Bush’s Port Atrocity?

There are two things about this controversy that bug me. One of them is that the press is actually providing misleading information, the other is the failure of so many to seek any pertinent facts before opening their mouths to demagogue.

The question has become: Can we allow a Foreign Arab government, with terrorist ties, to takeover our ports? Reading the headlines and listening to the news I can understand how people would be led to believe that this is somehow the issue. Frankly our news media is a disgrace because this argument is entirely specious.

I can find no evidence whatsoever that any port will be taken over-- nor can I find any evidence whatsoever that any US ports are being sold! It is an argument without basis.

Dems Attack Port Takeover By Arabs

Republicans are just as wrong on this issue as Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, who are actually introducing a bill to outlaw any foreign owned or 'foreign controlled' companies from purchasing any American port operations ever. A move that they think will be great public relations but which is foolish policy.


"Our ports are the front lines of the war on terrorism. They are both vulnerable targets for attack and venues for smuggling and human trafficking," Menendez said. "We wouldn’t turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can’t afford to turn our ports over to one either."

"Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," Clinton said. "I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments." clinton.senate.gov

Some points:

  1. Dubai will not take over or buy any ports in the United States. None.
    Several companies will lease terminals at a single port. In New Orleans, for example, the company Dubai Ports World is trying to buy (P&O Ports) is just one of eight companies that lease and operate terminals.

    P&O Ports does business in 18 other countries. None of them are in righteous lathers about the sale of the business to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Ports World already operates port facilities all over the world, including such security-slacker states as China, Australia, Korea and Germany. cbsnews.com



  2. There are companies owned by foreign governments in existing ports now.

    "Among key companies that could be barred from operating US container terminals are China Shipping, the state-owned Chinese line, which has a terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, and APL, a line based in Oakland, California, and owned by Singapore's state-owned NOL," and "There are a number of major state-owned shipping lines that have terminals in the US," Davidson notes.

    Further, "The law would prevent DP World, which is owned by the emirate of Dubai, from making any future investments but also lock out permanently Singapore's PSA, the world number three container port operator by capacity, owned by the Singaporean government. DP World will become the world number four through the P&O takeover but will be only just behind PSA and Denmark's APM Terminals."

    Finally: "Without DP World and PSA, the US would be further cut off from the influence of the world's largest, most efficient container port operators. Hong Kong's Hutchison Ports, the world number one, already refuses to invest in the US because its executives are skeptical of how the container ports industry is organized." The Dubai Ports Issue is Really Wal-Mart and Toyota All Over Again!



  3. No Security will be put in the hands of a foreign government.

    Companies like P&O don't provide security at the ports. The US Coast Guard and Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement do. For instance, in New Orleans, P&O is one of eight terminal operators responsible for marketing the port, signing agreements with shipping lines, hiring labor, loading ships, and moving cargo.

    But P&O has no responsibility for security. "We have our own police force, harbor patrol, customs officers, and Coast Guard," says Chris Bonura, spokesman for the Port of New Orleans. "That won't change no matter who is operating the terminal."

    P&O is not commenting on the political uproar over the deal. But a source within the company worries that the media and politicians are misrepresenting the arrangements. Other who work within the port communities agree. They note that P&O will not be "managing" the ports, as many news organizations have reported. Instead, the company is one of many that leases terminals at the port.

    "I've never quite seen a story so distorted so quickly," says Esther de Ipolyi, a public-relations executive who works with the port of Houston. "It's like I go to an apartment building that has 50 apartments, and I rent an apartment. This does not mean I took over the management of the whole building." csmonitor.com



  4. Arab's can't be trusted to operate a business in the US?

    Stephen E. Flynn, a specialist in maritime security at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted that although the company is state-owned, several members of its top management are Americans -- including its general counsel, a senior vice president and its outgoing chief operating officer, Edward H. Bilkey, who is a former U.S. Navy officer.

    ..."What I hope for out of this whole debate is that, as Americans suddenly realize most of our marine terminals are managed by foreign-owned companies, they ask, given that that's a reality, how do we secure it?" Flynn said. "I also hope this current situation doesn't lead to a feeding frenzy [against foreign operators], because if we want things to be secure over here, we're going to have to work with foreign counterparts." washingtonpost.com



Incredibly, not only is ignorance (and I mean that in the least condescending meaning of the term) rampant here, but I'd like to point out that some Democrats who have called Bush and neocons everything from racists to fearmongers are now claiming that Arab's can't be trusted to own a company doing business in one tiny part of a port facility.

There is little basis here for denying the Dubai company from operating at US ports except for ignorance and prejudice. To say that this UAE company, which operates ports worldwide, cannot be trusted because of a "nexus to terror," especially when it comes from the left, is straining credulity.

Washington's bout with Islamophobia also ignores the reality of Dubai's future direction. A metropolis already, it is rapidly becoming the prototype city-state that could serve as an important example for the future in Muslim societies bedeviled by high unemployment, low literacy rates, bad trade policies, and authoritarian political structures. It is managed and led by a cadre of young, highly educated Arab and Muslim professionals who seek to transform the world's stereotype of Islam by developing and running businesses transparently, with integrity and with an increasingly democratic and accountable corporate culture. Reaction to the Dubai deal is un-American

Lack of facts and a partisan axe = jump the gun

Never have I seen a bogus story explode so fast and so far. I thought I was a connoisseur of demagoguery and cheap shots, but the Dubai Ports World saga proves me a piker. With a stunning kinship of cravenness, politicians of all flavors risk trampling each other as they rush to the cameras and microphones to condemn the handover of massive U.S. strategic assets to an Islamic, Arab terrorist-loving enemy.

