Defending Bush Over Ports
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Despite being extremely dissatisfied with President Bush, there are still some instances when I have to admit that he is right, and the recent ports controversy is one of them.
Perhaps being too eager to grandstand in an election year, Congress has been critical of Dubai's takeover of operations at six major ports. Opposition has come from a large and diverse crowd of Republicans and Democrats alike, including Senator Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Frist. Admirably, McCain has not joined his fellow congressmen in this ill-conceived circus. But why shouldn't Americans be concerned that a company owned by an Arab government is taking over operations at something that is so critical to our economy and our security?
- Before pending takeover, these ports have been operated by another foreign company, based in the UK. This is a global economy, and there should be nothing inherently wrong with doing business with global companies if they can operate efficiently and economically, lest we wish to invoke protectionism and toss aside the spirit free trade.
- The company's chairman and chief operating officers are Americans.
- Dubai may be Arabic, but it is pro-Western.
- Security, customs, etc. have always been--and will still be--handled by the American government.
- The laborers employed have always been--and will still be--drawn from the local workforce.
- They will not own the ports; they are only operating them.
- The only change will be in the upper levels of management.
This company should be judged by its merits: if it can operate efficiently and economically, then there is no rational reason for this kind of fuss. Let's hope that Bush will stick to his guns and use his veto if Congress continues down this asinine path.