This is hardly a post about “living in Provence” except that I understand Wolfowitz (and Richard Pearl and perhaps others of the unlamented “neo-convirate”) are neighbors here in meridional France, a land of exile if ever there was one… This post rather, is about ethics and governance.

While headlines of the world press shouted for Wolfowitz’ head, sweet revenge for the arrogance and “impunity” of the discredited Bush administration, a more quiet headline appeared in environmental journals and blogs. One manifestation of that headline reads, Vast Forests with Trees each Worth ¬£4,000 Sold for a Few Bags of Sugar, another, in the New Scientist reads, Protected Congo Forest is Logged Regardless.

The story of how the world’s forestry reserves are managed leads directly to the World Bank, to the financing of economic development and the governance of the world’s financial institutions. It would not be wise, nor indeed would it be justified to link World Bank practices to unethical exploitation of the developing world.

But in a world of political spin and perception, the United States’ questionable motives in pursuing regime change in Iraq cannot but reflect on the neo-conservative values (the French would say, incorrectly, I believe, the “neo-liberal values”) of one of the chief architects of the Iraq mess and now party to an affair of questionable ethics.

The moral blame resulting directly from the arrogance and impunity of Bush administration governing practices needs to be addressed. And Wolfowitz, as an inside member of that organization, should be considered expendable.

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