Defending Dubai Ctd

A reader writes:

"I'm shocked you find that article from the National Review folks persuasive in any way. Sure, they talk about using the Dubia Port deal as a "model to build effective bridges to the Arab and Muslim world"..but come on..that must be the biggest joke i've ever read. If they truly believed building bridges to the Muslim and Arab world was important they wouldn't be so gung-ho and supportive of this administrations policies of torture, degradation and abuse of Muslim and Arab citizens. In fact, I'm shocked that you of all people didn't call them on it.  Any effective bridges that are going to be built between America and Muslim world are going to start with our policies in Iraq ... not with some billion dollar company owned by UAE."

Why not both? Another dissenter:

"How exactly will this deal help the disaffected in the UAE? What it sounds like is any low-scale jobs will be given to people living near the ports themselves, so the only monetary benefit that makes its way to UAE will go to those who are already so rich they don't need it."

The symbolism might matter. Look: I'd like a hold on the deal for a thorough investigation. But I don't buy the current hysteria on right and left. I guess the Bush administration asks for stuff like this, though. When you engage in populist demagoguery on the war front, it can come back to bite you in the butt.