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Port Deal Crisis Averted?
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Arainach
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 03:31 PM #1 of 20
Port Deal Crisis Averted?

Quote:
Source

The United Arab Emirates company that was attempting to take over management operations at six U.S. ports announced today that it will divest itself of all American interests.

The announcement appears to head off a major confrontation that was brewing between Congress and the Bush administration over the controversial deal.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) announced on the Senate floor shortly before 2 p.m. that Dubai Ports World would "transfer fully the operations of U.S. ports to a U.S. entity." Warner, who had been trying to broker a compromise on the issue, said DP World would divest itself of U.S. interests "in an orderly fashion" so as not to suffer "economic loss."

It was not immediately clear how the divesture would be handled or what U.S. company would take over the operation.

Warner's announcement came just hours after Republican leaders from the House and Senate met with President Bush to tell him Congress appeared ready to block the deal.

The GOP leaders gave Bush their assessment of where the deal stood at a private meeting at the White House, according to Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) Although the gathering was a regularly scheduled meeting, according to Call, it was significant because it came only one day after lawmakers took their first formal steps toward killing Dubai Ports World's acquisition of a British-owned company.

The administration had repeatedly said it would veto any attempts to crush the deal, arguing that port security is in the hands of U.S. agencies and would not be put in jeopardy by the takeover. Americans have reacted viscerally to the deal, lawmakers say, driving Congress towards a confrontation with the White House.

"We want to protect the American people," said House Speaker Sen. J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill). "We've been doing it the last four and a half years. We fought a war in Iraq, fought a war in Afghanistan, stood up to the Homeland Security Department. We will continue to do that. We will maybe have our differences, but we think we're going to continue to" oppose the Dubal deal," he said Thursday morning.

The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday added a measure to block the deal to a must-pass war-funding bill. The vote on the bill was 62-2. A full House vote on the bill is expected to pass overwhelmingly next week.

A knowledgeable Senate aide said the GOP leaders told Bush Thursday that they may be able to stave off a vote today in the Senate to kill the ports deal, but they won't be able to hold it back forever.

Senate Democrats continued to demand a vote on the issue, while Senate Republicans have been hoping they could prevent a vote until the end of a 45-day review of the deal.

The ports deal has sparked an unusual, election-year Republican mutiny against the Bush administration over an issue the president has tried to make his own -- the war on terrorism.

The confrontation over the Dubai-owned company's acquisition of management operations at six major ports, including Baltimore, New Orleans and New York, has more than any other issue in recent years been driven by constituents anxious about terrorism, the war in Iraq and illegal immigration and foreign encroachment, lawmakers say.

Add to that the president's rock-bottom approval ratings and there may have been little the White House could do to beat back the issue.

White House officials have not backed down in the face of the brewing revolt, however. At the same time the GOP leadership was meeting with Bush, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan repeated Bush's vow to veto any legislation that interferes with the deal. He has made clear the president's position is unchanged.

Republican lawmakers said yesterday that obstinacy has only fueled the rebellion. And GOP members of all ranks objected to the White House's handling of an issue that has proved to be a gift for Democrats.

For Democrats, the issue may be a political windfall, even if Republicans side with them in a confrontation with the White House. About 70 percent of Americans oppose the port deal, and that opposition does not change if they are told port managers do not control security at the ports.

Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling organization, released a memo yesterday saying the Dubai port issue has helped drive down Bush's approval ratings, particularly on national security matters and especially among Republic voters.

The issue appears headed in one of two directions -- a veto confrontation between the president and Congress or a decision by the company to abandon its takeover plans.
This would seem to be a hugely positive boost for the embattled Bush Administration, in light of the near certainity of a bill passing Congress to halt the deal. (Excerpt from Source:)
Quote:
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee essentially blocked the deal by voting 62-2 to insert an amendment into a $68 billion emergency supplemental funding bill for military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Republicans are openly defying the president, apparently to prevent Democrats from outflanking them on national security and outsourcing issues as elections approach.

The issue marks an unusual rift between Bush and House Republicans, who say they have received overwhelmingly negative comments from constituents.

The committee's approval was bipartisan, with Reps. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Jim Kolbe, R-Arizona, casting the only votes against it.
I'd say that most of the political damage is already done, and that this is definatley not the ending I was expecting, but at least it should (hopefully) satisfy all sides.

Thoughts? Was this the right action by the company? Should they have stuck to their guns? Should they have just abandoned the takeover?

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Arainach; Mar 9, 2006 at 03:48 PM.
SemperFidelis
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 04:26 PM #2 of 20
I'm pretty glad. Outsourcing our security to the potential enemy is not the way we should run security here. Haven't we learned anything from 9/11?

