UAE deal: of course it's racism ...

It's like a hot day in the Antarctic: I actually find myself agreeing with the Bush administration. They're right when they say that criticism of the UAE port deal is based largely on racism (I would have said xenophobia, but that's got too many syllables for Bush).

It's sad to see so many in Left Blogistan jump on the story the way they have. By focusing on the narrative that it's dangerous to allow scary, swarthy Ay-rabs to operate our ports, we're missing a great opportunity to educate the public about one of the hottest controversies in the debate over trade, which I'll get to in a moment.

Of course, everyone's quick to point out that they're not at all motivated by bigotry, like the guys at Little Green Footballs or those mean Republican legislators. Steve Gilliard wrote, "when the UAE, a country which defines the word shady, wants to run US ports, we're bigots for opposing this? I have no problem with Arabs. I have a problem with people who enable terrorists." He adds, "Hell, just because 9/11 was planned in Dubai, they couldn't mean us any harm, right?"

That doesn't stand up to scrutiny. If it were a German company -- 9/11 was planned there as well -- nobody would say "boo" about this deal. As the Wall Street Journal points out, "Yes, some of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens. But then the London subway bombings last year were perpetrated by citizens of Britain, home to the company (P&O) that currently manages the ports that Dubai Ports World would take over." (My agreeing with the WSJ makes it two scorchers in Antarctica for those counting.)

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