Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Really Im-Port-ant

This thing with the United Arab Emerates controlling American ports is getting very interesting:

President Bush yesterday strongly defended an Arab company's attempt to take over the operation of seaports in Baltimore and five other cities, threatening a veto if Congress tries to kill a deal his administration has blessed.

Facing a sharp bipartisan backlash, Bush took the unusual step of summoning reporters to the front of Air Force One to condemn efforts to block a firm from the United Arab Emirates from purchasing the rights to manage ports that include those in New York and New Orleans.

Why is this so important to Bush? He hasn't vetoed anything his entire presidency. But this? Now would be the time for journalists to do, well, you know, their job.

Choice bits from the article:

...some of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial hub.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) called Bush politically tone-deaf.

No kidding.

"If the president insists on using his first veto on this bill, Congress should give him the opportunity to do so," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who, along with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), has promised legislation to ban firms owned by foreign governments from controlling operations at U.S. ports.
Finally, something for Hillary "National Security Democrat" Clinton to show some chops against Bush on.

"It's strange that the administration didn't consult Congress," a Republican leadership aide said.

Oh, how cute and naive.

The United Arab Emirates provides docking rights for more U.S. Navy ships than any other nation in the region...

Ah ha! Payback for letting the US secure the oil flow..


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