I Hate Agreeing With Hillary
February 20, 2006
By Tom Barrett
Hillary and her liberal playmates are so wrong about so many things so much of the time, that it shocks me to find that I agree with her on anything. I find comfort in the fact that many stalwart conservatives also agree with her on the subject of today's column. That means that I am probably not temporarily insane.
The administration was simply wrong when it approved the sale of a company that provides security for six major East coast US ports to a company based in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). You may agree with me, but you will probably be surprised that the reason I feel the approval should be rescinded is not that the company is based in a Muslim nation. It is simply because the company is a US company.
Let me explain. The company in question, a British firm named Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), manages the ports of New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami, including port security.
The real security breach regarding these ports occurred not when this administration approved the sale of P & O to Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates. It occurred when the British company was allowed to gain control over these ports. I agree with the administration's contention that a foreign country was already controlling the ports, so it is difficult to say that another foreign company cannot do so.
Hillary has said that she will offer legislation to ban companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from acquiring U.S. port operations. Where was her outrage when the British firm was given control of these ports? She says she is worried that because the company is based in the UAE, it could be infiltrated by terrorists because US laws don't apply in the UAE. Well, guess what, Hillary. The same applies to Great Britain.
Yes, Britain is our most important ally. But their national interests will always supersede ours. Their companies can be infiltrated. And we have no law enforcement authority in Great Britain. So it's really just a matter of degrees. Certainly the UAE, while it is currently cooperating in the war on terror, has a history of Muslim fanaticism and terrorist activity. But the latest terrorist attacks in Great Britain were perpetrated by Muslim terrorists who were also British citizens.
I don't believe for a minute that the reason Hillary and her ilk are raising these concerns has anything to do with her love for America. She has proven over and over her disdain for the American people and her lack of concern for our national security. This is simply a stunt to prove that she is as tough on security as are the Republicans, as part of her attempt to become the first woman president.
But that doesn't mean that the concerns are not real or valid. Going back to when she was president for the eight years she used her husband as a puppet, America has outsourced huge portions of our national security to nations that hate us. For instance, China produces and sells to the US critical components of our missile guidance systems. If China goes to war against us, do you think there is a possibility they might stop shipping us these parts?
Other sensitive components used in our sophisticated tanks and military aircraft are purchased from countries which are currently our allies, but which may not be allies in the future. Or perhaps those countries and their manufacturing plants might be taken over by an enemy in the future.
Those who read my columns regularly know that I am for free trade. But there is a point where we have to look beyond the broad principle of free trade among nations, and decide what best serves our national interests in the area of homeland security.
Would you want the burglar alarm system in your home to be installed by an ex-convict? I wouldn't. I serve on the board of a prison after-care ministry, and I know how hard it is for those who have served their sentences to find jobs. I would do anything I could to help them. But I wouldn't hire an ex-addict to work in a pharmacy, nor would I allow a released pedophile to work in a child-care facility.
In the same way, I believe we should allow other nations to compete with our companies in most areas. It makes US companies sharper when they have to compete instead of hiding behind protectionist policies. In the past, when it became clear that we couldn't compete in certain areas, it pushed us to use our national ingenuity to invent whole new industries that were more profitable than the ones we had lost.
I just don't think we should allow any nation which might potentially be a threat to us to control any area of our national security. And that includes every nation on the planet.