March 12, 2006

Unity at Last! Democrats and Republicans Both Dis Arabs

THE PRESIDENT MISSED THIS GOING IN, and he continues to miss it going out: Bush concerned about message to Mideast over ports.

"I'm concerned about a broader message this issue could send to our friends and allies around the world, particularly in the Middle East," Bush said.

I, for one, am not concerned about the message. Bluntly put, the message is that Americans -- through their elected representatives -- are, for once, united. They are united around the fact that, when you get right down to the nub of it, they simply do not trust Arabs and Muslims. We are, after all, at war with the culture and the religion.

Is it an irrational and emotional position? Of course it is. Wars bring out the irrational and emotional. Is it any the less true? No.

Strip away all the blather and spew and that's what this issue comes down to. Canny and craven politicians would be wise to take note of this. Indeed, I have no doubt they took note of it going in. What was the deal-killer here? Three simple words: "United Arab Emirates." I submit that a deal that handed over control of American ports to the "United Swiss Cantons" would have gone through like a downhill racer above Gstaad.

One major theme already starting up is that "the American people did not get what they needed from the ports deal because they didn't understand it. If they had only understood it, they would have welcomed it." The American people understood the word "Arab," and since a lot of politics moves on basic things and not on subtle things, that was quite enough. That's neither good nor bad but the simple plain rock-bottom human fact of the matter. While all policy wonks are people, very few people are policy wonks. If they were, elections would be decided on issues and not personalities.

Prepare for the spin and counter spin from both Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats will point to the "obsession" of George W. Bush that is responsible for heightening the xenophobia against Arabs and Muslims due to his ill-conceived and faulty execution of the "War on Terror." The Republicans will note that the Democrats played the xenophobia card for craven political gain and have revealed their latent xenophobia at last. As usual, both groups will be wading hip-deep in liquid manure wearing only their Speedos.

Neither side will point to the obvious cause of the slip-sliding away of the ports deal: Muslim and Arab behavior over the last six decades peaking at 9/11 and rolling on since then quite nicely, thank you.

The question is not "Do Americans distrust Arabs and Muslims?" They do. They distrust them all across the political spectrum -- with the exception of the Left side of what now passes for the Democratic Party, and the members of the Republican Party and assorted plutocrats that have profit in their plans.

The question is "Should Americans distrust Arabs and Muslims?"

Well, when you have a rag-tag collection of cultures and a global religion that regularly turns out to burn down embassies, drive Airplanes into skyscrapers, plants bombs along roadsides on a daily basis, has its "representatives" run into crowds, buses, and subway tunnels and self-detonate, beheads random innocent individuals, and promises to conquer the world and put all unbelievers to the sword or into slavery, you don't exactly feel good about those folks. While it is true that their actions get a lot of ink and air-time, you can't say that their PR creates a lot of mellow, positive feelings. What it creates is fear, suspicion and distrust.

Is discrimination wrong?

Almost always.

Is it wrong in this case?


Can this discrimination, distrust and suspicion be reversed?

Not in this decade.

Did Bush lead us into this realm of discrimination?


Did some sort of innate xenophobia within many Americans lead us here?


What led Americans into this frame of mind, expressed in a rare show of political unity, is the repeated behavior of a culture and a religion over a long period of time.

If a lot of members of your family spend a lot of time killing and threatening members of my family, I might be willing not to condemn every member of your family, but that doesn't mean we're going to be doing a lot of business deals over lunch.

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Posted by Vanderleun at March 12, 2006 9:02 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Thanks, Gerard. It is just that simple, really, and right here you said it all.

Posted by: AskMom at March 10, 2006 10:05 AM

Hey, Gerard!

Remember a few months back when you said how Democratic/liberal stridency was going to backfire and cost us popularity? Worked out just like you said, didn't it? GWB's at 36% and Cheney's only 10% ahead of people who said they would bite the head off a live rat to get on reality TV. And now Bush's own party is turning on him.

Man, it must be just great to be a Republican these days.

Ha, ha, ha. You are just SO intellectually superior and not, in any way to be considered, you know, pathetic.

Oh, and BTW, two of the 9/11 hijackers were from Dubai and it's been reported in the news that some of their royalty have been guests at Osama bin Laden's hunting lodge, which makes them much more closely associated with al Qaeda than Saddam ever was. But you know what? Facts are not only liberal, they're strident too.


Oh, and booby, you can censor or edit this to your heart's content but, remember, I know the truth and somewhere in that little pea brain of yours so do you, my little hot-house flower.

[EDITOR: Now just calm down and behave. We are not, need I say, going to be sharing long hot showers any time soon. Do not presume to hope.

