I've got to hand it to Karl Rove: he may be damaged goods right now, but he still manages to salvage disasters when the Emperor in Chief, not known for his attention to the mundane details of governing, screws up. The latest example of Rove's prowress at sucker punching has to do with the dust-up over the sale of the British contract to manage some (6? 8? 21?) of the US ports to a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
When word leaked out about the new deal, most Americans went ballistic. Those of us who live near ports were aware that port management had been privatized, outsourced (if you will), but most Americans were oblivious to that fact. When the regime was called on the deal, it quickly became apparent that neither the Emperor nor the appropriate cabinet level minions were aware of the deal that, even without knowing anything about it, the Emperor decided would go through anyways.
Ever sensitive to constituents' outrage in an election year filled with GOP scandals, Republican leaders in Congress insisted on more information and threatened legislation to roll back the deal. The Emperor threatened his first ever veto. Republicans pushed back again, pointing to the fact that the United Arab Emirates had some connections to Al Qaeda (mainly through some fancy financial transfers) and to the fact that two of the 9/11 terrorists had come from the UAE.
The Emperor's response was sheer genius: he accused those who opposed the deal of racism. This from a man who has used fear mongering about those Islamofascists who hate us for our freedoms to whittle huge chunks of those freedoms from the citizens of this country! The irony, of course, is that the very regime who appealed to the basest parts of our nature now accuses us of being against the deal because we hate Arabs.
The GOP leaders have now begun backpedaling so rapidly that if backpedaling were a Summer Olympic sport, the US would garner a whole bunch of medals and world records in a couple of years. Unfortunately, not only the Republicans heard Bush's voice. So did countries in the Middle East. In an editorial in the Lebanese paper Daily Star
, the opponents of this deal are excoriated for their position on the basis of its blatant anti-Arab racism.News that a Dubai-based company will soon manage six American ports has sparked an uproar in the United States, with several lawmakers from both political parties vowing to scupper the deal. The reasoning behind the frenzy is that Arab management of the ports could lead to a terrorist attack. This logic is at best flawed, and at worst racist.
Critics of the agreement point out that Dubai Ports World is owned by a foreign government whose nationals took part in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. But nobody was alarmed when the ports were run by a British firm, even though terrorists have also carried British passports. And no one was worried about the U.K. being involved with U.S. ports, although the British Army once burned Washington.
The real objection to the deal is that the company is owned and run by Arabs. This racist thinking ignores the fact that DPW is a reputable business operating ports in countries around the world, including Germany and Australia, and soon, the U.K. By inking deals with DPW, these countries did not hand over their security to the U.A.E. Likewise, no matter who is managing U.S. ports, American authorities will be the guardians of U.S. security. Customs officers will still inspect cargos, the Coast Guard will still patrol and protect the harbors, the Transportation Security Agency will still do background checks of port employees, and the Department of Homeland Security will still oversee port security efforts.
...It only sends a message to the people of the U.A.E. and other Arab countries is that no matter how much commitment they show toward the war on terrorism, the Americans will always consider them terrorist suspects.
The editorialist overlooks the fact that the British firm was privately owned and not a state owned business as the Dubai Port World is. He also ignores the reality that the US governmental agencies for the most part rely on the managing company to implement most of the security of the port to the extent that the company has access to the security plans. Finally, the editorialist may not be aware that there are US statutes forbidding foreign states from certain investments in the US, but the law is on the books with a detailed description of procedures which must be followed when those investments are proferred, none of which were followed by the current regime.
Regardless of the editorialist's contentions, more than racism is involved, but to his readers across the Middle East, that is all that matters. In other words, for peculiarly political reasons, BushCo has now given the US another black eye in the Middle East just so the regime gets its way even when it gets it wrong.
Astounding, but (I guess) predictable.