A Right-Wing Insecurity Complex


By:  Rachel Marsden


Conservatives on both sides of the border are suddenly having massive brain-cramps on national security issues.


George W. Bush’s move to allow a state-run company from the United Arab Emirates to operate six major American ports has achieved the impossible:  Lefties opposed to the proposal have finally caught up with common sense and come out in favour of Middle Eastern profiling, and the issue of port security is now on the front burner for the first time.  Damn, that Karl Rove is a mad genius!


What’s the point of playing a stellar offensive game over in the Middle East when your own end-zone is wide open?  This is World War III, people—wake up!  Would Reagan have put the Russian government in charge of U.S. interests during the Cold War?


Bush argues that the U.A.E. is a trusted partner in the war on terror, and that America shouldn’t discriminate between this Arabic company and the British one currently operating the ports.  Yes, it should.  Here’s why:  Britain is drop-kicking hatemongering jihadists out of the country, while the Emirates aren’t.  Two September 11th hijackers hailed from there, and al-Qaeda did more U.A.E. financial transactions than Janet Jones Gretzky on Superbowl weekend.  The U.A.E. also recognized Bin Laden’s Taliban buddies as Afghanistan’s legitimate government up until 9/11.


If you believe Bush, Emiratis have smartened up since 9/11 and are now on our side.  But according to the 9/11 Commission, they were America’s counterterrorism allies back in the 90s, too—all while high-level U.A.E. officials camped out regularly with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.  The Clinton administration even passed on killing Bin Laden when they had the chance in February 1999, for fear of taking out U.A.E. royalty, er “U.S. allies”, along with him.


And Bush trusts these guys with his ports?  Why stop there?  How about contracting out the security of U.S. nuclear sites to the Pakistanis?  Lord knows that they’re into nukes—and they’re “allies” in the terror war, too.  Maybe Pakistan will hire some of those citizens who went ballistic over bad drawings of Mohammed to work security—or maybe they won’t.  But because they’re America’s “allies”, this is apparently the kind of chance that Bush is willing to take.


Perhaps all of this port prattle is overblown.  When only about five percent of containers coming into U.S. ports are inspected, aren’t they just paying lip-service to security anyway?  Heck, put Paris Hilton in charge.


Here in Canada, Conservatives made a similar boneheaded move in recently vowing to arm our border guards.


Customs officials aren’t trained to use deadly force.  Their job is to collect taxes, cause lineups, and fire off nasty looks as you come back from a midsummer cross-border shopping spree wearing ten layers of clothing and two rings on every finger.  Still don’t believe me?  Just go to the Revenue Canada website, click on “job opportunities”, and note the link to an info booklet for the “customs inspector test”.


Finally!  Accountants and handguns—together at last!  Harper’s Conservatives had better be ready to teach these guys how to pull out that gun, shut their eyes, and do the “pray n’ spray”, because that will be their only hope in a real shootout.  Better yet, how about putting more RCMP at the border to handle situations for which they’re actually trained?


Conservatives need to wisen up on national security issues.  If need be, when making these sorts of decisions, they should ask themselves “WWJD”—“What Would Jimmy (Carter) Do?”—then just do the opposite.


PUBLISHED:  TORONTO SUN (February 24/06)