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US Port Takeover - Strange Bedfellows

Given the moonbattery normally associated with former President Jimmy Carter, I can't imagine that anyone in the Bush administration is particularly excited to see this quote in the news regarding the controversy over the acquisition of a British company that has been running six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates.

The Bush administration got support Monday from former President Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of the administration.

"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his secretary of state and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports," Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

I think Sen. Lindsay Graham's (R-SC) characterization of the administrations approval of the deal as "unbelievably tone deaf politically" is confirmed by Carter's praise...

Reuters Video


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Comments (19)

I have been working and liv... (Below threshold)
Hershey:

I have been working and living in Iraq over the past 11 months I have traveled to Dubai, UAE six times in the past year. I honestly can't see what the big bitch is about. What we should be doing is bitching about the boarders. Where is the out cry about our boarders back home? That's what we should be on the presidents ass about. That's the real threat. Having a Dubai based company run the ports is not a big deal.

Jeez, I was originally for ... (Below threshold)
mojo:

Jeez, I was originally for this deal, but now, finding that JIMMUH is ON MY SIDE, I may have to join the opposition.

That's a pretty clear sign from god that I'm wrong, y'see.

Except that it means joining HILLARY and her canckles.

Ugh.

Jeez, I was originally for ... (Below threshold)
nick:

Jeez, I was originally for this deal, but now, finding that JIMMUH is ON MY SIDE, I may have to join the opposition.
Except that it means joining HILLARY and her canckles.
Ugh.
Posted by: mojo at February 21, 2006 11:52 AM

Mojo:
Or maybe it's just a sign that your man, George Bush, is the idiot the opposition says he is.

If JC is agreeing with you ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

If JC is agreeing with you on an issue of national security you really need to re-evaluate. No one has been as consistently stupid and wrong about such things as old Mr Carter.

Bush is stepping on his dick with this move.

I haven't seen anyone lay o... (Below threshold)

I haven't seen anyone lay out a case that the change in ownership will cause any real changes in the operation of the ports under the British company. It will still be a British company running the ports, I'm guessing with mostly American workers. Besides that, this company does not have anything to do with security operations anyways. The Coast Guard does that.

Also, I seriously doubt that the UAE government will want to risk tanking one of their most successful businesses by compromising itself to terrorism. Not only that, but would the UAE government willingly go along with this deal if it envisioned letting terrorists use it as a gateway to the USA? Think about it. I'm guessing the UAE government doesn't want to end up like the Taliban.

So I see this as a largely fake issue, being used by political opportunists to either hit Bush from the right, or to let Democrats act tough on national security.

This company runs ports in the UK, Australia, Germany, South Korea, China, and many other countries. The UK didn't seem to mind at all. Does the UAE government really pose a greater terrorist threat to the USA than to the UK? Would they put themselves in a position to have the USA have solid proof of their involvement in any terrorist attack using the ports? The Taliban at least didn't take part in al Qaeda's terrorist planning. Why would the UAE government do so and set themselves up to be caught red-handed?

I just don't get what the big fuss is about.

Deciding how to view the issue depending on what Jimmy Carter says is just lame. Come on, even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day.

Just wait until they want t... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Just wait until they want to close the ports to celebrate Ramadan or some other Islamic holidays.


OK, if Carter's for it, it'... (Below threshold)
tblubird:

OK, if Carter's for it, it's a security problem.
He also belives Hamas is a good thing.

And why did Dubai block Michelle Malkin's web site this past weekend? For cartoons? Hardly.

And from Michelle's website comes the following:

Alex Alexiev, of the Center for Security Policy, points out:

Washington claims that the United Arab Emirates is a reliable friend and ally of the United States in the war on terror. To the extent that Dubai Ports World is a UAE state-owned company, this may in fact be the key question to ask. The answer is not hard to find if you start looking at the role played by the UAE as an eager financier of the huge worldwide infrastructure of radical Islam built over the past three decades by Saudi Arabia. An infrastructure that's the main breeding ground of extremism and terrorism.
From the very beginning in the 1970s, the UAE has been a key source of financial support for Saudi-controlled organizations like the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Council of Mosques, and the Muslim World League (MWL) as documented in The Muslim World League Journal, an English-language monthly. The IDB alone, for instance, spent $10 billion between 1977 and 1990 for "Islamic activities" and at least $1 billion more recently to support terrorist activities by the Palestinian Al Aqsa and Intifada Funds.

