Feb 21 2006

Bush Has Backbone

Published by at 4:52 pm under All General Discussions,UAE-DPW

Well it is about time Bush came out and stood up to the mob mentality. And he is doing it with strength. Bush is threatening a veto (which we all knew would be used to reign in the reps not dems) on the UAE Port deal.

From Drudge:

Bush called reports at about 2.30 aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal… MORE… He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending ‘mixed signals’ by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge… Lawmakers, he said, must ‘step up and explain why a middle eastern company is held to a different standard.’ Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement… ‘I don’t view it as a political fight,’ Bush said…. MORE… MORE…

This makes me more confident about my suspicions in that there is a lot at stake here. And none of it is worth losing to rampant, fear induced, speculation. The Rueters news flash. Now Breibart’s news flash. This looks like a Briebart extended article.

People need to contemplate why Bush and the DoD and others are defending this deal so hard. Like I said in my previous post, try and envision scenarios where this deal increases our security as well as risks it. Both forms of speculation are equally valid.


Bin Laden is smiling and liberals are smiling, conservatives look bad and moderate Arabs are stunned and angry….

Arab-Americans contended on Tuesday that bias and bigotry, not security concerns, lay behind the uproar over a deal that would place commercial operations at six U.S. ports in the hands of an Arab company.

“I find some of the rhetoric being used against this deal shameful and irresponsible. There is bigotry coming out here,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute.

He said politicians were exploiting fears left over from September 11 to gain advantage in a congressional election year.

“Bush is vulnerable so the Democrats jump on it. The Republicans feel vulnerable so they jump on it. The slogan is, if it’s Arab, it’s bad. Hammer away,” Zogby said.

According to some industry analysts, the change in management would have no real effect on security, which would still be carried out by American workers to international standards. The UAE, whose government owns Dubai Ports World, is an international financial hub and close U.S. ally.

“The Emirates have been very pro-active partners in helping our security. They have a solid track record of cooperation,” said Peter Tirschwell, publisher of the Journal of Commerce.

Rabiah Ahmed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said members of her organization also believed anti-Arab bigotry was driving the debate.

“The perception in the Arab-American community is that this is related to anti-Arab sentiment,” she said.

Well, let me know how we plan to screw this whole thing up more tomorrow – I can hardly way to see what people think of.


Michelle is starting the blog round up here!

I moved text to a separate post dealing with the insanity of this topic. It covered some ranting from the right which was immature and vacuous. Feel free to check it out, but I think this post sums up what we lost, and this one points to the ugliness eminating from this issue.

23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Bush Has Backbone”

  1. BurbankErnie says:

    Sheesh. Can you imagine Bush’s ONLY VETO would be on this?

    At a loss on this one AJ. In my heart of hearts, this is a HUGE error. Now the Race card is being played? (Oh YES INDEED it is being played).

    This ain’t gonna be pretty.

  2. AJStrata says:


    I am adding link after link to the previous post on the background to this.

    But in the end, you need to weather these challenges to keep America what it is. We call it “the land of the free and the brave” for a reason you know. Is there a chance this could go wrong – small one. But in those links you will see I was right, the UAE company is covering OUR backs in those foreign ports they manage. The security side will always be hidden and barely hinted at.


  3. MataHarley says:

    Just an update for you, AJ. Amidst all this fu-fer-rah, Australia and the US have both been working on new free trade agreements with the UAE.

    Interesting that this burgeoning relationship is somehow missing in the Congressional/media debate over the ports.

    Fabulous link to the Financial Times, AJ. Thank you. Have also linked on my less traveled, but of same thought site at Sea2Sea.

    Burbank, you may thank Congress and the media for playing the race card. How can you not believe it is anything but? The Brits and P&O is foreign, and Congress is okay with that. But as soon as an Arab nation wants to merge, they start making up new rules about foreign involvement in our ports.

    If that isn’t anti-Arab attitudes, as so aptly pointed out in the Financial Times, what is?

  4. ordi says:

    I heard, there is not an American company that can do this kind of work.

  5. BurbankErnie says:

    My two cents on the Port issue adds up to…. 2 cents. I do not hold Politicians up to any standard, After 25 years of watching their incompetence, it is a wonder we still exist as the World’s Greatest… Everything. This issue is a culmination of everything BAD in Politics. It is rarely in our interests, but beholden to the Body Politic.
    Saying that, there are always a few Gems in the Rough, and I consider Bush to be very close to honesty as a President can come. I have seen him grieve, and he seems genuine. Like I said, we will see how it plays out, and it won’t be pretty.