The only problem -- and I admit it's only a teeny-weeny problem -- is that 90 percent of that story is false.

The United Arab Emirates is not an Axis of Evil kind of place, it will not own U.S. ports, it will not control security at U.S. ports and there is nothing new about foreigners owning U.S. ports. Odds are higher that you'll be wounded interfering with a congressman providing soundbites than by something smuggled into a port terminal leased by Dubai Ports World.

But please: let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story. And what's wrong with a little Arab-bashing anyway? In Defence of Dubai

Some more reading resources:
Some facts about the Port Deal (CFR)
In Defense Of Dubai
Good for America
Un-American
Security Programs, Unions Would Stay at Ports


* Title blatantly lifted from the comments of Mister Magoo

Posted by Eric Simonson at February 23, 2006 6:55 PM
Comments
Comment #128946

Hi Eric,

The way the media reports this story is what had me concerned - at first.
I’ve heard everything from they will own the ports to they will be in charge of security.
You are right about our news media. Turn the channel if you want to hear different ‘facts’.

Posted by: Dawn at February 23, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #128949

eric,

What bothers me more is the appearence of impropriety.
There seems to be connections between the White House, the Treasury Dept and the UAE company.

Posted by: Rocky at February 23, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #128951

So! We’re selling port operations to the United Arab Emirates/D&P. Is no American company is capable of running these port operations? Why again is this in the best interest of the United States?

Bush claims he didn’t know, but he’ll veto attempts to prevent the sale. Snow claims he didn’t know about the transaction either. It was done in secret, without the normal review process.

I smell a rat.

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #128952

Eric:

I’d like to compliment you. You are finally discussing a specific issue, not merely blasting liberals.

As for your points:

1 - Yes, Dubai will not buy or take over any ports in the U.S. I never said it would. I’m not sure anyone on WatchBlog said it.

2 - Yes, there are companies owned by foreign countries in existing ports. I, for one, am against ANY company, foreign or domestic, from being responsible for operations in our ports

3 - Yes, no security will be put into the hands of a foreign government. But this company will be there in the middle of a vulnerable place. I don’t think we should take that chance.

4 - Yes, some Arabs can be trusted to operate a business in the U.S. However, we’re not talking about an ordinary business. We’re talking about protecting homeland security.

I said yes to each of your 4 points. But I disagree with you. I don’t think that any business should be in a position to be able to hurt our security.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 23, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #128954

But…but…but..Clinton!!!

I might be going crazy but didn’t the republicans raise a fuss when Clinton wanted the Chinese to take over a port. Oh but now it’s ok?

Totally partisan reactions indeed

Granted I don’t know much about the company, and it looks like the company was indeed in the bad. Still now we should overlook any security concerns we have just because the driver is different? mmkay. Still, I’ve said it here, and I’ll say it again American ports are American assets I’d like to see them being run by american business.

Posted by: chantico at February 23, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #128956

That is my question. Why are there no American Companies in the business?

When I heard they would have to hire union employees… it wasn’t because of the pay grade. SO what is it?

Maybe someone should suggest the employees join together and purchase the business… ???

Posted by: Dawn at February 23, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #128960

esimmons,

Why should a foriegn country with ties to terrorism manage any part of this nation’s security? I don’t know what you mean by “take over” and I don’t know what you mean by “control” and I certainly don’t know what you mean by “Arab bashing”.

No government that recognizes or shelters terrorists should oversee any part of this nation’s security. Please tell me what part of this statement bashes Arabs?

Posted by: Max at February 23, 2006 8:21 PM
Comment #128965

esimmons,

This is very simple - do you believe that foriegn countries that have ties to terrorism should manage any part of this nation’s security. Yes or no?

If yes, please explain your criteria for placing security matters in the hands of governments that do business with terrorists, and your rationale for why Americans should accept any possible decrease in their security during this time of war?

Posted by: Max at February 23, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #128970

OK - I’m going to post this till I turn blue (OK, too late…)

“�For every regime that sponsors terror, there is a price to be paid and it will be paid…. [Nations that support terror] are equally guilty of murder and equally accountable to justice… We must unite in opposing all terrorists, not just some of them. No national aspiration, no remembered wrong can ever justify the deliberate murder of the innocent. Any government that rejects this principle, trying to pick and choose its terrorist friends, will know the consequences.”

— GW Bush —

How do you reconcile this statement with the UAE Port deal?

Posted by: tony at February 23, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #128978

MANY OF THESE RESPONDERS DID NOT READ ERIC’S VERY THOROUGH ARTICLE.

This deal has nothing to do with security or port ownership, but most are too lazy to avail themselves of those facts. But here’s what I find interesting:

- We obviously had terrorist strikes from mid-east terrorists well before 9/11 or even 1998 … but in 1998 we sold 60 F-16’s to the UAE apparently without uproar.

- Congress is mostly upset about this vetting process allowing the UAE deal … a process invented and legislated in detail by (band roll please) CONGRESS!

- Many liberals were saying “What enemy?!” just a few weeks ago … apparently they’re now recognizing an enemy.

- Peter King (R) admits his uproar over the deal comes mostly from complaints of his constituents who think this deal has to do with either ownership or security of the ports … so reps like Congressman King need to temper representation with a factual basis.

