Saturday, March 19, 2005

Who's afraid of Paul Wolfowitz?

At The Weekly Standard, Steven Hayes wonders why European elites hate Paul Wolfowitz--and just who they think they're protecting from him.

An Agence France-Presse news story described European objections to Wolfowitz. "He is also held in suspicion as a central figure in the U.S. neoconservative movement, which would like to see the U.S. vision of liberal democracy and free-market economics take root around the world."

Oh, perish the thought!

If Wolfowitz's views are unpopular in European liberal democracies, they have supporters in countries that aspire to become liberal democracies. . . . Wolfowitz attended a dinner for Sfeir at the Fairmont Hotel on Tuesday night, the day before the White House announced his candidacy for the World Bank job. Some 600 Lebanese Americans were in attendance, both Christians and Muslims. When Wolfowitz entered the ballroom, the crowd erupted in applause. He had not yet been introduced. "They hadn't even had a chance to say his name," says David Ramadan, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim who attended the dinner. "He literally got a standing ovation. The screams were louder even than the ones for the patriarch."

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