Dubai Ports World's Captain Hamad Explains It All For You:
Regarding the whole bipartisan uproar over a United Arab Emirates company taking over part of the running of six U.S. ports, the Rude Pundit ain't gonna pretend he understands all the ins and outs of the international megacorporation that is Dubai Ports World, nor will he pretend to know about the vicissitudes of port operation and maritime security. The Rude Pundit did, however, take the kids tour of DP World, led by Captain Hamad.

His hat tipped jauntily, Captain Hamad told the Rude Pundit that DP World won an award for the UAE's Best Government Department in 2000. Saluting us like we're heading out for shore leave, Captain Hamad explained that DP World's logo incorporates the UAE flag. Captain Hamad, with his cute albatross next to him, described the operations of DP World, how the company handles "vessels of General Cargo such as bagged foodstuff, steel, timber, livestock, cars, buses, even helicopters and Bulk Cargo such as minerals, chemicals and petroleum." Then Captain Hamad led the Rude Pundit on a virtual tour of Jebel Ali Port, and it was, indeed, as Captain Hamad promised, "a sail of your lifetime." One presumes DP World would be doing much the same thing at ports in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans.

The Rude Pundit has grappled for the past few days with the issues of bigotry and racism related to the whole matter. And actually President Bush crystallized the whole thing yesterday for the Rude Pundit when Bush said, "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British [sic] company."

Now let's see if we can follow the bouncing ball of Bush's foreign policy: after 9/11, after bombing Afghanistan back to the stonier age, Bush pressed on with a predetermined plan to take over Iraq - sorry, to "get Saddam Hussein out of power"- and in doing so, conflated Iraq and al-Qaeda into one fucked-up miasma of brownish people who smell of chick peas. With the initial overthrow of Saddam complete, the Bush administration labeled anyone who would dare fight against the invaders as "terrorists," which included an assortment of homegrown insurgents, jihadists, and pissed off people, some of whom came from other countries in the region. We are assured, on a nauseatingly regular basis, that we are in a "war on terror," that we have threats coming from everywhere, that terrorists are out to get us, so live in fear, bitches, live in fear. And, we're told, that al-Qaeda is just achin' with a giant hard-on to attack the U.S. again. In other words, the whole modus operandi of the U.S. government foreign policy has been to demonize, isolate, and condemn the darker Others of the Middle East and North Africa.

And anyone should be surprised that people'd be pissed off about the ports deal? Now Bush wants us all to separate out the UAE from Iraq and Iran. Good fuckin' luck with that.

This is not to mention that, you know, the "Great British [sic]" aren't called out as a nation for support of groups like the Taliban and for turning a blind eye to terrorism in the 9/11 Commission report, as the UAE is. Yeah, there is a difference, and it's got fuck-all to do with race and a fuck of a lot to do with reality.

Let's say, and why not, that you're a victim of a crime, where a guy breaks down the doors to your house, wrecks the fuck out of your living room, strangles your cockatiel, and shits on the floor. You know who did it. It's your neighbor who hated hearing your goddamn cockatiel start chirpin' at sunrise everyday. But the cops can't find your neighbor. Now let's say you hire a decorator to come in to refurbish your shat on, fucked up living room. Let's say you discover that the decorator's assistant is your neighbor's cousin. Sure, you can be assured over and over that he only saw your neighbor at large family gatherings and that he doesn't know where the fucker is, but, c'mon, you gonna feel comfortable with that dude in your house every day? Would you be wrong to fire him?

The Bush administration can act like it's surprised by the reaction to the Dubai Ports World deal, but in the end, it's just reapin' what it's sown. Besides, what this is really about is patronage to cronies, a means of trying to use the deal as leverage on the UAE's support for continued funding of a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, and the general "who gives a fuck about the American public" attitude of the Bush administration. But the Rude Pundit'd have to be Captain Hamad to understand all of that.