Friday, March 10, 2006


Now that the White House and Dubai have adopted what Bush hopes is a save-face solution, let's see what the results may be.

As background, I supported the deal, posting last month: "Obviously, management of U.S. ports has already been in foreign hands. So is it wise to draw the line when these hands are Muslim? Not so. A distinction could be made since this Dubai company is a owned by the government. However, there well may be cases where government ownership would not be disqualifying. Canada? Mexico? Singapore? So, depending on what port management really is, the logical, difficult course is to have a set of guidelines on the characteristics of acceptable governments that will not exclude all Muslim nations. The United Arab Emirates may or may not qualify, but Bush will clearly suffer on this one, particularly since he has failed to take necessary security measures to safeguard our ports."

Despite statements of nefarious transshipment of electronic equipment, I have heard nothing to change my mind. Far be it for me to help the Bush administration, but it's easy to see how they might have avoided the political firestorm. They could have provided to the Congress and the public a lot of information and visuals covering such items as the details of terminal lease operation, existing foreign ownership,and port security. At the same time additional safeguards for these terminals could have been implemented and a U.S. subsidiary could have been set up.

It could also have been pointed out that none of the world's terrorist attacks has been effected by infiltration into corporate operations, foreign or domestic.

The fall-out? Delay in the transfer to U.S. ownership, sale to Halliburton, campaign issues for the Fall elections. Plus economic retaliation by Dubai, such as purchase from Airbus instead of Boeing, and Muslim enmity even from moderates.


  • I have such mixed emotions about this.

    On one hand, I think had Bush done a better job of explaining this deal and what it actually meant, he might have gotten it to go through and that would have been okay.

    On the other hand, watching the anti-Arab sentiment he sowed before the Iraq war come back around and bite him in the backside has been a perversely pleasurable experience.

    By Blogger Donna, at 7:50 AM  

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