Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's never Dear Leader's fault

W. played no role in the deal giving control of major U.S. ports to a United Arab Emirates based company, the White House is now loudly declaring.

This issue, which yours truly recommended the Democrats gin up as a security issue to give the GOP a little taste of its own demagoguing, has blown up in the administration's collective faces. Even some Republicans, now, are saying the deal, which would put Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, has to be reviewed, if not scuttled.

To be honest, it probably doesn't really matter that the ports are run by this company. As an expert told The Times, globally, 24 of the top 25 ship terminal operators are foreign-based, meaning most of the containers sent to the United States leave terminals around the world that are operated by foreign governments or foreign-based companies.

"This kind of reaction is totally illogical," said Philip Damas, research director at Drewry Shipping Consultants of London. "The location of the headquarters of a company in the age of globalism is irrelevant."

Doesn't matter. Bush is threatening a veto, which would be his first in 5 years in office, if the Congress tries to block the UAE company from taking over operations at the ports.

Never underestimate the American people's jingoism, especially towards Arabs. Let the White House sweat and get some egg on their face on this one. It's the sort of thing Karl Rove would play to the hilt if it was a Democrat in the Oval Office.

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