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Call It What It Is: Islamophobia

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Cal

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February 24, 2006, 1:59 p.m.
Call It What It Is: Islamophobia
Dubai Ports World is not a security threat. And the UAE is a friend.
The brouhaha surrounding the Bush administration since it gave the green light to a United Arab Emirates company slated to manage six major U.S. ports has nothing to do with homeland security. Allow me to give this episode its proper name: Islamophobia.

This UAE company — Dubai Ports World — is a commercial administrator. They are not a security company, and should the deal go through they will not be in charge of security at a half-dozen U.S. ports. That responsibility remains tight in the hands of our U.S. Coast Guard and Customs officials. Meanwhile, the same longshoremen and stevedores will be hauling containers. Moreover, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (a multi-agency panel which includes seasoned representatives from the departments of Defense, Treasury, and Homeland Security) has vetted this deal and given it their seal of approval.

None of the eager critics of this business transaction can furnish a scintilla of evidence that the Bush administration hasn’t done its security due diligence on DP World. And so far, no one has proven that the security-vetting process of the executive branch is flawed. Instead, what we have here is a perfect storm of bi-partisan criticism based on a combination of nearsighted protectionism and xenophobic anti-Arab sentiment.

An amusing component of this flare-up is the sudden call to arms of the dovish Democrats. Aren’t many of these vocal critics the same folks who opposed the Patriot Act? Isn’t this the same posturing chorus that opposed NSA surveillance of al Qaeda phone calls? Didn’t these same folks want immediate withdrawal from Iraq? Why the sudden about face?

The entire case against the DP World deal is built on nonsense. The UAE is an American ally in an unsettled Middle East — and an important ally at that. They are exactly the kind of Arab country we need in our ongoing, critical mission in the region and the broader war effort. The UAE is not unlike our good friend Jordan, and is a whole lot better than Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Wall Street Journal correctly pointed out this week that

“Critics also forget, or conveniently ignore, that the UAE government has been among the most helpful Arab countries in the war on terror. It was one of the first countries to join the U.S. container security initiative, which seeks to inspect cargo in foreign ports. The UAE has assisted in training security forces in Iraq, and at home it has worked hard to stem terrorist financing and WMD proliferation. UAE leaders are as much an al Qaeda target as Tony Blair.”

Deputy Defense secretary Gordon England told a Senate panel that “The UAE today is a good friend and a good ally. They stand side by side with us in the war on terrorism.” For the Pentagon, the UAE offers the region’s only deep-water port and dry-dock facility, large enough to take in aircraft carriers and nuclear subs. Two of its ports, including the DP World-administered Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, host more U.S. naval visits than any other facility outside the United States. The country also hosts major air bases for U.S. refueling and surveillance flights.

Additionally, UAE central bank officials have strengthened anti-money-laundering and terror-financing laws and have greatly increased oversight of their financial system. The UAE is also the only country in the Middle East that allows U.S. customs inspectors to check cargo headed to America.

Could Bush have done a better job in handling all of this? Sure. The president made some clear political marketing mistakes. In particular, he should have opened up the black-box of executive review and shared it with members of Congress. Transparency in government is always a good thing.

But in the end, America ought to honor its word. We have a duty to keep our promise to Dubai Ports and the UAE, a country that deserves the same fair treatment we give all our allies. There is no room for prejudice or bigotry here.

Make no mistake about it. What is going on right now on cable news channels, in the newspapers, and over the Internet is simple Islamophobia. The Democrats who are vocally against the deal are assuredly motivated by political gain. But Republicans should know better. If we’re to win the fight against the Islamofascists, a tiny minority of the Muslim community, we cannot afford to erect political, trade, or commercial barriers against those Arab nations who have aligned themselves with the U.S. in the terror war and who wish to do business with us as part of that alliance.

Repulsing them is just plain stupid. Tearing down barriers to promote global connectivity is a much better strategy wherever it makes national-security sense.

Dubai has offered their help. We should take it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlow/kudlow200602241359.asp
— Larry Kudlow, NRO’s Economics Editor, is host of CNBC’s Kudlow & Company and author of the daily web blog, Kudlow’s Money Politic$.
 

