Monday, March 13, 2006


Now honestly, who knows all the details about this "ports deal" anyways? It seems everybody had an opinion. "Oh God no we can't give the ports to a foreign company!!" But they're run by a foreign company, a British company. "But, what about national security??" Well, what about it? How does anything change when these people come in? What, oh cause a couple hijackers were from the UAE? Oh, that makes sense, ya know cause every time an American does something stupid in Europe, we blame Bush right? Well, some may... but the point is that it's entirely illogical, and politically motivated.

But here's the best part of this article:
The ironic fact is that the UAE is precisely the kind of Arab ally the United States needs most now. But that clearly didn't matter to an election-year Congress, which responded to the Dubai deal with a frenzy of Muslim-bashing disguised as concern about terrorism. And we wonder why the rest of the world doesn't like us.
Are we really that stupid as a nation to think that the UAE is just "another Arab nation"? I mean, are we really stereotyping that bad at this point? This is disgusting. This is the state in the Middle East we should be praising, and tripping over ourselves to court them.

Thomas Friedman called it xenophobia disguised as a "national security" issue. If you really want to break it down, there are probably three layers. The core is protectionism. This is the true core of much of the Democratic opposition. The middle layer is xenophobia. The outer shell that everybody has been spoon-fed is national security. Bull shit. We've been told over and over again that the ports aren't that safe to begin with. The Dubai-based company is in the business of making money. When they look at America, they do not see brown and white. They see GREEN. Thomas Friedman also said now is not the time to start looking for Arabs under your bed like you looked for Commies during the Cold War... The situation is no good, but the only glimmer of hope is that this ends up just being politics and not anything people actually believe to their core.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just a Small Bit of News to Think About

Abu Ghraib is being closed, which is good. But this news bit is kind of an aside. I was reading the New York Times article about the man in this picture. Ali Shalal Qaissi is his name and he's now speaking out in the name of prisoners like himself. Of course he's hooded in the picture and we can't confirm his identity. So what did the reporters do? They called up Uncle Sam and asked for confirmation... But they didn't get it. "Why not?," you may ask:
A spokesman for the American military in Iraq declined to comment, saying it would violate the Geneva Conventions to disclose the identity of prisoners in any of the Abu Ghraib photographs, just as it would to discuss the reasons behind Mr. Qaissi's detention.
No further comments.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Missing the Point

The GOP today has announced an agreement with the White House on legislation iniating Congressional oversight for the domestic wire-tapping program. Now the Congress gets their fingers in the program and warrantless wire-tapping would continue for up to 45 days. This is totally missing the point of many people's apprehension about the program. No, we weren't calling for another layer of bureaucracy on Capitol Hill. No we weren't asking Congress to try and allay our fears by getting involved (because we all know we can sleep safely at night knowing the oh-so-helpful Congress is on the little man's side here). I just want the law enforced. I want Bush to get warrants. I don't want a secret committee hearing that nobody knows about for 10 years to be the on;y oversight for a program that can continue on warrant-free. I want to make sure Bush is following the law and that's it.
"The measure would require the administration to seek a warrant from the
court whenever possible."


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Say What You Will About NPT...

(Sorry to Steve Bell of the Guardian for ripping off his cartoons all the time)President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh have announced a landmark deal, giving India access to American nuclear fuel. Now we can certainly bitch about NPT and the seeming hypocracy of our actions as we row against Iran's nuclear ambitions, but let's be honest. We need India on our side. This is not the Cold War anymore and India knows it. They have to start alligning themselves, albeit in a much more fluid fashion. Every step we take closer to eachother is nothing but an improvement of our long-term security interests in the region. We have every right to bitch, but I don't even care.

Furthermore, we need to honestly consider the implications for NPT. Yes, we are turning a blind eye to India's nuclear weapons program, just as we have always done. But consider this; India has agreed to let international inspectors in for the first time. 14 of their 22 facilities are now under inspection. This is almost like NPT by another name. Bush called it the "non-proliferation team," not a signing member but an adherent. This is still a step in the right direction, is it not?

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