RUSH: We go to Chicago. Hello, Paul, nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine, thank you.
CALLER: Rush, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with your take on the Dubai port deal or the lack thereof at this point, and the reason that I say that —
CALLER: — is that I’ve read everything you’ve said, I’ve had the opportunity to read the transcripts.
CALLER: It’s not —
RUSH: Transcripts? Wait, wait, wait. Transcripts? Oh, the transcripts on my website?
CALLER: Absolutely, Rush.
RUSH: Yeah, okay.
CALLER: And the issue that I see here — and I understand that you’re saying that this, that our security is tied to, uh, to economics, that there’s a relationship there, but my — my point would be, Rush —
RUSH: Well, that —
CALLER: — that —
RUSH: Go ahead. Yeah. I’m having a hard time. I feel… Should I correct you or let you go on, because you’re getting…? You can’t repeat everything I said, so you’re taking little snippets, and I’m not being critical of you here, but it’s important when you say security is tied to economics. That’s all true, but I’m battling the desire to jump in here and going off on a little monolog about that, that will take away from your time, so I will refrain and let you continue.
CALLER: Basically from what I understand, it looks like what you’re implicitly stating here is that countries like the UAE should receive the same consideration and credit than a country that shares our cultural history like Britain does —
CALLER: — hundreds, if not thousands of years of history with us, should receive the same credit, uh, for that, and be there we can enter —
CALLER: — into a port deal which —
RUSH: All right. You are on shaky ground. You’re on shaky ground here, and I feel like reaching out and saving you before you sink in the quicksand.
CALLER: Now, why is that?
RUSH: Give me the “cultural similarities” between the United States and the communist Chinese who own ports in LA — or terminals. They control the terminals in ports at both ends of the Panama Canal. Could you give me the cultural similarities to the country in Singapore that owns quite a few port operations, terminals or what have you? You know, once you start down this road that you’re on, if you’re going to be consistent, you have to kick everybody out of this country who poses any kind of a security risk based on these “cultural differences.”
RUSH: I know what you’re saying: “We don’t want Arabs running our ports, but it’s not because they’re Arabs.”
CALLER: That’s correct, and in order to —
RUSH: Do you realize what you just agreed to?
CALLER: It’s not because of the fact that they’re Arabs. If Britain all of a sudden —
RUSH: You heard it. I was conducting a little test. You heard it and you smack-dab right then agreed with it: “We don’t want Arabs running our ports because it’s not because they’re Arabs.”
CALLER: I think it’s more of… Again, it’s a cultural thing. If Britain subscribed to the same ideology and belief and had the same cultural history that they had, then, again, we would have to put them in the same category, but we can’t do that.
RUSH: No. Okay, then we gotta be consistent. No longer can the United Arab Emirates fly airlines, airplanes, into our airports. Same thing with Saudi Arabia. No, no!
CALLER: I think that if the if they genuinely were an ally on the war on terror, that they would be more willing to respect the fact that at this point in our history that we’re not comfortable with them representing our ports, and —
RUSH: I think that’s exactly what’s happened here. You know, but I also have to note — and I’m glad you called, and please: I’m not trying to be personally critical. You have been unable to answer any question I put to you. Now, I understand you want to call and tell me what you think, but when you do that, when you say, “We can only have relations with people that have cultural similarities,” you better look into what you’re saying and if that’s what you’re really going to base this decision on and your belief in the future on — when it comes to economic development and interaction with foreign governments, countries, companies and so forth — you are going to have sanitize this country in ways that you will not believe. You don’t know what. You wouldn’t answer.
The “cultural differences” that we have with the communist Chinese are profound, literally profound, and yet nobody’s making a move to get them out. I know they had nothing to do with 9/11, but that’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying “cultural similarities,” and what I think you’re doing is dancing around the fact that, “We don’t want Arabs running our ports, but it’s not because they’re Arabs.” You want everybody to believe that. “We can’t have Arabs running the ports. It’s not because they’re Arabs, though.” Well, be very careful. Think about what you’re saying here, because it’s not persuasive. I understand the emotion. I’ve understood the emotion that the opponents of this have from the get-go, and I can understand genuine fear — up to a point.
But after a while, if you take the time to look at what this company was and is and where they are and how we interact with them already and have been for decades, years, whatever, at some point the emotion will subside, allowing the penetration of reason in a select few little dark gray cells in the cranium — and that is going to happen as well. But what you said — despite the fact that the press today is attempting to say that Bush is involved in another scandal; Bush secretly pulled the deal, told DPW to pull the deal; Bush and Rove did it, whatever, however, it happened; Chuck Schumer thinks he’s responsible for it; Republicans in Congress think they pulled this off; now they’re blaming Bush for doing it — the bottom line is that the DPW people wanted no part of this for the very reasons that you said and a couple others, probably.
RUSH: How many cab drivers in New York? There are about 14,000 cabs, 14,000 medallions the last I heard. So how many cab drivers in Manhattan are Arab or wear turbans? As I say, I couldn’t discuss this on ESPN, but here we can do this. Now, I myself know that there are quite a few because I have ridden with them — and, you know what? I am alive today to talk about it! But did I take a risk. Now, granted this is before 9/11. I was just going to say that. I haven’t ridden in a cab in ten years, but I did ride in a cab after the World Trade Center ’93 explosion. Yes, I did, so I haven’t ridden in a cab after 9/11. I’m just asking the question. It’s on the table here that we gotta protect ourselves with the “cultural differences.” We can’t have this! I’m just throwing the question out.