Drudge has a flash on President Bush's strong statements defending the proposed UAE port deal. He summoned reporters on Air Force One earlier this afternoon and mounted a vigorous defense of the contract, which would give a Dubain firm control of operations at six U.S. ports. The President also threatened to veto any legislation that would cancel the proposed deal accusing Congress of a "double standard" in denying the contract to a Middle Eastern firm. Mr. Bush noted that lawmakers had no objection when port operations were being run by a British firm.
Why did the President mount such a sudden, forceful defense of the controversial deal? I'm betting that some of his reasons are among those outlined here.
Double standard or not, Mr. Bush is going to face an uphill battle in selling this deal to Congress and the American people. It's a political lose/lose situation. If he stands behind the deal, he makes the Democrats look good in the area where they are considered weakest--homeland security. On the other hand, if he reverses course and cancels the deal, he better start looking for replacements for those UAE bases now used by our military forces. And, he better have a fallback plan for keeping that F-16 assembly line open in Fort Worth--the same factory that is currently cranking out fighters for the UAE.