The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dubai

It has been some time since the New Burkeian had something to say, but the recent controvesy over a UAE company's control over American port operations has sparked a nerve.

My contact with UAE citizens has been very limited, but the few guys I have met I can honestly call friends. In fact, all of the dozen or so guys I met from Arabic countries in college I can honestly call friends. We often had political discussions on the merits of American foreign policy. While they were often skeptical of the Administration, every one of my Arab buddies said they would have voted for Bush. They approved of our shift in foreign policy to promote Democracy, instead of past policy that upheld real politik.

At National Review Online, Mansoor Ijaz, a tech investor, desribes a Muslim not often portrayed by the MSM. These young technocrats returning to their Arabic countries with Western educations are not the extremists recently witnessed. They deplore terrorism, and are bending over backwards to support the American-led effort. They are market oriented, and have seen the good that can come from a free society. I must admit, all of Arab friends were skeptical about the prospects for full-fledged Democracy in their own countries, but they did not deny that they hoped for it.

This younger generation of Arabs that are benefitting from the West will not soon forget the advantages and feedoms they enjoyed. I recall a buddy of mine from Saudi Arabia who after graduation avoided calling home or returning right away. He wanted to enjoy America for as long as possible before the oil company that sponsored his education asked for him to come back. He has called me three times since his return to Saudi, and we often talk of the late night BBQs and non-pious adventures we had in the college party-scene. (As an added note, domestic wire-tapping has not discouraged me from speaking with him. If you are not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.) My UAE buddy invited me to stay with his family in Dubai, and he often noted that the UAE was the safest place for Westerners to visit in the Middle East. When I am finished with my education and can afford a ticket I wil take him up on that.

Aside from the fun we had, these guys learned a lot about American Freedom and Resolve. They return to their countries and become a part of the ever-growing silent majority that supports Democracy. They act in conjunction with the West by utilizing their skills in the ever-growing global market. Their children will know the truth about the West. And, slowly-but-surely, they will gain the Freedoms that much of the West, and non-West (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), had to fight for (yes, even the French).

So you ask how the Actionary should respond to all of this? Well, the New Burkeian wonders about the motives of those who oppose this deal, as do the editors at the Wall Street Journal. The Administration probably did intend to be sly about the whole deal, but what do you expect with the MSM and radical left politicians. We must even be skeptical of Republican motives in opposition. I suppose Congressional Republicans must want to appear strong on national security with the upcoming Midterms, but I hope they soon realize their folly in opposing this. This opposition does appear ethnocentric, and is not healthy for future relations in a region that has accepted our presence reluctantly.

Remember that the Actionary is primarily an optimist. The Administration has forged the way for the future of Democracy in a wave of optimism and idealism that we should not soon forget. And our support for our Arab friends will not soon be forgotten by them.