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  1. vw2002's Avatar
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    #121  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Good article Funk. Unfortunately, most will pass over it, in favor of their "The Arabs are comin', the Arabs are comin'..." paranoia.

    They're a business. Blowing up a port, or smuggling in suitcase nukes isn't good for business.

    But, whatever. All I want to know is should this deal become finalized, which one of you guys will be manning the church steeple? One if by land, two if by sea...

    THE ARABS ARE COMING... THE ARABS ARE COMING. BATTON DOWN THE HATCHES... THE ARABS ARE COMING!!! GRAB YOUR FIRSTBORNS AND HEAD FOR THE HILLS...
    Last edited by vw2002; 02/26/2006 at 08:27 PM.
  2. vw2002's Avatar
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    #122  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    Okay, anyone who truely wants to understand the reasoning behind this deal (beyond the simplistic xenophobic and Islamaphobic statements here) should and must read this article on Dubia and it rapid accent in the Middle East:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0...ticle_continue

    interesting article, gfunk.
  3. #123  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    Thanks Munk...However one of the things that really struck me about the aritcle is just how atrocious the native arabs really treat the South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) workers there and just how racsist and undemocratic many of the laws are there. I know many people who've lived their whole lived in Dubia and they still are treated like second class citizens. Factors like these are more important in swaying my opinion regarding the sale of the ports...I just don't like to see such a country no matter how propersous or rich take a foothold in the US when it treats so many of it workers with such disdain and racism. But heck, you could make similar arguements about Communist China and that hasn't stopped us trading with them...
    Good points, and I would be more for not permitting them the contract on those reasons, more than the fact that it's an Arab nation. But as you say, China is a trading partner. Aside from Canada, pretty much all our crude oil comes from "questionable" trading partners. And on the flip side, people say we're gross violators, for not jumping on the Kyoto bandwagon, and our rampant (to hear some people talk) torturing of detainees. Nobody is clean.

    The UAE seems to walk both sides. Strict Islamists on one hand, yet very Westernized on the other with heavy corporate investments. And despite the terrorist connections, a very supportive ally. The US Navy 5th fleet operates in that area. Global Hawk drones, and AF KC-10 refueling planes operate there. Doesn't sound like a Government bent on our destruction.
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  4. #124  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Doesn't sound like a Government bent on our destruction.
    Maybe I am missing your point.

    I am not saying that Dubai is a country that is interested in our destruction...rather I am saying that it will be easier (at least to some degree) to infiltrate our ports if Dubai is running them.

    If the utility of Dubai running them (i.e. we as the US make more money) outweighs the risk of terrorists infiltrating the organization, then I can understand that argument.
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  5. vw2002's Avatar
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    #125  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Maybe I am missing your point.

    I am not saying that Dubai is a country that is interested in our destruction...rather I am saying that it will be easier (at least to some degree) to infiltrate our ports if Dubai is running them.

    If the utility of Dubai running them (i.e. we as the US make more money) outweighs the risk of terrorists infiltrating the organization, then I can understand that argument.
    this is the question we`re all wondering about. its a great point, t2gungho.
    but does this mean you are paranoid with the "arabs are coming" thing?
  6. #126  
    Quote Originally Posted by vw2002
    this is the question we`re all wondering about. its a great point, t2gungho.
    but does this mean you are paranoid with the "arabs are coming" thing?
    Thanks, but in all fairness, I can understand how some would view all this discussion (and media coverage) as just an opportunity to make something out of nothing.

    I think politically it could have been handled much better. As it is now, it looks like the switch might be under a 45 day review.
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  7. cardio's Avatar
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    #127  
    Quote Originally Posted by Dim-Ize
    Regardless of the financial gain, I think it is ridiculous to consider selling any of our realestate or ports to any foreign government - friend or foe.

    Once it is gone - it's gone.

    Would you sell your driveway entrance to your neighbor for a few grand?

