Politics as (un)usual: Now discussing the Dubai Ports World Deal

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Dec 21, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    OK, at what point will people let go of the totally stupid idea that the cartoons caused people to protest? It's not like I've already illustrated ad infinitum how the cartoons are merely a convenient excuse, yet we still link to reactionary, insipid journalists who perpetuate this asinine misinterpretation and people are quoting it themselves.

    And what the sam hell do you call people getting the idea that the implicit sentiment that all Arabs must be terrorists isn't racist? It's bloody well obviously a bigoted statement, and that DPW has a track record above reproach by any of you not currently employed by a competitor is something you're all ignoring because all those Aay-rabs must be terrorists.

    [face_flag]

    As someone with a good understanding of both counterterrorism policy AND international trade, I'm both condescendingly amused and somewhat dismayed that people are so fixated upon something so utterly inconsequential. Jabba already summarised this a page ago; right debate, wrong issue.

    E_S
  2. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    This issue has nothing to do with race; it is a security issue being discussed.

    So, those throwing around the 'teh racist!' card are making the argument of last resort. Argue the issue on the merits (or non-merit) of the issue.

    U.A.E. was one of the very few nations to recognize the gov't of the Taliban. They allowed A.Q. Khan's shipments through Dubai to N. Korea and Iran. Two of the 9/11 hijackers came from there, and much operational planning took place there. Their banking system is also suspect.

    According to the 9/11 Commission, a U.A.E. official tipped off Bin Laden to avoid our strikes when he was staying in a hunting camp.

    There is viable concern by the US Government here, and there are real issues here. If it is found - after appropriate oversight scruitiny - that DPW is not a security threat, then let it go ahead if approved.

    At least be thorough about it.

    Now, I've personally been to the U.A.E twice. I spent time in Dubai and Jabal Ali, and it is indeed more modern than other Gulf States.

    They've indeed given us aid; however, we simply can't look at their government as the same as that of the U.K. in relation to us. We must be very cautious, especially in one of the most (if not the most) vulnerable area of our nation's homeland security defense.
  3. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    Hmm, Ender, I'm not racist toward Arabs, yet I'm still highly in favor of an extended 45 day review process. How do you explain that one? Could it be this has absolutely nothing to do with racism? If anything, you seem to generalizing about Americans to say that the reaction to the port deal is racist.
  4. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    The problem is that even after an additional review, you can still keep coming up with additional reasons why it could be a threat to national security.

    How can you claim that the first review was inadequate if the additional review reaches the same results? How, then, was the initial review deficient?

    It's true, we don't know enough, but that doesn't mean that CFIUS doesn't. Basically, you are arguing that because you haven't taken the time to actually research the matter (etc.)


    Actually, there is already information about the content of the review.

    Source: Post
    In a private briefing for House aides late yesterday, administration officials from the departments of State, Defense, Treasury and Homeland Security said the CFIUS met only once during a 23-day review of the sale


    The white house claimed that there were "extra security concessions" from DPW coming from the first review, but these appear to be little more than pledges to comply with U.S. law.

    Source: NYT

    In the Jan. 6 letter to the department, the company agreed to operate the terminals ''to the extent possible with the current U.S. management structure'' and to maintain existing security policies. But most of its assurances centered on compliance with existing United States law.

    The administration exempted DPW from other obligations typically required by the United States.

    Source: AP

    The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on US soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate US government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to US approvals of foreign sales in other industries.


    That foreign government owns the company is crucial because U.S. law mandates additional investigation in these cases if the acquisition might affect national security. CFIUS reported that there was a 23 day review which doesnt seem to be very thorough in the first place. Even if it was, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has claimed that an additional review should have been undertaken.

    So, like I said, I am just bringing these issues to the table so that the review can be thorough.


  5. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Did you feel the same way about the UK managing the ports? And why do you feel safer with them than the UAE? The UK, after all, has done worse to the US. We used to be a colony. They could try to turn us into a colony again. You never know. It might happen. Add to that that a lot of their people orchestrated the revolutionary war's tactics. See? They could do anything to us at any second if we allow them to continue managing our ports. Hey, my reasons for not allowing the UK are similar to yours and DM's. I mean...they terrorized our nation. But we're not up in arms over that. Hell, 2 people came from the UAE that attacked on 9/11. There were thousands of Brits that came from Britain and attacked us. You have to decide, which is worse. A former colonial power or a nation with 2 terrorists that came from there?

    So why are you against the UAE? Is it because they have Arab in their nation's title and that scares you? Yeah, Arab is a scary word these days.

