It's Already Outsource, U.S.A.

The right-wing Center for Security Policy, which opposes allowing Dubai Ports World to manage U.S. ports, says that "Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer have been quick to seize on this issue as an opportunity to burnish their national security credentials at the expense of President Bush and his party."

Huh?

At the expense of Bush, perhaps, but certainly not his whole party -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist expressed his concerns fairly early on, and several other Republicans, including Governor Robert Ehrlich of Maryland, have also challenged the takeover.

Schumer, however, has been a particular pain in the nose, for example saying that, "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."

The senator appears not to have heard about the legions of private contractors supporting, for example, the Iraq effort. As of July 2005, there were 20,000 non-Iraqi security contractors operating in Iraq, according to PBS. "Of these, 5-6,000 are British, American, South African, Russian or European; another 12,000 are from Third World countries, such as Fiji, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and India." Those figures do not count the 50,000 logistics contractors on the job in Iraq, taking case of tasks like delivering supplies and cooking meals.

While I'm having my own, little imaginary conversation with the senator, I'd like to ask him this: Why didn't you object in 1999 when the six ports first came under foreign management?

As I mentioned in my last post, an argument can certainly be made for keeping American ports entirely under American management. I personally don't think it's a great argument, and here's why: The U.S. government created the Transportation Security Administration to oversee security at our nation's airports, just as the Coast Guard and Bureau of Customs and Border Protection oversee security at our ports. Those who are raising a ruckus about foreign management of non-security-related port operations probably don't realize that international airport management companies already run operations at U.S. airports.

* BAA, a British-based airport management company, has operated the airports in Indianapolis for more than a decade, and runs commercial and retail operations at the international airports in Baltimore, Boston and Pittsburgh.

* Schiphol Group, based in the Netherlands, has a 40 percent interest in Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

* Fraport, the German management group that owns Frankfurt's busy airport, handles baggage and ramp services at Florida's Jacksonville International Airport.

Back in October 2001, the conservative Heritage Foundation argued against federalization of airport security, proposing instead that international airport management companies be contracted to run American airports, including security operations.

So while arguing that ports should be entirely American run is a logically consistent position, it seems to me that if foreign companies can manage airports (minus the security operations -- I happen to think Heritage was a little off base with that one), there's no reason they couldn't manage seaports, too. And, of course, the British company P&O managed the six American ports in question for six years without a peep out of Congress. Many opponents of the DPW takeover are simply not able to explain why European management is perfectly acceptable but Middle Eastern management is not.

On Talk of the Nation, Rep. Christopher Shays made it pretty clear that he's unable to differentiate between Arab countries. He started out with his thesis: "this is the problem with the Arab community: they're on both sides of the equation." He went on for a while about the Saudis, then said the UAE was uncooperative following 9/11. Next, he made a generalization using the amorphous "they" -- the so-called "Arab community," presumably. "They condone and they encourage outrage over a cartoon in a newspaper in Denmark," he said. "I mean, that's why I have such discomfort."

Host Neal Conan diplomatically responded, "A lot of people might say, Mr. Congressman, that those are, you know, sort of ad hominem attacks. I mean, I've not heard of any riots in the UAE."

Shays later commented that saying a port management company isn't responsible for security is "like saying the people that fly your airplanes aren't in charge of security." The logical conclusion is that Shays would not fly the airline Emirates out of New York because he wouldn't trust the pilot.

The fact is that the UAE has cooperated with the United States (see page 11) -- what more do DPW's opponents want? Granted, the UAE was lax on tracking terrorist activity prior to September 11, 2001. (Let's face it, the United States wasn't exactly on top things at the time either.) How much longer will they have to wait to get into our good graces?

By Emily Messner |  February 23, 2006; 10:05 AM ET  | Category:  Beltway Perspectives
Previous: The Facts: Outsourcing Port Management | Next: Ports Deal Pros and Cons

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This issue is the perfect xenophobic club for Democrats to bash Republicans with. Stop being so reasonable and start clubbin'!

Posted by: Turnabout | February 23, 2006 10:24 AM

"non-Iraqi security contractors" ?

The majority of "foreign fighters" in Iraq are US Occupation Troops and Paid Mercenaries, and Zionist Terrorists!

Congressman Murtha 'January 12': Situation In Iraq Is Civil War...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-john-murtha/situation-in-iraq-is_b_13706.html

OCCUPIED BAGHDAD, The New Iraq - Gunmen shot dead 47 civilians and left their bodies in a ditch near Baghdad Thursday as militia battles and sectarian reprisals followed the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060223/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq
...168 Sunni mosques had been attacked, 10 imams killed and 15 abducted since the shrine attack.

Iraq's unity teeters after blast at shrine
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0602230104feb23,1,3760767.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true
Which government did not approve of the results of the Iraqi elections, after touting the "victory" of Iranian Theocracy in Iraq? What country would prefer Iraq not remain in one piece, but be broken up into smaller, more easily controllable nations? Who gets what they want from this?

Iran: U.S., Israel Destroyed Iraqi Shrine
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/23/D8FUMST00.html
"These passive activities are the acts of a group of defeated Zionists and occupiers who intended to hit our emotions," he said in a speech that was broadcast on state television. Addressing the United States, he added: "You have to know that such an act will not save you from the anger of Muslim nations."

Israel warns Hamas over Iran offer of financial aid
http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=278572006
The Zionist Hoodlums dealt the Palestinian Authority a devastating financial blow on Sunday by halting the transfer of taxes - about £28 million each month - that it had previously collected on behalf of the Palestinians.

Posted by: No Peace With Occupation | February 23, 2006 10:35 AM

We have been torturing the wrong people!

All 9/11 Airports Serviced by One Israeli Owned Company

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israel_9-11_index.html
"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified."

FBI's Top Anthrax Letters Suspect is Jewish ...
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/anthraxsuspect.html
The motto of the Mossad is, "By way of deception, thou shalt do war".

War Games: The Key to a 9/11 USAF Stand Down
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/usaf_911.html
It's been 1,620 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!'

Posted by: UBL - RIP | February 23, 2006 10:43 AM

Emily-

You seem to be implying that, because the United States allowed German, British, or Dutch companies to operate its port managements that it has a parity responsibility to allow United Arab Emirates companies to do the same.

While this comparison is ludicrous to begin with sine British, German, and Dutch private companies are not state owned, and the UAE company in question is, your position is still questionable.

We engage in diplomacy with foreign entities with differing levels of cooperation. We treat Cuba very differently than we treat Canada than we treat Mongolia than we treat China than we treat Japan. You might not agree with this, but there are substantive reasons why we would be more open with one country than another.

Ignoring the aformentioned fact that no foreign *government* should own a port, we can still rule out a UAE company for the same reasons we wouldn't encourage an Iranian or Syrian company direct access to our port management.

The UAE has no political freedom. It is a patriarchal country run by a "President" appointed by the self-appointed Kings of the respective 7 (?) kingdoms.

The UAE does not have a free press.

The UAE has an official state religion (it is illegal for a non-Muslim to prosletyze to a Muslim, Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims though Muslim men can marry non-Muslims and up to four of them)

These are some reasons why we might not want to reward them if, as the President says, we are committed to the principles of democracy which include the ability to change your government, the ability to petition your government and the ability to freely practice your religion.

The UAE is a benificiary of the war on terror. They do not help us merely because the UAE is benevolent towards Americans, they help us because we sell them warships (one example off the top of my head). This idea that we somehow owe them a port management contract because they help us in the war on terror is absurd.

The xenophobia line is also insulting. I can make a summary judgement about a country and its political, social, and religious organization without also condemning the citizens of that country for their religion. If you show me a middle eastern country with a secular government and a history of properly treating its citizens and relevant participation with the international community that did not involve people blowing up things, I would support them. If the United Arab Emirates was run by white, brown, or purple people I would be just as opposed to this trade.

Which, I should point out, I'm not even that opposed to. As Cayambe pointed out in another thread, we all might be attacking windmills over this thing. But until we know what entails having management control of our ports means, particularly what that would imply about our ability to secure those ports, I cannot make a reasonable evaluation of this.

Is it so much to ask for a teensie-weensie bit of transparency?

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 10:50 AM

Pathetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choose to focus on xenophobia and when you choose not to. Denouncing Islamophobia is commendable; Denouncing Islamophobia in the johnny-come-lately way you have isn't.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 10:53 AM

"Schumer...said this: 'Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties.'"

This sums up a huge problem we have in this country--even the people who are supposed to be in charge know nothing about what they're supposed to be in charge of. Setting aside the merits or demerits of the deal itself, the amount of knee-jerking by people who should know better was ridiculous. They were in such a hurry to scream and yell on TV that they did not bother to learn the facts of the matter. That they were ignorant of or deliberately mischaracterized such facts about port security, about how foreign management of U.S. ports has been going on for years, particularly under the Clinton administration, etc., is truly dismaying.
BTW, the media didn't help much, at least early on. You couldn't get a sense from the newscasts or articles what exactly was going on and what exactly the issue was. I suspect that the TV people, especially, didn't care too much about the facts and were mainly interested in hyping the political angle. Sigh.

Posted by: vivaespana | February 23, 2006 11:28 AM

there continues to be a distortian of fact this is not just a foreign owned company but a forein STATE OWNED COMPANY. a country with close ties to groups we belive to be terrorists.a rattle snake in the desert is not much of a threat unless you bother it but if you leave your front door open and give rattlesnakes free access to your home it is only a question of time untill you get bit

Posted by: dave | February 23, 2006 11:48 AM

Well put, Will. Emily's done all this research looking up foreign firms running airports (all private firms, unlike DPW that she compares them with), yet she can't seem to do the research to realize this is the first time any FOREIGN STATE-OWNED company (which means completely beholden to a foreign government) has been in the position to own an American seaport or airport, let alone the 6 major ones in the port deal. It's not xenophobia at all to say allowing such is a compromise of our sovereignty. Americans have a history of having a 'don't tread on me' mentality, and this port deal rubs us the wrong way, as it grants too much domestic influence to a foreign government. It's not xenophobia to avoid foolish situations that involve needlessly creating conflicts of national interest.
I for one am not attacking our allies the UAE at all; Quite the opposite, as I believe we owe it to our allies to keep them from any situations that will lead to a conflict of interest between us and them. And yet, Emily uses a broad brush to paint all those that oppose this port deal as 'knee jerk xenophobes'. I invite her to read the archives of her own blogs if she thinks I am such a xenophobe. The Islamophobic element to this whole port affair should be denounced, but those with valid reservations about letting a foreign government run our ports in this unprecedented fashion should not be lumped in with the Islamophobes; We certainly don't deserve the straw man treatment Emily has given us so far.
Dubai Ports World is state-run by the UAE. It is little more than a government agency. I'd like to hear how a state-run company is any different than any other state-run department. This port deal is being granted to a government, not a private firm. That's never be done before, and it isn't going to happen now. If the deal does somehow go through, there will be a Democratic landslide come election time because of it.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 12:02 PM

LOL! I just finished a post in which I used all caps to point out 'foreign state owned' to Emily and everybody else, only to find another post made at the same time by another debater that did the same thing. Good to see nobody's being fooled by the factual distortions among the press regarding this port issue. Facts need distinctions, not distortions. Otherwise, it's shoddy journalism.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 12:09 PM

For five years the Bush Administration has told me, "Be afraid, be very afraid". Be so afraid that I'm willing to give up my civil liberties if it means catching terrorists.

Now the Bush Administration is telling me, "Don't worry, Be happy". It doesn't matter if our ports are controlled by a foreign STATE-OWNED company; they're not terrorists. Take our word on it.

I'm not afraid and I'm not happy. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I will be batter-dipped and deep-fried if I will vote for a Republican for outhouse inspector until Bush and his usual gang of idiots are out of office, out where they can do no more harm.

I don't want Americans ports, airports, train depots, etc. owned by ANY foreign STATE-OWNED company, be they Swedes, Ukranians, Peruvians, UAE or Klingons. If this makes me a xenophobe, so be it.

Posted by: Average American | February 23, 2006 12:30 PM

Emily,

What a poor article you have written. As many have already pointed out, you are comparing private non-US contractors with a foreign government owned contractor.

You also compare homeland security duties here in the US with wartime duties of the Iraqi occupation. By comparing a foreign contractor managing US ports with a foreign contractor feeding troops in Iraq you compare apples and oranges.

Then you actually start a reasonable argument; That of US airport management being owned by foreign contractors. But you then throw in foreign "interest", meaning financial interest I assume, into the argument, which is not an issue.

Of all your arguments, only the BAA and Fraport examples make any sense but are quickly rebutted by noting they are private firms, not government owned companies like DPW.

Add to that the obvious security concerns The US has with the UAE. This is what Americans travelers are warned about by the State Department when visiting the UAE:

"SAFETY AND SECURITY: Americans in the United Arab Emirates should exercise a high level of security awareness. The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Americans should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with caution. In addition, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and to report the presence of the objects to local authorities. Vehicles should not be left unattended, if at all possible, and should be kept locked at all times. U.S. Government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions. In addition, U.S. Government facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time as necessary to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy."

And this is the country whose government corporation will now American ports? And wrap-a-flag-around-me-Bush is fighting to make it happen? The bipartisan reaction against this should show that politics is not the main reason for being against this deal. And Bush saying he wants to reward the UAE for being an ally makes me wonder whether the awarding of the contract and government security concerns were influenced by Bush's wish to reward them.

Posted by: Sully | February 23, 2006 12:41 PM

Well, I'm not happy that a number of ports in the US are managed by any foreign state-owned or private company. If we are serious about port security, the US should step up and assume the responsibility for managing and securing them, not UAE, not China, not the British, etc. Whats going on here is big business politics and both parties have been guilty of it.

I'd like some transparency to the process. Was this a no-bid contract? Were US companies considered first? How did this (or previous) administrations come to select who was going to manage what ports?

It was said that Bush only became aware of the UAE decision when it was reported in the media. If this is true, who is making these decisions and what kind of oversight is there?

If you're going to be serious about port security, you have to start asking these questions.

Posted by: D. | February 23, 2006 12:41 PM

I'd like to start with noting this strong reaction to "Muslim port ownership" is in part a long-expected nativist reaction to the continuing trend of losing assets and job functions once done within the US by 100% Americans. They are being taken over by foreigners here or abroad through asset acquisition from the "creditor nations v. America the Great Debtor Nations" and by outsourcing and immigration supplanting critical US workers in jobs.

1. We see things America once did best taken over by cheaper, more efficient labor sources...even industries and products we invented. Plasma screens, cell phone production, fighter jet parts, computer hardware, etc..This is going on everwhere.

2. Unlike many countries, we allow great "freedom" in foreigners owning our land, agriculture, mineral, and technology resources. This allows the petrodollars and China trade goods dollars to be recycled, but that comes at a big cost to our soveregnity and the value of those assets being diluted or possibly compromised by foreigners. It means the Japanese owning a stake in MIT research, NYC commercial biz blocks owned by the Bin Laden Group, and the Peoples Liberation Army of China spending a minute pittance their WalMart booty on a 40% ownership stake in a Nevada molybdenum mine and replacing American ownership in various gas and oil fields.

3. We have, with escalating disquiet, accepted foreign involvement, management and workers in critical areas of America to benefit Bush (and Clinton's) Ownership Class, the wealthy few that make most of the money from globalization while other sectors of Americans see the negative effects.
A. It looks like NOLA will be rebuilt, such that it is rebuilt, in significant part by illegal Mexicans doing the gruntwork, not poor Americans unfit or unwilling to do hard work.
B. The media is indeed remiss in educating the American public, (such that Americans wish to dissolve their ignorant bliss -outside the business pages the products of our inferior public schools toss away to get to the sports pages), of the extent of foreign involvement in critical areas. Emily noted Euro companies at airports. I will add Israeli companies have a crucial piece of our national telecomm system, and extensive ownership of US airport security companies, and security providers like Checkpoint, and security I&C (instrumentation and control) systems. Arab petrochem engineers and technicians work the Gulf facilities. And at the height of our Francophobia, "freedom fries, no Bordeaux and all" - I was consulting on a energy project where state-owned Franatome was doing refuelings of 3 US reactors, and the Lead was an Iranian with US citizenship who reported to headquarters in Lyon.
C. When we are spending hundreds of billions on US military overseas in two wars, it would be good if we could offer those tens of thousands of support jobs to poor Americans first...But that would involve screening them for inner city pathologies and training them..expensive and slow investment in Americans...and it is far easier to not recycle American tax dollars on "problem Americans" but send those dollars out permanently to willing, trained, hard-working and oh so cheap Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Turks, Egyptians at our military bases and support facilities..
D. China has taken over West Coast Port ownership of key facilities in LA and Long Beach. They are also big in Seattle and Vancouver, CA. China took over operation of both port facilities formerly run by Americans at either end of the Panama Canal when Hong Kong owned Hutchinson&Whampoa (which Clinton and the "Free Trade means plutucrat nirvana Republicans and rich Dem donors approved to take over) was absorbed into China in 1999.
==========================
We could go on about various foreign stakes in America..Sometimes it is a false alarm, as Hutchinson and Whampoa have always been a superb multinational - or Dubai Ports World - which camera-loving Chuck Schumer neglects to say also manages the largest US naval base outside the USA, while he has also neglected to say a peep about heavy Israeli ownership of US telecomm and security systems assets..

Overall though, even if DPW is a superb multinational we have to recognize that America is a Debtor nation and we have various foreign creditors that are coming a knocking wanting their pieces of America for funding 2 trillion of US Gov't debt and to buy up some nice American national assets from the 850 billion in foreign trade dollars they net from us each year.

