Friday, March 17, 2006

The Dubai ports and American security

I’ve been hard on Stephen Zunes in the past, but this article on the Dubai ports kerfuffle hits many of the right notes.  I laughed at this line:

“With the exception of Israel, no Middle Eastern county purchases as many U.S. goods and services as the UAE.”

I laughed because, distinctly unlike Israel, the UAE purchases American goods with its own money, instead of money given to it by the United States!

The best thing about the resolution of the issue, besides the fact that Arab central banks are finally going to start to move their reserves from dollars to euros, is that the operations will end up being bought by some American contractor like Halliburton with no particular expertise on the subject, who will proceed to give the same shoddy, overpriced service that we have seen on example in Iraq.  Unlike Dubai, which had an interest in doing a good job and being as careful as possible about terrorism, the work will no doubt end up being subcontracted to guys like Tony Soprano, who will be happy to sell access to the ports to anybody, including any terrorist, ready to pay the price.  American xenophobia and racism is clearly going to lead to less security for Americans, which is as it should be.