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Selling the ports


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I do not believe a thread has been posted for this topic. I heard on a radio show that the U.S governement is selling six of their ports to the United Arab Emirates. From what Ive heard the UAE is or was associated with the Taliban. That sounds absolutely outrageous and very dumb.

 

Here<s an article on the topic:

 

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=022206D

 

and Bush responding to America:

 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185799,00.html

 

I live in canada so this is not a big issue, in fact nobody has heard of this. I was wondering if it is having a big impact over in the US.

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We're not selling our ports to the UAE. We're giving the contract for their security to a company based in the UAE. The government of the UAE was one of the only nations to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

 

I'm not saying I'm for it, but if we're going to talk about it we may as well use accurate information.

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Yes. The Bush Administration is for it, and has actually threatened to veto any bill blocking the contract (which is a big deal, seeing as how he never vetoes anything). However, the leadership and greater part of both parties in Congress are against it.

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Yes. The Bush Administration is for it, and has actually threatened to veto any bill blocking the contract (which is a big deal, seeing as how he never vetoes anything). However, the leadership and greater part of both parties in Congress are against it.

 

Not quite against it. I think they at least wanted some time to learn more about the deal. A resonable request I think. I think the UAE has agreed to delay, probably at Bush's request.

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what bothers me is the fact that many people are hearing the headline "us gives port security contract to arab nation" and making an opinion, generally that it's a bad thing. based on this information alone, one cannot make an informed decision as to whether they believe the transaction was good or bad.

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We're not selling our ports to the UAE. We're giving the contract for their security to a company based in the UAE. The government of the UAE was one of the only nations to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

 

I'm not saying I'm for it' date=' but if we're going to talk about it we may as well use accurate information.[/quote']

 

The security of our ports is tasked to the US Coast Guard.

 

This contract is for the operation of the ports in question, not the security.

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what bothers me is the fact that many people are hearing the headline "us gives port security contract to arab nation" and making an opinion, generally that it's a bad thing. based on this information alone, one cannot make an informed decision as to whether they believe the transaction was good or bad.

 

An excellent point.

 

The security of our ports is tasked to the US Coast Guard.

 

This contract is for the operation of the ports in question' date=' not the security.[/quote']

 

True but a bit misleading. Port security only inspects a tiny percentage of the traffic that runs through the ports, so the real security is in the quality of people you hire to work at the port and the procedures and ethics of their management.

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Here's an interesting side-note to the discussion: Apparently the way this story is playing in the Middle East is that people are seeing it as an example of racial/religious fear. They see that company as a legitimate arab business (as opposed to, say, terrorism), and something that Americans should recognize, respect and support. If the deal is scuttled, and scuttled solely because the company is arab it will likely be used by America's enemies as yet another example of western anti-arab/anti-muslim prejudice.

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An excellent point.

 

 

 

True but a bit misleading. Port security only inspects a tiny percentage of the traffic that runs through the ports' date=' so the real security is in the quality of people you hire to work at the port and the procedures and ethics of their management.[/quote']

 

Why?

 

Do the operators know what is inside of every package, any more than the Coast Guard does?

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There are some interesting connections here, maybe meaningless, maybe not.

 

"Dubai, 24 January 2006: - Global ports operator DP World today welcomed news that one of its senior executives, Dave Sanborn, has been nominated by US President George W. Bush to serve as Maritime Administrator a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation and Cabinet Member."

 

Also, apparently the COO of DP World, Ted Bilkey, is a former Philips Exeter and Yale schoolmate of a certain current president of the USA.

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Why?

 

Do the operators know what is inside of every package' date=' any more than the Coast Guard does?[/quote']

 

No, and that's an excellent question, but because the percentage of inspected cargo is so low, what ends up happening is that a properly trained and motivated staff is your primary line of defense.

 

Generally when we (here in South Florida) hear about major cases breaking down at the port, it will be for one of two reasons: An anonymous tip-off (irrelevent for our purposes), or some dockside staff noticed something odd or suspicious about the package -- its paperwork, something odd about the containment vessel, the path it took to get here, etc etc etc.

 

There are other factors at work here as well. For example, if your workers are on the take or otherwise influenced, you can end up with people on the inside helping smugglers and terrorists. They can, for example, help to ensure that those suspicious factors are... not noticed.

