New Concerns?

Earlier, we all got in a bit about how perhaps objections about the UAE’s running US ports was just a Democratic smoke-screen. Even a few far-left New York Times columnists (witness Nick Kristoff‘s recent op-ed piece) have gotten in the act.

Is the UAE port deal safe for the US? I still don’t know. However, I argued that when Bush and his sycophants tell us that it is, we should be worried. And now, I see that the US Coast Guard is having reservations about the deal. In other words, the people who actually do the security part don’t quite buy the line that things are safe.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t do it? I don’t know. Tragically, I don’t have the information (or the time!) to do the research. Thus, I’m left leaving the decision to other people. But when it’s the Bush crowd making the choice, it frightens me.



  1. Consistent use of the word “sycophants” to describe Bush’s advisors and Administration does little to give your analysis any degree of credibility. Rather, it smacks of prejudgment.I realize that your summary dismissal of anything said or done by Bush and his “sycophants” stems from your pre-conceived political agenda. The same can be said of people who dismiss anything Clinton or his Administration said or did because Clinton abused his power, committed perjury, and obstructed justice. This approach is just as useless for the anti-Clinton crusaders as it is for anti-Bush crusaders such as yourself.The UAE port deal should not be suspect simply because Bush and his Administration have said it doesn’t pose a security threat based on the analysis of the federal agencies with responsibility for due diligence on this sale. That is conclusory and unconvincing. If, however, you have evidence that the deal puts national security at jeopardy, then that is a different matter. Given the right audience, an argument that the mere fact that the UAE is an arab country means that the port deal threatens national security might be exactly the type of evidence needed to call the deal into question. Following stereotypes, that audience should be right-wingers who think that the same type of racial profiling should be a legitimate tool in airport security and crime prevention as well. Ironically, it looks like that audience instead is democrats who seem to have forgotten that profiling offends notions of civil benefits that they have long fought to enforce for minorities.As for the Coast Guard’s caution, I am not sure this raises to a level sufficient to call the due diligence performed by the responsible agencies into question. And anyway, it gets balanced out by Negroponte’s assessment that the deal poses a low security risk.Maybe we should all follow Senator Schumer and demand that Bush prevent the deal since two of the hijackers were from the UAE. I think it would also be nice if we could disengage from the Middle East and let them resolve their own issues, particularly since it is now abundantly clear (if we are to believe the story that the media is giving us) that they do not appreciate the blood and treasure that we are wasting on them.If we could have just put the billions that this war has cost into developing alternatives to oil, then the stability in the Middle East wouldn’t matter to us and we could leave the region and not worry so much whether the people there are benefitting from democracy or not. If they want democracy, they will surely make that happen for themselves, as did the countries of the West who created their own democracies over the centuries. If we could disengage from the Middle East, then we could truly protect our borders from Muslim terrorists, and perhaps also intervene in places where we can’t be accused of duplicity in our motives, such as Darfur. There is certainly <>no<> ulterior motive for our intervention in Darfur. Sending troops to stop the massacre and displacement of non-Arabs would alleviate suffering at the same time as being a true waste of blood and treasure (in the pure economic sense of getting nothing at all back, such as in Iraq, at least theoretically the idea is for America to get a more secure Middle East in return for this sacrifice to bring democracy to a people whose religious worldview squarely rejects democracy), and therefore would be seen by the world as truly altruistic. I am wondering if they will still accuse the USA of imperialism with such use of US force.


  2. I used sycophants because Bush lets people like Rumsfeld remain as SoD even though a monkey could have planned the Iraq war better. He gave Tennent the Medal of Freedom, even though it’s clear that our intel was utterly flawed. Other Iraq blunderers have similarly been rewarded.Bush likes these people and refuses to hold them accountable for their utter blunders (Who would have thought that airplanes could be used in a terrorist attack? Not Condie!). Why keep them around if they’re so horrible? Easy! Because they tell him what he wants to hear! (Slam dunk! We know where the weapons are! We’ll be greeted as liberators!) Until people are held accountable for their bluners (and Brownie doesn’t count!), then I’ll refuse to think that they’re anything but, well, sycophants.


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