Feb 23 2006

The Tide Turns On UAE Deal, Damage Done

Published by at 8:51 am under All General Discussions,UAE-DPW

*** updates at the end ***
The tide is shifting under all those who ran to the cameras or spouted off uninformed about the UAE company Dubai Ports World as more and more people research the topic seriously. Sister Toldjah has the best round up of recent, factual writing on this. From the revelations much of the hype is bought and paid for by contributions from some unions and a US competitor to Dubai Ports World, to surgical debunking of the myths surrounding this subject by Dick Meyers of CBS. If you read anything today read her path from doubter to supporter.
I would add Tony Snow to the list of thoughtful, careful people who have gone out and researched this subject to find all the things UAE has done for us in the war on terror, and all the things we stand to lose if we let fear drive us and not think this out. And people need to read Jim Geraghty’s thoughts on this as well.
Unfortunately, the damage is done. As I guessed and proposed in an earlier post, this deal had some classified national security angles to it.

The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

As part of the $6.8 billion purchase, state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to reveal records on demand about “foreign operational direction” of its business at U.S. ports, the documents said. Those records broadly include details about the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment.

People need to pay attention when we learn something is ‘classified’, as we know this deal was. That is a hint to think twice because there is something having to do with national security in the mix. That is why we make things classified. This appears to be a leak to provide us another hint. There could be more aspects of this deal than instant visibility into all the ports DPW manages around the world – ports that ship material here in vast quantities.

Lot’s of people think the White House should have seen the response coming, but I am sorry – that would require having little respect for people. I never thought I would see people so afraid of the word ‘Arab’ in my life. Over and over again I hear or read ‘but, in this case Arab…’. I know I had a lot more respect for this country before this issue hit. I know people have some legitimate security concerns. But if someone has read the details and now understand 99.99% of the people will still being doing what they have always been doing, that Port Operations does not do security, and if DPW or the UAE wanted to ship a weapon here they run plenty of ports to get the thing here without doing this, then I cannot understand what is left to worry about.

The remaining intangible is simply fear. It may be xenophobia, fear of the unknown, or a fear of Arabs or Muslims from the Middle East. And to expect the White House to assume so many people are shaky with fear after all we went through is not fair to the White House. It is not fair to Bush to hold him responsible for our initially wrong reactions. It is not fair to Bush to put it on him because we responded emotionally without the information we needed.

The reason I say this is we need to watch what we are doing. We are in a 24 hours news/blog cycle and when stories hit we start down a path immediately. If we start down the wrong path because we were misinformed or uninformed there will be repercussions. In this case there are major divides in the conservative base. But there just as well could have been permanent damage to our national security and diplomatic efforts. Busting the DPW deal could erase all we worked for since 9-11 and set us back to a point were we are worse off than we were prior to 9-11.

So we need to be on our guard and to watch ourselves and to not blame Bush when we go off half cocked on something. We have responsibilities in this great public debate too.


Some links are coming in from some bloggers I admire that demonstrate why I admire them! Pierre Legrand at Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill has a great post on honor. And Beth and My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has another one where she is honest with herself. Small Town Veteran also has a good rundown and he too admits to the battle between his gut and his mind. And Martin of Martin’s Musings has a name for all of us who are defying the rush to judgement: We are sparrows belching into a typhoon. Well, if you have enough sparrows, and the are well gassed up….


Jack Kelly at Irish Pennants shares his thoughts and more goof links.


Tom Bevan at the RCP Blog Links to a David Brooks Column (NY Times Select – so I don’t have access) and notes the tone of the piece is about as stunning as the reaction to the DPW port deal.

But this is the best piece I have seen describing how the politicians and the talking heads have jumped down the rabbit hole and are rampaging around Wonderland:

For five years, Republicans have chanted “trust the president” on national security. They even won elections on the issue. For nearly five years, Democrats have said President Bush should use more carrots and fewer sticks in his diplomacy in the Muslim world. They argued that we need to reward our allies with trade and trust (except when we actually did it in places such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). Liberals lectured that equating “Muslim” or “Arab” and “terrorist” is not only bigoted but counterproductive, in that it will feed the “root causes” of terrorism.

