Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And the Rest

More observers who think we screwed the pooch big time by going into an uninformed Arabophobic frenzy over the Dubai ports deal, here, and here, and here, and here, and here. Combs has the best rant:

DPW wasn't buying ports, "taking over" ports, or "controlling port security" -- it bought a company that leases 24 out of 839 terminals in 6 US ports. Got that? Leasing 24 out of 839 port terminals. Stop hyperventilating and get a grip.

DPW's security record, reliability as a business partner, and suitability for managing U.S. terminal operations were strongly vouched for by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Ltd., Israel's largest shipping line.

If letting an Arab-owned company unload sealed containers in our ports is just too dangerous, what about letting Arab-owned companies operate passenger and cargo terminals at our airports and fly jets over our cities on a daily basis?
["Emirates Air" and its subsidiary "Emirates Sky Cargo" has Passenger and Cargo Terminal Space at JFK.]

Two weeks ago, I asked Republicans and conservatives:

Doesn't it bother you to be on the same side as the utterly hypocritical Democrats who up until now have insisted that we're not at war and that Bush is just trying to scare us with all this national security stuff? The Democrats who oppose profiling young Arab men in airports, but are eager to profile rich capitalist Arab businessmen? The Democrats whose opposition is probably fueled by longshoremen's union contributions? (DP World has a history of modernizing and greatly improving the efficiency of container operations, something the union will fight tooth and nail to prevent.) The Democrats who are tickled pink that they can demagogue this issue to appear strong on national security without jeopardizing their support from the MoveOn, Deaniac, anti-war crowd?

Apparently it didn't bother them. The Republicans in Congress, led by RINO Rep. Peter King, have raced to beat the Democrats to the credit for killing this deal. It's contemptible, craven cowardice. But it worked. DP World has announced that they'll sell all U.S. port operations to a U.S. company. There aren't many potential buyers qualified to run such operations. I hope they sell the operations to Halliburton subsidiary KBR.

No matter. Whoever the buyer is, this means container terminal operations in those six ports won't become as efficient, modernized, and secure as they would have under DP World management. But the gutless, unprincipled Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief, the Democrats can puff out their chests over their newfound national security stones, the nativists and xenophobes can turn their attention back to Mexicans, and the longshoremen's union can gloat about all the featherbedding jobs that have been saved.

But AJStrata has a good one, too:

For doing nothing but being a solid ally of the US economically, militarily and on intelligence efforts, plus offering to fund extending the inspection and monitoring cargo as it is loaded on the ships to come here to America, Dubia Ports Wolrd and The UAE were treated as terrorist criminals. It had something to do with the fact they were Arab Muslims from the Middle East so they posed a threat. The insecure amongst us outnumbered the cool headed and Congress buckled to polls to create this wretched result.

Our soldiers in harm’s way in the Middle East must train, arm and fight side-by-side with potential Al Qaeda agents. But we here in America, the ones who send out military to die in our name, cannot generate enough spine to rub elbows with UAE businessmen.

As I predicted and feared, the appetite of the Ayrab-phobes was not satiated with this one event. Their desire to rid America of those not worthy to be here is stronger than most of those who capitulated to the pressure over Dubia Ports World realized. News is out today the Ayrab Cleansers are now looking at ownership of airlines.

Come back in 5 years and see where we are and tell me if this was such a no-brainer. Somehow, though, these voices never got a hearing. I suspect it's because it's hard to be heard in the middle of a stampede. And then when the only prominent national figure who accidently agrees with you (via covering his sorry ass) is George W. Bush, nobody is going to listen anyhow. Pity. Because they were right. And so was he, in an "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes" way.