Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My struggle on the ports issue...

The hot issue of the past week has been the proposed sale of port operations in six major ports around the U.S. I do find the temptation to jump on the president when he's down very hard to resist. But I do try to be fair (rolling on the floor holding your sides from laughing so hard is not an acceptable rebuttal to that assertion) and to be honest I am having a struggle in coming to an opinion on the port operations sale issue.

I am not willing to knee jerk a reflexive no answer to any notion that a company owned and operated by Arabs should be allowed to have this contract. I do believe there is a difference between a private company based in an allied nation, and a company wholly owned by a foreign government. The private company ought to make decisions based solely upon the best business interests of the company, but the government owned company may very well be influenced by political factors.

There is another issue that tends to lead me to support the suspension of the sale for the time being. This entire transaction appears to be yet another example of the administration making decisions arbitrarily, and then defying congress when the issue goes public. The administration seriously needs to be stopped in this pursuit of unbridled executive power. If it takes a bit of xenophobia on the control of our ports to check this practice, while I may deplore the xenophobia, the overall lesson to the administration needs to be taught.

How ironic that the president, who for so long has fed at the trough of public fear of terrorism by Muslim extremists, has been so successful in his fearmongering that it comes around to bite him on this issue. Maybe another valuable lesson that we can take from this mess is that the president should not be so quick to spread xenophobia for short term political gain.

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