Dubai Ports World Vote
I have to say the vote to scuttle the DP World Port deal is rather disappointing. The Republicans seem bound and determined to get rid of every ally the U.S. has. Michelle Malkin, as usual, quotes things that don’t apply just to DP World, but then uses them as justification for scuttling the DP World deal. While I’ve been reluctant to give credence to the claims that Malkin is a racist, things like this only make it harder.
– “Huge quantities of cargo move through our ports every day, much of it of uncertain character and provenance, nearly all of it inadequately monitored. Matters can only be made worse if port management personnel include one or more individuals who might conspire to bring in dangerous containers, or simply look the other way when they arrive.”–Frank Gaffney’s testimony.
This applies to any and all companies, foreign and domestic that run our ports. Why isn’t there any legislation to get rid of Cosco running a terminal in Long Beach and Oakland? Why is APL, a company owned by the government of Singapore and a region that is home to Jemaah Islamiyah–i.e. the company could very easily be infiltrated by an al Qaeda affiliate, still allowed to operate terminals? Since there is little or no outrage over these things, the conclusion that DP World is an Arab company owned by and Arab government is the primary reason for the outrage. This is the very definition of bigotry.
House Republicans continue to get overwhelmingly negative feedback from their constituents about the deal. The message is clear: Bush is blowing it. Will all the brilliant GOP political strategists–the ones who are always telling us the American people know best and that the Republican Party is most in tune with ordinary citizens–now reprimand House GOP members for taking the electorate’s pulse and reacting to bona fide national security concerns?
This kind of thinking I find particularly repugnant. Not only is it a form of logical fallacy (argument by popularity) it can be used to justify quite a few disgusting policies. For example, many people during WWII felt that running concentration camps for U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestory was just fine (as does Michelle Malkin) and now most people look back on that episode as a dark stain on the country’s reputation. In short, what Michelle Malkin is saying is that politicians should not have principles and should be ruled solely by public opinion…funny I thought she found that kind of thing bad when Clinton did it.
And where the heck were these Congressmen (especially the Republicans), Michelle Malkin, et. al. when in 2002 $2.145 billion in military equipment was sold to the U.A.E.? This equipment included,
- Five refurbished E-2C Hawkeye 2000 early-warning aircraft with radars.
- Upgrade of 30 AH-64A Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64D version.
- 32 AN/APG-78 AH-64D Longbow Fire Control Radars,
- 32 spare engines,
- 32 night vision sensors,
- 240 AGM-114L3 Hellfire missiles,
- 49 AGM-114M3 Hellfire blast fragmentation anti-armor missiles,
- 90 299 Hellfire missile launchers.
- 237 Sea Sparrow ship-to-air missiles.
If letting DP World run some terminals is the same as flinging open our ports to terrorist, isn’t the above arms sale the same as arming these terrorist? Note this is all post 9/11 and all of this was under the watch of Republicans.
And in 2005 the U.S. allowed a deal from 2000 where the U.A.E. took possession of 80 F-16s.
Just one year after Israel, the United Arab Emirates this week took delivery of the most advanced F-16 ever produced. The first batch of US-built 80 F-16 “Block 60” fighters landed at an official, but quiet ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
Neither the US nor the UAE announced the delivery. But reports from AFP as well as the UAE’s Khaleej Times said the event took place on Tuesday and was attended by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan. They did not specify the number of planes received.
The UAE is paying $6.4 billion for the 80 jets, produced by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
These F-16s are more advanced than the newest Israeli F-16 I “Block 50+” and even any US F-16 model. It is one of the few weapon systems in the hands of an Arab state qualitatively superior to that in the Israeli arsenal.
Why if the U.A.E. is practically an enemy? Where was Michelle Malkin, and what where the Republicans on the Armed Services Committee doing? Why didn’t they scuttle this deal? Granted the deal was done in 2000, but hey this is a post 9/11 world now, so why not kill the deal? Why give a nation that supports terrorism such armaments that could be used against the U.S. forces in the region? And why are their pending deliveries of cruise missiles to the U.A.E.? These people are our enemies, but here are giving them weapons, right?
Update: You know, even after this issue fades from view and everybody forgets about it, nothing really will be done to enhance port security. My guess is that foreign companies (state owned and otherwise) will continue to run terminals, and things like this will not be addressed.
Update II: At lunch today I was listening to Sean Hannity. He kept going on and on about how the U.A.E. supported Hamas. Not a good thing to be sure, but then I thought, “Hey, what about all those Irish-Americans out there that sent money to the IRA?” I wonder what Sean Hannity thought about that. Maybe we shouldn’t even have an American company running our own ports.