 

So I think the indications are pretty strong that an alert and well-vetted staff is important for port security.

 

That's not to say they have to be American citizens, however. That's not an issue I've really made up my mind on yet.

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I understand that the employees in these ports will remain the same, at least as far as the stevedores are concerned.

 

There will probably be some changes in the management staff, but it has not been revealed to what depth.

 

In any event, this company was vetted by the panel created in 1975 to review foreign investments. This panel is comprised of some fairly high cabinet officials including the Secretaries of State and Treasury. The UAE have a good political, diplomatic and military relationship with the US and are perhaps our best friends in the Middle East along with Isreal.

 

Of course any country can produce people who are anti-American--even the USA, but from what I have read about the UAE, I would trust them as far as I would anyone else.

 

The deal is being postponed for a while to allow the US Senate to be edified on how these deals are conducted:rolleyes: and to allay the fears of the general public, many of whom see anyone from the Mid-East as just another "towelhead."

 

I think it (the takeover) will go through and I see no reason-at this point-why it shouldn't.

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I heard on a radio show that the U.S governement is selling six of their ports to the United Arab Emirates. From what Ive heard the UAE is or was associated with the Taliban. That sounds absolutely outrageous and very dumb.

 

It is not the US government selling anything. A British company owns those ports and it is selling them to a company based in the Dubai.

 

There is no reason to believe that this would in anyway compromise any security. Dubai Ports World is a highly reputable company. In addition the UAE is considered to be a moderate friendly pro Western government.

 

There are serious enough problems with the rise of extremist elements within Islam. To leap to atavistic conclusions that Arabs are not trustworthy enough to do business with will only worsen those problems.

 

To call dealing with Dubai Ports World 'absolutely outrageous and very dumb.' Sounds like an absolutely outrageous and very dumb reaction.

 

Friendly moderate Arab Muslims are exactly the sort of people the West shouild be looking to work with.

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So I think the indications are pretty strong that an alert and well-vetted staff is important for port security.

 

That's not to say they have to be American citizens' date=' however. That's not an issue I've really made up my mind on yet.[/quote']

 

The Ports are not American owned now. So there is no reason to believe that the number of American citizens involved will change. It wouldn't make any sense commercially and any attempt to bring in a large number of foreigners would be immediately apparent.

 

There are no security issues here, only political posturing and barely concealed, ill informed xenophobia.

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I too fail to see any legitimate "reason" to prevent this from happening. The USA has VERY few 'friends' out in the Middle East, and to alienate yet another country with which we've had good relations is not a wise thing to do. Currently, the UAE has decided to hold off on the purchase of the ports in the USA until the USA can settle things. Meanwhile they are going through with the purchase of ports over in the UK. It seems to me as if the UAE is being very diplomatic over all of this and is just allowing the USA to hang itself if it so wishes.

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Those are some interesting points, and as I say I haven't made up my own mind on it, but I can tell you how this is playing out politically in Washington and on Main Street USA. It's not playing out anything like this thread, that's for sure.

 

On Main Street it was seen initially as an obvious example of something 'falling through the cracks'. Then the spinmeisters stepped in and now we have the usual two points of view in conflict (obscuring the truth, as Bud pointed out above).

 

In Washington it is a political firestorm, with leadership in both parties latching on and milking it for all its worth. The two sides are about as interested in the truth as Osama has good hair days.

 

We'll be very lucky if any real-world issues actually make it to the debate table. More likely what will happen is some sort of political compromise will be hashed out, with the actual security aspects of the situation (if any) more or less completely ignored. After which the politicians will pat themselves on the back and call it a day.

 

Meanwhile I'm still waiting for the Republican party's "replacement"/"better" assault weapons ban.

 

There are roughly eight functional months left in the 109th congress.

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Truth does seem to be in short supply on this issue.

 

As presented here (U.K), The port land is municipally owned, security remains in American hands, and and only the lease on some buildings is being sold. Perhaps that is why we are more pragmatic about it over here, and P&O is/was one of ours anyway.

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Speaking of which, I thought P&O's legal moves were interesting. Living in South Florida as I do, I'm familiar with that company, as most Americans are, mainly through their ownership of "The Love Boat", aka Princess Cruise Lines. They're not a huge employer here (as compared with Carnival or Royal Carib) but it made the news pretty fast when they sued to stop the changover.

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