Friday, March 10, 2006

Even a blind pig

finds an acorn once in a while. I ordinarily think that David Ignatius is, as I have previously put it, "startlingly stupid," but this piece seems right on.
I suspect America will pay a steep price for Congress's rejection of this deal. It sent a message that for all the U.S. rhetoric about free trade and partnerships with allies, America is basically hostile to Arab investment. And it shouldn't be surprising if Arab investors respond in kind. One could blame it all on craven members of Congress, if the opinion polls didn't show that Americans are overwhelmingly against the deal -- and suspicious of Muslims in general. Those poll numbers tell us that America hasn't gotten over Sept. 11, 2001. If anything, Iraq has deepened the country's anxiety, introspection and foreboding.
The Dubai ports deal was one where it always seemed that the politicos decided this would be great to beat on Bush. Not only was the rhetoric overheated, it was misleading and, in a lot of instances, downright untrue. The main reason, in my view, that the deal was viewed so negatively was that most of those polled had no idea what the terms of the deal actually were, or the practicalities of port management/ownership vs. security. Even though I am no big fan of undemocratic regimes run by kings and sultans, UAE does seem to have been making an effort to assist the West in dealing with terrorism, al Qaeda, etc.

What are we doing to ourselves?