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Guess Who is NOT Coming to Dinner

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Balladeer
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0 posted 03-10-2006 02:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


So the Dubai port deal is history. I confess that I have no bad feeling about that, having fallen into the same mindset that the majority of Americans share where, forsaking  logic and reason, we come up with the formula  Arabs + ports = uneasiness. Democrats and Republicans alike, the ones who tell our security agencies that there can be no racial profiling whatsoever in dealing with airport security, are applauding themselves for saving our security from a country whose major crime seems to be that it is filled with Arabs. No logical reasoning was necessary. After all, they are ARABS. What more does one need? Who cares that they are our staunchest supporters in the Middle East, where we do not have an overabundance of staunch supporters? Who cares if Bush makes the statement..

"UAE is a committed ally in the war on terror," Bush added. "They are a key partner for our military in a critical region, and outside of our own country, Dubai services more of our military, military ships, than any country in the world.

"They're sharing intelligence so we can hunt down the terrorists," Bush added. "They helped us shut down a world wide proliferation network run by A.Q. Khan" the Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, he said.


after all, they are still Arabs. No, of course, Congress does not say the problem is because of that, rather that we should not have ANY foreign country in any kind of control of any of our ports in any way. Perhaps they were just asleep when the British owned those ports, but then then British are our friends. They are not ARABS. According to the New York Times, foreign-based companies own and/or manage over 30% of US port terminals. According to Time Magazine, over 80% of the terminals in the Port of Los Angeles are run by foreign-owned companies, including the government of Singapore. In fact, APL Limited, controlled by the Singapore government, operates ports in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle and Dutch Harbor, Alaska. That's ok. Singapore is our friend, too. Our security must be safe with them. None of these countries have ever attacked us or threatened us. Well, the British did but, after all, we DID dump their tea in the ocean. Surely they can't hold a grudge for this long! So who else?  Chinese government-owned companies control terminals in the Port of Los Angeles and other West Coast ports, as well as both ends of the Panama Canal. Who could ever imagine us having a problem with China? Surely a country with such a rich tradition of freedom and democracy, one who has never threatened us (well, not counting economically) is acceptable. The fact is none of these country are ARABS so one must assume that our security, which would be in such peril with Dubai, is safe in their hands.

Bill Clinton certainly has no problem with Dubai, even if they are Arabs. After all he made $450,000 giving speeches there in 2002. He accepted almost one million US dollars to help build his library and negotiated with them to give 100,000,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. (I wonder if the hurricane survivors were aware that ARAB money was helping them!)  Actually, with the ports deal, he offered to help them defend their right of purchase as long as they hired his one-time press secretary Joe Lockhart to be their Washington spokesman. You sure it was Trump who wrote The Art of The Deal? Needless to say, Hillary is not a happy Senator, being one of the driving forces behind squelching the Dubai deal. I see marital problems ahead - call me psychic.

This is not about Clinton, though.....it's about us as a country. It is about our loudly proclaimed sense of right and truth and equality for all. It's about our stance on non-prejudice. It is about our pleas to Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds along with a large variety of ethic groups around the world to put aside their prejudices and work at getting along.  It is about our pride in the fact that we treat all people equally with dignity and respect. It is about the fact that we don't want Dubai managing any of our ports because they are ARABS. "I'll have a beer with you but don't try to date my daughter." If the world is not laughing at our two-facedness and shallowness, they should be. If the Arab countries who have heard us drone on about how we really respect the Arab peoples of the world and we are their friends don't shove their collective middle fingers in the air at us, they soon will be. All we do is talk the talk. We are the southern farmer who proclaims "There are only two things I hate - blacks and bigots.". We want Arabs as allies as long as they remember to enter through the back door.

Dubai has acted with more class than we. Congress may wave their hands and take a bow at this action if they wish but I see nothing they should be that proud of. They have shown the world that we are a racist nation who believes that any Arab, regardless of what they do for us, is not fully trustworthy based on the sole reason that they are Arabs. After all, Arabs attacked us, right? and they must be all the same, right? Why take the chance?

