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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Ports takeover won't go well with Americans

The Arab takeover of operations at six major U.S. ports will make a lot of people nervous not to mention leaving them irate and fearful.

Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business belonging to the oil rich United Arab Emirates, is to take over ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia with the blessings of the Bush administration.

Critics strongly suspect UAE, a U.S. ally of sorts, of operational and financial ties to the thugs who carried out the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. The UAE also is a suspect in transferring smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

With widespread anti-American sentiment among Arabs, the administration apparently thinks this is a golden opportunity to use a moderate Muslim country to win friends in the Middle East.

But before the administration allows Dubai to control access to the ports, Congress needs to stop acting like a rubber stamp and start asking tough questions. We can think of several beginning with: Do we want to outsource operation of our ports to another government, particularly a Muslim government of questionable sentiment? Would we outsource operation of our airports to this same government? If we would not, then why would we turn over our ports, which are already an open invitation to smuggle all sorts of weapons of mass and limited destruction into this country?

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