WHY IS THE REPUBLICAN CONGRESS LETTING BUSH SELL OFF OUR PORTS TO A SHAKY ARAB EMIRATE?
A tiny bit belated, but finally the mainstream media is abuzz with the Bush Regime's plan-- they call it a "done deal; period"-- to turn over the running of many of America's most important and sensitive ports to a Dubai-run company, P&O. But they're not focussing on the best part of the story. "Democratic senators assailed an Arab company's takeover of operations at six major American ports and said Monday that President Bush should stop the deal to better protect the U.S. from terrorists. 'We wouldn't turn over our customs service or our border patrol to a foreign government,' New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said during a news conference. 'We shouldn't turn over the ports of the United States, either.'" And, probably futilely, Menendez and Clinton are vowing to introduce a bill that prohibits the sale of port operations to foreign governments.
The real story is about why it's futile and about a redux of what's been happening lately with Republicans whining when the Bush Regime come up with their catastrophic, grossly unpopular plans (like this one) and how the Republicans, usually led by arch-hypocrites like John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Mike DeWine, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins, Lindsay Graham in the Senate and a pitiful handful of even more pathetic fake-moderates in the House, always, always, always buckle as soon as Rove or Cheney says "boo" (or "9-11") or somehow threatens them.
The first person after a genuinely concerned Chuck Schumer on TV complaining about this latest dismemberment of America was one of the most dishonest Republican phonies in the entire Congress, Florida closet queen Mark Foley. Foley was all puffed up for the TV cameras sounding like a patriotic America. "Six of our largest commercial ports are being handed over to a country that is seeking to be Iran's free trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9-11. If our ports are the most vulnerable targets for terrorism and if we are at war, as the president says [over-wrought Repugs who talk this way get little visits from Karl Rove or maybe he and Foley will see each other for a friendly chat at a DC establishment they both frequent], we should be overly critical of handing over management of our ports to any foreign countries... Instead, this was done in the dead of night," Foley hissed. And on the floor of the House, Foley warned, "The potential threat to our country is not imagined, it is real." You go, girl! Anybody want to bet that Foley votes like the corporate ass-licker and Bush-puppet he always is? That's why these walking sacks of garbage like Foley have to be fought and expelled from the House in November.
And it's more than just Foley. Two other bag of wind/paper tiger/make-believe moderates, Chris Shays (R-CT) and Vito Fossella (R-NY) also got their panties all in a bunch. Fossella, who has a record of voting with Tom DeLay and the most extreme elements of the Bush Regime 90% of the time, warned that "we cannot cede control of strategic assets to foreign nations with spotty records on terrorism. This decision seems inconsistent with American efforts to enhance our national security. The lack of transparency has left many questions unanswered as to why the UAE would be granted control of United States strategic assets."
Another GOP windbag with a solid and cowardly record of never standing up to Bush when push comes to shove is the extreme right wing whacko from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn, who whined that "handing the keys to US strategic ports to a regime that recognized the Taliban is not a sound next step in our war against terror. I urge Secretary Snow to investigate this agreement that could seriously undermine our national security." Why doesn't he urge-- in no uncertain terms-- not the hapless Snow, but Snow's boss, who made the decision (and who, no doubt, is going to profit mightily from it), the man whose job is to make absolutely sure our national security is not undermined? Well, of course, for that you need a man like Russ Feingold, not a bag of wind like Tom Coburn or Mark Foley.
As an aside, even the violently far right "Moonie" TIMES in Washington, usually as reliable a mouthpiece for the Regime as Fox "News," was none to please with this latest outrage from the Bush crew. "Do we really want our major ports in the hands of an Arab country where Al-Qaeda recruits, travels and wires money?" they asked editorially. We should be improving port security in an age of terrorism, not outsourcing decisions to the highest bidder. President Bush should overrule the committee to reject this deal. If that doesn't happen, Congress should take action." The "committee" is just doing what Bush told them to do and the Republican-controlled Congress has been well-trained that their function under Bush is that of rubber stamp, not check, not balance; rubber stamp. What how this whole port sale thing plays out the same way that the illegal wiretaps, the illegal torture and the unconstitutional so-called Patriot Act have all played out-- with Republicans making some noises and then running for cover as soon as Rove growls or Cheney starts fingering the safety-latch on his 28-gage.