2006-02-21

Inside the port deal that's giving Bush headaches

Read the comments from the readers. It seems to me that these same people would be calling for Congress to impeach GW for square dance calling. Is this a cross-section of America or CNN?

3 comments:

Breedo said...

I don't really understand what it means to sell a port, but a couple of general thoughts that cross my mind right off the bat:

1) Why sell a piece of America to a foreign company? Yeah, I know...money...it's a great deal...yadda yadda yadda. But really, is it worth it? Who gets the money? What's it go to? Who does it really benefit?

2) I'm not too worried about security. Yes this may open some holes here and there, but I have enough faith in the US government that they would prepare.

3) Why give a country tainted with 9/11 associations any kind of help whatsoever?

Again, just a few cursory thoughts that come to mind, even though I don't know any significant details. While the deal may seam great on paper, I think the American public has every right to question it.

Robert said...

I think the quality of this debate has been fairly low (as demonstrated by the CNN comments which include all sorts of nuts from HuffPo types to Lou Dobbs acolytes) though Gambling, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly have taken a good look at the practicalities of it. Dopes like Barbara Boxer bemoaned us selling the ports to foreigners (hey Boxer, P&O [the current owner of the management contracts till the deal closes in March] is BRITISH!!!)

Bush needs to make the point to Congress that we value Dubai, which hosts US naval and air assets as well as a CIA station, as an ally; therefore, we cannot jerk them around. If this gives us the ability to pay more attention to port security (which I think is mostly, but not comepletely, a phony issue raised by Democrats) then that is probably for the better for Republicans over time.

Someone made the point today that for a billion dollar deal, both the purchaser and seller didn't do their PR homework and anticpate both the reasonable and unreasonable concerns/reactions in the USA. They could have done a much better job greasing the skids for themselves with Congress.

Anyway, this comment is partly intended to answer your relevant and well-asked questions, too, Breedo. Hope it helps.

Lylah said...

Hey, Breedo, hey Pacis. Your semi-liberal friend feels compelled to comment...

1.) Several of America's ports are already run by the British, and have been for more than 30 years, so this deal isn't really about selling "a piece of America to a foreign company." It's worth noting that the same Dubai-based company will also be controlling a few British ports, and the British government had a chance to block the deal as well, but chose not to.

2.) What has the US government done thus far to secure our ports that you "have enough faith in the US government that they would prepare" for possible new holes in security? Note: I have no suggestions, I'm just asking a question.

3.) I agree with you on this one, about giving a country with 9/11 associations any kind of help whatsoever. But we're not giving UAE help, per se -- we're doing business with a company that is based in and partially owned by that country. And, while two of the 9/11 hijackers did come out of UAE (and, I think, a few others flew through there, and funding came from there as well), UAE has been our ally in the so-called War on Terror, as Bush has pointed out. As for helping countries tainted by 9/11, our government does plenty of business with Saudi Arabia...

I totally agree that people didn't to their homework on this deal. ANything with this much political value should have been throughouly vetted. Things like Rumsfeld claiming not to have known about the key details doesn't wash with me -- especially since he was on the committee that voted unanimously to approve the deal.

Also... let's be fair. One can't judge the quality of a debate just by the comments left on CNN. That would be like judging a debate solely by what's said on Fox News. Or NPR. Or HuffPost. Or FreeRepublic. Or Whatever

-- Lylah