2006 American of the Year: Billy Graham

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America’s minister and the pastor to the White House for the past fifty years, the Reverend Billy Graham is named as the third recipient of the  “American of the Year” honors.

A true warrior for God, Rev. Graham follows the previous selections of NFL and real-life warrior Pat Tillman in 2004 and culture warrior Bill O’Reilly in 2005.

For the current year honor, Graham was selected over recently deceased former President Gerald Ford and former UN Ambassador John Bolton.

In a year that showed sharp division in American politics and increased division in American society overall, and a continued worldwide increase in violence and movements away from such basic societal standards as self-respect, self-control, principled morality, and consideration for others, Mr. Graham wound down his public life, one that was almost always the model for such standards and behavior.

Mr. Graham was born as Franklin Graham Jr. in November of 1918, four days before the end of World War I, and was raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina. His was the typical life of a young man during the Great Depression, and he passed his time reading on a wide variety of subjects until at the age of 16 he went to see a traveling evangelist at a revival meeting in his hometown of Charlotte.

In 1939, Mr. Graham was ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention. He studied at what is now Trinity College, and graduated in 1943 from Wheaton College in Illinois, where he met and married his wife and lifelong partner Ruth McCue Bell, herself the daughter of a missionary surgeon.

The Graham’s would go on to raise a family of three daughters and two sons. Mr. Graham pastored the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois and ministered to youth and servicemen during and in the immediate aftermath of World War II.

In 1949, Mr. Graham launched his first major “crusade” in Los Angeles, and his fiery oratory style and his perceived integrity and sincerity drew huge crowds.
The crusade, scheduled for a three-week run, was extended to eight weeks, and led to similar crusades extended to twelve weeks in London in 1954 and sixteen weeks at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1957.

In the decades since, Mr. Graham has gone on to preach the Gospel in thousands more public presentations to millions of people around the world, in most all of the major cities and venues on every continent. He has preached the Word on television, and written dozens of books and other works, always preaching the message of peace, love and salvation through acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior.

Mr. Graham met and ministered to U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower during the 50’s, and quickly became known as a sort of Pastor to the White House and the nation, going on to be a strong confidante of every President since. He was particularly close to President Nixon, and in his later life has become friends to both the politically polar-opposite Clinton and Bush families.

The famous pollsters, the Gallup organization, described Mr. Graham as the dominant figure in their “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” polls, on which he made 48 overall and has now made 41 consecutive appearances. He has appeared on the covers of and been featured in Time, Newsweek, Life and numerous other publications.

In an April, 2006 article, Newsweek stated “Graham’s largely unifying legacy is worth considering at a time when faith seems ever more divisive.” Like many of us, Mr. Graham struggled through his younger years as he straddled the line between political involvement and spiritual matters, before finally gravitating to become a solely spiritual force.

Now all of this might prompt one to comment that Graham has indeed been an important public ministerial figure, and a great American, but also question what he did in particular in 2006 to warrant selection as the top American for this past year. What Graham has done both this year, as he spoke before many groups which honored him for his lifetime of giving, and in his previous years is attempt to heal us.

America as the world leader, and the world at large, has become extremely divisive. Democrats vs. Republicans, conservatives vs. liberals, young vs. old, defenders of democracy vs. islamofascists. Not only in division, but in violence and war, the news is filled every day with these bleak images.

It seems the only break from the violent is the obscene. Which current young starlet has bared all publicly? Which Hollywood couple is breaking up? Which drunken celebrity has committed a crime, or made a publicly foolish statement? The world seems to have gone insane all at once.

In this time, in this year, the example of calm, reassuring, stable, God-fearing faith that the Reverend Billy Graham has continued to exhibit while battling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses and debilitations of old age is a lesson for all of us.

He is a true man of God, our own John the Baptist for our times. He genuinely cares about every one of us, that we might come to know and learn the teachings of Jesus Christ and be saved.

For his teaching and preaching during his decades-long example of faith, and for his continued moral and spiritual strength during a difficult time for the world, the Reverend Billy Graham is named as the website American of the Year for 2006. God bless him, his family, his continuing ministry, and us all as a country and world.