Nor am I proud that, still, after everything I've said here I still feel a small amount of relief that the deal fell through. I must be as jaded as the rest.


serenity blaze
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1 posted 03-10-2006 03:16 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well, this might seem like a strange analogy, but I had to cut off real time friendships because some of my friends, while claiming to NOT smoke crack, still associated with crackheads.

(I hope that makes sense) even though it isn't fair of me to assume that birds of a feather will smoke rock together--after being robbed repeatedly I had to draw a line.

and sorry for my weirdness, but I have to personalize stuff to understand things, and that's kind of how I saw the port deal.

Just as I had to be very sure regarding my home security and reputation with my neighbors, so should the U.S.

The appearance of prejudice is unfortunate, but? watcha gonna do?

So feel better about it Mike, 'cause when you're at war on terrorism or crackheads, all's fair.
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2 posted 03-10-2006 03:29 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Oh, Mike... you kinda forgot the the Chinese have attempted to smuggle both illegal weapons, drugs and illegals through the ports that they own in the US.. then again, like you said... they are our friend.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
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Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 03-10-2006 03:43 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Mike, I can absolutely respect your concerns here. As I've said earlier, I want to make it clear here that my opposition to this deal has nothing to do because it is a deal being sponsored by ARABS. Any previous deals in the likes of Dubai that were approved allowing foreign state-run businesses to take control of our ports, airports, military outlets, etc., I wholeheartedly disagree with. I simply believe AMERICAN companies should own AMERICAN ports, period, and it doesn't matter what other country or people are making the deal. It's just common sense to me.

Beyond interests of national security, I absolutely support foreign companies owning huge numbers of stock and ownership in Daimler-Chrysler and all kinds of other American enterprises. By all means we should not turn our backs on the United Arab Emirates or any other country in the region and we must continue to exercise diplomatic relations. I just don't agree with any foreign government EVER having a role of operation in our ports.

Perhaps you may understand more now why I opposed the war in Iraq to begin with. I said from the beginning that I feared it would damage our relationships severely with Arabs and Muslims in the region. Though I opposed the war from the beginning (and oppose all interventionist wars), I can absolutely understand why many like yourself did initially support the idea.

Many like yourself really were lead to believe that Hussein had something to do with 9/11 and that al-Qaeda and the real source of those who attacked us on September 11th took refuge in Iraq or so.
Every American, including myself, would truly like to put all our trust into the president and be assured and re-assured that there is nothing but the best intentions in protecting this country. OF COURSE you went and supported the president. OF COURSE you trusted that he was doing nothing but getting to the source of those who caused the chaos of 9/11.

I believe with all my heart this war was wrong and indeed the nation is on the precipice of a very likely civil war, and find what might appear to be a remaining unfeigning support of the policy from you naive, I do forgive you in that I believe  in putting your trust and faith in the president and believe there is nothing but the best of intentions in times of crisis is most patriotic. The only real unfortunate thing is that this administration in my heart has betrayed and abused this trust, and I find that most unsettling and even dangerous.

I hope you can understand more clearly than ever why I have and still oppose this war, for my reasonings to this is really quite similar to your reasonings to fear about what a rejected Dubai deal might consequentially result in in terms of our relations with the UAE. I too admit I'm concerned a rejection to this deal and the reasonings to doing so may be spun in that it's because we are bigots and racists, but to most of us, I believe the intentions in questioning the deal are quite otherwise.

Thanks for starting this thread, Balladeer, your thoughts are indeed very valuable!

Love,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Brad
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4 posted 03-10-2006 04:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Mike's right.
iliana
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5 posted 03-10-2006 04:51 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Before we start beating our chests about a successful resolution, I say, wait until the whole deal is exposed.  From what I've heard it is just being transferred to a different SUBSIDIARY which is incorporated in the U.S.  

