The real concerns
Monday, March 6, 2006
Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press
The objections to Dubai Ports World taking over the contracts to manage operations at six U.S. ports boil down to two: It is Arab-owned, and it is based in the Mideast.
Critics are urging President Bush to kill the deal. Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey are writing emergency legislation to do just that.
The implication is that somehow DP World might be used to infiltrate terrorists into our ports.
The UAE is a small, oil-rich Persian Gulf state with whom the United States enjoys friendly relations and close commercial and military ties. So why do we want to single it out for blacklisting? And how is this going to help us in a part of the world where we're desperately trying to project a positive image?
If the lawmakers have legitimate misgivings about the security implications of the port deal, it is appropriate to ask the administration to double-check DP World's fitness to manage the ports. But even a perfect report card might not mollify the critics, because their real objections to the company are: It is Arab-owned, and it is based in the Mideast.