A star, a star, shining in the night

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Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.

It was a common ancient belief that a new star would appear at the occasion of a ruler’s birth.

On one particular, memorable night just over two millennia ago now, three king’s from the east arrived at Jerusalem asking “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at it’s rising and have come to do him homage.

When the news of the eastern king’s arrival and questioning reached the ears of Herod the Great, who was set by the Romans as the ruler of the land encompassing Jerusalem, he gathered all the learned men of his people and inquired of them “Where is the Messiah to be born?” They told Herod that old prophetic writings said the place would be Bethlehem.

King Herod called for a meeting with the eastern kings, and he questioned them as to details of the star’s appearance. He then sent them on their way, asking that when they should find the child “bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.

Now Herod was a plotter and schemer. His reign was reported as “one of continual fear of plots and he does not hesitate to execute his own relatives and children.” Herod meant not to worship the newborn King, but to kill him.

When the kings from the east set out again, they quickly found the same star, and it led them to a house in Bethlehem of Judah where they found the newborn child Jesus with Mary his mother. They bowed and knelt before him, and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The latter two items are extracts of tree sap, used to make incense that when mixed with other items such as nuts or roots makes wonderful scents.

Joseph had brought his young wife here to the little town of Bethlehem while she was still pregnant in order to stand for the census.

Each family had to go to its own ancestral town to register, and since Joseph was from the house and family of David this was their destination. On arrival in town they found no room at any of the inns, and so had to take shelter in the stable room of a local house.

While they were there in Bethlehem, it came time for Mary to have the baby, and she soon gave birth to a son who the couple named “Jesus”. Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger to sleep.

Soon the couple was visited by some local shepherds who told them they had been visited in a field by angels who had told them “today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.

The young mother Mary and her older and more worldly husband Joseph knew that their child was special, but these visits from the shepherds and the three wise men, three kings from afar, was the first real-world concrete sign to them that mankind would find something special in their son. How astounded and grateful at this attention and these gifts they must have been.

After paying their homage, the kings prepared for their return journey and a stop to tell Herod of all that had transpired, and where he might go to find the child and worship him as well. But they were visited in a dream and warned of Herod’s wicked intentions. Being three wise men indeed, they returned to their native countries by another way.

In a similar dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph saying “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose, took Mary and Jesus, and fled with them to Egypt as the angel had instructed them. There they would stay until Herod’s death.

Herod soon realized that the three kings were not returning and he grew furious, ordering the murder of every boy in Bethlehem and its surrounding towns who were two years old and under. He believed that he was playing for keeps against a future king, and he would leave no margin for error in eliminating this potential threat. Little did he know the reality of the power that he was up against.

After Herod’s death, the angel again appeared to Joseph and told him to take Mary and Jesus and return to the land of Israel. While en route, in yet another dream Joseph was warned that Herod’s son had taken over this region, and so was directed to take his family to the region of Galilee instead. Joseph took his family there, and settled in the town of Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary had previously been living prior to the census.

This is the warmly familiar story of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The baby born in Bethlehem, who slept in a manger surrounded by barnyard animals in his infancy, would indeed grow to be a King, just not of the type that Herod had feared. He would grow to teach us to love God and to love one another, and ultimately he would die so that we all might live in eternity.

It all began two thousand years ago when a star appeared in the sky over Bethlehem. This Christmas season be sure to remember and reflect on all of these events, and the dramatic influence that they eventually had on your own life. Perhaps while you are looking up at the sky on a clear night you too will see that star, the one that brought us goodness and light.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy doomsdays of summer

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Well, it’s now August the 23rd, and we are all still alive, thank God. For those of you who may have missed out, and thus not been aware of your impending demise, yesterday was thought by some to be a possible “Doomsday” date.

You remember Doomsday, right? End of the world. Armageddon. End times and all that. Ring a bell?

Anyway, yesterday was believed to be a possible Doomsday after noted Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis opined as much in a piece published earlier this year by the Wall Street Journal.

Lewis is no quack, mind you. He is the professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University. His was not actually a prediction, but a warning of a possible date where some action could be taken by radical Muslims.

