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It's Gut Check Time on Port Deal

This week and next are going to spell the success or defeat of this horrible Dubai port deal. It is the gut check of the year for conservatives who believe it is insane to hand over operational control of major U.S. ports to a state-owned company from the United Arab Emirates. A perplexing mix of Saudi-style friendship and cooperation blended with old-school coziness with the Taliban and pockets of Muslim extremism make the UAE a dicey partner - which you'd think would be a deal-breaker for the President Bush we conservatives have looked to for leadership in the global war on terror for more than four years.

Our "alliance" with the UAE is a mirage if they would pull the plug on cooperating with us simply because we took a step to be safe.

Where is the diplomat who will go to the UAE and say, "Look, we are grateful for our close relationship as your country makes the tough journey toward Islamic moderation. Since we haven't exactly gotten there yet, there is no way we can let DPW operate our ports, and we appreciate you understanding that, just as I'm sure you appreciate the enormous restraint we show by speaking so well of you and largely overlooking the rank anti-Semitism you share with most of the rest of the Arab world."

Please let me be wrong, but I see Congress, talk show hosts and columnists all sipping the Kool-Aid of this deal, looking to escape the stress of a momentary conflict with President Bush and Rush Limbaugh.

The White House will maintain its energy and its message. The critics probably will not, and the deal will likely go through, even though it is against every shred of the post-9/11 war footing we have been instructed to adopt.

- Mark Davis
Host of The Mark Davis Radio Show