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The new whine
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dale noted Mark Davis' blog entry below about the port deal.

Not content with that, Davis then spends an entire column whining about being called everything from a racist to a nervous nellie because he doesn't back the Dubai Port World deal:
Since the issue heated up last week, those of us who have chosen to stand up for port security have been rewarded with a wide variety of insults.

We are racists, as if only hatred of Arabs could spur opposition to Islamic control at U.S. ports;

We are isolationists, as if such opposition means we have no tolerance for foreign investment in America:

We are panicky nervous Nellies, as if strong negative reaction can only be born of paranoia and prejudice;

And, my favorite, we are idiots, as if we have not grasped all the comforting spin proponents have been offering up. But a lot of their arguments have been peppered with irrelevancies.
Like many critics, what he doesn't do, in the column space provided, is give one cogent reason for opposing the deal. Not one.

Dale noted Jon and I seem to back this deal. No, not necessarily, but I certainly haven't seen anything presented by Davis and other critics which has yet to cause me concern. If it's about security, no one has yet laid out the reasons I should be concerned if one foreign entity takes over from another foreign entity. And if it is about a "foreign country" controlling those ports, then why is China controlling certain ports apparently ok but the UAE isn't? If security is the concern and all.

I'm all in favor of the 45 days period to do a further study of the situation. Can't hurt. But in the big scheme of things, critics are going to have to do a lot more than claim it might be a security problem. And if they pass legislation to prevent the UAE from the control of ports, I expect that law to apply to Chinese corporations as well.

I wonder if Ms. Clinton and Mr. Schumer would volunter to carry word of that decision to Bejing?

UPDATE: Speaking of the Clintons, wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall when this came up for discussion between the two:
Mr Clinton’s spokesman said: “President Clinton is the former president of the US and as such receives many calls from world leaders and leading figures every week. About two weeks ago, the Dubai leaders called him and he suggested that they submit to the full and regular scrutiny process and that they should put maximum safeguards and security into any port proposal.”

He added that Mr Clinton supported his wife’s position on the deal and that “ideally” state-owned companies would not own US port operations.
Right. It's not hard to take a position on both sides of the issue when a few bucks is involved, "ideally" speaking, of course:
Mr Clinton’s contact with Dubai on the issue underscores the relationship he has developed with the United Arab Emirates since leaving office. In 2002, he was paid $300,000 (€252,000) to address a summit in Dubai.
Teamwork ... nothing like it.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
So. The media lies. And you are surprised because...?

I take it you support this port deal? If you can find no fundamental flaw in taking control from our strongest and OLDEST ally (GB) and giving it to a country of sheiks that has not even been in existence for 35 years, I think I can.

While nascient, at best, regarding The Sons of Abraham as a people, I am GENERALLY pessimistic of democracy and openness from a skeikdom form of government. Aren’t you, too?

Conservative point of view (?) = as long as it is ’business’ it is perfectly fine to sell/outsource the resources of the entire country. Who needs the big bloated US Government when the UAE government is much smaller? (snicker) Only 7 obscenely wealthy men running THAT one.

I hear Syria is interested in Orlando. China wants to discuss buying your block, Can you swing a deal? Fair market and all that...seriously, where does it stop?

In your entire post (attack-attack-take a off topic backhand shot at a Clinton-dismissive sneer) you never said "No matter what, I think this deal stinks".

So Mr Mac, you are waiting on, um, proof. From who,the government? Regarding security on their sweetheart deal? Remember, the government is the ONLY source of security data. Calssified under "National Security" and all that. "Trust us (Harriet Meiers) we know what we are doing." If you are going to rely only on (as you indicate above) the government to tell you why their own deal is a security issue, then you will support the selling of our country to the highest bidder.

When did you become an apologist for the Bush Administrations pork pie crony gifts?

Question: if you had the big red veto pen, and only your gut instinct to say if this was right or wrong, would you use it or the black ink Mont Blanc to sign that deal into reality?

See if you can answer without resorting to your typical outline responses (attack-sneer-dismiss-namecall).

If you can, that is. If not...I’ve got a port and a bridge you may be interested in.