How ya doing, buddy?
"We Stole the Eagle from the Air Force, the Anchor from the Navy, and the Rope from the Army. On the seventh day, while God rested, we over-ran his perimeter and stole the globe, and we've been running the show ever since. We live like soldiers, talk like sailors, and slap the hell out of both of them. WARRIORS BY DAY, LOVERS BY NIGHT, PROFESSIONALS BY CHOICE, AND MARINES BY THE GRACE OF GOD."
Locke
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 04:41 PM #3 of 20
How is the UAE a threat? The USA itself has had more homebread terrorists then the UAE.

Fucking ignorace.

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Lord Styphon
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 04:49 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 04:49 PM #4 of 20
Originally Posted by Locke
How is the UAE a threat? The USA itself has had more homebread terrorists then the UAE.

Fucking ignorace.
I will also confess shock at all the invective being levelled against the UAE. They may be Arabs, but what have they done to warrant being labeled as the "potential enemy" our young would-be Marine, among others, has called them?

Dubai Ports World has, during this whole affair, behaved in a manner that would strongly suggest that it was above reproach and had nothing to hide.

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Locke
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 04:58 PM #5 of 20
If anything - the UAE has been more of a friend to the US then any other country in the middle east, including their 'ally' Israel.

The only motivation behind blocking this sale is the racism of the US congress and public in general.

I was speaking idiomatically.
SemperFidelis
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 05:11 PM #6 of 20
I find the claims that Saudi Arabia has funded terrorists in the past questionable, but I am not going to risk the safety of my country to find out otherwise. National security is not something to gamble.

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"We Stole the Eagle from the Air Force, the Anchor from the Navy, and the Rope from the Army. On the seventh day, while God rested, we over-ran his perimeter and stole the globe, and we've been running the show ever since. We live like soldiers, talk like sailors, and slap the hell out of both of them. WARRIORS BY DAY, LOVERS BY NIGHT, PROFESSIONALS BY CHOICE, AND MARINES BY THE GRACE OF GOD."
Watts
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 05:14 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 03:14 PM #7 of 20
I believe the port of Vancouver was apart of the original deal between the British company and Dubai. Are the Canadians moving to block acquisition as well?

Originally Posted by Article
The United Arab Emirates company that was attempting to take over management operations at six U.S. ports announced today that it will divest itself of all American interests.
This sounds very ominous. Looks like Congress managed to piss off Dubai royally. If the UAE as a whole were to divest itself completely from American interests, things could get ugly economically.

Originally Posted by SemperFidelis
I'm pretty glad. Outsourcing our security to the potential enemy is not the way we should run security here. Haven't we learned anything from 9/11?
Umm no matter who holds the Ports whether a British company or a state-owned company from Dubai, security is still in the hands of the US government.

FELIPE NO
Relic
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 05:22 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 05:22 PM #8 of 20
Originally Posted by Lord Styphon
They may be Arabs
That's enough reason for a lot of people, unfortunately. I don't see any reason why Dubai Ports World taking over the ports would reduce security at them, especially when the US Government handles security operations (rather poorly) anyways.

This whole mess is politically crafted IMHO. The Democrats have been looking for a way to compete with the Republicans in appearing strong on national security issues, which is probably why they made such a big deal out of the situation, and the Republicans couldn't just stand by and let the Democrats take out their one main political strength, so they jumped in on it.

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Last edited by Relic; Mar 9, 2006 at 05:27 PM.
SemperFidelis
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 05:35 PM #9 of 20
Actually, they will be responsible for the port's waterfront security. Frankly, the mere fact that there were connections between 9/11 hijackings and the United Arabs Emirates makes it an unyielding and firm "no" to the deal for me.

How ya doing, buddy?
"We Stole the Eagle from the Air Force, the Anchor from the Navy, and the Rope from the Army. On the seventh day, while God rested, we over-ran his perimeter and stole the globe, and we've been running the show ever since. We live like soldiers, talk like sailors, and slap the hell out of both of them. WARRIORS BY DAY, LOVERS BY NIGHT, PROFESSIONALS BY CHOICE, AND MARINES BY THE GRACE OF GOD."
Watts
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 05:48 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 03:48 PM #10 of 20
Originally Posted by SemperFidelis
Actually, they will be responsible for the port's waterfront security.
Waterfront security doesn't mean that they're responsible for the inspection of cargo incoming into the continental U.S.

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Adamgian
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 06:16 PM #11 of 20
The entire affair was absurd, and there remains no reason for the deal not to go through besides DP World being owned by an Arab government.

National Security isn't something to mess around with, but simply put, you aren't messing around with it when dealing with DP World. It's an excellent company that recieves glowing endorsements from everyone who has dealt with it.

Unfortunately, Congressmen are incapable of dealing with many issues rationally when they can instead Arab bash.

I'm upset that DP World didn't fight longer, they deserved the ports. There was nothing wrong with the deal at all.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Mr. Danielsard
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 07:01 PM #12 of 20
The best way to have our ports more secure is with americans protecting them... i wouldnt give that not even to the nation that this country trusts the most... security is ours, not from anybody else

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Bradylama
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 07:10 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 07:10 PM #13 of 20
This whole deal is precisely what's wrong with America. Ignorant half-wits that couldn't educate themselves on issues to save their lives (I am positive that this is the truth), and representatives that are quick to jump on an issue to make themselves look like the heroes, when there would have been no dissent had the opposition not raised bloody murder over the deal.

