on the Ports flap

Now that the Dubai Ports thing has been flushed, we're hearing how isolationist and xenophobic the reaction to the deal was in the first place. You've got Bush chastising us for "overreacting" when he didn't even know about the deal before it blew up in his face. And now a Washington Post-ABC News poll has found that 46 percent of Americans have a negative view of Islam, 7 percentage points higher than in the tense months after 9/11, when Muslims were often targets of vigilante violence.

Well, gee, I wonder why Americans would have a negative opinion of Islam, after--what?--two months of riots over some Dutch cartoons. It went on and on and on and on until it really seemed to have nothing to do with those cartoons at all. In a recent forum on the cartoon riots in Holland a Muslim participant, Tariq Ramadan, warned: "If we don't tackle it as it should be tackled this very simple cartoons issue could have, in the long run, a more damaging impact than September 11."

My question is: what is there to tackle? These cartoons were not the work of Nations in concert against Islam. They were the work of a handful of cartoonists and a newspaper editor with a chip on his shoulder.

But the riots were drummed up by Islamist extremists with an agenda and intent to provoke. And it's tiresome. And people are right to be wary and weary of this faction of Islam. Don't blame American xenophobes for this reaction, blame Islamist extremists. There is no resolution for them, except the universal rule of Islam.

As for the Ports, Bush has always done his best for his patrons. He is not President of the United States, he is President of The Haves-and Have-Mores Glee Club Cheerleading Squad. His allegiance is to the Saudi Royal Family more than to the State of which he is head. In other words, the interests of this President and these United States are not the same.


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