Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dubai Ports World -- Is That a New Theme Park?

Like Craig at Reverent and Free, I haven't had much to say about the Dubai Ports World business either, although not for the same reasons, really. He makes an excellent point: the Bush regime has ridden high on good ole yee-haw raghead-baitin', and his troops are a bit too slow on the uptake to understand all at once that the music has changed -- time to put the boot-scoot boogie away and do the Global Economy foxtrot instead. I've been silent because an excessively target-rich environment tends to paralyze me with indecision -- with so much wrongheadedness available, what to mock, what to mock?

First, let's get our famous Dead Constitution out of the way. Where is the text in the constitution that delegates the power to select operators of seaports to any branch of the FedGov -- executive or legislative (or judicial, for that matter)? I know where the text is that says they can't do it, in the absence of text that explicitly says they can. And, obviously, we all know how much difference any of that makes. But at least we made a quick stop at the constitution's grave before going on about our business.

In a news story about the election-panicked Republican congressional forces, and how they're planning a rat-like dive off the Good Ship Bush (down by the bows and making water fast), we read the following:
Meanwhile, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit foreign ownership of "critical infrastructure," including the six cargo terminals at the center of the controversy.
That's a good one! In this modern, service-economy, corporatist/globalist world, what exactly is an "American" corporation? How would you recognize it? Is it a matter of the loyalties of the boards of directors, or corporate officers? Heh. "It's all about the benjamins." Good luck, Rep. Hunter. No, wait -- I should be honest. Bad luck, O Congresscreature. Bad luck, and bad dreams ... may flat tires and fallen arches be yours in perpetuity.

"Seaport security" ... a fascinating concept. Laughable. It's not like air cargo, you know. Serious amounts of material come in by sea. Inspect it all? Don't make me laugh. It doesn't happen, and it'll never happen -- not the sort of inspection that would make it difficult for clever folk to bring relatively small packages into the United States of the Globe. Can't be done.

If it could be done, is there reason to suspect that a corporate structure with Arab ownership would be less diligent in screening, or even complicit in defeating it for nefarious purposes? Obviously, I can't know ... but I'm much inclined to doubt it. From what little I can gather from our feeble-minded "news," the United Arab Emirates is a hotbed of the big money and little else. The anti-Arab racism that's been so fashionable (up to now, at least) with the Freedom Fries crowd is the only reason I can see to condemn, more or less automatically, the Dubai outfit being involved in seaport operations in the States. I wish I could say it's a shame that Bush, having ridden the Dark Side to re-election in '04, now finds himself butt-bitten by it. But, really, it tickles me -- especially as he seems to be taking it so personally. There may be a long weekend in Crawford coming up very soon now, with some facial scrapes afterward from the eternal brush-clearing and bike accidents. Fine by me. It may well distract Himself from some of his more-troublesome hobbies, such as launching gratuitous wars.

Maybe we'll see an amusing pachyderm vs pachyderm mudfight. These days, that seems like the best I can hope for out of Mordor-on-the-Potomac ... some low amusement.


lemming said...

I think this story will be good for a few more sound bites and then predict that it will be buried in a congressional subcommittee.

Craig said...

How about a good conspiracy theory?

It's all a Rovian trick. The GOP gets to stand up to Bush (for once) in an election year. Dubai sells off their share in the ports, and everyone is happy. Bush's polls go down, but the Congress gets to look like something other than a rubber stamp. Bait and switch.

Not saying I believe that, but I thought I'd throw it out there.