you got me. Dallas doesn't have a port.
But if it did, it would
likely be among those given over to be run by a Dubai company, as are the
ports of New York, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and New
Arguments are flying about who decided what, whether safeguards are in
place, and about the fact that a British company had been doing it
earlier, etc. None of this should obscure the single most significant
aspect of this bombshell, which is this: in the so-called “post 9-11”
world which the superpatrioitactors in Washington keep talking about, it
is OK to traduce liberties at will, but real national security can be
freely shortchanged in the name of tradition.
Worse, such dubious (Dubaious?) decisions are justified in the name of
trade. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Michael "Bird Flu over the
Superdome" Chertoff, said on television that while national security needs
were important, they could be attended to while still maintaining our
commitments to global trade. Who died and made him chairman of WTO? Why is
he talking about global trade when asked about homeland security?
The Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, spent time assuring Dubai that
this matter would be sorted out to their satisfaction. Great. How one
wishes she had brought the same attitude when she appeared before the 9-11
Commission and had so little time to sort out the Aug 6 PDB ("Bin Laden
Determined to Strike in the US") to anybody's satisfaction.
If the United States really does not have the internal capability to
manage its ports (every single one of them), then would that fact itself
not seem worthy of urgent attention?
A combination of low cunning and high farce stalks the land. The lack of
an opposition party is telling. You can count Bush's new brother Bill to
come in and say something to muddy the debate, as he did with Cheney's
shooting, where he talked at length about how hunting accidents were
common (they are not), downplaying the obvious cover up and possible
malfeasance in not reporting it to the police in timely fashion. The media
is finally stirring, though it may be too late for any good, after so much
damage has happened. And they are still too afraid. You probably saw David
Gregory apologize for his exchange with McClellan at the first shot across
the bow by Mary Matalin.
"Did they (Dubai) beat out Al Qaeda by a hair in the bidding?" asked Jay
Leno last night. It was only half-funny. The UAE (Dubai) was one of only
three countries (our buddies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia making up the rest
of this elect trio) that had diplomatic ties with the Taliban regime. When
terrorists hijacked an Indian airliner in 1999, it was to Dubai they
wanted to fly, and then on to Kandahar. Dubai made the Indians twist in
the wind during those days, offering only lip service instead of stopping
All this may be ancient history, but why in today's world, would any
country outsource port management to another country, friend, foe, or
To our ruling elites, whether we defended America is less important than
whether we defended free trade. Michael Chertoff can rest happy that there
will be no let up on this matter -- Bush also, since the money saved by
such outsourcing could go towards tax cuts. Long ago, Lenin wrote that
capitalists would sell you the very rope with which to hang them.
And he had never even visited America. What imagination! What prescience!
Niranjan Ramakrishnan can be reached
at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His
blog is at:
Folly-0 Outsourcing: Our Own Security? by Lila Rajiva
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