Thursday, December 01, 2005


I have long believed that USAID is too often used as a a mere propaganda and manipulation tool. Like the World Bank now run by Wolfowitz and which, by the way, became the home for Robert McNamara after Vietnam, USAID seems one of the holding tanks for influential policy-types who don't do so well when it comes to implementing their policy. Or, perhaps it is simply that reality usually trumps thier theories.

Anyway, it looks like USAID will remain just as partisan, only less professional. William Fisher over at Tom Dispatch puts it this way:

Washington is a town where the best and the brightest usually coexist with well-connected political hacks. However, the Bush administration has taken promotion of the latter to embarrassing extremes, selecting unqualified people for posts because of their political loyalty and ideological persuasion. The most recent example of this was the appointment of Paul Bonicelli to be deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is in charge of all programs to promote democracy and good governance overseas.
Bonicelli is known for saying, and I'm paraphrasing, that "all non-Christians will burn in hell." It's a sensitive message, no doubt, that will bring even more stunning successes to Bush's already formidable accomplishments in world leadership.

Just kidding.

Really, what are they thinking?

OF course, all of this raises some serious questions about Haiti (not to mention Iraq). Upcoming elections are one of USAID's biggest babies, and things aren't going so well already. USAID needs a true leader, not a hack.