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Fox News: Opposing Port Deal is "Country-Profiling"

Reported by Judy - February 21, 2006

As George Bush gets into more and more trouble over the Dubai Ports World deal, Fox News Tuesday (February 21, 2006) became even more strident in its defense of the bone-head move. Neil Cavuto led the attack, with the absurd claim that turning over operation of six major American ports to a company owned by a country that recognized the Taliban amounts to "country-profiling."

At the start of Cavuto's "Your World," Cavuto orchestrated a discussion over whether Democrats who oppose the deal (but not Republicans, apparently) were hypocritical. Cavuto claimed that if you oppose racial profiling, you must support the Dubai Ports World deal or you are a hypocrite because rejecting the idea of an Arab company having operational control of the ports is "country-profiling." This is a favorite Fox trick -- using a phony analogyto try to trap guests into having abandoning one of their beliefs. In this case, the guests were former New York Mayor Ed Koch and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

Cavuto kept referring to the situation of 78-year-old women being pulled out of airport security lines while Arab men were not. I fly a lot and I don't see old people being singled out. I see all kinds of people being "wanded," myself included, if something trips the metal or explosives detectors. It only makes sense -- check anybody who trips the trigger, but don't search a whole bunch of dark-skinned American citizens unnecessarily. So right off the bat, I would have rejected Cavuto's phony premise.

But his claim that questioning the deal with Dubai Ports World amounts to "profiling" is absurd. Profiling amounts to making a decision based on someone's appearance solely and assuming the skin color dictates behavior. Opposition to this deal depends not on skin color but on serious questions that arise because of the behavior of the United Arab Emirates -- the country that owns the company. UAE was one of three countries in the world that recognized the Taliban. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from UAE. Money for the job was laundered through that country. Once taking over operation, the company will have immediate access to information about port security. And on and on. These are facts that give rise to serious questions that deserve answers, not veto threats. And they are questions that do not arise with just any foreign company, especially one not owned by a country that has a questionable record on terrorism.

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