    Even if it was, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has claimed that an additional review should have been undertaken.

    *snort* Bi-partisan...you're going to trust these people to make your mind up for you?
  6. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    LOL, Fire. That was a good rant. The british company wasn't government owned. You made some really funny points that I'm not sure you're even serious about. I think it would be great if UAE was as good an ally as Britain someday.
  7. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    What kind of message do you think this sends to people in the UAE? It does not matter if the company is government owned or not. If anything I'd say the government of the UAE is a lot safer than if it were a privately owned company. At least then if something does happen you know who to go after. The comedy is in the exaggeration. That's why I laugh at some of the points that are brought up because they're so exaggerated it's funny (even if they are serious). Say for instance two UAE citizens being in on the 9/11 attack. I find that as justification as hilarious because we're holding an entire nation responsible for what two of its citizens did. Are we going to hold every nation to that standard? And more importantly are we going to hold ourselves to that standard? If one of the numerous US tourists does something irresponsible in a foreign country will the government take the blame for their actions?
  8. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    Say for instance two UAE citizens being in on the 9/11 attack. I find that as justification as hilarious because we're holding an entire nation responsible for what two of its citizens did. Are we going to hold every nation to that standard?

    I understand your concern about that, but that is not exactly what people are saying. I don't think the point of 2 hijackers being UAE citizens is one of the real concerns of port security. But it does show contrast between the way this administrations treats different countries with less 9/11 connections. And that is something we should be concerned with. Because in the end it really just increases the danger of terrorism by increasing tension between the non-ruling Muslim/Arab classes and America. Iraq and Iran had nothing to do with 9/11 in contrast with Saudi Arabia. This whole port deal does show even more that Bush's "strength on terror" really has no rhyme or reason, other than business decisions that will help certain companies and industries. The fact of American lives does seem to be an afterthought to how actions in the middle east will help business. I know that it isn't just Bush that did this, but 9/11 changed everything, as someone said. I feel we've lost an opportunity by having Bush in power during this key time in American history.
  9. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    As much as this is going to make me feel dirty for defending GWB, but no-one is ever held to the same standard of consistency. Granted he's a hypoctrite, but if I were held to the same standard that everyone's holding him to I'd be considered a hypocrite too.
  10. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    As much as this is going to make me feel dirty for defending GWB, but no-one is ever held to the same standard of consistency. Granted he's a hypoctrite, but if I were held to the same standard that everyone's holding him to I'd be considered a hypocrite too.

    It's admirable that you would do something you feel dirty doing in the pursuit of truth. But can you honestly say that Bush does not deserve to be called a hypocrite at all?

    [Edit, just understood your post better after re-reading. Please disregard.]

    I'll re-word. Given that you believe he is a hypocrite, do you not think he deserves to be watched very closely (held to a high standard)? It is a fairly new development that the Republican controlled Senate and Congress are considering going against him. I think it is appropriate that Republicans are beginning to go against him rather than pack together. Perhaps it is just because of upcoming elections, but it seems at least there is a more appropriate level of caution, given Bush's history.
  11. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    He does in some areas and in other areas he's held to ridiculous standards. The problem is that the people that criticize the president are inconsistent themselves in how they apply their standards.
  12. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    The problem is that the people that criticize the president are inconsistent themselves in how they apply their standards.

    I'm sure that is true in some cases, but what examples are you talking about?
  13. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I would think that being government owned by a close ally would be a much bigger incentive to trust the compnay than being privately owned, for several reasons.

    1) If an attack occurs on the US through the actions of a foreign-government-sponsored organization, it can easily be considered an act of war and lead to military reprisals. That, alone, should be sufficient to keep them in check.
    2) How can you really evaluate all of the motivations behind the actions of a private group? They would have fewer resources than a government-sponsored group, which means that it could a lot easier for a terrorist to infiltrate that group.

    The UAE government would have nothing to gain and everything to lose if they allowed their company to be used for a terrorist attack on the US.

    And if the fear is that militant Islamic extremists would infiltrate the organization, remember that Britain has a pretty big Islamic population as well, and there's no assurance that militant Muslims haven't infiltrated P&O.

    Kimball Kinnison
  14. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5

    -Hey, wait a minute...Isn't this what some of us said about Saddam Hussain's Iraq?

    It's a pretty strange circumstance when George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Kimball_Kinnison and Fire Ice Death all agree on something.

