February 22, 2006

Color Blind

"...not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Martin Luther King, August 28, 1963

"I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's okay for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can't manage the port...

"Again, I repeat, if there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn't go forward. But I also want to repeat something again, and that is, this is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through."

George W. Bush February 21, 2006

George Bush will never be half as eloquent as the late Dr. King, but the sentiment remains the same: judge people by what they do, and not because of cultural stereotypes or the color of their skin.

The UAE have been an ally to this country, and I think our initial knee-jerk response on this (mine included) was wrong. This may not play well domestically at first, but the rest of the world is watching, and the President is sending the right message.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 22, 2006 12:05 AM | TrackBack

UAE has cooperated with the War on Terror to a degree--but only to a degree. The same can be said about SA. But neither country can be counted on when the chips are down...that's not opinion--that is a fact.

Sorry, but until they stop blocking off investigations into terrorist's bank accounts (among other things they do to protect radical Islamic beliefs and practices) and come out denouncing radical Islam (which they have never done), I cannot condone giving their stock market and Sukuk global acceptance through this port deal. I know the Port Authority (both management and Unions) in Baltimore too and I deal with them concerning our ships. There would be far more influence by the UAE company over the ports than anyone is willing to admit or discuss. Those bids they will manage have influence and farther reaching tentacles.

Furthermore, this isn't about who's going to be running the ports--it never was (or shouldn't have been to those who know about how ports operate). This is about boosting Arab stocks on a world market and strengthening their holdings in the US. It's about SUKUS, and about adding several BILLION dollars worth of influence to an Arab global market exchange that is trying to find its feet. The UAE sukus would be the largest paper written in the Arab would and would further strengthen their newly established stock markets and global corporate peddling. This one fact alone is something that is NOT in our best interests.

Nope, can't go with Bush on this and won't...not until he comes clean about what is really behind the deal--and there is a LOT more going on behind the scenes--and a LOT more at stake here than just a "business contract" with some ports.

Judging by actions and not by skin color may be a great thing theory, but in reality, things like racial profiling work for a reason. And there is not a country in the Middle East (except Israel) that we can depend upon when things get rough. And that lack of dependence is due to the Arab Middle East's ACTIONS. These Arab countries are NOT OUR ALLIES...never have been and probably never will. Our relationship with the Arab states is one of convenience--on both sides--and that has been shown to time and again be something that simply cannot be depended upon or trusted.

Trust is earned, not given...and certainly not given as a "goodwill gesture" in times such as these. It's a different world than it was during MLK and JFK's speeches. Especially since today there is so much more at stake than there was back then.

Sorry, I've personally dealt with SA and the Kuwait governments--including the SA embassy in DC. It is unbelievable how they do business and what they support. Their ethics and morals are nearly opposite those of the West. There is not a single Arab country that can be trusted--no matter what Bush or anyone else says. I've seen how the Arab Middle East works firsthand--as have some of my close friends with the FBI and none have ever had anything good to say about they have seen or experienced.

I wish I had the time to tell you all the things I've seen and had to deal with just concerning SA--and the UAE is not much different. They are all cut from the same mold, like it or not.

I will NEVER turn my back on them.

EVER...and the less business we have to do with them, the better we are. I'd rather deal with China anytime than with an Arab state.

Sorry, but this UAE thing is way too close to home with me due to the ships we're getting and the ports we are dealing with--I've worked with Middle East businesses and know of what I speak. I just had to vent a little.

Posted by: WB at February 22, 2006 01:16 AM

I think it's funny that people still quote MLK when his name wasn't Martin Luther, but Michael King, and all of his speaches were stolen from someone else. Too bad his police files are sealed for several more years, what a shock it would be to the idiots of today that made him a hero to read what a low life he really was. He wasn't a hero, he was a con man one step ahead of the law, and his crimes would have gotten the average person 25 to life. The nut that shot him saved him from dying in prison.
Get off the crook and write about something more important, maybe a pee wee ball game.

Posted by: scrapiron at February 22, 2006 02:28 AM

"I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's okay for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can't manage the port..."

Except that two of the 9/11 hijackers were from UAE and none were from Great Britain.

Posted by: Jason at February 22, 2006 07:27 AM

I'm agin this one. I don't support: unchecked immigration, unchecked spending, unchecked federal government expansion, and allowing UAE to manage some of our largest sea ports. GWB gets failing marks on these four issues.

Read "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And The Crusades)" by Robert Spencer and what WB wrote will make a lot more sense. Islam (Mohammed) teaches (via the Qur'an and Hadith) that it is perfectly natural to lie, cheat, steel and kill for the advancement of Islam. I am not willing to trust people with those philosophical/theological underpinning tenants.

Posted by: Old Soldier at February 22, 2006 08:01 AM

I totally reject the idea of allowing the security of our ports to fall into the hands of the Moslems.

Also, please don't compare GW with MLK in any way. The above description of the con man, Michael King is accurate. When will the truth about this man come out and the worship of his name come to an end?

Posted by: Dorothy at February 22, 2006 10:44 AM

Jason, you are right. Two UAE citizens did participate in carrying out the terror attacks of 9/11. But since 9/11, at least 14 British citizens (four suicide bombers on 7/7, the four failed bombers from 7/21 and their supporters) have carried out terror attacks against western targets. Hmmmm...

In addition, this is, I think folks are beginning to realize, a paper transfer. The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to provide port security, and U.S. Customs will continue to provide inspections. None of that changes. The same AFL/CIO union members will still do the work.

The only thing I can see changing is who the mob is shaking down.

Abdul, meet Michael, Anthony, and Vinnie...

