I’ve done a lot of Bush bashing around here so it’s only fair to give him credit when I think he’s doing something right even when it’s hurting him politically to do it.
Bush is right about the UAE Ports deal and Congress is wrong. Both sides in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, are completely full of shit about the deal being any kind of threat to US security. They KNOW they’re full of shit and they’re actually hurting the interests of the country by attaching their bullshit cockblock to an emergency spending bill intended to provide money for Iraq and for hurricane relief.
I expect this kind of shit from the Republicans but I’m really pissed off at the number of Democrats who are jumping all over this only because they see it as a rare opportunity to get to the right of Bush on a “terror” issue and to pander to xenophobia and anti-Arab bigotry. Hillary Clinton, in particular has disappointed me. She’s smart enough to know what a charade this is and she’s purely playing politics.
One member of Congress who has not disappointed me is John McCain. He’s one of the only GOP Senators willing to call bullshit on all the fucking scare-mongering going on in both parties. If a presidential election were held today between McCain and HRC, I can’t swear that I wouldn’t vote McCain.
Someone else who deserves credit is Bush himself, not just for refusing to go along with this crap but also for sticking to his guns about a veto threat even as his approval ratings are dropping like a turd in a well. As much as it pains me to say anything good about about Bush, I do have to admit that he doesn’t let himself get pushed around. by political gamesmanship. This is the first time in six years I’ve ever felt any respect for the man. I hope he writes a big “FUCK YOU” on the spending bill after he vetoes it.
I have a sneaking suspicion the veto will be overridden.
I thought I heard that under federal law, it is illegal for the US to do business with a country that does not recognize Israel. It is my understanding Dubai (who owns the port company) does not recognize Israel. Has this been resolved?
This is pissing me off, too. Unfortunately, it’s a lose-lose situation for democratic polititcians. Either they take the same ignorant, stupid position on the deal as the majority of their constiuents, or they take an informed position and lose popularity and confirm the popular conception of democrats as weak on national security. It’s hard to blame them for grabbing a chance to look tougher than the republicans and gain a little popularity.
I haven’t been following this closely enough, but wasn’t there a “mandatory” 45-day review that was neglected? I don’t approve of all the “scare-mongering,” but it seems it’s an important enough deal to deserve more gov’t scrutiny than it originally got.
Sorry, you’re wrong. The UAE has unabashed ties to international terrorism, at the highest levels. This attitude permeates all levels of management. It is far more likely that a UAE middle-management official will pass on sensitive details than virtually any other country’s officials.
Much of the shipping into any port is hazardous material in bulk. There’s no reason to smuggle in a nuke if you can arrange for an ‘accident’ with a bulk LPG carrier, or any of hundreds of other truly horrific possibilities (I won’t go into details, because I don’t want to give anyone any ideas). Knowing what is on the ship, and when and where it is going is the key. How much easier will it be to get that info from an Arabic-speaking UAE manager whose uncle goes golfing with the Bin Laden’s, than from an American, British, or even French manager?
Before 9/11, I would agree with you. Who cares who runs the ports – it’s just another multi-national money-making operation. But the games changed. We can’t take their intentions at face value. The corporation truly may have the best intentions, but this deal takes critical, sensitive information and places it with the friend of our enemy.
Bush is operating to support his own family interests in the middle east, not trying to protect America.
This American ‘entity’ would still be controlled by DPW, just with non-Arab faces, right? Okay, maybe that will work.
Bush isn’t about to use his first-ever veto on something that appears to hurt security or that hurts his party’s chances this fall, guys. Don’t take that threat seriously.
Yes, it’s an election year. If there weren’t any pandering going on, that would be a shocker. If it meant anything in terms of how the panderers would actually act, that would be another shocker. Don’t get unduly upset when you see it, either.
The only way I truly disagree with DtC, btw, is in supposing Bush had anything to do with the deal - he only found out about the shit after it hit the fan, and his reactions do appear to be driven more by concern for the corporate world than anything else. Yes, he’s in the right. He’s right only by happenstance, but he’s right.
I don’t think Bush had anything to do with the deal. What I’m saying he’s “right” about is his refusal to cave in to all the demagoguery about it and his willingness to use the Veto pen (and I think he really would have done it. I don’t remember him making any idle threats before).