SDSteve

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Take it up with Fasterhorses and Libertybelle. They both seem to be as anti-Islam as anyone around.
 
A

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"Could Bush have done a better job in handling all of this? Sure. The president made some clear political marketing mistakes. In particular, he should have opened up the black-box of executive review and shared it with members of Congress. Transparency in government is always a good thing."


Right there is 90% of the problem with this whole situation and this administration which has lost it a great deal of credibility and trust...This government and administration has forgotten that it is supposed to be working for the populace and not the other way around....
 

Liberty Belle

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SD Steve: Take it up with Fasterhorses and Libertybelle. They both seem to be as anti-Islam as anyone around.
This issue has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with our national security. Read the article over carefully, SD Steve.

I especially liked this paragraph:
An amusing component of this flare-up is the sudden call to arms of the dovish Democrats. Aren’t many of these vocal critics the same folks who opposed the Patriot Act? Isn’t this the same posturing chorus that opposed NSA surveillance of al Qaeda phone calls? Didn’t these same folks want immediate withdrawal from Iraq? Why the sudden about face?

Why do the Democrats all of a sudden see a threat from an ally, which just happens to be an Islamic nation, when they see no threat whatsoever from Muslims or secular terrorists when it comes to issues like the war in Iraq, border security, the Patriot Act, NSA surveillance of phone calls from known al Qaeda to people in our country, and the millions of illegal aliens living with apparent immunity within our borders?

Read it over again and note that the UAE will not control security, anymore than any of the other foreign countries running other ports in this country control security. If it were up to me, NO foreign country would own anything in our country, and especially not countries like China, who has never been our friend, that Clinton sold ports and the Panama Canal to, however, I see no reason to discriminate against a country that has shown to be an ally in our struggle against terrorism just because they happen to be Muslim, do you?

R2:Yes, I also found this a fascinating study in contradictions. I have seen more anti-Islam across the board here than in my life so I'm so glad that there has been a super pro-Islam flip-flop I thought we were gonna nuke em all?
If all Muslims suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, I can’t say I’d miss them, but why only attack the ones who have been on our side in the war on terror? Where is the sense in that?

Here’s another article that pretty much reflects how I feel:

Americans Must Be Absolutely Certain Port Deal Won't Compromise Security
by Rep. Mike Pence

Posted Mar 01, 2006

It is said that Washington does two things well: nothing and overreact. Both have been in high relief in the last week in our nation’s capital.

Americans learned just a few days ago of the approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that a company owned by the United Arab Emirates had purchased the ability to operate ports in six major American cities.

Those on the “do nothing side” argued very quickly that the contract had been vetted in the CFIUS program, a 30-day perfunctory review. They argued that no more review was necessary, despite the fact that the UAE had been the home to the banks that funneled money to the 19 hijackers on 9/11 and in fact had endorsed the Taliban government in Afghanistan before that attack.

On the “overreact side,” many in Congress, especially it seems Democrats in the Senate, called for a complete cancellation of the contract without regard to the fact that, since 9/11, the UAE has been a strong ally of the United States, providing a safe harbor for more 500 of our ships to be refueled and readied.

For my part, I joined those in Congress who called for a thorough investigation of this contract. In the next month and a half, and in an agreement reached this weekend between the Administration, Congress and the companies involved, a 45 day review will go forward.

But in order for this contract to be moved forward, the American people must be absolutely certain that doing so will not compromise the methods and practices that the Coast Guard, Customs and Homeland Security employ to protect our ports.

Congressman Pence, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, represents the 6th District of Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives.
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=12831
 

Steve

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Yes, I also found this a fascinating study in contradictions. I have seen more anti-Islam across the board here than in my life so I'm so glad that there has been a super pro-Islam flip-flop Wink Wink I thought we were gonna nuke em all?

When I wanted to Nuke the radical islamic terrorist,...I was called a racist....

when I was condemning the Radical islamic Terrorists I was told to "understand them".....I understand them enough to want them dead before they kill again....