    Just as wierd, Bill Frist, Denny Hastardt, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Darth Mischevious, Bendu Hopkins, the New York Post and the New York times all united in opposition.
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The UAE is a long-standing ally (our air and naval presence there didnn't magically appear overnight). Iraq was a state with which we had been in a constant state of armed conflict for over 12 years (through enforcing the no-fly zones).

    That does make for quite a bit of a difference.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    1) If an attack occurs on the US through the actions of a foreign-government-sponsored organization, it can easily be considered an act of war and lead to military reprisals. That, alone, should be sufficient to keep them in check.

    I don't think if there were an attack in one of these ports that it would be traceable to the government anyway ? whether they had a hand in it or not. So it would be stupid for us to strike their government if something happened. But who knows, maybe someone who infiltrated the company would want to frame it on the government just because they want to take down the UAE.

    2) How can you really evaluate all of the motivations behind the actions of a private group? They would have fewer resources than a government-sponsored group, which means that it could a lot easier for a terrorist to infiltrate that group.

    Good question. But you might want to ask that to whoever came up with this law:
    EXON-FLORIO PROVISION

    It requires an investigation in cases where:
    the acquirer is controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government; and
    the acquisition "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S."
  17. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Who's that?

    :confused:

    Must be some wannabe.

    heh
  18. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Shoot. Now I'm going to be permabanned.:(
  19. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    2) How can you really evaluate all of the motivations behind the actions of a private group? They would have fewer resources than a government-sponsored group, which means that it could a lot easier for a terrorist to infiltrate that group.

    I'll submit that if a private company did have as mixed a relationship to terrorism to UAE, there would be no question that the deal would never be considered in the first place.
  20. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
  21. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Nah. People are gonna see what they wanna see.

    But this may raise some eye brows. Why would Bill attempt to put the port deal through while Hillary is is making a political issue of it?

    Hmmmm....
  22. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    The reasons outlined above are why I am skeptical about this deal. I think there are also areas for abuse and I am not 100% confident that national security overrides the almighty dollar with this administration. I personally think the ports should be operated by the state and local govenments and not by any private enterprise or foreign government. Thankfully my port doesn't have this issue.

    Port lands are owned by the City of Long Beach in trust for the people of the State of California and cannot be sold to any private enterprises. The California Legislature approved a Tidelands grant to Long Beach, giving the city the right to manage and develop the Harbor District for the sole purposes of commerce, navigation, fisheries and recreation. The Port is self-supporting financially and receives no funding from the city of Long Beach?s general fund. California tidelands laws require ports to earn and spend their revenues only on activities related to commerce, navigation, marine recreation and fisheries.
    Security at the Port of Long Beach is the multi-jurisdictional responsibility of many government agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs & Border Protection, federal and state Homeland Security offices, Long Beach Police Department and the Port Harbor Patrol, which have the authority to access all facilities and cargo at the Port. In addition, all terminals must comply with the Federal Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.Ensuring the safety and security of our customers, tenants, visitors, employees and the community at large has always been a top priority at the Port of Long Beach. Since September 11, 2001, however, security has become a paramount concern, and the Port and other government security agencies have significantly increased security in and around the Long Beach Harbor. For more information on Port security, click here.
  23. BenduHopkins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    But this may raise some eye brows. Why would Bill attempt to put the port deal through while Hillary is is making a political issue of it?

    The article states that Bill Clinton suggested to them that they propose the 45 day investigation. WHICH IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Somthing some people seem to be missing. I don't see how this can be spun to be in opposition to Hillary's efforts. The hope is that a 45 day investigation will block the deal, if any security risks or economic conflicts with US companies are found. Since our government failed to follow the law in issuing the 45 day investigation (a law written by CFIUS itself), the democrats used Clinton, who has a relationship with them as a former president of the US, to suggest that THEY submit the idea of 45 day investigation. It was the only way that the 45 day investigation would have even been submitted, given the whitewashing of the existence of the law by the media and the administration.
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
  25. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    It looks like the Republicans are revolting against the Bush Administration's position in this matter because the immense pressure by their local constituency. Bush's ratings are in the toilet, and he has no political muscle behind his policy now. Congress is running as far away from him as possible.

    In all likelihood, the port deal will go down in defeat. Any Presidential Veto will be overridden, yet another embarrassment for the Bush Administration in a long line of failures in his second term.

    It seems that barring some kind of radical success (like the complete stabilization of Iraq and the killing of the upper echelon of Al Qaeda), the Bush Presidency is in full lame duck status and is finished (that's not even to mention if the Dems get the House this Fall).

    This port deal is just another mishandled debacle that has been the recent norm
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.