Lewis’ theory went something like this: August 22nd of 2006 corresponded with the Islamic calendar night when Mohammed (is it Mo? Mu? I never remember) flew first to Jerusalem, then to Heaven, and then back again. There were no planes back then, to fly into buildings or otherwise. So whether this flight took place freestyle, ala Superman, or on a magic carpet is unknown.

In any event, he was warning us that the linkage of this special day in Islam, along with it’s Israeli connection, might be just the type of day that the radical Islamofascists against whom we have been at war might like to use to pull off a new large-scale attack.

Many recent world events began to give credence to this possibility. First, the general instability in the Middle East region caused largely by Iran and it’s lunatic president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stated that the world would receive his country’s response to western demands regarding Iran’s nuclear program by that date.

Besides both the ongoing personal public speech lunacy and the specific date being mentioned by “President Tom”, as popular TV and radio talk show host Glenn Beck has taken to calling Ahmadinejad for easier pronunciation sake, there was the subsequent response by Israel to repeated attacks against it.

The Israelis had two soldiers kidnapped, and have been taking constant, dangerous shelling and gunfire from the terrorist organization Hezbollah from their strongholds in southern Lebanon. Israel finally, understandably, had enough, and invaded Lebanon to take out Hezbollah when the Lebanese government failed to stand up itself.

With Israel invading Lebanon, and the United States standing up in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been much speculation that President Tom is preparing to force a showdown with western civilization. Iran may be preparing to form an alliance of radical Muslim forces in the region into one Islamic superstate, and this is far from far-fetched.

It has been speculated that Iran may invade northern Iraq on the precepts of eliminating Kurdish aggression there, and may possibly do so with the help of Syria. With Hezbollah all but in formal control in Lebanon, and with Hezbollah actually a wing of the Iranian forces, we may indeed be seeing the beginnings of a pre-World War II like atmosphere in the Middle East.

Anyway, back to Doomsday.

The “response” that President Tom may have been speaking of could very well have been the recently thwarted airliner bombings in London. This was a well-planned attack that would have resulted in thousands dead, and with incredible disruptions to international travel and commerce. The effort ended with the arrests that reportedly came right before a “practice run” for the real job, just two weeks before August 22nd.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to add things up: radical Muslim Iranian whack-job president threatens response, upcoming date of significance in Islamic calendar, massive terror plot thwarted just before this date. Its simple connect-the-dots type stuff, folks.

Anyone who still thinks, as the radical front-group spokespeople at CAIR would have you believe, that there are no connections, and that this isn’t about an organized Islamic radical fundamentalism trying to topple the west and take charge in the world, is simply blind.

President Bush, despite recent and ongoing attacks on his intelligence by reliable (sic) sources like Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show”, has been way ahead of the curve on these scenarios from the beginning. While liberal-leaning talk, news, and comedy shows bash the President at home over his frequent butchering of the English language, the substance of the man behind his words may be our best defense in these difficult times.

Since the wake up call of 9/11, the President foresaw the dangers of radical Islam building in the region. A danger building at least since the Carter administration was at the point that it could no longer be ignored.

Planting the seeds of democracy in the region beyond Israel may remain a pipe dream, but the direct attacks on our shores combined with the “death to America and Israel” rhetoric have given us an opening to make the attempt.

There have been many setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, but many triumphs as well. The road from fascism, dictatorship, hate, and evil to a free, peace-loving democracy is a long one, and it is especially long when you have to overcome religious intolerance and regional instability. But what has been accomplished in these two countries to this point in just a few years is astonishing, and we must not turn our backs on the job now.

The troubles in the Middle East are far from the only major problems plaguing the United States these days. There is also the ongoing problem of massive illegal immigration, and our continuing sieve-like border security problem. America is in desperate need of physically securing our borders, getting control of immigration, and taking actions to secure our homeland, as well as the American culture.

There has been much speculation that the American people just don’t have the stomach for war, that we are nothing like our parents and grandparents of “The Greatest Generation”, who fought and won their own battles with world-domination regimes in the fascism of the Nazis and the communism of the Soviet empire.

