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Sunday, February 26, 2006 

Son of the Gipper is also against Portgate

Michael Reagan, the son of the late president Ronald Reagan, points out how Dubya's sell-out of the US seaports to Dubai and the UAE is a very bad idea:
After Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal, my father, Ronald Reagan, grabbed hold of the issue and never let go. He rode that horse all the way into the White House.

President Bush needs to think about that because if he fails to back down and at least give the opponents of the Dubai ports deal a chance to be heard, the Democrats are going to mount this gift horse and ride it into the White House just as my Dad did with an issue Jimmy Carter handed to him.

The way the Bush people have handled this matter from the very beginning is simply appalling. And coming on the heels of the vice president’s inept handling of the Harry Whittington accidental shooting - which gave impetus to charges that the administration plays its cards too close to its chest - the Dubai deal gives even more validity to the charges. Because it was done behind closed doors, with nary a word to the leadership on Capitol Hill, it comes out looking like a bumbled attempt to put one over on the American people.

The deal would allow Dubai Ports World (DPW) of the United Arab Emirates to run ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami. Last week the Dubai government-owned DPW bought the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which had been managing the six ports.

It may well be that the arrangement has great merit and could prove beneficial to the U.S., but as a political matter it is an unmitigated disaster – and one which could cost the GOP dearly in both the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Here we have an issue – national security - that is uppermost in the minds of the American people, largely because the president has hammered away at it and used it brilliantly to portray the Democrats as weak-kneed in the war on terror and on matters involving national security. In one fell swoop the president throws it away, and even worse allows the Democrats to appear stronger in defending the American people than he and the Republicans have been.

It’s worse than stupid – it’s suicidal.
IMO, this is exactly why the next Republican presidential candidate should not be someone who's into the oil business or who has business ties with countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

There's one thing Reagan leaves out though: the working conditions of foreign employees in countries like Dubai and the House of Saud. Since this deal could also involve American workers travelling to those places, that's another reason why this is a very bad idea. But other than that, Mike Reagan really scores big here.

And of course, we can't let the Democrats fool us with how they're now jumping on this issue as a way of trying to save themselves from the muck they got themselves into this past year.

In related news, Sweetness & Light (via JunkYardBlog) points out that a Saudi shipping company's owned nine US ports since 1979. However, does that mean that all's well with this deal, or was, ever since the Saudis were allowed to buy them back then?

Here's a question: who was president back in 1979? He's mentioned in Michael Reagan's article. That's right. The same Jimmy Carter who favors Hamas. And here's another challenging question: is it possible that Carter, in selling those ports to the Saudis, may have relaxed security measures during that time as well, which could mean that some terrorist related activities may have been smuggled into the US even before this time when radical Islam is on the rise? Well you know, anything's possible, so we can't rule out the possibility that terrorist funders in particular may have succeeded in entering the US in past years.

And that's why, aside from the fact that the UAE is an entity that supports terrorism against even the US, and if so, should not be recognized as legitimate, we cannot risk allowing the deal with an enemy country. Plus, here's something from Byron to consider:
2. Al Qaeda claimed to have infiltrated Dubai government and business interests three years ago. Whether that claim is true or bluster is hard to say, but the safe bet is that it’s true.
And if so, well then, that's exactly why I profess considerable surprise that all of a sudden, when some conservatives (i.e-the ones responding on Sweetness & Light) receive info that the deal is "safe", so what happens next? SPROING! In one fell swoop, they're suddenly taking the side of the administration almost entirely 100% percent. I'm sorry, but knee-jerk adherence is not the way to go, and Reagan certainly isn't going that way, is he?

Let's be clear here. If terrorism is to be combatted effectively, that's exactly why countries like Dubai, if they're supporting such monstrosities, CANNOT be recognized as legitimate. And that's exactly why they cannot be allowed to purchase and own vital parts of the US either. Which is why I hope that, just like liberals, even conservatives will begin to wake up.

And man, do I miss ol' Ronald Reagan, one of the most responsible presidents in US history.

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