Bush Is Right!


Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has won U.S. approval to control significant operations of six major American ports, the Associated Press reported Saturday. Despite opposition from members of Congress, who say that the UAE has been an inconsistent ally in the U.S. war on terrorism, a White House spokesman said the $6.8 billion deal (Dubai Port World's purchase of the operations from a British company) was scrutinized carefully by a federal board and that its decision was final.

"The approval should stand," writes Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland, director of the Center on Peace & Liberty, in his latest op-ed.

Eland argues that Dubai Port World's operations might actually reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack involving a U.S. port: "In fact, since two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE, Dubai Ports World might even have a stronger interest in operating safe and secure ports than companies from other nations," Eland writes. "Dubai has a worldwide presence, an extensive history of operating ports, and a reputation to uphold. If a terrorist incident occurred in one of its ports, the company would probably lose more business worldwide than a non-Arabic company would under the same circumstances."

Eland then argues that U.S. authorities should have similarly resisted, rather than succumbed to, anti-Arab jingoism after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the U.S. government incarcerated people based on their Arabic nationalities and Islamic religion. "The Bush administration was right to insist that no security threat emanated from a routine business purchase of a British firm by an Arab company. The politicians should quit posturing and move on to more important issues," Eland concludes.

"Dubai Ports World: Commercial Racial Profiling," by Ivan Eland (2/20/06)
"El caso de la empresa Dubai Ports World: Perfil racial comercial"

To purchase THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland, see

To purchase PUTTING "DEFENSE" BACK IN U.S. DEFENSE POLICY, by Ivan Eland, see

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)

It may be fine for a foreign government to own US port facilities. However,
no business deal should be "scrutinized carefully by a federal board" whose
decision is final, without public hearings at the very least. What kind of
board is this, I wonder? Did it also approve China buying West coast port
facilities under Clinton? Remember John Huang and Charles Trie laundering
campaign funds from the Chinese government -- Buddhist nuns under vows of
poverty supposedly donating hundreds of dollars? The very headline below,
implying that the White House should have anything to do with the ethnicity
of the port operators, should offend libertarians.

Harland Harrison
Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County, CA