I’m not quite sure why this has turned into such a major issue. I’m always a bit leery of giving foreign interests control of anything in the US, but the reaction the plan to turn the operations of some port terminals over to the United Arab Emirates has been stunning, to say the least.
The wackiest sort has been the “this is like giving the Mexican government control over the US-Mexico border”. It’s nothing of the sort, of course, and though security concerns are at the heart of my skepticism, it’s not like I’m afraid that UAE officials are going to be the only thing standing between our streets and the rest of the world.
The Coast Guard, Port Authority, local police, and US Customs aren’t going to just evaporate if this deal goes through. I’d say we should be have heightened awareness, maybe, but US law is still the law of the land. The UAE isn’t going to “manage ports”, it’s going to manage terminals in ports.
So many (including many in the GOP) are trying so hard to portray this as a “GW is selling America down the river” story. While I’m no big fan of the plan, I think critics are overstating the case and the threat by a very large margin. I just don’t see this as big news either way, other than the threat of a veto by the President to overturn legislation that would make the plan illegal. This seems to be an odd thing to suddenly go to the mats over.
I wish he would really go to the mats over the Mexican border issue. But I’m not sure which side he’d come down on in that one…
Here are some links to additional reading on this:
And Yehudit at Winds of Change notes this: “You don’t want to play poker with George Bush”. By and large, I agree with most of the points.