I don't care if the majority of Americans were deadset against this. I don't care that most of Congress was against it. This whole fight was never about security- it was about politics. Both parties want to look tough on terrorism and this was a slam dunk of an issue. We could cash in on fear of another 9/11 and throw in some xenophobia and get the American public to fear people with funny sounding names.
Sometimes I think that our country is incredibly short-sighted and fearful anything that is "foreign." September 11 didn't open us up to the world, it made us even more suspicious of anyone that doesn't seem "American," whatever that means.
Let me remind you of a few things concerning some recent terrorist events. The 19 hijackers on 9/11 flew jets made by an American company (Boeing) and owned by US airlines (United and American). The "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, was a British citizen. The persons behind the London subway attacks last July were British Muslims as well.
I say this to say that the terrorists don't need a company from the UAE to do their dirty work. In some cases, they only need to look to homegrown terrorists.
(Hmmm...maybe we should start rounding up Arabs who live here, just in case. It worked SO WELL on the Japanese Americans.)
And by the way, an American-owned company doesn't assure us that our ports our safe. As the New York Times reports in
Overall security is dismal at many ports. Low-paid rent-a-cops often guard the gates and perimeter fences. Thousands of truck drivers gain access to some ports simply by flashing driver's licenses. At one major port, journalists found gaps in the fences, unattended gates, an understaffed police force and inoperative alarms and surveillance cameras.
Think Congress is gonna deal with this? Probably not, since they were able to deal with those horrible Arabs.
The whole point of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of a population. I have to think somewhere tonight, Osama is laughing. His plan is working like a charm.
Other views on the ports deal...
Mathew Pruitt points his finger at Congress and tenders in his resignation as a Republican. Some choice quotes:
On the Democrats:
Only more political pandering from a party that has no message of its own and whose only agenda is to oppose the President… Forget the talk of a global community from Bill Clinton in the 90's, Kerry's ranting about Bush's hate words and the need to create allies in the world community, as well as the liberal lip service to diversity, multiculturalism, and tolerance. If the President does it, it must be wrong.
For the GOP, it's adios:
I have stayed Republican, voted for Republican candidates, and supported this President because of defense, fiscal responsibility, and free trade. I am not sure the party of Ronald Reagan is any better than the other side on the former two and you just lost me on the latter. The Republican Party has all but surrendered its principles and moderates have received zilch in return for their continued support. As a leader in Congress with a majority, you have absolutely failed to produce on the domestic issues that kept liberal Republicans in the President's corner, and now this. My loyalty to the party is no longer deserved. I quit.
So the GOP leadership has lost another needed voice. Hastert, Frist and Mr. President, you're doing a heckuava job.
Daniel Drezner, who blames the President for a lack of leadership. (I agree.) Dead man walking, indeed.