Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Let's send the Moslem world a message

I agree that we ought to use the proposed purchase of P&O's US port operations by a Dubai-owned DP World to send the Moslem world a message. I doubt though that I want to send the same message as our criminally opportunistic members of Congress.

Have any of these people actually been to Dubai? While it's not even close to being a liberal democracy, it's a massive improvement on most of the Moslem world. It has an outward looking leadership that realises that the oil will eventually run out and that it better invest those petrodollars in modern institutions, building the rule of law, promoting international engagement and building real businesses that can carve out a lasting spot for Dubai in the world economy. Yes most of the locals follow a fairly traditional culture, but it's very much a live and let live place. 75% of the population is foreign and is free to drink alcohol, dress as they please, watch western movies and so on. If we can be friends with the Saudi's we ought to be in love with the UAE.

So what message should we send them? "Welcome partners" or "&*$# off (but why do you hate us)?"

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