Letter to the Editor
Posted by iusbvision on April 4, 2006
“Was The Port Decision a Racist One?”
The uproar over the failed attempt by Dubai Ports World to purchase control of some operations at some American ports is already fading from the America public’s memory. Unfortunately for America, the people of the United Arab Emirates will not forget so soon.
The conflict did more than reveal the hypocrisy of politicians on both side of the aisle who once labeled the FBI’s focus on young Arab males at airports as “racial profiling” but then saw no problem with suggesting that a company’s workers might be terrorists for no other reason than “they are Arab.” It insulted and alienated the closest thing America has to an ally in the Arab world.
Yet now the American government has treated our best friends as no different from the terrorists. Is that any way to keep old friends or make new ones? This problem is compounded by the humiliation inflicted on UAE. Arab culture highly values saving face. The least the politicians could have done was to provide the UAE an honorable way out. Sadly, Congress chose to maximize, rather than minimize, the humiliation.
Rest assured that the next time an Arab nation or company considers working with us or adopting some kind of reforms, the Islamic fundamentalists will point to the ports debacle. They will tell the more moderate Arabs that since the Americans do not want them, they might as well join the terrorists. Thanks to many politicians, the moderate Arabs are likely to listen.