Feb 24 2006

The Damage We Have Done

Published by at 1:19 pm under All General Discussions,UAE-DPW

I have lost a lot of new ‘friends’ over this DPW port issue I fear (hard to call someone a friend you meet over the internet ether without feeling like you are being too forward). Too many people I admired and who I enjoyed bloggin side-by-side with have gone to a place I cannot follow. I will not follow.

These bloggers admit the key element in the Port debate is Arab ownership of the company. When on the other side, my side, of the debate illustrate how the rationales to stop the deal make the UK and Germany look equally as good (to show where The UAE fits in the bigger world picture of allies and foes) – we come back to Arab ownership. People have made it clear, if not for Arabs in the mix there would be no problem.

Unfortunately, lashing out at a people because of the acts of a few who share tenuous ties to the broader group is a place I cannot go. I wrote this to Rick Moran, who I admire greatly, on his post where he lashed out at those of us who have been somewhat repulsed by the backlash against The UAE and Bush. It applies to all the people I had the pleasure to get to know in this wonderful world of blogging, but who now stand in a place alien to me. So I decided to re-post my comment (#13 at Rick’s site) for all:


the fact is if you take the arab ownership out of the equation you would not be so worried.

Arab does not equal Al Qaeda, or even Al Qaeda leaning.

There is no getting around this fact about your side of the debate.

You and Michelle are afraid to take the risk of trusting an Arab owned company. Don’t get on Bush’s case or anyone else’s because we cannot share your fear. Bush did not expect a large sector of America to lash out against this deal because Arabs were involved.

Don’t kid yourself or us. Since the status quo of a British Company is not an issue it is therefore the Arab ownership. Bush believed we were beyond this visceral, emotional reaction to an unspecified fear.

You may not feel comfortable about how we see this issue, but no one made you react the way you did. Fear did that.

I am afraid your side has gone where too many of us, who stood side-by-side with you, cannot go now. That is not our fault that we resist your choice, and are somewhat taken aback and repulsed by it. Maybe that is not a sign of how awful we are, possibly?

It has been a pleasure blogging with you over the last months. I fear this issue has created a divide too deep to cross for a lot of us. Good luck on the path you have chosen.

This is not easy. Most issues are not important enough to lose relationships over. But occasionally things happen and people do something that makes you take a step back and question what this means to who you are, what your life represents.

When 9-11 happened I was on the side of those who walked with Muslims to make sure no emotional reactions would harm them as targets of reprisals. It is that time again it seems, and there has been no additional attacks to warrent the need to stand by Muslims and Arabs who are guilt free off Al Qaeda and terrorist associations (at least by the laws of this land they are – until proven otherwise). I know I am losing readership to these stances as well.
So be it. This is were I stand.

34 responses so far

34 Responses to “The Damage We Have Done”

  1. colanut22 says:

    AJ, I’ve learned to value your views. At first I was unsure about the ports, but after reading your blog along with several others, I have to agree with you. Keep up the good work. And, thanks, for your Able Danger blogging!

  2. Oldcrow says:

    Hang in there, those of us who view the ports deal rationaly are all paying a price with those we call friends. I think the mistake the WH made and those of us who see the deal as harmless was underestimating just how traumitized Americans were by 9/11, it is still deeply embedded in the American psyche and yes part of it is ethnic(Arab) bigotry but not all, I cannot honestly blame those who have this view I can only hope they eventually realize what they are doing however, the cynical exploitation of this by the DEMS/LIBS is truly sickening and I fear it is working based on the Rasmussen poll that shows 43% to 41% see the DEMS in congress as better on national security than the President, that number is horrifying and gives me great fear for this country and the world if they can play it into a take over of the house or senate in NOV.

  3. MerryJ1 says:

    You’ve made a solid case on both the ports issue and the cartoons insanity, AJ.

    And, yes, as sad as it may be, sometimes you just have to walk away from friendships regardless of their former depth and value. Hurts like a bitch, but sometimes there’s just no way around it. You have my sympathy (and empathy).

    I’m also disappointed in what looks like ‘knee-jerk’ reactions from a few writers I’d given more credit to. Hopefully, they’ll come around.

