Even now after the Dubai Ports deal has been given Last Rites, there is President Bush still out on the Interstate, still thumbing down any jalopy that will stop to tell them that scuttling the deal "sends the wrong message to Middle East allies."
We've heard that a lot lately. And after the fact are still, still hearing it. And this inexplicable, relentless insistence by the President and his Talking Points Men about others sending the Wrong Message only serves to raise one question --
What is this Wrong Message? It's very simple: if your country recognizes the Taliban (against whom we went to war for harboring Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us); if you boycott the free and democratic Israel, and if you are a transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to North Korea and Iran, we won't let you manage our ports and be involved in the national security of the United States.
That's the Wrong Message to send?
Color me bewildered, but it certainly seems like a really good message to send. Maybe even the best possible message ever, next to "Hug a puppy." That is one heck of a great message, Brownie.
The thing is, if one was really, truly and honestly interested in not sending the Wrong Message to the Arab world, you'd think that maybe not attacking an Arab nation, holding on to its oil wells and incubating a civil war would be a good place to start. Send a Good Message to Arabs, does that, Mr. President?
Then again, how does describing the Arab nation of Iraq and two million Arabs of Iran as part of the "Axis of Evil" send a Good Message to the Arab world? (I'm not saying they aren't "evil," mind you. Just wondering how a Good Message like that plays over there?) Does it send a Good Message to the Arab world when you referred to non-Arab Pakistan as an Arab nation on your visit last week? Then again, since you're apparently so concerned about Good Messages to Arabs, what about originally having named your attack of Iran, "Operation Infinite Justice," which offended, oh...every Arab nation in the world, since Muslims believe that only Allah can mete out infinite justice? Good Message to Arabs, there, too, eh?
With so much clear absence of concern for the message being sent (unless it's "Shock and Awe"), disingenuous worries by the President and his clan about losing this Dubai deal couldn't be about something other than sending Wrong Messages, could it? Could it?? Nooo, that's not possible...
Yet even after the deal died, there is Wall Street Journal reporter John Fund on CNN Thursday, still carrying the water bucket by noting how many Boeing airplanes were purchased by Dubai last year, and adding, "Lou, if they buy from Airbus, I hope you interview one the workers at Boeing who's going to be out of a job because of it."
This is the actual "Good Message"? If you drop enough coin in the United States, we'll happily give you control of our national security?!! It's the governmental equivalent of "Let me kiss your shoes and, here, I give you my daughter in marriage." Only worse. (Except for the daughter.)
Responding to Mr. Fund, General David Grange, CNN's military analyst, noted, "My reaction is the first priority is homeland defense, this homeland. The relations overseas are very important but then homeland comes first."
The national audience's reaction was, "Duh."
As admonitions continue about the Wrong Message being sent, oddly enough it's the President and his Memo Brigade who are the only ones sending them. Few others in the U.S. think it's a bad message at all. But there it is on the Al Bawaba news website, quoting the President of the United States himself that the U.S. has apparently insulted the Arab world.
Great tactic, Mr. President. Right up there with telling Al Qaeda to "Bring it on." A polite suggestion: maybe it's better using your platform to actually protect the country and not continually invite attack?
But still, the company of George Bush, Ltd. keeps harping about others (secret code for: Democrats) sending the Wrong Message, trying to paint Democrats as the party of intolerance and desperately attempting to convince anyone who will listen -- a number that is shrinking daily. But in the end, no amount of Administration finger-pointing can get the public to forget who approved the deal in the first place, who claimed he didn't even know anything about it, and yet who threatened to veto any attempt to defeat it.
The country has finger-pointed back, albeit with a different finger.