I Agree With Democrats?

February 17, 2006

Is the world coming to an end? I am actually going to say “thank you” to the democrats for trying to block this port deal. There’s an old saying which applies here: You don’t shit where you sleep. It’s crude but it’s true. In my little world that statement means you don’t open yourself up to 9/11 part 2.

Story here

Democrats plan bill to block Dubai port deal
By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. Democratic senators said on Friday they would introduce legislation aimed at blocking Dubai Ports World from buying a company that operates several U.S. shipping ports because of security concerns.

Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Hillary Clinton of New York said they would offer a measure to ban companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from acquiring U.S. port operations.

Holy crap. Clinton just moved to the right of Bush.

We wouldn’t turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can’t afford to turn our ports over to one either,” Menendez said in a statement. The Senate Banking Committee also plans to hold a hearing on the issue later this month.

If my life depended on voting for Hellery as president, I’d take death. But you have to admit the lady has some righteous stones going after this issue.

The UAE company would gain control over the management of major U.S. ports in New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami and that has sparked national security concerns among lawmakers.

“I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments,” Clinton said in a statement.

U.S. officials have said the UAE has been a solid and cooperative partner in the fight against terrorism, and have praised the UAE for steps to protect its booming financial sector against abuse by terrorism financiers.

…If it walks like a duck…

Money for the September 11 attacks was wired through the UAE’s banking system, according to U.S. officials. Two of the September 11 hijackers were UAE citizens.

…and it quacks like a duck…

Similar concerns were raised when a China state-controlled oil company tried to acquire the U.S. oil company Unocal. After pressure from U.S. lawmakers, the foreign company eventually dropped its bid.

…it’s probably a duck.

Here’s hoping the Bush administration gets smacked down, and the Republicans open their eyes.

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5 Responses to “I Agree With Democrats?”

  1. Peakah Says:

    Amen bro, the fact that Hitlery and Schumer are leading the charge worries me. Perhaps this is proof that the Republican party is nothing but an oligarchy… just as we feared.

  2. Richard Says:

    Powder,

    I think most people have knee-jerked on this one, including myself. Interesting article in the WSJ Opinion section that may make you think twice. Hillary, Schumer, etc are grandstanding. Stop by my desk sometime and take a look at it.

  3. Richard Says:

    A few facts that most have glossed over:

    The Dubai firm wouldn’t be handling security — the U.S. Coast Guard would continue to do that; unionized American longshoremen would still to do all of the loading and unloading; the ports in question were already foreign-run, as are countless other ports in the United States; and if the U.S. had rejected the Dubai bid, a Singapore firm would probably have gotten the contract from the Brits instead.


  4. Many arguments have been made over last week for and against.

    1. The country is helping us with information on the Taliban and terrorists.

    ### OK, the country is putting a lot on the line to help us. The problem is the port deal isn’t with the government of Dubai, but with a company that doesn’t have to help us, and ‘probably’ does employ people that want us dead.

    2. The company would not be in charge of security.

    ### OK, but they will have a detailed understanding of the workings of Coast Guard procedures, and security measures they could pass on to others to exploit.

    3. Many other companies owned by people in unfriendly countries operate ports here in the U.S. and around the world.

    ### True, but I believe we are in different times post 9/11. While I don’t put much faith in Homeland Security as a group, they seem to hate the deal too: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PORTS_SECURITY?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-02-25-10-37-13.

    Senior analysts at the agency were never told about the deal, and they don’t like it now. Why?

    4. Final lame thought: Put the fence around your free-range chickens, and see if the fox knows how to dig under or climb over. why open yourself to the problem to begin with? Hey, I said it was lame in terms of analogy, but it’s true.

  5. Richard Says:

    More food for thought.

    NRO
    ]
    AN ORGANIZED DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN ON THE PORT DEAL

    My friends, there is an organized disinformation campaign going on in the discussion of the Dubai Ports World deal. Draw whatever conclusions you wish about whether the deal is worthwhile, but please do not buy into these blatant misrepresentations, and please don’t spread them in your discussions.

    Clearly, this is a hot-button issue, and there are plenty of reasons for concern in the UAE’s past behavior, particularly before 9/11. Of course, we’re hearing from guys like Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace that UAE is “a friend” and “very, very solid partners” in the war on terror. And Sen. John Warner observed that the U.S. military has docked more than 500 ships in the past year in the UAE and uses their airfields to perform support missions for both Afghanistan and Iraq. But some folks still feel as if they can’t trust the UAE, and/or they want a fuller review. Fair enough. I don’t begrudge someone for having concerns about this deal.

    However, I do begrudge someone for not having their facts straight. And long after I, and many others, pointed out that this deal is significantly different than what we were initially told, a particular group of people continue to dramatically misrepresent – aw, hell, let’s call it what it is – continue to lie about what it entails.

    There are plenty of folks on the GOP side of the aisle repeating and spreading the lies. But check out the comments on the other side of the aisle.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton:

    “Senator Menendez and I don’t think any foreign government company should be running our ports, managing, leasing, owning, operating. It just raises too many red flags. That is the nub of our complaints,” said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaking via teleconference in response to Bush’s announcement.

