At first I though that is controversy over port security was those things. You know, something that could be ignored. But now it become one of those things. Things that start to matter. Basic facts of the case: The US government approved last week a UAE government-controlled maritime management firm Dubai Ports World to run ports in New York and New Jersey; Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans. After 9/11, US shipping ports have gotten lots of attention for their lax security. Controversy is now breaking out all over the place.
Now the UAE (United Arab Emerites) is one of those countries, like Saudi Arabia, that's officially an ally but seems to produce a lot of terrorist recruits and terrorist money. At first I though this controversy was kind of a xenophobic thing. (A thing I could ignore) The dirty Arabs are coming. But I'm now thinking this might me something there. Here are some fun UAE facts. My favorite is The UAE government was one of three in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. That same government now owns port security at 6 major US port. Not a good idea, policy-wise.
It's a absolutely terrible idea politics-wise. The Bush administration is getting attacked from both the left and the right on this. Normal allies, like right-wing radio guys and GOP Congressmen are breaking with the administration on this.
Bush is sticking to his guns on this. He said he would veto any bill to hold up the agreement. Now Bush has yet to veto a single bill in five years. His Dad vetoed 44 in just four. Now Bush is going finally bring out the big gun of political maneuvers in order to make sure that the United Arab Emerites is put in charge of port security. My guess is that Bush is going to cave. Too much heat and too low a poll number. Bush is going to need every political marker he has on keeping the NSA and Abramoff affairs from blowing up. He's going to change course. Just you wait.