Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Round Two of Ports Security

We grant that Round One went heavily to the Bush critics. They pummelled him before he got a glove up. Because it Looks Bad to have (cough) them in charge of security.

I've always had a fondness for the counterintuitive. Surely someone must have noticed that this looks insane? And yet went forward. Doesn't that, in and of itself, suggest that just maybe, someone has looked at this cautiously?

Everyone thought it looked suspicious at first. Since then, the analysis has been swinging back in Bush's favor. I know zip about port security, but I'm pretty good at listening to arguments. The longshoremen's union is against it. The conspiracists are against it. Most of the arguments against the deal have boiled down to "Is he nuts?"

Next, we prod gently on exactly what is wrong with the general principle of the plan? How exactly is this company our enemy? Because they're Arab?

On the plus side, folks have noticed that UAE is actually our best ally in the region. I have read several commenters who have asked "isn't there some advantage to having Arab allies?" There is also the thought that there are simpler ways of attacking the US than buying a very obvious and expensive port security operation.

I'm liking this better the more I look at it. Round Two to Bush.


jlbussey said...

I don't think it's even port security - I understood it to be port administration. Security is the responsibility of Customs and the Coast Guard. Also that it's currently a British company doing the job that's being bought out by the UAE company.

As I understand it, the UAE is one of the most moderate Arab countries and has been a strong ally. I agree that we need to have and to build strong alliances with moderate Arabs, so I'm cautiously ok with the deal.

Anonymous said...

If we're to block Arabs from owning ports, we may as well block blacks from becoming police officers, or homosexuals from becoming teachers. They all make about the same amount of sense, because they're all playing on the same dark stereotypes - all Arabs are al-Qaeda sympathizers, all blacks are crooks, all homosexuals are also pedophiles (yes, I've heard that one)