Alarming News

February 27, 2006

Bush the hypocrite? [posted by Allah]

Inbound meme spotted on radar; lefty pundits flying in formation. Tumulty in Time:

How could Bush have failed to foresee the potential public relations consequences of an agreement to hand over terminals to a company owned by a country that had been home to two of the 9/11 hijackers, both of whom laundered their money in its banks? A distraught Republican summed up the party’s problem: the episode was “caviar for Democrats.” And it was a role reversal that must have been most satisfying for them too, since it put Bush in the position of arguing nuances of international diplomacy that got lost in the alarmist din over security.

Ron Brownstein in the Dog Trainer:

The president … is stewing in a pot he brought to boil….

The administration is building its case on experience. It says the risk in the port deal seems minimal because the UAE has cooperated in the war on terrorism since Sept. 11 and participates in our international program to monitor cargo shipping.

But, the critics fire back, that record offers no guarantees about tomorrow. Things could change. Somehow, someone in the Dubai company could facilitate a terrorist plot or gain knowledge about American security that might help terrorists. When the consequences of a mistake are potentially so grave, as Santorum and others argued last week, why take the risk?

If this division sounds familiar, it should. It roughly tracks the divide in the national security hierarchy over Iraq. Only in that case, Bush took the opposite side.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: find the common thread in Bush’s positions on Iraq and the port deal. Hint — there may be more than one.

Posted by Allahpundit at 01:57 AM |
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Comments

Well, the big one to me is that Bush thinks Arabs and Muslims are not, in general, a problem. He believes there are ‘evildoers’ but that not all Muslims and Arabs are terrorists, therefore why not give port operations to an Arab company?
Also, he believes that democratization and, I assume he includes Capitalism in that, is good for the Arab world. What better way to prove that than to do business with them?

Posted by: Karol at February 27, 2006 at 4:33 am

I could be wrong, but I believe that this same company manages ports in Israel. I can’t think of a better endorsement than that, in my less than humble opinion. I could be wrong about that though. They might not work for Israel. Where did President Bush go wrong? The backslide from the “Your opposition smacks of racism.” position to the “Um, we didn’t realize.” position. Where I’m from, we call that “crawfishin’”.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at February 27, 2006 at 9:25 am

The common thread(s) are that the UAE ports allow us to have a strong military presence in the Gulf.
If this deal breaks down on the fact we can not trust the UAE government with some unloading/loading of ships in our harbors than we may see them say that our military is no longer welcome in their ports. This places our ships out of the gulf and back to Diego Garcia.
The common threads are that Bush needs their ports to continue to have troops in Iraq and to have a supply chain that supports them.
The Dems would be happy to see us loose UAE support because it will mean we have to pull back to Diego Garcia(Over the horizon ala Murta).
This plays more into the hands of the Dems if they win.
The other thread is Presidential power, right now all the approvals are with executive power, if this gets to the Dems being able to pass legislation that gives Congress say on any foriegn investment in the US then they win(bonus is that more money comes to Congress from lobbying by firms wanting to invest in US assests)
Congress is also looking at the price of all these foriegn exchanges and wants a piece of the pie.

Posted by: legacypt at February 27, 2006 at 9:46 am

There is no “role reversal” whatsoever. On September 20, 2001, Bush argued that countries must be either “with us” or “with the terrorists.” The UAE has been “with us” on all fronts, providing logistical assistance during our invasion of Iraq and even sending 100 million dollars in aid after Hurricane Katrina. To afford them an opportunity to participate inthe U.S. economy is a direct application of our “with us” or “against us” policy.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 27, 2006 at 10:37 am

The UAE isn’t “with us”. They still follow apartheid Sharia laws and the still have slaves. They still follow Gulf Arab Salafist ‘values’. We think we’re conning them into accepting our Western values. They know they’re conning us into accepting theirs.
Bush’s current effort to convince Americans that these terror-supporting slaveowning, fascist, anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers are our ‘friends’ is proof that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

Posted by: mary at February 27, 2006 at 11:16 am

Mary-
It is silly to assume that an ally of the United States must share our ideology. France and Germany put their own citizens in prison for denying the Holocaust. These nations cleary aren’t as evolved as the U.S. on freedom of speech issues and yet we have no problem accepting their help.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 27, 2006 at 11:22 am

