Good Government

Borders Belong to US — Don’t They?

I don’t get it. Is there any reason to think that a country should place its borders under the control or influence of a foreign government?

I’m sure most Americans didn’t even think this was a question — it seemed obvious that the answer is: "No, each country should control its own borders."

Yet, leaders of the US government seem to be surprised that the Dubai Ports deal has stirred up such a vigorous objection. They considered it to be such a trivial decision that they didn’t even bring it to the attention of the President or his Cabinet officers. This was a decision that was reviewed by underlings in the Treasury, State, Defense and Homeland Security departments.

They weren’t tipped off by the concerns raised by those who are directly responsible for security of our ports.

And even after all the voices were raised – by Congress, by journalists, by pundits and by everyday folk – even then, they argued that we just needed to be "educated" about the deal…then we would be okay with it.

I think not.

Is this Ignorance? Arrogance? Both? 

Now Dubai Ports World has decided to get out of this firestorm and will turn its interest in these ports over to another company. Does that resolve the problem?

Not quite. Because the larger problem is this – why are our ports of entry under the control or influence of foreign companies? Congressman Duncan Hunter planned to submit legislation in Congress to "prevent foreign companies from controlling facilities determined to be critical to U.S. national security". This seems to be a refreshing bit of common sense. It remains to be seen whether the Congressman – who is the Republican Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee – will persevere in this cause.

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