    Something I found interesting: A few days ago, I posted a comment about remarks made on Brit Hume’s program by columnist Krauthammer, who objected to the UAE buyout because of security briefings issues, etc.

    However, a Krauthammer column I just saw on Townhall.com is a 180-degree turn-around. He apparently now sees honoring the deal as essential to both our security interests and to the GWOT in general (maybe he’s been following your blog?).

    Merry Whitney

  4. sbd says:

    Hi AJ,

    I enjoy posting on your blog and find that reading your opinions have helped me to look more closely at different aspects of an issue. Although we may not agree on certain things, I respect you more when you point out my deficiant assumptions. Isn’t that what blogging is all about??

    In keeping with the above, I still have reservations about the UAE port deal. Although my first reaction was outrage at a President that I worked hard to reelect, I can now see the intelligence aspect as a plus. What I am concerned about is not what is coming in to the country, but rather what goes out.

    The United States has a lot of restrictons on technology and foreign trade. We also have a corporate mentality that confuses reality with the bottom line of a financial statement or stock price. I can see that technology being shipped all over the world on the asumption that it is harmless. The fact that the UAE government owns DP Ports is not very helpful when we consider the way our own government agencies are run. I am not saying that the UAE would initiate the smuggling operation, but rather a member of DP World staff who now has access to technology that is sought after in other countries.

    You might recall the Long Beach deal with COSCO back in 1996-97. The security concerns were high and the outrage was the same as it is now with both Dems and Reps on the same side. One aspect that was touched upon was that the Chinese were going to use the ports to steal technology.

    Long march reaches Long Beach – China Ocean Shipping Co. wants to acquire Long Beach Naval Base in California

    High-tech ventures such as Sea Launch are very attractive to Cosco, according to Red China experts and findings of the congressional Task Force for Terrorism ad Unconventional Warfare. The task force has not gone public with its conclusions, but sources close to the investigation tell Insight that Cosco is known to work closely with the Chinese navy.

    “Cosco has specific roles in the PLA’s contingency plan of dominating East Asia and future war with Taiwan” by stealing sophisticated military technology, says one investigator. “Their primary goal is to get stuff out of here in peacetime. Their strategic thinking is very similar to the Japanese in the 1930s. Sooner or later they are going to confront us on who is going to be the boss out in East Asia.”

    There’s a lot more to this than just what is coming in to the US and I think that these discussions are essential to vetting out everyone’s concerns so that all of us can be as sure about this deal as you and others are right now. Believe me, I want to be able to say that I agree with this decision, not only for my party, but for the sake of the nation.

    Thanks for giving me a place for intelligent discussion. I can only hope to learn from you as much as I can to allow me to be as sucessful some day, until then, keep up the good work.


  5. wiley says:

    I, too, have enjoyed your blog and think you need not worry. Solid Americans respect anyone with integrity and standing firm on principal, yet being reasonable to alter course when new knowledge or facts are gained. (Principal is why so many of us loved Reagan and admire “W”, although we disagree with him on some issues and wince at some of his public appearances.)

    Like most, I also was shocked and incredulous over the port deal upon the initial news. But, after reading and learning about the real facts of this deal and port operations in general, I have also come to support this transaction. However, it’s over-reaching to state that those against this deal are bigots or islamophobiacs. This may be true for some, but an earlier post correctly identified it as common sense profiling. While this is the case for most Americans, it probably isn’t true for the reaction of our political “leaders”. Yes, it’s probably good that Congress examines this deal in more detail. But enough is known that burden should be to show why the deal should not proceed or needs to be modified. Not surprisingly, the Dems, who are clueless on genuine national security matters and all too eager to aid and abet the enemy as long as it hurts Bush in the polls, have stumbled upon an issue that can show them as being tough on the war on terror. Although the internet and blogs like this help get the truth out, many still depend on the MSM, which is routinely is anti-Bush and pro-Dem. And for some reason, the Bush whitehouse is still incompetent in their communications department and press dealings.

    In the end, I think the deal will go through, but probbaly with a new provision or two or three to show that Congress has our backs (yeah, right). The Bush team needs to go on the offensive real soon to educate the public — the press won’t do it — and reinforce his bona fides on the GWOT.

