Tuesday, February 21, 2006

We'll Throw in Our Airports at Half Price

Unbelievable. What else can I say about the Bush administration's latest debacle with the ports? As Kos succinctly put it,
We bomb Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11, yet we hand UAE the keys to our ports.
Plus, more bonus points for the Battlestar Galactica reference. More here.

Update: I've since read an excellent and enlightening piece on this situation by Soj at DailyKos (and most of the attending comments, before I pooped out). It seems to be a volatile subject. Now that I understand the situation better I am less incredulous at the administration's position. I'm willing to admit I was misinformed. I'm still okay with the Dems (and some Repubs) attacking the deal, even if it is not certain that it would cause any security threat, just because it does seem ridiculous on the face of it that Bush advocated attacking Iraq on the pretense of lessening terrorism (which did nothing of the sort, as Iraq was little threat on that front but is now becoming a larger training ground and focal point for just such activity) and yet continually conducts major business deals like this with companies that are essentially puppets of the families that rule Dubai and the UAE. The Bushies' logic is generally so... well, I was going to say twisted, but it's more like...not. logic. So, why not have everybody jump all over it and obfuscate and call them stupid on what is clearly a trigger issue even if they do make a wee bit of sense in this case? It's just a wee bit, mind you. Certainly not enough to outweigh everything else.

Now, another main reason I was agin' the whole deal wasn't specifically related to U.S. security, but human rights. Let's face it, the majority of countries run by oligarchs, especially single families, tend to be breeding grounds for human rights violations and slave labour. In addition, I admit that I have a healthy skepticism about Islam-based governments when it comes to religious tolerance and women's rights. Now I find out that Dubai, in particular, is supposed to have one of the best records on these issues of any place in the middle east. So, does that make working with them okay? And, does it follow that anyone who feels uncomfortable with this deal, including me, is being xenophobic and racist, like the administration is implying in their recent counter-attacks?

Could be. I am willing to be educated. But I'm kind of with Kathy Griffin on this one. I have impulses to be "PC" and respectful of other people's cultural traditions, but I have to draw the line at treating women - not to mention gay people - like second-class citizens. And yes, I am even for banning governmental business deals with any other kind of discriminatory group - like, say, fundamentalist evangelical Christians. So, I'm an equal-opportunity discriminator. I discriminate against the kind of people who discriminate against, well, me. And if it's prejudiced to feel skeptical that a government run by Muslim sheiks would be 100% on the up-and-up on equality for women, gay people, non-Muslims and foreigners on their soil, I'm guilty.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I do hope it doesn't devolve into pure xenophobic rhetoric but, if that's what it takes to counter Bush's overarching bullshit, then, I don't know. Let 'er rip.

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