    One point though that makes me want to kick the cat: Leave these “Upset Arab” Groups OUT OF THIS STORY. What did this group have to say about the Cartoon Riots? Hamas?
    I looked. They approve of funding the Terrorists, Hamas, and they are Okey Dokey with the riots from the Cartoons. Please. Islam. ROP. Please. Stop.

  6. MataHarley says:

    Update for you here, AJ. The UAE is sending delegates to have a chat with Hillary, Schumer, etal. Oh to be a fly on the wall….

    But what I find most interesting in this news blurb is the fact that the US Navy regularly docks in Dubai’s Jebel Ali port – the largest Persian Gulf port, and run by DP World.

    Be wonderful to leave those “upset Arab” groups out of the story, Burbank. However Congress has played right into their hands by the emphatic “no” to an Arab controlled merger with P&O.

    Schumer has made it worse by his quote in a Kuwaiti newspaper in saying…

    “This United Arab Emirates government-owned and operated company could be perfectly qualified to operate ports around the world,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the most vocal among the group. “But the question that needs to be answered is whether or not they can be trusted to operate our ports in this post 9-11 world,”

    Qualified, but not trusted? No disguising that attitude. Fuel for the terrorists’ propaganda.

  7. MataHarley says:

    DOH! So sorry… html typing error really screwed up those links! Flying fingers.

    The Kuwait Times article is here

    Sorry AJ… you don’t have a “preview” function to check this stuff…

  8. rubicon220 says:

    very very sad.

  9. BIGDOG says:

    Yeh ok…well AJ i must bring into light a certian fact Bush and no 0ne seems to care or fails to mention. Djibouti signed an agreement in May 2000 with the Dubai Port Authority (DPA), giving it the right to manage and invest in, for 20 years in the port of Aden, Yemen. Yes this is where the USS Cole was attacked on Oct. 12th 2000, shortly after the new contract was in place.

    The attack on the USS Cole was carried out by two Yemeni’s holding Saudi nationality. Sources said that the operation’s main planner, an Arab living in the UAE called Mohammed Omer, was giving his orders to the group members in Aden by phone, and by a code with one of the suspects called Gamal Al-Badwi, a Yemeni national.
    Americans made a mistake when they entered the port with such a large size and greatly valuable destroyer without guarding or notifying the Yemeni side to provide such protection.

    Now considering your position on this AJ and the facts you presented about port operations and their primary activities. I can only conclude somehow these Yemeni’s jihadist’s had inside information and the estimated time of arrival of the USS cole and were prepared to execute their deadly blast. Wich means somehow the port operations may have leaked such crucial timeframe, in order for them to be ready and have their small boat in the waters wich is part of the port operations and procedures; the attackers’ boat was mistaken for a harbour craft assisting with the mooring (To be secured with lines or anchors). There was no co-ordinated effort to track the movement of small boats in the harbour, wich in fact falls on the port operations and that was the DUBAI responsibility, alerting security to such odd and unidentified activity is also port operations responsibility.

    I have a problem with DUBAI not because they are an Arab group. I have a problem because they have proven to me un worthy of such contracts because the USS Cole was attacked under their watch. Wich to me sends a signal of suc an alarming magnitude it shouldnt go unnoticed. Also AJ please look into what i have posted and mabe you can show me how come i shouldnt be concerned about port operations and our security in vital harbours accross our sea shores.

  10. AJStrata says:

    Sorry Big Dog, you missed the obvious, simpler answer.

    The Yemeni attack was a small private boat manned by two people.

    The Ayden port was a regular refuling stop for American warships.

    All the attackers had to do is wait for an American ship to enter the port, then drive out to greet them.

    So, no inside info is required and no one to tip off the authorities. Once the boat was loaded and ready the chatter began that something was going to happen. All they neede was the target.

    Nice try though. Now, we can play speculation games all day long, but someone needs to prove to me we did not gain some serious intel and security opportunities in the ports which ship to the US. All speculation being equal. Bush is pushing this for a reason, and he knows more than you and I do.

  11. nk says:

    How to Smuggle a Nuclear Weapon Into The United States:
    Step One. Get control of U.S. seaports.

    Smiling? OBL is @#$%^& rolling on the floor in laughter. My only questions are: 1) Just exactly what kind of contracts did Halliburton get in exchange; and 2) if a dirty bomb is detonated in the United States, will we execute Bush and Cheney for treason?

    I have struggled very hard for the last five years to believe that the Shrub has a higher IQ than his dog but have now concluded that he really is the moron liberals say he is.

