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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    It's not a money, corruption, friends, foreign policy, whatever fight. It's a presidential powers fight.
    Well if you are going to get all political about it.

    I dont like the idea of the UAE running our ports. I believe the idea was ill conceived from the beginning. If I recall correctly wasnt the USS Cole in port in the UAE when it was hit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewiston2Capt
    Well if you are going to get all political about it.

    I dont like the idea of the UAE running our ports. I believe the idea was ill conceived from the beginning. If I recall correctly wasnt the USS Cole in port in the UAE when it was hit?

    The USS Cole was in Aden, Yemen when it was attacked.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tanker5117
    The USS Cole was in Aden, Yemen when it was attacked.


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    Ok. One of the big selling points in favor of the current administration was that the "grown ups" were back in charge at the White House. No more slackers. Well the President claims he just learned of this deal. Rumsfeld says he just found out about it over the weekend. Are we to do believe this? And if so, why wouldnt these two very important officials know about it? This coupled with the lack of comuunication during the first week of Katrina seems to be adding up to this question. How active is the president in running the show? I believe this merits some honest debate. This issue proves to me once again that Americans agree in general agree on more things then we are lead to believe. WE are not dummies. We can smell B.S. no matter who is diishing it out.
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    Mikey,

    Maybe Dal is right. Maybe this is such a technocratic decision that no big wigs were aware of it earlier. I mean I know he is the President, but I'll bet there are all kinds of decisions made daily that he only finds out about after the fact.

    ......

    Or

    ......

    It's pure crap through and through!

    No matter which way you look at it, it still sucks!

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    Yeah, he knew nothing about it....but he'll VETO any attempt to stop it?

    C'mon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Maybe because the majority of Americans are not quite comfortable with an Arab country in charge of protecting our ports.
    I for one think that the ports should either be run from a federal level or by the county which they reside. That's like contracting the Saudi's to run our military.

    Plus its taking the spotlight off IRAN which needs to be delt with sooner than later......
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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    Yeah, he knew nothing about it....but he'll VETO any attempt to stop it?

    C'mon!

    Or is he being told to veto it?

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    Yeah, he knew nothing about it....but he'll VETO any attempt to stop it?

    He, and especially some top advisors, doesn't like being told what to do.

    This really, really sounds to me like the administration shot from the hip on this one -- and not about Dubai, but against anyone telling them how they are to do something.

    If this was about getting a business deal sealed, they would have had a plan in place, and it probably would've started off with "I understand the concerns, and my administration will work with the Congress to assure that our security is protected in a world of international commerce."

    Threatening a veto on this has nothing to do with selling a terminal company to a Dubai company.

    This has to do with the "understandings" that have accompanied 500 bills he's signed (this is how we interpret this law...); it has to do with the bypassing of the FISA Courts for the survelliance; it has to do with torture; it has to do with persistent pattern of saying, "This is legal because we have a couple lawyers who say it is (and obviously, their opinion is more important than other lawyers in the executive branch since we agree with our lawyers)"

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    It is about free trade, nothing to do with anything else. He would not waste this sort of political capital to protect a deal for any business friends.
    Free trade, my butt. Bush (all of them, actually) has/have an extensive history of spending "political capital" on corporate dealings. Anyone who knows anything about Arbusto/Bush Exploration/Harken will attest to that. This administration is all about corporate power, control, and money; always has been, always will be. Hell, they'll even kill thousands of human beings to push their greedy global agenda. They do not care. America has been duped, people. Time to quit blindly waving the flag and start opening your eyes. These people are no good.

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    If this was about getting a business deal sealed, they would have had a plan in place, and it probably would've started off with "I understand the concerns, and my administration will work with the Congress to assure that our security is protected in a world of international commerce."
    Sure...like they had a plan in place for Iraq? It was ALL about business, rest assured of that.

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    Yeah, he knew nothing about it....but he'll VETO any attempt to stop it?
    Exactly. You can't let a little thing like national security get in the way of big business, buddy.

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    Trying to post a little image I put together...hope it works.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Exactly. You can't let a little thing like national security get in the way of big business, buddy.


    Maybe they are not, in case everyone forgot; Al Dhafra Air Base is located in the UAE. The 763rd Air Refueling Wing, U2 spy planes, Global Hawk, the 10th fighter squadron, as well as KC-10’s are all operating out of there. In addition, there are additional military assets located at Bateen and Al Ain Shar jah international airport.
    These installations are in very important locations right now, it is not all about “big business”.