One of the most successful Islamist operations in the U.S. early on involved the Wahhabi ideological takeover of the Nation of Islam after the death of its founder Elijah Muhammad. Of the $4.8 million "presented" to W. D. Muhammad, Elijah's son and successor, in 1980 alone, one million came from UAE's president Sheikh Zayad, according to the August 1980 issue of the MWL Journal. Zayad continued his "philanthropic" activities by donating $2.5 million for a Zayad Islamic Center at Harvard University's divinity school of all places. The donation had to be returned after it became known that a similar Zayad Center in the UAE was closed because it had become a hotbed of Islamic extremism. And this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. A reliable friend and ally? Perhaps, but hardly one of ours.

Ok, I'm done. turn me over.

There's a problem here. And I don't care who's against it (even, ugh, Hillary), it needs againstin (not a word - yet).

Hmmm.Just goes to ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Just goes to show how few people actually know what a *Port Management Company* actually does.

What a waste of time.

<a href="http://www.wtol.co... (Below threshold)
Hershey:

http://www.wtol.com/global/Story.asp?s=4530676

oh no, looks like we found some terrorists in our own country, guess we can't give the ports to an American company now! What stupid logic. Give the job to the Dubai based company and worry about the boarders.

Or maybe it's just... (Below threshold)
Or maybe it's just a sign that your man, George Bush, is the idiot the opposition says he is.

Oh, you mean the opposition that thought the Cheney hunting accident could bring down the entire Bush administration?

Bush-haters using the word "idiot" anywhere except when looking in the mirror. Priceless.

oh no, looks like ... (Below threshold)
oh no, looks like we found some terrorists in our own country

Do we have your permission to question his patriotism?

OK - I'm agreein' w/tblubir... (Below threshold)
PHD:

OK - I'm agreein' w/tblubird that this one - even if it IS from the good guys in the WH - needs some 'againstin' (I like the word). I wanted to see if this issue was really worth the nickel - even IF former president jimmuh cahta was aginst it too - and after some diggn' with another of our favorite blogsites 'MM' CLICK: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004612.htm laid

I see where the $$$ is BIG and the DIRTY $$$ is BIGGER...so yes this Islamophobe is supporting Hilrah and Jimmuh but also Pataki and Frist in sayin to our fellow 'publicans in the WH - BAD IDEA! PLEASE STOP!

Patrticularly by givin' the Libs somethin' to bitch about and ammunition to prove we're not too bright at runnin' this Homeland Security biddnis...

Port Security means that when some employee of this company: DPW, happens to be someone's cousin's cousin who happens to be the friend of a radical naturalized U.S. citizen who just so happens to be an avowed islamofacist extremist who wants to help friends back in Dubai sneak a dirty bomb inside some container to take out Port Baltimore or Port Newark...well it won't happen. RIGHT?!

This hoopla is about port o... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

This hoopla is about port operations. How many sections of the airport is under the operational control questionable foreign country. For example, China, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia Russia, etc. Granted they aren't in charge of security and have to follows rules. However U.A.E. is not in charge of port security and have to follow rules also. I believe this story will once again show the ignorance and the tendency of many to jump to conclusions. Of course it will be buried on page 22.

"oh no, looks like we found... (Below threshold)
Hershey:

"oh no, looks like we found some terrorists in our own country"

Do we have your permission to question his patriotism? McGehee


Who's patriotism? I think you are getting confused here. Maybe with 2 different posters?

If your talking about me, I was in the Army for 6 years and I've been living and working in Baghdad for the past 11 months. So go ahead and question mine, you won't get too far.

... off in the distance, I ... (Below threshold)
Yo:

... off in the distance, I smell the slight tinge of a Rovian-esque head-fake. I could be out of my head, and I'm sure I'm be properly inviscerated if I am ...

Just watching CNN ..., all these democrats are now clammering about how bad of an idea this is because, and I heard more than two of them say it, out loud, on camera: we're at war (with the Middle East).

I've always seen the Dems as refuting the Pres.'s "war on terror." As if it were some sort of Bush pipe dream - tabacco supplied by Rove, of course. A pipe dream that allowed him to get re-elected and do silly things, like the Patriot Act, and the whole WMD thing, being Satan incarnate, spying on me via my expelled stool - somehow; y'know? normal moonbat hijinks.

I know I'm crazy. Possibly to the level of certifiably so; but, how priceless would it be if a lame-duck President has absolutely no intention of giving port responsibility to the UAE; but porpusefully makes a federal case out of it, knowing full well that it could get both sides of the aisle clammering about how we're at war?

Get the Dems to admit it. Get them to chew on some of their anti-war bloviations and start facing reality.

Show that the Reps aren't lock-stepped with the Pres, and allow them an easy way to step back from him, and tell the mid-term swing voters - "I haven't ALWAYS supported Bush. You want proof? I voted to over-turn the only veto he attempted" or, "I worked with the Democrats to help convince Bush NOT to veto."

Either way.


It's a stretch.

