Debra J. Saunders

Five: Dubai is an ally. Dubai serves as a primary staging base for the U.S. Navy in the region. It sends humanitarian aid to Iraq. The Emirates supplied troops during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. As Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., noted in a statement, "Dubai has cooperated with us in the war and deserves to be treated respectfully."

To the extent that Dubai respects the culture of Westerners who respect its culture, it especially merits respect.

Six: Even still, I don't mind making Dubai Ports World suits squirm a bit. Two Sept. 11 terrorists came from Dubai. Emirates banks funneled money to the Sept. 11 hijackers, and the Los Angeles Times has reported on allegations that, before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Dubai Islamic Bank funneled money to al-Qaida.

If the Middle East can target Denmark's economy -- prompting the Danish pavilion to pull out of a Gulf Food exposition in Dubai last week -- because a newspaper published some cartoons Muslim leaders don't like, let a Middle Eastern country feel some pain, too.

If Congress wants to hold hearings, conduct an investigation and otherwise make Dubai Ports World perform somersaults, I can't get too indignant. At least Washington will have put Ports World on notice that it would be a bad thing if a bad thing happened in a Dubai-run port.

Debra J. Saunders

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