Congress needs to collectively shut the hell up.
The process by which the Treasury Department negotiates with port management is available to anybody in the federal government, and to any regular person who's willing to get off his butt and file a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.
The port company's government connections are a non-issue: we do lots of business with corporations with government ownership, and they've already agreed to go a step past the voluntary security practices other longshoremen-management firms would have to do.
I'm sorry, but all this uproar over "Arabs will control our ports" boils down to two things:
1. A truly pathetic attempt by the Democrats to finally seize upon some issue in order to try to look "tough on national security." (It ain't gonna work.)
2. Outright racism.
Yes, folks, I said racism, and I meant it. Here's the analogy: going all Chicken Little because "the Arabs will control our ports" is absolutely no different than some old white lady walking around terrified of black men because the latter have a higher violent crime rate.
Yep, that's it. Sure, the Saudis started The Wahhabi War, and most Wahhabis by historical fact are from the Arab world. Sure, the UAE has occasionally played ball by making calls we didn't like. They also give us basing rights, etc., and squishing this deal would do immense damage to precisely those parts of the UAE which is most inclined to work with us, while simultaneously empowering those who aren't.
But none of that matters. This is a call on basic ethics. If you get your panties in a twist engaging in collective judgment on the entire Arab race, because a subset of them happen to be our deadly enemies (and my three regular readers will know that I am not exactly squeamish where it comes to foreign policy), then guess what: you're making a racist judgment call, and should have the balls to admit it. Congress is wrong. The AM radio geeks are wrong. The newspaper-pundit "chattering classes" are wrong. They're all wrong, wrong, wrong, and the degree to which they act like they don't understand President Bush's position is a reflection on their own moral myopia.
Don't get me wrong: if you're a Democrat making legitimate political hay in an election year... go for it. It's an atrocious foreign-policy call for the sake of scoring a couple of electoral points, almost as bad as Bill Clinton shilling for the Wahhabi assholes and proclaiming on t.v. to Musharraf that the Danish cartoonists should be prosecuted... but atrocious foreign-policy calls are a knee-jerk reflex for the current crop of top-ranked Democrats, and shouldn't surprise anybody.
There's a lot about Bush I really don't like. There's even more on which I quite frankly think he sucks. This isn't it. This is why we don't live in a democracy. The self-righteous mob is dead wrong, and acting reprehensibly. It will be a literal shame on this nation's honor if political grandstanding and racism are allowed to set a precedent of security-justified economic "reverse dhimmitude" and do permanent damage to our relations with the Arab world.