Tuesday, February 21

NEW ORLEANS NEEDS FEMA, NOT DUBAI PORTS WORLD

Imagine this: you're a Katrina-displaced New Orleanian, you've just recently been forced out of your government-defrayed accomodations at a tired-looking motel, your FEMA-funded mobile home has proven anything but mobile and still sits in a cow pasture in Hope, Arkansas, your own flood-ravaged home in the Crescent City's Lower Ninth Ward has been condemned by government authorities and will be bulldozed, any opportunity to feed yourself and your family has been upended by hordes of illegal aliens landing the construction jobs for the federally-funded rebuilding of your city, and now you open up a newspaper and read that the Bush administration has blessed a business deal that would permit United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World to take over management of six major U.S. ports, including the Port of New Orleans.

Now is that what President Bush promised last September when he spoke to the nation from New Orleans' Jackson Square -- namely, that an Arab company would be esconced in the Port of New Orleans long before New Orleans' evacuees were able to return to their city and begin their lives anew?

Amazing how swiftly the government can move on behalf of foreign business interests and foreign governments, and how appallingly slow it responds when hapless American citizens need help.

And how preposterous is it that Department of Homeland Security's Michael Chertoff, of all people, is spending his time these days making the Bush administration's case for the Dubai Ports' deal, assuring Americans that the matter has been thoroughly vetted, safeguards are in place, and the arrangement poses no security problem to the nation, when he should be directing, among other things, the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast and the securing of our nation's porous borders?