But suddenly, virtually all leading Republicans and Democrats — with the laudable exception of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — now argue that Bush can’t be trusted on national security, that our Arab ally the UAE should go suck eggs and that racial profiling of foreign firms is just fine. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) now even thinks Halliburton should run the ports. And Jimmy Carter is backing the White House.

At this rate, Barbra Streisand will soon be holding benefit concerts for Pennsylvania’s conservative Sen. Rick Santorum.

Did someone spike the water supply?

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “The Tide Turns On UAE Deal, Damage Done”

  1. Fish Fear Me says:


    The scene: An undisclosed location in northern Virginia. There’s a knock on the door and Dave E. enters….. Dave: Hail Rove!Rove: Report.Dave: Operation Kossack Fever appears to be on schedule. When the vaccine was released in the form of the…

  2. Of Ports and Whines, Part 2…

    Speaking of Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds commented yesterday, “As I say, I don’t think there’s any real security issue here, but I think the Bush Administration needs to launch a full-bore effort to explain what’s actually going on, something that t…

  3. Larwyn says:

    Over at JOM, I pointed out that this has been in the works for
    many months. Maddy Albright’s Lobbying group was working
    for Dubai on this deal.

    Hmmmmmmm The Dems have been screaming about ports for

    You know the mentioning, mentioning, mentioning for months
    – and then like magic _ after having been in the NYT and WSJ
    months ago – the HUE & CRY —-“The Arabs are Coming, The
    Arabs are Coming”.


    See the similarities.

  4. More Port “Absurdity” – II…

    Continuing this post, AJ Strata notes the tide is turning on the Port non=issue:…

  5. MataHarley says:

    In case anyone didn’t have the opportunity to watch the Senate Armed Services Committee briefing from CFIUS members this AM, I have a rough summary of doin’s at Sea2Sea. Don’t know if anyone has “live blogged” this. This version is composed from notes and “semi-live blogging…”


  6. BIGDOG says:

    Before i post. I am a stounch Bush supporter. My goal is to share info and opinion with you. I have a sick feeling in my gut and if you have seen my gut, you would understand this feeling is a keg sized feeling. (inference to a “six pack” gut)…hehehe humor always relaxes me.

    You know the more i research the UAE and connections to terrorism. I dont trust them…PERIOD!! Why the hell are we even dealing with this governemental entity, if we are serious about TWOT? Oh and i dont by this security through economic’s conscept im hearing from Limbaugh, although he does make sense when explained, but im not so sure he is right on this issue. I listed some of the reason below.

    – DUBAI failure and connection to USS Cole attack.

    – UAE connection to Bin Laden.

    – Iranians at present constitute one-fourth of Dubai’s population.

    – The presence of 4,650 Iranian investment companies and nearly 9,000 college-goers points to the fact that Iranians are playing a key role in building the United Arab Emirates, the region’s main economic powerhouse.

    – One of the axis’ of evil deeply rooted in the UAE.

    – Dubai’s major re-export market with bilateral trade volume standing at $4.4 billion. (with Iran)

    – The UAE recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

    – The UAE is connected by helping ship nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.

    – FBI said money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.

    – After 9/11, the Treasury Department said the UAE was not helping to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.

    – Major drug trafficking.

    Hell Clinton even sold this entity some 50-60 F16’s fighter jets. So we have some dealings with them. I know they are helping in the TWOT, somewhat.

    Now i have heard of some things the UAE has done for the United States, favors if you will. However im guessing i could find more archived, downright damaging activities and relations against the interests of the United states vs allied activities. Im sorry i cant trust the UAE because of their track record. Im open to see the evidence that leads me to believe other wise.

    Oh and please someone tell me exactly when the UAE became so pro American. Something tell me the UAE is not, how shall we say, keeping their enemies closer. Im sorry if this deals goes through than the war on terror is over and the United States doesnt have the backbone to finish what it started. Please someone incourage me with some great info. I want to get on board but i cant.

    The potential for disaster is greatly increased with the likes of Iran involved so deeply in the UAE and the UAE aspirations to become this economic hub would lead me to believe their economic goals can be greatly influenced by a country like Iran, not to mention the religous connection and how it could influence the decision process of the UAE.

