When BUSH proclaimed his "war on terror," Osama bin Laden made a statement in a tape that continues to haunt me from time to time, particularly when you see a continuing stream of BUSH administation leadership judgments that defy all logic. Osama bin Laden said...
"This is a war of minds."
The discussion and debate in the last two days about the BUSH administration handing over control of seven of our strategic ports to another country at this time in history sets bin Laden's claim into a flashing neon sign. I know nothing about the operations of ports, but it doesn't require knowledge to know that this makes no sense.
The suggestion that we should worry first about hurt relations with the Middle East if we do not succumb is also absurd. The argument that a British company formerly held this contract in itself is upsetting. I am sure they did a great job. but why would our strategic ports be something we would sub out to another country or another country's company??? The argument that because we did it previously with a privately held company, doesn't mean that at this grave time in the world and in this country, it is the right thing to do for National Security. One would expect, all politics aside, that any strategic decision with the sweeping, far-reaching implications on national security would be thoroughly re-evaluated to ensure current decisions strengten security at our ports. Giving operational control to a foreign country ---- any foreign country ---- as I said defies all logic. Why would a president of this country make such a decision to give this contract, our tax dollars and these jobs away to another country when our ports have already been reportedly and proven to be vulnerable. How could it be that a leader would think that Debai Ports would have our best interest in mind under the worst of circumstances, which we cannot at this time predict.
The pending sale — expected to be finalized in early March — puts Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. Obviously, with the emotional race cards being put on the table today and other less than pragmatic arguments for allowing such a situation to go through brings with it suspicion warranting following the money. Could is be that Michael Moore wasn't so wrong?
"If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward." Mr. Bush there are plenty of chances that this could seriously compromise our security.
"It sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world..."
I think our friends might understand that under the current "war on terror" under Bush's leadership we might choose to tighten up a bit, not open the possibilities with another government that too could change its mind.
"I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction," the president said. "But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully."
After watching the debacle of Katrina, Iraq and other results achieved, it is difficult to put one's faith in the fact that the BUSH administration "has looked at it carefully."
The "war of minds" is on the march. With all that this country has gone through in the past six years, it is hard imagine that any leader would make such careless judgments about such a critical issue of national security as our major ports. I wish it were comforting to know that the Coast Guard was managing security at these ports. I'm sure they do a fine job. But OPERATIONS of the ports owned by a foreign country when BUSH's policies and action shave resulted in anti-American hatred throughout the world makes this decision crazy.
I don't know the answers to any of this, but I feel compelled to raise my voice in hopes that it will be joined along with others to say, NO!
What thoughts do you have on this topic?
Founder, Global Dialogue Center