Monday, March 13, 2006
A state-owned company based in the emirate of Dubai has dropped its bid to run six U.S. ports after concern expressed by the Congress along with a strong resolution against the deal. One thing that bothered me has been the interpretation of this decision. The Chicago Tribune said this deal signified the Democrats first chance to look stronger on national defense and they took it. This therefore becomes a cynical attempt by the Democrats to capitalize on Americans' negative associations of the Middle East. Lest we forget, however, that it is the media that has done so much to promote the myth that Republicans are stronger on national defense. Read most any article analyzing Democratic and Republican strengths, and it is suggested that national security is firmly in the Republican corner, notwithstanding that Osama Bin Laden remains at large, the U.S.'s port security still doesn't inspect almost all of the cargo passing through, various assessments indicate the U.S. is still very susceptible to a terrorist attack, and the security situation in Iraq is disastorous. So if media outlets like the Tribune are going to accuse Democrats of cynically exploiting the ports issue (which I must disagree with because Congressional Republicans were as vocal as Dems on the issue and Democrats were most worried about why the UAE-based company didn't get the usual background check before approval, which is a reasonable expectation), then they should stop promoting the equally cynical myth that Republicans are stronger on national security because they yell louder about our enemies.