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A Day Later: DPW Reaction Round Up

These folks are weighing in on the DPW pull out:

Tom Bevan at RCP Blog has a post mortem and asks some interesting questions:

So the deal is dead. I think the emotion behind the issue was understandable, though misplaced. Turning away Dubai may or may not have long term economic and foreign policy ramifications, but anyone who thinks that we've somehow made our ports safer by telling DPW to shove off is kidding themselves.


And now that we've set this precedent and labeled it as vital to national security, aren't we obligated to start asking some other questions? Something like eleven out of the thirteen terminals at the port of Long Beach are operated by foreign-owned companies, almost all of which have some level of government ownership. That includes the Chinese, who are probably less of a strategic ally than Dubai. Must we insist they divest themselves from port operations?

Ed at Captain's Quarters calls it A Dreadful Interlude for All:

It's a rare event indeed that leaves everyone involved diminished in some capacity. This, unfortunately, was one of them, and I'm glad it's almost over.

Carol Platt Liebau talks about the Dubai Divestiture:

But there's plenty of blame to go around. No one from the Administration made a public, readily understood argument in favor of the ports deal going forward, or adequately responded to the concerns voiced by Democrats and Republicans alike.


And finally, who urged the President -- who has declined to veto even gargantuan spending bills -- to choose this issue for a veto threat?

All Things Beautiful has a good round up of reaction. She makes a good point about which company has the money to purchase DPW's interest in the US terminals:

Well, let's hope someone has $6.8 bil stashed away in the closet, as Dubai ports is certainly not going to fire sell this asset. One potential private-equity buyer, namely Washington's Carlyle Group, said "the firm will probably not be interested in P&O's port operations, given the political scrutiny such a deal would invite." Speaking as an experienced negotiator, this provides a great scene setting for cutting a lucrative deal, and it looks as if though some are already starting to play hard to get.

Bryan Preston from the Junkyard Blog asks if we have just made a new enemy:

If the emirs' thinking really does come down to "All we've done for you guys," the "you guys" being us, then yeah, there will be some negative fallout for this deal. Reality is that we have done an awful lot for them, but as is typical around the world, what the US does for anyone else is largely forgotten, while what any country does for the US, however small it may be, gets used to guilt-trip us into doing more.

RightWing Sparkle thinks the Dubai pull out is a good thing for everyone:

I see this as a win win all around. The situation gets resolved in the manner the people wanted and Bush doesn't look like a wimp that caved. The Republican congress looks like it stood strong on the issue so it can't be used against them in the elections AND our Middle Eastern friends can't be mad at Bush on the matter since he stood up for them.

Sean at The American Mind thinks the Dubai pull out is a bad thing all the way around:

Dubai Ports World gives up. This isn't good. Demogogues win without making a case that DPW was a security threat, and economic nationalists use this to make the case that only American companies should own certain industries. What industries that will be will depend on the political winds, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, we all have to deal with the repercussions.

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Comments (15)

economic nationalists us... (Below threshold)
Phinn:

economic nationalists use this to make the case that only American companies should own certain industries

This is the crux of it. The rest is all just short-term political bullshit.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear these cries of simulated outrage over the dangers of state-ownership of the operations companies. Haven't these people noticed that the PORTS THEMSELVES are state-owned? Have they no sense of shame, or at least a sense of irony?

Or is it all OK when we do it, but not them? (Answer: neither, of course.)

So, once you get past the hypocrisy and the business-as-usual raping of the free market, the security claim is the biggst farce I have seen in quite a while. WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF CONTAINER SHIPPING, PEOPLE! If someone wants to put a bomb in a container, by the time it reaches the nuke-detectors in the US port, it's too late. The security risk is in the COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, not on our end. Jeez.

So, what we have is economic stupidity + greed + craven protectionism + the usual political buffoons. This whole topic has been a Perfect Storm of asshattery.

Right Wing Sparkle misses t... (Below threshold)

Right Wing Sparkle misses the point that while they may not be mad at Bush, it's not an improvement for them to be mad at US. Because Bush will soon be gone. If someone is mad at him, big deal. They know we change presidents like we change socks.

But if they focus their disappointment and disgust at the alarmists who blocked the deal... well, we're still going to be around, aren't we.

Phinn, I agree... and I als... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

Phinn, I agree... and I also think that "Screw Them" isolationism is starting to rule the day on our soil.

The fact that the Dems won't be seen going after genuine identifiable national security threats like our "open borders" only will prove that this was only an exercise of political opportunism.

This sucks all around.

Well said Phinn...... (Below threshold)

Well said Phinn...

This notion that our "foreigners" should own in this country is pretty dumb. "Our ports should be in the control of Americans!!"

Way to complicate our ability to participate in the global economy, folks.

Hmmm.wiI stated ri... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.wi

I stated right from the very beginning that this was an idiotic issue and I think it still is. Frankly I think the real problem is that there are some Right ng bloggers that have a real ego problem, and one of them is Michelle Malkin. Let's face it. The Democrats wouldn't have jumped onto this bandwagon if the Rightwing bloggers hadn't be shouting it out with nothing to back them up. So they created a blogstorm. What a mess.

This sort of nonsense is the same reason that saw Trent Lott thrown under a bus for a ridiculous comment made at the 100th birthday party for a man that was clearly on his way out. How trivial is that? Then there's the treatment of Delay who has been pilloried by many on the Right even though everyone agrees the charges are bogus and it's extremely unlikely that he'd be convicted.

Yet for many on the Right Delay has already been convicted.

...