As far as bigotry -- I don't think it matters whether they are Islamic or Arab or not -- what matters is that it was stated by the current administration that we would not associate with anyone who helped terrorists -- evidence shows that the UAE has been playing both sides.  So.....so does every other soverign nation in the world -- they look out for #1 -- I just think we should look out for this country, too.  
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6 posted 03-10-2006 07:28 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Brad agreed with Mike.

I hear a rumbling in the walls.  



Who was it said, "it's a strange, new world..." was probably psychic as well.

Mistletoe Angel
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7 posted 03-10-2006 08:28 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

The unsettling thing in all of this is indeed this is being spun worldwide as though most oppose this deal because they are Arabs and we are bigots and racists, and without a doubt I believe, sadly, the damage has already been done somewhat and many in the UAE really will be led to believe that's why there was vast opposition to the deal.

I'm not proud of where this has left us either. As the common proverb is read, "You cannot shake hands with a closed fist.". And I hope it can be understood that in the other thread when I was speaking of some of the questionable moves the UAE government have done in the war on terror since 9/11, I wasn't at all revealing them to suggest that everyone in the UAE is the same as the few in their government that have abysmal stances on human rights and terrorism, but to suggest the risks that any particular foreign government could play in taking a role in our areas of national security interest.

I believe that's one particular element to this issue that has often been overlooked. In the media it was often depicted as an "Arab company" that was making this deal, when it was actually a state-run business with ties to government. I believe our government should have full control and responsibility over our ports, just out of common sense, and that's where a vast majority of this opposition to this deal stems from.

I condemn those political efforts that suggest we should oppose this deal just because 2 of the 19 hijackers happen to come from that country. I believe that approach is indeed discriminating, and am saddened by that, as well as efforts to suggest everything and everyone that has to do with the United Arab Emirates is immoral or cruel just because bank accounts that benefitted bin Laden came from there, or few in their government allowed the transfer of nuclear materials and such. I absolutely condemn these manuevers and believe that's only going to convince Arabs and Muslims worldwide more that this deal was opposed because they are Arabs.

I hope out of this, the main thing that is realized is like what Richard Cowper said, "Our thoughts are unseen hands shaping the people we meet. Whatever we truly think them to be, that's what they'll become for us." I absolutely believe millions across the world are feeling these hands each and every day, and we must make together a holistic, cooperative effort to train these unseen hands to embrace rather than push. The longer we procrastinate to do so, we'll only continue to re-arrange and re-design our prejudices.

Whether it was right or wrong that the deal was rejected, that is hardly the point here. I absolutely agree Dubai has been more mature on this than we have, and while I see no silver lining at all in any of this, I hope this could serve as a moment of introspection for us all, help us really think this over, and pray if we can be more diplomatic and cooperative the next time around, we will treat the door as a door, and not continue to attach preconceived notions like locks and chains to it and lock what truly are our siblings in heart and spirit out! And that's the most heartbreaking thought to me.



Love,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Midnitesun
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8 posted 03-10-2006 09:08 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

This entire Dubai/Dubya debacle is giving me a headache! On the one hand, we have good reasons to want to protect our ports and airports, our borders. On the other, we seek to function in the real trade world. It seems we are damned if we do or if we don't, and unable to make everyone happy, unable to make anyone feel safe. I found it odd that the CEO of Zim, the Israeli shipping company, is in favor of continued Dubai management. This, in spite of the fact the Israelis are unable to fly/sail under their own flags in the Arab markets. The reason? Zim always found the ports to be safe, freely open to exhanging goods and services. Go figure! And yet, EI denies the Israelis the legitimacy of their own flagships.
Are we more secure without dubai? less secure with dubai? I don't know. But the seeming anti-Arab attitude that prevails is going to hurt us in the long run. I am not saying I agree that foreign entities should own or manage our ports. Quite the contrary. But it seems to be a farce to let the Chinese own and manage ports, or any other country, while excluding the EI. It smacks of bigotry and hysteria, political shenanigans and posturing, rather than fairness or any real security issues. And how many ports and borders around the world does the US control? Hmm? Why shouldn't other countries take the same action down the road, to kick us out of the driver's seat?

