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The Dubai Ports Deal | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

The Dubai Ports Deal

Defenders of the Dubai ports deal argue that rejecting it would be an insult to the Arab world. But if you look at it from a different angle, maybe we'd actually be doing our new found friends in the United Arab Emirates a favor.

It is hard to imagine why on earth Dubai would want to manage six major American ports where less than 5 percent of cargo is inspected currently. What if, God forbid, terrorists, completely unconnected to Dubai, slipped a weapon of mass destruction through one of the ports Dubai manages? Has the emir of Dubai forgotten what happened to Saddam, who had no connection to 9/11?

If our ally of all of four years really wants to involve itself in America's economy, maybe the U.A.E. should bid on a job equally vital but less of a security risk, like managing the reconstruction of New Orleans. It's clear the Bush administration isn't. They haven't even found a replacement for ex-FEMA head Michael Brown, whose rehabilitation in the media last week was one for the ages. No, the Bush administration is too busy doing damage control on the video showing that despite Bush's mendacious assurances to the contrary, his administration did indeed anticipate a possible "breach" of the levees. Wait, I'm sorry, they only anticipated the levees being "topped."

A distinction without a difference is the White House's current defense. Talk about another moment for the Dictionary of Republicanisms.

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