Gaps in Port Security Open Gaps in Foreign Policy

House Republicans sent a clear message to President Bush yesterday with a 62-2 vote to block a Dubai-owned firm from taking control of some U.S port operations.

Hopefully, the president does not go ahead with the veto that he promised. That would be foolish and further drive down his popularity. It’s too bad that Bush did not define the ports issue better since he thinks it is important enough to veto. The media surely didn’t and won’t and left many gaps out of their coverage on the Dubai Ports deal.

For example, how many people in the country know that Saudi Arabia already “controls” nine US ports. How many people know about the United Kingdom, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China and Taiwan have interests in U.S. port terminals and are already working in the ports? How exactly are we going to deal with those companies that are already operating here?


And, what about other industry? What about food products brought in from abroad? What about airlines operating from our airports? What about technology companies? Where does it stop? Is it time for America to shut the ports and borders altogether? (I hear a “yes” At least from Hillary who has been watching the latest polls) No one in, no one out. Lockdown! Where does it stop?

These are questions that Republicans must now answer. They don’t need to worry about democrats who are just playing politics and have no real answers (if they are not covered in the latest polls). So, Republicans are going to have to come together and figure out where to go from here. Thank God, they (we) can.

Republicans are also going to have to figure out how they want to continue with the War on Terror. This decision effectively says that the US as a country does not believe in Moderate Islam or at least that no country has attained that status, yet. (It’s amusing that Israel is OK with the ports deal but the US is not because the UAE does not recognize Israel!) So where does that lead the country? If there are no Islamic countries that we want operating in our ports then should we be surprised if the United Arab Emirates returns the favor and kicks us from their ports? We happen to move a lot of product in and out of Dubai, maybe more than anywhere. Last year the U.S. military docked more than 500 ships in the UAE and used their airfields to perform support missions for both Afghanistan and Iraq. So, what will we do if they return the favor.

And, since there are no Islamic countries that are appropriately moderate how does that figure in on the future of this War on Terror? Does this change the plan? What is the goal then on winning the War on Terror if we cannot trust any Muslim country? How perfect does a Muslim country need to be? How perfect does a Muslim country need to be before we do business with that country inside our borders? Pakistan is certainly less moderate than the UAE. Do we need to withdraw support from America’s most important ally in the War on Terrorism. They have yet to recognize Israel. What about the other 21 Arab countries?

And, how do the closed ports gang explain American history to the Leftists now? They must realize that Saddam was not so moderate back when we supported Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War. If their thinking is consistent, then, this must have been a mistake in US policy and the Left has been right all along. It’s Americas fault! Are they conceding that this was a mistake?

Moving forward then do we sit back when we see evil in the world because the country under siege in not moderate enough? How will this play out? Is the new standard going to be that the US must wait for a country to reach a certain level on the human rights scale before we intervene or assist?

What about countries that are suffering? What about Darfur? This area is certainly not a moderate region. Do we sit back (along with the UN) and watch genocide take place because the country does not recognize Israel? What are we supposed to do? What about those starving in Zimbabwe? Do we watch them die too?

I’m all ears.

Update: (Thursday PM) The Dubai-owned company said Thursday it is giving up its management stake in some U.S. ports Now, we take a first step to see who was serious about America’s security and who was playing politics.

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