Thursday, February 23, 2006

Conservative Commentary on The Port Deal

Ann Coulter is against it, for about the reasons you would expect.
There are at least 3,000 reasons why a company controlled by a Middle Eastern Muslim emirate should be held to a different standard than a British company. Many of these reasons are now buried under a gaping hole that isn't metaphorical in lower Manhattan.

. . . Isn't it enough that we're already patronizing the savages over the cartoons? Do we have to let them operate our ports, too?
Kathleen Parker also finds this deal baffling, but is just as interested in what the deal reveals about President Bush's psychological make-up.
The final throes of Bush's journey toward self-destruction may have found expression with the apparent sale of operational rights to six of our nation's largest ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Approved by the Bush administration against all reason, the $6.8 billion sale includes the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Despite bipartisan condemnation, the Bush administration has defended the sale to Dubai Ports World as not only safe, but prudent. The UAE, which incidentally served as a financial and operational base for the Sept. 11 hijackers, is an important ally in the fight against terror, we're told.
Cal Thomas, given his strong anti-Muslim feelings, takes the tack you would expect.
There have been some dumb decisions since the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, including the "welcoming" of radical Muslim groups, mosques and schools that seek by their preaching and teaching to influence U.S. foreign policy and undermine the nation. But the decision to sell port operations in New York, Newark-Port Elizabeth, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans to a company owned by the UAE may be the dumbest of all.
Tim Chapman seems mostly interested in the politics of the situation.
Of course, the irony of this situation is that the bipartisan opposition to the president comes on an issue that he polls strongest on. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows President Bush receiving strong approval ratings for his handling of the war on terror. Clearly, Democrats have sensed an opportunity with this news story to move to the right of the President on an issue that has traditionally been his ace in the pocket. Republicans in Congress must agree, because they are ceding no ground on the issue to the Democrats.
Finally Stuart Rothenberg, who is not a name I'm very familiar with, trots out to defend the administration's position.
While Democrats and Republicans vent their anger over the Bush Administratios decision to allow a United Arab Emirates-based company from taking "control" of America's east coast ports (from a British company), I have a question: Exactly what responsibility and authority does this UAE company have? Specifically, how is U.S. security weakened?

I don't know, and I bet 99.5% of the people discussing the "threat" don't know. As a matter of fact, I'll bet most of us have no idea what managing a port entails.

But that hasn't stopped people from ranting about the Administration's decision to approve the British-UAE deal.
Actually when I say that is the administration's position, I get the impression it won't be for much longer. Anyway it's interesting to me how many big conservative columnists haven't seen fit to write on this. Presumably they have their fingers in the air for the moment, and will speak when the time is right.

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