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    Maybe because the majority of Americans are not quite comfortable with an Arab country in charge of protecting our ports.

    They are not going to be protecting our ports, not that it would matter, were not protecting them now. Have you ever seen or read about how much is not inspected prior to entry into this country? Without checking, I believe it is around 90% of shipping containers. In any event, the Coast Guard, Customs, and other federal agencies will still handle security.
    No one ever seemed to mind while the British were doing the same thing, or is it just that no one knew it before now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45
    Maybe they are not, in case everyone forgot; Al Dhafra Air Base is located in the UAE. The 763rd Air Refueling Wing, U2 spy planes, Global Hawk, the 10th fighter squadron, as well as KC-10’s are all operating out of there. In addition, there are additional military assets located at Bateen and Al Ain Shar jah international airport.
    These installations are in very important locations right now, it is not all about “big business”.

    All I know is that the four different times I spent in the Air Bases in and around the U.A.E the locals were nothing but excellent to us all. It is a very westernized nation, and is one of envy of most of the other middle eastern countries. In fact, it was considered a "vacation spot" to those of us who were stuck in the tent cities at the more secret and secure bases.
    Not saying any of this is right, but just shedding a different light on the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Ok. One of the big selling points in favor of the current administration was that the "grown ups" were back in charge at the White House. No more slackers.
    When did this happen? What did the previous administration do that warrants a slacker moniker?
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Would their presence at our ports ATTRACT terrorists or are we capable of doing that on our own?
    We have lots of foreign ownership in this country and I'm not saying that's a good thing, but I would feel a whole lot better if I knew that there was some serious oversight by regulatory agencies...preferably ones with big guns!
    A night stick and pair of bolt cutters won't be enough in this case.
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    Maybe they are not, in case everyone forgot; Al Dhafra Air Base is located in the UAE. The 763rd Air Refueling Wing, U2 spy planes, Global Hawk, the 10th fighter squadron, as well as KC-10’s are all operating out of there. In addition, there are additional military assets located at Bateen and Al Ain Shar jah international airport.
    We are not talking about heavily armed military bases on foreign soil; we are talking about multiple ports on OUR soil.
    These installations are in very important locations right now, it is not all about “big business”.
    These are military bases; the ports are not. Big difference. Just points to the hypocrisy of the Bushies. Most of the 911 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (a nation with known terrorist connections). None were from Iraq. Saudi Arabia continues to wheel and deal with western big oil. Iraq had defied them. So we destroy Iraq based on trumped up charges and conquer their resources. The Bushies go on a several-year tirade against everything "terrorist", even doing stupid crap like concocting the terror-o-meter...and we invite the Saudis right in the front door. Literally.
    Yeah...makes a lot of sense to me. No money involved, here. Uh-uh...no way. Couldn't possibly be so.

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    I have yet to hear or read a coherent/factual argument against the port deal. I hate screaming about a problem that doesn't matter or even really exist instead of tackling the real issues.

    The fact is that Dubai is a very valuable and friendly ally. I think a reasonable argument could be made that it is a better friend and more valuable ally than France or Canada. It is a hell of a lot better and more reliable friend than is China but we're allowing China all kinds of access to our markets without significant complaint.

    Ownership of our port of entry doesn't make a whole lot of difference to security. Hell, the big hole in security is what happens in the other country or countries where the container is loaded and sealed before it ever hits the ship and we're not too good at that yet. So far as I can tell the second biggest hole is that the container can be trans-shipped through a whole other port and security can be thoroughly compromised there as well. By the time the container is in our harbor our security is already compromised unless U.S. government agencies have detected anomalies in manifests and the like and choose to do one of their relatively rare inspections.

    The only argument I've heard that begins to hold water is that the company managing the terminal/port will have access to security plans. Well since so far as I can tell those aren't all that secret anyway I don't see a big deal. Also, if the company allows terrorists free rein here in the U.S. they're likely to lose a huge amount of business and possibly lose their shirt.

    Strategically, dumping this deal could be nothing short of disastrous. There doesn't seem to be any intellectually defensible reason to dump this deal other than "we don't like Arabs if they're friendly" - and even that one is defensible only in that your likes are your likes and you needn't have a reason for them. In the absence of a good reason and in the spirit of the current increase in alienation from the West based on stupid things like the cartoons this will tend to escalate the situation further.