And, oh yes, what makes you think I am actually a Republican? I don't recall registering in that party. ]

Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree at March 10, 2006 11:20 AM

Dear Hieronymus,

I believe it was Ann Coulter who said, after observing that liberals' whole public-relations strategy was to call conservatives names, that conservatives don't bother to call liberals names because they have actual points to make and would rather spend their time making them. I believe that Gerard and you have just illustrated her point to perfection.

Have a nice life.

Francis W. Porretto

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at March 10, 2006 11:50 AM

Perhaps Hieronymus could explain why the Clinton Administration sold F-16's to the UAE?

Or why Bill Clintion accepted money to try to push through this deal?

Or...well, nevermind.

Actually It will be funny to watch Hiero's head explode when Halliburton gets the port concession now.

Posted by: Eric Blair at March 10, 2006 12:20 PM

In terms of the canard (that preventing Dubai from an operational role in our ports) is "racist" etc etc -- just consider the reaction if the big multi-national was Japanese. Zero. Nada. The deal would have sailed right through because whatever disagreements with Japan, most Americans believe that it is a fundamentally democratic and peaceful nation.

As a liberal, I simply don't like the idea of doing such close business with one of the three governments which recognized the Taliban govt of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Raw Data at March 10, 2006 5:09 PM

Great post. I've been rather taken aback by the nastiness coming from the deal supporters, calling DPW opponents everything from bigots to morons.

The supporters never could tell me why we just had to let the UAE run our ports, other than to say we really didn't want to hurt their feelings.

And to repeat that opponents were ignorant bigots.

Public opposition to the deal seems more like cautious common sense than nativist racism or ignorance, but then again, I'm a skeptical kind of guy.

Posted by: Mike Lief at March 10, 2006 7:30 PM

Best comment I heard was that respect is a two way street.

When the Islamic world gets off its arrogant high-horse we'll be able to talk.

Posted by: Raw Data at March 11, 2006 7:03 AM

Let's go a little deeper into this entire senario:

To believe that the Admin was totally blindsided by this deal is to believe that noone follows what Clinton, Albright and the rest of the Clintonistas is up to. It is also to pretend that the Republicans are blind to the clap-trap of the Left.

So, let's pretend they were fully aware and let's also throw the complete cooperation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai into the mix. This man is trying to bring modernity to the region. This tiny country is just miles across the Straits from the MAD PERSIANS. The same group of Mullahs who have created, support and encourage all Islamist groups to take over the governments throughout the region and the world. So this thank you note to GW is not really farfetched:

"Never have I felt that my country is more secure from the mad Iranians and their Islamist dogs. We who want modernity will be greatly helped when our elite read that the American people have pulled the wool from their eyes.""

If the true goals of the Neo-Cons are these:

1) Stop Islam from gaining a foothold in America as it had in Europe without appearing to be discriminating against a religion.

2) Show the Arab/Muslim world that our tolerance does include toleration of intolerance.

3) Prove to the American people that this GWOT is a "long war" against a very serious and determined enemy worming its way into our society and using our freedoms and laws against us.

4) Destroy the multiculturalism doctrine of moral relativity

5) Force the Judeo-Christian community to stand up against all the forms of secularism.

Not only the WaPo poll but the low viewership of the Academy Awards this Sunday show the much progress in attaining the 5 goals.

We should really send "Thank You" notes to Schumer and Hilary.

"Rats, foiled again!" is apt bumper sticker for the Left!

Posted by: LARWYN at March 11, 2006 10:41 AM

A fine and thoughtful response. Thank you.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at March 11, 2006 11:46 AM

Hieronymus has indeed illustrated Gerard's point. I have grown to despise "progressives" because so many of those I have known over the decades, be they casual acquaintances, professors, or journalists, have been ignorant, arrogant swine.

Similarly, the Muslims I have met have mostly resembled nothing so much as the two Klan sympathizers I met in the 60's. And the "moderate" Muslims weren't that much better. Tolerance and respect for other religions? Hah!

Posted by: pst314 at March 11, 2006 4:57 PM

What led Americans into this frame of mind, expressed in a rare show of political unity, is the repeated behavior of a culture and a religion over a long period of time?

Over 1400 years.That is EXPERIENCE with high validity.

Posted by: Milano at March 12, 2006 4:03 PM

Could it just possibly be that George figures he needed to trade some poll points to keep faith with the owners of the operational bases and overflight routes into Iran???? After all, he worries so much about the media's polls.....oh yeah, he doesn't. But he did follow up the DPW announcement with a warning to Iran. Hmmm...maybe US aircrews lives mean more to him then polls do.....Iran should beware the Ides of March....or the end of March...
whichever has no moon...
Big picture folks....not NYT/ABC blather

Posted by: new moon at March 13, 2006 9:20 AM
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