- AND FINALLY, I BELIEVE THE REASON THERE ARE NO MORE AMERICAN COMPANIES WHO DO THIS TYPE OF BUSINESS ANYMORE (AND THEY’RE AREN’T) IS BECAUSE WE CANNOT COMPETE AGAINST A FOREIGN COMPANY WHICH RECEIVES TAX BREAKS. THESE TAX BREAKS FOR FOREIGN COMPANIES HAVE OCCURRED FOR YEARS (WELL BEFORE GWB) AND THEY NEED TO STOP FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL AMERICANS, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 23, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #128980

Ken -

So that’s the whole story? Clinton did something bad, so no harm no foul?

Excuse me, but the UAE had not supported the attacks on 9/11 until…. 9/11 (2001.) Bush gave the Taliban $50 million in May 2001. Was he wrong to then attack the Taliban less than 1 year later?

Posted by: tony at February 23, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #128985

Thanks Ken—very nicely said—

Posted by: charlie wyckoff at February 23, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #128991

Tony

I think we gave the Afghans more than $50 million. It helped averted famines caused by the benighted Taliban. We were the biggest donors to the Taliban and it saved many lives. We should be proud that we can see beyond the particular government. It shows flexibility and humanity.

If you are talking about Clinton, he also sold them billions of dollars of military equipment, including F-16 fighters. This was a good strategic decision. Clinton understood nuances. So does Bush.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #128994

Eric, that such a good point about the media; they’ve certainly had a field day with misleading the public (yet again) and this time it’s not just the liberal media, the conservatives are doing the same thing. Also, anybody that is using the “outsourcing our ports” chant, where were they when the British were running it? Over a third of our ports are run by foreign countries. Yet, this is the first that people are making a stink over this. Unbelievable.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #128995

We’re selling our six largest ports to the United Arab Emirates.

That’s simply a psychically unacceptable sentence for most Americans.

The Bush administration has been hoist on its own petard. It took a lot of preparation, a lot of fear mongering to get us to this point.

This deal was never supposed to see the light of day. Only the complaints of two Republican governors made this public in the first place.

Given the relationships between Snow, CSX, the Carlyle Group, & the UAE/D&P, it’s likely we just caught the White House with its hands in the cookie jar. That’s all. Just garden variety corruption.

Because the Bush White House is all about corporatism. It’s about money and power and money and power.

Although I must admit, the spectacle of the Bush White House b****-slapping its constituency, and seeing Republicans like Frist and Hastert actually having the audacity to refuse to cringe, is both amusing and depressing.

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #128996

Phx8

Yes that sentence is unacceptable. It is also wrong in all its details.

Check out the sources Eric lists and if you don’t like them go over to V. Edward in the middle column.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #129001

Jack,
I apologize. This must be a very, very difficult time for you.

Personally, I don’t care about the Arab ownership replacing the British ownership. I think outsourcing the ownership was a mistake in the first place. But the sentence I started my comment with summarizes the story for most people. No amount of spin will change that public perception.

The American people are afraid, Jack. Too much talk about Islamofascists, and cartoon riots, and eavesdropping on what sounds like thousands and thousands of terrorists, and false alarms about impending attacks, and speeches about other plots aimed at Los Angeles, and more. Why, just the other day, Rove told us about this 9/11 world we inhabit, and how— Criminy, what’s that sound???!!! Whew! Thought I heard someone muttering ‘Allahu Akbar.’ Where was I?

It’s just ordinary corruption, Jack, and this time it involved big bucks. A few of the boys got caught cutting a deal that was a bit…well… shall we say, unseemly.

But you can console yourself with this; with any luck at all, the story’s headline life could be short-lived. Iraq is in full-scale meltdown. I’m not sure which story is worse, secret deals to sell US ports to Arabs, or civil war in Iraq. If it bleeds, it leads, and Iraq has veritiable rivers of blood running now, big explosions too. Unfortunately, it’s too dangerous for our own troops to venture out anymore, never mind reporters. So, we’ll see…

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #129004

You can’t make this stuff up:

“WASHINGTON (CNN) — The second in command at the Pentagon said Thursday that people who publicly oppose allowing a Middle Eastern company to take over management of some U.S. ports could be threatening national security.”

But today Rove said Bush would be willing to accept some delay. Snort. You know, it’s ok, as long as we risk our national security only a little bit.

Jack, Eric, don’t look. Do yourselves a favor. Don’t look.

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #129006

phx8,
ROFLMAO!!! Thanks for the belly-laugh.
This article should be called Bush’s Port-O-Potty.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 23, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #129009

The big picture here is the fact that (strategically) UAB is a perfect location to launch Aircraft and take out Iranian ports when the next Hitler of our time pushes the envelope too much. We’ll be ready and in position. Remember, Dubai is home to one of the biggest US air bases; strategically it’s a good move. Hell, our ports are already outsourced and the unions are bleeding American companies dry, why not take the arabs money and bleed them; in the meantime, we can stategically position our selves to take out the Iranians. Nice…

Posted by: rahdigly at February 23, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #129012

Ken et al,

We understand that who manages the ports is not the biggest security issue. We also believe more steps need to be taken to be secure. For instance, in Korea all shipped containers pass through X-Ray and Radiation detectors.

Please explain why after all the billions of dollars Bush has spent on Homeland Security our ports still do not come even close to measuring Korean security standards? Why do we only even look at 4-5% of the containers coming into this country?

