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.