Wednesday, February 22, 2006

George W. Bush and the Ports Of Doom...

Has my beloved President Bush gone off his freakin' rocker? Seems like the American people understand the nature of the war we are fighting and the capabilities of our enemies than our Commander-in-Chief. The AP:

Bush said that protesting lawmakers should understand his approval of the deal was final.
"They ought to listen to what I have to say about this," the president said. "They'll look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do. But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it with a veto."
Bush, who has never vetoed a bill as president, said on the White House South Lawn: "This is a company that has played by the rules, has been cooperative with the United States, from a country that's an ally on the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through
."


Wow, that is some hubris, even from a Texas cowpoke. Seems like he is playing the race card here as well, which is most offensive of all. I question the strength of our "alliance" with a nation that is much more likely to appease al-Qaeda than the United States. Simply put, all it takes is one low-level Dubai Port employee to allow in one particular shipment, or a handful of stowaways, and off we go to Armageddon.
Maybe my concern is a bit extreme, but it is shared by many; and why Bush refuses to delay the deal, or make more aspects of it public, is concerning to me. The fact that he is handing a security issue over to the Democrats in an election year is bad enough. But if he's lost his knack of understanding the needs and concerns of the average American regarding the War on Terror, than he will in short order lose his moral standing, his authority, his clout, and his ability to get anything done whatsoever. Then our national security will really be compromised...

All we need is an open, clear investigation of the port company - if the American people can be convinced that this is a clean, fair, safe deal, then - no problem.
And if not...Mr. Bush should not forget whom the boss is in our democratic system.

Via Instapundit, I'll throw in a pro-Port opinion:

Bush is going to take some ugly political flak for a better cause. The USA needs to strengthen ties with Arab nations. Period. The UAE is not Switzerland, but it's not Afghanistan either, and yes they recognized the Taliban government. They're politicians too. If we can do business with Pakistan, and we must, the UAE is as good an Islamic business partner as we're going to get.
To take away the deal from the UAE now, for no other reason than their religion, would rightly insult all Muslims, and do irreparable damage to our long term interests.


It's a liberal argument, not without it merits. But are their any Muslim countries that do not wish ill will on America at this time? And can we gamble the security of our nation's ports that Dubai is a Muslim nation that will essentially particpate in American Homeland Security? Big, big risk...

As a counterpoint to the above, I bring you this commentary from Celestial Junk Blog - it is not written on the Dubai port topic, nevertheless it refutes our friend above:

We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is, that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide... It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is, that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority” and it is cowed and extraneous.

Read 'em both...
FYI - living in "interesting times" kinda sucks....

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to pick up on the obvious...hadn't you noticed ALL the other things he has done that doesn't benefit national security? Such as declaring war on iraq instead of saudi arabia which supplied 15 of 19 hijackers! Such as putting incompetent people in charge of vital security apparatus...can you say michael brown? Lowering standards so that OUR army is involved in torture and nobody above sergeant takes any heat.

George wants constant war so that repugs can keep power and continue looting the treasury with all his corporate cronies.

Fresho-Electro said...

I'm a liberal, but I agree with you 100%. The issue to me, actually, isn't just the potential dangers of having this particular company from this particular country in charge of securing major ports in America. It's the fact that the government would outsource securing our ports at all. I mean, I'm a whiny liberal who bitches and moans everytime I see Halliburton get another no bid contract from the federal government, but I'd rather them get a contract then a foreign company! We can't outsource OUR security. The people who run the companies that have such huge responsibilities need to be subject to American laws. Period. I wouldn't want a British company doing this either.

Anonymous said...

You, and Bush, refer to this as a deal with a COMPANY. The company is owned by UAE, so it's essentially a deal with a foreign govt. Atrios nailed it:

Again, this is not about an "Arab company," this is a company owned and controlled by the hereditary oligarchy of the UAE, many of whom, apparently, were Bin Laden's jolly old pals.

Read this post and the one under it:
http://tinyurl.com/k2bkb

So it only took you five YEARS to notice that the group that blocked meaningful investigation into 9-11, that empowered Iran by managing to turn Iraq into it's SCIRI-run ally, that has favored cronyism and criminal war profiteering (we can say that now about Duke Cunningham!) over effective military spending... that this group is NOT serious about defending this country?

The Bush admin has never seen 9-11, mil spending, or the GWOT as anything but opportunities to exploit. If you're just now waking up to that, better late than never.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! Throwing the occasional contract to a friend is a normal if not accepted part of governance. Giving US port security to Arabs is suicidal. I am forced to ask why? Not only why would they do it, but why would seek to fight so hard for this?

The only logical answer is that this is an attempt to buy them off. The Arabs want to kill us, but maybe if we give them enough government cntracting then they will stop. It didnt work with the Barbary pirates, and it won't work now.

We are pissing into a head wind.

Anonymous said...

Will you now finally believe us when we say GWB is an ignoramous who doesn't care about the average american? He can't even be bothered to personally look over this deal, just like he couldn't be bothered to help NOLA deal with Katrina.

Will you syncphants ever wake up?!?

The probligo said...

Oh, dear!!! How the loyalties are being tested! Who would ever have thought!

This is "free enterprise".

This is Capitalism 101.

Best price wins the day.

Get over it already.

The JerseyNut said...

Probligo, are you siding with the so-called "neo-conservatives" in the Bush administration who Ok'd this deal? Seems as if you are missing out on the Bush-bashing op presented here...

Publius said...

Bush is way off on this one, like he is on so much other stuff. It's funny to see those on the right and the left clamor for political position.

Those on the right are reluctant to attack Bush, but many are doing just that. Democrats are against this deal — in an attempt to look tougher on security than Bush, but they are reluctant to answer why they are OK with Chinese companies running ports in the U.S., or the Singapore-based company that would have won if the UAE didn't.

I agree: The outsourcing of port security to any country seems incongruent with making our nation safer. So there are several interesting aspects to this story. I wanted to point out, though, the way both sides are jockeying to get on both sides of this issue.