Roger L. Simon

Lemmings of Capitol Hill

Let me say straight out that I have very little knowledge about what was behind the Dubai ports (DP World) contract and therefore had no firm opinon about it. I could see pros and cons but wanted to hear more. In that way, however, I am completely unlike the vast majority of our Congress and a substantial portion of the punditocracy. For a variety of reasons ranging from rank political advantage to outright panic, they ran from this contract like lemmings off a cliff. Of course this isn’t total suicide because, as the Urban Legends reference page notes: Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not periodically hurl themselves off of cliffs and into the sea. Cyclical explosions in population do occasionally induce lemmings to attempt to migrate to areas of lesser population density. When such a migration occurs, some lemmings die by falling over cliffs or drowning in lakes or rivers.

Still, cyclical or constant, the folks in Dubai got the message. What remains is a great opportunity for investigative journalists – if such a breed still exists – or some blogger with real perspicacity to figure out what actually went down here. We can begin with the obvious – the Bush Administration and its minions were as usual nitwits at public relations not to have anticipated a firestorm over this and done something to diffuse it an advance. But that, as I said, is the obvious. Beneath the surface are all kinds of intelligence and military relationships that didn’t seem to interest our Congress very much, especially in an election year. Yet another wild card is the Israel connection, but who knows how that cuts? On the surface, the UAE is supposed to be a supporter of the Israel boycott, but then some people say she does no such thing in real life. Who knows? Well, I guess again our Congress does. They almost seem to know as much as our media who seem equally braindead on the issue. Oh, well, what did Churchill say about democracy?