When Jimmy fucking Carter agrees with President George W. Bush on an issue, you would think that people would take it upon themselves to find out why.

I was speaking idiomatically.
Relic
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 07:16 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 07:16 PM #14 of 20
Originally Posted by Mr. Danielsard
The best way to have our ports more secure is with americans protecting them... i wouldnt give that not even to the nation that this country trusts the most... security is ours, not from anybody else
So? Right now, only 5.6 percent of cargo containers that enter the country are actually scanned by security teams, and our radiation screening equipment has an error rate of 50%. Frankly, given the amount of scrutiny that they're under, I'd be surprised if DPW didn't do a better job than the current contractors. Of course, now that they've withdrawn their buyout deal, we can go back to the safe and reliable status quo, right?

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
xen0phobia
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 07:37 PM #15 of 20
Quote:
How is the UAE a threat? The USA itself has had more homebread terrorists then the UAE.

Fucking ignorace.
I agree. Were the hell were the democrats on this one though? Arn't they usually the ones standing up against racal discrimination? That is what this is too. Republican and democrats failed this time around if you ask me. They also fail when it comes to protecting the border but thats a whole different issue.

Quote:
So? Right now, only 5.6 percent of cargo containers that enter the country are actually scanned by security teams, and our radiation screening equipment has an error rate of 50%.
Sorry but if you expect them to open up every container and search through everything, thats just crazy. Its not a realistic expectation. What solution do you propose they do thats cost effective?

FELIPE NO

Last edited by xen0phobia; Mar 9, 2006 at 07:40 PM.
Relic
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 08:25 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 08:25 PM #16 of 20
Originally Posted by xen0phobia
Sorry but if you expect them to open up every container and search through everything, thats just crazy. Its not a realistic expectation. What solution do you propose they do thats cost effective?
Every container that enters Hong Kong is electronically scanned for radioactive contents, and that's the second busiest port in the world. The system can scan the contents of a truck that's moving at 10 miles per hour, and can even detect shielded radioactive elements.

If anything, that sounds like it would be more efficient than the handheld units that our ports are using.

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xen0phobia
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 08:31 PM #17 of 20
wait... handheld? ... I was watching the news not a few weeks ago and they were discussing the ports. I'm not sure which one it was but the scanner i saw was exactly like the one you discribed above that china has. Not handheld ones. They also said that 100% of the containers are scanned with it. Now i'm not sure how many ports are like this but i can say not all of them are as bad as you describe.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
BlueMikey
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 08:31 PM Local time: Mar 9, 2006, 06:31 PM #18 of 20
This is like what happens when politicians get involved with scientists. The experts on the ports deal who follow things like port security said this is just fine. The politicians and the American public cry and cry and cry because they just don't know what the fuck they are talking about. Drastic measures are taken to change something that is no problem whatsoever.

I'm not surprised that the public is so incompetent when it comes to something like this, though I am a bit surprised that the politicians are.

(I really hate defending something that Bush wanted to do.)

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Adamgian
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 11:52 PM #19 of 20
Quote:
I really hate defending something that Bush wanted to do.
It's funny, I've also found myself doing that a bit more often these days than normal. Maybe its a product of his foreign policy starting to make a bit more sense?

Quote:
The best way to have our ports more secure is with americans protecting them... i wouldnt give that not even to the nation that this country trusts the most... security is ours, not from anybody else
A) DP World never manages security.

B) The people working at the ports would have still been Americans.

C) 75% of US ports are foreign controlled, has anything bad come of that?


It's rampant idiocy from posts like that which destroy the US's image abroad and kill perfectly legitament actions from going through. The fact of the matter is, there are really no good reasons to deny the deal going through except the flagrant populist bigotry Schumer, Clinton, and King managed to display. Frankly, I just lost all respect for all three of them. Granted, its not surprising they'd do this anyways though. Schumer's a Sino-phobe, so at least its not only the Arabs who have a problem with him and Clinton is a Presidential candidate. I just wish Clinton would have risen above this, I think very highly of Bill Clinton, yet at the same time, come to despise Hillary on an almost daily basis it seems.

Either way, Brady is right - if we've got Carter, Bush, and McCain all agreeing on the same thing, there's probably a reason for it.

How ya doing, buddy?
Watts
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 05:20 AM Local time: Mar 10, 2006, 03:20 AM #20 of 20
Originally Posted by BlueMikey

I'm not surprised that the public is so incompetent when it comes to something like this, though I am a bit surprised that the politicians are.
Don't be. This is more political posturing for the elections this year. And as we all now know, election pandering is more important then the economic interests of two countries. Possibly more.

How ya doing, buddy?
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