Mar 06 2006
A must read on the Democrats track record on terrorism from Hawaii Reporter. It’s worth the time.
Any contact with Muslim states involves the chance that an al-Qaeda infiltrator may slip through. But terrorists have attacked the USA without the UAE leasing any port unloading facilities. They are also capable of attacking without the use of foreign nationals, as the cases of Iyman Faris, Jose Padilla and others show. Any possible threat enhanced by the Dubai Ports deal is already present through many other avenues.
One example would be New Yorkâ€™s JFK airport which receives flights from no less than ten Muslim-owned airlines — including twice daily non-stops from the UAE on Emirates airline. While the UAE-leased seaport terminals will be staffed by the same American employees who work there now, these Muslim-owned airlines are piloted by Muslims into the skies over New York, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities every day.
The home-country security for these flights is the responsibility of Muslim security officers and screeners. Any of these flights could simply veer off course and take out a skyscraper in a matter of seconds. Any of them could carry a nuclear weapon into our skies and detonate it over a city. Why are no politicians propounding on this threat? Should we shut them down? Even if we did, would that really end the threat?
We can slow the spread of nuclear weapons technology and we can hasten the spread of democracy, but it is physically impossible to wall ourselves off from the threat of nuclear terrorism. The only way to defeat that threat is by action — political, diplomatic, economic and military — in the Islamic world. Action which will either physically destroy a nuclear threat or action which will result in the creation of societies no longer interested in waging terrorist war against the free world. The combination of these two methods is our only chance for victory. Walling ourselves off does not protect us, it guarantees our defeat.
The UAE is no democracy, but it is a trade-oriented society rightly seen as the â€œHong-Kong of the Gulf.â€ About 60 percent of the UAEâ€™s 3.4 million residents are non-native. The UAE is currently host to more US Navy ships than any foreign port. It is a banking, tourism, and shipping center for the entire region. In surveys, a plurality of Iraqis indicate the UAE is the country they would most like to emulate.
Among Islamic countries the UAE is one of the most progressive. If we choose to wall ourselves off from a country such as this, then what are we doing in Iraq or Afghanistan? The entire strategy of forcing the development of democracy is at question and the questions are being asked by the usual isolationist forces on both left and right joined by hordes of political opportunists.
No strategy is without risk. President Bushâ€™s strategy emphasizing development of broad military, political, diplomatic and economic relations with Muslim societies as full or partial allies in the war on terror has paid off in terms of thousands of terrorists captured or killed. The risk of abandoning this strategy is far greater than the risks associated with continuing it.