I always benefit when Kate can't sleep at night, because she usually ends up forwarding the most interesting articles for me to read the next day. Last night was one of those nights, but the article (written by Johann Hari and published in both the Independent and the Huffington Post back in 2009) turned out to be just as haunting as it was interesting. Read the article and the comments on the Huffington Post site as well.
I feel like the writer picked Dubai because of its symbolic significance, and the fact that the supply chain is so condensed, but I also feel that the Emiratis who are incensed about the article itself also have a good point--the entire capitalist system is based on these terrible crimes and they feel unnecessarily singled out.
I think that there is some weight in, 'How dare you come and tell us what to do when your countries are built on the same foundations,’ in the same way that there is weight in, ‘How dare you come and tell us to conserve our resources and environment when you’ve used your resources up and ruined your own environments.' This brings up questions of morality, ethics, and sovereignty and how to balance the reality that the above statements are true with the belief that continuing to encourage such practices is wrong.
Maybe Emiratis sense an element of hypocrisy in the article as well, since the entire world is engaged in a very similar, simply more extended supply chain that allows consumers to consume without understanding (or caring about) the exploitation inherent in the system.
Thanks Kate, now I can't sleep.