Skip to comments.Bush: Ports Deal Collapse May Hurt U.S.
Posted on 03/10/2006 8:16:05 PM PST by crushelits
President Bush said Friday the collapse of the Dubai ports deal could hurt U.S. efforts to recruit Mideast governments as partners in the worldwide war on terror.
Separately, in what may have been an aftershock to the failed transaction, a new round of trade talks between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates was postponed.
On Thursday, Dubai-based DP World backed away in the face of unrelenting criticism and announced it would transfer its management of port terminals in major U.S. cities to an American entity.
Bush struck a defiant tone Friday with the Republican-led Congress whose new willingness to buck him has taken its most dramatic form with the ports controversy.
The president said he was open to improving the government's method of reviewing such transactions, but he insisted his administration's approval of the deal had posed no security risk and that the reversal could have the opposite effect.
"I'm concerned about a broader message this issue could send to our friends and allies around the world, particularly in the Middle East," said Bush during an appearance before a conference of the National Newspaper Association. "In order to win the war on terror, we have got to strengthen our friendships and relationships with moderate Arab countries in the Middle East."
The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, is just such a country, Bush said.
Dubai services more U.S. military ships than any other country, shares useful intelligence about terrorists and helped shut down a global black-market nuclear network run by Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, the administration says. This week, though, the State Department's annual human rights report called the UAE's performance "problematic," citing floggings as punishment for adultery or drug abuse.
The president said he would now have to work to shore up the U.S. relationship with the UAE and explain to Congress and the public why it's a valuable one.
"UAE is a committed ally in the war on terror," he said.
En route Friday to a presidential inauguration in Chile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed Bush. The failed ports deal "means that we are going to have to work and double our efforts to send a strong message that we value our allies, our moderate allies, in the Middle East," she said.
Thursday's action spared Bush an embarrassing showdown, which he seemed likely to lose, over the veto he had threatened of any attempt by Congress to block the transaction.
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 (news, bio, voting record), 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.
Republicans, too, have said the deal's end does nothing to address the nation's continuing vulnerability at its ports, where the vast majority of shipping containers are not inspected. In fact, work continued on Capitol Hill on two fronts: reworking the process under which the government approves foreign investment and boosting port security.
Senate Homeland Security Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, promised a committee vote by the end of April on legislation to strengthen cargo inspections and port security. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., was readying a nearly identical measure for the House. Both bills have Democratic co-sponsors.
There were some signs the president's worries about the impact abroad were warranted.
Analysts said the developments could make cash-rich investors in the Persian Gulf, where there is the widespread belief that the furor was rooted in anti-Arab bias, wary of high-profile investments in the United States.
And the latest round of negotiations on a new free-trade arrangement between the U.S. and the UAE, scheduled for Monday in the United Arab Emirates, was postponed.
Both sides hastened to dispel speculation that the delay was the result of the ports controversy.
Neena Moorjani, spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman (news, bio, voting record), would not directly address that question, but said it's not unusual for delegations to need more time to prepare. A UAE official said there was no connection, and that working groups would continue discussions by phone.
I like your jokes!
That video disturbs me.
You're not going to change minds, the 'hate bush crowd no matter what' swarms during events like this. Where are they on other issues? Like defending the wot? ... *crickets*
>>That video disturbs me.<<
It is pretty creepy, isn't it?
You're awareness and ears are up. Good. Something smelled bad to me for a week. We have normal relations with UAE. We had contracts with them since they were targeted by AlQueda. A disinformation campaign was successful in the U.S. leading to a popular revolt.
Someone is trying to seperate us from our friends there. The question is- who?
No, YOU never learn. Why don't you try to; for a change? :-)
Well thank you, I got a couple more. I'll save those for other takeover threads. Ping me, we'll muck it up again. This has been fun. Gotta hit the hay.
Me too. G'night.
Worse than foolish...venal, cowardly, and stupid.
If I were the UAE, I would take my business to Europe. I hope they don't, but to pretend that what our congress just did was right, is wrongheaded in the extreme.
We only pay lip service to those arab governemnts that help in the WOT. We're back to playing checkers instead of chess.
http://www.FreeRepublic.com/forum/a3a1fed9e6421.htm#139 <- May 7, 2001
Not on trade threads, unfortunately. Some time ago a thread was posted about Intel building a $300M chip plant in Vietnam. Much wailing, rending of garments, and gnashing of teeth followed, mostly about "our" jobs being sent "there." After someone insisted to me that we no longer manufacture chips in the U.S., I discovered that Intel (!) was building a $3B plant in Arizona, and Samsung was expanding its $2B plant in Texas. Took me maybe five minutes on Google, tops.
It's not a "shake down" to involve other countries, specifically arab countires, in the fight against terrorists. And the carrot used to be that those who stand with us are rewarded for it.
Now, we have told the world that it doesn't matter if you try to be a partner for peace, or capitalism. If your'e an Arab, your'e out and everything we've told you until now has been a damned lie.
Why the hell are we still in Iraq?
Didn't the UAE just sing a very large deal with Boeing to purchase planes? It was between Boeing and Air Bus and Boeing won out.
Wouldn't that give us a trade surplus with them?
That explains the volume of well-researched and reasoned discourse here.
Subject: An Unbiased Erudite History Lesson
Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. They
lived on deer in the mountains during the summer & would go to the coast
and live on fish and lobster in winter.
The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the
invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were
the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting
of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.
Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of
agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so
while our early human ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be
invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.
Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while
they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the
Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the
conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the
sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the
Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into
women. The rest became known as 'girliemen.'
Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of
cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept
of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that
Over the years, conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most
powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white
wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well
done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.
Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher
testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys,
journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals
invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.
Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women.
Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers,
firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, Marines, athletes and
generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire
other conservatives who want to work for a living.
Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to
do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans.
That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming
to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame and created a business
of trying to get MORE for nothing.
Here ends today's lesson in world history:
It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to respond to the above before
simply laughing and forwarding it. A Conservative will be so convinced of the absolute
truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately.
Saved it right to my hard drive. Can't wait to creep-out my nieces and nephews.
My view is that some entity manipulated both the U.S. media and the UAE to see if they could do it. The "hate Bush" crowd were pimped for this. This is not a conspiracy theory, just a logical progression. Open for alterations. I want more info.
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