Thursday, March 09, 2006

(S)ports News

The latest news about the Dubai port deal is that the Rupublican House voted overwhelmingly to bring a bill to the floor to block Bush's effort to give Dubai control of some of our ports.

I've been a bit amazed at the yapping about this issue. Again I'll state that this much ado about nothing. We've been selling US assets for years. This deal is just a transfer of control from a British company to a Dubai company. Yes, I know of the tenuous ties to Al Qaeda, but that doesn't mean that individuals in that country represent their government anymore than American terrorist Timothy McVie represented the US government.

My outrage, which is so mild as to name it near disinterest, is that the Dubai government is the owner of the company. I'll state this again, if a government is going to run our ports, well, then it should be our own government and by the Constitution it would therefor be owned by all Americans. The ports should be run by Americans.

The Bush Administration is telling me that foreign governments are better able to run our ports than we are. I don't know if Bush is saying that Americans are too stupid to control the ports or that the government that he is in charge of is too stupid to operate these ports. If you ask me Bush is unpatriotic, his slogan should be "If it's American, foreigners are best able to own it."

Now, let me show my non-partisanship here. Under the Clinton Administration China was allowed to purchase American shipping ports on the West Coast, almost a duplication of the Dubai deal, a company in another country that is really owned by the government of that country. So, back then the Republican Congress and Bill Clinton had no problem saying the same thing as Bush is saying today. Somehow, it's all different now. Those ports should as well be run by Americans, all ports should be under US government control, not another country's control.

Somehow though Dubai has touched a nerve across America. I think part of it is simply Islamaphobia. Bush can only blame himself for this phobia as he has been trying to scare the bejeebees out of us for the last five years about the Middle East, for much of America it worked.

Partly this is Republicans in Congress seeing Bush's low polling in the last half year and deciding to pick an issue or two to distance themselves from Bush.

Democrats have disappointed me on this issue. Here they have a chance at stating a progressive stance, that some industries in America should be nationalized. Our ports should be under complete control, operation, employing, only Americans. And they have this opportunity under the auspices of national security to appear more strong on that issue. Mostly though the Democrats have simply let the Republicans themselves take this issue, but with actually no solution.

The Republicans want to block the deal, but offer no option for the British company that wants to unload the ports. Eventually the Republicans will probably get some money sucking corporation like Halliburton to take control of it. And the Democrats by not jumping on the solution of nationalization, will be sniping about the dummy corporation that will eventually milk our government with massive overcharges.


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