Beats the Saudis buying nuclear technology in Europe with US petrodollars or China buying up the whole cold war high tech Soviet military infrastructure from the Russians with their 220 billion in yearly WalMart dollars gained....(they only need to spend about 30 billion in WalMart dollars to get all the ex-Soviet subs and MRBM SRBM missile factories they can handle)

But eventually, America must reach a point where we say we cannot let the American Owner Class sabotage our future by placing what THEY don't own into foreign hands..

We did have a past point when America was a heavy debtor nation - but that was in the 19th Century when that foreign money from the Brits, the Jewish financial houses of Europe, the continental royals and industrialists was INVESTED in building America's infrastructure of rails, shipping, mines, agricultural irrigation and food chain processing, and creating America's beef livestock industry out West. That debt was paid off from 1880-1970 as America was largely a prosperous exporting nation marred only by the global Depression of the 30s...

This current period of Debt involves little long-term investment in infrastructure making Americans better positioned for the future. It funds the government stuff we demand but don't want to pay the taxes for, it justifies insane supply siders theology of "money for nothing, growth means never worrying", it is for the oil we burn from countries that don't purchase American goods anymore, it is for all the Chinese stuff we wear and stuff our houses with that will be discarded in 3-10 years for newer and better Chinese stuff.

====================

We have been fortunate in years past that the foreign people who owned a chunk of America were responsible and not a threat. The Japanese, British, French, UAE, Canadian, and Saudi owners of US assets have largely conducted themselves with commendable finacial restraint and not used their power of ownership to harm American interests.

The rise of the Islamoids DOES mean we should be more cautious about certain Muslim countries assets IF they are lax about Islamoids in their midst and could serve as a channel for getting terrorists to get US money or otherwise harm us inc. through direct action here using Muslim-owned assets. But if a Muslim country is responsible, it is enormously counterproductive to punish an ally. They do merit a closer eye (given the Islamoid threat) than say, the Australians assets here, but not to openly insult and bar them from ownership we give to any non-Muslims.

Israel has been caught using their American-located security and telecomm companies to support their extensive military and industrial spy networks. They also need to be under a close eye.

The long-term problem is our strategic rival China, which gains military power and economic clout at our expense and long-term peril directly through its one-sided trade. We should be far more concerned about China buying up critical US physical assets, displacing us as the #1 investor in natural resources globally so as to give China "1st dibs" on oil and gas and strategic mineral supplies, and China's hunt to buy up US or foreign high tech companies and military assets...

The UAE, at the end, is a dinky country of 5 million that is no direct threat to us, (same with Israel despite past behavior) not a future peer competitor like Rising China will be..

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 23, 2006 01:20 PM

Why do we have private companies running our ports to begin with? What is wrong with Port Authorities or some other quasi governmental body?

It can't be just economics, can it?

If it is then either close them down or raise the price.

I think the real question should be why this is a private job to begin with? Outsourcing should never even come up.

Posted by: John R. Gardner | February 23, 2006 01:21 PM

John,

The republicans do not believe anything should be done by government except what is in the constitution, and even there they try to privitize as much of the work as possible. All one has to do is see how many highly paid contractors in Iraq are doing the work American soldiers used to do.

Its one of the main differences between republicans and democrats. Democrats believe government should do governmental tasks, while republicans believe government should be limited and outsourced to contractors as much as possible. Ask anyone who works in the federal government about the A76 process which was written to turn over as many jobs as possible in the government to private industry.

Posted by: Sully | February 23, 2006 01:50 PM

The opposition to the ports deal is untimely, opportunistic and baseless. Where were all of you xenophobes back in October when the deal became public knowledge? That's right, Dubai Ports World's interest in acquiring P&O was widely reported in the financial press back in the fall, while most of you were busy hyperventilating over the "quagmire" in Iraq and falling all over yourselves to praise John Murtha for calling for the abandonment of our newest ally in the Arab middle east.

I don't suppose any of you are smart enough to understand that the critical point in port security is the point of origin, not the destination -- where the stuff gets loaded onto a ship, not where it gets unloaded, because once it's aboard, it's likely to get into port. And Dubai Ports World acquired CSX's international ports business over a year ago, making it the operator of many ports from which goods are shipped to the US.

Oh, yes, and it is true that running commercial operations at a port has absolutely nothing to do with security operations, which are run by the Coast Guard and Customs, regardless of who the commercial operator is.

The only way the ports deal can harm ports security is if idiots like yourselves are successful in killing it. Port security depends on international cooperation, in effect, pushing border security well beyond our own borders. That's done by making sure that we have reliable security partners in the nations from which goods are sent. Adopting a xenophobic, isolationist position on ports operation won't further the cause of international cooperation on ports and container security, just in case you were wondering.

Posted by: RC | February 23, 2006 02:06 PM

I think the ports need to be managed privately because the government cannot even do a decent job of collecting garbage. And, if we're going to do it privately, we should let the best company do it. Turns out that the best one has its headquarters in Dubai.

This is a good thing for all concerned.

It takes a moron like Chuck Schumer -- or some of the moonbats who post to this blog -- to think otherwise.

Posted by: Port Out -- Starboard Home | February 23, 2006 02:12 PM

The terrorists will continue to try to hang us so long as we enable them to buy rope.

We have no business enriching the coffers of nations whose cash flow ends up lining the pockets of terrorists.

Its not xenophobia, its business. The UAE has not convincingly opened up its finances in a way to show us it no longer flows under the table to terrorists. Until they do, they should not be rewarded with lucrative business. Period. As a matter of fact, the port deal as written says they can keep all fnancial records from the port business out of the US where they can't be subpoena'ed. Nice touch,no?

After 9-11 we "punished" Saudi Arabia for their under the table funding of terrorists by buying bigger cars, killing CAFE standards, allowing public transportation to crumble, and lining their pockets with more cash to funnel under the table to terrorists. Now we will further enrich the UAE. When my nephew gets blown up by the IED I'll call the sheik and thank him for sending al Qaeda the money to buy it.

Our ports have never been secure. congressionl testimony in June 2005 said we were wide open for a nuclear attack from material smuggled into ports. Some of our largest ports don't even have adequate radiation detectors.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 02:13 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't a threat to the U.S., but he can't run for president because he is foreign born. That is not a slight against Austria that Austrians cannot be president of the United States. Denial of foreign born people from running for president is not xenophobia; It's an issue of American sovereignty.
Same goes here. American ports should not be ran by foreign governments. That is exactly what will happen if this port deal goes through. However, this port deal is un-American and will not go through. As allies, the UAE must respectfully recognize that Americans do not like anything that bears the semblence of impinging upon our national sovereignty and security.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 02:13 PM

Boy you are all mixed up. Welcome to the New World Order. There is no difference between Republicans or Democrats. They support "Free Trade", Wars for Israel, etc.
The Republic is Dead. The Government is bankrupt. Arabs? This is like the Naazis!

Posted by: 4th Reich | February 23, 2006 02:18 PM

I think the ports need to be managed privately because the government cannot even do a decent job of collecting garbage. And, if we're going to do it privately, we should let the best company do it. Turns out that the best one has its headquarters in Dubai.
Posted by: Port Out -- Starboard Home | Feb 23, 2006 2:12:15 PM

According to your logic, the best private company to run our ports is one run by a government. Now THAT'S moronic. Private companies aren't owned completely by foreign states. You must be a moron if you blindly follow George Bush and have little grasp of the facts of this matter. Maybe you should complain to those crazy liberal moonbats Bill Frist and Tom DeLay, as they also oppose this port deal.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 02:24 PM

I listened to an interview with the Chief Operating Officer of the DPW this AM. He's an American. As are some of his leadership team, which team includes Brits, Indians, and an Australian. For all you liberals, this was on NPR. On this issue, there is no there there. The Ports Authority in these places still have overall control, but we outsource the day to day management to private companies, or, like DPW, a state-owned company. Although the COO said the UAE government does not play a role. As for US companies, I'm told there is one US company left qualified to manage ports. Name of Halliburton. Can you imagine the outrage? This is a non-issue, played by Dems who have been waiting for 5 years to get to Bush's right on any security issue, and weak-kneed GOPers who are scared of the next election. Pathetic.

Posted by: butchie b | February 23, 2006 02:25 PM

"However, this port deal is un-American and will not go through."

Errinf, you're dreaming. Rove et al will go behind the scenes and twist arms, put lipstick on the deal, and convince Congress and enough of America that it is no longer a pig. How do you think the energy bill, the renewal of the Patiot Act, and now the cessation of hearings on warrantless spying happened?

We are getting the government we deserve.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 02:26 PM

OK - I understand there is a difference between state-owned and private business, but what does that mean in terms of this port debate? Let me see if I have the nuances of this argument down right.

First, I wasn't aware that UAE is the mysterious 4th branch of the axis of evil and is secretly plotting to use its purchase of US ports to launch jihadist invasion forces into our unprotected heartland.

Second, I have heard mention that a Chinese company owns some west coast ports. We all know, of course, that private businesses in China are completely independent of their government and never, ever act as proxies for state interests.

A spade's a spade - this is textbook xenophobia.

Posted by: Pragmatist | February 23, 2006 02:34 PM

Butchie, while Halliburton would steal the last morsel of food from the mouth of their mothers, at least the cash they are stealing from us only lines their pockets. I haven't heard convincing evidence that Halliburton is funnelling money to al Qaeda. But I have seen that evidence about the UAE.

Why are we giving them the money they will funnel back to terrorists to sneak nuclear bombs into the ports they manage, with all financial records of those ports kept out of the US?

"Trust, but verify" Butchie. They have cleaned up their act some and thus far let us keep troops there, but asking us to trust while denying us the means to verify in unacceptable.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 02:37 PM

Hey "No Peace With Occupation" keep your effing delusions to your effing self.

Posted by: JoJo | February 23, 2006 02:38 PM

Pragmatist - it appears that the American people, the msm and Congress have been in a coma since 9-11, blinded by dazzling talk of security and seduced by gay marriage.

This selling out of our ports does indeed need to be rethought, especially to a nation like China that is eating our lunch. But we're so beholden to China for our debt that I don't know how much worse it could get with them owning ports too. We just missed giving them our major oil company too.

But there's a difference between wanting to eat our lunch and funneling money to al Qaeda. No country that funnels money to terrorists should get our business.

If we had a real leader in Washington, after 9-11 we'd have raised CAFE standards, given a big push to Detroit to meet the new standards and given tax breaks to people who bought the new fuel efficient cars. Detroit would be booming with all its trickle down effects, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE would be falling all over themselves to fix their under the table support for terrorists to keep our business.

Instead we just give them more money to funnel to terrorists to buy more bombs. Where the hell do you think al Qaeda is getting all that cash from? A lot of it laundered into gold bullion too.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 02:47 PM

Hey Patriot 1957, don't you realize that the United Arab Emirates has the highest income (per person) in the world? Why do you think they would need money from running our ports to fund terrorists? The poor slugs at Halliburton have to work for a living, but the sheikhs of the UAE (most of whom live in villas on Lake Geneva)already have more money than they know what to do with.

Posted by: Econmizer | February 23, 2006 02:51 PM

Can anyone nuke the Jew Haters here?

My Own Arbitrary Ordering By Trustworthiness:

Swedish State Owned Company
Swedish Privately Owned Company
UK State Owned Company
UK Privately Owned Company (are there any?)
French Privately Owned Company
French State Owned Company
US Privately Owned Company
US State Owned Company (are there any?)
UAE Privately Owned Company
UAE State Owned Company

Posted by: El Tonno | February 23, 2006 02:55 PM

Sully said, "And Bush saying he wants to reward the UAE for being an ally makes me wonder whether the awarding of the contract and government security concerns were influenced by Bush's wish to reward them."

I agree. Why would Bush, in the face of heavy opposition from his own party, immediately threaten to veto blockage of a deal which he has just learned about from the media? It sounds to me he is afraid of the consequences of reneging on a promise made long ago, perhaps when he was rounding up support for his war. Maybe the bill has come due and not paying off would be a disaster in terms of future cooperation in the region. And the story that he had nothing to do with it is so that
a) he is not blamed, and b) we don't find out he had to give away the farm to put together the coalition of the willing.

Posted by: Fred | February 23, 2006 02:59 PM

What a weak false dichotomy that anybody who opposes this port deal does so out of xenophobia. It's a pathetic attempt to somehow get this port deal to go through by shaming us into okaying it.
Emily and others leading the charge of false accusations of xenophobia lack credibility when it comes to making these accusations. There was a lot more xenophobia being demonstrated against all of Islam during the first Debate blog concerning the Danish cartoons recently; Not a word of denouncement of that xenophobia came from Emily in her second Debate blog which was a direct follow-up to the first. To selectively be vigilant against xenophobia is about as genuine and valid as Ralph Reed selectively being vigilant against gambling on behalf of Jack Abramoff. I sincerely doubt Emily was so deliberate in her selectivity, but the fact of the matter is that she has been selective. Xenophobia and Islamophobia within America should be taken to task. The port deal should be discussed. But to bind the two together in the crude fashion they have been in this blog is a disappointment to say the least.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 02:59 PM

I'm glad to see others find it delusional to call any Chinese company "private" in the accepted sense of the word.

On the other hand, if the main objection to the port deal is that money will find its way back to terrorists through the conduit of the UAE (the actual security threat from the ownership being a non-issue), the logical response would be a full embargo of UAE - after all, wouldn't the same theory be applicable regardless of the source of the money?

But that assumes the laundering of money is a systematic and state sanctioned abuse and not what one would expect to find in any arab nation.

Posted by: Pragmatist | February 23, 2006 03:01 PM

Can we leave commenting on the UAE to people who have actually been there, as opposed to ignorant folk who see the UAE as just part of an amorphous Arab mass or potential terrorists?

I have been to the UAE on multiple occasions. Though I cannot claim to have been to every single emirate, at least I have been there and I have a basic knowledge of how the place works.

One thing that strikes you in Dubai is just how western it is. Except for the Arabic script (almost always paired with English and/or Russian Cyrillic) it is just like any big, cosmopolitan city in the west. Even Sharjah, one of the more conservative emirates, is hardly a bastion of Islamic extremism. But that aside, it is worth looking into the internal politics of the UAE.

The UAE is a federation of emirates, each run by families (you know, just like Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi, Jordan, Oman, etc.) Every 5 (I think) years, the emirates are free to leave the federation if they so choose. The bottom line is that the nation of the UAE really exists only in name. It is a federation, but not as we think of in terms of the US federal system. Internally, it is more like a mini EU, with free trade and movement between independent member states. The only thing they really do together is foreign affairs. Dubai has its own national airline. Abu Dhabi has its own national airline. Sharjah has its own national airline. You get the picture.

What is the point of all this ranting? Dubai is not the UAE and the UAE is not Dubai. It is a fiercely independent emirate, and pretty much a country unto itself. DWP is owned by the Dubai government, not the UAE government.

To say that the UAE should not run US ports because they have laundered money for terrorists is, first of all, like tarring all European enterprise because some Irish bank at some stage may have done business with the IRA or some Spanish bank has done business with ETA. Two 9/11 terrorists came from the UAE, but if I recall, Britain supplied the vast preponderance of terrorists who hit the London Underground last year. Shall we cancel all contracts with the UK? And in any case, these accusations of supporting terrorists are aimed at all of the UAE - remember, Dubai is pretty much a separate entity, and the most liberal and pro-western of all the emirates.

DWP has nothing to do with port security. It is a commercial enterprise (which, I might add, has managed major ports worldwide for years without incident) that does things like load and unload containers. If containers should be inspected, that is the job of Customs and Border officials.

Thank you, Democrats for giving me a reason to be an independent. (I expect no less from the Republicans taking the same stance). Taking such advantage of xenophobic tendencies and appealing to base fears is infuriating. Shame on you Chuck Schumer and particularly shame on you, Hillary Clinton. You both stink.

Derek.

Posted by: Derek | February 23, 2006 03:04 PM

Perhaps, perhaps this tempest could have been avoided if Congress had approved the deal, not some secret committee of administration officials. Maybe a new law that sales of businesses or entities that are vital to American interests be vetted by Congress first? I don't think it's fair to call someone a xenophobe because they have reservations about this deal.

Posted by: wiccan | February 23, 2006 03:17 PM

one thing i haven't seen / heard mentioned yet: regardless of whether or not Dubai can do the job well (or: "at all"), THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF AN AGREEMENT BUSH MADE (or rather, the Bush Administration, as the prez claims to have been in the dark - which leaves me wondering just who authorized it, Dick? but I digress) without any oversight or check on his authority from the other 2 branches of government. rather, he asks us to simply trust his judgment... but at this point, a majority of Americans do not, and some of us never have.
Many many years ago I was taught in social studies that the separation of powers was a centerpiece of the American political system, and a way to ensure that no one branch of government was able to impose its will on the nation without first being required to prove the efficacy of the desired action.) Over the past few years, the current Administration has methodically (albeit clumsily at times) begun to dismantle any limitations on its authority, whether coming from the Congress (by arm-twisting, "signing statements," refusal to provide adequate information, etc. etc.) or the courts (by attempting to pack them with compliant judges whose objectivity is in question and ignoring / distorting / deliberately misinterpreting laws already on the books).
what Bush and his boyz have done to our laws, freedoms, and culture has - whether deliberately or not - had the effect of dividing those who previously may have been able to dialogue, or at the very least to agree to disagree, into two distinct camps, each animated by fear, suspicion, ambition, greed, and bitter rivalry rather than by a desire to work for the common good. This plays right into the hands of those who see the world (and whose influence depends upon making others see the world) in black / white, us / them etc. terms, in which subtle differences are ignored without looking back. Such as, for example, Osama bin Laden. (remember him?)

