View Full Version : Dubai Ports o' Potty

02-27-06, 07:12 AM
Dubai Ports o' Potty
Written by Bob Parks
Monday, February 27, 2006

As I'm seldom subtle, I hope the title of this piece puts to rest my opinion on the United Arab Emirates acquisition of American ports issue. Many have asked my opinion, but I just had to wait and watch the sheer folly of the incident and what it's revealed about the information absorbed by the American people and the ignorance/propaganda spewed once again by our mainstream media.

An acquaintance recently asked me about the deal as he was concerned that a foreign nation was going to be running a bunch of our sea ports. I asked him who owned them now? He had no answer and when I told him the previous owners were a British company that was being bought by a company from the UAE, he confessed he didn't know that.

Here's the problem, folks.

I write for the love of writing, as much as I'd like to do this for a living. There are those among us who are paid handsomely to disseminate the news. In this instance, like many others, our media either deserves an “F” if they really intended to get correct information out, and/or an “A” if they are once again fronting for Democrats. I'd prefer to believe the “F” factor, especially when picking apart the latest Rasmussen poll on the issue:

“February 24, 2006--Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed.”

I would bet that those 64% believed that an American company, and not Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) which is a British entity, ran them. According to the P&O website, “The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company has a celebrated history dating back to the 1830s. The initials "P&O" are among the most familiar anywhere, and its house flag, older even than the Company itself, is one of the best known. The history of its first century is encapsulated in the heraldry of its Coat of Arms, granted in 1937, while throughout well over 160 years it has been a premier British shipping company, and in its time the largest and most varied in the world.”

How many of you who bother to watch the mainstream media has heard them say that the UAE company is buying out a British one? Wouldn't you think that's an important part of the story here?

“Just 39% of Americans know that the operating rights are currently owned by a foreign firm. Fifteen percent (15%) believe the operating rights are U.S. owned while 46% are not sure.”

Now, who's fault is that? Editors and news directors all over the country should be in almost total anguish that the American public is so collectively out-to-lunch on this topic. That is, if they even know it.

“From a political perspective, President Bush's national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the president on national security issues.”

I have an easy answer for this as has been attempted for years without success: ask a Democrat for a solution to an issue. In this case, instead of *****ing and moaning about President Bush doing this, President Bush not doing that, ask a Democrat what he would do to make this country safer against terrorism, and watch Democratic polling numbers plummet again.

“Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President. It is important to note that the question about trust on national security issues was asked first, before any mention was made of the Dubai Ports issue. The preference for the opposition party is small, but the fact that Democrats are even competitive on the national security front is startling. In Election 2002, the President guided his party to regain control of the Senate based almost exclusively on the national security issue. On Election Day that year, just 23% rated the economy as good or excellent, but the President's Party still emerged victorious.”

I understand that President Bush is busy, especially because his booking office declined an invitation to come and address us Blue State Republicans. With that, I'm not going to pile on and complain that he should have explained this ports thing better. No one can foresee ignorance, that is, without being a liberal. I'm sure the president saw this as a rather routine business transaction not worthy of some half-assed congressional investigation.

“In Election 2004, national security was again the decisive issue as the president won re-election. Voters consistently expressed a preference for George W. Bush over John Kerry when it came to issues surrounding the War on Terror.”

Unless you're a liberal blog reader, you're of the mindset that Bush is not an idiot. As the War on Terror will be the majority of his presidential legacy, why would he allow a hostile nation to obtain ownership of our sea ports if he thought they'd be a gateway for terrorists and their devices of destruction? Mr. Bush knows better, and instead of jumping on the MSM mis-cue, we should use some common sense.

From the Dubai Ports World website,

13 February 2006

DP World to acquire P&O

We are delighted to announce that the shareholders of P&O have approved the sale of shares to DP World. At an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) held in London this afternoon, the shareholders voted over 99% in favour of the DP World acquisition. This means that the process of transferring ownership can now begin, and we expect for this to be confirmed by the court on 2nd March 2006.

Now let's see: The Brits had no problems approving this deal. Could it be that their media adequately informed the public? Nah, we have the best news people in the business, right? We can trust Charles Gibson and Wolf Blitzer and Brian Williams and Bob Schiefer, and let's not forget our honored Washington Press Corps.

“Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Americans do not believe foreign firms should be allowed to buy any companies in the U.S. Fifty-five percent (55%) disagree.”

Those twenty-seven percent are the ignoramuses. They would probably be shocked to actually learn who their own boss' bosses are. They would probably be shocked to learn what would happen to our nation's economy if all those nation's companies decided to stop financing our debt.

I was in Los Angeles during the longshoreman strike. I don't remember anyone squawking over the fact that the Communist Chinese own most of the docks there. Back in 1998, the Clinton administration sold 60 F-16s to the United Arab Emirates, and Bill gave a paid speech in Dubai just last year. All of a sudden, just because Hillary Clinton says so, the UAE are the same as al Qaeda? Who's painting the broad brush here?

The United Arab Emirates contributed $100 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Kuwait delivered a $25 million check to the Red Cross for the Katrina relief fund, the second installment of a donation that will total $500 million.

This current xenophobia surrounding an Arab company owning our ports is not surprising as we are talking about liberals who always see race first. Must be those slavery flashbacks.

“However, even among those who believe foreign ownership should be allowed in general, 61% oppose the Dubai Ports transaction.”

Ignorance is bliss. I've been using that phrase a lot lately.

“Seventy-two percent (72%) of Americans say they have been following news about the Dubai Ports deal somewhat or very closely.”

And if some pollster called you on the phone, you'd admit to being clueless. What a worthless poll question.

Look, the bottom line is this: even though I may be accused of being a blind partisan, common sense should rule here.

The real culprits in this saga are the unions that run the ports and pull the strings of politicians with campaign donations (union dues). The union resistance to modernization that companies like Dubai Ports would eventually introduce are a threat to union fat cats.

In 2004, Douglas Feiden (New York Daily News) published a few telling points about the longshoremen. Not that I begrudge anyone earning an honest wage, but some of these people are earning almost half of what the president earns, and some probably can't spell his last name.

“A longshoreman with full seniority averages $80,479 a year; overtime can ratchet it up to $136,000. Members get 16 paid holidays - including St. Patrick's Day and Good Friday - and up to six weeks vacation. Work on those days is paid at double time.”

I'd invite you to take a gander at his entire piece on the matter. Hopefully Feiden still has his kneecaps.

This isn't a national security issue for anyone except the job security of a bunch of crooks on the docks and the cronies they pay off. Okay, not all dockworkers are improperly overpaid, but I'll say this: to get some of the politicos to scream and holler irrationally over this one issue shows the unions can get their money's worth.

The media has no excuse.


In my second-to-last column, I'd like to bring to your attention a quote that I mis-attributed to Cinnamon Stillwell of Newsbusters:

“Perhaps most importantly, research and investigation into Dr. Redha Hassan found that he was arrested by the FBI in 1985 for forging 2000 Iraqi passports and military I.D. cards and seeking to forge 2,000 more. Dr. Hassan asked his next-door-neighbor and print storeowner Joel Feinstein to make the passports and IDs. According to Feinstein, Dr. Hassan claimed the documents were for his family in Iraq. Feinstein reported the request to the FBI, and became an operational asset for the federal government, leading to Hassan’s arrest.”

The quote came from Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network. So many quotes...so little time.

About the Writer: Bob Parks is a former Republican congressional candidate (California 24th District), Navy veteran, single father, member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, and is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.