It is silly to assume that an ally of the United States must share our ideology.
It’s silly to think that a nation can share Al Qaeda’s ideology and be our friend.
The UAE shares al Qaeda’s ideology. They share their goals. They’re not on our side.
Why are should we want these slaveholding, fascist Holocaust deniers to be our friends? Are we afraid that these slaveholding, fascist, Holocaust deniers won’t like us? Are we afraid we’ll lose money?
A policeman described how smart people can fall for cons. He said:
Many of our readers are asking themselves, “Why was I stupid enough to invest in Enron or Tyco?” Well, why were they? The biggest misconception about fraud is that the victims are stupid. The truth is, con artists prefer intelligent people. First, smart people are more likely to have money. Second, smart people are easier to fool precisely because they think they’re too smart to get scammed. We deal with victims who are doctors, lawyers, judges

Posted by: mary at February 27, 2006 at 12:31 pm

Mary-
You have to ask yourself, “Why would a country (or, in this case, a company) contract something specifically in order to blow it up?” Not only is it a complete waste of money that hurts the company more than it hurts the United States but, frankly, a potential terrorist can blow up a U.S. port fairly easily without buying it. There is absolutely no logical reason to believe that this investment is being entered into the specific intent of malice toward the United States. For years, we have been arguing that bombs alone cannot convert the anti-democratic forces in the Middle East to democracy. They must be allowed to participate in our Western society. Here is a company (and a country) that wants to participate and we are having a hissy fit because this company (and country) is comprised of Arabs.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 27, 2006 at 12:48 pm

For years, we have been arguing that bombs alone cannot convert the anti-democratic forces in the Middle East to democracy. They must be allowed to participate in our Western society.
When has anyone said that anti-democratic, fascist terror-supporting forces must participate in Western Society?
Although the port issue has raised these questions, the real issue is – why are we calling anti-democratic, fascist terror-supporters our allies in the War against Terror? Why are we allied with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Sudan? It’s not working out very well because it never was a very good plan.
Here is a company (and a country) that wants to participate and we are having a hissy fit because this company (and country) is comprised of Arabs.
No, the problem is that this country’s leadership and is comprised of pro-slavery, apartheid Holocaust deniers. All Arabs are not pro-slavery, apartheid-supporting Holocaust deniers, but some are.
So, if we embrace and befriend these pro-slavery, apartheid-supporting Holocaust deniers, are we being racists or not?

Posted by: mary at February 27, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Mary-
Im not sure that calling someone a “holocaust-denier” ten-times fast strengthens your argument at all.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 27, 2006 at 2:30 pm

I’m not sure that calling someone a “holocaust-denier” ten-times fast strengthens your argument at all.
Maybe, maybe not. If you can think of a better way to make the point that the UAE should not be our friends and allies, feel free to suggest it.
So, if we embrace and befriend these pro-slavery, apartheid-supporting fans of David Irving are we showing the world how open-minded we are?

Posted by: mary at February 27, 2006 at 3:46 pm

Mary–
Incidentally, the definition of open-mindedness is willingness to work with people who are different, not insistance that a country share our ideology as a prerequisite for cooperation. Furthermore, what is at issue here is not a country’s perspective on the holocaust of the 1940s, but its perspective on acts of terrorism against the United States. This preoccupation with their attitudes toward minorities is completely peripheral to the issue at hand, which is the security of the United States, and its alliance with the UAE.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 27, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Why would Bush threaten to veto over this.
The answer is he is doing favors for people, he is helping certain people (The UAE port company and everyone else that will gain from giving them this deal).
When you have money and you have power and Bush has both. The thing to do is spread it around to your friends, your family and everyone else you like or want to put under your sphere of influence. After all helping others will put them in your debt and you can call them at any time to repay the favor.

