Monday, February 27, 2006

Is Anybody Paying Attention? Dubai Ports Deal, Take 2

Some people just don’t listen. I still hear and read about “port takeover” when it has been made clear that Dubai Ports World (DPW) is in the process of acquiring management of six port terminals in the United States. The company which currently owns that position is Peninsular and Oriental Steam Ports (P&O, or Penor), is a British owned company. DPW has no plans to replace personnel who now hold positions in the US operations. In other words, the same people who work for Penor will be working for DPW. All of this has been clearly spelled out in the past week. How does that constitute a “port takeover” if nothing changes except for the name of the company?
Senators and congresspersons are still demanding US Customs inspections at the point of embarkation, but last week, President Bush informed us that UAE was the first foreign entity to allow Customs inspectors to check 100% of high risk containers at the point of embarkation. Legistlators have been suggesting that that UAE may actually be a hostile nation , even after President Bush assured us that UAE is the strongest ally we have Middle East. General Tommy Franks even informed us that we have a US Air Base in the UAE, and that the US Navy docks more ships in the Port of Dubai than in any other port in the world outside of the United States. But that is all moot. Security and port ownership at the US ports remain and will remain in US hands. Even today, these congresspersons are noting the concerns the Coast Guard had about gaps in intelligence on DPW, concerns which were withdrawn after they were briefed by the CIA. Are our representatives ignorant? Are they behind the rest of us in receiving news?
I don’t think so. I believe these representatives consider we, the people, ignorant. After all, many of us do fall for the myth that the Democrats are for the poor and the Republicans are for the rich, so why shouldn’t we swallow more of the crap they feed us? As I have said before, it is merely politics, another chance to take a position in the upcoming elections, and to have a platform on which to stand while advocating the creation of the Soviet Socialist Union of The United States.
DPW has requested that another 45 day review of the business transaction be conducted. This, hopefully will clear all of the questions and doubts about the deal. But leave it up to Congress, more ways will be found to use the deal to criticize the current Administration.

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