Thursday, February 23, 2006

Port debate: 'A great deal of vague, ominous and sloppy language'

Jim Geraghty at National Review Online:

The controversy over this port sale have been driven by a great deal of vague, ominous and sloppy language thrown around by lawmakers, the media and bloggers. Had this discussion been marked by precision and a focus on just what was at stake, this would not have turned into the brouhaha it did. One almost wonders if the misleading language was deliberate.

Sad to say, some of my favorite bloggers used language that was vague, unclear, and helped foster misconceptions.
He proceeds to review how the debate has proceeded over the last week.

Link via Instapundit who writes:
At any rate, this is a perfect storm of bungled PR by the White House (which has forfeited much trust because of its excessive friendliness to the Saudis and limp response to the Cartoon Jihad, as well as general perceived laxity on homeland security and immigration), coupled with generalized anxiety about how things are going on the terrorism front. The White House should have had the facts out quickly, and should be on top of things now.
Fair enough to criticize the White House. And fair enough to signal your initial view on the ports deal isn't necessarily your final view by linking to Geraghty who writes:
Sad to say, some of my favorite bloggers used language that was vague, unclear, and helped foster misconceptions. For example, back on February 12, Instapundit observed the sale, and declared that it, “doesn’t sound like much of a Homeland Security triumph”.

Geraghty even goes after himself for his initial reaction.


Anonymous Anomolous said...

Anyone care to comment about the (previous) connection between some members of the royal family and Osama bin Laden?

"Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said."

And in more detail.

Is/was this a total non-issue as far as Emirati's are concerned? What about the U.S. State Department's report The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for US Policy

"Summary: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), under new leadership upon the November 2, 2004 death of its president, Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan al-Nuhayyan, has undergone a smooth transition, but it remains weak militarily and surrounded by several powerful and ambitious neighbors. Political reform has been minimal, but its relatively open economy and borders, particularly in the emirate of Dubai, have caused problems in proliferation, terrorism, and human trafficking."

8:25 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Interesting stuff, anomolous. I look forward to other readers telling us more.

My mind on the subject (ports acquisition) is not closed. Certainly it would constructive for the UAE to address your concerns.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Geraghty is just being a jerk.

That said, I don't think it's all that bad to introduce the Arab world to the concept of sensitivity to American culture. One way streets have a way of turning into dead ends.

11:26 AM  

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