In the interest of 'security' I wonder if we haven't opened a Pandora's box and set ourselves up for more security attacks, not less? I am not so sure that I trust that Americans running the ports make them safer than any of the others. We all have a vested interest in maintaining open markets for every country on Earth, don't we? Except of course when we boycott, as a controlling/manipulating device.
I don't know, but I see this as becoming another political taffy pull. Meanwhile, I saw an interesting report yesterday how easy it was to breach security at the offices of Homeland Security.
Ron
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9 posted 03-10-2006 09:10 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Mike's right.

Brad's right, too.

I think somewhere very tropical just froze over?

To help ameliorate this sudden spate of agreement, I'm going to blame this whole thing on . . . Bush?

I think bigotry, like so much else, is a learned response. When this government shifted its attention from Afghanistan, which was responsible for 911, to Iraq, which had no such responsibility and few similarities beyond being Arab and unfriendly, the precedent was set. Of course, following the bad examples set by our leaders is no excuse for unreasoned bigotry. It does, however, tell us where change must begin.


Mistletoe Angel
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10 posted 03-10-2006 09:54 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Absolutely agree with Ron too.....except I believe, ultimately, we all have ourselves to blame here.

One can blame the Treasury Department if one wishes for considering this arrangement to begin with. One can blame Bush if one wishes and argue that in pushing this arrangement it is has only revealed our underlying racist attitudes as a nation to the world. One can blame Congress if one wishes for confirming those underlying racist attitudes to the world. And so on.

I believe we all have been asleep at the wheel in one way or another. All we can do is accept that, and now figure out where we're going to find resolve.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

iliana
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11 posted 03-10-2006 10:21 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

It was an overwhelming American response rejecting this deal.  Yes, we can blame ourselves.  I, for one, am glad the ownership of our ports (which is something I never thought about before) was brought to the forefront of the average citizen's attention.  We need to become better educated citizens. I didn't even know that committee that approved the deal existed.  If this was an "expensive" lesson and if it cost a little, I still think it was worth learning.  Most of us average citizens just sleep through world affairs until something like this happens that shocks the socks off of us.  Ron, I liked your addition here.  
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12 posted 03-10-2006 10:25 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Serenity, Iagree with you 100%. That IS a strange analogy!

Ringo...true enough. They do seem to be a chink in our armor...

Noah, friend, I have always understood your reasoning for opposing the war. Even though I didn't agree with it, I still understood it and respect your views on it. Without a doubt, it has diminished our stature in the Middle East. At the time, however, our own security concerns were deemed more important than our image.

...may be spun in that it's because we are bigots and racists, but to most of us, I believe the intentions in questioning the deal are quite otherwise.

I wish that were so, Noah, but I do not think they are otherwise at all. It is not a question of foreign ownership because we have a multitude of foreign ownership. It is not because Dubai has ever done anything to us or against us because they haven't. That basically leaves two things.....blanket racism and political posturing. Do you feel that the Democrats jumped on this because of security concerns for the country? Or is it because they saw an opportunity, a platform, to use to bolster their image on national security, which is viewed as a very weak point of theirs. The Republicans jumped on it because (1) the Democrats were getting coverage with it and (2) they were irritated that they learned of it from the news media instead of the White House.....all politics. Even as late as yesterday, after the matter had been resolved, the Democrats were calling for a vote on it, for no other reason than to show THEY were responsible for stopping it....all sleazy politics and on both sides. They would shoot down Dubai and our image in the Middle East just to get a few political points for the next elections.

Whether it was right or wrong that the deal was rejected, that is hardly the point here.

The sad point is that right or  wrong is NOT the point. It never seems to be the point any more and that is one of the greatest casualities of all. I thank you, Noah, for such an all-encompassing and well thought out reply and I admire that you do not waver from your views.

