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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port Woes

A lot of stuff in mass media has gotten my head-shaking in disgust and apathy. Following Dick Cheney shooting a guy, the new big politics news story is how a company owned and operated out of the United Arab Emirates may take over six! American! ports! And, Bush is threatening to veto any attempts to prevent this from happening. What. The. Fuck. Okay, first of all, let's call it like it is: The Democrats, Republicans and whomever else is protesting the takeover of six American ports from a British company by Dubai Ports World are being racist. They see Middle Eastern, brown, and foreign and immediately are getting mental images of turbans and terrorists. Bush's propaganda machine has worked extremely well -- any claim that the post-9/11 frenzy not stir up a war against Arabs has apparently gone unnoticed in this incredibly embarassing public display of pure, unadulterated ignorant xenophobia. Let me say it for you all again: the Arabs are not al Qaeda. The fact that this story has stirred up insane headlines like (CNN's) "United Arab Emirates: Friend or Foe" should be an indication, enough, that we're not thinking but reacting to racist stereotypes and fears. That being said, any claim that Bush had of trying to protect America from "terrorist" threats should be thrown out the window. It isn't safe for non-American corporations to have control over American ports; the ports are unsafe enough as it is, and remain one of the major vulnerabilities in America's infrastructure. If we are truly to pursue a War on Terrorism (or at least offer a bleak attempt at minimizing further attacks on American soil), one of the first efforts that should have been made was to return control of American ports to American hands, regardless of the extra costs. There should be no ports under Canadian control, British control, or indeed, UAE control. That American politicians are giving in to the racism in this matter is reprehensible. That Bush is defending this move while still trying to call himself a "wartime president" is unfathomable.

7 Comments:

Anonymous sheldiz said...

yeah, and it kills me that people are failing to realize that the companies that control the port do NOT control the security measures taken at said ports. that still does and always will lie with the local, state, and federal security authorities stationed there. SO... even if the big scary UAE company gets the contract and, according to the crazies, tries to use it for funnelling terrorists into the US... the US government WOULD HAVE TO BE IN ON IT! the whole situation is ridiculous.

2/22/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger phillyjay said...

If it was any other group taking control, both political parties wouldn't complain AS much.They would still be weary of non-americans, but seeing non-american arabs brings the terrorist image in the minds of even the most accepting and open of people.

2/22/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger jose said...

I wrote about this yesterday and agree that it is racist, but disagree that we should not allow foreign "control" of ports. The idea of "control" that the mass media is perputuating is a loaded word. As sheldiz said, there would be security at various levels of government, and the UAE is an even better option than Britain considering they have more to lose. It's an even better option than America -- Halliburton as a choice is ridiculous considering how much they profit from war, and we have Enrons and WorldComms that place personal profit over the corporation and the people who depend on it.

Hillary, Schumer, et. al should be ashamed of their unabashed racism, and we should not encourage their justifications for it. We should not let Bush use this as a stalker horse to allow Halliburton to control our ports. The media's reporting on this is so biased, Democrats have everything to gain, and POC will lose no matter what. The least we can do is let Bush hang himself on the same racist xenophobia he used to justify the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

2/23/2006 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger Thin Black Duke said...

Jose is right. The idea of "control" in this matter distorted. The media is making it out that the UAE will own the ports, when in reality all they will own is an operating lease. Security of the ports is a matter of the U.S. Gov't.

It saddens me that even Democrats are playing into the racism and xenophobia that the Bush administration has done so well at fostering in this country. I agree with Kevin Drum.

But the whole thing feeds on a mindless anti-Arab jingoism that's genuinely dangerous, and that's why I'm not joining the fun unless I hear some really good reasons for doing so. As liberals, we're either serious about engaging with the Muslim world in a sensible, non-hysterical way or we're not. Which is it?

2/23/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is most definitely rascist, but its also hypocritical at the same time. George W and his administration , have the Patriot Act, and they are so paranoid about anything associated with an Arab country, but yet they agree to the UAE running six of our seaports. I have no problem with UAE running the Seaports or even owning them, but I do have a problem with the rest of the administrations hypocritical policies. Primarily the Patriot Act.

By the way I really enjoy your Blogs and I thought that your bio was hilarious.
Lisa H.

2/28/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is most definitely rascist, but its also hypocritical at the same time. George W and his administration , have the Patriot Act, and they are so paranoid about anything associated with an Arab country, but yet they agree to the UAE running six of our seaports. I have no problem with UAE running the Seaports or even owning them, but I do have a problem with the rest of the administrations hypocritical policies. Primarily the Patriot Act.

By the way I really enjoy your Blogs and I thought that your bio was hilarious.
Lisa H.

2/28/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger jack (aka angrybrownbutch) said...

Just wanted to chime in with definite agreement about the racist bit, and about the hypocrisy that the last commenter was talking about. But, like other folks, I don't see a problem with a foreign-owned corporation controlling the ports, especially if, as the first commenter suggested, security is the responsibility of the US anyhow.

Of course, I really don't understand the whole port thing; maybe if I did, I'd feel differently?

3/03/2006 05:42:00 PM  

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