    The whole thing is so pathetic.
    Poor example in this case, the ports operations are British now, so the realestate or ports are already gone.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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  8. #128  
    Cardio is right. This contract is for the operation. Would you sell your neighbor a contract to park cars on your driveway for a few grand? This is an operations contract, not a sale.
  9. #129  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Poor example in this case, the ports operations are British now, so the realestate or ports are already gone.
    I think it's more like they lease it. The land is still US property.
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  10. cardio's Avatar
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    #130  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    I think it's more like they lease it. The land is still US property.
    That is what I was trying to get across. The mdeia says selling the ports so the public latches on repeats it. It is a business deal, not a land sell.
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  11. #131  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Maybe I am missing your point.

    I am not saying that Dubai is a country that is interested in our destruction...rather I am saying that it will be easier (at least to some degree) to infiltrate our ports if Dubai is running them.

    If the utility of Dubai running them (i.e. we as the US make more money) outweighs the risk of terrorists infiltrating the organization, then I can understand that argument.
    They have ports in 30 countries, including Canada. Name me one instance where Terrorist "infiltrated" a Dubai Port operation, and maybe I'll change my tune.
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  12. #132  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    They have ports in 30 countries, including Canada. Name me one instance where Terrorist "infiltrated" a Dubai Port operation, and maybe I'll change my tune.
    The mere fact that something has not occurred does no necessarily preclude the event from happening at some point. The real question is if the deal goes through, does it point attention to it so that it then becomes a target for Al Queda.

    (BTW-You are challenging me with having knowledge that 99.99% of the public would never have but that really isn't my argument...my point is that it may be an increased risk, and if it is, should we take on that increased risk?)

    The fact that Dubai operates ports in 30 other countries really isn't the issue, the issue is what country would Al Queda most like to hit again with a terrorist attack? (I would argue the U.S. is at or near the top of the list.)

    Again, Im not saying we shouldnt do this deal, only that it should be thought out completely and IF we run around saying we are tough on terrorism, it's our #1 priority, and are willing to give up some of our constitutional rights, then this deal should at least be reviewed.

    I just read online that the Dept. of Homeland Security initially opposed this deal in the early stages. If they were reluctant to sign on, that speaks volumes.

    Homeland Security balked at ports deal
    The Homeland Security Department objected at first to the takeover of operations at six U.S. ports by a United Arab Emirates company. It was the only protest among members of the secretive government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent.

    The department's early objections were settled later in the government's review of the deal after the company, Dubai Ports World, agreed to a series of security restrictions.
    There has to be more risk there from Dubai running it or Homeland Security wouldn't have spoken up and demanded additional security restrictions.
    Last edited by t2gungho; 02/27/2006 at 12:10 PM.
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  13. #133  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I just read online that the Dept. of Homeland Security initially opposed this deal in the early stages. If they were reluctant to sign on, that speaks volumes.
    Read your post #103, where we discussed the knowledge of HS of this deal. I think the reluctancy was a result of it not being privately owned.

    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    The mere fact that something has not occurred does no necessarily preclude the event from happening at some point. The real question is if the deal goes through, does it point attention to it so that it then becomes a target for Al Queda.
    But, we already know we are a target. How does UAE business ownership increase our security risk. Playing devil's advocate, if an al queda member joined the UAE Port ownership as a manager, I suppose they could come visit and have a bomb in his/her suitcase. That's weak, but the best I can come up with.

    A cargo ship from Tawain to USA does not do anything different whether the port is owned by Britain, UAE or USA. It's not as if the ship will now have to go to UAE first (slip bomb in) travel to USA (not be inspected, detonate bomb).

