Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Port Call (Part II)

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.


Papa Ray said...

I think your correct about the fallout if it is canceled. Like you said, with Iran looking dangerous, we can't lose what advantages we have in the area.

I think it will buy Bush a lot with the decision makers in the ME but cost him here at home if he vetos any attempts to stop it. Bush has been backed down a few times, but "stayed the course" more than not.

Guess we will see.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Anonymous said...

You're right this is a lose/lose situation, which is why this is a bad political decision by the White House. My gut feeling is that this is some kind of compensation for UAE help in some other area. Why else would Bush put so much effort in defending it? He didn't put the same effort in standing with our ally Denmark. Bush couldn't be bothered to veto any spending bills to exercise some fiscal sanity, yet this deal is so significant that he threatens to use a veto that has been gathering dust since Jan. 2001. This is a tactical miscalculation in addition to its nat'l security implications.

Papa Ray said...

Sorry, meant to leave this in case you missed it.

U.S. Counterinsurgency Academy Giving Officers a New Mind-Set

I wonder why myself, why they weren't given this training before they deployed?

Too busy practicing takedowns I guess.

Papa Ray