Don’t get me wrong. I still don’t want Dubai managing our ports. Why not? Because “some independent experts, like Dr. Irwin Redlener of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, warn of the risk that a lot of critical information about the movement of cargo is now going to be accessible to new owners.”

Please explain why:

1. You feel it’s okay to risk a security breach of any kind?
2. Foreign governments are better then our own to manage any part of our security?
3. The US should do business with a government where terrorism is officially recognized and rampant?
4. We should take on risk and trust that some experts are wrong when we don’t have to?
5. Why not have the 45 day investigation - even if it is just to ease people’s minds as you say? Is there a downside? If not it just sounds like politics, and our security should be above politics, don’t you think?

Posted by: Max at February 23, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #129031

dawn,

This is possibly one of the textbook examples of complete misrepresentation in the news media of an issue I have ever seen.

For it to be true that this Dubai company is “taking over,” or “buying an American port,” or “taking control of an American port,” then it would also be true that a private British company has had control of an entire American port all this time.


Rocky,

What bothers me more is the appearence of impropriety. There seems to be connections between the White House, the Treasury Dept and the UAE company.

Seriously Rocky, I have not read a single serious source that even implied such a thing. Sources like the DemocraticUnderground.com have such a take on every issue.


phx8,

So! We’re selling port operations to the United Arab Emirates/D&P. Is no American company is capable of running these port operations? Why again is this in the best interest of the United States?

Bush claims he didn’t know, but he’ll veto attempts to prevent the sale. Snow claims he didn’t know about the transaction either. It was done in secret, without the normal review process.

I smell a rat.

This is just like in other countries, which we look down on, when they burn down a Kentucky Fried Chicken because they hate America.

  • Define what port operations are. It’s not “THE PORT”
  • There probably are American companies running port terminals — you might as well ask why we need CITGO (owned by the Venezuela government) selling us gasoline in the United States. It’s a free country, that’s why.
  • The review process is not a creation of the Bush White House. Nothing was done in secret that was not required to stay confidential.
Posted by: esimonson at February 23, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #129033

Paul,

I’d like to compliment you. You are finally discussing a specific issue, not merely blasting liberals.

Thanks Paul. But I always discuss specific issues— it just happens that liberals are almost always on the wrong side of those issues; so it might appear to you that I blast liberals when in fact I don’t. :0

But on to your points…

1 - Yes, Dubai will not buy or take over any ports in the U.S. I never said it would. I’m not sure anyone on WatchBlog said it.

In fact, in your post about this issue you said that Bush had already transferred ownership of 6 American ports to Dubai Ports World. Something Bush has not done. Nor does he have the power to transfer said ownership. There is no way for any shipping company to buy an entire US port. It’s not possible and this is the source of the misrepresentation and or misunderstanding.

The point is that by saying that “The Port” is going to be controlled, owned, taken over, etc. by a Dubai company is to exagerate what is actually happening.

2 - Yes, there are companies owned by foreign countries in existing ports. I, for one, am against ANY company, foreign or domestic, from being responsible for operations in our ports

This we know. From all that I can ascertain you are for the government owning everything. Please tell me I’m wrong.

3 - Yes, no security will be put into the hands of a foreign government. But this company will be there in the middle of a vulnerable place. I don’t think we should take that chance.

Which chance? The chance we take when the FOREIGN container ships come into port? The chance we take when we engage in oppressive trade? The fact is that we check the materials only when it gets to our ports, and even then we don’t check all of it, just a percentage. It may not be possible to check all of it in a pratical manner.

4 - Yes, some Arabs can be trusted to operate a business in the U.S. However, we’re not talking about an ordinary business. We’re talking about protecting homeland security.

Some Arabs. Hee, hee!! That’s an interesting statement.

I said yes to each of your 4 points. But I disagree with you. I don’t think that any business should be in a position to be able to hurt our security.

So… your position if that only the government should be in a position to hurt our security?

Posted by: esimonson at February 23, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #129034

What about the congressionally mandated 45-day investigation of any foreign state-owned business that seeks to run an American port or the like?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #129036

max,

Why should a foriegn country with ties to terrorism manage any part of this nation’s security? I don’t know what you mean by “take over” and I don’t know what you mean by “control” and I certainly don’t know what you mean by “Arab bashing”.

No government that recognizes or shelters terrorists should oversee any part of this nation’s security. Please tell me what part of this statement bashes Arabs?

Remember Max, by many liberal definitions, WE are a country with ties to terrorism.

But seriously, how is it that suddenly you are claiming that the UAE has “ties to terrorism” that puts it in the class of Afghanistan, which I might remind you we had to invade? Are you in fact making the case for an invasion?

Here’s where I think you’re being mislead. Answer this question for me:

In what way would DP-World (or the ‘foreign’ government of UAE) actually be managing this nation’s security?

Posted by: esimonson at February 24, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #129037

phx8,

“…secret deals to sell US ports to Arabs…”

Man, I can’t decide if that’s funnier if you’re being serious or actually making a joke!

It’s like wrong on every level— I can’t help but admire it as a thing of beauty. You have my sincere appreciation.

Posted by: esimonson at February 24, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #129038

Stephen,

You ask: “What about the congressionally mandated 45-day investigation of any foreign state-owned business that seeks to run an American port or the like.”

But surely Eric provided an answer to this, when he said:

“The review process is not a creation of the Bush White House.”

Oh. Maybe not. (lol).