Rick D.
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
I take it you support this port deal?
What part of this did you not understand, Rick?
Dale noted Jon and I seem to back this deal. No, not necessarily, but I certainly haven’t seen anything presented by Davis and other critics which has yet to cause me concern.
Rick:
See if you can answer without resorting to your typical outline responses (attack-sneer-dismiss-namecall).
Well if you had questions which actually related to a position of mine, I’d be happy too.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
Rick D,
I note that your post had little beyond snark and name-calling. For the Sweet Love of Mary, Mother of God, tell me WHY the Ports Deal is bad? Security: well it isn’t that DUBAI is going to run port security, the FBI, US Customs, Immigration, and the whole alphabet soup of US regulatory law enforcement agencies will still be there. Is it foreigners, then why was it OK for P&O to operate the ports, is it about economics, because the US port system is antiquated and inefficient, and US firms are NOT in the market to manage them.

Bottom-Line: what distinguishes THIS deal from any other deal involving the OPERATION of US ports? If you and yours could simply point out to me WHY the Dubai World is objectionable beyond P7O or several Chinese firms, I’d really be interested to know.

Because otherwise all I see and hear is reverse victomology, "You attack me, you call me a racist, YOU’RE WRONG and bad...", very much akin to the folks who defended Harriet Meyers and who spent their time calling their opponents "elitists." Please advance a coherent argument for opposition and don’t cry about the "name calling" of your opponents.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
As to the Clintons’, you know this is why the cynic in me laughs and why, though I’m not a Libertarian, I understand the appeal of Libertarianism. I mean this government thing is a scam... Bill makes money promoting the Port Deal, Hillary makes money (from the Labour Movement) by opposing it. The Clinton FAMILY is enriched to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars. By having a foot in both camps they make a mint! The whole controversy seems a way for opponents and supporters to "shake the money tree."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It always helps to put these things into context...

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=\Politics\archive\200603\POL20060302b.html
David Heyman, director and senior fellow of the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, added that many of the nation’s ports are already run by foreign companies.

"Over half of U.S. ports today are currently being operated by firms from countries like China, Singapore, Korea, and the U.K.," Heyman said. Dubai Ports World "is an international company with billions of investments and operations in India, Romania, Australia, Germany, Dominican Republic, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, all over the world," he said.

...

But Ahern did not waiver, saying Dubai Ports World was not a security threat. He noted that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Container Security Initiative has required that the ports in 42 countries involving 75 percent of all shipments to the U.S. are monitored by American officials. The port of Dubai signed onto the initiative in March 2005.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
As I’ve written before, I think the port kerfuffle is much ado about nothing. Nonetheless, since someone has to take McQ’s challenge, I am stepping up to the plate.

One could, oppose the deal NOT on security grounds but because Dubai (1) hasn’t earned it and (2) isn’t the 600 pound gorilla China is.

As for point 1, let me use the analogy of a poorly performing employee who has somewhat his performance and who can be rewarded to some extent but not to the extent was he truly performing up to expectations. And so it is with Dubai: they may be, as Bush says, a ’good partner’ in the GWOT but they have done and are doing other things we don’t like (supporting Hamas, boycotting Israel) and, as such, they don’t merit most favored nation treatment we have given to countries such as Great British (sorry, couldn’t help myself there) who have proven over and over again that we can count on them. Rejecting the port deal could send Dubai the message that they need to make improvements before expecting us to treat them as nice as they would like to be treated.

As for point 2, our dealings with countries such as China have ramifications in so many areas (economic, security and political) that we occasionally will need to do offer up something in one area we would otherwise prefer not to do (like control over certain American ports) in order to gain support in other, more vital areas (like gaining their support for dealing with Iran). And Dubai simply isn’t China.

How’s that?
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
"See if you can answer without resorting to your typical outline responses (attack-sneer-dismiss-namecall"

Why shouldn’t the tone of the response reflect the tone of the question?
And what is the definition of nascient? It’s not in my dictionary. Perhaps it is "nascent", defined as "beginning to develop"? Odd usage.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
How’s that?
Weak.

In the case of 1 you’re saying the UAE should be better than China on the GWOT (and more valuable) in order to ’earn’ the right to the ports. That’s not necessarily the case. The UAE is geographically located where they could do us a heck of a lot more good than China in that regard (and at this time). That carries over to 2 as well.

Jon made the point yesterday in a comment and it is one I’d made in another post: UAE has a lot more to lose as an entity than some company. We can’t go to war with a company, but we damn sure can go to war with a country. I’m sure they realize we will too, should they be involved in any security breach which causes death and destruction to Americans. In fact, you could make the argument that having a government to hold responsible is, defacto, better in the security realm than the previous situation.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
McQ:

Nowhere did I advance the argument that Dubai needs to be a better partner in the GWOT than China. The argument I put forward is, that since Dubai is not a 600 pound gorilla like China, we have more leverage and therefore it is not unreasonable to demand that Dubai do more than what it has done to prove itself worthy of having this deal approved. Why approve this deal to reward Dubai for what they have done instead of holding up approval as a carrot for improvements in what they’ve done?