  12. BIGDOG says:

    Thats fine and it wasnt a “nice try” persay. Im not really concerned about an agenda or trying to prove anythin AJ, its not my style. I want the facts out in the open and all possibilities considered. The simple fact is DUBAI was under contract and the attack on the USS Cole happened on their watch, concerns me.

    Im sorry AJ but how long do you think it would take to load 400-700 lbs of explosives and then be able to hide it from port authorities for such a convenient time, when one of our ships rolled in for refueling?

    Did they use cranes along these ports to load such a heavy load?

    Was it done by hand? how would hand loading explosives, go easily unnoticed?

    Yeh there is alot we dont know, yet to dismiss the obvious isnt my style either. Granted 2 men carried this out, but to say it was just two men and a boat of explosives and givin the weight involved, it is not that simple to carry out completely unnoticed and un-checked. This concerns me AJ. If it happened in Yemen under DUBAI i dont need another example of DUBAI failures in OUR ports..

    Im saying the effort involved to expload this samll boat on the USS Cole was orchestarted and planned out, to atleast within 2 hours of arrival and coordinated with a man in the UAE. Im not saying there is a direct connection between jihadists and DUBAI, i am saying it concerns me that the possibility exists and the USS Cole attack elevates that concern.

  13. Greg says:

    As long as the U.S. maintains control of port security, and doesn’t share details with the port operators, just what are we afraid of? How will sending a dirty bomb through a UAE-operated port, rather than a U.S.-operated port, help a terrorist group?

  14. AJStrata says:

    You are right Big Dog, lots to learn. But UAE is not a terrorist state by a long shot. Are there bad people there? Of course. I wish people would not judge us by the mad rantings of Al Gore!

  15. BIGDOG says:

    Well thanks for atleast listening to my concerns. I hope my concerns are wrong, but they are not going to be ignored if im still breathing…:)

  16. AJ,
    This story is a mess and getting messier. I have no idea who is right (you and the guys at the Officers’ Club have been fairly persuasive) and hope we can get a thorough look at all sides of the problem. Unfortunately, our politicians seem to be at their worst when they have to examine evidence and think things through critically.
    It is almost as if this episode is part of a calculated strategy to force the world’s Muslims to start choosing sides. Too many people already think this war is the West against the Muslim world when in reality, the war is all about Moderate, modern Islam against reactionary, totalitarian Islam. If we manage to facilitate a “forced choice”, we will have the dreaded “clash of civilizations.” A blunder now makes the worst outcome much more likely.

  17. AJStrata says:


    I hear you buddy. The mob-think is in full swing and the marginal useful idiots are in full voice. And if Bin Laden is laughing as I think he is…

    Well, then it will be ugly. And all because we emoted when we should have thought.

  18. Larwyn says:

    Jack Kelly had this at his blog Irish Pennants:

    But, warns Spook 86, it’s not that simple:

    Cancelling the port deal could mean the end of U.S. basing rights in the UAE, strained relations with other regional partners, and the potential loss of a key defense contract, all viewed as critical in fighting the War on Terror. Collectively, those factors probably explain why the deal hasn’t already been nixed, and why the Bush Administration may put up a fight–even with political allies.

    Let’s beging with the basing rights issue. U.S. military forces–particularly Air Force units–have been using airfields in the UAE since the start of Operation Desert Shield back in 1990. Bases in the UAE are viewed as particularly important for potential military operations against Iran, given their proximity to disputed islands the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Hormuz. Flying from bases in the UAE, U.S. fighter-bombers would have only a short hop to targets in Iran, allowing them to maintain constant pressue on Tehran’s military forces and political leadership. The presence of large numbers of tactical aircraft in the UAE would also make it easier to keep the strait open, and reduce Iran’s ability to restrict the flow of oil to the global market. If the White House cancels the port deal, Dubai may end its basing agreement, and greatly complicate our military strategy in the region.

    I see this as a backdoor way to prevent Bush from dealing with
    Iran – something the Dems could run on.

    I will never forget Clintonista Nancy Soderberg on the Daily Show the
    night after the first “purple fingers” in Iraq, she said “Well, we still
    have Iran and North Korea.”

    But don’t jump on the Repubs just yet – they are calling for a delay
    and hearings. The hearings will be great for Bush.

    And finally – the biggest leap that was made in this Port brohau
    The Dems admitted we do have to fear terrorism

    And they are will to be racists to protect us.

    Can’t wait for Pelosi to slip up and use that “politics of fear” charge
    against Bush.

  19. ReidBlog says:

    All in the family

    So far, President Bush isn’t backing down on the Dubai port deal, despite the political firestorm it has stirred up for him …