You Know It's Time To Fire The Communication Team...
...when the Bush Administration's best advocate is the Washington Post Editorial Board.
Read the entire article, as it provides the very explanation for which many had been calling.
None of the U.S. politicians huffing and puffing seem to be aware that this deal was long in the making, that it had been reported on extensively in the financial press, and that it went through normal security clearance procedures, including approval from a foreign investment committee that contains officials from the departments of Treasury, Commerce, State and Homeland Security, among other agencies. Even more disturbing is the apparent difficulty of members of Congress in distinguishing among Arab countries. We'd like to remind them, as they've apparently forgotten, that the United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally that has cooperated extensively with U.S. security operations in the war on terrorism, that supplied troops to the U.S.-led coalition during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and that sends humanitarian aid to Iraq. U.S. troops move freely in and out of Dubai on their way to Iraq now.
Finally, we're wondering if perhaps American politicians are having trouble understanding some of the most basic goals of contemporary U.S. foreign policy. A goal of "democracy promotion" in the Middle East, after all, is to encourage Arab
countries to become economically and politically integrated with the rest of the world. What better way to do so than by encouraging Arab companies to invest in the United States? Clearly, Congress doesn't understand that basic principle, since its members prefer instead to spread prejudice and misinformation.
Rarely does such an unambiguously favorable article come out of the Post, but my question is why the Administration could not simply offer this explanation on its own? If this had come out last Friday, this whole matter would have looked almost as dumb as the flap about the Cheney shooting and could have been played off as the bitter press trying to get revenge for the black eye they got last week.
I've been saying for over two years that Bush needs to revamp the communications apparatus of his Administration. And if the newspapers scoop him on his own policy defense, a week after he had a chance to do so himself, he has grave problems getting the message out.