Saturday, February 25, 2006

From what I know it seems that Bush has been backed into a diplomatic corner as a result of the original ports contract signed in 1999 during the Clinton administration. I do not think the ports contract should have gone through, but I could understand the quandry the administration would be in: alienate an imperfect ally by summarily denying the contract (and invite charges of xenophobia, probably from the Left) or go ahead with it. My suggestion: change the policy to allow only American companies to operate ports. This will then not seem to be a slap at one particular country. And do even more rigorous screening of employees for loyalty to their own country. This will probably invite charges of McCarthyism, but as we have seen by exposes of "intellectuals'" responses to 9/11, patriotism, even among Americans, cannot be assumed. Neoconservativism holds the danger that it attracts those who are motivated more by greed than traditional conservative values. The free market works, but not when you're dealing with those who have radically different values.

A scarey sight yesterday in the parking lot of Big Lots in Decatur: "Hillary 2008."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ports Contract: Dividing Conservatives, Uniting Liberals

The recent controversy over the ports contracts has divided conservatives and united liberals. Liberals seem to forget that the contract was awarded in 1999, during the Clinton administration. Or they just don't mention it.

The current administration is put into an awkward position when the original company is bought out by a company from the United Arab Emirates. To automatically cancel the contract on this basis alone would alienate an important, though imperfect, ally. And had the administration done this, the charge from many in the same camp would have been "xenophobia!" But I suspect that what motivates much of the criticism is the opportunity to appear stronger on terrorism than the Bush administration, while uniting against a common enemy: the Bush administration. Their alternative to warfare has been to secure our borders (with the exclusion of "undocumented workers" from Mexico and Central America, but that's another posting).

The division is demonstrated on the pages of techcentralstation. Lee Harris there expresses an understandable response of outrage to the administration's decision. James Glassman, publisher of that online journal, however, takes a free market approach. He points out that even a British or German company could be excluded on the same basis: both unintentionally harbored the 9/11 terrorists. And wasn't Florida where they took flight lessons? Glassman's point about security remaining in American hands adds support to his argument. But I am still uncomfortable. Ann Coulter in her delightfully acerbic way comes down hard on the administration in her column:

My question is: why isn't an American company given these contracts? I would suggest that the "American" company, though, be screened for those who demonstrate loyalty to the United State.

I remember back to the Clinton administration when the free market met political correctness. Even the readers I used for teaching freshman composition at the University of Georgia touted multiculturalism as a way to prepare students for the "global economy." I can't tell you how many times I saw that sentiment repeated banally on freshman essays. Parents and administrators at my son's elementary and middle schools encouraged parents to push their children to take Spanish-- to prepare for the job market. The bilingual signs at Wal-Mart demonstrate their prescience.

I suspect that the liberals would like to see a government agency take over the ports function, just as they want to keep the government in charge of education, health care, and just about everything else. Now imagine civil servants in a Hillary Clinton administration running this show. As exposes like Whittaker Chambers' Witness demonstrate, subversives often like to work for government agencies. Would the Ward Churchill intellectuals see this as an opportunity to further their goals of undermining the United States, and the entire West, which they have succeeded in brainwashing the youth into thinking of as oppressive, murderous, imperialist, etc.?

What if we did let an American company do the job? Might we not run into the same problem? Would extensive background checks--on either government employees or employees of an American company--invite charges of "McCarthyism" from the left? (Today's 'McCarthy-ite' charge: are you or have you ever criticized someone for having communist leanings? snicker, snicker, and unspoken: you hopeless, paranoid rube who doesn't even understand the difference between true Marxism as explicated in places of higher learning and vulgar Marxism.) Even American citizens, as we have seen, have been involved in terrorist operations.
Loyalty needs to be a determinant. Criticism and debate occur among patriots. But first we must have loyalty to the values of the West. We need to start at the beginning, at the those who educate children. I applaud David Horowitz for his book on the professors. But as he has stated, these are the most egregious examples. The campaign to undermine Western civilization must be halted. The intelligentsia in the most influential positions have devoted careers to questioning and undermining the values that most of middle America holds dear. We need those who are dedicated to upholding the values of the West in education and industry. But I suspect that that is not what the left really wants in terms of the ports contracts.

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