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Dubai Only If We Sell?

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006 12:46 AM

Despite criticism from Senate majority leader Bill Frist and House speaker Dennis Hastert, President Bush is giving the green light to a deal that would allow a national-flag company in Dubai assume management of port terminals in several major American cities.

Of course, the Bush Administration has conducted its own internal review and has no objections to the deal. "This is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through," said President Bush.

Right. Yemen signed on to the anti-terrorism bandwagon after the USS Cole bombing, but somehow, a high-profile terrorist managed to disappear - along with 22 of his friends - down a hole in the basement of their state security building.

The problem is not Dubai, per se, but in our failure to understand and implement security in our ports.

Proponents of the deal were quick to point out Dubai would not be involved in security operations, yet this is too easily discounted. In order to function, they must have knowledge of the security requirements in place; then, too, would not the port owner/operator have fiscal responsibility/authority for the property?

Once again, though, we're being asked to trust a single-branch review of an important issue, told that it's all legal and squared away. We're told, also, that President Bush will brook no interference.

Sound familiar?

I guess things really are easier in a dictatorship.

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