If that is true, then what we are seeing this lazy, hazy, crazy summer in the Middle East and along our southern border is the beginning of the end for our civilization as we know it.

If we don’t recognize the danger to peace and democracy coming from the Middle East, as well as get control of our own border and national identity situations, then the America of our children and grandchildren will be strangled thanks to our inaction.

The United States of America as we know it today may never be obliterated in one puff of smoke, in one Doomsday. But the cultural, religious, legal, moral and physical attacks on our way of life are already taking a toll, and the time may come when we wished our demise came so quickly and suddenly.

Immigration nation bordering on insanity

For two hundred and thirty years now, the United States of America has been a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. As we have grown up as a nation, that reputation has only grown greater, has only become more solidified.

When people in other countries dream of a better life for them and their families, it is America to which their dreams turn.

There are no hordes of protesters marching in the streets of Moscow, Beijing, Paris, Tokyo or Mexico City hoping to ease their process of becoming citizens in Russia, China, France, Japan or Mexico.

As Neil Diamond famously sang: “They’re comin’ to America!

For all the negative blather you hear about America from our own liberal press, the foreign press, and the many citizens of foreign nations interviewed on those broadcasts and in their articles, it is America to which they come to escape oppression and infuse hope into their lives.

In our past, we have been an immigration nation. We were born and nurtured through our earliest years as a nation as immigrants from England to a new set of colonies and then a new free country, on what is now the American east coast.

We grew and thrived, spreading across the land from east to west, thanks in large part to massive immigration from other European nations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

We are an immigration nation at our very core. That is our heart and soul, the accumulated values and experiences of our individual forefathers and our families’ ethnic and racial heritage, combined with the melding into American customs, laws and values that have formed over the centuries.

As America has a heart and soul formed from its people, those many home-born and immigrant citizens, it also has a body. A very real and distinguishable body.

Setting aside Alaska and Hawaii, which pose their own individual circumstances, the recognized body of America is the contiguous forty-eight states, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and sharing a common border to the north with Canada and the south with Mexico.

For the better part of America’s life as a nation, we have done little of substance to control our intake of immigrants in number, little to ensure the continued quality of immigrants in maintaining basic assimilation qualifications, and little to control and secure those two massive borders.

The America of today has become fat and bloated due to laziness and a general lack of will power.
America has become the fat, balding, middle-aged man who wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, doesn’t like what he sees and says “Houston, we have a problem.”

Truth is, we have had this problem, or at least the root causes of the current problems, for the entirety of our existence. We have never properly organized American immigration policy, and we have never properly secured our borders. Not under Republican administration, or Democratic administrations. Not even under Whig administrations.

In times of war and in times of peace, in times of prosperity or times of despair. In all our combined national life, we have not addressed these issues, putting them off for another day.

That “another day” is upon us. The time to make real change is here, now. We are at a critical turning point in American history, and the decisions that we make in the next few months and years on the issues of border security and immigration reform will affect America’s very continued existence as a nation, certainly as an identifiable society.

There are many sides to the immigration issue. First, there are literally hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants living and working in the United States today. Right now, as I type out this article, right now as you read it. It is reality, and it is a massive number that has become uncontrollable. And the problem gets larger and worse for every day that we do nothing to change.

There are many sides to the border issue. Thousands stream across the border with Mexico every single day. Some are Mexican citizens, and citizens of other South American countries, coming to seek a better life for their family. Some are simply seeking to milk our system for handouts.

Some, frankly, are terrorists seeking an easy way into our country, and then plotting to attack us from the inside when the time is right. That is reality as well, and the problem gets larger and worse for every day that we do nothing to change.

My proposals are many, large-scale, and expensive. They require construction, security, manpower, enforcement, follow-up and most of all willpower. They would require full documentation of every single illegal currently in the country, full control and security of our borders, and the ability to easily track and follow-up on every non-citizen that enters those borders.

First, I propose that we undertake two programs simultaneously, addressing each particular issue. Quick planning and construction of a full 2,000 mile barrier along our southern border with Mexico, and the immediate amnesty to all illegals currently in the country combined with their documentation and adherence to new procedures.

