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A stink over Arab firm

Don Rogers

What’s the Ronnie Reagan line, “There you go again?”Even Republican leaders are joining in the political moment over the very idea that a company from an Arab nation would purchase and operate some terminals at U.S. ports. A British company has sold its terminal operations at six American ports to a company from the United Arab Emirates that runs such operations at ports around the world, including the West.A panel of actual experts that looks into security concerns approved the deal – which by the way is about loading and unloading ships, not Arabs guarding American ports. That remains the job of the Coast Guard and various other port authorities.Companies from other countries run lots of terminals at American ports, including the Chinese.But there’s fertile political ground, obviously, in the sound-bite hollering about a Middle Eastern-based company doing so. Even with its American executives and honorable service elsewhere.Port security indeed is an issue for the United States. Not enough cargo is inspected, and that lapse leaves this country vulnerable. The meat of that, however, should deal with how the government goes about its work rather than rather hysterically crying that a country has had terrorists among its citizenry and therefore cannot be trusted. So do the Brits, and, well … us.This Arabs-have-to-be-terrorists quality to the political rhetoric sadly seeks to overplay on fear. Or is it rank opportunity, that smell in the air?Vail, Colorado


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