Most of the time, I disagree with the Bush administration. They
usually make decisions that baffle and anger and frustrate me. But, as
hard as it is to admit it, I must come to their defense about this
deal to give an United Arab Emirates company control over some port
operations at several U.S. ports.
Politicians of both parties, many of whom coincidentally will be
running for President in 2008, have crawled out of the woodwork to
criticize this deal. Rep. Sue Myrick (R, NC) had the
least literate response (PDF) to the deal:
In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab
Emirates, not just NO– but HELL NO!
But her letter does reflect the basic idea that most of the other
slightly more eloquent critics of the plan have expressed. They’ve
sensed what they think is a rare opportunity to portray Bush as weak
on terrorism. Bush, for his part, has stuck with the deal and with the
Adminstration organization that authorized it, and (so.. painful.. to
write this…) I think he is right to do so.
First, as the administration has stated many times, the UAE company
won’t be in charge of port security. See, we have these people called
the U.S. Coast Guard, whom I’m pretty sure is an American
organization. Secondly, this UAE company would not be the first
foreign company in some capacity in American ports. NPR had a story
yesterday about one of the ports, located in New Jersey, that would be
affected by the deal. They reported that several foreign companies ran
various operations at the port, including one from Denmark and two
In other words, the UAE company wouldn’t be the first foreign
company at the port, but it would be the first
foreign company with “Arab” in its name. I’m trying to come up with
another word to describe all the criticism, but the only one I can
think of is this: racist.