Friday, February 24, 2006

More Conservative Commentary on the Port Deal

Tony Snow (who has some connection with Fox News, I am given to understand) writes an article about how ludicrous it is for us to question the port deal and the United Arab Emirates intentions.
Many critics of the deal also seemed to know nothing of the security cooperation between the United States and the UAE. To reject the deal would be to slap a government that has provided on-the-ground intelligence from the opening salvo of the war on terror. Gen. Tommy Franks notes that the UAE's much-criticized "recognition" of the Taliban actually enabled the country to do first-rate spying. The UAE provided maps and information for the opening invasion of Afghanistan.

The UAE since has put troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, in active and humanitarian missions. It trains Iraqi forces on its soil. It lets the United States conduct flights through its airspace. It has housed servicemen -- and women -- from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. It maintains the largest U.S. naval facility outside the United States, and Dubai Ports World performs contract service at the port.
Oliver North takes the same tack in his article, and also throws in the suggestion that those who oppose the deal are racists.
Perhaps most importantly, the UAE is much more than just "an Arab country that has supported terrorism in the past," as some of the more racially-tinged rhetoric has it. Unfortunately, the accusation -- repeated almost hourly now on talk-radio call-in shows -- has a grain of truth to it. Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from the UAE. And al Qaeda money was laundered through Dubai banks. But since then, the UAE has become one of America's closest allies in the Global War on Terror, apprehending terrorists, shutting down their financial networks and providing tangible support for U.S. military operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It was this close cooperation that led the multi-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) -- to green-light the transaction.
Charles Krauthammer has a piece that takes a bit more pessimistic note, although he also denounces the Democrats for opposing racial profiling while opposing this deal.
The greater and more immediate danger is that as soon as the Dubai company takes over operations, it will necessarily become privy to information about security provisions at crucial U.S. ports. That would mean a transfer of information about our security operations -- and perhaps even worse, about the holes in our security operations -- to a company in an Arab state in which there might be employees who, for reasons of corruption or ideology, would pass this invaluable knowledge on to al Qaeda-types.
Over at Front Page Magazine they reprinted Ann Coulters article and have another one by Robert Spencer on why this deal is such a bad idea. You can kind of predict this response from Front Page Magazine given the rampant Islamaphobia over there.
After all, no one even in Washington is yet even asking the right questions of self-proclaimed moderates about where they really stand on jihad and Sharia issues. Officials in Washington and Europe have shown no awareness of the fact that it isn’t enough to have no ties to terror groups; a Muslim who nonetheless believes in the jihad ideology of Islamic supremacism and the subjugation of infidels is still susceptible to jihadist recruitment. Is it possible to determine whether such recruitment is likely or not in the case of any particular individual? No -- and that’s why turning over any ports to Dubai Ports World is ill-advised: the potential for jihadist infiltration is just too great.
And that's the big ones - interesting that David Limbaugh hasn't weighed in on this one yet. His brother sure has (very pro Bush plan to turn ports over to UAE), but to listen to his callers, I'm not sure he is convincing them.

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