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Port Apprehensions February 23, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, News and politics.
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Conservative Michelle Malkin posted an e-mail from a reader spelling out just what this deal covers:

DWI is not “buying the American ports” as I see frequently misrepresented in articles about this in the MSM. American ports cannot be bought.
They are buying the port operating division of a London-based, British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. That purchase will include current contracts that P&O ports has with the various ports listed in the stories. There are other port operation companies out there. The port in New York or any of the other ports mentioned could choose to contract with some other company if they do not want DWI being responsible for operating terminals in these ports. As we understand it the same employees who work for P&O currently will still be the employees that work there after the purchase goes through.

I don’t think there are suddenly going to be Arabs running all over the ports. Anymore so than there already are. Actually because of regulations and unions, more and more of ocean shipping, port operations and terminal operations in America are being run by non-American companies.
As Instapundit’s reader observed, the UAE provided supplies for our troops in Afghanistan. Should we refuse that cooperation? If we don’t trust them to manage the non-security aspects of a port, why should we trust their drinking water? Why do we trust them enough to use Al Dhafra Air Base and other facilities on their soil?

We now know that nothing is set to change on how security at these ports would change under the deal – it would still all be managed by the Coast Guard.

Schumer is… what’s the word I’m looking for here… strongly misleading us. There is no “outsourcing of homeland security duties.” We’ve been snookered, folks. Schumer should put up some evidence to support his charge. As of now, there is nothing to indicate that the UAE or Dubai Ports World would have any control over security procedures at any of these facilities.

Or as Democrat Tom Barnett says:

After lecturing the Europeans over the cartoon flap, it’s awfully weird to watch the paranoia, racism, and pure political nonsense at work on the proposed purchase of a British port-managing firm by a Dubai corporation.
The message we send on this is clear: if you’re Arab, you’re immediately untrustworthy. Dubai seeks to become the Singapore of the Middle East, and watching that rather progressive model of capitalism + Islam reach out for this strand of connectivity in a venue it knows all too well (shipping) makes perfect sense.
Is it the pretense of these “hawks” that America somehow “secures” itself in a globalized world, not being able to trust any others in this process?
This thing is so overblown on so many levels as to be truly, madly, deeply stupid as a political football. Shame on any presidential types for grabbing this one and running with it. Our goal in the GWOT is to connect the Middle East faster than the jihadists can disconnect it, so again, what do we say here to the people of Dubai,who have–believe it or not–done plenty to aid our efforts in the region at great personal risk to their national security?
The biggest joke? This labeling of the contract as somehow putting the company in question in charge of our port security, when it’s only about managing commercial activities. The Coast Guard runs security for our ports–always has and always will. This is misrepresentation of the worst sort.
People act responsibly when you give them responsibility. Dubai has earned that trust. Either we’re true to our word or let’s just go Tom Friedman’s ‘cut-them-off-at-the-gas” proposal and tell the entire Islamic world that we accept Osama bin Laden’s offer of civilizational apartheid.
I’m with Bush on this one. He’s showing some serious maturity on a subject about which too many in Congress are acting childishly.

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