P.S. on Ports
Two more items that I didn't mention about this ports brouhaha:
One, several people have made the point that if our strategic goal in the Middle East is to tie Muslim states more closely into the political, economic and cultural network of the modern world, we should be delighted that the UAE wants in on US ports, not fearful. We can't very well say "Hey Arabs, stop being medieval atavists and get with the global program" and then slap them on the wrist when they do just that.
Two, The New Republic has a fascinating piece this week
(subscription required) on a recent $9.7 billion deal by the UAE's Emirates airlines to buy 42 Boeing 777s, a desperately needed deal for the US aerospace industry. The Bush Administration probably lobbied the UAE fairly hard to buy American (rather than from Airbus) and as TNR's John Judis puts it, that should be kept in mind as the White House continues to defend Dubai Ports World in the face of such raucous criticism.