I understand the Devil is having a sale on ice skates this evening. Thank you. Brad

Sunshine..strange, indeed, but new I doubt. Always seems to be the same things in the world happening over and over. Maybe we are slow learners?

Iliana...thank you for responding.

Midnitesun....pass the aspirin bottle. I agree with you completely. The good news is that our ports are as safe as they were before the proposed sale to Dubai. The bad news is that our ports are as safe as they were before the proposed sale to Dubai. May the Lord have mercy on us........

Ron, I happen to agree with you (this thread is setting all kinds of precedents!)

I do think, however, that if we had done no more than to invade Afghanistan, this Dubai incident would still have turned out the same. There will always be politicians to take advantage of every opening. It's the American way
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13 posted 03-10-2006 10:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

After weeks of questions from lawmakers of both parties about whether giving a state-owned company from an Arab country control of significant port operations could increase terrorist dangers, the silence from Republicans on Friday was telling. The only statements came from Democrats who sought to keep the issue alive.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief critic of the Dubai deal, said lawmakers needed more detail on DP World's planned divestiture. It wasn't clear which American business might get the port operations, or how the U.S. entity would be related to the Dubai government.

"Make no mistake, we are going to scrutinize this deal with a fine tooth comb," Schumer said.

And the Democratic Party planned a mobile billboard in Memphis, Tenn., where GOP activists were gathering for a weekend conference, accusing Republicans of standing in the way of providing enough funding for port security. "Republicans owe the American people answers as to where they really stand," said party spokesman Luis Miranda.
- Associated Press

...and still they won't stop. Nothing like a good kick in the nuts after the slap in the face.
Mistletoe Angel
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14 posted 03-10-2006 11:59 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

If the Democrats want to make a point about increasing security of our nation's ports, I have no problem with that, as the 9/11 Commission acknowledged they are among the most vulnerable sites in terms of national security, and they have called for increased port security within the last decade.

I do believe the Democrats should let go of the Dubai issue, however, and just let us move on from there, as any lingering memory of the deal will only further prolong the tensions among the Arab community. We've heard and had enough of that I believe, and now we need to get back to the other issues facing us, which improving and restoring foreign relations should be a top priority.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Mistletoe Angel
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15 posted 03-11-2006 12:16 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

To my understanding, I believe both political parties had legitimate political reasons for opposing the deal.

What you said was overall true I believe, but I add that the Republicans opposed the deal because they recognize that indeed, on the issue of national security and the war on terrorism, they still have the advantage, and with Bush looking the other way on the issue, Republicans were worried that he has moved away from some of his post-911 philosophy including, "In a post-911 world, you can never be too careful." and "We must do whatever it takes to defend the American people.". Especially ahead of a crucial mid-term election and with polling trends showing the GOP still having the advantage on national security but with much thinner margins compared to three years ago, Republicans were worried standing too close to him on this issue would wash-up or confuse their base.

I do believe indeed the Democrats saw the opportunity politically in this and has much of something to do with them taking opposition on this, but it's also important to note that the Democrats have been more vocal in terms of increased security of our nation's ports for some time now, really within the last decade, and after the 9/11 Commission Report came out and revealed that our nation's ports were among the most vulnerable sites nationally, they spoke more to the issue. I think their opposition to the deal was a mix of political opportunity and continuing interest to increasing port security.

It's a shame issues like this have to be intermingled in politician interests. This issue just makes me wonder if the statesman/stateswoman is an endangered species here at home.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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16 posted 03-11-2006 12:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

the Democrats have been more vocal in terms of increased security of our nation's ports for some time now, really within the last decade, and after the 9/11 Commission Report came out and revealed that our nation's ports were among the most vulnerable sites nationally, they spoke more to the issue.

Funny, I hadn't heard about them saying anything about port security in the past decade...I assure you I didn't hear them say anything about the Chinese or Singapore holdings. If you can find any instances, Noah, I'd be interested in seeing them.
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17 posted 03-11-2006 01:13 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

The whole thing is patently silly, in my opinion.

