Congressional leaders from both parties responded quickly to White House approval of a deal that allows Dubai Ports World company, owned by the United Arab Emirates, to control shipping operations in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New Jersey, Baltimore and Miami. A few days later, Congress woke up to the reality that corporate takeovers are commonplace in our global economy.
If President Bush were running for reelection, he would probably be opposed to letting an Arab company run six American ports. He would use Karl Rove's game plan for electoral success: run on national security, and stress that you, unlike your opponent, understand the ruthlessness of terrorists and the gravity of threats in the post-9/11 world. Many members of Congress seemed to be mindful of Rove’s advice as they blasted away at the Bush administration for allowing Dubai Ports World to manage shipping terminals in the U.S. In this case, the Bush administration has taken a nuanced view of national security, one that argues that long-term security depends on good relations with the Arab world and on the ability to foster alliances in the Middle East.