But when I defend a policy...? please it is the Radical Islamic terrorist I would prefer dead.....not the capitalist efficiant company investing in our country......

even though (GOD forbid) I agree with Hillary on foreign ownership of our ports, doesn't make me like her, or even think I would vote for her....
 

Cal

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Quick info on UAE.

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ae.html
 

Jinglebob

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Steve said:
even though (GOD forbid) I agree with Hillary on foreign ownership of our ports, doesn't make me like her, or even think I would vote for her....

"Politics makes strange bedfellows". Nobody ought to know that better than Hillary! :roll:
 

kolanuraven

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even though (GOD forbid) I agree with Hillary on foreign ownership of our ports, doesn't make me like her, or even think I would vote for her....


NJSteve.....I must admit I NEVER thought I'd hear this !!!! Amazing!!!!
 

Cal

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reader (the Second) said:
Yes, I also found this a fascinating study in contradictions. I have seen more anti-Islam across the board here than in my life so I'm so glad that there has been a super pro-Islam flip-flop :wink: :wink: I thought we were gonna nuke em all?
So, as someone working in Homeland Security, do you think Kudlow is right or wrong? Can we trust Dubai? Are other foreign operated ports a threat?
 

Steve

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Quote:
even though (GOD forbid) I agree with Hillary on foreign ownership of our ports, doesn't make me like her, or even think I would vote for her....



NJSteve.....I must admit I NEVER thought I'd hear this !!!! Amazing!!!!

Washington, DC – United States Senators Robert Menendez and Hillary Clinton announced today that they are introducing legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from purchasing port operations in the United States. The legislation would block such transactions as the proposed sale of operations at six major U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

but now hillary stabs US all in the back,,,,Cosco, and the other goverment owned port operations her Husband approved would not be affected by her legislation, Just the dubia deal....so it only took a few days for me to see that she hasn't changed.........

she is still the same, playing to the liberal media saying what she believes the polls want her to say all the while doing nothing of real importance for this country.....
 

Mike

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reader (the Second) said:
Actually Arafat was like this. It's a well known phenomenon, a person can't shake the guerrilla techniques that he/she used to achieve power when power is ultimately achieved. I'd say Rove fits the bill. Hillary is just still hungry.

To use Rove and Arafat in the same paragraph for comparisons' sake deeply troubles me about your comprehension abilities and views on politics.

You should be ashamed.
 

Steve

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R2
They act not like the administration elected/appointed to our highest office but like folks running a campaign.

against the repetative drum beat of the liberal press, they are forced to stay on constant gaurd......
 

Cal

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reader (the Second) said:
Cal said:
reader (the Second) said:
Yes, I also found this a fascinating study in contradictions. I have seen more anti-Islam across the board here than in my life so I'm so glad that there has been a super pro-Islam flip-flop :wink: :wink: I thought we were gonna nuke em all?
So, as someone working in Homeland Security, do you think Kudlow is right or wrong? Can we trust Dubai? Are other foreign operated ports a threat?

My instincts on this are that it was a mistake. I have not read the Coast Guard's assessment, but I believe that Homeland Security advised against this deal. I don't distrust Dubai, however we have trouble screening our own airport personnel, it seems like a nightmare to me to have a Middle Eastern company operating major ports regardless of the safeguards. Remember we have a history of making diplomatic and international relations choices that blow up in our face later (training Osama Bin Laden, arming Saddam Hussain against Iran). This administration wants it both ways -- play the trump card of national security at every corner but continue their personal (Bush and Cheney) long and close relationship with the oil producing countries and their rulers. I understand the argument that allying ourselves with and aiding Middle Eastern countries offsets Radical Islam but these are sensitive times with infiltration of Radical Islam in every country with a large Muslim population, including throughout Europe. Like it or not, we are at war with an asymmetric threat and it means war and diplomacy as usual won't work.

We appear to be making trade decisions left and right that make me personally nervous in light of national security. I would be happy if there was a brilliant grand scheme behind it -- bringing down the USSR with blue jeans type of thing -- but knowing the Government well as I do, I doubt that.
Thanks for your reply. Can I ask one more question :???: What do you think the biggest threat might be...smuggling in nuclear devices or other type of wmd, sneaking in terrorists...just wondering?
 

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