  7. BIGDOG says:


    “Something tell me the UAE is not, how shall we say, keeping their enemies closer. ”

    should read –

    Something tells me the UAE is, how shall we say, keeping their enemies closer.

  8. MataHarley says:

    Yo Big Dawg…

    Most of what you are quoting above INRE UAE history is pre 911 – a problemfrom which Sen. Carl Levin also suffers. He can’t seem to look at the current, and dwells on the past. Post 911 history is a different story in the UAE. They have done a major turn on becoming counter terrorism allies.

    For instance, UAE’s actions post 911 helped unravel the terrorist network. And Libya’s back down on the WMD program can also be traced to the UAE’s help post 911.

    Additionally, they were the first Arab nation to come on board with the increased cargo container security requirements implemented after 911.

    Also, post 911, they tightened up money flow and banking regulations, including seizing assets of terrorists.

    This was addressed in the Senate Armed Forces Committee briefings by members of CFIUS today. I have a short, not-so-live blogging report on my Sea2Sea site. And, for the skinny from the pertinent mouths, it is being replayed on C-Span.

    As to Iran, much of that country of more westernized and pro-Western in nature. Do not confuse the masses with the leadership. There’s probably a reason they aren’t in Iran, as so many are not happy with the ruling powers.

    So to answer your question “when did the UAE become pro American”… it’s after 911, when they embraced western economics and business.

  9. A breakthrough on the UAE ports deal?…

    (See my previous related post here.) UAE Company Agrees to Delay U.S. Port Deal A United Arab Emirates company offered Thursday to delay its takeover of most operations at six U.S. ports to give the Bush administration more time to…

  10. BIGDOG says:

    You know Mata, you raise an interesting point. However it doesnt apply to me personally, let me explain. I do not have some pre 9-11 syndrome. I examine every angle, then create new angles and research till im blew in the face. I use archived information for other policies and procedures our government uses in their assesments. If you notice in my post i listed some areas of concern, they are post and pre 9-11 areas of concern. I myself see as a problem in this debate. Other than this port deal is the right one and is being done for the right reasons. I dont like secret deals without proper investigations being made will such haste. I found this out and noone would report it. I called every Fox news talk show on 980 am and told every host about this. You know what late that night it appeared on Fox news website in their fast facts section on this debate. I felt like i lobbied to get that information on there. Atleast galvanized my findings.

    The only person that has swayed my view into considering a different opinion is AJ and Malkins hard work and the same fervor they used, i used and researched a different angle to this port-gate of 2006. My areas of concern are legit and are well-founded as i researched this angle it gave me a very bad informed pain in my gut. It doesnt sit right with me. However because of people like you and AJ and myself i have decided to allow such a deal in the realm of opinion. If this committe says ok and i want to see their decision in written form, perhaps legislation then i will saway Bush’s way on this.

    My representitive knows how i feel and so do you wonderfull bloggers coming here…:)

    However i take issue with this issue below. So i’ll ask what exactly isnt clear about my concerns i listed?

    You said:
    “Also, post 911, they tightened up money flow and banking regulations, including seizing assets of terrorists.”

    My concern:

    – After 9/11, the Treasury Department said the UAE was not helping to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.

    I dont know the full outcome, mabe im not googling this answer correctly. What has happened in this case concerns me, because i dont know the outcome and if the UAE eventually cooperated.

  11. MataHarley says:


    The change in UAE bank regulations and attitudes happend in Jan 2002, and is reported in Banker Middle East, along with status on other countries, in November of 2005. And I quote…

    The UAE has also been under pressure to tighten the financial noose around money laundering and terrorist financing activities since it was revealed that some of the hijackers involved in 9/11 had moved cash through UAE companies. In response, the Emirates passed an anti-money laundering law and imposed tight restrictions on transfers in January 2002, and implemented the 40 recommendations of the FATF on combating money laundering.

    I heard the “froze assets” comments in the CFIUS briefing from Tony Wayne (Economics and Business Affairs). Hoping that a transcript of these hearing is provided to the public.

    Don’t know your source, or the date of the data. Perhaps pre Jan 2002, or just not in the the know?

  12. MataHarley says:

    Sorry, Big Dog… typo. The above Banker Middle East article is Nov, 2003, not 2005. DOH!