What I find very interesting personally is that Michelle Malkin was contacted by a reader of hers whose husband worked for a port management company. This reader sent her an email that detailed what a port management company did and did not do. This illustrates that Michelle Malkin made no effort whatsoever to discover what a port management company does before she launched her attack AND it also illustrates that, even with that information available, Michelle Malkin continued the attack for rather unimpressive reasons.

And she's been grasping at any and all straws since then, regardless of how thin, to justify her actions.

There is a significant number of people on the Right that seemingly don't live in the real world. Instead there is this theoretical world in which everything is lightness and happy just as long as enough of the right Republicans and conservatives are thrown under the bus. That and perhaps these people get a kick out of it.

What an unmitigated disaster for no purpose and no positive effect. What a worthless waste of time.

How is it that Republicans are so eager to destroy their own when Democrats will at least try to protect each other?

"Reality is that we have do... (Below threshold)
Omni:

"Reality is that we have done an awful lot for them, but as is typical around the world, what the US does for anyone else is largely forgotten, while what any country does for the US, however small it may be, gets used to guilt-trip us into doing more."


EXACTLY. This is one of the grimmer aspects of human nature; ignore what people do all the time, thus giving no credit for it, and focus on atypical behavior, making those who do less seem heroic for what little they did.

Who gave what isn't what people in other nations will care about, though; the spurning of the UAE makes us look paranoid, and like we're viewing all types of Arabs as terrorists.

(sigh)

The only winners are the la... (Below threshold)

The only winners are the labor unions and isolationists/protectionists. Everyone else loses. BIGTIME.

"I don't know whether to la... (Below threshold)
J Beuke:

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry", I prefer to cry. The reaction to this deal was embarassing and will not be forgotten by the Arab world, nor any of our allies outside of the Arab world anytime soon. America seems to have been taken over by the unintelligent, and uninformed. The real scary thought is that many of them are elected and serving in the Congress.

Thinking...Arabs...shouldnt... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Thinking...Arabs...shouldnt....own..ports..after..9/11...has..been...labeled........
emotional..reaction.....to..discount...the...idea....

Now...this...is..a..true....emotional..reaction.......CRYING,,,,over.....
our....favorite...Arab...dictatorship.........

I have to agree here with t... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

I have to agree here with those taking a critical look at Michelle Malkin. I'm not sure of her motives for being so narrowly focused here. Whatever it was, it damaged our national security, not helped as she probably thinks. I hesitate to call it arrogance though. Maybe like a lot of mothers she is overprotective? I mean, she does argue it was a good thing to lock up a bunch of Japanese during World War II just because they were of Japanese origin.

But just like the Harriet Miers nomination I learned an important lesson. Those who make their living sitting behind a desk typing all day long think very highly of themselves and their knowledge of the world. In this case they were more confident in their own knowledge than that of the Coast Guard (Whom I work with) and Customs and Border Protection (My job). How many DHS workers did you hear complaining about this? Not me.

Don't you think that if this was bad for security we would have been screaming to high heaven? I mean, we have families too you know and we want to protect them just as much as anyone else. Or maybe these pundits just think that they know more about our jobs than we do?

Whatever the case may be, ive learned something important. Michael Savage isn't worth listening to and Michelle Malkin isn't worth reading.

Anyone who spends al... (Below threshold)
jc:


Anyone who spends all day every day making their opinions known on a blog, in a column, in books, etc. is going to be wrong once in a while. It doesn't detract from the great job Michelle Malkin does.

Her argument in her book is much more elaborate and historical than, "it was a good thing to lock up a bunch of Japanese during World War II just because they were of Japanese origin." Have you read it?

On the whole DPW thing: I see it as a microcosm of what has been going on for a long time now, and probably isn't new in American politics (think Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams) but it seems to be at a higher pitch now than ever. It is that enough negative noise, true or not, eventually tears someone or something down if you orchestrate it for long enough.

After 911, some were more c... (Below threshold)

After 911, some were more concerned with "Why do they hate us?" than retaliating. Well, the overreaction to the thought of (of my gosh) doing business with Arabs should help answer that question.

Can anyone an American co... (Below threshold)
B's Freak:

Can anyone an American company with the management infrastructure and familiarity with government contracts to run these ports?
So, what do the Democrats do when Halliburton takkes over?

Ed,I agree with yo... (Below threshold)
mike:

Ed,

I agree with you 100%! I sent emails to Ms Malkin explaining to her how I enjoyed her blog and made a point to read it, but on this matter she was dead wrong!

Told her that she has started looking like the Demented left, Screaming, yellin with no logic and no facts! Then the lilly livered PUBS caved and showed that they were no better than the DIMS, no concern for this country nor it's security, just re-election!

A sad day indeed! I mean hell, the UAE is good enough for our military and only GB and Co. truely know what kind of Ally the UAE has been in this WOT! I can't imagine Bush endangering this country in order to do a "Favor" for a ME country! Like I said, the Extreme left I understand, the right?? They give NO credit to GB! Truely shameful! They got the Herd Mentality and let themselves be Stampeded by the Left!

A significant number of the... (Below threshold)

A significant number of the public opposing this deal criticize Israel and see them as the wrong-doers in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Yet even though the UAE shares their sentiment on Israel these people have used that to vilify the DPW deal. In my neck of the woods we call that hypocrisy.

They feel comfortable with a British firm operating the "terminals" even though it's likely we'll find more pro-Americanism in Dubai than in London. Hell, you could find more pro-Americanism in Dubai than in Berkeley!

If the UAE or DPW wanted to do us harm they could wipe out a sizeable amount of our ground, air and sea defense right there in their own port. They could do more damage to us right there than they could in New York or Miami.




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