Thursday, February 23, 2006

George Bush's Dubai-us (Port Of) Call...

Seems like the sale of a number of ports to Dubai has really ripped the lid off the bubbling cauldron of the American wartime psyche; and it appears as if my man W. is the one of the few who is actually surprised at what spilled out.

The most startling observation is that despite the constant media drumbeat that we are the bad guys and Islam is a religion of peace, it appears as if Americans have a pretty good idea of who the enemy is, and what he is capable of. Such a visceral response to a foreign affairs issue is so rare (though not unprecedented), that it demands an accounting for.

And yet, President Bush simply dismisses the outcry with a wave of his hand, saying it is a done deal because he says it is a done deal, and threatens to wield his veto power against those who might rise up against him. Does he believe that with all of his talk of a "peaceful Islam", Americans would lose their unique ability to "smell a rat"? The grass-roots outcry that resulted over the port sale issue indicates that we as a people are more acutely aware of the war on terror than we are led to believe.

Bush must at least slow the sale of the ports to Dubai and allow for a more open hearing if he is to soothe public concerns over the transactions. With a fair and transparent process, he may yet win this one - Americans by and large have accepted his rationales for everything from tax cuts to military force; what does he have to lose?

Actually, he has no other option - the alternative universe looming on the horizon is one where a nation no longer trusts him, administration initiatives are blocked in bipartisan fashion, and politicians of both parties run against his policies, created political stagnation and sapping political will during a possible turning point in the war on terror.
C'mon, W., do the right thing here!

Quickly- Jim Geraghty is essentially calling it a tempest in a teapot:

...the UAE provided supplies for our troops in Afghanistan. Should we refuse that cooperation? I f we don’t trust them to manage the non-security aspects of a port, why should we trust their drinking water? Why do we trust them enough to use Al Dhafra Air Base and other facilities on their soil?
We now know that nothing is set to change on how security at these ports would change under the deal – it would still all be managed by the Coast Guard.
There is no outsourcing of homeland security duties.
We've been snookered, folks. [Schumer] should put up some evidence to support his charge. As of now, there is nothing to indicate that the UAE or Dubai Ports World would have any control over security procedures at any of these facilities.

Michelle Malkin does not agree:

....the deal will outsource port operations not just to any "foreign-based company"--but to a state-owned entity based in a known transit point for al Qaeda operatives and a key transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya...
...The issue is not whether day-to-day, on-the-ground conditions at the ports would change. They presumably wouldn't. The issues are whether we should grant the demonstrably unreliable UAE access to sensitive information and management plans about our key U.S ports, which are plenty insecure enough without adding new risks...

I wish I could come to a reasoned conclusion; but like so many, there is just something in my gut...


Anonymous said...

Go with your gut, R,WN - seems like there is something fishy here...sorry your boy W. has let you down!

The probligo said...

It was not a concern when the Brits were running this same function? It is not as if there was US control and W has let it go. It went some time back when P&O were given control.

But, like I said before, this is direct application of Capitalism 101.

Get over it already...