09 March 2006
Xenophobia surrounds ports debate
Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee voted by a 62-2 margin to bar DP World, which is run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at US ports. Now I don’t recall the last time I supported George Bush on any issue but this is clearly getting out of hand. Republicans and Democrats are jumping on the xenophobic bandwagon and basically saying anyone from the Middle East is a potential terrorist. Now please correct me if there are other genuine reasons behind the decision, but as far as I’m aware no-one had any problem when Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a British company that holds contracts at several US ports, crossed the Atlantic. However, as soon as a Middle East-based business bought them it became an issue. America cannot push the values of democracy and capitalism on Middle Eastern countries and then throw it back in their faces when it affects them. I don’t know the full motives behind President Bush’s threat to veto any legislation emerging from Congress that blocks the Dubai ports deal but I believe that in this case Bush has the moral upperhand.