And, as I’ve posted over the past week or so, deal supporters are presuming way too much if they think (1) Dubai necessarily values its economic interests (in DPW and in its other commercial interests) ahead of whatever interest - financial or religious - it might have in supporting (or as least looking the other way at) terrorist action against the United States and/or its allies, (2) the United States would hold Dubai as a country responsible for security breaches at the company level, and/or (3) the United States would retaliate against Dubai - militarily or economically - were any such a breach to take place.

While a private/publicly held company could theoretically be counted on to seek to maximize profits, no such assurances should be made about a state-owned enterprise which, as we have seen countless times over the years, often seek goals other than making money.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
The argument I put forward is, that since Dubai is not a 600 pound gorilla like China, we have more leverage and therefore it is not unreasonable to demand that Dubai do more than what it has done to prove itself worthy of having this deal approved.
Not a 600 lb gorilla?

Depends on their utility in the GWOT, doesn’t it? Hard to put forward the premise that China is more useful in the GWOT than the UAE when the UAE is right in the middle of the territory we need to influence.
And, as I’ve posted over the past week or so, deal supporters are presuming way too much if they think (1) Dubai necessarily values its economic interests (in DPW and in its other commercial interests) ahead of whatever interest - financial or religious - it might have in supporting (or as least looking the other way at) terrorist action against the United States and/or its allies,
Really not the point, is it? We know where the UAE "lives". That’s not necessarily the case with some amporphous global conglomerate, is it? So it is certainly more in the best interest of the UAE to ensure all goes smoothly than say, some holding company who’s ultimate owners aren’t immediately apparent.
While a private/publicly held company could theoretically be counted on to seek to maximize profits, no such assurances should be made about a state-owned enterprise which, as we have seen countless times over the years, often seek goals other than making money.
Don’t really care if they make money or not. Just so they’re not a security threat and, as I point out above, unless the UAE has a death wish, it’s to their own best self-interest (as in sense of survival) to make everything good in the security end of things.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
nescient
lacking general education or knowledge; "an ignorant man"; I left that example in, just to give you all a b*ner.

sorry for the typo speeling nazi. There is no speel cheek on this blog.

When it comes to people of the Middle East, I lack general knowlege on them. Can’t trust that liberal media! But I do have some pretty good instincts when determining a ’good guy’ from a ’bad guy’.

How? I got my training from Marshall Dillon. He always got it right.

now, ahem, McQ and Co. Inc, et al TM patent pending:

UAE is a sheikdom. Bad form of government, agreed? Business in question is going to take over 6 ports is state owned, by said shieks. (Note this is NOT the same as ’states rights’ guys.)

Is there a port managed by a "Chinese" business run by the Chinese government with the government leadership in control of said business? Or is it a private firm registered in China?

Sheiks, generally are bad governors. They do not get elected and they kill those who disagree with them (again, according to my limited knowlege). They only look out for themselves as ultra-rich despots tend to do. Why can’t we have a good old American company manage these ports?

Why are you for the UAE and against American workers? (woah, I learned that one from Dub!)

Anyway I was right..none of you could answer without wittle & spittle. It provides for interesting visuals but terrible communication.

Thanks again for allowing me to participate in the forum.

 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
Or is it a private firm registered in China?
Uh, you’ve got to be kidding right?

Hey, when you figure this out, I’ll be glad to talk with you seriously.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
People,

Please get out the atlas and look at the map of the Persian Gulf. There is a little item called the Straits of Hormuz, the choke point for shipping in the Persian Gulf. Guess who’s there :). To the north, you have Iran. To the south, you have UAE and Oman. Now tell me WHY we wouldn’t want to work with the UAE to the greatest extent necessary.
 
Written By: Charles D. Quarles
URL: http://spaces.msn.com/members/cdquarles/
I understand that there is a law against the US doing business with countries that boycott Israel. Dubai is a participant in a boycott of Israel. When did we start ignoring our own laws? Do we make an exception/amend that law in order to do business with them? Why? Are there no alternatives? Dubai not only participates in the boycott of Israel, they support a Palestinian nation with Jerusalem as it’s capital and the right of return. I guess that second isn’t necessarily a reason not to do business with their country but it isn’t exactly a reason to do business with them, either.
 
Written By: Craig R. Harmon
URL: http://www.smackmybooty.com

 
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