Posted by: chris | February 23, 2006 03:17 PM

It's NATIONAL SECURITY STUPID!

I am SHOCKED the Washington Post would argue FOR funders and supporters and SUPPLIERS of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (remember 2 terrorists came from the UAE) to run one of our most vunerable points of attack.

It's NOT because they arent Americans, it's BECAUSE they funded and helped terrorism and the attacks on the US. Perhaps you forgot DC was also hit.

Also, you forget they are at the CENTER of the Terrorist Nuclear Black Market trade with Kahn & Co. & their terrorist friends & Iran & North Korea.

Strangely your paper argues that the Bush Administration should wiretap & bust into our homes to stop terrorism.

But when something that is infinitly more dangerous to our safety, terrorist supporters involved in our ports, YOUR FOR IT?


IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE. But what will you say when down the line they help their friends sneak in a weapon to wipeout one of our cities?

Do you want to take that chance? I dont?
Why would you even want to put us in such a dangerous position?

And lastly, remember your paper wrote favorably about Osamma & his Mujahideen in the 1980's and look how that turned out.

That your doing it again is insane & risking our very lives.

Wake up and smell the patriotism!

Posted by: commonsense | February 23, 2006 03:18 PM

Just think have screwed we would be if we were barred from commenting on a place unless we had been there.

How dumb. Nazi Germany? Cold War Soviet Union? North Vietnam?

Give me a break, Derek, and get your head out of your gaping ass.

Posted by: Message to Derek | February 23, 2006 03:20 PM

Three cheers for Derek. He has given new life to the concept of "pearls before swine."

Posted by: Port Out -- Starboard Home | February 23, 2006 03:21 PM

Patriot1957, you're dreaming if you think the Republican Congress isn't aware of the political consequences of letting this port deal go through. Rove et al lack the political capital to do anything about the public furor over this deal. The port deal is fundamentally against the interest of the American public and will not become a reality. A LOT of legislation is about to be introduced regarding our ports and foreign governments.
Besides, Karl Rove is too busy trumping up gay adoption as a way to fire up the base in 2006. As usual, Rove can't let an election year go by without playing homophobia like a pied piper to lure the right to the voting booths. I don't know what's more pathetic: That this so-called genius needs to depend so heavily on gaybashing as a crutch every political year, or that the Republican base allows itself to be so obviously and deliberately treated like cattle by Karl Rove.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 03:25 PM

For the life of me, I can't understand the outrage and hysteria. As has been amply pointed out, port security and the workers themselves will reamin American. What exactly is the substantive objection? It's a company that does this all over the world, and the COO is an American who tells us that the UAE government doesn't have anything to do with the firm on a day to day basis. This is a completely phony debate. As for checking with Congress, the executive branch has a process for this sort of thing, and they appeared to have followed it. What is the problem?

Posted by: butchie b | February 23, 2006 03:29 PM

Chris Ford-

"I'd like to start with noting this strong reaction to "Muslim port ownership" is in part a long-expected nativist reaction to the continuing trend of losing assets and job functions once done within the US by 100% Americans. They are being taken over by foreigners here or abroad through asset acquisition from the "creditor nations v. America the Great Debtor Nations" and by outsourcing and immigration supplanting critical US workers in jobs."

You are incorrect. The strong "Muslim" reaction is in regards to national security, not nativism. This is not about a foreign entity taking over an American business, it's about a foreign entity that we are weary of taking over a foreign business. Or are you suggesting that "Nativist" Americans are outraged that the UAE is purchasing a British --foreign-- company? Nativist how exactly?

"1. We see things America once did best taken over by cheaper, more efficient labor sources...even industries and products we invented. Plasma screens, cell phone production, fighter jet parts, computer hardware, etc..This is going on everwhere."

We are not talking about something that Americans used to run, we are talking about something the British used to run.

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 03:33 PM

What the hell happenned to conservatism? Last I checked, conservatives don't support anything state-ran at all. Now they are suddenly supporting a state-ran company replacing a private company just because Bush says so? That makes no sense whatsoever.
There needs to be a second Reagan Revolution among the conservatives. These neoconservatives are a joke compared to the paleoconservatives. The Bush family has completely squandered the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Face it; The Bushes would have nowhere near the national prominence they have if it weren't for Reagan's coattails. The current President Bush is going to end up setting the conservative movement back just like the first, irregardless of a difference in the number of terms it took them to do such.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 03:39 PM

ErrinF (should be ErrorF, since you're wrong -- again), you're arriving after the party's over. You and the rest of the critics of this deal had ample opportunity to object back in the fall of 2005, when the acquisition was widely reported in the financial press. If there had been any reason for objection, it would have been made then. But there's not, so it wasn't. This is nothing but political opportunism -- Dems trying to get to the right of the President on an issue on which the Dems are justifiably perceived by the voters as weak: national security. But the objections are baseless, and killing the deal would likely harm port security, not enhance it. But don't let the facts get in the way of your ill-informed opinions.

Posted by: RC | February 23, 2006 03:40 PM

By the way, anyone accusing Barbara Boxer of opportunism needs to take a good long look in the mirror. She made the same principled stance in 1997 against a Chinese purchase of demolished Long Beach Naval Station transformed into a terminal for the China-Government owned Cosco.

Feingold and Boxer wrote a letter to Pentagon asking whether or not this represented a National Security issue.

Simply asking the question: "Is this a potential national security risk" does not make one xenophobic, it makes one diligent. As an American, I would prefer a Congress that is assiduous when it comes to national port security.

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 03:44 PM

You are all missing the point, which is:

Nationalism and Globalism cannot coexist peacefully. The rise of the one implies the fall of the other.

Angst over issues like the Dubai ports deal represents friction caused by globalism rolling over nationalism.

PS Both nationalism and globalism are bunk ; one or the other will likely be the end of our species and most others.

Posted by: N8 D | February 23, 2006 03:47 PM

Ya, RC, I'd resort to name calling if I were you, since nothing else you are saying is valid. Like most of the American public, I was not aware of this deal until recently. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of last year's financial news is holds no legal or debating merit. Your qualifier that all opposition to the port deal is invalid if it wasn't made last year doesn't make any sense and is held as valid by you and you alone.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 03:54 PM

etic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port afetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business.etic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choThere is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for thetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choe record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you chofair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you cho

Posted by: etic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms | February 23, 2006 03:57 PM

etic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you choetic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms you listed, the DPW is a state-run, government-owned business. There is a HUGE difference between a private foreign firm and a foreign government. Again you can't seem to grasp that important nuance. If you did, it would answer most of the questions you seem baffled by.
And, for the record, you were completely silent about xenophobia/Islamophobia during the cartoon Debates, so it's a bit disengenuous for you to suddenly be taking all the rest of America to task for it in this port affair. You have got to be consistent in your views, and shouldn't be so arbitrary for when you cho

Posted by: etic, Emily. You continue to turn a blind eye to the distinction that, unlike ALL the foreign firms | February 23, 2006 03:57 PM

STATE-OWNED! STATE OWNED! (ErrinF's latest Leftist ignorant hysteria)

As if a private company or single family owned business cannot be absolutely beholden to the policies and leadership of the foreign country they are citizens of! Or, directors of that nation's policies???

(We forget that much of the rest of the world where foreign investment comes from is socialist or where the rulers are also major players in their Owner Class. STATE-OWNED!!! entities are common, like nuclear Framatome, Aerospatiale in the Aibus conglomerate, Bank of England, Pemex, extensive German state-controlled pension funds investing here. Utilities, banks, air transport, defense industries, oil companies. In Asia you have the conglomerates like Honda, Mitsui, Sumitomo, Samsung, Hitachi organized into their respective Keiretsus and Chaebols, which combine private and state-owned assets under a noted family that usually has a major governmental role as well, and follows the dictates of the government MITI, S Korean Trade and Investment Agency with loyalty...China is set up the same way with private companies guided by the wisdom of the Party in pursuit of serving the Chinese People. And plenty of non-publically held "family" businesses are just as much serving the national government they affiliate with than pure famy interests - noted businesses like FIAT, Quantum Group, Overseas Jewish family interests with first loyalty to Israel. And of course you have royals and dictators investing in American assets. The Saudis have Ruling Family Prince Alawi as the largest single real estate investor in NYC, Queen Elizabeth is a big investor (along with Kuwaitis and Saudis) in the US horse industry and gaming..

Not that the average American outside the business and investment community has a clue about what foreigners own what, or even if they shop in a French owned and controlled supermarket and if their bank mortgage is held by a Tawanese bank..

This is another bout of hysterical American ignorance of how businesses function, how the global business structure is organized, and our jingoism and xenophobia on worldwide display. From both the cretins on the Left and those on the Know-Nothing Right.

In short, another episode like the Holy Thunder Terri Schiavo Fiasco where all we did was look like complete boobs internationally.

Good International Herald Tribune article "Boatloads of Ignorance on Display".

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/23/opinion/edbowring.php

In a perfect world (for Americans), Americans would have a 800 billion annual trade surplus, own all our vital facilities and resources, and plenty overseas while calling the shots.

But we don't live in that world and need to try to recycle the petro and Walmart dollars in non-threatening, risk minimizing manner. Ideally, Americans should be in control of all our assets and our future - but we are now an out-of-control debtor nation and we have to take in foreign investment to replace the capital we squandor on Muslim foreign energy supplies and Chinese&Japanese and other foreign-made stuff..so the rules then change to managing risk acceptably so we don't give away too much that is critical to our security, economic health, and future.

By that criterion, which we have no choice but to participate in a globalized world with our creditors having the bucks, Dubai Ports World is an acceptable risk. It is a premiere well-managed company with apolitical international management in place by it's current US ally owners, the UAE.....And the UAE is not a strategic rival...

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 23, 2006 03:59 PM

This comment is particularly directed to Derek's post: I don't know whether this is a good deal or not, but it appears that as per usual, the Bush administration didn't follow the legal requirements necessary to have it approved. I do think it's more relevant to worry about countries in the United Arab Emirates than Ireland. For one thing, we've sent troops to Iraq on the (yes, I know, false) premise that Saddam had ties to terrorists who committed the 9/11 atrocities. Yet there is demonstrable evidence that countries in the UAE have supported terrorists, that the royal family of one of those countries entertained Osama Bin Laden, etc. Is it too much to ask that the issue be reviewed in the manner required by law? Or is George Bush going to flip the bird at us all again?

Posted by: Dee Dee | February 23, 2006 04:13 PM

So Bush has vowed to veto any legislation that gets in the way of this port sale. I wonder if those Republicans who praised Bush's "steely resolve" when he was denying reality in Iraq, are admiring his thickheaded stubbornness on selling our ports out to an a country with ties to terrorists.

"Decisiveness", it turns out, is only as valuable as the reason and wisdom that go into the decisions you make. Imagine that. I thought most of us had learned that in kindergarden, but apparently not.

Posted by: Mark | February 23, 2006 04:14 PM

Derek you have such a rosy picture of the UAE, *sigh* I long to be there. Or do I?

"One thing that strikes you in Dubai is just how western it is. Except for the Arabic script (almost always paired with English and/or Russian Cyrillic) it is just like any big, cosmopolitan city in the west. Even Sharjah, one of the more conservative emirates, is hardly a bastion of Islamic extremism. But that aside, it is worth looking into the internal politics of the UAE."

Sounds lovely. You left out the part about no freedom of the press, Shari'ah law, men can marry 4 women and can bar their wives and daughters from leaving the country, and no democratic political process (unless you are a King. You aren't a King, are you Derek?)

"The UAE is a federation of emirates, each run by families (you know, just like Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi, Jordan, Oman, etc.)"

And all those places are such lovely bastions of freedom, yes?

"Internally, it is more like a mini EU, with free trade and movement between independent member states. The only thing they really do together is foreign affairs.

A key difference between the UAE and the European Union is that the member states do not elect their leaders, the Kings are arranged via Patriarchal lineage. There is free movement among the states, so far as you are a Man. If you are a woman your husband has custody rights over your passport and can seize it to prevent your movement if he wants.

"What is the point of all this ranting? Dubai is not the UAE and the UAE is not Dubai. It is a fiercely independent emirate, and pretty much a country unto itself. DWP is owned by the Dubai government, not the UAE government."

And this makes it better? I admit that Dubai is probably the most "modern" of the emirates, but as you said the free-travel from one to the other (unless you are a woman) makes this distinction meaningless.

"To say that the UAE should not run US ports because they have laundered money for terrorists is, first of all, like tarring all European enterprise because some Irish bank at some stage may have done business with the IRA or some Spanish bank has done business with ETA."

What does tarring have to do with it? Has anyone suggested that The Republic of Ireland has some sovereign right to manage our ports? Saying that the United Arab Emirates has no sovereign right to manage our ports is like saying... that no country does. Especially one run by kings. And Shari'ah law. Irregardless, can't even *you* admit that there are some countries we might not *want* running our ports?

"Two 9/11 terrorists came from the UAE, but if I recall, Britain supplied the vast preponderance of terrorists who hit the London Underground last year. Shall we cancel all contracts with the UK?"

No. What does this have to do with anything?

"And in any case, these accusations of supporting terrorists are aimed at all of the UAE - remember, Dubai is pretty much a separate entity, and the most liberal and pro-western of all the emirates."

Which is precisely why they will "get over it" if we decide that outsourcing our port management to them represents a national security risk. They are pretty "liberal" in that they actually have reasonable mechanisms for divorce (assuming you don't upset your husband's other three wives in the process)

"DWP has nothing to do with port security. It is a commercial enterprise (which, I might add, has managed major ports worldwide for years without incident) that does things like load and unload containers. If containers should be inspected, that is the job of Customs and Border officials."

A commercial enterprise owned by the King of a country that happens to be the center of a financial network that funds terrorists.

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 04:17 PM

Wow. I just finished this article and I'm struck by how out to lunch it is. I can only guess that Emily's editor asked her for a "contrarian editorial" to stir up discussion, and this is what she could come up with.

Posted by: Mark | February 23, 2006 04:18 PM

I have never understood how comments like, "why didn't he mention this in 1999?" add to this discussion. I can assure there are many of this who have a different view of the Arab threat in 2006 than we did in 1999 (2 years before 9/11). If I didn't complain about the Iraq war three years ago when I was being fed false information, I have to be in favor of it now? I just don't get this line of reasoning!

Posted by: cd | February 23, 2006 04:20 PM

of people that don't have a country....


they use their countries for their benefit.

we just didn't know that "we" the paens of democracy were on that list...

and you know what, we don't have to be....

we can shut the door now, we can negotiate and reneogtiate....

arrest bush, cheyney, bush sr. and jeb and neil...


whatever deals they cut, weeeeeeeeellll their criminals AND made the deals with criminal intent...


we'll pay reparations at 2% on the loans....


want to try and force us to pay?

Posted by: I think the important thing to realize is that there is a certain class... | February 23, 2006 04:21 PM

false logic...


some of the people posting here are paid to diffuse the situation of discovering the presidents salaami up your butt...


they get your voting rights, if the scam you and a government pension.

Posted by: that line of reasoning is called | February 23, 2006 04:24 PM

Now, if you ask me, what's out to lunch is the implication that somehow, by changing management companies, national security's going to suffer.

First, I'm more than happy to bash Bush, as a registered democrat. But the more I read, the more I realize that for once, el Presidente is right.

Look, folks, they ain't gonna be shipping folks from the UAE here to work on the docks loading and unloading cargo. That will be done by Americans, all of whom will still need to be cleared according to the regs that govern dock workers. They beefed those up after September 11.

On top of that, the management company isn't responsible for security. Never has been, never will be. That's the role of the Coast Guard and Customs.

But I've got the perfect solution to this tempest in a teapot.

Dubai Ports doesn't really want to operate these. They're just part of the deal to acquire the company.

So if we're all concerned so much about who manages the ports, let the acquistion go through, but mandate that the current management be kept in place until a buyer for these ports management services can be found.

Posted by: Tony | February 23, 2006 04:25 PM

disinformation doorway...

I mean isn't the foofraw about bush seeming to have two mindsets?

he doesn't, he's all about money, his money...and he doesn't mind spending yours or the lives of the citizens that are willing to fight operations that he needs to hold his oil deals secure...


you dig?

Posted by: I guess the other thing is perhaps this column is sort of like a | February 23, 2006 04:28 PM

that is sold by it's parents into slavery so she can get a sense of what it's like to not have a choice in life...


I personally would like a choice...

Posted by: I think it would be a good idea for emily to live in bangkok for a while as a child | February 23, 2006 04:30 PM

According to Chris Ford, there is no difference between a state-ran company and a private one. What a commie symp.
As for the troll using my posts as wallpaper, I think Emily will get the picture despite whatever the hell that filler material was that you just posted.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 04:31 PM

Well now Emily, just two weeks ago this prez went to LA in great fanfare and told us we have to worry about Arabs flying airplanes into buildings on the West coast. This week he's telling us NOT to worry about Arabs running our ports on the East coast! Which version of Kool-Aid will you drink? The Rove brand or the Snow brand? Which version do you think he should now drink?

You think we poor dumb nervous wrecked Americans should drink both?

