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February 23, 2006

Enemy Guarding the Gates?

The UAE based companyDubai Ports World controversy has reached to every corner of the U.S. and beyond. For those of you who have been living in a box underneath a Queen size for the last week, a merger of Dubai Ports by another company would give Dubai Port World port authority for 6 major ports of entry to the U.S.

A concern for me, and others, is that the UAE is a known haven for terrorists and at least 2 of the terrorists in the September 11 attacks were from the UAE. Why would any sane person hand over the security of our ports to a country who harbors the enemy? I wonder if supporters of the merger leave their house keys hanging on a hook outside their front door?

An AP article today shows the goodwill of the UAE as it donated more than $100 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Is this supposed to soften us up for the merger? Even a child molester offers a sack of candy to his victim.
The administration said there was no connection between the request for U.S. approval of the $6.8 billion ports deal and the UAE contribution.

Riiiiiight. I find that hard to believe when:
The United Arab Emirates has long-standing ties to the Bush family
There was one comforting line in the article that said the owner of Dubai Ports was not on the donor list. That just gives me a warm fuzzy all over!


  1. Cooler heads have pointed out that it's not so much who's running the ports that's the security risk, but rather the fact that to this day, as we approach 5 years after 9/11, only 4-6% of containers entering US ports are inspected in any meaningful way.

    It's become a cliche, but the administration's decision to award these contracts to the U.A.E., while not harmful in the way that many people claim, is absolutely politically tone-deaf. Government contracts paid with taxpayers' dollars should go first and foremost to domestic companies. Bush has presided over the worst employment figures since the Depression: this is a great way to create new jobs and pump money into the national economy.

  2. Although a criminaly negligent 4-6% of the entry containers are being inspected, does it make sense to award this contract to a foreign country? What will happen to the numbers then?

    I'm not sure I understand your point of view- Give the contracts to domestic companies first and if that fails then to foreign interests. Either way, more jobs will be created? Andy, it amazes me that you would even take this position. I thought you were smarter than that. There are other ways (at the least, safer for our national security) to create jobs than to give port authority over to a country that has a history of doing harm against us.

    Giving this contract to the UAE is assanine and asking for trouble. Given your logic, Reagan could have given control over our SOSUS stations during the Cold War and you would have been fine with that.

    This argument is moot though because I read a Yahoo news story that the workers in the 6 ports in the U.S. are infuriated that their patriotism is being questioned. They say they will do their job the same way they have been doing it.

    Ahem, I refer you to paragraph 1 of this reply.

  3. I must have been unclear. I am opposed to the deal with the U.A.E., but I accept the argument that so long as hardly anything coming into the ports is being inspected anyway, it makes little difference who we're paying to not do anything. The real issue is the government's failure to implement higher inspection standards and to provide funding to make it possible.

  4. OK, you had me worried there for a second. I thought that you had lost your mind and agreed with Bush when I had disagreed with him. I was looking at the color of the moon to see if it had turned red after I read your first reply. Glad we cleared that up!