Andy, I don’t consider that a convincing reason at all. How far are you going to take your principle? Should we not park our aircraft carriers at UAE ports? Not have our planes take off from there? Those things represent a more extensive involvement with the UAE than letting a UAE-owned company operate the cranes at a few port terminals here. I can see drawing the line at the ports–if there is a legitimate security reason for it. I haven’t seen one, and the consensus of the experts is that there isn’t one.
I think this disagreement goes to a deeper one we have (I’m reminded of our argument over the draft Iraqi constitution). I think promoting decent government and rationality in the Middle East will take a very loooong time, and in the meantime, we have to make all sorts of unsavory compromises and put up with all sorts of imperfections. You have less tolerance for those compromises and imperfections (or, someone in your camp might say, you just have higher standards).