Wednesday, February 22, 2006

[National Security]

The Racism of the Ports Debate.

Upon hearing this proposed Dubai Ports deal, my first reaction was to side (I shudder to report) with Bush:
I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's okay for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can't manage the port.
And then I settled down, assuming that I'd hear a few racy details showing Bush was not only wrong but morally bankrupt as well. That's how it usually goes. Well, I've done an exhaustive investigation (ie, read this post by Kevin Drum) and conclude ... that Bush is right. It's an ugly thing and not something I'm proud to admit, but there you have it.

According to Kevin's research, state-owned ports are common. He identifies China and Singapore, two countries with dubious leadership. Further, there appear to be a number of safeguards in place to stop owners (nefarious or neglegent) from letting their ports be entry points for terror. So why the worry?

When we invaded Iraq, we did so mainly because bigots in this country thought it all added up. There was only one link between the 9/11 bombings and Iraq, and that was skin color. (Okay, you may argue "creedist," but I don't buy it. Americans are way less alarmed by Indonesian Muslims than Middle Eastern ones.) A friend of mine compared it to having the Italians bomb your country and then you invade Ireland--hey, they're all white Irish.

The ports things smells of the same bigotry. I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise, but to single out the UAE for non-ownership while waving in the Chinese seems hard to explain otherwise.

4 comments:

iggir said...

i won't go so far as to say Bush is right, but he might not be completely wrong.

besides, your Dem leadership is behind the boycott...why aren't you falling in line here? (*jab*)

hey, did you realize you're going to need to come up with 52.177457 weekly topics a year?

Jeff Alworth said...

Yeah, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

(Topic of the Week, Dec 13-20, 2007: A reassessment of the Whig Party)

zemeckis said...

speakin of diversions: props to the doctors in cali!!! now thats some news we can use, baby step towards civilization, baby. hope it sticks.

Absent Mindful said...

Idealism aside, I think it stinks that Bush (or McClellan speaking for him) claims he had no idea the deal was going through until everyone (who doesn't know the super-secret handshake) started getting upset that it had. Of course his cabinet members gave it a hearty thumbs up, so this is the REAL reasoning for his support. Anything else is just lip service.