Let’s start with the border, because the failure of any nation to properly secure its borders is simply bordering on the insane.

Plans are already available that are feasible. Educated folks who have lived with the border issues in California, Arizona and Texas have already been down this road. Perhaps the best is a proposal for a full wall in many places, enhanced with fencing, ditches, security cameras, increased numbers of border patrol agents, and unmanned surveillance vehicles.

This plan, or one like it, should be approved in the next few months, adopted as necessary by serious leaders of both parties, and then fully constructed within the next few years. This is a goal that can easily be met with a full government commitment. It already has the support of a large majority of American citizens.

While the American Southern Border Project is underway, every resource possible should be in place to support the security of the border and of the construction project itself. Large increases in border patrol agents, modernization of the equipment they use, public and spirited support for entities such as the volunteer Minuteman Project. We can do a great deal more as the Southern Border is being constructed than we are today.

With the border better secured, we are at the same time getting our illegal immigration situation under control. Let’s not kid ourselves, or allow the liberal press to deflect our sensibilities away from the reality that there are two words involved here. Not just the word immigration, but also the word “illegal”.

It is a fact, the United States of America has laws regarding immigration, and these people have purposely and willfully broken those laws.

It is also a fact that the massive arrest, or deportation, or some combination involving hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants is an impossible situation to enforce effectively. What is needed is a system of amnesty, combined with penalties and enforcement measures.

In my proposal, amnesty does not mean outright forgiveness, citizenship, and a hearty “welcome to America”. I propose that we set a time limit, possibly by the end of calendar year 2006 for example. By the end of this time, every single individual in this country who is not a citizen and is not here by some other legal immigration measure must register with an agency to establish their legalization status.

This proposal would mean either creation of an agency to handle this registration, or the expansion of existing immigration personnel and systems. Individuals who register, supply valid proof of their identities, and agree to fully conform with American law into the future would be granted temporary guest worker status, and could get into line for full American citizenship, if that is what they ultimately wish to accomplish.

Any individual who can not properly document their identity to the satisfaction of immigration authorities would be deported, as would, of course, any individual who did not wish to conform to American laws.

Any individual after the cutoff date who is found to be illegal would be deported. Any repeat violators into the future would be charged and imprisoned here in America.

In family situations, the law needs to be changed to reflect that individuals born here to at least one American citizen parent are considered citizens, but that individuals born into a situation where neither parent is a legal American citizen are not granted citizenship.

In family situations, if the parents cannot or will not fulfill the requirements of the new amnesty program, then the entire family will be deported.

The United States of America did not create the problems of the world, and did not create the problems of every individual family, whether citizen or illegal immigrant. The United States government, and thus its tax-paying citizens, cannot be expected to support the bad, improper, illegal or irresponsible decisions of individuals and families within its borders and around the world.

What America does need to do is establish to the best extent possible an example of responsibility, and to setup a framework under which the exercise of that responsible citizenship can be affected.

Into the future, America also needs to educate the business community that the hiring of illegal workers will not be tolerated, and will result in massive fines and penalties against offending employers. This can be accomplished through spot checks and audits by government agencies already in existence.

In 1986, during the conservative Reagan administration, the country passed immigration reform laws that included amnesty programs, as well as sanctions against businesses that continued to employ and support illegals.

These measures proved to be of no value, as business owners then accepted flimsy, incomplete or outright fraudulent paperwork from their employers as proof of citizenship status and identification. There must be simple guidelines this time around that are easy to follow for any business owner, accompanied by strict penalties for non-compliance.

The bottom line is that we must identify every individual currently in the country illegally, give them an opportunity to come clean and get with the program, give business an opportunity to come clean and get on the right track, and effect harsh measures against any individual or business who then disregards these controls into the future.

As we move forward, America needs to make some real changes in our educational system. We need to finally establish, once and for all, that English is the official language of the United States of America, and must see to it that it is effectively taught to every school child across the country. The learning of practical, effective English should be one of the requirements for every single applicant for American citizenship.

