Friday, February 24, 2006

Asshole Projection

I'm seconding Atrios seconding Yglesias.

The problem with the ports deal is not the "A" in "UAE", it's the "OBL BFF" in "UAE".

For those of you who don't speak Abbrevish, this is not about "you can't trust the Arabs," at least not from our side of the spectrum. It's about "you can't trust a country whose royal family diplomatically recognized the Taliban, and hung out with Osama bin Laden, and generally seems to be a pretty cozy staging ground for terrorists." Any attempts to paint our objections as xenophobic are disingenuous and dishonest.


But this sort of thing is one of the Republicans' favorite tricks. Democrats are "racist" for opposing the judicial nominations of Clarence Thomas and Janice Rogers Brown, or for pointing out that Condi is an incompetent liar, or for "dishonoring" Coretta Scott King's memorial service by being mean to our poor resolute president.

Or "sexist" for opposing Harriet Miers (who was sunk by Republicans, by the way).

Or "homophobic" for saying that a male prostitute with a fake name and no journalistic credentials has no place in the White House press corps.


For the Republicans, "projection" isn't a psychological condition; it's a deliberate strategy.

2 comments:

Blue Gal said...

I've blogged about this Eli and have to say I don't see Dubai as a threat. We've "harbored: terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Donald Rumsfeld, so we can't talk about that. That said, Republican vs. Republican is my favorite pizza. This administration is suffering from major bad karma, and deserves every public relations debacle they get.

Eli said...

McVeigh is not a valid comparison, though. We only harbored him in the sense that he happened to live here - our government didn't knowingly turn a blind eye on his activities or drag its feet on investigating him.

And of course, Rumsfeld is no problem for us, because he didn't blow up Americans (merely put them in a situation where *someone else* would blow them up - but it was for a totally good cause!).

My problem, in addition to the cynically dishonest accusation of racism, is that this deal puts a country with demonstrable terrorist sympathies very very close to a very vulnerable part of our infrastructure, and in some major cities, to boot. All it takes is one al Qaeda infiltrator to get snuck into a strategic spot to give things a little nudge: A key hire here, a diversion of resources/attention there.

I will admit to not being an expert on port management, but it would take a lot to convince me that port management is so far removed from actual port operations that a mole could not find a way to make a terrorist operation at one of those ports just a little bit easier. Hell, they were able to take out the WTC with *box cutters*, without even having to be airline employees.

The other question here is, is it *really* appropriate to reward a country whose hands are so dirty? Is it really accurate to characterize them as having "played by the rules"?