Christopher Hitchens gave a spirited defence of ousted World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to Virginia Trioli on Friday’s Lateline.

Whilst Hitchens has made a quite a journey from the Left, his friendship with “pure” neo-con Wolfowitz has now extended to almost being his spokesman during this ultimate hour of need.

Hitchens is right that Wolfowitz copped it in the neck as a proxy for the Iraq war, but it’s also fair to say that Donald Rumsfeld’s former Defence deputy shouldn’t have been appointed to the World Bank in the first place.

The demise of Wolfowitz and the retirement of Tony Blair – something that might not have happened but for the folly of Iraq – leaves an ever shrinking band of invasion proponents hanging onto their gigs.

Colin Powell won’t ever recover from the infamy of his porkies-filled UN presentation and Condi Rice and George W Bush are lame ducks killing time in a Democrat-controlled US Congress until November 2008.

John Howard also appears likely to be turfed out later this year with Iraq, David Hicks and his broader cosiness with the blundering Bush administration emerging as an important contributing factor.

That leaves Rupert Murdoch as the only war architect who looks relatively safe, although his policy of mopping up fellow supporters won’t win many friends.

Spain was the fourth member of the Coalition of the willing yet when Prime Minister Josie Maria Aznar was subsequently defeated in 2004, Rupert appointed him to the News Corp board in June last year.

There’s also talk of a News Corp board seat for Tony Blair along with an extravagant book deal, so what does that mean for John Howard?

Of course, anti-Iraq war campaigners could take their campaign to the News Corp AGM in October, when Rupert is up for election for the first time in decades. The Sun King certainly hasn’t shown any sign of remorse for his outrageous campaigning for the Iraq invasion and we’re no closer to seeing that promised $US20 a barrel oil price either.

Then again, media moguls like Rupert rarely exhibit the same levels of accountability and transparency that their outlets demand of political figures.