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February 23, 2006

More Scary Details on the Ports Deal? - 'Understanding the Difference Between Islamophobia, and Islamo-awareness'

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Scary port deal? Perhaps, at least Debbie Schlussel thinks so, and she brings up a couple of good points:

The deal for Dubai Ports World to control six of our major ports is bad enough. But more information, from a secret White House deal, is even more disturbing. In the secret agreement, the White House agreed to drop legal requirements that are normally required for ALL OTHER corporations in a similar position.

The White House is not requiring DP World to maintain its records on U.S. soil. Huh? Why? I mean, after all, we're only talking about national security and vital infrastructure at key entry points on our shores. The White House is also NOT requiring DP World to have a resident agent who is a U.S. Citizen. That is almost unheard of for any other corporation, foreign or domestic, that does business here.

She has more...

Meanwhile, Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said the agency would file a lawsuit later Thursday or Friday in New Jersey's Essex County state court, in order to terminate the Dubai firm's lease at the port.

And here are a few "Port security pitfalls" detailed at U.S.

On the other hand, Andrew Ward and Stephanie Kirchgaessner write that safeguards are in place, and that U.S. port security fears are "greatly exaggerated"

However, Andrew C. McCarthy has an interesting and informative piece at NRO, "The Politically Correct vs. the Politically Ridiculous," in which he frames the discussion in a far more appropriate light than we're seeing from either side of this issue...

... he says that "they (both sides) prefer to cast the issue as one of foreign port-terminal management because they lack the gumption to state that the problem is Islamic participation in what is a gaping soft-spot in our armor. And of course he's right, and his points bring the reasons for this home to roost:

So while Democrats pander to our fears (and thus adopt the very cudgel they claim the administration has clubbed them with since 9/11), the president panders to what he takes to be our sense of fair play. He has he challenged lawmakers, the Wall Street Journal reports, to “step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard” than a British company.

Well, okay. The Middle Eastern company is wholly owned by an Islamic autocracy. The president says we need to democratize the Islamic world because autocracies are unstable. And this particular one, oil-rich but only about the size of Maine, has more non-citizens than citizens among its four million or so residents, is enmeshed in a territorial dispute with those famously reasonable mullahs in Iran (over the Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island), and has been a hub for international narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

Nonetheless, the administration regards the regime — which does not show much promise of democratic reform — as both friendly and adherent to moderate Islam. As usual, “moderate” is in the eye of the beholder. For example, it is a crime punishable by imprisonment in the UAE for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man — because that is a violation of the meta-tolerant Religion of Peace’s sharia law, which governs the realm. Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women (and more than one if they like), but you can get sent to prison for such crimes as urging Muslims to convert to other faiths.

Moreover, as my friend Frank Gaffney points out, the regime despises our close ally, Israel. The UAE promotes the idea of a one-state solution in “Palestine” (hint: the one state is not Israel), and may well be funding charities in Gaza and the West Bank — where “charities” are notorious for underwriting terrorism.

Be sure to read all of what McCarthy has to say, and you'll probably walk away with the same view I have. While I see President Bush's side on this, and understand that it might help some Arab leaders to "feel a little better" about America, I have to ask, "Why do we care?"!

McCarthy's closing remarks offer a good starting point for all of us:

This transaction needs a long, careful look. It doesn’t need stone-throwing from opportunists who would be better advised to check their own glass houses. And it doesn’t need bully-pulpit demagoguery.

You don’t need to be an “Islamophobe” to have doubts here. You just need to have an IQ of about 11.

Assuming most of us have an IQ of at least 11 or more, there's reason to have doubts about this port deal with an Islamic government, and to hell what the Arab leaders think - they haven't done such a great job in combatting terrorism and Islamist nfiltration in their own countries, why should we hand them over the keys to ours? Besides, there is really no such thing as an Islamophobe - but there is much to say about Islamo-awareness.

Posted by Richard at February 23, 2006 04:22 PM

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