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February 23, 2006

Some good sense on the Ports

The choking fog of nonsense and islamophobic/xenophobic shouting is giving way, at last, to some good sense. There are people willing to take a look at the situation before taking Chuck Shumer's word on it.

Over at Politburo Diktat, J.D. (nice initials!) is conspicuously free of panic. From there we can link to Deans' World where Dean himself (again, a great name) has soe background on the UAE.

Everyone seems to think that the administration was exceedingly foolish to not realize that this was a dangerous position politically, but I am going to disagree. First of all, the reason not to be "prepared for a storm" is that there is nothing really there. How can one be prepared for a mass hallucination? This is a normal run-of-business deal, that actually takes place elsewhere. One group of foreign nationals we like sells a firm to another group of foreign nationals we like. No one in Washington "awarded" anything to anyone.

I suspect that a shift from some English owners to some Arab owners didn't raise warning flags with the people involved because they know both parties well. We do a lot of business with the UAE today, and now we'll do a bit more. I strongly suspect that Congress has been fully briefed but either did not attend the briefing (very common practice on Capitol Hill) or didn't pay much attention. Now they are shocked to find that foreigners are doing business in this country.

What will they do when they discover that the ships unloading in those ports are foreign owned and staffed, and that there are foreign airlines operating in U.S. airports. Those folks from Lufthansa are acquiring vital information about the operations of our air facilities, and Germany has ties to terrorism (or at least some Germans did, which in this new way of thinking amounts to the same thing.)

Welcome to globalisation, folks. I'm afraid it is too late to fight it, we have to make our peace with it and learn how to live in a shrinking world.

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White House and Congress Trade Away American Security

The United Arab Emirates ports management deal finally exposes our economic and trade policies for what they are: a government's pursuit of money (for a select few) over the interests of most Americans.

The ports management deal is not an isolated mistake. Far worse has happened, but perhaps nothing as nakedly blatant. For example, how does it benefit Americans when:

Drug companies are allowed to write a new Medicare prescription drug benefit that keeps prices artificially high for seniors by forbidding government-negotiated prices based on volume?
The American-funded Import/Export Bank subsidizes Chinese nuclear power development? Is it possible we are not sending enough money to Communist China?
Congress has repeatedly neglected our national and economic security:

The majority of our oil comes from abroad, much of that from countries with unstable, unfriendly populations
The majority of our computer equipment is manufactured overseas
The majority of our food in imported from foreign countries
Over two-thirds of the products sold in major retailers is imported from countries like Communist China and Mexico
Our soaring budget deficit leaves deeply indebted to foreign countries like Communist China, to whom we owe $1 trillion
Illegal immigration is accepted—and legal immigration is abused—to secure cheap labor (exposing us to unknown security risks)
Congress sees the results of these unhealthy dependencies (declining American wages, record trade and budget deficits, national security vulnerabilities) and just pours fuel on the fire. It passed CAFTA after NAFTA. It refused to crack down on widespread illegal Chinese trade practices by threatening to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Most in Congress have demonstrated that they will not change course; they are simply too indebted to big-money campaign donors and lobbyists. We must replace them.

Posted by: johnkonop | Feb 24, 2006 4:46:30 AM

John McCain and, Chuck Hagel had it right when they agreed with the President on this issue of the ports (and we know the two of them will speak up when they disagree with him). This is an issue of ownership, which has little to no bearing on security, which is done by the government. This is, as you point out, merely a biproduct of globalization.

Posted by: Charlie | Mar 15, 2006 7:52:48 AM

Because of how evil the amerinazis have made America, Jesus Christ has removed His blessing. Can't you tell? http://www.deanberryministries.org/index3.html

Posted by: DEAN BERRY - REAL AMERICAN | Apr 20, 2006 1:42:45 AM

You still around? I keep clicking, only to find the above nutcase comment...

Posted by: Kathy K | Jun 16, 2006 7:09:38 PM

The ports issue was in essence a non-issue, but so amenable to hysterical isolation that the attack on the notion was inevitable. America likes Snidley Whiplash type villains; they can never be subtle, else they would not appear villainous enough. The Soviets were ideal for this (not that present-day Russia is incapable of surprising us unpleasantly), but they lost their icon-quality when the wall tumbled. Unless you're a Yankees or Red Sox fan (in which case the villain is clear) you, as an American, are likely to seek leadership from opinion shapers in this area. The ports were just such an issue; now watch them crumble.

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