February 23, 2006

Reap It

The whirlwind, that is. The interesting truth about this port is that Bush own tactics are what's biting him on this issue. As Jess points out the Dubai owned company would not be handling security. That would continue to be handled by the coast guard and other US government people. They would be handling 'operations,' i.e. loading and unloading ships in the ports. You can also make the case that we should engage, and not shut out, Middle Eastern countries. These are good but subtle points. But Bush has spent the last four year sucking all the subtle distinctions out the debate over terrorism. Up till now Bush has considered everything other than the harshest of measure to be soft on terrorism. Any call for restraint with regard to civil liberties, torture, diplomacy, or really dumb military invasions has been branded appeasement and cowards that will kill us all. So now that Bush is trying to argue for a subtle, less harsh policy, all his supporters are breaking with him. From Daily Kos:

After years of pumping their fawning admirers full of terror and working as hard as they can to blur the distinction between regimes in the Middle East that had nothing to do with 9/11 and the people who did, the Bush Administration shouldn't be surprised that their supporters are unwilling or unable to objectively whip out the analytical razor-blade and expertly split hairs between a nation with direct links to 9/11 and Al Qaeda, and a company owned by that nation's government.

Faced with that self created dilemma, the comically feeble Bush Administration talking point is that the everyday terrorist sympathizer will think better of us if we help further enrich a handful of obscenely wealthy oil Sheiks? Here's an idea for improving our image in the Arab World: Stop torturing Muslims. But either way, it's doubtful the zombie mob that Bush and Rove have spent the last five years shocking back to life care what the citizens of Muslim nations think about the United States.

1 comment:

larry said...

This episode is fascinating because it reveals so much about the administration and the atmosphere they have created.

1. The "Brownies" that now permeate our government are not even bright enough to figure out that someone like Rumsfeld ought to be notified about a deal like this.

2. Even I'm surprised at how little grey matter obviously exists in Bush's head. If he had even a few working brain cells, he would know that this deal would not fly. The fact that he thought, and still thinks, it will is absolutely incredible.

3. There's very little speculation in the mainstream press over why Bush is making such a big deal, even threatening to go to the extreme length of vetoing legislation that blocks the deal. Some answers in the blogosphere are the Bush is trying to wrap up a free-trade agreement with the UAE which would provide his backers with yet more profit, and (more likely) he wants the UAE as a base for the upcoming attack against Iran. (Look at a map for validation of this.)

4. How come even Democrats, who readily point out that the UAE recognized the Taliban government of Afghanistan, have not mentioned that the UAE has never officially recognized Israel? There must be some reason this is not being mentioned.

5. Similarly, notice how everyone is afraid to say that we don't want "Arabs" owning our ports. Usually, the comment is that we don't want "foreigners" to own our ports, but of course they already do. The euphemism now is that we don't want "government-owned" organizations to own our ports, thereby giving retroactive approval to the private firm P&O. Why don't we simply say that "Hey, the Brits are long-time allies (since 1815 or thereabouts) so we don't mind giving ownership to them, but the UAE doesn't have that sort of track record."

6. The other point that should be made is that even though security will remain under US control, giving ownership to Arabs (or anyone else) just gives them that much more ability to circumvent that security. "Hey, why are you wandering around the port at 3am in the morning?" "I'm one of the owners, I can do what I please." "Yes, sir." End of effective security.