Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bloggers, talk radio, and the ports

Peter calls our attention to Glenn Reynolds’ argument that, had the Administration taken note of reaction in the blogosphere, it might not have been surprised when the DPW issue blew up. Fair enough and true enough.

But let’s not get blogospherically triumphalist about this. I would not be shocked if the initial hysteria in the blogosphere isn’t what set off some of the radio talkers, who then detonated the dirty publicity bomb that contaminated the White House. Yes, someone in the White House should pay at least as much attention to the blogosphere as does, say, someone working for Sean Hannity. But shouldn’t bloggers do a little more digging before they leap to the kinds of conclusions to which many apparently leapt in the immediate aftermath of the report?

Discussions - 5 Comments

The entire idea of transferring control of our ports during a time of war produced a healthy reaction amongst the American people. That wasn’t "kneejerk," it was rational. History does not provide examples of this country delivering control of ports or airports over to foreign powers during war, be those foreign powers friendly, neutral, or otherwise.

Any attempt to dismiss that concern as something unworthy of an American, because it is predicated upon "fear," "hysteria," "xenophobia," and "racism," is profoundly politically unwise. Frank Gaffnery is one of those bloggers who pointed out the many problems with this deal, is he someone who hasn’t done enough digging into the details. Rather what we are seeing is a concerted effort by the RNC and the White House to squelch discussion, becauase the President is suffering from a self induced political leukemia. The digging into the details should have been done by the White House. And it should have been done prior to the President committing the prestige of his office to a poorly advised defense of this proposal.

Gotta agree with the poster above. The reaction is rational.


Plus, after spending the entire presidency since 9/11 turning americans into terrified xenophobes, inevitable.


In this situation, the reaction of the rational and the xenophobe are (almost) indistinguishable.

The entire idea of transferring control of our ports during a time of war produced a healthy reaction amongst the American people. False Premise.

What was sold were Terminals and operations at those specific terminals, small portions of the operations at 6 major US ports. A good analogy at NRO:

This is false. Dubai Ports World will not be running these ports. How many times does this have to be said: They will only be managing the loading and unloading of shipping containers. And they will only be doing this at a few terminals at each port. DP World has a relationship to each port authority similar to that of a tenant and landlord. Tenants conduct their business in the space set out by the landlord, and have to abide by any and all rules. DP World will not be running these ports, just like I don’t run my apartment building.

Steve, the accuracy of your details is goint to be lost on ordinary Americans. Day to day management of those facilities, {not just the 6 we were informed of, but 26} is going to be transferred. Vetting is not going to be performed by Americans, but by DPW themselves. Homeland Security was initially as appalled to the deal as were most Americans when they heard of it.

And Steve, both of us know there is a great deal more involved to running those ports than movement of merchandise.

In a war against terrorism, a war the President himself told us was going to last DECADES, intelligence, INFORMATION is going to be the coin of the realm. And even prior to this deal being signed off on, Hezbollah, Iranian intelligence, Al Qaeda, are already beginning to compile everything they know about DPW. They are ALREADY preparing for penentration of that company. Just about every single mideast intelligence agency is compromised by radicalism, or made up of radicals. That’s a sad fact. What would lead you to believe that DPW is going to prove air tight, when nothing else has in the mideast.

Lastly, did you know that DPW has a company wide mandatory policy of TITHING one day worth of wages per every month, for purposes of assisting Palestinian "charities." Supporting Palestinian terror is a company policy, don’t you think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, there might be a chance, perhaps a likelihood, that there are employees of DPW whose support might move beyond the mere financial? Whose emotions might be moved by endless displays of the Abu Gharib photos, of our British allies taking nightsticks to some little punk that probably deserved it, but that nonetheless isn’t going to look very well on the news? We’re playing with fire, and the only reasons I see advanced for the deal are economic fetishism and accusations of xenophobia. Advancing argument by negation and ad hominems doesn’t fly for me. Aren’t you a little concerned that first reports were 6 ports, and only by some journalistic sleuthing do we find out that we’re really discussing 26?

Every previous generation of Americans would have found this deal outrageous? Were all of them xenophobic too? Accusations launched against Republicans for decades are being repeated by those in our own ranks, and tossed towards each other.

As a matter of security, this is a needless departure from traditional, tried and tested means of conducting our affairs in a time of war.

Politically, this has done nothing but trigger a meat grinder of a battle with GW’s political base.

A disaster at every level.

As a member of W’s "base," I would like Dan to explain to me why, if an al Qaeda operative wished to get a weapon through one of our ports, he would EVER be stupid enough as to hire on with a UAE port management facility when he could get a job with Hutchison Port Holdings, based in Hong Kong. PSA International Pse. Ltd., owned in part by the investment arm of the Singapore government, Ceres Marine Terminals Inc. a major stevedoring firm owned by Japanese shipping firm NYK Line, Israeli shipper Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co., or Denmark’s A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the largest terminal operator in the United States. (Thanks to the Washington Times piece today)? I mean I know these guys are in fact pretty dumb, but even they are not THAT dumb. Only W’s "base" is that dumb. Thank God, W himself is way ahead of them.

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