Wolfowitz Romancing Tunisian World

Wolfowitz Romancing Tunisian World Bank Employee?

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this gossipy story that Paul Wolfowitz is romantically involved with Shaha Ali Riza, a Tunisian woman brought up in Saudi Arabia formerly married to Bulent Riza, a Turk.

I don’t think the private lives of people are relevant to their public service (and I would stand up even for those with scandalous private lives as long as they were good at their jobs and hadn’t materially harmed anyone). I object to the article’s implication that this relationship is any reason for which Wolfowitz should not be president of the World Bank. Obviously, he couldn’t be in charge of Ms. Riza’s salary or promotions, but there are ways to delegate those things. (In universities, deans sometimes are married to faculty, and they just recuse themselves from oversight over a spouse).

Actually, if the article is true, it is the best thing I’ve ever heard about Wolfowitz.

Now that Germany has supported him, Wolfowitz will almost certainly be confirmed, so the question is anyway moot.

I am afraid he is a fanatical free marketeer whose ideological blinders may lead him to support policies that are not good for poor people. In the struggle in India between environmentalists on the one side, and Enron or the Narmada Dam project on the other, which side would Wolfowitz support? Would he be with Arundhati Roy or with Ken Lay? Is Wolfowitz capable of understanding the need for economic democracy alongside his devotion to parliamentary government?

That’s the sort of issue that will matter to the poor of the global South, not whom he dates.

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