.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Give me a couple of houres..

...and I will tell you what I think about this whole UAE port hooplah. Quick note though: Bush is defending his decision and brushes off the critics who say that he shouldn't give port control to an arab compnay. Al Jazeerah naturally screams Bigotry against the critics. Now shouldn't they-techincally- praise Bush- or at least give him some credit- for "staying the course" and brushing off the critics? Oh wait.. Al Jazeerah, or arabs, giving Bush credit for something? Yeah, right!


At 2/22/2006 03:30:00 AM, Anonymous Jokerman said...

A US port official, according to CNN, had cited Bigotry & playing up the crowds as the main reason for the politicians action.
It might be the case because simply National Security issues would have been seen to as part of the deal, whether or not 9-11 took place.
Whenever i read about any Middle Eastern official talking about national security issues as an excuse for many topics i frown, so naturally reading the americans resorting to the same excuse was surprising & least to say Stupid.
Now i doubt if many would applaud Bush for this in the ME. With any American & Israeli politician, its Damned if they do & more damned if they dont.

At 2/22/2006 03:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to think this is what Bush is doing: forcing his opponents in Congress to come out sounding Exactly like how they portray conservatives. But maybe that is overthinking it...

~ Gary

At 2/22/2006 06:04:00 AM, Blogger Solomon2 said...

SM, did you mean hours or houris? :)

At 2/22/2006 06:50:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

solomon, u bastard, u cracked my genius code!

At 2/22/2006 07:19:00 AM, Anonymous Houres later said...

and still no uptade.

*clics refresh repeatedly*

At 2/22/2006 07:29:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Bush must be hitting the bottle again. You don't outsource "National Security" - that's why they call it NATIONAL SECURITY, it's supposed to be handled internally, Ya know? Bigotry has nothing to do with it, I wouldn't want Canada or Britain handling running US ports, either.

He's gonna get himself impeached yet.

At 2/22/2006 08:13:00 AM, Anonymous Einherjar said...

They have been running it for years though. That's what this fuss is all about, UAE buying a british company which has contracts with US ports.

At 2/22/2006 08:22:00 AM, Anonymous Markus said...

Hey programmer ... Einherjar is right and the Navy top dog said it too... the actual company running the ports have no control over the security. This is handled by the Navy , Coast Guard, DHS etc.

There should be no difference in who runs the port. The UAE has been a very strong ally of the War against Terrorism and have even gotten themselves in hot water many times for helping the US, so Congress is sending the wrong message now.

In addition, you should know that foreigners make up 85% of the workforce in Dubai and companies like Dubai Ports are effectively managed and run completely by British and other western european expats

Alas, this is the result of the rise of militant and conservative Islam which has allowed ultra conservatives in the US to come forward with such concerns and get loud applause for it.

At 2/22/2006 08:29:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Markus, we had the same exact problem with our airports prior to 9/11 and we responded by Federalizing everything.

Why in the hell didn't we do it with the ports at the same time? The most likely way for a terrorist org to deliver a nuke to a major US city is on a freighter.

Unforgiveable. He is going to get impeached over this if he vetoes. Juts because it's been going on for years doesn't mean it's OK.

And in case you haven't been watching the news out of the US there are just as many Democrats up in arms over this as Republicans.

This shit is not going to fly.

At 2/22/2006 08:56:00 AM, Anonymous Markus said...

Programmer ... have not been only watching the news have been living it. I have pulled a muscle in my back and have been sitting at home for ten days infront of the TV in Houston.

1) So U are advocating to change the way we do things here (open commerce). Havent we let the radicals win by changing the basics of the free economy.

2) Again , the company wont run the security of the port. They will only run the business side. The security will always stay in the hand of federal agencies.

I have lived a while in the Middle East and can tell you that even if we handed part of the security to states like Jordan or the UAE (strong allies by the way) that they would do a better job than most US agencies. They have unprecedented experience in how these radical organisation work and have been very succesful in fighting them. I hope I havent opened Pandoras box now.....