Also, we need to more effectively and aggressively teach American history, civics, and law in our public school classrooms. The cultural rainbow that has been taught over the past few decades is fine, on an elective basis, and as a general minor part of any curriculum. But the support through the educational system of a solid American culture, formed over the century’s right here on our shores, needs to be first and foremost.

The failure over our nation’s history to properly secure our borders and the failure to come up with a workable, sustainable immigration policy go hand-in-hand in undermining long-term American values and society. They also contribute to violations of our national security in a time of war, when any number of enemies of our way of life has directly threatened us with annihilation.

America needs to move immediately to fully secure our borders, to fully document every non-citizen, and to require those who wish to join our American family to do so in an orderly and legal fashion. Only in this way can we secure the very benefits that these illegals come to America to obtain: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Any port in an Islamofascist storm


It has taken me over a month to finally formulate an opinion on the entire port sale issue, and there is one thing of which I am absolutely certain.

There is no way that anyone who had any type of knee-jerk response to the idea of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) purchasing an interest in a half-dozen U.S. port operations was basing their opinion on anything other than either emotion or ignorance.

However, that is not to say that in the end, many of those people are not right. The sale of any interest whatsoever in our ports, or in any vital American infrastructure, to the UAE is a mistake that should not be allowed to stand.

That is not an easy statement for me to make. I am a converted, hard-core capitalist who believes firmly in the ability of the free market to be left alone to sort out most any issue.

As I read over the positions of the pro-deal folks, I was swayed towards their capitalist arguments, and was prepared to take up the mantle of the unpopular “let the deal stand” side.

But then, I would read and research some more, and be swayed to the anti-deal side. The side that does not trust an Islamic government that has previously shown outward and covert support for terrorists who murdered Americans, and which continues to take political positions such as the refusal to recognize Israel as a legitimate sovereign nation.

In the beginning, there was one other very good reason to mistrust my gut reaction that this was a ludicrous proposal. The fact that President George W. Bush, the primary architect of Americas response to 9/11, the Commander-in-Chief in our War on Islamofascist Terror, and a devoted champion of American security was on the pro-deal side.

Couple the President’s strong support of the deal, threatening to use his first-ever Presidential veto if the Congress should take any action to block it from going through, with those who initially publicly were against the deal. Ted Kennedy. Fritz Schumer. Hillary Clinton. The folks who have led the undermining of our most important national security efforts at almost every turn.

As I continued to listen to the initial reaction, I heard support for the deal coming from Karl Rove (to be expected), but also from former President Jimmy Carter, and from the Los Angeles Times, two ultra-liberal sources. And there were cries against the deal coming from individuals and entities as politically disparate as Senator Bill Frist and the New York Times.

To paraphrase Al Pacino from “And Just For All”, there was something wrong here. Something very, very wrong here. There was something most definitely out of order. Was I really taking the side of Teddy, Hill, Fritz and the New York Times against my President on an issue of national security?

That simple fact required me to take a good, long, hard look at the issue from all sides. What was the President seeing that many others were not? Why was our Commander-in-Chief leaving us open to such on obvious danger? It seemed a ridiculous notion.

But I also know that I have many problems with the approach of the President on other issues of vital national security that continue to go unaddressed, such as fully and properly securing our borders, and creating a solution to the massive problem of illegal immigration.

Then I began my research, and began to hear the arguments and opinions on all sides. The fact is, this is not such a cut-and-dried issue, and there is much more than one way to skin the national security cat.

First, the highlights of the deal, to catch up those of you who may have only heard the rhetoric and not actually gotten the facts.

Dubai Ports World (DPW) is a government-owned holding company in the UAE. They purchased a management interest in six U.S. port terminals from the former owners, who were a British-based company.

They did not actually purchase the ports themselves, which are located in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans, Newark and New York. Their management interest basically meant that, as “The Patriot Post” put it in their 2-24-06 digest, “American managers and longshoremen will now get their checks cut by DPW instead of P&O” (the former British managers).

The pro-deal side has also made a number of other reasoned, intelligent arguments: DPW already provides support for US Navy ships in the middle east. As only a “holding company”, they would have little to do with day-to-day management at the facilities. Almost all of the employees at the ports are, and would remain, Americans.

