Dubai Ports World: The Ship Storm (March 13, 2006)
America and its allies must encourage other countries, particularly Arab countries, to embrace capitalism and participate in the world economy. The most competitive economic player, Dubai Ports World, was set to take over terminal operations at some of America’s busiest ports. Bush could have done a more nuanced job anticipating the reaction and introducing the development to the American people. The reaction of many Americans to the sale was unfortunate but not surprising. Leaders, however, should lead, not pander. The one time in recent memory when the Democrats and Republicans in Congress stood up to Bush was the one time when they should have stood tall with him. Two of the 9/11 terrorists appear to have had connections to Dubai. There is less chance of an attack on an American port by someone from Dubai if someone from Dubai is assisting in operating it. Free trade and economic interdependence promote peace. America made an egregious mistake and forfeited a promising opportunity to build an economic link to the Arab world. America committed a self-inflicted terrorist act by burning a bridge it should have built.