Bush and Rice did in August 2001 when the President’s Daily Brief noted that Osama bin Laden might attack us with planes? What happens when you refuse to fill the key post of counterintelligence adviser, as the Bush regime did when Don Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith blew off filling Brian Sheridan‘s post?
And if you’re spoiling for a fight, looking for a linchpin for your foreign policy, what’s better than 9/11? Of course no one wanted 9/11 to happen. But it was the perfect moment for the GOP.
The coalition of the willing goniffs was born: A campaign against Iraq would draw in a wide spectrum, from oil execs like Cheney to fanatical Zionists like dual-disloyalist Feith to the GOP’s powerful Christian right praying for Armageddon to the neocons and finally to the slightly more moderate Republicans like Rice and Zoellick looking for something to focus on as our “national interest” so we could re-establish our natural role as the planet’s top dog.
And Saddam Hussein was always in the back of their minds. Rice noted in her essay:
Zoellick also had some harsh words for evil dictators, and while he was at it, he parroted the strong pro-Israel line of the new GOP:
Concessions to blackmail and threats, even if they serve as temporary expedients, will exacerbate these problems. The United States must retain the initiative so that its opponents are so worried about what America is planning that they cannot plot attacks or new forms of blackmail. Theater and national missile defenses will let the United States counter missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction from those countries that might target U. S. conventional forces or paralyze the United States if it intervenes against their threats. Time is on America’s side, not that of these decaying dictatorships — if the United States has the confidence and determination to stand up to, and if necessary defeat, its enemies.
But these weren’t calls for invading Iraq. As Rice wrote:
What was needed was something that would justify the use of power, that would dissolve domestic opposition to such muscle-flexing against Iraq.
Face it: 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to the Republican Party.
Now, whether the world needs another GOP foreign-policy architect to head the World Bank is another matter. One thing’s for sure: He wouldn’t be worse than Wolfowitz.