Just because a foreign national buys the mall in your local town, it doesn't mean they suddenly control your police, fire department, and city inspectors. If you honestly think an American business is going to be less concerned with making money and more concerned about your security, you clearly haven't been reading the business news lately.

It is Capitalism, not democracy, that can potentially save this world from obliteration. It is Capitalism, not technology, that is shrinking our planet and blurring national borders. It is Capitalism, not idealism, that can make friends of enemies and brothers of old rivals. You want to feel safe your house won't be bombed? Sell the house next door to your worst enemy and the neighborhood just got a whole lot safer.

It's all a bit silly, and frankly, for a country that maintains more than a few military bases on foreign soil, it's a bit hypocritical.


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18 posted 03-11-2006 02:19 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I don't recall the Democrats ever being critical of the Singapore or China deals either, thus that's why I believe we were all truly asleep at the wheel and are a source of the problem. I believe both political parties are responsible for this lack of oversight.

I too question how genuine the Democrats efforts to bolster port security are, but I have seen within the last few years such efforts, for example by Democratic senators Bill Nelson and Patty Murray to introduce legislation designed to better secure the nation's ports, which have been sponsored by Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and representative Jane Harman.

It's also important to note out that since 9/11, many of the Senate Republicans who have spoken out on the Dubai deal also blocked efforts by Democrats, particularly Robert Byrd and Ernest Hollings, to increase port security. For instance, in Fiscal Year 2003 when the Omnibus Appropriations bill was being put together, Robert Byrd proposed an amendment to increase homeland security by $5 billion, with $585 million for port security, and his vote was defeated by a 45-51 party-line vote.

Later that year, with the Fiscal Year 2003 War Supplemental Appropriations bill, Byrd and Hollings co-sponsored a bill to increase homeland security funding by $1.135 billion, with $273 million for port security. That bill was defeated on a largely party-line vote, 46-51.

Finally, that year, Hollings introduced a bill for the Fiscal Year 2003 War Supplemental Appropriations bill that called to increase port security by $1 billion, which was defeated 47-52.
http://portsecurityupdate.com/psu092304.htm

Since then, each fiscal year, Byrd and Hollings have led efforts to try and increase port security, which have fallen short all but once, when Hollings introduced the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2004 and was passed unanimously by the Senate in September of 2004.

*

So I do give the Democrats credit in making efforts to improve port security recently. This is indeed an issue that should be taken far more seriously than it is, as only four percent of the cargo containers that enter our country each day are inspected, while the U.S Coast Guard has only gotten a fraction of the desired funds they need for port security grants.

I'd like to see the issue of port security brought up much more now, but I hope that we can do so without dwelling on the Dubai controversy and address the issue separate of a foreign relations mess. I fear the Democrats are going to exploit Dubai for political gain as many Republicans do 9/11, and I'm disheartened of where we're headed next.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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19 posted 03-11-2006 07:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

On that we have complete agreement, Ron. It IS silly....pure political hogwash. Wanna see the king of silliness?

Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today delivered the Democratic Radio Address. In his remarks, Chairman Dean applauded Democratic efforts this week to prevent President Bush from outsourcing the control of America's largest ports to a foreign government-owned company.


"I'm Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

America had a great victory this week in the war on terror. Key Democratic Senators and Representatives forced President Bush to give up the idea that six major American ports should be run by a foreign country.

This is not about the idea of an Arab country controlling American port operations. President Bush and the Republicans who control Congress should not outsource the safety of American ports to any foreign country. Democrats believe that America's security is America's business."


".. to give up the idea that six major American ports should be run by a foreign country."

A blatant lie, of course. Is China smiling yet? Singapore, do I hear a chuckle?  

"This is not about the idea of an Arab country controlling American port operations. "

LOL! Does he really expect anyone with at least half a brain to believe that? What irritates you about Bush is that he lies to the public, Ron? You must DESPISE Dean!

