Tuesday, February 21, 2006
No no I don't smoke it no mo'
There’s a good battle going about whether to allow the United Arab Emirates (UAE, also known as Dubai) to control about six major port terminals in the U.S. The biggest are several locations in the New York area. The deal was part of a sale by P&O Ports to a UAE consortium for approximately 5.6 billion dollars and includes terminals in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, and Baltimore. As such, “Dubai Ports World” would take over all assets, leases, and operations from P&O. These are very profitable cruise ship and containership terminals and apparently it was a sweet deal.
The U.S. government approved the sale but apparently forgot to ask local politicians and the Congress if that was alright with them. According to the latest New York Times article on February 21, big names like Bill Frist (Senate Republican leader), Dennis Hassert (House Speaker), Michael Bloomberg (New York City), and George Pataki (New York State) have accused the executive branch of some major misconduct. The reason for a second take was because of the potential for terrorist activity.
Now let’s step back for a minute and see what this is all about. Ninety percent of the ships are owned by overseas companies and over half of the port terminals are already owned by foreign interests. Why are all the major Republicans joining in the tirade? Doesn’t the Coast Guard or Homeland Security provide the protection? On the West Coast hardly any facilities are really “American” except for some Alaska tanker lines and a route to Hawaii. I just don’t get it.
In spite of common sense, this has become such a huge issue that Shrub Bush intends to veto anything coming out of the U.S. Congress on the matter. So you know there are some legislators just wanting to see if they had a vote to over-ride a Presidential veto or find some other constitutional remedy. The viewing could not be much better, folks! My thinking is that Shrub did cut a deal with the UAE but that some people still remember that two of the 9/11 terrorists were from that place, a coalition of seven warrior tribes.