Thursday, March 16, 2006

If Only Victor Davis Hanson Had Been Sober

DISCLAIMER:(if this offends anyone by being here, please remove was too big for the comments section)

By Marc Atkinson, E Pluribus

I’ve been reading VDH for close to ten years now, and while the former Professor of Classics at Fresno and current Hoover Institute member navigates the turbulent waters of history and its current crop of agenda driven revisionists with a marked lucidity, he also has the intermittent and always useful memory lapse, allowing him to assail the detractors of the defunct Dubai ports deal as two political camps in an inverted cone of silence, whereby panic-stricken isolationists and ‘anybody but Bush’ devotees can hear their individual arguments coalesce to echo a ‘collective insanity’.

Ironically, VDH (whom I admire, read, and quote on E Pluribus Reluctor on a regular basis)..parrots the left in this regard….”we know better, and you’re just dumb”.

Given the intellectual weight of the mighty Hanson, many are swayed by the sheer volume of his whispered assertions and the assumed veracity of his proclamations that “Rarely has reason been so routed by pure emotion.”...Again, VDH assumes those who are against this deal are Clinton/Gore voters, worried 'about the children'.

Hanson goes on to essentially throw his hands in the air with examples of the Panama Canal (which I remember quite well, contrary to another assumption that we all forgot) , Chinese influence, the Mexican border, et al. And these are valid points, each of which requires redress in it own forum. This argument reminds me of my 8 year-olds son objection to my telling him to pick up his room: “ why should I dad, it’s already a mess?”. Because it’s the right thing to do, that’s why. And if it had been 19 Chinese terrorists on 9/11, I seriously doubt Americans would stand for that nation continuing to operate our largest port, the port of Los Angeles because- ‘oh well, we’ve been buying cheap Chinese stuff for years now anyway’. It took more than twenty years and the power of W.Edwards Demming for Americans to look at Japan as a legitimate trading partner instead of a partner in fascism with the third reich. (Got my Hitler reference in—musn't forget that).

To be sure, the image of Hillary Clinton and Pat Buchanan shaking hands as the Dubai deal sank is naturally a convenient vehicle of validation for Hanson to point to mere emotion and hysteria as the impetus for the rejection of this business deal that apparently our president wasn’t even aware of, while simultaneously assuring us that he’s got our backs. This president and his family with their known connections to the Saudi royal family and even the Bin Ladens at one point do themselves no favors by allowing this transaction to proceed. Bush administration officials themselves refer to the less than 5% of shipping containers inspected as a gigantic hole in our security. We know that people have been successfully smuggled in shipping containers from the east. These were people only looking for a better life. Are we to suppose that terrorists and/or their weapons would be stopped by benevolent Islamic port employees in the Middle East sympathetic to American efforts in their homelands, because that is precisely where our security would reside, had this fox guarding-the-henhouse deal succeeded. The same president who has shown us through deeds that he is not interested in the very first order of business of security by simply mandating that our national sovereignty be maintained at our southern or northern borders, has ponied out the preposterous ‘guest-worker’ program, and who only this month was in India glad-handing the largest repository of out-sourced American jobs, was telling us to trust the UAE, a country that had all nineteen 9/11 terrorists pass through it, funneled money for the 9/11 atrocity, and even had its own royal family as the guests of Osama Bin Laden as late as 1999, according to CIA memo of 2/19/1999, mere months after Al Qaeda blew up two US embassies in Africa with money snaking through Dubai banks. But Dubai’s proximity to 9/11 doesn’t end there. 13 of the 19 terrorists entered the US via Dubai, with the original 20th hijacker –Mohammed al-Katani, also gliding through Dubai’s security net that George Bush wants our nation to put our trust in. Paul Sperry has outlined further indictments of this ‘ally in the war on terror’:..” It's also not surprising, given Dubai's cozy ties to bin Laden and Taleb leaders, that the hijackers were able to use Dubai as their financial base in addition to their forward staging base. As they came through Dubai, they were outfitted by the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with credit cards, cash, bank accounts and American-style clothing. More than $100,000 in al-Qaida funds were funneled through Dubai banks. One single transfer from Dubai into al-Shehhi's and his pal Mohamed Atta's Florida checking account totaled $70,000.

The day before crashing his hijacked United Airlines jet, al-Shehhi wired $5,400 in leftover al-Qaida funds back to Dubai. Other hijackers also wired residuals there. After the attacks, investigators traced al-Shehhi phone calls back to the UAE, where he is now celebrated as a hero in mosques and other local gathering places outside the gaze of Western investors, who are too intoxicated by glittering high-rises and other signs of modernity to understand that the desert oasis is still haunted by ancient demons.”

I recommend a thorough read of the entire article here:

I fear for Victor Davis Hanson’s reputation in conservative circles, because he has stated many well-researched opinions on matters sometimes beyond his purview and been correct. This Dubai Ports World deal however, reeked of what it was: very bad policy with another assumed friend of the U.S., and all for money, once again. It seems to me that in the post-9/11 era, any country that wishes to conduct commerce with us, and especially a country in the Middle east that owns a business where we rely on them to provide security from their home ports through inspections in foreign ports- is a pipe dream that must be a proven reality before any trust is bestowed.

In fact, if George Bush ever expects to resuscitate this political cadaver, he needs to borrow a phrase from the Great Communicator once used to bring the Soviet bear to heel:

“Trust---but verified”


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