Skip to comments.Harbouring prejudice... (Dubai ports deal)
Posted on 02/26/2006 9:45:48 PM PST by Cornpone
During the past week we witnessed a virtual frenzy with Senators, Congressmen, and then Governors jumping over each other to take the lead in bashing the 'Dubai port deal', the UAE, or the Bush administration. It's all being done, critics say, in the name of national security. In reality, however, what is taking place here is nothing more than crass political posturing and an irresponsible and ill-informed attack on an Arab country that has been a strong ally of the United States.
At its essence, there are three factors that are driving this ruckus: It's an election year, the public has a continued concern about national security, and there's an Arab country involved. Elected officials are preying off the public's fear by exploiting an Arab 'bogeyman'. The language they've used is shameful, irresponsible, and downright false.
But in election year politics, it doesn't matter.
Because it involves an Arab country, members of Congress assume that they won't be called to account for a falsehood. Smearing all things Arab remains the last acceptable form of ethnic bigotry in America. As a result of this mindset, the UAE, one of America's closest Mideast allies in the war on terror - a country that has sent troops to fight alongside ours in Afghanistan, complied with all of our anti-terrorism initiatives, and provides the largest base port for American military ships - is being called a 'rogue government', an 'Islamic fascist' state, and 'home of terrorists'.
In the Middle East, people are scratching their heads. If the UAE which has stuck its neck out to support the US can be treated with such scorn, then, some ask, "what's the point of being a friend of America?" It is ironic and troubling that just a week ago US public diplomacy czar Karen Hughes was in the UAE to promote America and this week, UAE and US trade teams enter yet another round in their talks towards establishing a US-UAE free trade agreement. Ms Hughes must feel like packing it up and going back to Texas. If this anti-UAE campaign succeeds, there is no public diplomacy campaign that can salvage the damage. Arabs, you see- not unlike any other people - react not by what you say about yourself but by how you treat them.
Having said all this, the current exercise in Arab-bashing is, in fact, nothing more than election year politicking at its worst with Democrats feeling that Bush is vulnerable and piling on, and Republicans feeling vulnerable and joining the fray. If it weren't so serious and dangerous, it might be comical. We've seen scenes like this before, as Congressmen and Senators literally trip over each other, risking injury on their way to the microphone, calculating just how outrageous they need to be to guarantee that their sound bite will be the one on the evening news. In this game, facts don't matter. Instead, hyperventilating on their own rhetoric, exaggerations abound.
Especially disturbing in all of this, is that the legitimate issue of port security has been lost in the melee. If Congress really wanted to have a debate about port security and the failings of the current system, they would be talking about increasing funding for hiring more customs officials, beefing up our coast guard presence, and providing additional equipment to screen more of the containers that enter our country. This is what is needed.
None of these issues will be affected, neither adversely or positively, by the acquisition under consideration. Regardless of what company owns the management of our ports, the security issues remain in the hand of the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of a real debate, we're given scapegoating. Instead of making us more secure, politicians engage in the exercise of making us more isolated in the world and damaging our relationship with an important ally in the Middle East. They ought to be ashamed. They owe an apology not only to the UAE, but to the American people. But since politics and shame are estranged bedfellows, I'm not holding my breath.
We need term limits bad! Nobody can go into politics unless they have worked in the private sector 20 years. And they are limited to 20 years as elected officials.
Well, sometimes the prejudice could be downright healthy. I, for one, am strongly prejudiced against grasping hot or sharp objects with my bare hands.
During the cold war we tended to sympathize and offer carrots to countries such as Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia even though they were integral parts of the "Evil Empire" and in the end it paid great dividends. We can think of extending trust to a country that now seems to be an ally against terrorism as a reward for that cooperation. Should we extract assurances from DPW some of which will remain unknown to the public and hold their operations to a higher scrutiny?
I don't think we owe an apology to the UAE, But the usual suspects in Congress who raced to the microphones thinking they had to respond to Chuck Schumer's demagoguery should be held to account. This story is no different from the Valerie Plame story, Katrina, or the Cheney Hunting accident. All of them were way overblown by the MSM, despite the fact that they knew the truth
My only beef is it is a government owned comapny. If it was privately held, I can care less about it.
All the overblown have one thing in common: Get Bush & his Administration.
UAE Close on the heels of the cartoon controversy raging across the Muslim world, it is the turn of an upscale American school in Abu Dhabi to ruffle Muslim sentiments by teaching lessons that allegedly smell of racism.
Over 100 copies of the social studies text book, World Cultures taught to the sixth grade children were confiscated by the Ministry of Education yesterday, for allegedly presenting Islam and the Muslim countries including Gulf states in a negative light while glorifying Israel on the other hand, Khaleej Times has learnt.
It has been accused that chapter 25 of the book running from page 599 to 614 contains a deluge of derogatory remarks against Islam and the Muslim world, for example, dubbing Middle East as one of the most dangerously explosive areas in the world and the Muslim conquest of India as the most bloodiest in the world history, to mention a few.
Keep repeating to yourself, they're just like us, they're just like us, they're just like us.....
Yes massa, may I pray again? Yes massa, may I pray again? Yes massa, may I pray again?
COSCO is controlled by the Chinese Government and they have 50% of the terminals in LA, Calif.
Isn't DP World only 50% Dubia Gov't owned?
I agree and I am really unhappy with millionaires in both parties holding positions of power, election after election.
Men like Rockefeller, Kennedy and Kohl, and women like Boxer and Feinstein. These people have plenty of money, yet their thirst for power is never quenched.
I don't buy their "public service" spin. It's about acquiring and maintaining power. Were it not, each one could fund and run their own damn charity.
Something like that, not sure of the %
what is taking place here is nothing more than crass political posturing and an irresponsible and ill-informed ad hominem attack by screaming "Racist!" "Bigot!" at Americans.
There's always at least two sides to every story -- except when Arabs claim one of the sides, I guess. Oh well, so far Mr. Zogby hasn't killed anyone.
"Smearing all things Arab remains the last acceptable form of ethnic bigotry in America"
Americans are not smearing all things Arab. The ones I know are rejecting all things ISLAMIC. Rightfully so, I might add.
I prefer blue cars to red ones..
No, they are the Bizarro version at best..
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