In the last few days, several free market and other conservative commentators -- along with various U.S. governmental spokesmen -- have taken to labeling those of us with reservations concerning the Dubai Ports World (DPW) deal as nativist, racist or Islamophobic. With 70 percent of the public in opposition to the port deal, this is as searing a criticism of American tolerance as ever has been hurled from America's cultural or political opponents over the years. No Soviet propagandist or third-world revolutionary has more stingingly libeled the American people.
I've been thinking about this ports issue in particular, and I think that we (the great unwashed) probably lose this one. By "lose," I don't mean that the ports deal will probably go through. Whether or not the ports deal goes through is not the issue. The issue is whether a full investigation of this deal is conducted. The more general lissue is whether institutional changes are effectuated to tighten up scrutiny of ports management in general, and foreign government management of port security in general.
I think this deal will likely be given an extended cursory review and the given the green light. I think the politicians who stood by and watched it go by are likely to pay a price for it in November.