Saturday, February 25, 2006

Terror ports?

What's all the hubbub about our ports. It was OK when the Brits were administering them but now when a Arab owned firm takes control, its not OK? Hey, look at it from THEIR side for a second. Western oil, mining, and other corporations have been practically running their governments for them for the last umpteen years. With the exception of a few radical fundamentalists, THEY have accepted OUR unique Western "administration" for the most part. When it comes to administering a number of ports here, all of a sudden it's "they're all terrorists". These Emirates have kooks within their populace just like we have kooks in ours. Can we control all of the kooks here? Of course not!
So why are we so up-in-arms because a couple of terrorists were from there?
It makes no sense.
Look, this is a business deal. That's it!
Security will still be under US control and I am sure that because of this media spotlight, there will be even more security considerations.
We want to be multicultural and have THEM be more like US but yet we are condemning all Arabs because of a few kooks.
It's political grandstanding time using patriotism as the "hook". Except now, for a change, it's also a lot of Democrats using this ploy to gain "brownie points".
Its hypocrisy at its worst.


Anonymous said...

Roman I can accept your explanation, but do you realize that the UAE were 1 of only 3 country's to recognize the Talaban as a ligitemate Govt. and they refuse to aknowledge Isreal. How can you feel secure with them having INSIDE knowledge of our security...

Anonymous said...

that response was from me, I forgot to sign it


Dr Kuha said...

I don't trust any government. It's not the governments that we should be mistrusting. This is a business deal, plain and simple. I will agree with Roman on this one. However, businesses are crafty entities... From thier point of view, it's a very good move.

I don't see any reason why they can't do what they're doing. But we should (and they should understand why!!) watch them a little extra closely, if only for the first year or so.

roman said...

I understand your concerns on this because I was teetering back and forth myself quite a bit. Yes, you're right that they recognized the Taliban government of Afghanistan early on. Diplomatically, it was not the brightest move they made. Since that time, however, they have been a staunch ally of the USA in every endeavor undertaken in the war on terror. I did'nt know that they do not officially recognize Israel, though, and am going to have to check that out. Thanks for alerting me to this.
BTW, if it's snowing here it must be snowing harder where you are.
Take care.

roman said...

dr kuha,
Like Reagan used to say to the Soviets "trust but verify". Agreed, watch em like a hawk to make sure the business that is transacted is not monkey business.
I admit,I am borderline on this one.

Dr Kuha said...

Oh yeah totally. It's a really tough call. There's a strange urge to be "politically correct." But at what cost?

Take for instance the issue of airport security. Okay, so they don't want to be accused of racial profiling. That's understandable politically because of some of the fucked up shit that has gone on in the past (Japanese internment camps during WWII), but who's more likely to bomb an airplane? Is it the white anglo-saxon protestant grandmother? Or is it the man wearing the turban? Should we be quite so concerned with offending people that we sacrifice a considerable amount of efficiency?

And should arab americans (good american citizens, certainly) actually be offended in this situation? Shouldn't they understand that the most likely people to bomb an airplane are arabs? It's a question to toss around. We sacrifice a lot of efficiency to be diplomatic about things and keep from offending people.

Who knows where the happy middle ground is? It's a tough call.

Vman said...

Better to be safe than sorry. We cannot sacrifice security for commerce and diplomacy. 2 of the 9/11 hijackers came from the U.A.E. and U.A.E. allowed al quada to set up accounts there for money laundering. They're our allies now cuz they don't want to be the next iraq.

Dr Kuha said...

Oh, and I think there's one other thing that we're forgetting, in regards to what skip said about UAE recognizing Taliban. Well... The United States also recognized, and indeed installed the Taliban as a government.

Fahd Mirza said...

agree with you Roman.

Pakistan has given its airbases to US, will US give us in the time of need its airbase in Indian Ocean?

Oricon Ailin said...

I'm kinda nervouse about having our ports run by outsiders of any type. I know the Brits ran it and they have been allies forever.

But, still, it's a bit unnerving having others run our ports.

However, I can see it from the business point of view. It could be a very good thing.

Have we ever had trouble with the UAE before? I don't know. I do know some people over there, and they don't seem to be "evil" people. In fact, they are very smart and trustworthy people.

It doesn't matter which government runs things...all the governments are screwed up anyways.

