The US political arena is like a kaleidescope again because of a purchase case. The Dubai Ports World from the United Arab Emirates wants to buy the operation rights of six major US seaports including New York from a British company. Related institutions under the US Department of the Treasury have approved the deal, but the Congress is against it. President George W. Bush has threatened to veto any congressional effort to stop it, whose attitude stimulating another wave of opposition.
Articles such as 'Why can't American ports be run by American' have been published.
Why does a commercial takeover cause such a stir? -- Those who are against it have connected the case with the national security.
Although listed as a US ally, opponents claimed, the UAE has failed to score a decent record in the "global anti-terror combat": it has never recognized Israel; it harbored 9/11 suspects who once raised funds there; its ports were once used by Pakistani "father of nuclear warhead" Abdul Qadeer Khan to secretly transport nuclear parts to Libya. How can homeland security be guaranteed if we let our ports, which are infrastructures naturally vulnerable to attacks, fall into the hand of a UAE company? They asked.
Bush has always denounced those who criticized him on Iraq and other issues as being "weak". But now how can he himself be so soft on an issue concerning national security? Obviously, in the eyes of opponents, the deal has gone far beyond a $ 6.8 billion contract but a tough case on national security or even international politics.
Talking about being right or wrong in the US political and diplomatic fields, there appear many paradoxes:
Despite the calling for market economy and free competition, what is waving wildly in the sky is the "invisible hand" of anti-terrorism;
Having gone into war under the pretext of national security with a sovereign state that cannot be farther located, the administration seems to have too many difficulties to cope with at home;
When every possible measure infringing on "individual freedom" has been taken, from asking people to untie their belt, take off shoes to leaving fingerprint, concerns on "homeland security" is played down when it comes to a commercial transaction related to high-level official interests;
While pushing "democracy" even at the cost of force in the Middle East, the nation is quick to criticize when democracy produces any real result;
Used to accusing other countries' human rights record, the country becomes tongue-tied facing international cry for shutting down the Guantanamo prison;
While talking glibly about "global terror fight", how many policies, on earth, have been put forward to earnestly address terrorism;
Has the anti-terror strategy following "September 11" made the world a safer place, or physically triggered more terrorist activities and escalated conflicts between different cultures, religions and ethnic groups...
After all, the big and strong has its troubles of being big and strong. And situation talks louder than people.
After having entered the 21st century and facing a more diversified world, the only super power still clings to a mindset of 'either friend or enemy'. As a result, the reason for the Iraq war has turned to be a laughing stock; those who clamor for universal values have often taken double standards; the big banner of 'global war against terror' has been upheld, but under it, different groups are fighting tooth and nail for their own interests. The result is that the sticks they threw out to others could suddenly fall back on their own heads.
Some analysts claimed long time ago that the Bush administration's anti-terrorism concept and practice is like a huge 'wedge' to make America break. Under such a circumstance, when handsome rhetoric is often not in line with cruel reality and sense of value and practical interest often clash, paradox seems to be an inevitable outcome.
The UAE purchase is just one of the evidence for such paradox. With a sober mind, one can see that the dilemma is always on how to make decisions when concerning one's own interests. The unsettled case has aroused great attention because of the president's threat to veto. If it really happens, this will be the first time Bush uses his right of veto since he became president five years ago.
By People's Daily Online