2.27.2006

"Hey America!"

Of course the ports deal matters, both in a practical sense and as a symbol. Letting a foreign nation where two of the 9/11 hijackers are from operate six of the country's most important ports? What could go wrong?

As it is, only about 1% of shipping cargo containers are inspected. And even that is by fairly superficial means. There are gaping holes in our security, and the ports are one.

You can see this one coming: Nobody envisioned that terrorists would use cargo containers to conceal an attack.

If somebody wanted to know the ins and outs of shipping, working for the port operator is an ideal situation. No, they aren't directly involved in security or inspection. But it provides opportunity to learn the systems, to identify weaknesses and vulerabilities, to put components into position.

But we'll still be in charge of security, the administration says. This from the top-notch "slam dunk" people who had us welcomed as liberators in Iraq, and got the Gulf Coast back on its feet after Katrina, and....oh. Right.

It means even more as a symbol. We're told that we're in an unprecedented global war on terror, an era so extraordinary that our mutual security depends on the detention of more than 90,000 (mostly innocent) people; snooping on American citizens; suspension of the 8th and 14th Amendments; kidnappings and torture. We're scanned and searched at the airport, taking off our shoes and grasping our jeans to keep them from falling down.

You're either with us or you're with the terrorists, Bush told us. "We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism," he said in an address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, while the World Trade Center was still smoldering.

That was then. This is now. Let an Arab nation operate our ports? Sure, why not?

You gotta wonder: Why would Bush go to the mats over the ports deal? Why threaten his first veto?

Why is it so important?

He says that it send a message to allies in the war on terror.

What message does it send to the rest of us?

2 Comments:

Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Lets see, Dubya allowed, even encouraged Americans to confuse and associate Iraq/Afghanistan, Saddam/Osama, Baath/Taliban.

But NOW, we are supposed to distinguish and discriminate, in order to let trade prevail. Don't confuse emirs with terrorists!

How conVEEnient.

28.2.06  
Blogger cara10cerelli said...

I so agree with this. As soon as heard the news about it, I thought Bush must be fulfilling some promise to someone in the oil countries. A friend of mine who is far more rehearsed in politics than I said I was paranoid ??? Go figure. Great entry.

25.3.06  

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