Let's see how it goes. Keep a close watch on them but give them a chance. It could turn out to be a very good thing for everyone. Hmmm.

Oricon Ailin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nabeel said...

actually security will be tighter than it was before under the arab controlled ports. the current security level of the ports is a joke .. they will finally take good security measures, once the deal is finalized.

roman said...

fahd mirza,

You asked "Pakistan has given its airbases to US, will US give us in the time of need its airbase in Indian Ocean?"
I sincerely pray that this will never be necessary but to be perfectly honest, I don't really know. I would think that there was some kind of quid pro quo agreement made between the two governments when those bases were used. It may already be decided, by contract, that the US has this obligation to Pakistan. I am pretty sure that President Musharaf would not just grant landing rights if he did not get back some kind of concessions.
Excellent question due to the fact that the US wants to be friends with both Pakistan and India.

roman said...

oricon and nabeel,
As long as the company owned by the UAE keeps its operations transparent and allows security at the US ports to be overseen by the US security services, I have no issues with this deal.

I understand fully your stance on this. The popular notion is for anything which affects US security, it must be totally controlled by the US. I think there is a way that both security and diplomacy with the UAE can be achieved. From what I have recently heard, the UAE is more than willing to cooperate fully in any security demands placed on this deal be the US. Its strictly a business deal. International cooperation and harmony is a by-product of any business deal involving nations.

San Nakji said...

The UAE cares nothing for terrorism, they care only for Money. Why did they recognise the Taliban? Money of course! Why will they sort out US ports? Because of the money! The US has nothing to fear and for the one and only time in my life, I agree with Bush... wow

Pete's Blog said...

There are tens of thousands of Saudi and UAE Arab students and businessmen in US cities.

No doubt there are many Arab staff (pilots, aircrew, terminal staff) servicing their national airlines and private jets in US airports. Airports or aircraft have traditionally proven a much greater target or source of terrorist activity than seaports.

So comparing the air situation with the UAE seaports affair it seems to be a Democrat beatup - as you suggest roman.


roman said...

san nakji,
After that comment, I'm starting to think you're a republican.

spooky pete,
WOW, what a distinguished and handsome looking gentleman. Agreed, this UAE ports thing is just another political football.

Pete's Blog said...


Thank you.

It is my duty be Bond, James Bond.


Nabeel said...

We don't have the upper hand in this deal by the way .. Saudis do .. the american people don't know what is going behind this deal ..we totally depend on saudi oil and saudi's contribution to our economy (investments in the US) .. which is approx. 1 trillion dollars ..

so once again .. we don't have the upper hand on Saudis .. they keep quite doesn't mean we controll 'em. You should see how they talk when US delegations go to the Arab countries .. especially saudia arab.

roman said...

I agree that the House of Saud is a very rich, powerful and influential government. Their control over the US is probably stronger than we can even imagine.
Money talks and politicians like money because money is what gets them elected. That formula puts the Saudis in the driver's seat on many current issues we face. The fortunate thing is that so far the Saudis have been very moderate on many political issues within their own country and their influence outside their country.

San Nakji said...

Please never thing that Roman! I would definitely vote Green if I lived in the US...

Renegade Eye said...

You're correct that it's grandstanding.

I'm a lefty, who never was a Dem.

beatroot said...

It's grandstanding.

The Dems jump on anything - usually fear related - to try and drum up some support cause they can;t seem to find any alternative arguments to the Bushies.

This just shows that the political parties in the west in general are politically exhausted and morally bankrupt. It's time we found an alternative.

(from a post-lefty libertarian).

Pete's Blog said...


You're right about the importance of the Saudis to America.

I would go so far as to say that a major reason for the invasion of Iraq was to ensure Saudi Arabia's security (from Saddam invading south again).

The Saudi's sit on so much oil and they remain the surest souce around. Particularly as alternative supplies are potentially unreliable - from Iraq (with the insurgency) and Iran (the "we want nukes too" standoff).

Bush's personal history of business ties with the Saudi's shouldn't be underestimated either.

Much of this reliable oil source reasoning also covers the UAE.


Cynthia Antoinette said...

The House of Cards:

It's Rove's strategy--"Play the Fear Card!"

So will you hold or will you fold?

roman said...

cynthia antoinette,
Thanks for stopping by my site. You are always welcome.

"Play the Fear Card!"
Yes, it seems every politician has a few cards up his/her sleeves.