    — Wiley

  6. Seixon says:

    I stand with you AJ. Let us continue down the path less traveled, I’m sure we will be rewarded somehow.

  7. Ed Harris says:

    Just wanted you to know I’m still here and will continue to be. Keep up the good work.

  8. Snapple says:

    Here is a huge article in the Canadian media that cautions against the UAE port deal. I don’t have expertise in something so complicated, but this is an interesting article:

    “The goal of Islamists, following in the footsteps of Muhammad is to create the Islamic kingdom of God on earth. The strategy to obtain this goal in our lifetime includes the control of the world’s energy infrastructure, the transportation systems, currency, media, elections, immigration and education. The control of the port facilities is hence a critical element. Foreign ownership, in and of itself, although important, is not as significant as the strategy and goals of the owner. In the case of DP World ownership, my hypothesis is that their plan for utilization of these strategic infrastructure resources is to accomplish the ultimate goal of world domination of the sea borne transportation infrastructure. In similar moves, a newly-formed Dubai consortium unveiled plans to bid for the development and operation of airports in China, India and the Middle East, a market they estimate to be worth $400 bln. The consortium comprises DAE Airports and six other top companies in the United Arab Emirates…..

    The influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and popular host on the Qatari satellite channel Al-Jazeera has commented that…the conquest [of Europe] need not necessarily be by the sword…
    [The conquest of Mecca] was not by the sword or by war, but by a [Hudabiyya] treaty, and by peace… Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies. We want an army of preachers and teachers who will present Islam in all languages and in all dialects… Europe will see that it suffers from materialistic culture and will seek an alternative; it will seek a way out, it will seek a lifeboat. It will find no lifesaver but the message of Islam, the message of the muezzin, who gives it religion but does not deny it this world, brings it to Heaven, but does not uproot it from Earth. Allah willing, Islam will return to Europe, and the Europeans will convert to Islam. Then they themselves will be able to be the ones to disseminate Islam in the world, more than we ancient Muslims. This is within Allah’s capabilities. ” http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/jonsson022506.htm

  9. Snapple says:

    I wonder what “the influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi” is smoking?

    Who would want to convert to a religion where they are having riots and burning down buildings about a picture in the newspaper.

  10. AJStrata says:


    Good points. I think you summed it up precisely. As you may have seen in my latest post, though, this is getting to a point where it is risking too much. But I agree, it is more fear than bigotry. The boogey-man is simply wearing a turban.


  11. RiverRat says:

    Fact: Zero corporate income tax in Dubai with 100% foreign ownership allowed.

    Change the IRC and we will have lots of American companies bidding for the job.

  12. Snapple says:


    That’s a very interesting point.

    The article I posted is more about cultural/political/financial penetration than about actual terrorism. So whether it is a port or something else, what difference does it make?

    I don’t know what to think about this. I just hope the experts who studied this are thinking of America. The oil money does translate into huge political and financial influence.

    The bogey-man is not real. The influence activities of the oil states are.

  13. MataHarley says:


    It is my understanding from the maritime world that no such American company exists.

    Perhaps you can provide the names of those American companies who would be rushing to bid on the port operations. No sense in creating a job vacancy that can’t be filled, eh?

  14. Kaz-Man says:

    This is an issue that is highly charged emotionally. Underneath the rhetoric, those who condemn the deal have a point.
    I look at the entire situation and compare to yesteryear:
    1) After Pearl Harbor, we locked up thousands of Japanese-Americans for no good reason.
    2) In the aftermath of 9-11, we did no such thing with Arabs.
    American society has improved in the last 65 years; the port deal with its accompanying rhetoric represents a bump in the road.
    When Iran tests its nuclear capability in the next 6 weeks or so, the left will want to negotiate until Iran has the capability to destroy the world; while the right will want to respond with force (regime change). The line in the sand will be redrawn again, it became blurred with the port deal.
    The fracture among those of us who take the war on Islamofacism seriously will be repaired.
    Unfortunately, that will be the only good thing after the upcoming underground test.
    2006 has already been a weird year. Fasten your seat belts, keep your sanity and pray.