Saturday, March 4


Fox News' Tony Snow must have had people like me in mind -- we "fearful fringe nativists" -- when he wrote this sophomoric hit piece in support of the UAE-owned Dubai Ports World deal that President Bush insists not be rescinded for fear of alienating a good ally in the Middle East and the Muslim world at large. Mr. Snow has opted to resort to the "Fear Factor" canard in attempting to slay the judgement of an overwhelming majority of Americans concerned about a government-owned company in the Middle East managing vital infrastructure here in the United States -- infrastructure that anyone with an ounce of common sense would recognize as strategic to America's national security interests.

A fair number of analysts have linked the Dubai Ports World controversy with President Bush's approach to border security. The president, they say, can't keep our borders safe, so why should we trust his word when it comes to securing our ports?

The question unmasks the questioners. While our borders have become porous, they haven't become highways for terror, at least by the slender evidence available to laymen. Instead, they have become the focal point for fearful imaginings -- of Islamofascists secreted in otherwise empty trucks or train cars; underground railroads for bin Laden-trained thugs who have slithered around the world and up through South and Central America.

I have written here:

The UAE-owned Dubai Ports World imbroglio is but an ancillary element of the primary catalyst accelerating President George W. Bush's steep slide in popularity and his loss of credibility -- namely, his stubborn refusal to secure our nation's borders in a post-"9/11" age of Islamofascist terrorism. That congenital stubborn streak has become his political undoing in his second term and its enervating effects are seen in the schism fast developing in GOP ranks.

And I have written here:

Which brings me to the essential question that seems to have been lost in the woof and warp of name-calling (example: the NYT's David Brooks describes negative reactions to the deal as a "xenophobic tsunami -- a nativist, isolationist, mass hysteria") from the president's minions in the government, the press, the GOP, and the center-right blogosphere against those of us having genuine concerns about placing a United Arab Emirates-owned company in charge of managing 22 of America's ports: do multi-national business interests under the aegis of economic globalization trump strategic national security concerns?

After all, doesn't it follow that if, in the aftermath of 9/11, the nation's borders (north and south) continue to be porous and unsecured and Arab-owned companies run many of our ports, including two in Texas that supply 40% of the U.S. Army's cargo deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom , that this nation's government has yet to do a full-fledged risk assessment in the context of America's national security interests? Goodness, at present we still only inspect 3% - 5% of the millions of domestic and foreign containers that arrive at our ports! That's the so-called security provided by DHS and the U.S. Coast Guard that the president reassures us will not be compromised by the DPW deal. Security? What security?

But what we don't have is a strategic assessment of those industries vital to America's security and the necessary laws governing their ownership to protect us and minimize the risk of terrorist attack. Seems economic globalization trumps strategic security interests. Money talks. Have enough of it and you can do most anything you want to do (or receive most anything you want to receive) in or from the United States of America.

President Bush has long schooled Americans on why this country gorges on cheap labor: it's because illegal aliens ("immigrants," he calls them) are willing to do the jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. To that canard, he must now add another to his repertoire to explain why the business of America is being recast: it's because Arab-owned and Communist China-owned companies are willing to do the work that American-owned businesses are unwilling to do.

Sorry, Tony, but your column unmasks the columnist, not the questioners -- i.e., those, like me, dubious that the federal government and its Department of Homeland Security know what they're doing in protecting us from another "9/11." Fact is, the DPW deal is all about second fiddles orchestrating Treasury Department deals under the auspices of the CFIUS and with nary a concern about protecting the country's national security.

Again, as I have previously written:

Stunningly, in this age of much ballyhooed economic globalization, assistant secretaries, sitting on obscure, secretive committees, are quietly making decisions involving America's post-"9/11" strategic security interests.

Do recall, Tony, that the World Trade Center had been hit prior to September 11, 2001. And to your notion that the Dubai Ports World imbroglio is all about paranoia and anti-immigrant animus, rather than legitimate national security concerns, kindly ask property owners along the contiguous U.S.-Mexico border if they're not being genuinely terrorized by the drug traffickers, human smugglers, MS-13 gang members, waves of Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) from "countries of interest" that harbor and support terrorists, and even elements of the Mexican army.

Just as President Bush has put insufficient troops on the ground in Iraq to secure that nation's borders and stop the steady infiltration of terrorists, thus protracting the war there, he has failed to put sufficient numbers of U.S. Border Patrol agents on the ground along America's borders to stop the human invasion and its concomitant violence from Mexico. The president just doesn't get it when it comes to border security and that monumental fact set against the backdrop of the GWOT and America's homeland security is the glaring contradiction in terms that is unraveling George W. Bush's credibility with his Republican base and with Americans at large.

When 12 - 20 million people who have entered this country illegally without proper documentation and oftentimes resorting to forged documentation are not seen as a risk to homeland security, then you have to wonder who's being dellusional and "uninterested in facts."

I would suggest to you it is Tony Snow and others of his ilk. It's not fear, Mr. Snow, that motivates Americans to question the federal government's indifference to
porous borders and millions of undocumented lawbreakers afoot in our land; rather, it's just good ol' American common sense in an age of international Islamofascist terrorism. Fact is, we get it and it is you who have some catching up to do.

FOLLOW-UP: To those who use the race card in debating with those of us who oppose the "ports deal" with DPW, calling us paranoids, Islamophobes, and nativists, among other ad hominem-style terms of endearment (just count the number Tony Snow utilized in his column), I encourage you to read the thoughtful posts by John Hawkins and The Anchoress on the subject. While both are not against "the deal," as I am, they bring a sober, objective perspective to the issues being sighted by many proponents. Do take the time to read them.