Tuesday, February 21, 2006


More Port "Absurdity"

***Updates below***

Well, the bloviating and grandstanding over the port deal is beginning to swell like my waistline since giving up the evil tobacco weed.

Again genuine concerns notwithstanding, most of the commentary comes from a hysteria, i.e; "Arab Emigrates" = "Al Qaeda", position. Which isn't - to borrow from Rumsfeld "helpful" in the debate, and is on it's merits far from the truth. As I said do agree about having an intelligent and informed debate. Unfortunately that's not taking place.

The last time I saw a brouhaha like this was over the Panama Canal. While the act of turning over the canal was detestable to some, others found the 1977 treatise strategically necessary. Although as you know NOT a Jimmy Carter fan, I did support this action.

"At the beginning, the United States needed to control the canal to secure it; at the end, we understand that the best defense of the canal required that we transform a resentful neighbor into a partner.

With the help of Panamanian, Caribbean and Chinese labor, Americans built a canal through the middle of Panama. We protected it with a 10-mile wide Canal Zone. During the two world wars, the canal was a vital strategic artery for the United States and our allies. By the Korean War, however, the canal's width could not accommodate the huge aircraft carriers that had become the centerpieces of our fleets in both oceans. Still, the canal remains very important economically as a transportation route.

Panama's pride eventually became resentment

The Panamanians were proud of their greatest resource but increasingly resentful over what they viewed as a colonial presence that divided their country in half. In 1964, a fight over a flag in the Canal Zone between Panamanian and American students left 23 Panamanians and four U.S. Marines dead. Panama insisted on new treaties, and most Latin American leader...

The debate on the treaties was intense and politically controversial. Many felt a sentimental attachment to this great achievement. One senator joked that "we should keep it because we stole it, fair and square."

President Jimmy Carter, with the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republican Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, former President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, argued that the 1903 treaties actually endangered the canal by enraging Panamanian and Latin American nationalism. The best defense of the canal, they said, would be to become a partner with Panama. The treaties passed by a single vote in the Senate."

Ok, I hear you. "This is about OUR ports!". Yes it is, but as this article states, the UAE IS a Strategic partner - not enemy - on the war on terrorism.

However as noted here, the war of words (semantics) has begun. Again, concerns aside, the fact is that this is not the "boogie man" that people are making it out to be - not even close.

UPDATE: Yeah, I know... "That 70s President likes the plan". Again, let's look at all the positions. But I reject outright the simplistic argument that we should be careful just because an Arab company is at the helm. That's utter nonsense.

UPDATE II: Here we go. The calls of "Cronyism" have begun.

UPDATE III; Once again Lori over at Polipundit provides need balance.

UPDATE IV: Welcome Polipundit readers, take a look around. President Bush responds with at least a justification why the deal should go through. All I've seen from the detractors is like an Ann Coulter objection, "Well..they're ragheads aren't they?"

I've been looking over the response of the Democrats on this deal and (when I can stop laughing), I ponder their words and can take a educated guess at their motives.

For instance, this statement from the Senator (the fake one) from NY, Hillary Clinton:

"The US senator for New York claims the deal poses a threat to national security because it would place operations at six major US ports under the control of the government of the United Arab Emirates, which owns Dubai Ports World.

"Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," said Mrs Clinton."

Is she kidding me? "Foreign governments" Hello? Who are the Brits? Melba Toast? Truth is that Hillary goes the way the wind blows and her poll numbers are starting to show it.

Folks, we need to chill. There IS a reason for this deal and I agree with it. There is a stratergery.

Rush Limbaugh on his show today said:

"However, recently the United Arab Emirates have become a partner of "ours," quote, unquote -- just hear me out on this -- in the war on terror. Now, I have read the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Have you read that book, Brian? I didn't think so. You know what? The theory in reading Sun Tzu in defeating this enemy, you can't defeat them totally with military means alone, and one of Sun Tzu's theories is the best way to beat your enemy is to make your enemy your friend. Now, we have spent I don't know how many years and gazillions of dollars trying to export capitalism to China, export capitalism to Russia. The Cold War took 70 years to win, folks. We're expecting overnight success in this thing, and we have pretty much the same scenario and circumstances that we have with the war on terror as we had with the Cold War."

I studied "The Art of War" and I agree. There are many ways to win the battle. I like kicking their ass - but there are other ways too. However, the first thing we have to have is the eradication of this idiotic hysteria that is going on. The first of which is correct information. Remember, in getting a contract to operate the ports, it's not the same as controlling the ports - that's the misinformation being protrayed in this discussion.

UPDATE V: More 'comparisons' with Jpod at NRO's the Corner who thinks Dubai is Bush's Bitberg. Oye! What's next? Waterloo?

UPDATE VI: Not everyone at NRO is hysterical. James S. Robbins with a more "calm" and informed approach.

UPDATE VII: More medicine to help "Knee Jerk" disease.

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