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.)

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.