    I could be swayed if someone provides there is a security flaw with the new UAE business ownership.
  14. #134  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    There has to be more risk there from Dubai running it or Homeland Security wouldn't have spoken up and demanded additional security restrictions.
    But in the quote you put before us, it says Homeland Security was later satisfied with the additional restrictions put in place. So you will agree with Homeland Security when it objects, but disagree with them when they later consent, having received the requested concessions?
  15. #135  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    Read your post #103, where we discussed the knowledge of HS of this deal. I think the reluctancy was a result of it not being privately owned.
    I think it may be that AND the fact that it is an Arab state. (Im no security expert, but I could see HS having an issue with how they train, hire and employ their employees. HS could have demanded that they do things different because there are additional or different security risks with Dubai running the port.) Just a guess though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    But, we already know we are a target.
    That is kind of the point...if we are already a target, then why choose a partner to run the port that will increase the risk of a terrorist attack? (Im not sure what the risk is but HS figures that there is a risk and that is why they demanded different security measures (versus the companies already running them.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    How does UAE business ownership increase our security risk. Playing devil's advocate, if an al queda member joined the UAE Port ownership as a manager, I suppose they could come visit and have a bomb in his/her suitcase. That's weak, but the best I can come up with.
    Possibly, or in a more plausible scenario, it would be a lower level employee who either smuggles something on themselves or allows something to get on board and into the port by being willfully blind.
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  16. #136  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    But in the quote you put before us, it says Homeland Security was later satisfied with the additional restrictions put in place. So you will agree with Homeland Security when it objects, but disagree with them when they later consent, having received the requested concessions?
    (First off, Im not saying that we should not do this deal, only that there is an argument to be made that it puts us as more of a risk.) That being said, I understand the apparent contradiction but let's be realistic. HS was the only person/entity involved to raise the objection. That is HS's job (to worry about port security). Im also sure that there was probably some political pressure involved in them eventually agreeing with it.

    My point is really why should we partner up with another company to run it that will increase the risks to our interests? IF we say that fighting terrorism is our #1 priority, why take action that leaves us in a position that may make us more vulnerable? Everyone already knows that security at our ports is not where we want it to be (i.e. 95% of the containers aren't inspected, etc.) <Rant: don't get me started with border security >

    My point is that it seems to be counter-productive on the war on terrorism if we make ourselves more vulnerable and not less vulnerable.

    Now the counter argument is that because Dubai is willing to give us concessions on security issues that the assumption is that we will be 'just as safe' when we had a different company running the ports. That's not necessarily true. We don't know the concessions made, maybe HS could only get the bare minimum passed and now there is an increase in the risk of an attack (versus before.) I don't know. I can just imagine the political pressure for HS to sign off on it by the administration and other members of Congress.
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  17. #137  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Possibly, or in a more plausible scenario, it would be a lower level employee who either smuggles something on themselves or allows something to get on board and into the port by being willfully blind.
    So the lower level employee would be hired by the UAE and put in place at an American port? Where does the employee come from? From one from Yemen that interviews and gets a job with UAE then shipped to New Orleans port (i.e.)? Do you think immigration would allow that?
  18. #138  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    So the lower level employee would be hired by the UAE and put in place at an American port? Where does the employee come from? From one from Yemen that interviews and gets a job with UAE then shipped to New Orleans port (i.e.)? Do you think immigration would allow that?
    The unions wouldn't allow it. Most of the lower level employees (i.e. dock workers) are union. They won't be changing at all.
  19. #139  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    So the lower level employee would be hired by the UAE and put in place at an American port? Where does the employee come from? From one from Yemen that interviews and gets a job with UAE then shipped to New Orleans port (i.e.)? Do you think immigration would allow that?
    Im not sure how immigration works for people that work at the ports for a foreign country. I wouldn't think that the ports have to hire only american workers but I honestly don't know.

    An easier scenario would be someone that Dubai hires who is an american and sympathetic to Al Queda (we know for a fact that there are plenty here...i.e. the purpose of the wiretapping law.)
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  20. cardio's Avatar
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    #140  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Im not sure how immigration works for people that work at the ports for a foreign country. I wouldn't think that the ports have to hire only american workers but I honestly don't know.

    An easier scenario would be someone that Dubai hires who is an american and sympathetic to Al Queda (we know for a fact that there are plenty here...i.e. the purpose of the wiretapping law.)
    T2, so this terrorist sypathizer would not consider applying at the port under current operations? Come on, that is a stretch. I agree the sale may not be in the best interest, but mainly because I disagree with a foreign gov't controlled company operating the ports.
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