“Nothing was done in secret that was not required to stay confidential.”

Actually, that’s even funnier. Who, exactly, is not being taken into confidence? Oh my. Those dad-blamed Senators and Representatives and Republican Governors and American voters, they just can’t be trusted with the Bush administration’s secrets, can they?

Well, the government of the UAE is providing the White House an easy out tonight, by delaying the process. That should take the story out of the headlines pretty fast.

According to polls, both Democrats and Republicans were overwhelmingly disapproving the White House on this issue. Not even the usual White House fist-shaking could keep Frist & Hastert & Republican govs in line. Republicans are putting more and more distance between themselves and Bush.

So, Bush is a leper. Wonder just how contagious his case of leprosy will be. Hmph. And I thought it was just foot-in-mouth disease.

Posted by: phx8 at February 24, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #129040

tony,

“For every regime that sponsors terror, there is a price to be paid and it will be paid. [Nations that support terror] are equally guilty of murder and equally accountable to justice? We must unite in opposing all terrorists, not just some of them.No national aspiration, no remembered wrong can ever justify the deliberate murder of the innocent. Any government that rejects this principle, trying to pick and choose its terrorist friends, will know the consequences.” ~GW Bush

How do you reconcile this statement with the UAE Port deal?

I cannot help but savor the delicious irony of this. Are you saying that the UAE is a sponsor of terror? That they are a’gin us?

Cus, ya’ll know, if they aint fir us, then they a’gin us. An if they a’gin us, well, we gots to invade.

Posted by: esimonson at February 24, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #129044

Arab profiling at the airports bad, when that is where things went south, but Arab profiling at the ports good where nothing has happened. somewhat hypocritical. Plus why spend several billions of dollars to blow it away with some physical and collateral damage?

Posted by: Scott at February 24, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #129047

The real arguement is why are we not inspecting every container? no matter what the origin? and no matter who pays the americans to take it off of the ships.

Posted by: Scott at February 24, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #129052

esimonson,

But seriously, how is it that suddenly you are claiming that the UAE has “ties to terrorism” that puts it in the class of Afghanistan, which I might remind you we had to invade? Are you in fact making the case for an invasion?

No. I never said Dubai was Afghanistan. I said it was more of threat than Iraq and more tied to 9/11.

Dubai was home to two of the 9/11 hijackers that laundered money used to fund the attacks, and was home to Pakistani that hobnobbed with Iranian officals, rand a nuclear proliferation ring and secretly shipped uranium enrichment equipment to Libya. The government recognized the Taliban, but does not recognize Israel.

In what way would DP-World (or the ‘foreign’ government of UAE) actually be managing this nation’s security?

They would be in charge, overseeing the logistics of shipping operations at these ports. For me, they really don’t have to be doing much for there to be a security risk of some kind. They’re too close to too many people that want us dead.

Ok. I’m going to sleep, but honestly esimmons you need to answer the questions put to you in my other post rather than make up new questions and put words in my mouth.

I was nice enough to answer your questions, so please answer mine.

Posted by: Max at February 24, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #129054

This is just like in other countries, which we look down on, when they burn down a Kentucky Fried Chicken because they hate America.

This is almost as ridiculous as when Bush called anyone who questioned this deal today a racist, or when he said anyone who questioned the Meyers nomination was sexist.
Posted by: Max at February 24, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #129071

All very interesting, but something happened to day which might not make the papers, but was far more important. The 5 year Treasury Note auction went very poorly. This is very, very, very bad news. Far worse than anything to do with ports.

Posted by: phx8 at February 24, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #129096

“I cannot help but savor the delicious irony of this. Are you saying that the UAE is a sponsor of terror? That they are a’gin us?

Cus, ya’ll know, if they aint fir us, then they a’gin us. An if they a’gin us, well, we gots to invade.”

This is YOUR President, and he’s very fond of invading countries, but not sure the logic is always so true. I’m simply bringing up a very contradictory statement that he needs to reconcile… However, if you want to put the UAE up against Iraq - the facts say we should’ve invaded these guys first, the Afg. But then again, we probably should’ve gone after the Saudis immediately. This whole invasion thing can be a lot of work. (… but it’s so nice at the end of the day when you can look back on everything you’ve done…. right?)

Posted by: tony at February 24, 2006 6:46 AM
Comment #129106

One thing we seem to be forgetting is that the enemy is all of Islam. No matter what niceties the President tries to spread about Islam being hijacked, the fact of the matter is that it is a religion of hate and blood. The only way to win this war is to completely marginalize all of Islam. And no, this is not Arab bashing. Iran is an Aryan nation!

Posted by: Eric at February 24, 2006 7:53 AM
Comment #129119

While your analysis is cogent, it is needlessly partisan. The misinformation is as strong if not stronger from the Republican side of the aisle as from the Democratic side.

Posted by: Bob at February 24, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #129121

Facts really don’t matter, as Bush winning the last two elections clearly point out. It’s the perception that’s fed to the American public. This SNAFU by this administration has once again pointed out to Joe Six-pack how completely out of touch with the general public this administration really is. Even the Republicans are jumping ship. Spin it any way you want. But this is just one more instance where the Bush administration is going out of their way to put the Democrats back in power, any for a long time too. I don’t think that gay marriage and abortion are going to have the one issue voter support as it has in the past. One really has to wonder if there was any truth in the Nation Enquirer’s report that George has fallen of the wagon again. Sure smells that way.

