February 22, 2006

on the UAE/ports

— cwage @ 9:42 am

I was going to write a post about this, but why do that when I can just quote people I agree with. Nick Mamatas has a way with words:

If you are upset about the news story regarding a UAE firm taking over the operations of several American ports, and think this is something that will now make US ports especially vulnerable to terror attacks, you are, at best, an utter ignoramous, and, at worst, a racist.

  • dkw

    While I fully agree with that opinion, I have to say: people who wield the word 'ignoramus' should really know how to spell it.

  • doug

    I have so little understanding of the port system of the US that for all I know we may be better off letting Saddam guard them. What disturbs me about this episode is that you can't tell me that someone somewhere in the government didn't think to say "Hey, maybe this isn't going to look so good?"

  • W

    A way with words? Really? No fooling? That quote is nothing more than name calling. If either of you wants that to be a meaningful statement you should spend some effort defending it. What makes it either ignorant or racist?

  • http://chris.quietlife.net Chris Wage

    What makes it either ignorant or racist?

    To be surprised or upset by the fact that the UAE would control our ports requires either a) being unaware that we've had foreign companies doing this basically forever, or b) being upset that they are Arabs.

  • http://alienate bone

    It isn't about the race of the U.A.R. It is about what country it is. I guess I should accept that everything is fine since it meets Bush's "ally in the war on terror" standard. Packistan ia also a "key ally " in that war , but only an IGNORAMUS doesn't know who A. Q. Kahn is. So, is everyone who raises concern at what looks like a grossly negligent case of pre-911 mentality an ignoramus now?

  • http://journal.drowning.org/ Erik

    I don't know much about port security; my hunch is to agree with Nick on the substance. But his post isn't well-written or insightful. I guess if I were in the choir I'd sing along.

    P.S. Does it matter that Dubai Ports World is not just owned by foreigners but owned by a foreign government? Does it matter that Dubai is a logistical hub for al-Qaeda? I don't know, but I don't think it's racist to ask.

  • http://chris.quietlife.net Chris

    I think what could be said about Dubai as a "logistical hub" for al-Qaeda (a decentralized, global phenomenon) could probably be said of any larger city in the world.

    But even given the possibility of a valid logistical concern (of which I have seen very little convincing evidence), I wouldn't be particularly swayed, seeing as how I'd venture to guess that most of the people crying foul couldn't have picked out Dubai on a map a week ago.

  • http://journal.drowning.org/ Erik

    Ah, ad hominem. Critics of the port deal didn't know much about Dubai last week, therefore they are wrong this week.

    Again, on the whole I suspect you're right that the DPW deal is no big deal (but see Digby, who I suspect is just starting to analyze it in terms of both foreign relations and domestic politics). I'm just questioning the rhetorical strategy of calling those you disagree with ignorant racists.

  • http://www.BobKrumm.typepad.com Bob K

    If P&O had sold its American port operations to Maersk, a Danish shipping company, I'd have no objection. However, the proposed sale to a Middle Eastern company raises serious questions that the President hasn't seriously addressed.

    His "if you defy me, I will veto" response is not a serious response. Nor is your accusation of ignorant racism a serious argument.

    Before we turn over the operations of one of our nation's critical vulnerabilities to a country still internally wrestling with militant islamo-fascism, I want all the facts laid out that there is no security risk.

    As I said, if it had been Maersk instead, I wouldn't require the same level of proof. So I guess that makes me biased. But it's a bias based in the belief that the next terrorist attack against the United States won't come from those with Danish last names.

  • http://chris.quietlife.net Chris

    Ad hominem, yes. The entire point of the post was critical of "the person". So, it's not a fallacy, but hey, good observation. I'm not calling "those I disagree with" ignorant racists. I am calling people that are demonstrating either ignorance or racism ignorant racists.