Monday, February 20, 2006

Knee Jerks

Its no surprise that people like Michelle Malkin, Debbie Schlussel and others would completely spaz out over what they, per their usual histrionics, think is surrenduring our ports to a bunch of Arabs.

But as the recent cartoon controversy has shown, even 'the left' can be just as xenophobic, especially if it gives them a chance to bash Bush. I agree that no opportunity to bash Bush should be passed up, but at least respect yourself enough to get the facts right before you start yapping your gums about something you know little about and falling victim to the very fear the neo-cons use to control their own minions.

This morning, the sometimes funny, though frequently misinformed on international issues, Stephanie Miller waxed hysterical about selling our security to that terrorist stronghold, Dubai! Her and her generally astute co-host repeatedly used innuendo and aspersion about Arabs to lambaste the Bush administration. A caller, who could barely pronounce Emirates is now talking about the Saudis, apparantly unaware that S.A. and the U.A.E. are not actually the same country.

First of all, the ports were already owned by a foreign company so its not like we just up and sold our ports - we had already done that a couple of years ago and nobody made a peep about it.

Next, we're talking about the sale of a multi-billion dollar corporation to another multi-billion dollar corporation. It's a business transaction, not an operational change so the U.S. will still maintain control of port operation and security. Of course in the fear factored USA, people like Chuck Schumer can make political hay by making people believe that a bunch of guys wearing Kafiyas with AK's are going to be actually running the ports.

Then there is the question of what Dubai is about. There are probably more white, Christian Europeans living there than Arabs and the Emirate is spending unbelievable amounts of money to lure more westerners there by building all the amenities and more that wealthy Europeans expect in their vacation and retirement paradises.

Unlike most Arab countries, liqour is legal, women have absolutely no dress restrictions - miniskirts are common and gambling is said to be on the horizon.

Knowing all this you would have to assume that the very last thing the Emirates would want is a terrorist attack even remotely related to a port that is even casually connected to them, let alone owned by them.

I wonder if critics on the left and right are aware of just how westernized Dubai actually is? Or do they just hear Arab and piss themselves, either out of fear in the Capt. Ed/Michelle Malkin vein or in an effort to show what a bad job Bush is doing in the Steph Miller/ Daily Kos analysis. For all the horrible things Bush does, to blame him for this legal business transaction doesn't seem to be very reasonable. Furthermore, for all the innuendo and conjecture that the UAE was involved in 9-11, someone should be able to easily trace that money or support. I'm not holding my breath.

'Aqoul has an excellent review on the details of the sale and here is an amazing post from Dennis the Peasant who flushes out the racism and bigotry shown by both the left and right.

Richard Silverstien writes thoughtfully on the issue, complete with historical analogies.


dawud al-gharib said...

peace elemental -

how do Parsis greet, do they say 'peace' in Farsi?

yeah, i've been busy, i'm now teaching english in Istanbul, Turkey and haven't blogged in ages.

I wonder about Dubai, especially when some moron wrote about UAE being on the 'Saudi peninsula' - the Saudis would love to think so, but Riyadh is it's own world, and really deserves international isolation, or international criticism, or both... (which is better for spoilt rich kids? to leave them in their room with their slaves, toys, and mistresses, or to allow them to wander around France's nude beaches and casinos while paparazzi try to catch one 'drunk and disorderly'?) pardon, that was rude and backbiting, but...

Dubai is a completely different world, last I heard they have the opposite problem. There was a woman who wrote in to a Gulf Newspaper complaining that her boss had fired her because she started practicing Islam, wearing hijab and stopped wearing miniskirts... and her boss fired her. She was told that there were no clothing regulations, and that her boss had final say in determining what kind of office he wanted to run. way to go, liberal capitalism & democracy! ;) < / sarcasm >

hope to hear from you soon. I actually miss Cliff and other civil right-wing debaters, tho Dennis is quite the reasonable sort. How did he end up in the Republican wing where Malkin, Buchanan, and 'Joe Scarborough' roam?

What ever happened to Democrats who spoke 'softly and carried a big stick' while balancing the books, while Repubs were the racist right-wing fringe bleating about Communists in the basement... oh, that was the 50s and George Clooney movies, ah...

elemental said...

Dawud, so good to hear you are doing well! Not sure about the Zoarastrian greeting - I'll have to check into that but for now, Peace and As-salaamu alaykum.

Democrats can tie Arabs to the whipping post when it suits them just as easily as Republicans (though not the Charles Johnson/ Michelle Malkin type).

I like Republicans like Dennis, he can see the idiocy of treating one religion bad as a way to prop up your own. That, and it seems he works with our Somali community quite closely so he has some real life experience being around Muslims.