Posted by: earjoy at February 24, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #129126

Eric, thanks for putting the facts out there on this issue. Too bad most of those who replied in this post didn’t read your message entirely.

The UAE-owned company is only taking over a terminal, not the entire port! It’s top management are Americans!

Toyota put in a truck factory here in Texas, no one complained then…But boy look how many Toyota trucks are on the road now….

Wake people and get a grip…The true enemy is Hillary….

Posted by: Jim at February 24, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #129138

The issue for Americans is not who manages security. The issue is the increased potential a muslim working stiff with sympathies or direct contact with Islamofascism will infiltrate the management operation and do something reprehensible. That is the issue.

From what I have the Emirate itself has been a good ally, nonetheless the Emirate has allowed Islamofascist money to flow through their banks. This is suspicious. The Emirate actually recognized the Taliban of Afghanistan as the legitimate government in Afghanistan prior to 911 invasion. This is suspicious.

It is better to err on the side of safty of lives then the gain of money.

Posted by: Theway2k at February 24, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #129142

Islamofascists. Can’t fool me. Top management may look like us, but those Arab Emirs own that company, and they nearly bought our ports! See, I know all about Islamofascists, because Eric told me. And Oliver North said on FOX news that “there are no moderate Muslims.” And you know what? Over 95% of those United Arab Emirates are Muslims! It’s true! Now, I’m pretty good at recognizing Arabs, which is the same thing as Islamaofascist. Last night FOX news told me again about these Arabs arrested in Toledo for something. It’s been the lead story EVERY night! It has to do with terror, but I’m not sure why. Anyway, these
guys they arrested were wearing red and white hankerchiefs on their heads!!! Camera shot was centered on their hankies. Yup. Islamofascists. And we all know Islam is a bloodthirsty religion.

Thank goodness Bush and Snow stood up for our country! They didn’t know Islamofascists were trying to buy our ports, but Bush threatened to veto, so he stopped those Democrats and Hillary Clinton right there and then.

Posted by: phx8 at February 24, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #129154

OK, everybody shout now: “HILLARY!” “HILLARY!” “HILLARY!” “HILLARY!”

Wow, what a nightmare! I’m ok now, just too much caffeine in my diet…

Seeing her every single day on the news complaining has given me nightmares….Isn’t she about due for another scandal? Maybe we should reopen Travelgate…..

Posted by: Jim at February 24, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #129159

phx8,
You’re slaying me! Too funny.

“Top management may look like us, but those Arab Emirs own that company,”

Yet, that happens to be the truth. Those are the same UAE royals who actually recognized the Taliban, allowed Al Qaeda 9/11 hijacker money to be funneled through their country, and who were once the only reason we didn’t get Bin Laden:

The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency’s director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.

Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the (UAE) royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said.

The 10-member bipartisan commission is investigating the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 24, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #129163

I need to stress a point here. Here’s a paragraph from the original topic:

…”What I hope for out of this whole debate is that, as Americans suddenly realize most of our marine terminals are managed by foreign-owned companies, they ask, given that that’s a reality, how do we secure it?” Flynn said. “I also hope this current situation doesn’t lead to a feeding frenzy [against foreign operators], because if we want things to be secure over here, we’re going to have to work with foreign counterparts.”

The key phrase being…”as Americans suddenly realize most of our marine terminals are managed by foreign-owned companies”. Most Americans didn’t realize that our ports are owned by foreigh countries.

Question: What’s so wrong with an AMERICAN company owning and leasing these ports??? Is it now wrong for America to have a sense of nationalism???

100 or so years ago, people who immigrated to this country had a desire to assimilate. Today’s immigrants don’t, and I think that’s why America will never regain the nationalistic society it once had.

Posted by: Anthony at February 24, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #129202

“HILLARY!” “HILLARY!” “HILLARY!” “HILLARY!


Jim - I think you’re being obsessive.

Posted by: tony at February 24, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #129204

Jack -

That $50 million to the Taliban was handed over personally (they visited the White House.) Not the poor people of Afg. - the Taliban officials.

I could care less how you might try to justify it, the track record of flip-flopping with terrorists seems pretty consistant.

Posted by: tony at February 24, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #129245

Tony

It wasn’t flip flopping. We saved thousands of Afghan lives despite the bad government. We were the biggest donors to Afghanistan.

Giving $50 million when the visited the White House. Was that cash, credit card or check? How much would $50 million weigh? Even if it was all in $100 bills?

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #129268

Jack -

I was referring to Bush when I was talking about flip-flopping. And, btw - the standard for moving $50 Million would be a wire transfer. The paper check was for the photo op. (BTW - are you aware of Unical natural gas pipeline and the political strains between the US and the Taliban around that time…?)

Posted by: tony at February 24, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #129289

The Media is lying?
Seems your laying ground work
for a few Republicans to change
sides.
If we are spreading Democracy?
Why are we evan considering selling
our ports to a Dictator Ran Goverment
company? UAE gave us 2 of the hijackers.
We also turn our head while supporting
the Dictator ran goverment of Saudi Arabia
who gave us the rest of the hijackers.
Yet we fight to free Iraq from there
Dictator. Despite that not one scrap
of evidence was ever provided that they
were a threat.
Funny we only fight for democracy in countrys
that fail to make our leaders richer. And
the war they picked to fight now makes the
leaders we elected extreamly rich.
War is always about money and the money
usually goes to the men who started the War.

Who is lying to who?

