The recent uproar and hysteria over the United Arab Emirates ports deal is not unwarranted. It is, in fact, intuitive inasmuch as the Congress is asking whether or not it is wise to do business with a Middle Eastern country when we are engaged in a conflict in the region.
While the White House certainly underestimated the scope of the public’s reaction to the ports deal, it should take comfort in the fact that the congressional Republicans’ objections stem from their concern about national security matters, whereas Democratic opposition is simply indicative of their myopic hatred of President Bush; Nancy Pelosi is challenged to finish a sentence without mentioning the words "Bush" and "this administration." Aside from the fact that she appears belligerent and ready to attack every time she gets in front of a camera, her obsession with sticking it to Bush is an obstacle to executing other tasks, such as formulating beliefs or winning elections.
Despite the seemingly legitimate "national security" concerns of Democrats, the facts of the ports deal prove that their concern is really about hating Bush. After all, this is a party that leaks national security secrets about wiretapping terrorists to the New York Times, again in an effort to stick it to Bush. In fact, in Sunday’s Raleigh News & Observer, staff writer Rob Christensen reported that while Hillary has been masquerading as "tough on national security," Bill has been providing "unpaid informal advice to Dubai Ports World." Additionally, columnist Robert Novak reported that Clinton suggested Dubai hire his former press secretary, Joe Lockhart, as its Washington spokesman. Other liberals support the deal, claiming that it would be racist and insensitive not to. When in a war against terrorists, 100% of which are Arab, it makes sense to be cautiously against them.
In contradistinction, Republicans came out swinging against the Dubai ports deal, with Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.) sponsoring legislation to block the deal. Additionally, concern has resurfaced among conservatives over the sale of west coast ports to Communist China, again by Bill Clinton. While the Democrats desperately want to turn this into a winning election strategy, they can’t jump on the "tough on security" bandwagon five years into the program; it becomes clearer everyday that the Democratic Congress is simply trying to dupe the public into thinking they give a damn.
Which brings us back to the original question of whether or not it is prudent for the United States to do business with Middle Eastern countries while engaged in conflict with the region. Quite simply, the answer is no. While the UAE has every right to lobby for port contracts and is now a loyal ally in the war on terror, its refusal to recognize Israel and its past ties with terrorism demands that the United States terminate their contract to run U.S. ports.
In 99.9% of cases, I trust Bush with our national security. While I will stand by him most of the time, I simply believe that this is a bad battle to fight. On the other hand, I never have and never will put my life or the nation’s security in the hands of Democrats, because loose lips sink ships.