At 2/22/2006 09:14:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...


1) So U are advocating to change the way we do things here (open commerce). Havent we let the radicals win by changing the basics of the free economy.

What does port operation have to do with commerce and free market economies? Shipping is a method of transporting goods. No more, no less.

2) Again , the company wont run the security of the port. They will only run the business side. The security will always stay in the hand of federal agencies.

That isn't good enough. What percentage of freighters coming into the US does the Navy and the Coast Guard check? Do they open every container, when they stop a vessel?

What percentage of containers does the Port Authority open up and inspect? Last I heard, it was less than 2%.

That doesn't reassure me much! Like it or not, the companies running the ports have a lot more control over shipping than any physical security apparratus.

All US ports should have been federalized, years ago. It really is a matter of national security, after all. It's the responsibilty of the Federal Government, and nobody else.

At 2/22/2006 10:30:00 AM, Anonymous RocketRay said...

Speaking as a US citizen, I agree with programmer craig. Anything having to do with borders (includes ports & airports) should be run by US owned companies or the Feds. The British shouldn't have been running those ports, and now that the UAE government owns that company, they shouldn't be running them either.

The way Bush is defending the deal means there's some buddy of his who stands to make a bunch of money from it.

At 2/22/2006 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I agree with Craig that this is a US responsibility. I would be almost as opposed if DENMARK was running the ports. Dubai is one of the good guys in general, but that is not enough.

Port security, anywhere at any time, is notoriously bad. I believe the percentage of containers being inspected is up to at least 5% but that's not very good.

I have no doubts that the upper management of the company is very competent and their record proves it. What scares me is the thought of ONE lower mid-management person who is an Al Qaeda sympathizer and who is in a position to take notes on what pattern the US authorities use in deciding which containers to search. Passing that one bit of info on would be serious enough to make me want the deal canceled. (And, again, while Dubai has a generally good record, there is apparently some evidence that the country has been used as a transit point for funds and information.)

I have e-mailed a friend who lives there, and if he replies -- he tends to be slow -- and gives me permission to pass his comments on, I'll post them here and on my blog.

I'd also suggest some of you should check out a Dubai newspaper, the Khaleej TIMES which is, in fact, one of the better papers in the world, to get a slant from there.

The link is

I wish the problem were not being complicated by the Sanborn factor and other problems with cronyism. To quote the Khaleej TIMES (actually, from Reuters and reprinted)

"Dubai Ports World purchased the global port assets of US freight rail company CSX Corp. in 2005 for $1.15 billion. US Treasury Secretary John Snow is a former chairman of CSX, but left the company a year before the Dubai deal.

One of DP World’s top executives, David Sanborn, was nominated by President George W. Bush in January to become the administrator of the Maritime Administration in the US Department of Transportation. At least one senator plans to hold up Sanborn’s confirmation until more questions about the port deal are answered."

At 2/22/2006 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prup - FYI - Maersk Sealand (Danish shipping compagny) runs major ports in ME, including SA ports. They could easily handle US ports too -

At 2/22/2006 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the end,it all comes down to money I'm afraid.All it takes to hand over our ports to a foreign company is one greedy executive or politician who wants to make a quick profit!
This is not about anti-Arab bigotry,btw,though it might be called anti-radical Islamist.And Homeland Security needs to inspect more than 5% of the cargo entering the US,no matter what the cost.They must be doing something right though,as 3 Jordainan-American men from Ohio were arrested for plotting to attack US troops in Iraq.Hmm...I wonder if they used "illegal" wiretaps?

At 2/22/2006 03:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Programmer Craig, you are right, the best way to get a nuke into a US city is via a port but if OBL or some other scumbags ever get one then there is one obvious place to let it go. and only one date to do it, not for the massive casualties but for the gloat factor. If I was OBL {& I'm not} I'd hit Pearl Harbour and I'm sure that it's been thought of but it makes sense if you are a nutbag. As for the rest they would make more by running drugs through the ports than WMD's, better business and you don't go to Gitmo for that ( do u ?)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home