If that's what he calls a great American victory then I feel sorry for him.

and STILL they wonder why they lose elections! Amazing....
Mistletoe Angel
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20 posted 03-11-2006 08:15 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

As I mentioned in the thread "Fun With Ted & Jane", personalities like Howard Dean and Al Sharpton will be the gift that keeps on giving for the GOP, while personalities like Pat Robertson and Karl Rove will keep giving to the Democrats.

Firstly, this was certainly about the idea of a foreign nation owning our nation's ports, I have no clue what Dean thinks this was about to begin with.

Secondly, Balladeer is right, there's NOTHING to celebrate here and there is NO victory, for this was just a lose-lose situation for us from the beginning, and this will complicate our relations with the UAE in particular.

And finally, the idea that "America's security is America's business" is NOT merely a Democratic party notion. A majority of Americans, whether it be Democrats, Republicans or Independents, opposed this deal, by as much as a four-to-one margin, and so it isn't fair how he's spinning it as their own effort. Republicans and independents were just as vocal about it, it was a shared effort, and the idea that OUR enterprises should run OUR ports and other national security sites is a view of common sense shared by both sides, is a mainstream America notion.

With the GOP struggling right now with scandals, unpopular policies and the inability to complete their second term agenda items, Dean is really the greatest hope for the GOP to hang on in 2006 and 2008. I figured he'd wise up and temper his forked tongue when taking the DNC Chairman responsibility, but he has certainly proved me wrong by a landslide and I'm embarrassed that he is that party's chairman and it's really individuals like him who keep me from registering as a Democrat rather than an independent.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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21 posted 03-11-2006 09:38 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Reading this thread reenforces my belief that politics and commerce both make strange bedfellows. I remember someone telling me eons ago, that keeping your enemies in bed with you allows you to know what they are up to

Seriously though, I'm getting suspiciouser and suspiciouser each day as to the key players motives,
the self-serving ping pong game that is being played out, at expense of fair' trade It's all about who gets to the upper-hand, who takes control of world markets.
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22 posted 03-11-2006 09:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Kacy! This is indeed a thread of firsts...Brad agrees with me, Ron agrees with me, I agree with Ron, Noah agrees with all of us....and you have used suspiciouser in a sentence! What a night!!!
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23 posted 03-11-2006 09:45 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I find the issue to be perplexing.

First; if you can only get Al Capone for income tax evasion then -- you get him for income tax evasion.  Of the myriad failures of execution and policy that lay at the feet of this President it's ironic that it's this issue that finally blows the lid off the administration.

Second; the more interlaced economically nations become (and I think you're going to have to redefine Capitalism Ron because it is an ideology and one that doesn't work by itself)  the less likely NATIONs are to go to war with each other, so it is accurate to say that an increase in trade increases security -- to a point.

Third; the unnamed American company that's going to be assigned the job in lieu of Dubai Ports is ostensibly Haliburton -- and Howard Dean is glad about that?

Fourth; because we're talking about terrorism here and not warfare between nations, everything that Ron said, while true, is probably irrelevant.  These guys would be happy to move into the house next door and blow it up, themselves up, and you up Ron.

We need to increase trade between countries -- but, it has to be done the right way.

It's interesting too that this issue illuminates the paradox that spans the chasm between the liberals and conservatives in this country.

Liberals are economic isolationists but diplomatic pluralists.

Conservatives are the exact opposite -- even to the point where Conservatism says government can't do anything right and then tries to build a nation unilaterally in Iraq.
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24 posted 03-11-2006 10:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I find it ironic that you consider this issue has "blown the lid off the administration", not to mention that you present your definition of conservatives and liberals as fact and not opinion.

If it has blown the lid off anything it's the illusion that the Democrats value what is good for the country over what is good for the Democratic Party.....but then, that's never been much of a secret.

So tell me, Reb, when do you think the Democrats are going after Singapore, China and any other countries that manage our ports? Now that they have initiated action to make all ports American owned, that must be their next logical step, don't you think?
 
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