Posted by: WHICH KOOL-AID? | February 23, 2006 04:45 PM

I mean he stinks of crawford salaami, from both ends...


enuff sad,

Posted by: As for chris ford.... | February 23, 2006 04:46 PM

Wow. I just finished this article and I'm struck by how out to lunch it is. I can only guess that Emily's editor asked her for a "contrarian editorial" to stir up discussion, and this is what she could come up with.
Posted by: Mark | Feb 23, 2006 4:18:09 PM

By Jove, I think you've got it. When Emily wanted her Danish cartoon blogs to be strictly about free press, she ignored all the xenophobia that was rampant within the Debate. Now, when it behooves her to write otherwise, she suddenly takes issue with xenophobia. If xenophobia and Islamophobia are so important to her, perhaps she should write a post concerning that subject outside of the limited and misdirected context of this port deal.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 04:47 PM

we'll agree to the deal you've outlined, throw in the president and his families in handcuffs...their estates liquidated to replenish the general fund and we'll talk about it....


let's make Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Americans too! We're the elite, we don't live with you, we manipulate you....compounds are where we live in the green zone...

Posted by: there is no tempest ina teapot Tony... | February 23, 2006 04:50 PM

Will, for someone who normally posts so sensibly, I am surprised at your latest post.

Let me run through your points, much as you did with mine.

1. Dubai is western.

"Sounds lovely. You left out the part about no freedom of the press, Shari'ah law, men can marry 4 women and can bar their wives and daughters from leaving the country, and no democratic political process (unless you are a King. You aren't a King, are you Derek?)"

Actually, there is reasonable press freedom in Dubai, and as the International Press Institute http://www.freemedia.at/wpfr/Mena/uae.htm points out, "there are few serious press freedom violations in the UAE." They note that the main problem is self-censorship rather than government censorship. Re Islamic law, all UAE courts are secular - the only exception is for family or religious disputes, which are adjudicated in accordance with Islamic law. Also, 2006 will see the UAE's first democratic elections. The last comment was unnecessary. Remember - our closest ally, Britain, is a monarchy.

2. Comparison of emirates to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi, Jordan, Oman, etc.

"And all those places are such lovely bastions of freedom, yes?"

Ships passing in the night. You missed my point entirely. It was just an analogy, in the way one might say "the US is a democracy, like Canada, Australia, etc."

3. UAE-EU comparison.

"A key difference between the UAE and the European Union is that the member states do not elect their leaders, the Kings are arranged via Patriarchal lineage. There is free movement among the states, so far as you are a Man. If you are a woman your husband has custody rights over your passport and can seize it to prevent your movement if he wants."

Again, you missed my point. All I was saying was that the emirates are separate, independent entities and have freedom of trade and movement in the same way EU states do. Bear in mind that a number of EU countries are still monarchies! Your assumption about freedom of movement between the emirates is ridiculous - there are open borders between them. I see what you're getting at re treatment of women, and while I agree that women are not as free in the UAE as here, that is hardly a reason to deny trade with them - it is a separate argument altogether. (One in which I am sure we would be on the same side).

4. Independent Dubai

"And this makes it better? I admit that Dubai is probably the most "modern" of the emirates, but as you said the free-travel from one to the other (unless you are a woman) makes this distinction meaningless"

No, the distinction is not meaningless. Just like free movement from Belgium to France in the EU, you can more freely and still have distinct Belgian and French entities.

5. Doing business with terrorists

"What does tarring have to do with it? Has anyone suggested that The Republic of Ireland has some sovereign right to manage our ports? Saying that the United Arab Emirates has no sovereign right to manage our ports is like saying... that no country does. Especially one run by kings. And Shari'ah law. Irregardless, can't even *you* admit that there are some countries we might not *want* running our ports?"

I agree with you. No other country has a sovereign right to run our ports other than us. I might note that the country running those same ports for the last several years is ruled by a Queen. :) Yes, there are some countries we might not want running the SECURITY of our ports, but I think as long as the US Cost Guard and Customs authorities do their jobs, it doesn't matter who manages the ports.

6. Where terrorists come from

"No. What does this have to do with anything?"

Um, lots actually. If someone runs an argument, as they have, that we should not let UAE run our ports because two of the 9/11 terrorists came from there immediately leads to an argument that we shouldn't trust any country that has produced terrorists. A HUGE number of countries would fall into that category. Including our own, if you'll recall Oklahoma.

7. Liberal Dubai

"Which is precisely why they will "get over it" if we decide that outsourcing our port management to them represents a national security risk. They are pretty "liberal" in that they actually have reasonable mechanisms for divorce (assuming you don't upset your husband's other three wives in the process)"

Business is business. I think ANY company from ANYwhere will be quite pissy if they lose a multi-multi-million dollar contract in such circumstances. The US is liberal, but if an American company was excluded from a lucrative contract on the basis of being American, we would rightfully be upset.

8. DWP not responsible for security

"A commercial enterprise owned by the King of a country that happens to be the center of a financial network that funds terrorists"

Oh, now that's a silly comment that does not do you justice. The UAE is not in the middle of a financial network that funds terrorists. Terrorists have originated from there. Yes. Money that may have gone to terrorists went through UAE. Probably. But bear in mind that the US has produced terrorists (again, reference Oklahoma) and Americans are known to have funded organizations like the IRA, the PLO, Hamass and Islamic Jihad in the past.

And to the guy who accused me of having my head up my ass - as long as I keep it there, I won't have to listen to your asinine bitching. Thank you for adding to the debate in such a sophisticated, intellectual manner.

Derek.

Posted by: Derek | February 23, 2006 04:53 PM

This blogue is the most fucked up blogue I have ever seen. True diarrhea of the moouth and brain. More words than one can absorb. Hellacious crap and invidious junk. What's a girl like me doing here?

Posted by: GoombahGirl | February 23, 2006 04:57 PM

Derek, boy,

you back with that crappolla. Please take a powder. This is just a lot of urogenital waste on a shingle

Posted by: Message to Derek | February 23, 2006 04:59 PM

Well let's see. Dubai's own port has funneled illegal nuclear equipment transferred from Pakistan to North Korea and Iran. Is this the port that they will model ours after?

Much of the staging and planning for 9/11 happened in ... Dubai! Money tranferred to the 9/11 terrorists was funneled through Dubai.

If just one senior official of the company who runs the ports is sympathetic to the terrorist cause, he or she can relay not only security procedure details but actual scheduling and timing of security measures.

Having done business in Dubai I can tell you that corruption runs rampant in the UAE. Money is everything, even worse than in the Bush administration.

With a British, Dutch company or a company from Singapore, I am not worried very much about corruption and bribery. Yes there is a difference between these countries and how they choose to do business and they should be treated accordingly.

For these reaons alone, going ahead with deal to "make the Arabs feel better about us" is INSANE.

For you to play the race card here is ridiculous and sounds like something coming from a know nothing college student.

Let me tell you something Emily about your noble "misunderstood" Arabs from the UAE. White slavery is run through the UAE much of it in Dubai. I know this first hand and it is common knowledge among the upper class males in the UAE.
Since the breakup of the USSR, young eastern european women were promised jobs (they have pretty much caught on by now to the ruse)
on arrival their passports were taken away "for safe keeping".From then on and for all intents and purposes they were and maybe are still being held as sex slaves for wealthy Arab men. Some are even sold outright, others in high class brothels.

I fired three of my employees in 1995 for taking part in the "services" offered. After my contract was up, I severed my ties with that government even though the money was fantastic. I cannot imagine being a bright young university grad, looking forward to a great job in an exotic foreign country only to find that I am now a sex slave for Arab men.
It breaks my heart even now thinking about it.

This is not what I want running the most important ports on the Eastern Seaboard. Bush is only trying to satisfy his oil buddies just as he kisses the feet of the Saudis. At any cost.

Posted by: TonyH | February 23, 2006 05:00 PM

And I still have my head up my gaping ass.
It is so very intellectual.

Posted by: Derek | February 23, 2006 05:00 PM

Errin, you are completely wrong on this one. Dubai Ports World already operates many foreign ports for which security is a critical issue for our own port security -- that is, ports of origin for goods destined to the US. That, not the operation of ports here in the US, should be the focus, or it would be if the commercial operation of ports had anything to do with security at ports. But it doesn't. Dubai Ports World's acquisition of P&O doesn't pose any security risk for the US. It's a non-issue made into an issue by Dems trying to get to the right of the President on a national security matter, and Republicans are jumping on board because they don't want to be perceived as softer on a security issue than the Dems. The only problem is that the killing of the ports deal would, more than letting it go through, tend to impair security -- an isolationist response that would likely reduce international cooperation on ports and container security (UAE was the first country in the middle east to join the US in this effort) and also by rewarding UAE's cooperation with insult and injury (we have military bases on UAE territory). But, again, don't let the facts interfere with your ill-informed opinions.

Posted by: RC | February 23, 2006 05:00 PM

You the man! Tell it like it is!

Posted by: Another Message to Derek | February 23, 2006 05:00 PM

What did you expect? We're [The Washington Post] basically just mouthpiece for the Administration said Karen DeYoung Associate Editor when the WP finally admited misleading us on WMD in Iraq.

Well your proving it again. The insanity of the Washington Post supporting known terrorist supporters and participants IN 9/11 AND in the terrorist nuclear black market is insane.

You implications of racism are even worse. We oppose it not because of who they are BUT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE-THEY PARTICIPATED IN THE 9/11 ATTACK. THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS ARE DEAD!

IT'S NATIONAL SECURITY STUPID. But under the Washington Post's logic that doesnt matter. Your arguement that they wont be in charge of security is insane.

Here's how: Why dont we let members of the Bin Laden family run the FAA? Not Osamma but his other family memebers. After all they wont be in charge of security EITHER!

Doesnt that sound insane. Who in America could sleep at night knowing that? So why would you want to put Osamma's friends and supporters in charge of our ports? WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? IT'S INSANE AND UNPATRIOTIC.

But again what did we expect? Your just basically a mouthpiece for the Administration-one that might be helping supporters of terrorists gain a beachhead through our ports. IT's INSANE AND UNAMERICAN AND YOUR PROBABLY WITH THAT ATTITUDE GOING TO GET A LOT OF AMERICANS KILLED.

WAKE UP, THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN $ AND KISSING UP TO THE ADMINISTRATION. I WILL GIVE YOU A HINT WHAT THAT IS-IT'S CALLED AMERICA. AND YOU STILL DONT GET IT.

Posted by: Insanity | February 23, 2006 05:00 PM

My own 2 cents added to the dogpile: the three nations Emily chose to demonstrate foreign ownership, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, are all nations with which we have close, if not intimate, security ties as fellow members of NATO. Admittedly, the last time we had a military spat with Germany was 1945, but we haven't been at war with the British since 1812, and I don't immediately recall any hostilities between the Netherlands and the U.S.

Posted by: Tom | February 23, 2006 05:02 PM

Me, too. Oh, yes. Please put it there.

Posted by: DerekWannabe | February 23, 2006 05:02 PM

Oh, and ErrinF, don't assume that the people actually responsible for making decisions share your ignorance of important events. The interagency committee that vetted the deal was very much aware of DPWorld's efforts to acquire P&O last fall. They checked it out, found that it posed no security risk, and cleared it. Sorry you're upset that they didn't call you to get your ok.

Posted by: RC | February 23, 2006 05:04 PM

Yes, Derek. You must be a member of the Botticelli's, a new nude dancing ensemble from Toronto. They were outsourced from Moldova. Cheaper rates than India or China.

Seriously, please keep your head out of your ass.

Posted by: Derek, again | February 23, 2006 05:06 PM

Emily,

Is this colloquy what your blog typically degenerates to on a normal day? This is my first--and last--day.

Gday.

Posted by: ReductioAdAbsurdam | February 23, 2006 05:08 PM

ErrinF--Read very carefully what Derek writes. Go ahead and move your lips if it will help. You might learn something. Then again, you seem already to know everything.

Posted by: Confidential to ErrinF | February 23, 2006 05:09 PM

Yes, ErinnF, listen to what I say. Move those lips or the hips, whichever comes first.

Dream of outsourcing your capabilities.

Dream of banging in Bangalore.

Try a rimshot on the court or in court.

And make sure to give it a rest in the UAE, the place of my birth.

Posted by: Derek pooh boy | February 23, 2006 05:14 PM

Unlike you, RC, I question our government's decisions. You're just a blind Bushbot wasting my time with your bitching and moaning. Whine all you like; The port deal is history, and Bush's approval rating is about to take a dive.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 05:14 PM

It's about a manufactured threat

that doesn't exist, being exposed.


all you really need to understand so that people can see what's going on...is this


we're supposed to be knee deep in a war on terror, that the president has "war powers" from, which means he doesn't need your approval...


this is pretty simple:


Bush can't keep his story straight on his lies.

we're not at war, he's knows that there's no terrorist threat, he's the terrorist threat...he's manipulating cirmcustance to concoct a story that needs us intervening in Iraq, when what we're really doing is protecting _his_ , _HIS FAMILIES_, and his _Friends_ economic investments....


knock off the party rhetoric...it's not a Republican Democrat issue, it's a friendship amongst the elite issue coming to light.


no documents needing to track things,


that means george walker bush, and the people he represents trusts them...no matter what he's been selling _you_


that bullshit about, "no knowledge," Froomkin posts about them being warned some time in advance and wanting to rush it through without public scrutiny...


republicans/democrats ~= riche people skinning the other 97% and selling their children into slavery at Walmart...


let go of mommy and daddy caring about you, and take over your own countries government....arrest the traitors.

Posted by: It's not about terrorism, or a threat we're facing. | February 23, 2006 05:14 PM

This is such a can't lose situation for the dems in congress if they play it right. Play it wrong and they will find themselves 'in Iraq' all over again.

Nothing good politically will come out of letting this Dubai company run the ports. If nothing happens, it will go away, all forgotten, gone, zip.

If anything, anything at all, happens at these ports in the next one year, two years, ten years, forever, the reps will take all the blame. There will be hell to pay politically. If any kind of WMD, any kind at all, makes it to American soil thru these ports, the republican party is finished as a political entity in the US for a hundred years, maybe forever.

Any dems who vote for this deal will just give Bush and the reps cover down the road just like the Iraq case.

VOTE NO!

Posted by: ADVICE TO DEMS IN CONGRESS | February 23, 2006 05:15 PM

It's about a manufactured threat

that doesn't exist, being exposed.


all you really need to understand so that people can see what's going on...is this


we're supposed to be knee deep in a war on terror, that the president has "war powers" from, which means he doesn't need your approval...


this is pretty simple:


Bush can't keep his story straight on his lies.

we're not at war, he's knows that there's no terrorist threat, he's the terrorist threat...he's manipulating cirmcustance to concoct a story that needs us intervening in Iraq, when what we're really doing is protecting _his_ , _HIS FAMILIES_, and his _Friends_ economic investments....


knock off the party rhetoric...it's not a Republican Democrat issue, it's a friendship amongst the elite issue coming to light.


no documents needing to track things,


that means george walker bush, and the people he represents trusts them...no matter what he's been selling _you_


that bullshit about, "no knowledge," Froomkin posts about them being warned some time in advance and wanting to rush it through without public scrutiny...


republicans/democrats ~= riche people skinning the other 97% and selling their children into slavery at Walmart...


let go of mommy and daddy caring about you, and take over your own countries government....arrest the traitors.

Posted by: It's not about terrorism, or a threat we're facing. | February 23, 2006 05:15 PM

talking tough does not become you.

you accuse us of being Bushbots, wasting your time.

you are a Gorebot, stuck in purgatory as your Birkenstock's click their diamond heels as you give the lye to the hairy diadem.

Posted by: Message to ErrinnF | February 23, 2006 05:15 PM

I must take you to the Anubis whirled...

come to me my peanut...

Posted by: hey that's pretty good, too bad you verk for der daukside... | February 23, 2006 05:19 PM

I can't wait to see the comments after Toshiba purchase of Westinghouse is done. Toshiba will then own and operate at least six nuclear power plants on American soil.

My view is that this is all tempest in a teapot. While it is an important issue, and deserves informed discussion, foreign ownership and/or operation(state owned or not) of American assets is going to accelerate for one simple reason. We are consuming as a nation more than we can afford and we are in debt. Foreign corporations have the money to buy American companies which in turn includes the assets of those companies.

As Marc Fisher had in his chat today, at some point we as a society are going to have to determine do we just keep consuming as much as can and not save, or do we decide that keeping our assets in American owned companies is important, and therefore we need economic policies to help move us towards that goal which includes saving (but not to the extremem Japan did in the '90's, they saved too much!)

Posted by: KG | February 23, 2006 05:20 PM

perhaps it will lead me to your nest and I can get the others too...


lean closer to the monitor precious...

Posted by: let me smell your stale cliches.... | February 23, 2006 05:22 PM

Reading Derek's post, I find no application to it as far as the argument I am making. Derek is defending the UAE specifically, whereas I am saying in general terms that no foreign government should have undue influence in our ports. I have already stated numerous times that I have no qualm with UAE, but rather think it is foolish to set up such a conflict of interest between our two nations.
Truth is, all we're encountering here is the usual batch of Bush apologists that immediately side with George Bush no matter what the circumstance. Here we see the usual dogmatic loyalty that completely disregards any logic or coherence. George Bush can say one thing one day and the complete opposite the next... these zombified Bushbots NEVER take him to task for anything. What a bunch of losers. They're certainly losing this port debate.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 05:22 PM

or why a car coming into Mexico from America has a 100% tarrif...


and we dont' do anything to protect our people...except sell their country to other peoples...

