Ports Flap a Shame
It's sad to see so many Americans, including so-called progressives and conservatives, challenging the deal to allow a U.A.E.-based company to manage several American ports on no grounds except the company's Arab roots. While it makes sense to profile air passengers and flight school students, it's no more than xenophobia to extend such racial profiling where it makes no difference. It has been well established that the U.S. Coast Guard and not the Arab company will be responsible for port security. What's more, this very Arab company already manages many ports around the world that ship cargo into our ports today. As such, it is already in a position to do whatever harm opponents of the deal imagine they might intend. There are real and deep problems in the Arab world today, and across the Muslim faith more broadly. Our attempts to wall ourselves off, however, do nothing to alleviate these problems, nor do they enhance our own security. The Umma, troubled as it is, must be engaged and ultimately liberated politically and empowered economically if peace is to prevail in our world. Our military operations are critical to our security, but have always represented only part of the answer to terrorism. Perhaps more critical is the engagement so many now seek to avoid -- at the peril of us all.