Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Making Sense of the UAE Port Controversy

I have to admit; my first reaction to the announcement that a United Arab Emirates company would be running some of our ports was extremely negative. It didn't help the way the Bush Administration bungled the announcement and then compounded it by vowing to veto any legislation aimed at stopping the acquisition and then further compounded it by announcing that the president hadn't even been aware of his underlings' stamp of approval on the deal until after the fact. And it really didn't help that Jimmy Carter sided with GW on this one!

But upon further reflection, I reluctantly come down in favor of the deal, with the following provision: We must insist that the onsite management of the ports in question be in American hands, with those port managers being subject to background checks.

Why have I changed my mind? Well, not because so many Democrats did their usual dance and objected to the port deal, not out of any conviction (for they have none) but for purely political reasons in that it gave them an opportunity to appear to get to the right of Bush on at least one issue. And not because so many thinking conservatives, such as the great Bill Bennett, have made cogent arguments against the UAE takeover. And not because other conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, have stated the logic behind their support for the deal. The reason I now side with the president is that I trust him with our national security and am certain that there are some pretty good reasons that he is not at liberty to discuss in public for something that appears on the surface to be somewhat counterintuitive to our security interests.

In short, I believe we have a deal with the UAE to serve as the launching point for the coming attack on Iran. I am willing to trust President Bush that he will use force of arms to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and, while he's at it, change the Islamofascist terrorist-supporting regime there.

If I have any quarrel with the president it is that we have not been ruthless enough in pursuing the War on Terror. We are in a fight to the death and, no matter what the Democrats or McCain or anyone else says, we need to pursue that fight with whatever force it takes to prevail. That means treating terrorist prisoners harshly, torturing them if necessary to break the back of al Qaeda and hunt down and kill its leaders. It means executing non-uniformed fighters (who are not covered by the Geneva Convention) who murder civilians and shoot at U.S. and Iraqi and allied soldiers. It means making making any country that helps terrorists in any way quake in their boots at the prospect of American retribution. The president has been hamstrung by Democrat lies and Republican spinelessness and backstabbing Europeans, but he needs to stick to his guns.

Having said all that, there is no one out there on the political horizon, in either party, who I belieive takes a tougher stand against the Islamofascists than President Bush. I will take him at his word that the UAE port deal is in our national interest. But Iran's got to go.

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