Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Any Port in a Storm: Part III

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

So, anybody besides me sick of this story yet? Almost makes you wish for the good ‘ole days of…um…last week, when the big story was Mr. Cheney’s quail hunting adventures, doesn’t it?

I’ve been reading everything I can find on both sides of the port issue. One great peice that lambasts both sides is Andrew McCarthy’s latest at National Review. I’ve learned alot about how ports work, and just how insecure they can be. I’ve been fascinated by some of the comments. Some seem to have been asleep for 30 years, and have now awakened to find themselves in a global economy for the first time. That’s not a bad thing, but is surprising to me. Polipundit has broken the arguments down in to four groups. I find this grouping to be true of LJiC as well. (HT to Hugh Hewitt)

By now, hundreds of comments, of pretty much every conceivable opinion, have been posted here at Polipundit regarding the sale of P&O Ports to Dubai Ports World. Essentially, there have been two camps established in the main, with two additional camps playing at a position but really using the debate for personal politics, which is a common hobby these days. They are:

1. People who oppose the sale because they believe that the operations of U.S. Ports are too vital to National Security to be entrusted to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, even though that nation has been a close ally in the War on terror, and a strong U.S. ally for many years and through numerous crises.
2. People who support the sale on basis of the U.A.E.’s record on security, on DP World’s long record of port operations, and on the fact that the contract between the United States and Britain which allowed P&O Ports to manage U.S. Ports did not disallow sale of the port leases to a company based in the Middle East which happens to be an American ally.
3. People who see an opportunity to score personal political points, ideally to advance their credentials for the 2008 Presidential race, and they couldn’t care less about whether their comments damage relations with an important ally, or falsely take focus away from vital concerns in order to quell the egotist tantrums of a narcissist hairpiece.
4. People who just love a fight, and are doing everything they can to turn what should be a serious discussion into a useless brawl.

Groups one and two have valid points and perspectives, and if we could just keep the debate to those two, a solution might found. Group three generally consists of the low-life section of the Republican Party (yes Frist, I mean you too) and the now-thoroughly vulgar candidates from the Democrats. Group four is pretty much the media, though I am disappointed to see that some from the New Media have developed a taste for the mud and slime.

Matt and I are firmly in group two. I haven’t read anything that has swayed me from this view yet. In fact, having just heard from Robert Kaplan on the Hugh Hewitt show further cemented my position. I’m hoping the interview will be up on Radioblogger soon. It’s worth hearing or reading. In fact, no one has done a better job of looking at all sides of this debate than Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. And tonight’s show was the best so far.

This debate is a good thing, and well worth the effort everyone has put into it. Here are some positives that I see coming out of this

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