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THE UNTENABLE

 


By Geoff Metcalf

February 27, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

Defending the Bush administration has become increasing difficult. In the wake of the Patriot Act excesses, Harriet Miers, and Mexico blunders, the administration is now attempting to salvage the horrific port deal for Dubai buddies. Huh?

The recent news cycles have revealed that:

1. Bush didn’t even know about the deal until he saw it in the press?
2. GOP and Democrat congress critters have joined in for real bi-partisan cooperation to derail the deal.
3. The president has threatened (unwisely) to veto any congressional action to kill the deal.

What the mainstream manipulators have yet to reveal is the United Arab Emerites terminal deal extends to 21 American ports…far more than the six thus far reported.

During the Clinton administration there was a cosmic hissy fit over granting the communist red Chinese access/control of the ports at each end of the Panama Canal, and the port at Long Beach California. Many of the same supporters of this U.A.E. deal were apoplectic over the Chicoms port ambitions. Many of the current Democrat critics didn’t say ‘Jack’ about turning over ports to Beijing.

Chekhov said, “Hypocrisy is a revolting, psychopathic state.” You damnbetcha!

Customs is responsible for checking container shipments on arrival…and they only check less than 5%. However, the Terminal operation is responsible for ALL port security…including the 95% that remains unchecked.

Despite the hypocrisy and duplicity of Senator Hillary Clinton, her recent words, “We cannot cede sovereignty over critical infrastructure like our ports. This is a job that America has to do." Are empirically correct.

Regarding the ‘friendly’ dictatorship of the UAE:

  • It is a country to which Americans are being discouraged to travel.
  • This is not a democratic country.
  • UAE has done banking for Bin Laden AND has refused to allow the US access to these financial records.

This is NOT a partisan gripe…it is a classic example of WHAT is right or wrong, not WHO.

Ever since 9/11 we have been told that ‘eventually, inevitably, terrorists will hit us with something BAD…’

Our borders are vulnerable and our ports are WAY vulnerable. Democrats AND Republicans have been ubiquitous in their complaints about security (or lack of security) in our ports. The percentage of container shipments that are actually checked is comparable to a pimple on the butt of a flea.

ANYthing that jeopardizes security MUST be heavily scrutinized and extraordinary efforts to mitigate potential damage needs to be routine.

Reportedly, the Department of Homeland Security initially objected to the UAE company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. They were the Lone Ranger before the deal was approved ‘without dissent?’.

Recently all involved parties agreed to a compromise designed to upset bipartisan plans for legislation that would spark a new investigation of security concerns.

Meanwhile, that dangling threat of a presidential veto is bad policy…AND bad politics.

There have been numerous items the president ‘could’ have (and arguably ‘should’ have) vetoed. He hasn’t. If or when he was to attempt to veto congressional action on the port deal, it would be a first for this administration. Worse yet, there is a very real potential that IF he were to veto congressional efforts, Congress ‘could’ overturn the veto. That would require a 2/3rds vote of Congress.

IF Congress were to be successful in overturning the presidential veto, it would effectively neuter the administration for the balance of the term.

Rule #1: Don’t pick a fight you can’t win.

This presidential defense of the indefensible is mind-boggling…besides, giving control of ports to ANY foreign entity is just plain wrong…and dangerous.

The administration has done a poor job in defending our borders, and a horrible job in dealing with the myriad challenges offered by our neighbors to the south (Mexico).

Bush rebounded from the Miers disaster by nominating Justice Alito. THAT was an adequate do-over. There is no fall back position for this port mess. A failed presidential veto would be disastrous to EVERYthing this administration is ‘trying to deal with’: Iraq; Iran; North Korea; Russia; European Union; Canada; Mexico; China; Taiwan; taxes, et al…

This one hiccup would immediately have dramatic impacts on policy, politics, and frankly, EVERYthing…..

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When FDR was trying to combat our national tendency toward complacency in the face of increasing international crises, he said, “Our national determination to keep free of foreign wars and foreign entanglements cannot prevent us from feeling deep concern when ideals and principles that we have cherished are challenged.”

The ‘foreign entanglements’ inherent in the proposed UAE port deal is a busted poker hand. FOLD! Push back from the table and wait for the next hand.

© 2006 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  

E-mail: geoff@geoffmetcalf.com


 

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What the mainstream manipulators have yet to reveal is the United Arab Emerites terminal deal extends to 21 American ports…far more than the six thus far reported.