February 25, 2006

What Did I Step In?

It must be Bush's poll numbers:

Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed.

Just 39% of Americans know that the operating rights are currently owned by a foreign firm. Fifteen percent (15%) believe the operating rights are U.S. owned while 46% are not sure.

From a political perspective, President Bush's national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.

Bush may very well have had valid questions with his versions of "If not them, who? If not now, when?" when discussing the pending Dubai Ports World deal, but that time is now passed.

At this point, opportunistic Democrats and some reactionary, uneducated congressional Republicans have painted those who would be more reflective into a corner, creating a situation where a serious, logical discussion of the situation is not longer possible.

As Joe Gandelman notes:

Polls reflect perceptions and mood, not necessarily the validity or worth of an issue or policy. If the White House had done better prep with the Congress and public before the news of this deal came out the poll numbers — and controversy — would probably be a bit different.

Dubai is one of our better Arab allies, and if we can't work with them, it seems to send the message we are unwilling to work with any Arab countries, at least when it directly affects us. Instead of having them literally buy into America, we sell them what our enemies have been whispering the entire time, "See? They will not accept you. Come back to us..."

I have no stake in Dubai. I know some there have had their hands in terrorism, and I know that some still may. I know they don't recognize Israel, and that bothers me.

At this point, there aren't a lot of good "outs."

If Bush stands his ground, then most rest of the Republican Party will break with him to chase the polls in what has become a surprise election year turkey. If Bush backs down, we could lose some of the fragile trust we've tried to develop in Arab countries since 9/11.

Thanks, Congress.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 25, 2006 12:15 AM | TrackBack

It is IMPORTANT that the Pres does not back down. If he does, all of the people calling him a schill for extremists, will gain power. If he doesn't he will take a "political" hit, which is inconsequential during a second term. If the Dem's Fight Bush now, then it gives the 'Pubs an easy in about how they love their good free vote nigga's, no arabs allowed.

Eventually, the racial aspects of Dem profiling for VOTES, rather than security will be obvious. Bush is making the right decision, after all, as has been pointed out by man, this is a brittish company, running our ports, being bought out by an Arab company (with significant governmental control true) So this is not a question of US infrastructure, cuz there would have been no argument about a brittish company CONTINUING! to do what it had done, but there is SIGNIFICANT issue with an Arab based (and subsidized) company doing the same thing. If it is okay for the UK, who has MAJOR issues with islamic Extremism to run the ports (you think there are no islamic extremists that the UK hiers? if so you are a fool) but it is NOT OKAY with an Arab Nation like the UAE(they have their prollems, but you think they are gonna F up a good thing, KNOWING we are hawkeying arab nations?) is silly.

In truth? this is a BRILLIANT pro-free trade move. Let the alarmists prove their racism, their anti-culturalism when it comes to proffit.

LET THEM! Take a poll today, what is the % of US employee's at the port, and do so again 1 year after the take over, it will be the same.

the UAE doesn't wanna dick up a good thing.

Posted by: wickedpinto at February 25, 2006 12:37 AM

I think one thing being missed in all this is everyone is sure the WH did not see this coming, I disagree think about it last week the news was 24 hour Cheney birdshotgate, Abramhoff, Scooter Libby, Abu Graib was making a come back and the NSA thing was still going on like the energizer bunny. Now we have portgate and we are going to have hearings on it and the DEMS are going to lose what little credibility they had when the facts are layed on the table, you can already see this happening even in the LIB MSM. I may be crazy but I smell a setup. The Republican Congressman and Senators can show they are against this and Bush will take the hit for letting it go thru after all he is not running for office again.

Posted by: Oldcrow at February 25, 2006 01:38 AM

This episode pretty much demonstrates that there isn't much trust for Arab countries in the first place, doesn't it?

Posted by: Dawnfire82 at February 25, 2006 02:09 AM

There is not one good reason any foriegn company is running our ports. After 9-11, our nations security is too improtant to outsource. If the UAE is offended, so be it.

