Originally Posted by jasper45
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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02-22-2006, 10:56 PM #41
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02-23-2006, 07:47 AM #42Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESITPolitics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."
02-23-2006, 08:18 AM #43
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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.
02-23-2006, 08:52 AM #44Maybe 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”.
Yeah...makes a lot of sense to me. No money involved, here. Uh-uh...no way. Couldn't possibly be so.
02-23-2006, 08:54 AM #45
02-23-2006, 09:46 AM #46
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?
02-23-2006, 09:54 AM #47Originally Posted by FFCLTE32
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.
02-23-2006, 11:04 AM #48Port 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.
02-23-2006, 11:57 AM #49Best editorial out there on the subject.
02-23-2006, 12:15 PM #50
02-23-2006, 02:33 PM #51
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.
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- Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of June 1930 raised U.S. tariffs to historically high levels. The original intention behind the legislation was to increase the protection afforded domestic farmers against foreign agricultural imports. Massive expansion in the agricultural production sector outside of Europe during World War I led, with the postwar recovery of European producers, to massive agricultural overproduction during the 1920s. This in turn led to declining farm prices during the second half of the decade. During the 1928 election campaign, Republican Presidential candidate Herbert Hoover pledged to help the beleaguered farmer by, among other things, raising tariff levels on agricultural products. But once the tariff schedule revision process got started, it proved impossible to stop. Calls for increased protection flooded in from industrial sector special interest groups and soon a bill meant to provide relief for farmers became a means to raise tariffs in all sectors of the economy. When the dust had settled, Congress had agreed to tariff levels that exceeded the already high rates established by the 1922 Fordney-McCumber Act and represented among the most protectionist tariffs in U.S. history.
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was more a consequence of the onset of the Great Depression than an initial cause. But while the tariff might not have caused the Depression, it certainly did not make it any better. It provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures and came to stand as a symbol of the ‘beggar-thy-neighbor’ policies (policies designed to improve one’s own lot at the expense of that of others) of the 1930s. Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934. More generally, Smoot-Hawley did nothing to foster trust and cooperation among nations in either the political or economic realm during a perilous era in international relations.
The Smoot-Hawley tariff represents the high-water mark of U.S. protectionism in the twentieth century. Thereafter, beginning with the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, American commercial policy generally emphasized trade liberalization over protectionism. The United States generally assumed the mantle of champion of freer international trade, as evidenced by its support for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
02-23-2006, 11:29 PM #52
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- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
OK, Here's where I am. NOBODY runs anything in the U.S. except companies or people that are free from influence from foreign sources of any kind. WE NEED TO GET OUT OF CRAP LIKE THIS. AMERICA FOR AMERICANS. PERIOD.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
02-24-2006, 09:24 AM #53Originally Posted by hwoods
02-24-2006, 11:21 AM #54
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- Jan 2003
It's funny to watch the changes in attitude take place on the left. They start with "You can't search any arabs in the airports, Tha would be PROFILING" And now here they are "Get those shifty ARABS out of our ports!!!" Hypocracy at it's best and most entertaining!I am a complacent liability to the fire service
02-24-2006, 01:32 PM #55Hypocracy at it's best and most entertaining!
Iraq- no connections to 911/al Qaeda, no cooperation with western corporate big wheels. Invaded by U.S. military under false pretenses and its resources siezed. Mass misinformation and panic spread, as the new Bush anti-terrorist beurocracy machine comes to life. The mere mention of the word "bomb" can get your *** arrested. Standing too long and taking too many photos of a bridge can result in your *** hauled off for questioning. Everyone goes out and buys all the duct tape.
Saudi Arabia- Home to most of the 911 hijackers, including the mastermind, Osama bin Laden. High level of support for bin Laden and al Qeada within the populace. Many connections to terrorists. High level financial support for terrorists. Plays well with western corporate big wheels. Long history of support by the Bush family, in spite of atrocious way their "kingdom" is operated. Gets invited by the Bushies to control part of a critical infrastructure here on our own soil. Bush claims to have known nothing of the deal until it was over. Threatens to instantly veto any opposition, though. Bullcrap flags thrown by everyone, except the knee-jerk Bush-bots, who just can't admit they were wrong. Millions finally see the neocon Bushies for what they really are, and regret ever voting the fools into power.
02-24-2006, 01:42 PM #56Originally Posted by ThNozzleman
Noz, you are really stretching more then normal here .
02-24-2006, 01:44 PM #57Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESITFire Marshal/Safety Officer
"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
Success is when skill meets opportunity
Failure is when fantasy meets reality
02-24-2006, 01:45 PM #58
Somebody explain these connections to me:
Carlyle Group- CSX Rail- Dubai Ports
02-24-2006, 01:47 PM #59He doesnt. The VP runs the show. Has since day one. Bush is just a figure head, put in place because the Republicans knew DC could never win an election on his own. Besides, its much easier to "slip" things by peope when your operating from the shadows like a VP does.
Give me a break.
02-24-2006, 02:37 PM #60How to Lose Friends
Friday, February 24, 2006; A14
AMONG MANY other things, the president's job description requires him to keep abreast of economic and political developments around the world; respond to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina; oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; appoint people to run embassies and government departments; come up with solutions to the health care crisis, the education crisis, the energy crisis; and represent the United States at major international conferences. When he does any of these tasks poorly, the American people and their politicians are well within their rights to criticize him, as we often do, too.
On the other hand, the president's job description does not include taking a personal interest in decisions about whether foreign companies based in countries that are America's allies should be allowed to purchase other foreign companies that are based in countries that are America's allies. This is particularly the case when such purchases do not have any discernible impact on American security whatsoever.
In other words, the White House's "admission" that President Bush was unaware that Dubai Ports World, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, had purchased Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a company based in Britain -- and thereby obtained management control of the business operations of six U.S. ports -- strikes us as completely unnecessary. Why should the president know? Twelve government departments and agencies, including the departments of Treasury, State, Defense and Homeland Security, had examined the deal over a three-month period and found it acceptable. Perhaps the White House should have anticipated this week's political storm and prepared for it. But because the objections are irrational, even that complaint is questionable.
At a hearing yesterday, senators complained that they had not been notified of the transaction -- though, as Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert M. Kimmitt noted, the companies involved had issued a press release on the matter in November. Senators complained, in the face of considerable testimony to the contrary, that the government's review had been "casual" or "cursory." And, in attempting to cast aspersions on the reliability of the United Arab Emirates, they reached back to its behavior before Sept. 11, 2001 -- a standard of judging under which neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations would fare all that well.
In fact, as administration officials testified yesterday, since Sept. 11 the United Arab Emirates has been a valuable ally. Last year, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, 56 U.S. warships, 590 U.S. Military Sealift Command ships and 75 allied warships were hosted in the United Arab Emirates -- at a port managed by the very same Dubai Ports World. To our knowledge, none of the objecting members of Congress have expressed alarm at the national security implications of that situation. Yet the six ports now in question will be far less dependent on Dubai's goodwill, because security there is controlled by the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, no matter who's doing the accounting. American longshoremen will load and unload cargo, no matter who pays their salaries.
If members of Congress really want to burnish their "tough on terrorism" credentials, they should start by focusing on real presidential lapses, which are sufficient, and forget about the phony ones. As Mr. England said yesterday, the war on terrorism demands that the United States "strengthen the bonds of friendship and security . . . especially with our friends and allies in the Arab world." That means allies should be treated "equally and fairly around the world and without discrimination," he said. And he suggested that it is the terrorists who want the United States to "become distrustful, they want us to become paranoid and isolationist."
If so, they must be feeling pretty content right now.
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