Then there are the security arguments. DPW would not have any involvement in security at the ports, which would remain the domain of the U.S. Coast Guard. And the UAE has become a significant ally in helping us to combat terrorism since 9/11, having provided significant support in the areas of staging, intelligence, and actual pursuit and arrest of al Qaeda terrorists.

Finally, the pro-deal side puts forth that any purchase of this type, of a vital U.S. interest by a foreign entity, is reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Direst Investment in the United States (CFIUS), known in slang as “sifius”.

The CFIUS is headed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and includes a dozen agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. This committee approved the deal.

So the purchase is only a management interest in which no real day-to-day control is exercised. There is no involvement in security issues. DPW already manages ports that are home to our Navy. The UAE has become a proven ally against terror. CFIUS has approved the deal after an apparently thorough review. What could be wrong, really?

Plenty, as it turns out. And most of it goes back to our initial negative gut reaction.

Former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, put it this way: “DPW is a responsible company from everything I know. Should that make a difference? Yes. Will it? No, because of the symbolism and the political reality.

Charles Krauthammer, the noted conservative pundit, described it in his 2-24-06 column “Harbour Exit” posted at Townhall.com. Krauthammer postulated on the rank hypocrisy of Democrats who oppose the deal because it is an Arab company, while fighting against profiling of Arabs in national security:

“If a citizen of the UAE walked into an airport in full burnoose and flowing robes, speaking only Arabic, Democrats would be deeply offended, and might even sue, if the security people were to give him any more scrutiny than they would to my sweet 84-year old mother.”

“Democrats loudly denounce any thought of racial profiling. But when that same Arab, attired in business suit and MBA, and with a good record running ports in 15 countries, buys P&O, Democrats howl at the very idea of allowing Arabs to run our ports.”

“Democrats are rank hypocrites. But even hypocrites can be right.”

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (www.defenddemocracy.org) has stated that the UAE may be in felony violation right now of a 1996 law that is the cornerstone of U.S. counter-terrorism enforcement by providing material support to Hamas, a specially designated terrorist organization, and in it’s relationship with the terrorist organization PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

The FDD points out correctly that no nation supporting terrorist organizations in any way can be considered a reliable ally in the war on terror. Islamofascist terror expert Steve Emerson points out that the UAE facilitated a cash transaction by Hamas as recently as last year.

On February 24th of this year in a FrontPage magazine article, analysts described “extensive strands of UAE funding” for Hamas, which included a UAE “compensation” plan for the Palestinian intifada, meaning it made or facilitated cash payments to the families of terrorists who martyred themselves as suicide bombers for the Islamic cause.

Add this to the fact that the UAE continues to fail to recognize the legitimacy of the nation of Israel to fundamentally exist at all, and you have a political nightmare in the making. No matter your view of capitalism, no matter your feelings of what the deal is in practice, in this particular deal principle has to stand for something.

t has been reported that DPW has backed off the deal in part. In actuality, that is misleading. Nothing has changed as to the sale, it has still gone through. DPW has promised to turn over all operations involving the American ports to an American-based “entity”, but has already gone back on that promise in Miami. There is supposed to be a current 45-day review period happening. We don’t need that long to make a decision.

President Bush himself said that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

The President needs to back off supporting this deal in the name of capitalist principles, which I fully understand his supporting, and he needs to back off the deal for regional security purposes.

Though we do need to cultivate legitimate friendly relationships in the middle east, a nation such as the UAE needs to fully meet our terms before we can embrace them fully ourselves.

The greatest American President of our generation, Ronald Reagan, had a short but famous quote for these types of situations: “Trust, but verify.”

I trust the President has our best national interests at heart at all times. I trust the Coast Guard to effectively secure our ports, no matter the owners. I trust CFIUS to do full and proper reviews of these transactions. And I trust in the principles of capitalism. I can perhaps even be persuaded to one day trust the UAE, and in turn DPW.

But I took Reagan’s advice, and took the time to verify. And in doing so, found much at this current time that does not warrant my unwavering trust. And thus, my call in this stormy port situation is “no deal”.