Posted by: I guess my question is why don't we have reciprocity with Japan for owning their country? | February 23, 2006 05:24 PM

Maybe America is destined to be the first international nation -- meaning the rest of the world owns all the pieces.

If it's structured correctly, then it becomes a sanctuary, because all the meisters and thugs duking it out on the outside, agree at least to keep their common retreat safe and intact.

Not so far fetched an idea. Sort of a Switzerland with the bomb.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 23, 2006 05:29 PM

Derek-

"Actually, there is reasonable press freedom in Dubai, and as the International Press Institute http://www.freemedia.at/wpfr/Mena/uae.htm points out, "there are few serious press freedom violations in the UAE." They note that the main problem is self-censorship rather than government censorship. Re Islamic law, all UAE courts are secular - the only exception is for family or religious disputes, which are adjudicated in accordance with Islamic law. Also, 2006 will see the UAE's first democratic elections. The last comment was unnecessary. Remember - our closest ally, Britain, is a monarchy."

Regarding the Press: The self censorship exists because the Government restricts, via imprisonment, criticism of the government. The law exists but is rarely enforced... because of the self censorship.

The interestingly named Ministry of Information, by law, hands out licenses for all publications. You can imagine how this might disrupt the free exchange of ideas through the media.

All editors for publications are approved by the Ministry of Information.

Regarding Shari'ah Law: The ruling of family courts would be very relevant to human rights and respect, yes?

Regarding the 2006 elections: Hah, that's a hoot. Nearly 90% of the population won't be able to participate in the election... since they aren't citizens. Not that it would matter if they did, since they are "electing" a 40 member council that has no LEGISLATIVE role whatsoever and serves merely in an advisory role. And, by the way, 20 of the members of the council are appointed by the ruling families.

A step's a step, though.

Regarding England: Wrong. The United Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy. The UAE is a federation of Emirates (Kingdoms). In case you didn't know some of the more subtle differences between the two, here is one: Constitutional Monarchies have meaningful elections.

"No, the distinction is not meaningless. Just like free movement from Belgium to France in the EU, you can more freely and still have distinct Belgian and French entities."

Maybe I am not "getting" your point. Why would it matter if Dubai was an independent Islamic Kingdom rather than a member of a Federation of Independent Kingdoms? What about that fact would make this deal more appealing?

"I might note that the country running those same ports for the last several years is ruled by a Queen. :)"

I might note you are wrong. George Bush does not run McDonalds. The King of Dubai is the financial owner of DPW. This is a key difference.

"Yes, there are some countries we might not want running the SECURITY of our ports, but I think as long as the US Cost Guard and Customs authorities do their jobs, it doesn't matter who manages the ports."

Wrong. There are some countries we refuse even to trade with because we find their practices so detestable. I am arguing that "running our ports" is not so meaningless that we allow anyone and everyone to do so. There are substantive differences between the UK and the UAE, just like there are substantive differences between the UK and North Korea, or UK and Iran. Agree?

"Um, lots actually. If someone runs an argument, as they have, that we should not let UAE run our ports because two of the 9/11 terrorists came from there immediately leads to an argument that we shouldn't trust any country that has produced terrorists. A HUGE number of countries would fall into that category. Including our own, if you'll recall Oklahoma."

No one has argued merely that two terrorists had UAE passports, but rather that UAE, as a International Entity, has supported terrorism and terrorists directly and indirectly. That two 9/11 terrorists were from UAE just adds to the apprehension.

"Business is business. I think ANY company from ANYwhere will be quite pissy if they lose a multi-multi-million dollar contract in such circumstances. The US is liberal, but if an American company was excluded from a lucrative contract on the basis of being American, we would rightfully be upset."

Well, one would argue burning down McDonalds, an American company, in Pakistan, is a pretty aggressive way to "exclude" Mcdonalds from *any* "lucrative contract" Pakistan.

Did it ever cross your mind that Dubai/UAE aid the United States in the war on terror because of financial or political interests they have?

"Oh, now that's a silly comment that does not do you justice. The UAE is not in the middle of a financial network that funds terrorists. Terrorists have originated from there. Yes. Money that may have gone to terrorists went through UAE. Probably. But bear in mind that the US has produced terrorists (again, reference Oklahoma) and Americans are known to have funded organizations like the IRA, the PLO, Hamass and Islamic Jihad in the past."

Dig a little deeper, friend. Dr. A.Q. Khan was probably just hanging out in UAE on his countless visits there while spreading nuclear secrets to Pakistan and North Korea. Right?

Iranians smuggling 3,000 US nightgoggles through Dubai... nothing to see here folks.

Or for all of the UAE's cooperation with the US in the war on terror they still refuse to extradite nearly a dozen requests from the US.

You have treated me with respect Derek, and because of that I respectfully disagree with you. Have a nice day.

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 05:36 PM

Give me one good reason why America should trust ANY country in the Middle East.

Posted by: DC | February 23, 2006 05:37 PM

97% of Switzerlund isn't made up of disenfranchised peoples....


pittsburgh, detroit, north carolina furniture/textiles, farming in general...


computer jobs going to India/Russia

while computer and factory people here are out of work...


and there's no net for poor people, or pensions, or unions protecting them..


heck we had unions for grocery stores during the 50's..

Posted by: perhaps you're missing an essential difference.... | February 23, 2006 05:38 PM

re the presidents comments regards the ports operation: someone needs to explain to georgie that there is a HUGE difference between a British company=privately owned and a company OWNED by the Government of the UAE!!!..i guess his MBA education didn't prepare him to recognize such differences!!?

Posted by: fred | February 23, 2006 05:52 PM

The distinction between private or state owned is a just an excuse, as if somehow state owned is more sinister than private owned. Osama bin Laden is a private individual and he was plenty dangerous to our security. The uproar about this transfer is indeed because the new management is Arab, and it's unfair.

The fear is also vague. What specifically makes the new management more dangerous than the previous one? That because most terrorists are Arab and the new management is also, there will be more terrorism at the ports? Then maybe black people shouldn't be allowed to own security companies and whites shouldn't be allowed to run financial ones.

The deal should be allowed to go through because it's fair, and because free markets promote the exchange of culture and ideas, which leads to peace. When Muslims are as caught up in money and consumption as we are, they won't be so eager to blow people up.

Is this thing moderated?

Posted by: CC | February 23, 2006 05:52 PM

A key difference between allowing a state-run "corporation" (from UAE, China, or anywhere else) and a privately owned one is that if our Government finds it necessary to "negotiate" with that company it will have to negotiate with a sovereign entity.

Whereas we could always have told a British company to go hump itself and boot them from the country with relatively little political fallout, a Dubai state-owned company could say "If you boot us out, Dubai will stop allowing you to put troops on our soil."

We talk about the UAE's "aid" in the war on terror, but if our concern with this deal is security, what sense does it make to sacrifice security for the war on terror (which is a security endeaver, no?)?

Better to stand tall against that bargaining chip now rather than make a difficult decision at an expedient time down the road.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 05:53 PM

the leaders of the United States don't veiw us as being important...


but that's not new.


coming out of WWII, we gained a middle class.

before that there were only two classes.


we've moved back to that, almost.


we have a choice, we don't have to be herded like sheep, but you're going to have to drop your predjudice against hard language....


your leaders, for the most part are thieves, and they are cutting deals with other thieves and if you don't interrupt them your treasury will be empty and you won't have enough to live on...


and mexico will be living in the United States...as citizens, taking more of the already reduced pie, working on dubyas ranch...and sitting next to him as his legal advisors....'cause he knows them, and they don't threaten him, they work for him...


they're not bad people,


but in this economic new world,


we need an osmotic barrier between us and third world conditions.


one that makes their side of the membrane match the number of positive ions as on our side...


we don't need to bleed to death, because of stupidity and trusting the wolves, really stupid wolves, but wolves nonetheless to lead us to death...


and poverty

and misery

in the good olde USA....

Posted by: what I'm saying is this.... | February 23, 2006 05:54 PM

You know, I was going to ask what next, outsourcing our nuclear power plants, when KG posted this: "Toshiba will then own and operate at least six nuclear power plants on American soil."

I think KG nailed it. Do we or do we not think it is in our best interests to save/conserve whatever to keep our assests in our country? Or are we just going to consume and spend, selling the farm an acre at a time until suddenly we discover we are at the mercy of China and others to keep our economy and security afloat?

How gluttonously stupid can we be?

This administration cries security but progressively transfers our assets out of the country so the Carlyle group can count their 30 million peices of silver.

This was said earlier and merits repeating: "If just one senior official of the company who runs the ports is sympathetic to the terrorist cause, he or she can relay not only security procedure details but actual scheduling and timing of security measures."

Posted by: | February 23, 2006 05:57 PM

To: perhaps you're missing . . .

Never said or implied indigenous get a fair deal when totally owned from outside. Switzerland with the bomb is not an idea one would promote, just what is pressing down.

On the plantation, we just try to sleep during the day when things get too oppressive.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 23, 2006 05:59 PM

At the risk of pouring ice water into a very overheated pan, I really don't see why so many seem so especially petrified that DPW is a "state owned" company.

Lets take the Port of Newark for example. As I understand it, the DPW's normal business receiving activity would be unloading containers from ships, sorting them out, and loading them on to trucks or rail cars for transport to their final destination. On the shipping side they would unload containers from incoming trucks and rail cars, sort them out, and then load them onto ships for transport to their final destination. That is what all of those giant cranes are for and various huge transporters for moving the damn containers around the yard. It's kind of like a post office for really really big packages. The worker bees are actually Americans, scruffy looking dock workers that belong to one of the stronger unions in labor's pantheon. Its not really obvious to me how a foreign government's ownership of this service enterprise gives it some kind of advantage should it have a conflict with us. I suppose they could just quit processing containers and shut down our shipping through this port for a day or two. But it wouldn't take long to take it over and get it running again. Those dock workers and drivers will be quite happy to keep working, as long as they keep getting paid. So who cares who owns the damn company here?

More to the point is some actual consideration of what the real risk is. The EO (Evil One) wants to get a bomb (nuclear, dirty, or just a few tons of Symtex) smuggled into the US. Preferred method is a sealed container shipped by sea. EO's problem is how to sneak it through the security system undetected. He faces that at two main points, the point where the container is actually filled (loaded) and sealed before being placed on a ship at the point of origin, and the point where the container is unloaded at the receiving port and cleared through Customs. I can imagine a number of ways the point of origin security might be corrupted. The inspector himself might be a secret member of the EG (Evil Gang). He might be bought, or blackmailed maybe. Could forge the inspection documents. Break the seals, unload fake stuff and reload with evil stuff, and then counterfeit the original seals. This product has to be tailored to slip undetected through the entire receiving system, which means EO has to really understand the details of how it actually works and perhaps has to have corrupted that end as well.

It is probably true that an Arab owned company is probably marginally more subvertable by EO than a British or Chinese company just because it would likely have a larger base of Muslim employees sharing EO's religious convictions. But would a state owned Arab company be more vulnerable than a privately owned Arab company? That certainly doesn't pass the smell test.

Might the EO be the Emir of Dubai? I don't think so. For one thing, this guy has an awful lot to lose and he already knows how we treated Afghanistan. I really don't think the Emir is in to suicide; making more money, yes; committing suicide, not hardly. In this respect its actually better that this is a state owned enterprise and not a privately owned enterprise. Bin Laden himself has owned several private firms. Unlike a private firm, a state isn't to hard to find if you decide to go after it.

Like I said earlier, if you really want to get in to assess the real risks here you really have to get down to the grungy details of the entire logistics mechanism at play and understand the details of how we actually apply security systems to it. Personally, I just don't know enough to do that, and I must say that the MSM is not very damn helpful in reporting on this stuff. Its more entertaining to talk about "fairness" and "islamophobia" and "xenophobia" and "tone deafness" and "racism", etc. etc. It is necessary to entertain to get eyeballs which gets advertising revenue, so entertainment is what we get.

But even lacking enough knowledge to assess the reality of the security risk involved here, no matter who owns the port operating company, it seems pretty obvious that the fact that this one is state owned does not by that fact add more risk, if anything, the contrary. Now if you want to argue against the transaction on the basis that the UAE does not reciprocate, i.e. would not permit an American to buy an equivalent UAE company, that would be a horse of a different color; but not on security grounds.

Sorry 'bout 'dat.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 23, 2006 06:02 PM

CC-

"The distinction between private or state owned is a just an excuse, as if somehow state owned is more sinister than private owned. Osama bin Laden is a private individual and he was plenty dangerous to our security. The uproar about this transfer is indeed because the new management is Arab, and it's unfair."

I disagree. While private entities can be just as sinister as public ones, there meaningful distinctions between the two.

1. Sovereign NAtions do not have to negotiate with private companies, but they do have to negotiate with Sovereign Countries and, by proxy, the publicly held companies of those public entities. If Google were held publicly by the United States of America, then Chinese censorship of Google would become a much more sensitive international affair.

Similarly, if we were to ask DPW to do something like keep the financial records on American soil so we could subpoena them when necessary, DPW could go to the King of Dubai, who owns the company, and say "Threaten to restrict US military port movement in Dubai if they try and make us keep records on American soil!" And if they got their way, DPW might be allowed to keep its financial records outside the US. Wait a second...

2. It has been argued by some, including myself, that you cannot distinguish the motives of a publicly owned company and that of the nation that owns the company. For all this "DPW is such a great company..." the fact is we are essentially saying that Dubai has a right to manage our ports. DPW and Dubai's King have similar goals because the latter owns the former.

Private companies are motivated by profit, primarily, whereas countries have all sorts of motivations that are of keen interest to other countries. This fact should not be ignored.

"What specifically makes the new management more dangerous than the previous one?"

Specifically? The new one's management is complicit in the proliferation of nuclear weapons with North Korea and Pakistan, is run by a King, allows the free movement of terrorists throughout its boarders, refuses to extradite terrorist suspects to the United States...

"When Muslims are as caught up in money and consumption as we are, they won't be so eager to blow people up."

Because Osama Bin Ladin was so poor, yes?

Posted by: Will | February 23, 2006 06:09 PM

What would the Founding Fathers do? If this port deal went through in their time, the Sons Of Liberty would throw a tea party in all of the harbors involved. Anybody care to deny that? The Founding Fathers weren't xenophobes; They were patriots that knew the importance of vigilantly guarding national sovereignty and security.
What a joke that some Republicans are actually trying to weaken our very republic by allowing this port deal to go through. Those who keep trying to downplay the significance of this DPW deal apparently have never heard of the importance of precedence, that this is THE FIRST TIME EVER A FOREIGN STATE WILL OWN AMERICAN PORT OPERATIONS. Is that clear? If this deal goes through, it is going to open up the door to foreign governments doing more of the same in the future. The American people and the Congress are simply not going to let that happen. This port deal will be killed, or there will be political hell to pay. I know I'll be keeping an eye on how my congressman and senators vote concerning all this.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 06:14 PM

I agree this whole state-owned vs privately owned is just technicality. The only points worth arguing about are:

1. Do you trust the Bush admin to have done a thorough investigation of this deal and whether they can provide enough control over this company now and for at least the next three years. Given their records in New Orleans and along the US/Mexico border the answer would have to be a NO.

2. Do you really believe a company from that part of the world will be able to keep itself from being infiltrated by terrorists or manipulated by terrorist sympathizers inside their company to help sneak WMD into this country thru whatever security loopholes they discover while running these ports. If your answer is why do we need to take that chance of finding out then the answer would also have to be NO.

If you just want to toe the party line then hell anything goes yes? If the ever increasingly likely debacle in Iraq doesn't convince you, nothing will.

Posted by: Cayambe Cayambe! | February 23, 2006 06:20 PM

Cayambe, lets talk about those containers shipped out by the EO. Port security experts asked for a couple of billion to put our inspectors in foreign ports to sort of keep an eye on things. No go, the money was needed for Iraq and tax cuts. You talk about the EO as some kind of hypothetical joke. Nuclear material was funneled through government run Dubai ports for real.

Now the container with the bomb shipped by the EO arrives in the US. It might come through a port with a working radiation detector and be stopped. Or, it might come through one whose sensor is so sensitive it picks up floor tiles and alarm gets ignored. Or it might come through one our large ports that, inexplicably four years after 9-11 doesn't have working radiation detectors. Or it might come through a port just coincidentally on that one day where the management knew that the radiation detectors would be under replacement/repair/upgrading, etc. Funny how easy that would be to do if you owned the company and worked hand and hand with our shockingly lax port security, saw all the weaknesses first hand, knew the maintenance schedule, etc. I mean, Bush told us we abetted the terrorists because we told them we are trying to listen to their conversations, when they had to know that to begin with. Imagine how it would abet them to know the intimate procedures of our port security! Its not all that hard to create a diversion - crane dropping a container on a few longshoremen, etc, to disrupt the inspector's schedule a bit. Al Qaeda is right now enjoying widespread support form people with deep pockets. We dont' know who they all are, but we now there was widespread cooperation in the government run ports of Dubai.

No, they don't "run" security. But they are required to cooperate with port security. I am not a big conspiracy theorist but I think given intimate access to our ports to people with deep pockets and known ties to terrorism is STUPID.

But then I think failing to protect our ports to begin with was STUPID. Steven Flynn said in 2004 that for the cost of 3 days fighting in Iraq and 2 fighter jets our ports could be secure.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 06:23 PM

Way off as usual, Cayambe. A private business is not the same as one ran by a government. Anything that is completely run by a government is in essence that government, whereas a private business doesn't come with the same baggage, let alone it's own intelligence agency. You are being naive when it comes to power and granting it unduly to foreign governments. This port deal creates an unnecessary conflict of interest between the USA and the UAE, and is circling the drain as we speak.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 06:31 PM

This just in: Cayambe says there's no difference between shine-ola and that other stuff. Thanks, Cayambe, but I'll pass on your 'state-run makes no difference' ostrich act. You go on right ahead, though.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 06:36 PM

"Way off as usual, Cayambe." - actually I usually find Cayambe's posts thoughtful and reasonably centrist, even if I disagree.

