March 03, 2006
Sittin' on the Dock of the ... Port?
Steve Stehling at Standards and Grudges writes,
I'm suspicious of the opposition to the port deal. Their primary complaint is about port security, but I know for a fact, and they know as well, that port security is the responsibility of Homeland Security, Customs and the Coast Guard, not the port management company. If the key argument against the port deal is based upon an exaggeration, or more aptly described, a lie, than how much merit does the opposition have?
The pro-Israel lobby has got into action and started hammering on the UAE's boycott of Israel. The Washington Times reports, "Mr. Bilkey [DPW CEO] said his firm has long worked with Israeli shippers at the ports it managed, but acknowledged that a customs operation in Dubai owned by his company's parent firm did enforce the anti-Israel ban." Don't expect the boycott to be enforced in New York, Baltimore, or any of the other ports DPW would operate.
Jerry Zeifman, a Democrat, chides Sen. Schumer and Democrats taking advantage of the ports issue. The way the administration approved the deal is according to the law passed by a Democratic Congress in 1988.
Larry Kudlow goes to the heart of the issue. DPW opponents still haven't offered anything concrete as to why the deal is dangerous to national security:
After the hurricane of controversy these past couple weeks—all the editorializing, the talk show tempests and political sound bites—I still have yet to see any real evidence that the Dubai ports deal compromises U.S. national security. I just don’t see it. Objections raised by the Coast Guard have been solved, and the fact stubbornly remains that along with the U.S. Customs and Homeland Security, it is the Coast Guard, not Dubai Ports World, that will ultimately run the show when it comes to protecting port terminal operations.
Kudlow declares the rift a "pretty clear demarcation between free-traders and protectionists." I'll be more generous and call the opponents "economic nationalists." I also won't lump them all onto the same pile as Pat Buchanan.
There's a fear of the Arab/Muslim world (most unfortunately don't differentiate) and it's not unreasonable seeing the reaction to the Muhammad cartoons. However, I would expect opinion makers and politicians (I know, wishful thinking) to do a little thinking before spouting off. Since for them it's either their job or hobby I'd assume they'd enjoy doing that.
Thanks to Jenna at Right off the Shore for the reminder.
UPDATE: Marcus Aurelius takes on Sean Hannity's "biggest beefs." More power to Marcus. It takes a strong man to listen to Hannity that long.del.icio.us | Digg it | Furl | reddit | Spurl | Yahoo MyWeb