Thursday, February 23, 2006

Standing Firm On Port Sale

As I posted earlier, I have serious concerns regarding the sale of certain operations of six of our major U.S. ports to DP World. There's been quite a blogswarm of criticism directed toward those who haven't immediately retreated from their staunch opposition to the deal and gotten in lockstep with the administration on this deal.

It has been said by many, including the administration, that there is no security risk involved and that we should all just relax and trust that everything will be just fine. Well, that pill would be much easier to swallow if the ports were secure now, but alas only around 10% of the 9 million containers that arrive by ship in this country every year are even inspected. I'm sorry, but 10% just doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Given the above, I feel that I'm pretty much within my rights to question this deal. I have serious reservations about handing control of any part of our port operations, whether it be the loading and off-loading of cargo or control over the janitorial contract, to any Arab shipping company, ally or not, without first knowing something of the vetting process used to select it. Some may call this view bigoted or Islamophobic, but I prefer to call it a refusal to throw caution to the wind. It is the lesson many of us learned in the wake of 9/11; the old rules no longer apply.

It is simply not enough for those of us who question this deal to be told that our security will not be threatened, we also need to know more about how the conclusion was reached.

It matters not to me which link in the chain DP World happens to be. What really matters is whether the link occupied by DP World weakens it. The company may never pose a security threat to the United States, but in this post 9/11 world I think it is an absolute necessity to be certain.

Michelle Malkin notes there are many retreating politicians, pundits, and bloggers on this issue in her post "Postgate and the Rubber Stampers". She can count me among those who are still standing firm.

She also points to this post by Rusty Shackleford who brilliantly notes the difference between allies and friends. It is a must read!

Tags: , UAE, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Terrorism, Security, ,

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