    If we convince Kuwait, Qatar, and Dubai that we'll screw them over on free market deals for the sake of sheer stupidity they're gonna stop carrying some heavy freight for us. Logistics are gonna be a whole lot harder and a helluva lot of us are gonna die in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the like. Alliances with Iran are gonna look more attractive. The net effect could look amazingly similar to that of Smoot-Hawley. And if you don't know about Smoot-Hawley and its horrific effects you really don't know enough to even participate in the discussions and probably shouldn't be allowed to vote.

    I mean, look who is lining up against the port deal? Savage is virtually apopleptic (he of the ridiculous "bomb the whole Sunni Triangle" foolishness), Schumer is baying about how it is a slap at our security, the list of people with serious mental compromise is pretty long.

    Unfortunately, I've heard that Carter is in favor of the port deal so that's a strike against it, but I may have heard wrong.

    When nobody makes an informed and coherent argument against the deal and when it appears to be in our strategic interest I think it's probably a good deal. What I'd really like someone to answer, though, is why U.S. companies aren't eager to "buy" our ports at a competitive price?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFCLTE32
    I for one think that the ports should either be run from a federal level or by the county which they reside. That's like contracting the Saudi's to run our military.

    Plus its taking the spotlight off IRAN which needs to be delt with sooner than later......
    For thirty years the Saudi's essentially contracted US to run their military. For fifty years they contracted us to run their oil fields, their ports, and their infrastructure systems.

    All that this contract with the UAE company does is provide operational management. The U.S. Governement currently does, and will in the future continue to, provide the security and screening for our ports, the operators of the port have nothing to do with it other then scheduleing their operations around the screening process.

    This is such a non-issue it is increadable. Folks have blown it way out of proportion to get their faces on the news during an off-year election season.
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    Port Security Humbug

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006; A14



    YOU KNOW THERE'S something suspicious going on when multiple members of Congress -- House, Senate, Democrat, Republican, future presidential candidates of all stripes -- spontaneously unite around an issue that none of them had known existed a week earlier. That appears to be what happened last weekend after politicians awoke to the fairly stale news that the London-based P&O navigation company, which has long managed the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, had been taken over by Dubai Ports World, a company based in the United Arab Emirates. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) called the deal "tone-deaf politically at this point in our history." Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) called for the White House to put a hold on the purchase. Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) seconded him, implying that Arab owners posed a major security threat -- as did everyone from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) to Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R).

    At stake -- in theory -- is the question of whether we should "outsource major port security to a foreign-based company," in the words of Mr. Graham. But those words, like that of almost all of the others, sound, well, tone-deaf to us. For one, the deal cannot "outsource major port security," because management companies that run ports do not control security. The U.S. Coast Guard controls the physical security of our ports. The U.S. Customs Service controls container security. That doesn't change, no matter who runs the business operations. Nor is it clear why Mr. Graham or anybody else should be worried about "foreign-based" companies managing U.S. ports, since P&O is a British company. And Britain, as events of the last year have illustrated, is no less likely to harbor radical Islamic terrorists than Dubai.

    None of the U.S. politicians huffing and puffing seem to be aware that this deal was long in the making, that it had been reported on extensively in the financial press, and that it went through normal security clearance procedures, including approval from a foreign investment committee that contains officials from the departments of Treasury, Commerce, State and Homeland Security, among other agencies. Even more disturbing is the apparent difficulty of members of Congress in distinguishing among Arab countries. We'd like to remind them, as they've apparently forgotten, that the United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally that has cooperated extensively with U.S. security operations in the war on terrorism, that supplied troops to the U.S.-led coalition during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and that sends humanitarian aid to Iraq. U.S. troops move freely in and out of Dubai on their way to Iraq now.

    Finally, we're wondering if perhaps American politicians are having trouble understanding some of the most basic goals of contemporary U.S. foreign policy. A goal of "democracy promotion" in the Middle East, after all, is to encourage Arab countries to become economically and politically integrated with the rest of the world. What better way to do so than by encouraging Arab companies to invest in the United States? Clearly, Congress doesn't understand that basic principle, since its members prefer instead to spread prejudice and misinformation.
    Best editorial out there on the subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
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    Best editorial out there on the subject.
    This comment screams for an IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    This comment screams for an IMHO.
    It is balanced and filled with FACTS about the subject.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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