Friday, March 03, 2006

This Get's More And More Complicated

As I was driving home tonight I was listening to the radio.

The conversation was over the Port Deal that is on everyone's mind.

Essentially, the guest was saying that Dubai Ports coming in was a good thing!

Weird!, I thought.

But he said the worse alternative was the potential buyer that was out-bid.

That buyer was Hutchison Whampoa.

Now HW, he explains, is directly linked to the Chinese Government and Military, and they were the company blocked once before from the Port of Long Beach.

They are also partners of China Ocean Shipping Company, (COSCO).

COSCO was able to get into the Port of Long Beach, like I wrote about the other day.

The other thing is that they have been known to carry nuclear warheads and other weapons.

Pretty scary.

They (HW) have exclusive contracts on many Chinese ports, which shows how in they are with the Chinese Government.

They also run both ends of the Panama Canal, which was a concern for the guest of the program.

The funny thing is that when I got home, I found this little tid-bit...

2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is expanding her complaint about
foreign companies owning U.S. ports - and now says a 1999 deal to let a
Chinese company takeover the ports at each end of the Panama Canal
was a mistake.

Speaking at the 92nd Street YMCA in Manhattan yesterday, Clinton told the Jewish Community Relations Council: "There are those who say we can't [prevent foreign governments from operating U.S. ports] because look what happened in the last 20 years ... You know, we have the Chinese running the Panama Canal. We have other government-controlled entities controlling our ports."

According to the New York Observer, she then declared: "Well, just because it's been happening doesn't mean we should let it continue."

Now I would agree with her, that is a cause for concern. Especially since I'm thinking Dubai Ports is the lesser of these two evils.

But here is the irony.

Mrs. Clinton neglected to mention, however, that it was her husband who approved the deal in question, when the Chinese company, Hutchison Whampoa, sought to buy the Panama Canal's ports.

When security concerns arose, then-President Clinton insisted that Chinese ownership posed no threat to canal operations, explaining that Hutchison was "bending over backwards to make sure that they run it in a competent and able and fair manner."

Let's recap, form my earlier post, in 1996 a COSCO owned ship docked in Oakland, was apprehended with thousands of automatic weapons meant for street gangs. The crew confessed to being ready to smuggle in everything from grenade launchers to shoulder fired Red Parakeet surface to air missles, that could 'take out a 747'.

This is the company Bill Clinton said was bending over backwards...

And now Hillary is upset about them running the Panama Canal.

Looks like Bill's in trouble again, I guess he's used to it by now anyway.

Now, to further complicate things.

Dubai seems to have been a staging area of sorts to the 9/11 attacks, Dubai Banks were used to fund the attacks. Some unused moneys were even sent back to Dubai just before the attacks.

UAE defense minister Gen. Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, is basically funding CAIR. CAIR seems to me to be pretty anti-American, but that's not the biggest issue. Sheik Maktoum has links to Al-Qiada. He took half the UAE family to Bin Ladens camp, a trip that they later lied about to the US.

To add to the issue, Dubai Ports has been caught sanctioning Israeli products, however, that is against US law.

So what does that mean?

I wish I knew, if they were caught disrupting free trade with our allies in any way, what can we do?

Kick them out?


I hope that is what this cooling off period is about, setting ground rules.

I for one am glad that it didn't come down to Bush trying to force this on the American people.

He said that if Congress tried to block this deal, he would veto it.

If his only veto in his time in office was over this issue, I would lose all respect I have left for the guy.

We may at a point that we need to say sorry to Dubai Ports. If we are truly allies, they will understand. We must also make sure that HW is blocked as well.

Anyway, this just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

I wish I had a good prediction about where it will end up, but I don't.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. This is my first time here. I cannot understand why the US government would be so much in favor of this deal (which I am too in theory); however, the UAE does not recognize Isreal. Isn't that one of the main tents when gauging "friends or foes" in the middle east? This seems a little inconsistent from my perspective.

9:26 AM  

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