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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Response to the Prior Post

Comment from a reader:


Watched Chris Matthews last night and came away a little more assuaged about this deal. I am not quite the libertarian you are and would occasionally bow to National Security interests even at a cost - much as Bush has done over the last three years at various times "because we are at war."

However the hysteria getting whipped up over this deal is staggering. As to Hardball, Miami Police Chief Timonen noted that when that little private plane went down in the harbor a while back, the Port was shut for three days as a security / investigative measure. So he had concerns about the political fallout upon the Port's economics if there were another "incident" to be investigated for terrorism potential and the Port were shut down "indefinitely" and as this whole arrangement came under scrutiny as part of the investigation - which it likely would have to. Are we just asking for trouble, even if this appears "clean" today?

At the show's close, Tom Ridge put in his five minutes and felt this was "ok".

My response:

How about the "hearts and minds" message? The Arab world should be provided the "carrot" of economic access for playing by the rules. Ironic, we will play with the despots when it comes to their oil but not for bona fide business pursuits. Quite a message there. And it is not lost on the greater Arab world.

In "Arab Americans see bigotry behind ports uproar" Reuters reports:

"I find some of the rhetoric being used against this deal shameful and irresponsible. There is bigotry coming out here," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute.

He said politicians were exploiting fears left over from September 11 to gain advantage in a congressional election year.


"Bush is vulnerable so the Democrats jump on it. The Republicans feel vulnerable so they jump on it. The slogan is, if it's Arab, it's bad. Hammer away," Zogby said.

However, this view reminds me of the idea that Muslims are not ready for or have no interest in democracy or freedom. Interesting generalizations coming from many ideological tracks.

And that Bush has vowed to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement sends a very interesting and consistent message. While we never let our guard down, we recognize there are moderates within the Muslim community who are not the enemies of the US.

Or are we at war with the whole Arab world?

Meanwhile Skip March tells us at noontime:

I'm sitting here working and watching CNBC (market is up on tame inflation figures by the way) and Charles Pascarella (Dem-NJ) is on talking about the Port Deal and keeping Congress informed. In his first few sentences he lumped together issues surrounding the Port Deal, Medicare Reform and Cheney hunting in the countryside. He then goes on to call the Bush Administration secretive (talking point) and inept (resurrected talking point). So much for seriously addressing national security..........

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