I never believed it was about national security, not for a nanosecond. The Dhimmicrats wouldn't give the sweat off their brow for national security - the attacks on the Cole, WTC '93, Chinagate, Khobar - they never batted an eyelash no matter how many Americans died (with apologies to Lieberman, Zell etc.). With the Democratic leadership, it's always special interest - it's always about the money.
SHOW THEM THE MONEY. John Fund backs up my post in the WSJ Political Diary -paid subscription only
But where are the questions about the unions that are in the front row of the jeering section trying to scotch the deal?
The International Longshoremen's Association, the union that represents workers at the six ports that would be part of the Dubai management contract, have always exercised inordinate power over U.S. ports, as vividly depicted in the 1950s film classic "On the Waterfront" starring Marlon Brando. While not as brutal today, union control remains a fact of life. Just ask the factory owners who had to endure parts shortages in 2002 as ports from Seattle to San Diego were forced to shut after a longshoremen's union slowdown paralyzed operations.
"The wonder is that the Dubai company was willing to take on the hassle of managing U.S. ports for thin profit margins," one maritime expert told me. He noted that Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based leader in port operations, refuses to invest in the U.S. because it won't deal with the local unions. A former member of the Federal Maritime Commission told me it is an open secret that the U.S. longshoremen's union prefers U.S. operators "because they can get more patronage and exercise more leverage that way."
Many of the politicians most vocally opposed to the Dubai deal have also received hefty campaign contributions from the longshoremen's union. Perhaps that's one reason none are on record as complaining about the fact that ILA President John Bowers was charged with racketeering and named as an associate of the Gambino organized crime family in a July 2005 civil complaint filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn. The New York Sun, which yesterday published an extensive analysis of the ILA's ties to organized crime, concluded: "Mr. Bush's critics would have more credibility in the middle of this war [over the ports] if they hadn't been on the receiving end of lucre from a labor union with a history of corruption and mob ties."
Suddenly, national security? Think about it. They hate the Patriot Act, they hate Gitmo, they hate military tribunals ................ this deal is not even about security. They talk trash about "building coalitions" and "international cooperation" and defile the "coalition of the willing." Yet here they are willing to spit on an Arab country that works with us? This can only hurt us on our war on terror. Economic ties builds relationships. WAKE UP PEOPLE.
Oh and read Eli Lake in the New York Sun;
More cluelessness to be had at Carnival of the Clueless here. Now Allah Snackbar!
UPDATE: More here The facts about the ports deal, from Heritage Organization
Carafano and Kochems explain several important facts in their new paper:
- Outsourcing port operation is nothing new. In fact, the ports in question are currently owned by a British company, and much of our economy depends on foreign companies for transportation.
- Security procedures, based on post-9/11 security changes, will remain unchanged. The Coast Guard and U.S. Customs provide security at American ports—not the port's owners.
- Dubai World Ports does not pose a security risk. It is a holding company only, and its executives would have no access to security information or procedures. Furthermore, since the company wants to make money, it is not in its interests to allow terrorists to use its facilities.
- The UAE is a close ally in the war on terrorism, having turned over several al Qaeda suspects to the United States. It also participates in America's overseas container screening program.
In an interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday, Carafano elaborated on several of these points. He noted that terrorists, drug smugglers and other criminals already exploit our transportation networks without the complicity of the companies involved. Furthermore, he said such groups would not want to be involved with such companies, since that could attract unwanted attention, just as this deal has.
UPDATE 2/24/06: KRAUTHAMMER!
Harbour exit Charles Krauthammer
Democrats loudly denounce any thought of racial profiling. But when that same Arab, attired in business suit and MBA, and with a good record running ports in 15 countries, buys P&O, Democrats howl at the very idea of allowing Arabs to run our ports.
Going overboard Jonah Goldberg
Did you hear the one about Dick Cheney, a priest and a rabbi walking into an Arab-run port?
The Journal Editorial
Tune in this weekend for a discussion on ports and Arab management.