Friday, March 10, 2006

Remarkable WaPo Editorials

This morning, sitting on the seventh floor of the Sheraton at 12th and K in DC, I read two editorials in the WaPo that I find truly remarkable. (I had been at this conference, which was a blast. Made Tom Mann of Brookings so mad he sputtered. SPUTTERED, I tell you).

I will post an excerpt from each, separately, as they make different points. But if the WaPo is saying stuff like this....well, BOTH the Repubs and the Dems are looking at the world through rose-colored shot glasses.

Happy Now? Friday, March 10, 2006; A18 (Excerpt)

THEY SPEND drunkenly, they fail at oversight and they can't stop the administration from abusing detainees or tapping phones. But never call the members of Congress powerless: Yesterday, in the exalted name of anti-terrorism, the Senate rebelled against its Republican leadership and joined the House in a vote to prevent a company based in a moderate, friendly Arab country from making a minor investment in the United States. When it became clear that some such blocking measure would pass, Dubai Ports World threw in the towel, announcing that it would sell all of its U.S. operations, including the management operations of six U.S. ports it recently acquired, and do business elsewhere...

...The result: Dubai Ports World will now run only ports where cargo is packed and sent to the United States, instead of managing ports where that same cargo is unloaded.

But our brave new Congress has achieved more than the irrational spiking of one business deal. It has also sent a clear message to the Arab world: No matter how far you move along the path of modernization and cooperation, Americans may be unable to distinguish you from al-Qaeda....

No one should underestimate the potential damage. Any government in a Muslim-majority country will have to ask itself: Why take the risk of friendship? If governments find no good answer to that question, the fight against radical Islamic terrorism will suffer. ...With the price of oil so high, Arabs are rapidly becoming a major supplier of foreign capital. This isn't a good moment for Americans to discourage foreign investment, given the nation's dependence on foreign capital (see: Congress, drunken spending by). Nor will the message -- that foreign ownership was unobjectionable when it was British but intolerable when it was Arab -- do much to advance U.S. efforts to promote equitable investment rules for its own companies abroad....

Some, meanwhile, will blame the public, because opinion polls showed overwhelming objections to this deal. But it was Congress that brought this matter to public attention; here we think, for example, of the cynical actions of two Democratic senators from New York: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer, who heads his party's effort to win back control of the Senate in this year's elections. Congress falsely portrayed the deal as the "purchase" of U.S. ports. Congress failed to tell the public that port security is run by the U.S. Coast Guard, not the men who pay the salaries of the (overwhelmingly American) longshoremen. Congress created this storm, in other words, and then toppled in its wind.

Yikes. Craven...cynical....HILLARY? From the WaPo? Nicely done. ATSRTWT


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