But the more I watch the media going a tad batty trying to get all these lazy American viewers up to speed by giving everyone a mini-course on the threats of islamofacists, and seeing people finally understand what all the fuss is about - by being forced to understand why it's a threat (personally, I'm against anything that Jimmuh C's supporting - even to a casual student of history, Carter's track record of good calls ain't so hot. So, if he's for it, it's just got to be lousy) anyway..., the whole thing starts to look so Hollywood, I'm finding myself rooting for the rousing titilation of a Presidential "caper."

Again, it's a stretch;

but it'd be sweet.


Back to the pipe.

Greg says, "Just wait until... (Below threshold)

Greg says, "Just wait until they want to close the ports to celebrate Ramadan or some other Islamic holidays."

Seeing as how they run lots of ports all around the world, and have been doing so for years, I think this should be fairly easy to check up on... and I think the answer is going to be ehhh NO. ;)

Yo,

I always believed that the whole Harriet Miers nomination was a Bush-Rove conspiracy to (1) show that Republicans weren't lock-step with the president and (2) get the Democrats all riled up before nominating a much more qualified judge instead of Miers, sinking their battleships.

I predicted that the Miers nomination would be dropped long before it was, reasoning that it was all a charade. When things happened as I had envisioned, I can't help but wonder if my conspiracy theory was correct.

I don't see that being the case with this port management thing, but it might be. Who knows. If Bush eventually nukes the port deal, then it might be so. But didn't he just go on the record saying he would veto any opposition to the deal?

Hmmm.Frankly I thi... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Frankly I think it's those jackass pundits on the *Right* blowing hot air yet again. Remember when their target was Trent Lott? Well we then got Frist. Then it was Delay, and who did we get?

I read the pundits sometimes. But I don't make the mistake of thinking these twits actually know what the F**K they're talking about. If you actually read the blogs carefully you'll see a shitload of opinion and hardly anything that could be remotely called a fact.

Frankly I think these people would be hard pressed to actually define what a port management company actually does.

In short: schedules.

A port management company deals with scheduling the incoming and outgoing ships, which docks are available on what schedule. What cargo handlers are available and on what schedule. The company also deals with repairs, if not actually repairing then the scheduling of repairs and dockings. The company also deals with reprovisioning, unloading and loading of the ships.

Why?

Because the amount of space available in a port is extremely limited and very very valuable. Additionally there are only so many tugs available at any one time and only so much water to move these massive ships.

It's frigging traffic control. Nothing to do with security whatsoever. What a complete bullshit bit of nonsense. And yet there's that old crew out there making waves on nothing of substance.

It's really very irritating.

"But didn't he just go on t... (Below threshold)
Yo:

"But didn't he just go on the record saying he would veto any opposition to the deal?"

Sexion...

He did. But Congress can, unless my memory of Civics has taken a digger, overturn a veto with a 2/3 vote.

I still agree my frivolous theory to be just that. Friv. However, in the twisted goo which fills my cranium, a plot like that would be genius, I tell ya. Sheer genius.

Regardless, even if Ed is correct (and I'm not saying that he isn't - I'm the guy who's quackers, not him), I think it a valuable political asset to have a goodly number of democrats being on record saying that we're at war, and, to no lessor extent, with whom.

The anti-war movement just had a wee bit of air released from their balloon.

The larger picture being that, as shitty as it may sound we can't trust anyone from the Middle East, right now - because, they have world domination on their minds, and if Afghanistan or Iran are any indication of what the end product is what we're to expect - we have to be dicks, on occassion, to avoid that (without blowing something up).

While I may not understand the particulars of the deal, I think on face value, having American assets controlled by Americans - not even the UK, but Americans, is of vital national ego requirement.

But, then again, having some kinda' ally over there ain't such a bad thing either.

Which is mo' important? No clue.

It's confusing; but, as long as this situation gets people to enlighten themselves on how f'd up and greedy our enemy is, they'll back off on regurgitating past-their-prime Abu Gharib vacation photos (compared to what those inmates did to the people THEY tortured - please, they're getting off EZ), possibly taking a good look at what we're actually accomplishing and get on board with this so we can get it over with as soon as possible - it's all good.

We've gotta' knock off this whole "islam" issue one way or the other: victory or submission. History shows that there is no middle ground in this battle. So, yeah .. let's get on board, go kill us some radical wahbiist punk byotches, now, so we can get back to watching the bad movies, eating bad food, getting into bad shape and generally being American, again, soon.

... apologies to all for the rant ... I've had that last bit stored up for a few days... I feel better now. Thanks.


Boarders or Borders? Just ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Boarders or Borders? Just curious if we're referring to LE teams jumping on ships or the boundaries of illegal immigration.

Been to the UAE. Plays both sides as long as it makes money and keeps the folks at home happy. But you don't want to tangle with the law there if you are used to Western justice...




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