But this time I disagree.

I think its naive to propose that a country with deep pockets and known ties to terrorism wouldn't be a security risk with first hand intimate knowledge of our port security procedures.

We can't oversee spying on phone calls because it would give away details on how we do it, but we can let them watch us inspect cargo and learn all our weaknesses in the way our major ports run?

Doesn't pass the smell test.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 23, 2006 06:37 PM

Whether it comes to naively buying into Chris Ford's fractured historical factoids or naively trusting foreign governments with our ports, I feel Cayambe is usually way off, patriot. Beyond that, he usually makes a fair point or two in his posts.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 06:49 PM

"You know, I was going to ask what next, outsourcing our nuclear power plants, when KG posted this: "Toshiba will then own and operate at least six nuclear power plants on American soil. I think KG nailed it."

Except KG doesn't know what she is talking about.

Indicative of the general ignorance of public school educated Americans.

Westinghouse is a nuclear power plant component vendor, designer, and nuke fuel provider.

They do not own or operate any plants in the USA. That is for the military and nuclear-licensed utilities to do.

Overseas, almost half of nuke electric plants and companies are state-owned.

I mentioned earlier French state-owned Framatome does lots of reactor refuelings, including in the USA, and Hitachi, Framatome, Thompson, Toshiba, Samsung, Peoples Electric of China, Seimens, Swiss Sulzenschlager all make fine critical use nuclear components used in American, Asian, and Euro nuke plants - as well as top Russian robotic welding technology..

And ...... After 9/11, reviews were done on certain US nuclear facilities because so much of the engineering gruntwork was done by Muslim Indian, ex-pat Iranian, and Pakistani engineers in the 70s and 80s. No problems were uncovered.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 23, 2006 06:57 PM

Dear Agents and Authorities of UAE:

I am one of those Americans whom you and your ilk have referred to as being a racist, prejudicial bigot in the past few days as your nation tries to force us as a people to accept the contracts that would see Dubai in charge of some of our ports, including the one here in New York. I would suggest, that your plan of winning over the support of our people is not working, and that your supposed experts are going about it all wrong.

First, in case you are behind the news cycles, most American citizens now hold lobbyist and those who liberally use them in very low esteem. Jack Abramoff, Tom De Lay, *Duke Cunningham and others within the Republican Third Reich have ripped open the veil to this self serving and thievish group of power brokers, and we are not at all happy with a pay to play democracy. Despite this reality, the first thing the UAE does when it seems the smoke from this wild fire, is rush over some bigwigs who start throwing their weight and money around inside the beltway, instead of GOING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. You hire a has been, dust fart blowing well placed, wrinkled old doddering former Senator who has access to the floor of the Senate, as well as a wife in politics to start greasing palms and settling ruffled feathers by bestowing favors, and wonder why and already edgy public is up in arms?

Perhaps in a different space, place and time, the reaction of the American people would be different, but in these turbulent times of war, with our troops dying in the sands of the Middle East, the timing is all wrong. Yet, instead of looking at, and even perhaps accepting this reality, you want to trot out the big three race cards of bigotry, prejudice and racism. All three are predicated on one holding a PRECONCIEVED, negative and unreasonable view about another, or another group of people. Like it or not, there is nothing preconcieved, nor unreasonable about our current dislike and distrust of Arab, Muslim and/or Islamic peoples, our distrust of and desire to hold at arms length peoples from these groups is well founded, and formed based upon very real facts that are easily examined even by our dubious and dim witted President, George W. Bush. Since it seems apparent that your government is blind to our fears and concerns, lets look at a few.

1. For many of us, especially those like myself who live in New York, 911 is still and open bleeding wound, we can see the towers crashing to the ground as if it were yesterday, the visions of the plans crashing into them forever etched into our minds, the pain in our souls never quite going away. We also remember the news casts that showed Arabs, Muslims, Islamic Fundamentalist one and all dancing in the streets here in America, and there in the Middle East.

2. We watched the as once again in a seemingly never end stream of hate, members of the group the world sees as the Arab, Muslim and Islamic whole bombed Madrid, and then England, remember also Bali and a host of other places around the world where Muslims visited their hatred and pain upon innocent victims, watched again after each episode of terrorism as members of the Arab community celebrated what they deemed to be as another success.

3. A Danish paper ran, what some in your community thought to be, distasteful cartoons which depicted Allah in a bad light, and instead of dealing with it in and intelligent and PEACEFUL fashion, there still continues rioting in the streets, killing of people, and massive destruction of property...has no one in the Middle East enough honesty to realize the actions of many in your community provide the images and fuel that created those cartoons? Have none of you the guts to say enough is enough, and once making that decision, setting about the task of cleaning up your own house (Mosques) and putting and end to and intolerable hatred of those of us who do not embrace, but would be willing to tolerate your religious beliefs, just as say Catholics peacefully co-exist with Baptists here in America?

4. Innocent victims kidnapped and beheaded, even a female Christian Scientist journalist who wanted to tell the Iraqi story kidnapped, more than likely dead, yet no real outcry from the Arab community as a whole, nothing being done to truly SECURE HER and the others release.

5. On the world wide stage that is the press, you as a group seem content to eat your own, Iraq and the simmering pot about to boil over into a civil war as one example...Americans did not blow up that Mosque Dome the other day, it was Arab against Arab, Muslim against Muslim as two different factions seem incapable of setting aside their own hatreds of different sects in and attempt to build bridges to a better tomorrow.

I could go on for hours, even days listing specific events that have help to shape and mold most American's distrust of the Arab/Muslim community, our is a view shaped by REAL WORLD EVENTS, not some preconceived dislike based false and unrealistic realities. We are not racist, we are not bigots, we do not practice racism, but instead are making a very practical decision predicated on the old adage that and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Respect, and even toleration, and eventually acceptance as a full equal is not something that is demanded or bought. You have to earn those things, one could even consider them privileges that come with major responsibilities, and we have not seen the various part of the whole that we know as the Middle East willing to take on these responsibilities, not seen the rulers of these nations taking the steps to fix up and clean up their own houses. In fact, if anything we see stories routinely in our press that see the ruling class in the Middle East, the proverbial Shiekdom's seeing themselves ABOVE THE LAWS...the latest example of this was and article I read last November. A relative, one of the prince's in the Saudi Royal family was drunk, insisted on driving and KILLED and innocent person. His family and I am sure a host of well paid attorneys bought off the family, and the justice system...when it was all said and over with, for killing and innocent person while driving under the influence, this Prince was allowed to pick his place of internment (Martha's Vineyard) and was given nothing more than a slap on the wrist with and overly light sentence of one year. Seriously, do you think these kinds of actions are going to win over the hearts of the average American, see us wanting to embrace the concept of Dubai being in charge or OUR PORTS?

My suggestion....gracefully back off, and accept the reality that we at this point in time do not want you here, instead of trying to BUY favor within our nations capital. Go back home and start taking some steps to clean up your own houses and temples, start taking the steps to earn our respect and acceptance, and then we can sit down and talk. But for now, we do not want you here, and find it and INSULT that so soon after 911 you would try to force yourselves into such a critical segment of our society...it shows a callous disregard for our open bleeding wounds, so a lack of compassion for those who lost their loved ones not so long ago.

Respectfully,

Pinto Bean

http://pintobeans.iblogs.com/

Posted by: Pinto Bean | February 23, 2006 06:59 PM

Well, I disagree with Cayambe's opinion on the "risk" of DPW being here as well as in Europe, Australia, S America - but at least he is one of the few posting here who understands how multinational business is conducted. And understands the utter fallacy of distinguishing between ErrinF's bugaboo "STATE-OWNED BUSINESS!!!!", and the work of a private enterprise like Halliburton or Norinco of China overseas.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 23, 2006 07:11 PM

While I am not certain the ports' security would be that much affected one way or the other by the UAE running them (our port security is really loose under any port authority because holy money might be lost for our one major religion- worship of the almighty dollar), there is another problem. That is the Bush administration's tendency to make decisions behind closed doors (and I don't care if those deals are made with the British, the Danes, the French or the Mongolians- race does not matter- but politics do!) based on God knows what squalid secret deals and then ignore Congress and the American public. Just trust us, they say. They are then shocked when, after they have been saying 9/11 over and over again for years, some Americans react with xenophobia!

If they promote knee-jerk reactions, then that is what they will get. It would be really naive of them to think otherwise. Oh, I forgot, they control reality too (or at least that is what one White House staffer is reported to have said to a reporter!)

Posted by: Dave | February 23, 2006 07:44 PM

Errin, you seem to have missed something.

Dubai ain't gonna OWN these ports. They'll just oversee the services at them.

And, as for your "the first time a foreign blah, blah, blah" line?

The company that is being bought by Dubai in this entire tempest in a teapot is British.

Posted by: Tony | February 23, 2006 08:16 PM

Emily,

God bless your heart. You are a principled liberal afterall.

Can anyone doubt this is all about politics?

My previous post:

"Boy, this issue makes strange bed-fellows.

Being a hawkish xenophobe;) I am personally uncomfortable with UAE performing duties at our ports even if it is not security-related. I do not, however, believe this sale poses a great threat to U.S. national security. Politically, however, this issue could be far reaching.

I think this has trouble written all over it for the Bush Administration. Democrats have suppressed their sqeamishness toward racial profliling and have outflanked republicans on their strongest issue: defense.

Democrats have scored big points here. They have pleased their protectionist union bloc by preventing a major sale to a foreign company. At the same time they, for the first time in my memory, are taking a stronger stance on "defense" than the GOP, which is widely split.

As policy this ordeal has been blown out of proportion. As politics this could be huge."

Posted by: Jon M | February 23, 2006 08:59 PM

ErrinF:

Where do you get your ideas?

I thought a tolerant lib like yourself (remember WE are the xenophobes, not you) would not racial profile an entire COMPANY just because it happens to reside in the ME.

I have no respect for somebody who totes the party-line and abandons their noble principles of tolerance and diversity for shear politcal expediency.

Do you recall that these ports were British owned?

Posted by: Jon M | February 23, 2006 09:03 PM

Didn't you use to be a brunette? Why is there a need in MSM to become blondes? You looked better as a brunette since that was your natural self.

Posted by: Eric | February 23, 2006 09:09 PM

To the debater Tony: The British company that runs port operations is not state-owned and is not a government. A government will be OWNING port operations if the deal goes through. Get your facts straight.
To the debater Jon M: I already made a post seperating xenophobia from my stance of being against any foreign government having undue influence in the operation of our ports. I have not engaged in any racial profiling at all, and am against ANY foreign state-owned company running the port operations, not just the UAE.
Those supporting this deal are standing on shaky ground, which must be why they need to depend on baseless accusations of xenophobia or blatant misrepresentation of the facts in order to back up their minority view. There's a HUGE difference between a private corporation and state-run company. Don't buy into the Bush apologists trying to downplay the significance of the distinction. They always try to downplay debacles caused by the Bush administration. Thing is, their apologetic din is constant because the administration is constantly screwing up.
Meanwhile, civil war has begun in Iraq...

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 09:37 PM

Doesn't surprise me. I flew in the Dulles after 9/11 on a Saturday. By the way, Saturday is the best night to travel by air, there is no one at the air port.

I could not notice on the way from the plane to the termination. Everyone who worked there was foreign, in fact, they all looked middle eastern to me.,

Everyone was very nice.

Posted by: | February 23, 2006 09:38 PM

But its hard to bring a nuke through an airport

Posted by: | February 23, 2006 09:40 PM

Cayambe Cayambe!


1. Do you trust the Bush admin to have done a thorough investigation of this deal
No, as a matter of fact I certainly do NOT.

2. Do you really believe a company from that part of the world will be able to keep itself from being infiltrated by terrorists or manipulated by terrorist sympathizers inside their company to help sneak WMD into this country thru whatever security loopholes they discover while running these ports.
Actually I have such a concern regarding all such companies performing this particular service at our ports of entry. I'm not entirely persuaded that the risk of such infiltration is materially higher from companies based in that particular part of the world. I'm reminded of how easily people have been bought for nothing more esoteric than cash (Aldrich Ames, that Navy enlisted guy (Wilson I think his name was), etc. etc.) Just look at how cheaply our congressional reps sell themselves.

As I said, until you really know the grungy details and assess just where the system is actually vulnerable taking a position on the matter is just kind of stupid.

As for toeing the party line on Iraq or anything else, I'm afraid you will discover that I toe the line of just the One Party.....ME.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 23, 2006 10:06 PM

or legality, or has it happened before.


what is going on is it is inconsistent with what the administration has been spewing....


which is basically that we are at war with mad and crazy terroristas that are looking to destroy the United States.

If in fact you call the Bush Administration and current sitting congress terroristas....I'd agree with him...he knows what he's talkin about....


he's a friggin genius...

NOT


he forgot what he was trying to sell.

we are at "war"

It's about a MANUFACTURED THREAT,

that doesn't exist, BEING EXPOSED.


AGAIN:

we're supposed to be knee deep in a war on terror, that the president has "war powers" from, which means he doesn't need your approval...for what ever he wants to do including NSA Warrantless spyin'


This, is pretty simple:


Bush can't keep his story straight on his lies.

we're not at war, he's knows that there's no terrorist threat, he's the terrorist threat...he's manipulating cirmcustance to concoct a story that needs us intervening in Iraq, when what we're really doing is protecting _his_ , _HIS FAMILIES_, and his _Friends_ economic investments....


knock off the party rhetoric...it's not a Republican Democrat issue, it's a friendship amongst the elite issue coming to light.


no documents needing to track things,


that means george walker bush, and the people he represents trusts them...no matter what he's been selling _you_


that bullshit about, "no knowledge," Froomkin posts about them being warned some time in advance and wanting to rush it through without public scrutiny...


republicans/democrats ~= riche people skinning the other 97% and selling their children into slavery at Walmart...


let go of mommy and daddy caring about you, and take over your own countries government....arrest the traitors.


It's not about terrorism, or a threat we're facing, it's about being lied to in order to manipulate a situation that he created with dad's help....as everyone knows he ain't thet smaht.....take him out, put him and his family in an orange jump suit and go visit the donated lands of the old plantation...that will become part of the National Park Service, along with Unca Dick's holdings...


see if you can bury that.

Posted by: It's nice that you're all switching to whether there's any danger or not... | February 23, 2006 10:17 PM

or legality, or has it happened before.


what is going on is it is inconsistent with what the administration has been spewing....


which is basically that we are at war with mad and crazy terroristas that are looking to destroy the United States.


If in fact you call the Bush Administration and current sitting congress terroristas....I'd agree with him...he knows what he's talkin about....


he's a friggin genius...

NOT


he forgot what he was trying to sell.

we are at "war"

It's about a MANUFACTURED THREAT,

that doesn't exist, BEING EXPOSED.


AGAIN:

we're supposed to be knee deep in a war on terror, that the president has "war powers" from, which means he doesn't need your approval...for what ever he wants to do including NSA Warrantless spyin'


This, is pretty simple:


Bush can't keep his story straight on his lies.

we're not at war, he's knows that there's no terrorist threat, he's the terrorist threat...he's manipulating cirmcustance to concoct a story that needs us intervening in Iraq, when what we're really doing is protecting _his_ , _HIS FAMILIES_, and his _Friends_ economic investments....


knock off the party rhetoric...it's not a Republican Democrat issue, it's a friendship amongst the elite issue coming to light.


no documents needing to track things,


that means george walker bush, and the people he represents trusts them...no matter what he's been selling _you_


that bullshit about, "no knowledge," Froomkin posts about them being warned some time in advance and wanting to rush it through without public scrutiny...


republicans/democrats ~= riche people skinning the other 97% and selling their children into slavery at Walmart...


let go of mommy and daddy caring about you, and take over your own countries government....arrest the traitors.


It's not about terrorism, or a threat we're facing, it's about being lied to in order to manipulate a situation that he created with dad's help....as everyone knows he ain't thet smaht.....take him out, put him and his family in an orange jump suit and go visit the donated lands of the old plantation...that will become part of the National Park Service, along with Unca Dick's holdings...


It's nice that you're all switching to whether there's any danger or not...from having mad, crazed Arabs able to move their ships into our ports w/o oversight....and Mad King George just tried to stick another one up your wazzzzzzzzooooooo....

and now his gomers are in here trying to spin it into an "it's all right story,"

good luck boyz, I'll be seeing yah later tuhnite....

cheeze whizzzzzz buddies.

Posted by: see if you can bury that. | February 23, 2006 10:22 PM

smells like what I stepped in.


It's on your nose too, and it smells like texas doo doo...

Posted by: Dear Jon, why should I trust someone whose breath... | February 23, 2006 10:26 PM

be waking up, will you be doing jail time?

Posted by: how yah doin buddy...things seem like people might | February 23, 2006 10:31 PM

UAE Govn will take full advantage of having its private company's presense in USA.

Links of UAE ( Being Arabs ) with other Arab ( Islamic States ) countries can be proven to be the security loop hole to terrorism. Since ports are more vulnarable to have WMD dumped into US ports.