Posted by: HONEYP at February 24, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #129294

Heard the phrase “xenophobic jingoism” today on NPR and that the U.S. is sorely in need of foreign money—ANY foreign money.
What worries me here is that UAE only loans ITS money to Arab countries!! and is 95% Muslim, strictly adhering to all those standards—even the cartoon overreaction thing. a Duck is a Duck here. Arabs are true to their own, and seem to predominantly HATE Americans. Therefore, it would seem logical to suspect foul play down the road. Remember Pearl Harbor. It just seems way too close for comfort, AND highly irregular for cowboy Dubya who promoted this whole GWOT thing.
Something, methinks, is rotten in Denmark…

Posted by: barbara at February 24, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #129307

I’ve read the article and all of the posts carefully, but am still a bit troubled about the whole idea of a foreign government (ANY foreign government) managing many of our largest ports.

The statement that they will not have a role in security is not entirely correct. Once the cargo hits the dock, until it leaves the gate, security is in the hands of the company who manages the port. That leaves an opening that I’m not comfortable with.

I did not know, previously, that foreign governments were permitted to manage our seaports. I would be just as concerned if they would be permitted to operate our airports, railways, or border checkpoints. It’s not about whether this company, today, is trustworthy. What about when they replace their CEO next month with someone who believes in Islamic Fundamentalism? They would have a blueprint of all of our security procedures, and would know exactly how to circumvent them.

In light of our current situation with Islamic states, it’s my honest opinion that the risk outweighs the benefits.

Posted by: Cole at February 24, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #129359

max,

ok. I’m going to sleep, but honestly esimmons you need to answer the questions put to you in my other post rather than make up new questions and put words in my mouth.

Maybe you could reiterate them for me?

Posted by: eric 'on the payroll' simonson at February 25, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #129362

Cole,

China runs many of our west coast ports … have for years. Any “blueprints” can be considered disseminated.

Tony & Phx8,

You’re just not reading the entirety of the posts. Tony thinks I want foreign companies to run our ports. Actually I said, IN ALL CAPS, that we need to change the tax breaks given to foreign companies which do this kind of business so American companies (which are more heavily taxed) can have a more fairer ground to compete. Currently, NO AMERICAN COMPANIES ARE VYING FOR THIS JOB SO THAT MAKES IT JUST A TAD DIFFICULT TO AWARD THE JOB TO AN AMERICAN COMPANY.

And Phx8 still thinks we’re selling the ports. Yeah, that’s right Phx8 … the NYPA/NJPA decided to wash their hands of their ports and head home for marinara and Peronis. But, in the anti-Phx8 world of reality, a foreign company is going to move the boxes on and off the ships … just like last year … just like when Clinton was in office.

Now, if those two are still reading (hello pipe dream!) the deal with the UAE is only good if the company is both proficient and efficient AND if they let us perform whatever security measures we wish to partake in (via such organizations as the US Coast Guard or any other organization so tasked by the Homeland Sec. Dept.) The UAE company (whose COO is named Ted Bilky by the way … not exactly Ahkmed Bin Laden) will not be the first hands to touch incoming ships … but rather our own security forces.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 25, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #129366

#1 Reason We Can Trust This Deal:

If the UAE or factions inside the UAE did want to hurt us, the worst possible thing the evil doers could do is give us a state … an area with defined borders and a government with defined leaders to attack and destroy. This would be their worst nightmare since they survive solely for the reason that they are not in a defined & conspicuous area, they are not leading a defined and conspicuous government, and they do not have a defined and conspicuous people. To act through a nation’s official links would be an instant suicide of themselves AND THEIR CAUSE.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 25, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #129373


Bon appetit!

Why oh why does the Bush administration want to make secret deals to sell our ports to Arabs?

“A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.”

But wait! There’s more!

“Adding to the controversy is the fact Congress was not notified of the deal.”

Congress! Those smarmy bastards? How dare they intrude!

“Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley stated in a letter to Bush on Feb. 21 that he specifically requested to be kept abreast of foreign investments that may have national security implications. He made the request in the wake of a controversial Chinese proposal to purchase an oil company last year.

“Obviously, my request fell on deaf ears. I am disappointed that I was neither briefed nor informed of this sale prior to its approval.”

Ha! Everyone knows Senators can’t be trusted. Congress. Sheesh. Practically certifiable traitors. Frist. McCain. All of ‘em.

“Central to the debate is the fact that the United Arab Emirates, while a key ally of the United States in the Middle East, has had troubling ties to terrorist networks, according to the Sept. 11 Commission report.”

And with that sentence, my friends, you hear the subliminal sound of the Republican base being b****-slapped by Bush. It’s a regular roundhouse swat, too, a 180 degree wind-up with another 90 degrees of follow through. The latest Rasmussen poll shows 65-17% disapproval of the deal. Pathetically enough, that other 17% will come crawling back to Bush for even worse abuse. It’s just sickening.

Earlier quotes from the following UPI article:
http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060223-051657-4981r


Posted by: phx8 at February 25, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #129416

phx8,

I think you’ve convinced me. UAE is a terrorist state. We should cut off all contact with them and impose sanctions until they fully comply with not being a terrorist state.

In fact, I’ve been thinking… do you think that Saddam may have sent his wmd to UAE? There’s only one way to find out!

Posted by: eric 'on the payroll' simonson at February 25, 2006 3:20 AM
Comment #129420

Yes 21 Ports.

