Why not Dubai Ports World?
On the question of Dubai Ports World, I have yet to see what the big deal is. Of all the possible topics on which I’d expect or hope to see bipartisan fury at the Bush administration, this one wouldn’t have even made the list. I wish I could join in, but right now I can’t. On the Internet, many right-wingers are upset, but it seems that many left-wingers have gone beyond upset and are firmly in the throes of hysteria. And I don’t see why.
There is genuine bipartisan anger here: the New York Times reports that “members of Congress from every end of the political spectrum piled on to condemn the deal and to propose emergency legislation to block it if necessary.”
But firestorm of opposition to the deal drew a similarly intense expression of befuddlement by shipping industry and port experts.
The shipping business, they said, went global more than a decade ago and across the United States, foreign-based companies already control more than 30 percent of the port terminals.
That inventory includes APL Limited, which is controlled by the government of Singapore, and which operates terminals in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Globally, 24 of the top 25 ship terminal operators are foreign-based, meaning most of the containers sent to the United States leave terminals around the world that are operated by foreign government or foreign-based companies.
The Bush administration was apparently not expecting any controversy at all:
The White House appeared stunned by the uprising, over a transaction that they considered routine — especially since China’s biggest state-owned shipper runs major ports in the United States, as do a host of other foreign companies. Mr. Bush’s aides defended their decision, saying the company, Dubai Ports World, which is owned by the United Arab Emirates, would have no control over security issues.
According to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, “Nothing changes with respect to security under the contract… [t]he Coast Guard is in charge of security, not the corporation.” Is he lying? His credibility, like that of the entire Bush administration, is certainly paper-thin, but is this statement an out-and-out bald-faced lie?
For a calm look at the issue, I would recommend Dennis the Peasant and Glenn Greenwald.
I’m interested in hearing some reasonable argument as to why this port-management contract should not be taken over by Dubai Ports World.
1 Comment »
RSS feed for comments on this post
Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Your email address is never displayed.
Do not paste an entire article or blog post into here: create a link to it (or at least create a tinyurl) instead.
The following HTML tags are allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
February 22nd, 2006 @ 06:48
I agree with you. This is more of a PR blunder - and possibly a political blunder also.
I didn’t like it at first blush, but the more I learned the more it appears to be alot about nothing - which explains why the Democrats are running with it.
The last 6 to 10 administration ’scandals’ have been along the same lines.
GWB just does not communicate to the American people OR the press correctly. He feels doing his job is enough. Unfortunately, it is not enough.
Education of the American people is key. Of course, as this education continues - the less chance a Democrat has.