Dont Favour this desicion. I disagree.
Beware my dear friends. Dont Allow repeat another 9/11 ( This time by land )

Posted by: Leo | February 23, 2006 10:51 PM

good answer...


pull my finger.

Posted by: nice | February 23, 2006 11:12 PM

All the hoopla over the sale -- one word comes to mind: superficiality. This is such a superficial analysis -- saying it is a threat. Heck, a British company could be more of a security threat. The UAE company is probably more hard on terrorism than its British counterpart, just because of the negative reputation.

Posted by: | February 24, 2006 12:06 AM

but hey, you want to spread some butter on that toast....to make daddy happy do that.

Posted by: that's not what it's about man... | February 24, 2006 12:13 AM

Two issues are at stake. One, the national security threat. Two, the economic and diplomatic threat (of the sale not going through.) The former is practically insignificant, in any fair-minded analysis. The latter is not. America will be adversely affected.

We must to get over this idea that America is so self-sufficient. This is a delusion. America's present-day greatness was built on such foreign investments.

Therefore, the long-term negative reprocussions of blocking the sale will not be in America's overall interests, and be worse than the so-called 'security' threat.

Posted by: | February 24, 2006 12:18 AM

it's that there is no security threat but that the president has manufactured one.

do you understand, tony?

Posted by: nope that's not it either | February 24, 2006 12:27 AM

you don't drink from the same trough as bush does....and he knows that, thas whyyy he's so fearless, he's never had to face anything by himself....

did you know that there was a war of 1812?

do you know who backed the south in the civil war?

who's trying to get their property back?


just kidding, but we have enough natural resources to be able to close our doors...

except for cobalt and something else I can't think of...


that's a fact...

self sufficient, unlike little Japan, but they probably own more US land than there is Japanese island....that sorta stinks doncha think, I mean if you're a United States citizen that doesn't get part of that deal...


I mean that's what it's all about isn't it?

we made the country great and they get all of the profit...now that's not nice is it?

Posted by: as far as present day greatness, you need to understand something... | February 24, 2006 12:48 AM

Patriot,
Before I get into your post I should say I got a little better educated tonight on PBS, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. (I still miss McNeil a lot.) Anyway they had the head of the Seattle Port Authority and some expert that wrote a book on port security. Neither of them was worried about Dubai owning the company. Both of them worried a lot about port security around the globe and, in particular, security at the point of origin. They both agreed it isn't good enough and their hope was that after this brouhaha ran its course, we would get on to doing what is necessary to address the global security issues with respect to container shipping in particular.

They did clarify some things for me. The term "Port Manager" or "Port Operator" used to describe these companies is somewhat of a misnomer. What they actually do is lease, from the Port Authority, a piece of real estate with a terminal on it. There may be several of these in a given port and different companies may lease one or more, even all of them. What they really do is manage the terminal or terminals as the case might be. My earlier description of what they probably actually do seems to be pretty accurate.

Unfortunately they didn't really get into the details of how point of origin inspections are done or how receiving inspections are done so I didn't learn what I need to learn...yet.

===============================================
You talk about the EO as some kind of hypothetical joke. Nuclear material was funneled through government run Dubai ports for real.
===============================================

No joke intended actually. It does reflect my uncertainty as to who might actually do this. Bin Laden, Iran, Iraq, Syria, a provocateur, North Korea, Zarqawi, Jacques Chirac, Chavez, some rogue intelligence operation, etc. etc. I'll tell you what, you give me your candidates ranked in descending order of probability. I would be interested to see where you would rank the state of Dubai in your list.

If we are talking about the "nuclear material" that came out of Pakistan headed for Libya and Iran I believe that phrase in quotes is probably not terribly appropriate. I may be wrong, but I believe what Pakistan supplied was not actual nuclear material in the sense that it was radioactive material. What they supplied was knowledge in the form of design documents for machinery, enrichment processes, and even weapon design. They also supplied some specific machinery, in particular centrifuges as I recall. These are necessary to enrich uranium to a fissile level.

I don't know how they were actually shipped out of Pakistan but a container would certainly be a reasonable choice. The Port of Dubai is the prime transshipment point in the Middle East area. That is where containers from a variety of originating points are gathered together and resorted by destination for making up full loads for ships going to that destination. Fed Ex does the same thing every night out in the middle of the country somewhere for the same purpose. They use airplanes instead of ships. In performing this function there is no reason to examine or even know the contents of a particular container. No reason for customs since it is just passing through the yard on its way to some other country. So it is entirely plausible that the stuff passed through that port and Dubai had not the foggiest idea what it was. A good analogy is the Internet switches on US soil which pass data from South America on to Europe and vice versa, you know, orders for n kilos of cocaine to be delivered to Amsterdam and that kind of stuff. I guess those Dutch could accuse us of funneling drug orders through our country, for real, right? The coke could even get there by container transshipped through Miami right? Would we know it?

My problem with the smearing of Dubai by association in one form or another is simply the lack of any meaningful substance I can detect in the associations. That two hijackers were UAE citizens hardly ties the Dubai government to 9/11 or terrorists, does it? Does our British shoe bomber make Tony Blair complicit? Does the Frenchman Moussoui make the French government a terrorist sympathizer? If someone has something of real substance here, I am all ears, but so far, it's just really remote associative crap.

===================================================
Now the container with the bomb shipped by the EO arrives in the US. It might come through a port with a working radiation detector and be stopped. Or, it might come through one whose sensor is so sensitive it picks up floor tiles and alarm gets ignored. Or it might come through one our large ports that, inexplicably four years after 9-11 doesn't have working radiation detectors. Or it might come through a port just coincidentally on that one day where the management knew that the radiation detectors would be under replacement/repair/upgrading, etc. Funny how easy that would be to do if you owned the company and worked hand and hand with our shockingly lax port security, saw all the weaknesses first hand, knew the maintenance schedule, etc. I mean, Bush told us we abetted the terrorists because we told them we are trying to listen to their conversations, when they had to know that to begin with. Imagine how it would abet them to know the intimate procedures of our port security! Its not all that hard to create a diversion - crane dropping a container on a few longshoremen, etc, to disrupt the inspector's schedule a bit. Al Qaeda is right now enjoying widespread support form people with deep pockets. We dont' know who they all are, but we now there was widespread cooperation in the government run ports of Dubai.
===================================================

Now we are getting somewhere. If you are EO you certainly want to know which port has what inspection facilities and to aim your shipment at the least capable. But its not likely you could take advantage of inspection equipment downtime. After all, you have to send this thing on its way at least two-four weeks before it gets there and forecasting both the availability of inspection equipment at the receiving point as well as your transit time over the ocean to get there is clearly a losing proposition. A more practical plan would involve sabotaging the critical inspection equipment at just the right time. But since this equipment is in Custom's hands, not the Terminal Operator's, you would also have to infiltrate Customs, by no means impossible. In actual fact, it might be sufficient just to corrupt the Customs process and that alone to achieve your goal.

This is a 6 billion plus transaction. There are surely cheaper ways to get the necessary intelligence on US port security procedures. I would guess that a few million dollars, judiciously applied could get you just about everything you would want to know. By comparison to 6 billion, a few million is just pocket change.

Were I EO, I think I would look for a way to escape inspection entirely. It is public knowledge that we do not inspect every container, in fact we only inspect 2-8% of them; at least that is the range of estimates that I have heard. It's hard to tell from facial expressions which was telling the truth. :o) So what I would want to know is exactly how they choose the ones which are inspected. Think about it from our point of view. We have a limited inspection capacity, i.e. we simply don't have the resources to inspect every container. How do we make the most efficient use of the resources we have? Well lets see, South America is a pretty low risk area so lets just inspect 1% of containers coming from there. Its not likely we are going to get something out of mainland China, Australia, South Korea, or Japan so lets just inspect 1% of those. With the freed up capacity we can now inspect 12% of everything out of Europe, the Middle East, and the remaining Far East. Clearly, as EO, I want to first send this thing to South America and then repackage it as originating from there.

What else might we do to concentrate our limited inspection capacity on the most suspect containers. We have some level of point of origin pre-inspection. Pre-inspected and sealed containers are a lot less suspect than uninspected containers. Lets exclude the pre-inspected from receiving inspection. With the additional freed up inspection capacity we can now inspect 48% of everything remaining out of Europe, the Middle East, and the remaining Far East. Clearly, as EO, I have found my Holy Grail. If I can just figure out a way to make my container look pre-inspected when it gets there, I am home free. If I can't, at least I have found a 99/1 shot at coming in the back door and that ain't bad.

Now this is all sheer conjecture on my part. I really have no idea how Customs actually goes about its business in picking which containers they are going to run through what scanners and which they will open up to examine. I would however be willing to bet it is something more sophisticated than just a random selection. We pride ourselves on our sophistication in these matters and therein lies a potential intelligence vulnerability. I don't know how or when Customs get their hands on a list of the containers coming in. I don't know how they make sure no container is excluded from the list, intentionally or unintentionally. I don't know when they give the terminal operator a list of the ones they want to inspect and when they expect them to be delivered for inspection. You have to know this stuff to know whether the terminal operator has even potential usefulness to EO.

Actually, if I was EO, and I had a dirty bomb I wanted to get in, I would look to figure a way to get it into Canada first, maybe by a big private yacht idly cruising into Nova Scotia or British Columbia, truck it on down to the border somewhere between Wisconsin and Idaho, and drive it across in a 4whl drive pickup. There are lots of uninhabited crossing places to choose from, even Indian reservations. Sure wouldn't cost 6 billion smackers.

My bottom line is that it is the security system itself that is most suspect, no matter who the port operator is or isn't. But lets face it, all of this is going to get overshadowed by the impending civil war in Iraq and just what the hell we are going to do about sitting right smack dab in the middle of it. Anyone for cut and run?

What say thee Chris? Got some advice for us on this one? How about taking that right turn and sending the remaining troops and tanks sweeping in towards those Iranian nuclear facilities? That would be one way of getting out of it with our dignity intact :o)
What a bloody mess!!!!

Posted by: Cayambe | February 24, 2006 03:53 AM

Yes, the root of the problem is first the "foreign" aspect of the control, and secondly the corporate aspect of the port control in general.

The ports, air and sea, should be under American governmental control, i.e. port authorities.

This whole issue is the result of the Republicanization of America. The differential functions of government and business are blurred, and the only motive for anything is the profit motive.

And pointing to this or that Democrat's failure to oppose the "outsourcing" in past years, keep in mind that the last Democratic President was a founder of the Republican-wing of the Democratic Party, also known as the DLC. In this area, the Republicans and Democrats have been indistinguishable for over a decade.

The motto: "If it makes a buck, it flies".

There is hope for the Democratic Party...however total dedication to corporatism is the cornerstone of modern Republicanism.

Witness the different approaches to the establishment of the TSA. The Republicans simply wanted to make it a rent-a-cop orgy of contracts with Federal monies flowing through a firehose to the "private sector". The Democrats wanted a real Federal security agency, with Federal control and authorities.

If you review recent history, all Republican solutions to governmental problems ultimately involve an increased profit margin for their corporate buddies, and little in the way of oversight.

'nuf said.

Posted by: Ghost Dansing | February 24, 2006 04:37 AM

DPW has agreed to postpone this transaction. The White House has also said they are open to a 45 day delay seperate from the DPW postponement. In other words, it's the beginning of the end for this foolish port deal; Any and all postponement will become permanent. There is no way the GOP can risk the political liability of letting the port deal become a reality.
I look forward to legislation that will block any foreign government or government-owned company (same thing) from managing our US port operations. That's like having a fox guard the henhouse, no matter which foreign government it might be. Basic risk assessment tells us we needn't be so lax when it comes to policies regarding our national sovereignty. Anybody with any grasp of 'conflict of interest' knows that this port deal with a foreign state-ran company was foolish. Good riddance to a bad idea; The deal's going to be killed during it's postponement period.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 24, 2006 08:10 AM

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info


www.wsws.org
Financial Times columnist warns about social inequality in US
By Ann Talbot
24 February 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

The Financial Times columnist Samuel Brittan, one of the first monetarist economists in Britain, has issued a warning that the United States cannot allow the gap between the pay of top executives and the rest of society to continue to grow on the present scale. He calls for redistributive taxation to redress the situation. [1]

"Republicans," he warns, "will not be able for ever to divert attention to religious and 'moral' issues." They "would be wise not to tempt fate by insisting on making permanent the tax cuts at the top of the scale." He expresses his fear that the alternative to some modest increases in taxation on the very wealthy may well be a more aggressive soak-the-rich campaign.

Brittan advocates "forms of redistribution that do not inhibit economic performance." He argues that this was the problem in the UK in the 1970s when the top marginal income tax rates were over 90 percent. He suggests that land and wealth taxes accompanied by more shareholder activism against high CEO salaries would be a better way of ensuring that inequality is reduced.

It is not exactly a damascene conversion, or even a return to the Keynesianism in which he was trained, but Brittan's warning is a sign that highly experienced figures with a background in economics and politics are increasingly concerned about the direction of the US economy and the political impact it may have if social inequalities continue to grow.

Brittan's warning follows a recent study from the US that shows that between 1966 and 2001 only the richest 10 percent enjoyed a growth rate in their real wages and salaries that was equal to or above the average rate of growth in productivity. [2]

The study finds that "Growth in median real wage and salary income barely grew at all while average wage and salary income kept pace with productivity growth, because half of the income gains went to the top 10 percent of the income distribution, leaving little left over for the bottom 90 percent."

It has always been a standard argument in conventional economics that if all incomes were equal, it would benefit most people very little. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has argued that he is not concerned about the income of few super-rich people like footballer David Beckham, but about raising the living standards of the poor. What this new study shows is that so much wealth has now accrued to the super-wealthy that it does indeed affect how much is left for everyone else.

Another common argument is that the growing gap between the rich and poor is the result of a skills deficit. As smokestack industries have declined, workers who lack the skills required in the new computer industries are said to have suffered a decline in their living standards. Education and training, it is argued, are the answer to this problem.

This study shows that the gap between the top 10 percent and the rest of society began to widen before new technology was widely introduced. What is more, it shows that while the pay of CEOs increased by 100 percent in the period 1989-1997, the pay of workers in occupations that required skills in mathematics and computing only increased by 4.8 percent. Engineers' pay actually decreased by 1.4 percent over the same period.

The study shows that "most of the shift in the income distribution has been from the bottom 90 percent to the top 5 percent, and especially to the top 1 percent." If such a thin layer benefits from the increase in productivity, it cannot be the result of their new skills, the authors argue, but results from "increasing income premia being paid to 'superstars.' "

At a pinch, this might go some way to explaining why top sports people and performers in other fields are paid so highly. Their pay is to some degree related to the number of people that watch them live and on television. But it does not explain why top corporate executives should be so highly paid.

The ratio of CEO pay to that of the average US worker increased from 27 to 1 in 1973 to 300 to 1 by 2000. When payments in both cash and shares are considered, top executives' pay increased between 1989 and 2000 by 342 percent, while median hourly wages increased by only 5.8 percent.

Previous studies have looked at the difference between the top 10 percent and the rest of the population, but this study examines the differences within the top 10 percent in some detail. It finds that "the top-one tenth of one percent of the income distribution earned as much as the real 1997-2001 gain in wage and salary income as the bottom 50 percent" (emphasis in original).

Or to put their figures another way: half of the increased inequality between the top 10 percent of society and the other 90 percent is due to the increased incomes of the top 0.1 percent.

The figures are striking, but the authors of the report cannot offer a convincing explanation of why this dramatic redistribution of wealth to an extremely thin layer of the already wealthy has taken place.

For all his experience, Brittan can neither explain the phenomenon nor offer a remedy. The solution he offers--a slight increase in wealth taxes--is unconvincing. He clearly has no confidence in a return to the Keynesian policies of the postwar period. Nor, however, does he see an alternative to the monetarism he adopted in the 1970s, even when he sees the dangerous results of those policies spelled out for him in this report.

The findings of the report are in fact a powerful confirmation of the fundamental analysis of the capitalist system made by Karl Marx over a century ago. Marx showed that "in proportion as capital accumulates, the lot of the labourer, be his payment high or low, must grow worse.... Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole." [3]

It is worth putting the term "immiserisation of the working class" into an Internet search engine. The majority of results will be links to sites where it is explained that this theory has been thoroughly discredited, is entirely outdated and has been incontrovertibly disproved by the improvement in the condition of the working class in the advanced industrial countries since World War II.

This study demonstrates in dry figures and tables that this process identified by Marx more than 100 years ago is in fact taking place. The improvement in the conditions of workers is shown to be an entirely conjunctural effect that has now been dissipated by the underlying trend towards an increase in wealth at one pole and increasing impoverishment at the other.

The authors puzzle over two questions--"not only why inequality rose after the mid-1970s but why it declined from 1929 to the mid-1970s"--but leave them unanswered. They are capable of tracing the process of social polarisation in the income data, but they cannot understand that polarisation declined because the fear of revolution forced the ruling elite to make concessions immediately before World War II and in the decades after the war.

Doubtless, Samuel Brittan learned enough about Marxism in his student days at Cambridge to recognise the process of immiserisation and to understand that its political implications are extremely serious for capitalism. It points to major social upheavals in the US. But he cannot recommend that the ruling elite make similar concessions to those they were obliged to make under the New Deal or in the postwar period because US capitalism then enjoyed an unrivalled position, which it no longer possesses.

Notes:

Posted by: che | February 24, 2006 08:22 AM

ErrinF wrote:
"Good riddance to a bad idea; The deal's going to be killed during it's postponement period."

