Posted By RichC on March 8, 2006
A few weeks ago, I made the comment that we need to be careful as to the signals we are sending to allies around the world in restricting what allies are permitted to operate companies in the US. My concern was that when we restrict business ownership based on prejudice, jumping to the conclusion that the Dubai port business is connected to terror, that we risk gaining ground in developing better relationships in the middle east. In the port operations case, the United Arab Emirates is one of the few middle eastern countries that allows the US to stage attacks on terror from as well as base our warships around. I recognize that there are many people in UAE who may be sympathetic to the terrorist and as a government still will not recognize Israel … so there is a concern. Unfortunately, banning ‘only’ middle eastern companies from business dealing and port ownership will do little in winning hearts and minds of more Arabs. Neil Cavuto had an interview with Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) who presented a solution that might bridge the gap without the predjudicial taste. We’ll see if it gains traction although President Bush doesn’t seem to be paying attention (Reuter’s article). See Cavuto interview video below.
I’m still not sure as to the security risk that the Dubai port ownership creates; on one hand I believe the President’s strength is looking out for the security of our county and that he is working to build allies in the middle east. On the other hand, I’m not fond of anything that remotely adds risk to our nation’s security. Representative Hunter offered some compelling remarks in try to re-evaluating what ‘any’ foreign government should be allowed to own in the US. Upon some reconsideration, this might be a logical approach and I’m someone in support of Rep. Hunter’s proposal. If we do an over-the-board evaluation of security issues as they relates to foreign corporations owning at risk segments of our infrastructure. The ports might just be one of them but if we go down Rep. Hunters path, prejudice should not be factored into who can and can’t own certain companies.