My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


The Strategic Blunder of Overblown Rhetoric

Regardless of where you come down on the Dubai/Ports issue, there are undeniable political consequences of the firestorm that has developed over it. The Washington Times has the goods.

Businessmen, government officials and other residents of Dubai have experienced bewilderment and disbelief as they watched the U.S. reaction to the ports takeover by the state-owned company DP World, the Dubai-based ports operator.

Their reaction reflectsthe city's decades-long search for an identity, inevitably influenced by its Middle East location and Muslim traditions, but also by ambitions to become a free-market economy that attracts the West's wealthiest investors. . . .

"We can build bridges between East and West by having bilateral businesses and common interests," he said. "By isolating this part of the world and pushing us in the corner, how do the Americans think things can change? By magic? I never talked like this before."

To quote Elrond, in the Middle East "our list of friends grows thin." We can't afford to offend the few "allies" we have.

I'm still ambiguous about this, though Robert Kaplan has me nearly persuaded. I just think we should be very careful not to alienate any more than we need to.

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