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Bush Is Right on Ports

It’s unusual, but I agree with President Bush and David Brooks on approving the sale to the U.A.E. of the P&O company that manages several American ports. Port security is the responsibility of the US government, not the company that runs the ports. Of course, the government has done almost nothing to increase port security, but that’s not the U.A.E.’s fault.

In addition, about 20 years ago at the American Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, I worked with the woman who chairs Treasury’s CFIUS committee that approved the sale, Gay Sills. (At that time, while she was married to Bill Hoar, her name was Gay Hoar, a tough moniker, which she carried with aplomb.) I have confidence in her, and think that she would have vetted the sale thoroughly. Of course, she may have based the committee’s approval on certain, existing criteria which were met, and the Congress may add extra criteria now. But those new criteria will probably be based on some xenophobic, anti-Arab, racist standard, rather than on an analysis of true security threats, which will be bad for our image in the Middle East, as David Brooks points out.

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