Assuming this happens, who will run the ports? Giving it back to the British compnay will look bad since it is not American. What American company canhandle running all of these ports? Halliburton?

I'm not so sure the deal is dead. What may happen is a lot of oversight and the scuttling of the deals to keep records outside the US will not happen.

One thing is for sure, the republican mask is off and people see it for what it is: the constitution be damned (well, except for that 2nd ammendment the rest can be damned), corporate profits before governance and governance to produce more corporate profits, all behind closed doors.

Posted by: | February 24, 2006 11:17 AM

Hilarious. A bunch of conspiracy theorists. It would be quite entertaining if I didn't think you all were serious.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 24, 2006 11:29 AM

Let it remain the PRIVATE British company until another PRIVATE company comes along to buy it. No FOREIGN STATE OWNED companies managing our ports will be happenning any time soon. In fact, legislation is going to be introduced so that it will never happen. No member of Congress that wants to get re-elected this year is going to support the port deal. That Dubai and Dubya all acquiesced so quickly just goes to show that postponement is just the first step in complete dissolution of the proposed port deal. The UAE should forget the port deal and instead focus on it's damaged image within the US because of all of this.
Now that the port deal is off the table, it will be interesting to see if Emily stays vigilant and consistent about denouncing xenophobia and Islamophobia, or if she'll drop it now that it's served it's purpose in her trumped-up contrarian editorial.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 24, 2006 11:32 AM

I think there is some good that will come of this. Politically this thing is DOA for Republicans because, as has been pointed out, even if something does go wrong with our port security in the future it will be blamed on the Republican Party (and Bush) irregardless of the facts.

In terms of Security, I am not all together convinced either way. There are substantive ties between Dubai and Terrorism. Some are associative, some suggest direct involvement or complicity.

We know that Terrorists are funded by Dubai banks and we know that there are Dubai State-Owned Banks. I'm waiting on someone in the media to connect the dots for me, because I don't know whether Terrorists were funded by a private bank that happened to be based in Dubai or a bank that was owned by the Dubai government (which happens to be a kingdom, meaning the King of Dubai funded terrorists).

I know that Dubai was a hub for the spread of nuclear technologies to North Korea, Iran, and Libya by Pakistani A. Q. Khan. I know that there is a suggestive level of corruption in Dubai port security. I need the media to connect the dots and tell me how far this corruption runs; is there any government implication? Could this have any effect on the management of DPW?

I know that I am racist because David Ignatius of the Washington Post told me I am, merely for suggesting that we investigate a pretty critical deal that could effect our already pathetic port security.

The more I read the less inclined I am to say that this represents a threat to our security, but I haven't been presented enough of the facts yet to make a firm judgement. I would rather raise a tempest over this teapot than be inattentive to matters of potential national security.

And I am pleased to see our Congress for once saying "Enough is enough" to a President who has consistently given them the finger. This entire thing has a certain "Checks and Balances" feel to it that I find, though unfamiliar, remarkably pleasent.

If the arguments agains this deal are so "racist" and "xenophobic" though, present them and expose how naked they are. Repeating this mantra that questioning Arab deals for national security is "racist racist racist!" is equally jingoistic as any of the arguments presented by the proposed xenophobes and/or racists.

Posted by: Will | February 24, 2006 11:43 AM

When negotiating the ports management deal, think of it this way. Put a clause in there having Dubai promise to take on a good number of our college students as interns. What they learn there would be practical, and beat the heck out of they could pick up working around DC government.

Important to have those ports to send cotton off the plantation, and to get that good equipment in from Japan.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 24, 2006 12:04 PM

So one week the American press fans the flames of Islamophobia by overly portraying all Muslims as violent rioters intolerant of cartoons, then the next week that same press chastises the public for acting in an Islamophobic manner towards Dubai. It seems there isn't any real concern about xenophobia beyond either manipulating it to trump up a story or denouncing it to trump up another story. Unbelievable.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 24, 2006 12:22 PM

I SAID:


REMEMBER: WHEN IT STARTED, sort of

Bush Sr. is former head of CIA, Congressman before that, Vice President, then President...probably more than 30 years on the case...

SUDDENLY
Under Bush Sr.:
Madelaine Albright goes to Iraq, prior to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and gives Saddam the nod...

He invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....

looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi.


Saudi Royals was given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the Royals were put into power...

who owns the ports on US soil? the brits.


Protecting the Kuwaiti's:

We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill a couple of 100 thousand Iraqis and stop short of Bagdhad....you know why, we're going back...

and now we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait.

we put the country of Iraq in stasis with embargoes until we need it........or the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...


we need to intervene....we in this case is the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the Gawdfather on this on, or at least the gawdfathers visible son....unless you need the state militia called to keep Terry from being unhooked.

so we intervene on national television...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..


then Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with three tractor trailer loads of cash, right?


the museums were emptied right?


ha ha ha...


that's rich.

Another blogger wrote:

it was April Gillespie, and NOT Ms Albright who went to Iraq, and with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait was an internal matter. I think Saddam was suckered into invading because the US needed a new enemy after the collapse of the soviet union.


It's been awhile since I dealt with the Saudis...that sort of fell out when I was talking to one of the people that interfaced with them...about 25 years ago...

as far as conspiracy goes,


there never was a CIA/NORIEGA/BUSH Sr. connection right?


kiss my private spot.

Posted by: A correction from Early Warning.... | February 24, 2006 12:26 PM

we could attack him, and become military occupiers...


this has a lot to do with families working together as well as politics as well as...


helping you to understand that it isn't all cowboy hats and honesty leading you...


Saddam was deliberately mislead into settling a border dispute with Kuwait, that included some oil well that he thought belonged to Iraq.....


did we tell him the truth?


no.


it wasn't to our advantage.

the bushes intimately understand the middle eastern tribe mentality, they have it....


ps. you're not included in their tribe....


come back when you grow up girl, you're still living in a paper doll world...


morons in charge and morons voted them in...


you want a better country quit pandering to morons.....

.

Posted by: the thing is we suckered Saddam into attacking the Kuwaitis so | February 24, 2006 12:32 PM

Cayambe - Again, good earlier post on debunking ErrinF's "STATE-OWNED!!!!=Evil" hysteria. In your last, you added another good point about the critique that "nuclear materials passed through Dubai!!" Your description of the transshipment function of Dubai is accurate. Singapore, Rotterdam, and Panama City do the same. That amidst the vast global trade "things pass through" is as empty an observation as you accurately note "drug transactions passed through a US telecomm node between Bogota and Berlin w/o America stopping it!!!"

On nuke smuggling, I agree that the EO would not be able to convince "friends" to invest 6 billion dollars to support a bomb-smuggling scheme. Far cheaper to smuggle said hypothetical bomb to Mexico, bribe some fat lazy customs official in Veracruz 20,000 dollars to overlook a shipping container, then pay some drug smuggling group watched over by your most hardened Al Qaeda combat fighters 50-70K to smuggle the bomb past Bush's "Open for Business!" southern border.

And I hate to say it, but that again is proof that any large defense can be penetrated and is also ruinuously expensive to create and administer...like the Maginot Line was. The only way to stop the WMD is to stop the Islamoids where they live and seek to create the only two real WMD of consequence - biological weapons or nukes. Dirty bombs are trivial in lethal consequen, and chem weapons could only take out a few thousand filthy infidels..not the 100s of thousands or even millions a few nuke or bilogical attacks could.

So, would I relish the thought of having to invade Iran to stop nuclear weapon proliferation? No. But if we (meaning most nations) determine that Iran does plan on starting a nuclear conflagration in the ME as soon as they have the weapons, they must be stopped, and not just by American blood and treasure - but all responsible nations so they can't get a free ride and Monday morning quarterback slime us as war-monsters if the Iranian intervention doesn't go "perfectly"...

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 24, 2006 01:26 PM

other people, you are hitleresque in your mentality....


polarization is not a social skill for world leaders and everything can't be solved at the point of a gun...

people who are effective at violence don't talk like you do, they don't talk at all.

Posted by: chris...you know what you lack a perspective that includes | February 24, 2006 01:29 PM

to come up with this errata and effluvium...what a waste of protein you are...

Posted by: you must be some kind of computer wargame junkie... | February 24, 2006 01:31 PM

Another blogger wrote:

it was April Gillespie, and NOT Ms Albright who went to Iraq, and with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait was an internal matter. I think Saddam was suckered into invading because the US needed a new enemy after the collapse of the soviet union.

Posted by: Overstating the Impact of Iraq War Casualties: Early Warning | February 24, 2006 01:34 PM

Fine observation in today's WP editorial "How to Lose Friends".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/23/AR2006022301949.html

"Last year, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, 56 U.S. warships, 590 U.S. Military Sealift Command ships and 75 allied warships were hosted in the United Arab Emirates -- at a port managed by the very same Dubai Ports World. To our knowledge, none of the objecting members of Congress have expressed alarm at the national security implications of that situation. Yet the six ports now in question will be far less dependent on Dubai's goodwill, because security there is controlled by the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, no matter who's doing the accounting. American longshoremen will load and unload cargo, no matter who pays their salaries."

Now, if Leftists like ErrinF want to do a 180 and say that companies of individuals from evil Muslim countries who have just a handful of Islamoids amidst their people MUST BE PROFILED!! Then, it is only logical to assume that if companies run by Muslim individuals must be profiled, Muslim individuals should be profiled at airports and through wiretaps.

Wow! It seems they have come around to the other side fast! "Precious civil liberties of Muslims" arguments useful in the past to bash their real enemy, the Bush-Hitler, conveniently get thrown out the window when the Bush-Hitler supports the right of friendly Muslims to invest in America..

Well, this new Political Conversion by Lefties and liberal Democrats, as astonishing as it is (totally insincere) should be tested by calling the hate-America crowd's bluff, as was done in the 403-3 defeat of their pet war hero du jour John Murtha's cut and run Amendment..

Lets see, the legislation could take several paths:

1. Democrats and Lefties propose a law that all Muslims and Muslim states "that have any terrorists" within their populations, even if allied with the US...cannot invest in any business in America Democrats list in their legislation as "security-related".

2. Democrats and Lefties just say in their law that all Muslims should be profiled...be it at an airport line or as business owners...and even if innocent and a friend or ally of America should be barred from flights in case they decide to abandon good nature and embrace the dark side of jihad in mid-flight, or own any business that could endanger others - like gas stations full of deadly gasoline...And, telephone conversations of Muslims should be bugged because ports are only one thing that the Muslim could affect.

3. A law saying that no foreigner of any sort, not just barring Muslims..no foreigner at all can invest in a list of 500 or so industries, key resource areas in America...So pull your 2 trillion out tomorrow and let us deal with the hyperinflation and stock market collapse..

Frankly, the alliance between hate-America Lefties and liberal Democrats alongside black helicopter Conservative xenophobes looks to be as fruitful and productive as the gay activist-radical Muslim alliance seen at "Down with Islamophobic and Homophobic America!" rallies in Europe.

Vote away, guys!

(If we want a realistic law or policy, it should focus on America striving not to be a debtor nation where we give away 800 billion of our wealth a year to invest anywhere, and rely on foreign gov'ts to fund a huge government growth racket unwilling to tax it's own people to pay for the stuff they demand gov't do. That we say that massive foreign ownership of American currency, critical industries, critical infastructure, and America's most profitable businesses is a bad thing and we will start on the path to get out of our dissolute ways of charging today's fun on our children's credit cards..)

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 24, 2006 01:57 PM

In response to what I wrote:

Another blogger wrote:

it was April Gillespie, and NOT Ms Albright who went to Iraq, and with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait was an internal matter. I think Saddam was suckered into invading because the US needed a new enemy after the collapse of the soviet union.

Posted by: FROM: Overstating the Impact of Iraq War Casualties: Early Warning | February 24, 2006 01:57 PM

Cayambe - Again, good earlier post on debunking ErrinF's "STATE-OWNED!!!!=Evil"
Posted by: Chris Ford | Feb 24, 2006 1:26:29 PM

Yes, Chris Ford, as a libertarian, I believe state-owned = evil. Well, not so much evil as second rate. YOU, on the other hand, are evil... as well as second rate. No, wait, make that third rate, and I'm being kind...
The view I'm putting forward is called 'capitalism', you commie symp! I love how you've gone from denouncing me in the past as a Marxist to denouncing me in the present for being against state-owned companies. It seems no matter what the argument, whether it be the port deal or warrantless surveillance, you always come out on the side of the state. Your knowledge of Marxism seems so thorough too... What better disguise for a Communist sympathizer than as a McCarthyite? Speaking of, you better get back to acting in your usual McCarthyite manner, else you might blow your deep cover, comrade.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 24, 2006 02:12 PM

Emely,
WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE IN?
I am not a writer nor a political comentator, but I thank God that I can still THINK in terms of facts and not policies.
You fail to see the facts, legal, and economical implications and to sum up in your premises to be a PURE PARTISAN reaction, atacking the Democratica Senators...this is preposterous!!!
I dont want to waste my time answering your article because its useless...I dont even read it often because I find that your reasoning is shallow most of the time; and with this, i am not intending to insult you but to simple voice my humble opinion.

Posted by: Maria | February 24, 2006 04:30 PM

On a completely different note, there was a rally to show solidarity with the Danes over that whole cartoon nonsense, held today outside the Danish embassy in DC. Organized by author/commentator Christopher Hitchens. From what I've heard, it was a pretty decent turn out. Wonder if the WaPo will notice? Heh...

Posted by: D. | February 24, 2006 04:59 PM

I suppose I can understand why some Republican politicians have come out against the port deal, its a simple "throw red meat to the ground troops, secure your security bonafides before election time", etc.

Took awhile to figure out why the Dems took their position though...after all, if the TSA pulled an Arab male aside for questioning at the airport, they'd be crying "racial profiling!!" so opposing the UAE deal on the grounds that they are "Arab" didn't seem to fit with the lib play book. But think about it, if they block this deal, they not only get to the right of Bush on national security for once BUT, if they're lucky, they piss off the UAE so much that it in turns cuts off access to the air and naval bases on its territory that the US is currently using to fight the war, which makes fighting the war even more difficult, eventually leading the US to "declare victory and go home". The US loses Iraq, the Democrats are vindicated.

Remember. They're not against the war. They're on the other side.

Posted by: PeterZ | February 24, 2006 05:27 PM

This article is akin to saying, "well, we have lost the battle (to keep critical infrastructure under USA control), so why bother now?" But, is this a valid argument? 94% of shipping containers are not inspected, port authority personnel and managers have great responsibility and leeway in how the port is operated, now to be potentially under UAE control. The final question, if a 10 megaton nuclear warhead is smuggled in from some god forsaken part of the world, in a shipping container, and detonates in NYC or Washington DC, how much reassurance will we have then that we supported "free trade" when we gave our ports over to foreign control.

Posted by: Joe | February 24, 2006 06:14 PM

Look in the wallet. What we've got are pieces of tissue paper impressively imprinted, in effect, with "I owe you nothing." Treasury Job One is to spin this on a global basis.

However, when the tissue paper gets returned in exchange for some tangible business interests to run some kid of real commerce on the ground, how can there be a surprise?

The outsider always has a better and more intelligent perspective. Perhaps that is the essence of capitalism; but I'm not entirely sure. The student excels the master. Youth cannot be defeated.

On the plantaton, money is too scarce to spend on whims like food, which any responsible person should be growing and putting away themselves. But maybe buying a share in the port deal, if anyway available to common folk, would be a good idea for the old folks looking to a dividend.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 24, 2006 06:25 PM

Someone wrote
"But, this is a valid argument? 94% of shipping containers are not inspected, port authority personnel and managers have great responsibility and leeway in how the port is operated, now to be potentially under UAE control. The final question, if a 10 megaton nuclear warhead is smuggled in from some god forsaken part of the world, in a shipping container, and detonates in NYC or Washington DC, how much reassurance will we have then that we supported "free trade" when we gave our ports over to foreign control."

I like to think of it as why add a risk factor when we are trying to eliminate them. In reality it may be no trouble with these guys (UAE)operating the ports, but the fact that it seems so counter-intuitive to the average Joe even with the best presented arguement supporting it; says to me anyway, it should not be done.
Some say it is racist, not the right message to send to the Arab masses, and helps the fanatics justify their actions. Others say it is just handing them the sword to chop off our tolrent heads. It just seems like common sense to me after 9/11.

I doubt Bush had much to do with the bidding process-or Clinton in the past- but who ever the einstein is who thought this would fly should be fired. Americans are pretty inclusive (even if forced to be sometimes), but someone really misread this one and his boss too.

I do not care what the Arab world thinks of us, the fact that they send all their kids here to educate them says it all. But the poor masses who have been educated domestically with an embedded hatred for all things not islam, welcome any confrontation with the west. This is the beast hiding in plain sight that one day soon will rise up in a big way, and have to be dealt with.

The ports are realistically in the middle somewhere in this brewing mess.

Maybe another young pretty white girl will meet a horrible demise soon; and take us to the next outrage that diverts us from ever having to look at anything soberly.

Which I am not by the way; CHEERS!

Posted by: 11bravo | February 25, 2006 02:07 AM

100 million to Katrina victims 3 days before the takeover was to take place....


I doubt very effin much that dubya "didn't know."


do you think he or any of his friends got any of that $100 million?


perhaps.

Posted by: UAE donated... | February 25, 2006 08:33 PM

Anybody seen Osama lately? Didn't we allow 'somebody else'to go after him? That pretty much sums up the reason why this deal with Dubai must not go through.

Posted by: Modiddy | February 28, 2006 12:24 PM

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