I've been really thinking over this port deal with the UAE, and at the end of the day, I can find no compelling reason to oppose this. At worst, it's not a big deal, and at best, it's a win-win for the War on Terror, and our image around the world. I still think a thorough investigation needs to happen, to calm any honest fear, but I fear, as with a lot of issues, this story has been given over to hysteria and politics.
It has always been my belief that in order to achieve a long-term victory in the War on Terror, we must embrace moderate Islam, and moderate forces for change in th region. Democracy in Iraq will be impossible without this.
There are those among us who reject this idea, and assert that there is no such thing as moderate Islam. They don't want Arabs guarding our ports. They want profiling, and other programs in place. Some are so extreme as to engage in outright xenophobia, as seen with the latest antics of Ann Coulter, and blogs such as LGF. For some people, the very suggestion of a moderate Islam is nothing more than a closet appeal for dhimmitude. "There goes the moonbat Left again," they say. Keep in mind that most Americans don't think this way-at least not to that degree.
Back to the UAE port deal, and the politics involved-for those on the far-right who oppose this, it seems to be an appeal to their aforementioned sensibilities. For the Democrats, it looks like politics. In trying to look tough on terror, they've played right into Republican hands. Of course Dems have been bringing up the legit concerns about our ports being unguarded, but it still looks political. It looks like another way to slam Bush. Bush hasn't guarded ports. Arab country with possible ties gets port deal. Bush blows it. Instant scandal.
Nver mind the fact that Dubai and the UAE is an ally in the GWoT, and that these ports are still under American control. There's a lot to get Bush and the Republicans on, but this isn't it.
At least I'm pretty darn sure it isn't.
On a side note, Bush is committed to sticking up for the UAE. I only wish they'd be as committed to sticking up for Denmark.