Well, *this* isn't going to play well in the Red States.
Now, I know that Arab Emirates Arabs are most certainly different than Saudi Arabia Arabs and that, while Al Qaeda does operate in the Arabian Peninsula, the Emirates are for the most part too blinged-out with oil money to foster too much of the kinds of rage that fuel Islamic terrorism. There is some truth to the idea that poverty is the root cause of fundamentalism, which leads to animosity, which leads to terrorism. I know this.
But for many Americans, Arabs is Arabs and constructing a business deal to contract Arabs to secure our seaports is a little difficult to understand. After all, folks like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin have offered up the idea that all Arabs are suspect, and that they should all be rounded up and interned for the good of American society. And it's these bigoted ideas that get the real bandwidth throughout Middle America.
On one hand, I'm pleased this story is getting some play in the news, because I know it shows Bush to be the big bad Arab-bashing cowboy who happens to also offer lucrative contracts to companies in the Emirates. But this, also, is kind of sick, because while I'd like to see his approval ratings continue their downward spiral, the negativity Bush is getting over this particular deal is rooted in the blind, ignorant racism of the American public. If they can't tell the difference between a Kuwaiti and a Saudi (and let's face it, how many Americans can, or care to?), this deal is going to make them think the president is doling out our vulnerable seaports to terrorists. Which, of course, isn't true at all. This deal with Dubai Ports is the kind of thing Tony Blair has been doing for years now. Bush is dealing with businessmen here, not terrorists. While I have to smirk at any negative press Bush gets, it is troubling to me that so many people are seeing this deal with Arab businessmen as a deal with Al Qaeda.