In very mild praise of George Bush

Let’s start with an uncontroversial statement: there are a whole load of crazy Muslim-hating bigots in the US. More specifically, various US politicians are trying to block Dubai Ports World’s takeover of P&O, on the grounds that filthy Ay-rabs would end up operating facilities at various American ports.

The deal poses no security issues, in the UK, the US or elsewhere: for a start, port security is overseen by governments rather than facility operators – and Dubai Ports World is run by civilian commercial management. DPW could be owned by Osama Bin Laden himself, and the threat posed to international security would still be zero. But that’s not even the point: Dubai is a civilised and stable country with no involvement whatsoever in terrorism (well, one of the 9/11 hijackers was born in the UAE. And Tim McVeigh was born in the US). Its troops fight alongside the US Army. Opposing the deal – hell, even questioning the deal any more than you’d question a takeover by a Canadian or Australian company – makes you a crazy racist fuckwit, or at best an ignorant fuckwit.

Scarily, the opposition isn’t a left/right issue: liberal bloggers like Kos and AMERICAblog are jumping on the “we can’t trust these filthy Ay-rabs” bandwagon (although obviously the criticism from the right is more toxic). George Bush, to his great credit (and that isn’t something I say often), has stood up to this criticism. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do so.

The Moderate Voice has a roundup of comment on this issue. TMV’s article is reasonably sane and balanced; the mouth-breathing bigots it links to are generally not.

6 thoughts on “In very mild praise of George Bush

  1. Matthew says:

    Dubai comes very lowly on those league tables of freedom and rights, if you believe that sort of thing.

  2. PDF says:

    Well, the UAE scores better than the US in the Observer’s human rights violations index (UAE is 102nd-worst and US is 65th-worst). Although I accept that this might be a fair criterion for the UK government (127th-worst) to block the sale of P&O’s UK operations, it doesn’t seem to apply to their Yank ports…

    The ranking is based on “EJE=Extrajudicial executions, DIS=Disappearances, T/IT=Torture/inhuman treatment, DIC=Deaths in custody, POC=Prisoners of conscience, UFT=Unfair trials, DWC=Detention without charge or trial, EXE=Executions (death penalty), SOD=Sentence of death, AOG=Abuses by armed opposition groups”, which seems like a fair enough set of criteria.

    Study to be found here

  3. Jim Bliss says:

    I object to the deal. But only on the grounds that “Dubai Ports World” is a bloody stupid name for a company.

  4. N.I.B. says:

    Not if Dubai is the middle of the world it’s not!

  5. Matthew says:

    I was thinking of 137th on press freedom
    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11715

    and gets a 2nd worse, ’6′ on the Freedom House’s Freedom index
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/pdf/Charts2006.pdf

    To be fair though this is the UAE, not necessarily Dubai and I don’t think it really affects the takeover, its more the
    ‘civilised’ country I would wonder about.

  6. PDF says:

    Freedom House are, however, a shady bunch of neocons with a political agenda as long as your (ample) arm; to them, “not being leftwing” and “being free” are roughly synonymous.

    The UAE press aren’t particularly free (although they tend not to particularly censor imports of the Western press, but broadly I’d place Dubai roughly alongside Singapore and the US in ‘civilised’ terms, below Europe, Canada, Australasia and India but above most of the rest of the world.

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