As for those of you who slam Dr. King, I'm frankly ashamed. He was not a perfect human being. He had his faults, but that proves what, exactly? He did a lot more good than bad, and I doubt most of us, myself included, could come close to meeting that standard.

As for perfect heroes, as I recall, the last time we had one, we killed him, too. Of course, we didn't use a rifle.

A cross and three nails did it just fine.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 22, 2006 11:06 AM

And while we're at it, why don't we look at the evil arabs running this company, shall we?

COO: Mr. Edward Bilkey, US Navy (ret), graduate of Yale and Harvard

General Counsel: Mr. George Dalton, a graduate of Fordham

Senior VP Operations: Mr. Joost Kruijning, a native of the Netherlands

Mr. Matt Leech, graduate of Georgetown

Senior VP Commercial: Mr. Michael Moore, a man who started in trucking in the US

CFO: Mr. Vijay Sharma, a native of India.

Courtesy of Flopping Aces.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 22, 2006 11:11 AM

The only problem I have with this transaction taking place is that it wasnt run by Americans in the first place. If we have already sold this port to the British what does it matter who runs it now. Like Confedrate Yankee said this is a paper transfer it doe not affect who runs the security. The Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and Port Authority will still have control over securing this port. If Bush is trying to help our international image (which so many Dems think he doesnt do) then I applaud him. But this port shoul dhave been under US control the whoel time and this wouldnt be an issue.

Posted by: 81 at February 22, 2006 11:16 AM

George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on March 24, 2004. The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan.Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said. How is it a good idea to hand over AMERICAN ports to Bin Laden's pals?

Posted by: whocares at February 22, 2006 02:34 PM
The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan.

Really? Funny you should say that, because the 9/11 Commission Report says something differently:

According to reporting from the tribals, Bin Ladin regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited the Emiratis; the tribals expected him to be at the hunting camp for such a visit at least until midmorning on February 11.155 Clarke wrote to Berger's deputy on February 10 that the military was then doing targeting work to hit the main camp with cruise missiles and should be in position to strike the following morning.156 Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert appears to have been briefed on the situation.157

No strike was launched. By February 12 Bin Ladin had apparently moved on, and the immediate strike plans became moot.158

Some folks - the same Richard Clarke mentioned above - also told Tenet they thought the intelligence was of dubious value, anyway.

If you are going to tell the story, tell the whole story.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 22, 2006 03:08 PM

Whoa folks, I am as concerned as the next person but, if this transaction does not go thru we are in serious trouble in the Mid-East. I know we are already seen as the "Great Satin" but this is cannon fodder for the radicals to use in there hate mongering. If you see this as a transferrence of security of our ports, you are wrong they are going to be the adminstrators not the gate keepers. No different that the Brits or Chinese.We are still going to have the say so on what comes into our ports. We control all security ie. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs. 99.9% of the work force are going to be Americans. This will bolster our standing and will give real "meat and potaoes" to our claims of equality and disproving the myth that we hate all muslims. Trust me there will be more oversight on this than you can believe.

Posted by: Fathful Patriot at February 22, 2006 03:21 PM

I guess my concern in the first place was that this operation was run by a foreign company to begin with. I'm not so much profiling UAE as would-be attackers, but I'm not as confident in their ability to keep out infiltrators who would use their management of the ports for terror ops.

And yes, CY, I did see that there were some Americans holding high positions in the company... but then again, can a handful of executives prevent the infiltration of middle management or lower?

"But since 9/11, at least 14 British citizens (four suicide bombers on 7/7, the four failed bombers from 7/21 and their supporters) have carried out terror attacks against western targets. Hmmmm..."

British citizens attacking British targets. Hmmm... that doesn't bode well for your next statement regarding Americans being in charge of the company. ;)

Posted by: Jason at February 22, 2006 03:28 PM


It's not about direct port control...It is about the ability to INFLUENCE the operations of a port and strengthening the SUKUS of UAE...and anyone who says that can't happen in this deal has NO CLUE as to how a port operates and how much money is involved here.

Even thought the Unions are in control of the Stevies (and that control according to the agreement is strained), the ports can be shut down or crippled by the UAE company. They don't have to do it (and lose money), they just have to IMPLY that certain decisions could hinder port efficiency.

Furthermore, there are a number of things within the port operational structure in which they would have a voice. That is NOT something we want right now. I'm telling you this is a major mistake and we have created a mess by allowing it to get this far. Now, no matter what is decided, we are in for some problems.

Posted by: WB at February 22, 2006 04:07 PM

CY, For the natural life of me, I cannot see any good thing coming out of this deal. Islam is the problem here. Can anyone tell me why a, whatever you want to call it, system based on lies and deceit should be our friend? I have no experience with ports, but the vision of 911 is with me. What does CAIR say about this deal? If they like it, which they do, then should we be with them? WB, I vote with you. btw, W called the border watchers "vigilantes." Now he calls these guys our friends? Yours truly, Islamophobe for life.

Posted by: Southern(USA)whiteboy at February 22, 2006 06:44 PM

I know all of you points seem to be valid but the only one thats really important is that the security is still being taken care of by our people. Plus one point to add as a member of the military I see things a little differently do you know how much more dangerous it would be to try to port or Naval Ships anywhere in the gulf if this does not go thru?? Its already bad enough but you add the hate this deal not going thru would create and we end up with another USS Cole on our hands. The only thing I dont like about it like I said before is that the port shoul dhave never been turned over to foreigners in the first place, but since it was already sold out but a Dem then why are all their panties in a wad now?

Posted by: 81 at February 23, 2006 09:27 AM

If DPW runs our ports like the run the ones in UAE, watch out. Those ports are used by terrorists, gun runners, and smugglers to move their stuff in and out of the middle east.

Posted by: Dick Tuck at February 24, 2006 02:17 AM