DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: The most important facts and reasons why the UAE Dubai Ports World deal can't work & must not go forward....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The most important facts and reasons why the UAE Dubai Ports World deal can't work & must not go forward....

Readers, this is a *****Five Star, must read column that presents the best reasoning and documentation I've yet seen explaining why the UAE's DPW deal to take over critical management of cargo entering and leaving 6 more United States seaports of entry for foreign vessels is not only a dangerous and unacceptable decision--- requiring trust in and doing high-security risk business with a country that discriminates against and boycotts Israel and fully supports the terrorist group Hamas---but also a wrong-headed plan that allows commerce to dictate our republican principles.

PelicanPost is in total agreement with the William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn conclusions and believes also that no U.S. ports of entry should be controlled by any foreign authoritarian governments who suppress their own people. Two examples are China and the UAE, both of whom already have managment of numerous U.S. ports. UAE already has 16. And the Chinese and UAE companies that manage those U.S. ports are totally owned by the totalitarian Chinese and UAE governments.

What kind of example does this present to the parts of the world where the United States of America is fighting for the spread of democracy---like Afghanistan and Iraq---and where other fledgling democracies are struggling to take hold? An example of how we do strategic and critical business with totalitarian oppressors....?

In this case, the Administration is sending a two-faced mixed message to American citizens and to the world: compromising republican principles and risking national security is a price it is willing to pay for commerce and relations with pseudo-friend totalitarian governments.

I'm not good with that. Are you?

A condensed version of the column is below, the entire absolute must read piece here.
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"Cancel This Deal, Diplomatically. The Dubai Ports World deal can’t work."

"At the end of the day, we should not risk being perceived as forgiving or rewarding the people who played a role in the slaughter of 3,000 of our countrymen. This deal has confused the war's message and objectives and handed the opposition a club with which to beat the president on his strongest issue: trust with national security and moral clarity on the war....

Our ports remain one of our most vulnerable points for attack — and the cargo in some of these ports is to be managed by a company from the UAE.... the UAE is not a country of tried and true reliability like, say, Great Britain....

But it is the larger political concerns of policy and consistency that remain most troubling and will not subside, concerns that go to the very heart of our Global War on Terrorism and the ideas by which the administration has rallied support for it. And the more one looks not into the singular issue of security concerns but into the more specifics of what kind of country the UAE is, the more one becomes dissatisfied....

....why is it — and how dangerous is it — that a Zogby poll taken in October of 2005 found that over 70 percent of those in the UAE have an unfavorable opinion of the United States? Are such opinions the fuel that drove the UAE's policies toward al Qaeda prior to 9/11? That is not something that can be asked about Great Britain....

We are being asked to not only trust our ports to be partially run by the UAE, but we are additionally being asked to support a multibillion-dollar arrangement that supports an authoritarian regime. The message of the Bush doctrine has been blurred. We have been led in this war by the great call to and for freedom in other countries — "the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time," as the president put it in his powerful Second Inaugural. This calling applies to nowhere else as direct as it does to the Middle East.

Freedom House rates the UAE "not free" and puts it one notch above Saudi Arabia. The Economist actually ranks it one notch worse than Iran in its "political freedom index." In its report on the country, Freedom House reports that "[c]itizens of the UAE cannot change their government democratically. The UAE has never held an election. All decisions about political leadership rest with the dynastic rulers of the seven separate emirates of the UAE in what is known as the Supreme Council of Rulers...."

As for freedom of expression, the UAE "severely restricts this right...." This is the description of the sort of regime that President Bush warned us about a year ago: "A status quo of tyranny and hopelessness in the Middle East — the false stability of dictatorship and stagnation — can only lead to deeper resentment in a troubled region, and further tragedy in free nations...."

To defend this deal is to defend a $7 billion arrangement with a country that has never had a democratic party in its entire existence. Indeed, it has been a supporter of terrorist organizations and authoritarian regimes. And, despite post-9/11 reforms, to this day the UAE will not recognize Israel, and has funded Islamic terror movements, including Hamas, during the very time we are told it has changed it ways....

It may have changed some of its ways, but it is a country that in its 34-years of existence has been unable to recognize the first, original, and perhaps only fully-fledged democracy in the Middle East — Israel — which has been in existence for almost 60-years, and where Arabs enjoy more freedoms than they do in the UAE.

To this day — and since it has become a post-9/11 ally — the UAE continues to support the Arab commercial boycott of Israel.... If the UAE would be offended by our barring them from our ports, they should see fit to stop offending free trade and democratic principles by not barring Israeli goods in theirs....

It is the politics that matters most just now — politics in the most serious sense of the word: how we organize and define our republic and ourselves. We cannot have a policy to isolate Hamas while doing this sort of business with a country that supports it. We cannot speak of the importance of freedom in the Arab world while asking Americans to support commerce through our ports with an autocratic oligarchy that only four years ago recognized the Taliban but still cannot see fit to recognize Israel.

We cannot speak against "the grudging concessions of dictators" while asking Americans to ignore the political record of the UAE. In short, we cannot take this chance with our security or our principles....

What kind of a signal are we sending by making a public ally of a country that refuses democracy and does not recognize the existence of its most democratic neighbor because it is considered to be inhabited by members of the wrong religion? Who are the real xenophobes here?

We are indeed a commercial republic, but we should not allow commerce to dictate our republican principles any more than we should allow it to trump our wartime sensibilities, goals, or lessons. The stakes are too high, and the nobility of our effort is too great. Kill the deal, Mr. President...."

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