Posted by: PAUL at February 27, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Incidentally, the definition of open-mindedness is willingness to work with people who are different, not insistance that a country share our ideology as a prerequisite for cooperation.
That’s why I repeat things. The Holocaust deniers who run the UAE are not “people who are different” from you and me, they’re fascists. They seek to eliminate people like you and me. They throw people in jail for adultery, for being gay and for kissing in a taxi. They supported terrrorism because they support the murder of infidels. They pretend to be our allies because they think it’s the best way to defeat us. They may be right.
Terrorism is a tactic – our enemies are Islamists. The UAE are our enemies.
More on Islamism as fascism here:
Fascist Nazi history need not be dwelt on further here. It led to the horrors and destruction of World War II and the Holocaust. Neo-Nazism, whether in Europe or the US, remains a terrorist threat and – as the French Le Pen version demonstrated in parliamentary elections this year – retains a measure of political clout. It is nonetheless a boxed-in niche force with little capability for break-out. Its ideological twin, Islamism, by sharp contrast, has every chance for wreaking escalating world-wide havoc based on its fast-growing influence among the world’s more than one billion Muslims. Immediately following September 11 last year, US President George W Bush declared war on terrorism. It’s a catchy phrase, but a serious misnomer all the same. Terrorism is a method of warfare, not the enemy. The enemy is Islamism.
::::
This preoccupation with their attitudes toward minorities…
The Islamists in the UAE are actually a minority. Their economy relies on tourism, and the majority of the population consists of foreigners who are there to work. Like Saudi Arabia, they couldn’t survive without foriegn money, cheap labor and slaves.
But I think you meant the term to mean Kafir or, as the Gulf Arabs say, ‘polytheists’. Their attitude towards these ‘minorities’ is to enslave them.

Posted by: mary at February 27, 2006 at 5:53 pm

On the port issue, I leant towards Instapundit’s view that our port security is so bad, this deal hardly matters. I distrust UAE because they are a Muslim country, which of course makes me an islamophobe, and so I am, and so are many Americans, more and more of them. The problem with the Bush Administration is what Karol said: they think jihadis are a tiny minority of extremists among Moslems.
This post about Karen Hughes:
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/010335.php
really made me worry. The view of Islam that Bush & Co seem to have embraced is based on wishful thinking, and it’s costing us, and I’m afraid to even think what it may cost us in the future.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at February 27, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Great set of comments above.
I like to think of the statement Stephen Colbert made: “Of course it makes sense logically but it feels so wrong.”

Posted by: vincent at February 27, 2006 at 6:47 pm

Mary, UAE is different. Check out this site:
http://www.asiatraveltips.com/UAE.shtml
From everything I’ve seen and heard, Dubai, at least, is as cosmopolitan as a devout Islamic society gets. It seems to be the one country in the region that accepts the fundamental right to a difference of opinion in what constitutes a just society, and is willing to err on the side of the individual.
Or, to put it another way, I’d rather be posted there for a month than in Salt Lake City. (To any Mormons reading this, sorry, but there it is.)

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 27, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Mary–
Im foggy on how you classify the UAE as fascist because it jails its citizens for entering same-sex partnerships, yet have no problem with our European allies jailing their own citizens for practicing free speeech.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at February 28, 2006 at 9:40 am

Islam Means Peace (Doesn’t it?)

72 White Grapes for all! “Moderate” Muslim leader speaks: Islam means war. Senior al Qaeda asshole captured in Iraq. Evan Kohlmann is skeptical. Meanwhile, escaped al Qaeda bad guy vows attacks on U.S. soil. Former Taliban official in U.S., studying…

Posted by: The Jawa Report at February 28, 2006 at 10:17 am

Im foggy on how you classify the UAE as fascist because it jails its citizens for entering same-sex partnerships, yet have no problem with our European allies jailing their own citizens for practicing free speeech.
I classify the UAE as fascist because they follow fascist Sharia laws. How many times have I made the link between Islamist Sharia and fascism [see above]? This doesn’t seem to make a dent in recent moral equivalency arguments.
These pro-UAE port arguments are very interesting – when conservatives try to defend this arrangement, their arguments start to take on more than a faint whiff of patchouli and hemp.
When we oppose the fascists who support apartheid and slavery, we’re persecuting people who are ‘different from us’. We must embrace these slaveowners because fascists must be ‘allowed to participate in our society’.
Maybe these arguements aren’t inherently leftist. Maybe, there’s an appeasement center in the brain that, when stimulated, causes the victim to scream “Islamaphobe” and demand that we sing kumbaya with our enemies. Bush seems to have been overcome by this lately. Fortunately, according to recent polls, more than 70% of Americans haven’t.

Posted by: mary at February 28, 2006 at 11:19 am

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: find the common thread in Bush’s positions on Iraq and the port deal.

I accept!

Posted by: playah grrl at March 5, 2006 at 10:07 pm

And you could also try some bar-b-que, O Creator of Worlds.

Posted by: playah grrl at March 5, 2006 at 10:28 pm
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