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Friday, February 24, 2006
The uproar over the deal to sell half-a-dozen US ports to a company owned by the government of Dubai has been rather amusing, to be honest. It's another delightful case of overreaction by American politicians, more interested in posturing than in governing.
"Wait a minute. Are you supporting the president on this?"
I'll try to explain. My initial reaction was, what the hell are we doing selling the in doors to this country to a nation so deeply involved in terrorism, and from which two of the 9/11 conspirators originated?
That's the reaction that politicians want you to have.
And I'm not above reacting this way. A friend of mine often says, only half-jokingly, that "Not all Arabs are terrorists. But all terrorists are Arabs." I know this isn't true, of course. There is plenty of ugliness going on in places like Indonesia, Africa, and let's not forget Timothy McVeigh, The All-American Boy. The Arabs don't have a lock on terrorism, although they don't seem terribly eager to distance themselves from defining themselves by its use.
But the US (over)reaction to the ports deal is more about seeming tough with midterm elections just nine months off. This company from Dubai will be running the ports, not dealing in security, which would still be handled by the US Coast Guard. That may or may not make you more comfortable.
I'm sure you already knew that the Port of Los Angeles is run by a Chinese company. And if you know anything about Chinese business, you know that the reality is that the port is being run by the Chinese government. That should put you a bit ill at ease, no matter how much you enjoy kung-pao. The Chinese are very happy to sell us as much consumer garbage as we can absorb, but as the world's only other superpower, do not pretend that the Chinese government has our best interests at heart. It should also give you pause that the only thing keeping the United States economy out of depression, is that the Chinese are floating TRILLIONS of dollars of our debt. We won the Cold War with the Soviet Union because we spent them into bankruptcy. The Chinese government is going to demand repayment at some point, and a serious crisis will ensue.
But, we're talking about Dubai.
I don't think there are that many entities in the world capable of managing something as enormous as a port. My personal feeling is that ports should be run exclusively by the military, and that the government will use profits to pay for the operation. There must be profits, after all, why would a company go into business to operate ports without a profit incentive?
The thing that should disturb you, is that the president is so obviously in bed with the oil sheiks that he can say, "I don't understand why it's OK for a British company to operate our ports but not a company from the Middle East..."
Well, let me see if I can explain it to you.
The English have been our staunchest allies for over a century, and have been our only reliable partner in this trumped up War On Terror.
The Arabs, on the other hand, have funded terror operations globally, and continue to inflame their own populations with anti-US hatred.
Aside from that, they're pretty much the same, aside from the clothing.
So, if the president, who presides over a criminal, and criminally negligent administration, can't understand why Americans might be a bit apprehensive about this port deal, what can he understand?
I suppose that the truly distressing part of all of this is that Bush is utterly disconnected from the concerns of average Americans. The irony, of course, is that this deal with Dubai, which in truth, is perfectly legitimate and sensible, is under scrutiny because of the president's constant reliance on fear of Muslims as a tool to maintain his own power, and to push his own fundamentalist agenda.
And let's face it: If Dubai doesn't run the ports, Bush will hand them to Halliburton. Then we're really screwed.
posted at 11:37 AM
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