Posted by: lip at February 25, 2006 08:42 AM

The corporation that is running the ports is a group of men without specfic association with Islam. The Muslim country that is of concern has a majority of the stock and apparently does not exercise a controling hand at this point. However, still knowing the apparent innocence of the situation, if we are to subject ordinary Americans to searches that breach the Fourth Amendment then we will not sell interest in running the ports to Arab Muslims. We do not have friends in that region, only people who see us as an opportunity. If you think otherwise go visit the area, they hate us!! As to Bush's political problems, be has the left hating the air he breathes and has lost or is losing the right as I believe him to be on of the more liberal presidents we have had.

Posted by: David Caskey at February 25, 2006 10:56 AM

What happened is that the White House created a culture of fear to justify the invasion of Iraq. That culture has come around and is bitting them back. Statements like, "You're either with us or against us." or, "Any nation that harbors terrorists will be treated as the terrorists." have set up a stage where Americans won't trust a nation that has done so (UAE).

On top of all of this, the US coast guard has to share secrets about how it plans to handle discovery and interception of dangerous materials with UAE.

The reaction is purely rational even if it is unfair to Dubai itself.

Posted by: Brian at February 25, 2006 12:27 PM

Oh I get it now, it was the White House that created a culture of fear by crashing airliners into buildings, and the White House that beheaded Nick Berg, and the White House that murdered Theo Van Gogh, and burned Paris, and it was the White House that that bombed London and Madrid. It was also the White House than condemned a girl to death recently for killing the man who raped her, and the White House who forced a school fll of gilrs to burn alive rather than have them seen in public less than fully clothed. It is the White House that wants every Jew in Israel brutally slaughtered, every last man, woman, and child.

It was the White House at the gates of Vienna. It the White House that named a mountain range after their greatest genocide, and is is the devout followers of the White House that wish to impose seventh century Dark Age morality on the rest of the world.

Islam only has Islam to blame, through both action and inaction. Maybe they don't deserve a shot after all, but you can't hang this on Bush.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 25, 2006 02:12 PM

We do not have friends in that region, only people who see us as an opportunity. If you think otherwise go visit the area, they hate us!! As to Bush's political problems,
Posted by David Caskey at February 25, 2006 10:56 AM

I have been to the ME many many times and have been to the U.A.E. Many many times, Veteran of Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom(Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom and the majority do not hate us. The U.A.E. specifically Abu Dabie and Dubei are the best places for liberty in the ME they are very modern and liberal. I have been to many PUBS and night clubs in these cities and I can tell you that the average U.A.E citizen is not hostile to the U.S.A. Let me ask you in this country there are many places such as Compton California where you could not walk down the street without getting physically harmed because of your skin color does that mean all Californians hate white people? Answer no, your argument is stupid and specious.

Posted by: Oldcrow at February 25, 2006 02:53 PM

Responce to Oldcrow. I have visited the region as well. I have helped Arab students enter the US and enroll in graduate education. I currently teach a mix of Muslims from various countries. I was as open minded as any even after 9/11. But actions speak lounder than words and represent more of our thoughts and true intent than anyting else. Over the last several years as events have unfolded around the world and watching the action of those that are my peers and happen to be Muslim, I have to feel that we are at war with the religion itself. As in a war against a specfic country there will be people who may actually have something in common with you and your beliefs but if they take a stand for their country or religion then they must be viewed as the equivilant of the more radical elements. In WWII we did not differentiate between German and Nazi. Our war is with Islam. We need to take off the blinders and the gloves and begin being truthful about what we are doing. Stop bothering me in the airport or other transportation area and zero in on those that can be identified as Muslim and specifically Arab.Restrict Muslim movement and encourage their return to their homeland. I for one have not been satisfied with the responce of Islam to the events of the last several years. Thus quit playing games and get mean. Or streets are another issue and you do not want my opinion there.

Posted by: David Caskey at February 25, 2006 04:04 PM