Any Storm in a Port?

There's a gathering political storm centered around ports, one that has united a motley crew from across the political spectrum, from Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer to Rick Santorum and Michael Savage.  At issue is a deal that would allow DP World, a United Arab Emirates company, to assume control of seaports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami.

What concerns opponents of this plan should be obvious.  With millions of large cargo containers being brought to our shores every year — each one with the storage capacity to house a nuclear device that could destroy even the largest American city — the seaports constitute a true Achilles' heel.  And with the bulk of our immediate enemies residing in Islamic Arab countries, allowing one of the latter's companies to be the custodian of six major US seaports is going to raise both eyebrows and ire.

Most of that ire has been directed at the Bush administration which, thus far, seems to have dismissed such concerns while casting the plan as a 'done deal.'  As for me, my position isn't characterized by anger, but my eyebrows are certainly fighting gravity.  This idea ranks right up there with our immigration policy.

I never thought I'd be paraphrasing Chuck Schumer in the affirmative to buttress an argument, but I guess truth is stranger than fiction.  The New York senior senator made the point that such decisions often hinge more on diplomatic imperatives than common—sense, saying that oft—times someone in the State Department will hold sway with an entreaty such as, 'The Emir of Dubai wants this to happen and he's a good fellow.'  But whether he is or isn't is not the point.  As Schumer explained, it's a safe bet that the Emir doesn't know the nature of many of the employees at DP World.  He doesn't know if the entity has been infiltrated by terrorists or if it will be once it gains access to crucial and vulnerable American seaports.  It's hard enough ferreting out the terrorists that lurk in home—grown institutions, never mind those that may abound in Arab principalities.

Some wonder how an idea such as this could even find a place at Uncle Sam's table.  After all, Dubai is an state that recognized the Taliban and, as pointed out by Congressman Mark Foley of Florida, seeks 'to be Iran's free trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9—11.'  In other words, this is somewhat akin to having given a Japanese or German company control over our seaports in the late 1930s.

Of course, such an action would have been unthinkable to the World War II generation, as it would have offended their sense of patriotism, a quality that is now sorely lacking.  Moreover, their main concern wasn't offending others; they didn't feel compelled to pepper every condemnation of their enemy with qualifiers such as 'Fascism is an ideology of peace' and 'The real menace is the radical fascists.'

What has changed?  Well, political—correctness was absent in those days, meaning, people had a grasp of reality.  Thus, they knew it was logical to assume that foreign peoples who shared an ethnic and/or religious identity with your sworn enemies will be more likely to be partial to them than to you.  This may not be a pretty truth, but a fact doesn't cease to be a fact simply because it's out of fashion.

Some will say I'm painting everybody with the same brush, but perish the thought.  I understand that we should judge everyone as an individual, but I also grasp something that people shackled by political—correctness cannot: yes, there is variation within groups, but there is also variation between groups.  And, yes, you have to judge everyone as an individual, but, you also have to judge every group as an individual group.  One of the ironies of modern man is that while he will adamantly stand against the painting of every person with the same brush, he just as adamantly stands for the painting of every group with the same brush.  Thus, this isn't about denying individual uniqueness; it's about acknowledging collective uniqueness.

But blinded to this truth we are.  In our ideological frenzy to embrace multiculturalism at all costs, a bizarre and tendentious 'tolerance' at all costs, and internationalism at all costs, we have imbibed all the lies upon which these schemes rest, rendering ourselves a credulous lot and sheep among wolves.  And that is the problem, for, generally speaking, it's not that those who rubber—stamp these harebrained schemes have corrupt hearts.  It's that they have corrupted judgement.

As John F. Kennedy observed, 'Life is not fair.'  It may not find favor with equality—on—the—brain types, but foreign Muslim entities must be thought guilty until proven innocent, and, in this nuclear age, must be found so beyond even a shadow of a doubt.  Moreover, when the issue is a grave matter of national security and one of life or death on a massive scale, we should find our national guardians within our national borders.  Because where this is concerned, the best place to find an unclenched hand is at the end of an American arm.

Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor. Contact him here.

There's a gathering political storm centered around ports, one that has united a motley crew from across the political spectrum, from Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer to Rick Santorum and Michael Savage.  At issue is a deal that would allow DP World, a United Arab Emirates company, to assume control of seaports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami.

What concerns opponents of this plan should be obvious.  With millions of large cargo containers being brought to our shores every year — each one with the storage capacity to house a nuclear device that could destroy even the largest American city — the seaports constitute a true Achilles' heel.  And with the bulk of our immediate enemies residing in Islamic Arab countries, allowing one of the latter's companies to be the custodian of six major US seaports is going to raise both eyebrows and ire.

Most of that ire has been directed at the Bush administration which, thus far, seems to have dismissed such concerns while casting the plan as a 'done deal.'  As for me, my position isn't characterized by anger, but my eyebrows are certainly fighting gravity.  This idea ranks right up there with our immigration policy.

I never thought I'd be paraphrasing Chuck Schumer in the affirmative to buttress an argument, but I guess truth is stranger than fiction.  The New York senior senator made the point that such decisions often hinge more on diplomatic imperatives than common—sense, saying that oft—times someone in the State Department will hold sway with an entreaty such as, 'The Emir of Dubai wants this to happen and he's a good fellow.'  But whether he is or isn't is not the point.  As Schumer explained, it's a safe bet that the Emir doesn't know the nature of many of the employees at DP World.  He doesn't know if the entity has been infiltrated by terrorists or if it will be once it gains access to crucial and vulnerable American seaports.  It's hard enough ferreting out the terrorists that lurk in home—grown institutions, never mind those that may abound in Arab principalities.

Some wonder how an idea such as this could even find a place at Uncle Sam's table.  After all, Dubai is an state that recognized the Taliban and, as pointed out by Congressman Mark Foley of Florida, seeks 'to be Iran's free trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9—11.'  In other words, this is somewhat akin to having given a Japanese or German company control over our seaports in the late 1930s.

Of course, such an action would have been unthinkable to the World War II generation, as it would have offended their sense of patriotism, a quality that is now sorely lacking.  Moreover, their main concern wasn't offending others; they didn't feel compelled to pepper every condemnation of their enemy with qualifiers such as 'Fascism is an ideology of peace' and 'The real menace is the radical fascists.'

What has changed?  Well, political—correctness was absent in those days, meaning, people had a grasp of reality.  Thus, they knew it was logical to assume that foreign peoples who shared an ethnic and/or religious identity with your sworn enemies will be more likely to be partial to them than to you.  This may not be a pretty truth, but a fact doesn't cease to be a fact simply because it's out of fashion.

Some will say I'm painting everybody with the same brush, but perish the thought.  I understand that we should judge everyone as an individual, but I also grasp something that people shackled by political—correctness cannot: yes, there is variation within groups, but there is also variation between groups.  And, yes, you have to judge everyone as an individual, but, you also have to judge every group as an individual group.  One of the ironies of modern man is that while he will adamantly stand against the painting of every person with the same brush, he just as adamantly stands for the painting of every group with the same brush.  Thus, this isn't about denying individual uniqueness; it's about acknowledging collective uniqueness.

But blinded to this truth we are.  In our ideological frenzy to embrace multiculturalism at all costs, a bizarre and tendentious 'tolerance' at all costs, and internationalism at all costs, we have imbibed all the lies upon which these schemes rest, rendering ourselves a credulous lot and sheep among wolves.  And that is the problem, for, generally speaking, it's not that those who rubber—stamp these harebrained schemes have corrupt hearts.  It's that they have corrupted judgement.

As John F. Kennedy observed, 'Life is not fair.'  It may not find favor with equality—on—the—brain types, but foreign Muslim entities must be thought guilty until proven innocent, and, in this nuclear age, must be found so beyond even a shadow of a doubt.  Moreover, when the issue is a grave matter of national security and one of life or death on a massive scale, we should find our national guardians within our national borders.  Because where this is concerned, the best place to find an unclenched hand is at the end of an American arm.

Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor. Contact him here.