    As reported in USA Today, 80 percent of the terminals in the Port of Los Angeles are run by foreign firms. And the U.S. Department of Transportation says the United Kingdom, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China and Taiwan have interests in U.S. port terminals. The blogger Sweetness and Light observed that the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, which is partially owned by the government of Saudi Arabia as well as Saudi individuals and establishments, operates berths in the ports of Baltimore, Newport News, Houston, New Orleans, Savannah, Wilmington, N.C., Port Newark, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York. (The link has an inadvertently haunting photo, BTW.)

    The argument from Democrats now that “foreigners” shouldn’t be operating U.S. ports is either protectionism, xenophobia, or both. And it is at least a decade late.

    All over the weekend, Democrats continued to fundamentally misrepresent what the deal entails.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein:

    Do we want our national security assets to be sold to foreign powers? … Do we want, let’s say, American companies that own nuclear power plants to be bought out by foreign entities?

    New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine:

    When Americans expressed concern about turning our ports over to the government of this country…

    There are those who raise false charges of discrimination when we raise genuine concerns about security — who say that no one cared when a British company ran the ports. But Dubai is not Britain — and the fact of the matter is that port security does not begin and end at the pier in Newark.

    The cargo shipped here is part of a global supply chain: a container that is loaded in Malaysia or the Philippines and then makes a stop in Dubai is unloaded in Newark or Baltimore, and eventually gets delivered to Cleveland.

    So there is more than just cause for concern.

    We cannot afford to let this administration be stubborn in their mistakes and casual about our security. Senators Clinton and Menendez have introduced legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from buying U.S. port operations.

    That’s not even the worst of Corzine’s comments. Among the reasons that he has concerns about the UAE is that, “eleven of the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks traveled to the U.S. through the airport in Dubai.” Got that? A terrorist catching a connecting flight within your country signifies, in Corzine’s mind, a tie to terrorists. By that standard, Portland, Maine, Logan Airport in Boston, Newark International, Dulles International, and Fort Lauderdale in Florida have “ties to terrorists” – after all, the 9/11 hijackers passed through those airports as well.

    Of course, New Jersey’s genius Senator, Frank Lautenberg, also thinks that a terrorist passing through an airport within your borders makes you an enemy in the war on terror:

    “Dubai has allowed terrorists to pass freely through their own country,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., this week. “Why in the world should we let this rogue government control ports in the United States?”

    I take it New Jersey’s state government would qualify as a “rogue government” as well? I eagerly await your call for sanctions against your home state, senator.

    Rep. Steve Rothman described the deal as “security contracts.” Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Sherrod Brown, Democratic member of the House, running for Senate in Ohio, Feb. 24:

    In response to the proposed outsourcing of America’s port security to the United Arab Emirates…

    (HT: RCP.)

    From the DNC:

    This isn’t about holding a Middle Eastern company to a different standard, this is about turning over control of six of our nation’s major entrances to ANY foreign country… For this, to hand over our port security to a foreign nation, [President Bush] is willing to break out the [veto] pen for the first time.

    Elsewhere, the DNC describes the deal as “the transfer of our national security to a foreign government.”

    Sad to say, Republicans have joined in what can only be described as a disinformation campaign:

    “The security of America is not for sale, and I hope that President Bush will correct this mistake by suspending this deal and investigating the reasoning behind this misguided decision,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said.

    By the way, on Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the intelligence community strongly supported the deal, a tantalizing bit of information for those of us who strongly suspect there’s an intelligence-sharing aspect of this deal that has not been publicly disclosed.

    A former senior CIA official recalled that, although money transfers from Dubai were used by the Sept. 11 hijackers, Dubai’s security services “were one of the best in the UAE to work with” after the attacks. He said that once the agency moved against Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and his black-market sales of nuclear technology, “they helped facilitate the CIA’s penetration of Khan’s network.”

    Dubai also assisted in the capture of al-Qaeda terrorists. An al-Qaeda statement released in Arabic in spring 2002 refers to UAE officials as wanting to “appease the Americans’ wishes” including detaining “a number of Mujahideen,” according to captured documents made available last week by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. The al-Qaeda statement threatened the UAE, saying that “you are an easier target than them; your homeland is exposed to us.”

    One intelligence official pointed out that when the U.S. Navy no longer made regular use of Yemen after the USS Cole was attacked in 2000, it moved its port calls for supplies and repairs to Dubai.

    For all we know, this deal may be the quid pro quo for the biggest intelligence-sharing bonanza with an Arab state since the 9/11 attacks. Look at a map of the Middle East. Check out what country is opposite the UAE on the Persian Gulf, and try to imagine why we might want intelligence-sharing or other cooperation with this state.

    The UAE is, in its actions right now, an ally. The Democratic party as a whole appears hell-bent on scuttling this deal, and ruining relations with this ally. For all that party’s relentless talk about the U.S. needing allies and strong partnerships, they will urinate all over one of our comrades in order to score points against the president.

    However, this is the same party urging us to continue sending aid to the Palestinians, where it can be used by the new government of Hamas.

    The Democratic Party would humiliate, alienate, and punish our allies while sending financial aid to terrorists and sucking up to our enemies. Do not buy into the line that they are pushing.

    UPDATE: A great, far-ranging discussion over at Winds of Change, a hangout for liberal hawks.


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