Friday, March 10, 2006

And so the Harriet Miers...I mean Dubai Ports Deal is dead

Well the Dubai ports deal is dead. Dubai has agreed to sell the terminal operations contract to an American entity (which might end up being Halliburton ha!). Now that I think about it this deal never really had a chance. With Republicans up for election this year and their constituency disapproving of this deal almost three to one, the Democrats giddy with a chance to seem strong on national security, and the media eager to bash Bush with the public behind them this deal was dead from day one. This deal was a good business deal, but bad politics. The President should have resisted the Democrats efforts to make this a political issue in the very beginning. He should have said "This is a business deal not a security deal. All of our security agencies are fine with this deal and I will give them every resource needed to keep us safe". Instead the President let it become political by threatening the veto. The whole thing is unfortunate in the way it went down.

This article is amazing. It accuses the President of exenterating the war on terror, accuses Republicans of being xenophobic, calls the American people isolationists(blame Bush for this of course), and catches the Democrats admitting to engaging in xenophobia for political reasons. Just an ugly situation all around.

John Podorhetz looks at the political aspect of this situation and says that once again the President will come out on top. The dependence on gotcha politics will prevent the Democrats from coming out on top of this one.
When the president foolishly nominated the clearly unqualified Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, conservative intellectuals and pundits were so relentlessly negative that they forced him to withdraw Miers' name and appoint Samuel Alito in her place. That move simultaneously helped reenergize and calm a key part of the Bush coalition.

Republicans in Congress did Bush an even bigger favor. The president may have been right on the economic and foreign-policy merits of allowing the government-owned Dubai Ports World to manage stevedore operations inside the United States. But he was clearly wrong when it came not only to the politics of the deal, but also to its symbolic significance in the midst of the War on Terror.

The politics part is simple: No Republican running for re-election in 2006 was going to hand a challenger a stick the size of the Space Needle to bash him over the head with. And there could have been no easier or juicier Space Needle than "My esteemed opponent voted to give an Arab country that has supported terrorism control of our ports." .....
But in handing the president his hat, his party did him a service. Republicans have made certain that a few months from now most Americans will barely remember the whole business, which really did threaten the continued viability of his presidency.

More important, the public reaction to the ports deal indicates that the American people are still very much committed to the War on Terror. They understand that Arab nations of the Persian Gulf cannot be and should not be deemed reliable colleagues in our struggle against militant, extremist Islam.
Look for two things in the coming days and weeks. First look for the DBM(Drive-by Media to steal a term from Rush Limbaugh) to suddenly find out that this deal wouldn't actually be that bad and accuse Bush of secretly killing the deal to appease the American xenophobia which he created anyway. Second look for Democrats to use this to try and look strong on National Security. Especially Madame Clinton of carpet bagger fame.

I really hate it when politics overshadows everything and taints our desire to defend our country and keep it great. And I hate that instead of investigating and bonding together to inform the public of the facts, the Republicans played political football with this issue. I guess it is an election year, and the Republicans biggest constituency are the people who are genuinely concerned for national security. But it's time to take stock of the WOT, we need to keep perspective and look at the big picture not just react to whatever the news of the day is. David Limbaugh does a good job of that in his latest column.
David Limbaugh: "We are a proud people, with an unusual knack for solving problems: We have conquered frontiers of science and technology we never even dreamed we would confront. But with these conquests and our increasing societal acclimation to instant gratification, we have become spoiled. We demand perfection in an imperfect world, immediate resolution of problems that are necessarily long term, and, more to the point, veritable clairvoyance in our foreign policy dealings.

If not American society as a whole, the Democrats for sure demand clairvoyance from this president. They say that because we didn't find WMD stockpiles in Iraq, he lied in saying they were there. But since when has lying been defined as affirming something as true you believed at the time was true, but later discovered might not have been? Democrats have also condemned Bush for failing to anticipate, with certainty, all the consequences of removing Saddam, including the intramural sectarian strife -- which has been exaggerated by the antiwar media.

Never mind that no one could possibly have known for sure what would happen if we removed Saddam. We still can't be sure today. But President Bush, being in office at the time, had to make the hard decisions without the luxury of the hindsight lenses with which he is now being judged by his exacting, armchair detractors.

Even if he could have foreknown a measure of chaos would ensue in the wake of the vacuum created by deposing Saddam, he most likely would still have decided to attack Iraq, because he reasonably believed, based on the best available information, that Saddam posed a threat to our national security.

Must we remind ourselves that war is not an exact science? In the War on Terror, we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Their lack of viable alternative plans, though, is not because they haven't thought about them. Rather, it's symptomatic of (and inherent in) their worldview, which paralyzes them from sober leadership and decisive action in the War on Terror. This is the primary reason they are powerless to exploit the president's current difficulties."
That is a lesson that we all need to take in to account. We can't let perfect be the enemy of good.

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