You say ‘Dubai,’ I say ‘Hello?’
It’s true that we in the editorial department owe a great deal to the current administration. We’ve got to fill this slot every week, and the guys in the White House have done more than their fair share to ensure we have something to write about before press time.
This week we’re going to weigh in on the recent takeover of shipping operations in six major ports ‘— in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, the major intake valves on the Eastern Seaboard ‘— and fifteen others to Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.
We understand that US ports have been held by overseas corporations for years, that China has had control of points of entry in Los Angeles and that it’s been a long time since any domestic company had the ability or desire to do the job.
We are aware that security for these ports will still be maintained by the US Coast Guard and the Dubai Ports World will only control day-to-day operations.
And we also know that the Bush administration wants this deal to go through toots suite, without any extraneous study, and that he says he’s willing to break his veto cherry for it to happen.
Then, a day later, he says he was unaware of the details of the deal’… unaware of the details, yet still willing to veto anything that would halt it. Let’s put that disturbing notion aside for a minute.
He quickly shifted gears, declaring later the same day that, ‘“people don’t need to worry about security.’”
Still we must ask: In what realm of reality is it a good idea to turn over our major ports to a country that has provable connections to the 9/11 hijackers and a big chunk of their financing?
The country of Iraq had fewer connections to the 2001 destruction of the Twin Towers than the UAE, and we all know what happened to them.
Call it racism if you want. Try to label it as a tempest in a teapot if you can. But in the world of provable facts, we simply cannot say for sure if the UAE is on our side.
Fact: More than $200,000 was sent through the UAE to 9/11 hijackers (according to United States v. Z. Moussaoui).
Fact: According to former CIA Director George Tenet, an assassination plot against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan was aborted because he was with members of the UAE royal family (‘“Half the royal family would have been wiped out as well,’” he said).
Fact: Before 9/11 the UAE was one of just three nations in the world that gave diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
These three strikes should ensure that, at the very least, we would have a national dialogue about security concerns before allowing this deal to go through. Instead Bush and Co. are reverting to form, digging in their heels when they should have their tails between their legs.
And what’s with this threat of a veto? He hasn’t even opened the box his veto stamp came in (though he threatened to use it for a stem cell bill last year) and even if he does break it out, representatives from his own party are mustering the votes to overturn it.
Whether or not he’s right about the UAE, he’s got to realize that his is an extremely unpopular position, so much so that the heart and soul of his party are aligning with the likes of Hillary Clinton rather than drink this Kool-Aid. And the only notable figure siding with Bush who isn’t on his payroll is Jimmy Carter.
That can’t feel good.
So what’s in it for Bush? Frankly, we don’t know. But until we uncover the Dubya-Dubai connection, we cannot endorse this deal.