Thursday, February 23


Joe Conason on the ports deal debate. Joe details the connections between the Bushes and the UAE.

But Bush's passionate defense of the United Arab Emirates and the ports deal inevitably raises questions -- not only about the due diligence of his administration in this instance but about his and his family's long-standing ties to the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, and specifically to the UAE's rulers. His insinuation that skepticism is equivalent to bigotry cannot deflect such concerns, which first arose in the months after the 9/11 attacks.
What seems worrisome even to some who might ultimately accept the Dubai ports deal is the "casual attitude" of the Bush administration in vetting the company, as Sen. Carl Levin put it. Considering the history of Bush entanglement with the oil despots of the Gulf, that lax indulgence was bad policy and worse politics.

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