Profiling and The Politics Of The Port Deal

Posted: February 22, 2006 in Politics

John McIntyre at Real Clear Politics has the best take on the Port Deal, as far as I am concerned. At first,  I was aghast, but in the light of day, it probably was not as bad as it sounded originally…but the Bush administration really screwed up. A little preparation, calling the governors concerned, interacting with Congress, could have saved a lot of grief but, as it stands, now, this issue is dead on arrival. It is possible, as John says, that a deal will be worked out, but I do not see it. The administration has squandered its trust, and Bush’s hard-line stance will harden the stance of opposition to the bill.

The Financial Times has a well balanced and thoughtful editorial on the uproar over the deal on the U.S. ports and the UAE. I don’t agree with their conclusions, but if you want a more balanced understanding of this proposed transaction it is worth the two minutes to read it. This issue is more complicated than the cheap political demagoguery we have seen, especially from Democrats now preening about how tough they are on national security – and particularly from those who resist any profiling of young Arab men, but now somehow “know” this UAE company is a security threat. Isn’t this a degree of profiling?

I ask those politicians who want to “profile” this company why can’t we profile young Arab males. What’s the difference? It seems pretty common sense that if Arab companies should probably not be allowed to be contracted to run the operations at U.S. ports given the current environment, then young men from those same Arab countries should probably receive a higher level of scrutiny as well.

I don’t really want to get into the business or security aspects of this deal, because quite frankly they are irrelevant now. We live in a democracy, not a benevolent dictatorship, and because of that, politics matter. And the politics of this deal are insane. At some point along the food chain of this process, somebody with an ounce of common-sense should have spoken up and pointed out the obvious that this deal wasn’t going to fly.

This is what you would call an unforced error. The Bush administration should do themselves a favor, recognize the mistake, fix the problem and apologize to our friends in the UAE.

Other points of view can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here’s the NYT’s write-up on the UAE port deal.

Michelle Malkin has done extensive blogging on this issue, as have many other bloggers – both on the right and left hand side of the aisle.

  1. qwerhtyuy says:

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

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