Monday, March 13, 2006

Disgusted About Dubai

There are going to be economic consequences from the death of the Dubai ports deal. An immediate one is the postponement of free trade talks with the UAE. This could affect the long-term security of the US. Despite what critics said, Dubai has been consistently pro-US since 9-11. That may change.

It also signals to Arabs and Moslems that they should not invest money in the US.

There are three groups that killed the deal. In order of increasing annoyance they are:

  1. People on the right who are afraid of Arabs. The links between the UAE and 9-11 were about as strong as the links between Germany and 9-11.
  2. Democrats in Congress on the left who were trying to score political points against President Bush. Hillary Clinton heads this list. She's also high on the list of people who should know better. All she has to do is ask her husband. Bill has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars of speaking fees from the UAE and gave them advice on how to get the deal through Congress.
  3. Republicans in Congress trying to dis-associate themselves from the President. What really killed the deal was the bi-partisan nature of the attack and many of the Republicans seemed to be acting from self-preservation rather than principles.

As a nation we need to agree on a few things. The biggest is if we actually at war and, if so, who are we at war with? Are we at war with violent Islamic fundamentalists? All of Islam? All Arabs, even non-Moslems? The message we just sent is that we might be at war with all Moslems or all Arabs. At minimum, we will not distinguish between terrorists and the countries that they (or their parents) are from.

The only good thing to come out of this is the possible collapse of Hillary's campaign. Regardless of her time in the Senate, her main qualification to the Presidency is the time she spent in the White House. After taking a leading role in killing the transfer, she will have to explain why it is ok for her former-president husband to have close relations with a government she doesn't trust.

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