An insightful friend writes:
Bush put this war in terms of good and evil; right and wrong; “you’re with us or with the terrorists;” and then that amazing Second Inaugural “the calling of our time.” And good people want to believe in all this; and then they see a blithe (at best) attitude toward bringing an autocracy to our shores to run our ports–an autocracy that has never had democracy and seems nowhere near it; an autocracy that is one click better than Saudi Arabia on human and political rights (earns a 6 out of 7 possible worst from Freedom House; Saudi Arabia is 7; US is 1); and doesn’t recognize the first and (aside from what we call Iraq) the only democracy in the Middle East (Israel). Good and right hearted people get confused by this, then, from an administration that has led them in war for all the foregoing assertions. They are right to be confused.
Yes, sure, we’re told UAE has been fine the past three years; but it hasn’t been “fine.” Regardless, what about the previous 30 years? Pakistan is an ally of some three or four years too, would people for ONE MOMENT tolerate Pakistan running our ports with the understanding that the Coast Guard and the rest of the DHS apparatus runs security nevertheless? And Pakistan is far more the democracy than UAE to boot!