Bush's Unsafe Harbor
In a move that appears to be political suicide, President Bush stands by his decision to sell six major US ports from a UK company to the United Arab Emirates owned Dubai Ports World for 5.8 billion dollars. The U.S. Ports are in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. The outrage has been almost universal, both sides of the aisle begging for Bush to change his mind. Congress has gone as far as saying it will block the sale with legislation. Bush counter threats with a veto.
The reasons for concern are severe and numerous. First lets look at the UAE.
The UAE is one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government. As we all know, Afghanistan was the training grounds for Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. This gives the UAE an indirect link to 9/11.
The UAE was used as a financial center by some of the 9/11 hijackers.
Two of the 9/11 hijackers themselves are from the UAE.
The UAE doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist.
The UAE is not a democratic country.
Dubai Ports World is a state-run business, so effectively, our ports are being purchased by the UAE monarchy-styled government.
The UAE has financial ties to Iran.
The UAE has been accused of aiding the Iraqi insurgency.
Any one of the above reasons should be enough to discount The UAE as a potential purchaser, but Bush sees a silver lining. He's uniter, not a divider. Besides, if we don't submit to Dubai's will, then we hurt their feelings. The UAE does have American Bases, and Bush refers to the UAE as a ally against terror. But how does that change the connections to the Taliban and bin Laden?. Is it really so hard to believe that a country that is sympathetic to the Taliban might want to gain our trust in order to harm us? Since the Muslim world lacks the military strength, It must fight the “second Israel “ any way it can, whether by hijacking or other insidious means.
This, Mr. President is why Middle Eastern nations need to be held to a higher standard than real allies like the UK. Bill O'Reilley went as far as saying that those who oppose the port deal were somehow racist. Some have suggested that no one would complain if this were a German company. This a systemic denial of the true enemy. We are not at war with secular democracies. Jihad is not a race. Johnny Walker Lindh was a white American boy who found Islam and ran off to Afghanistan to join the Taliban. We are at war with Jihad. Jihad comes from Islam. Muslim nations are subject to sharia law, the Islamic code that structures their entire society. It's highly doubtful that such an ingrained concept that rules both religion and politics could be drastically changed in just four short years.
No matter how pure the intentions of Dubai may be, and no matter how careful American security precautions may be, the Islamic influence cannot be discounted. An individual within the company could find cracks in the system a lot easier in the United States than overseas. All too often we trust anti-terrorist operations to Muslim nations. The terrorists who bombed the USS Cole all escaped prison in Yemen and haven't been heard of since. Pakistan was trusted with the hunt for Osama bin Laden and he too, is still missing. Clinton had to hold off the bombing of Osama for killing Saudi princes who were with him at the time . Whether it's Saudi Arabia or Syria, terrorists seem to just conveniently disappear. This wouldn't have been a problem in Poland or England.
The Islamic world's jihad against “The Great Satan” didn't end on 9/11, thats just when we began to notice it. We shouldn't allow Dubai to run our ports for the same reason we wouldn't allow them to run our airlines.