I Know the movie Fahrenheit 911
has been wrighten off as a movie
with views to far to the left.
This needs reveiwed.
Because it is amazing how it sheds
light on why this Port Deal
is so important to Bush.
Just more business as usual.
Business is supporting the terrorist
ability to line the pockets of
his family and friends.
If we continue to by the lies
we deserve everything we get.

Eric check out media matters
website. If you can tell who
a reporter votes for they are
not a reporter. they are
propaganda.

Posted by: HONEYP at February 25, 2006 4:53 AM
Comment #129436

From a political standpoint the sale of our ports to the Dubai Company is about the dumbest thing a President has done in the last 30 years and if the Republican party supports it in Congress they will be the Minority party by the end of the next election. This is a pony that just won’t run with the American public and I strongly suggest the Republican party get off this pony and quick. Why is the President so in love with this deal that he would threaten to Veto any opposition? It makes me wonder where his loyalty lies. Selling American ports to Dubai, while were in the middle of an increasingly unpopular war is a political disaster and I suggest you think about that before you spring to his defense.

Posted by: Mike at February 25, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #129444

It is simply false to claim that there is no security issue involved. The port company is responsible for security on its leased premises—including the loading and unloading of ships at the docks, and the hiring of employees. As soon as the shipping containers are set down on the dock it becomes the port management company’s security problem and its responsibility for the safety of the cargo.

I don’t want to hear one day that a 2nd cousin of the Emir was hired by this company in NYC and helped to steer a nuclear suitcase from its arrival at the dock in Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan.

Any secret deal should be highly suspect. Especially one in which a foreign gov’t corporation is excused from performing normal contract clauses in its field of expertise—as this one has been. It’s an outrage!

Tbat’s all aside from the $1 Million UAE contribution to the Bush Library… more Bush family enrichment in war-time, in which it has a long history. No wonder Bush wants a “long war”!

Posted by: GoKnow at February 25, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #129478

Here’s why there are objections to a foreign government (not a foreign corporation, but a foreign government!) running our ports…this contract ties the hands of our very own U.S. government in ways that should not even be under consideration! It is a government (UAE) interfering in our government (U.S.A.)…

Quoted from “The Conservative Voice”:

“Peninsular and Oriental and DP World set approval by the U.S. security committee as a condition for the sale. In regulatory papers, the companies said either the committee must agree not to formally investigate the purchase or Bush must not move to block the sale for national security purposes.

So, the secretive Treasury committee must agree NOT to investigate this purchase (so, if they can’t investigate it, how could they approve it??) and the president can’t block the sale for national security purposes (if UAE is harboring an abetting terrorist like those of 9/11, then Bush is still not allowed to block the sale…hence his wild veto threat!).

There’s something rotten…and it’s not in Denmark, it’s in Washington, D.C.!

Posted by: Lynne at February 25, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #129481

Well, one can’t argue with idiots. PHX8 still thinks we’re selling our ports. Yes, we’re also selling Massachusetts for that matter … any bidders?

And then someone quoted Farenheit 9/11 for their views … which is like a terrorist quoting the Quran for their justification for killing people. Hmmmm, I wonder why Michael Moore deleted all of those scenes when he asked Congressmen if they would want to send their sons to Iraq and he got the response “My son is a Marine you idiot.” Ahhh, the self-egrandizing editing when producing a “documentary”. It’s like watching Mickey Spillane in the flesh.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 25, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #129499

Ken,
You don’t get it. ‘Selling our ports’ and ‘approving the sale of terminal operations from a British company to a government owned, United Arab Emirates firm’ doesn’t matter for most people. The concerns remain the same for most people.

But please, keep arguing the point. It’s a little like someone accusing Bush of selling teenage cheerleaders to Pakistani Imams to serve as unwilling organ donors, and you rail against the media for getting the story wrong, because they were Ayotollahs, not imams, it only happened once, and besides, the Pakistanis only wanted the livers.

Posted by: phx8 at February 25, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #129501

WOW, I never pay attention to the media. I believe in George Bush. He is a great American. If he thinks it’s a good idea to give our ports to the Saudis and sell off National park lands to fund roads then it’s all right by me. I’m more concerned with stopping gay marriages, family values, stopping abortion—you know the things that me and all my republican friends voted him in office to halt. You could tell that the WMD’s probably weren’t there but I think he just wanted to secure the area so we can continue to get oil from that region. Just keep the oil prices down and stop all that sinful activity with gays…all me and the a lot of guys and girls like me care about. George Bush is a great christian and he is going to stop the wrong in this world! Family values baby!

Posted by: Joe Sixpack at February 25, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #129502

We are not selling the Ports we are
letting the highest bidder run them
allowing this is handing them a map
of how best to get around our security.
and yes they are in charge of security
for the terminal.
My saying Farenheit 911 was not a quote.
The conections made in that movie are
not false and point out our esteemed leader
has been sleeping with the enemy for a long
time. It is clear he owes them. Why do you
think he would finally pull out the VETO
dispite the political damage. Money talks
and we do not pay him near what they do.
His job with us ends soon the money train
with them will travel back and forth on through many generations of Bushs.

Posted by: HONEYP at February 25, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #129744

yes and to bring that movie out two months before the 2004 election was a very good move it really showed us how biased the media moguls are. nothing like objective journalism. ask dan rather. now thats something i would have paid to see, there faces after the election

Posted by: rodney brown at February 26, 2006 8:00 PM
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