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February 21, 2006

Bushism alert

by Ben Adler, CampusProgress.org

I know its old news that the President is prone to malapropisms but I can't help finding it embarassing when the leader of the free world says ''I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company,'' That's right, he can't even refer to our dear allies the British (note they aren't called "the Great British") correctly.  But, of course, the quote above, which was from Bush's defense of the decision to outsource our port security to a Dubai-based company highlights a more serious problem with Bush's governance.  As David Corn smartly notes:

The problem with the Bush administration's support for a move by a United Arab Emirates-based firm to take over operation of six major American ports -- as well as the shipment of military equipment through two additional ports -- is not that the corporation in question is Arab owned.

The problem is that Dubai Ports World is a corporation....

Like most American firms, Arab-owned firms are more concerned about satisfying shareholders than anything else. As such, they are poor stewards of ports and other vital pieces of the national infrastructure that still require the constant investment of public funds, as well as responsible oversite by authorities that can see more than a bottom line, in order to maintain public safety -- not to mention the public good of modern, efficient transportation services.

Here, once again, President Bush gets caught playing fast and loose with our national security in his zeal for privatization--and he tries to change the subject to whether a corporation is being "treated fairly."  What a crock!  Hopefully liberals will reframe the issue around the question of privatizing important government functions rather than the relative merits of firms based in different countries.

February 21, 2006 | Permalink

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» Dems Attack Port Takeover By Arabs from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
The takeover of six major American ports by an Arab company poses a threat to national security, law [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 21, 2006 7:14:33 PM

» The Sum Of All Fears from All Things Beautiful
Rescind Mr. President. Faith is a misplaced emotion in the long war on terror, and the assurance that U.S. ports will be secure when they are managed by a firm owned by a government in one of the most volatile parts of the world, is worthless. [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 22, 2006 10:17:15 AM

Comments

Isn't it possible that "great" refers to the quality of the British company?

As to the issue, the weird thing here is that there ought to be alternatives. Aren't there other operators that can do the job? If Congress says "no" to Dubai, then we'll just give the job to the next bidder. Why stand firm on this, except as a show of naked executive power?

Posted by: Grumpy | Feb 21, 2006 6:53:36 PM

Yet another example of how, under GOP governance, corporations are allowed to suck at the public's teat.

Posted by: Stephen | Feb 21, 2006 7:01:08 PM

Hopefully liberals will reframe the issue around the question of privatizing important government functions rather than the relative merits of firms based in different countries.

What an awesome suggestion. Let's change the frame from one the public and Congress are solidly behind to one that will lose us this battle. Any chance you could join us on this side of the firing squad?

(Yes, I agree that privatization of this government function is terrible, and I don't trust Great British corporations any more than Dubai's. But we can take the time to use this case as an educating tool after we win it.)

Posted by: Allen K. | Feb 21, 2006 7:15:45 PM

I like the point about privitization a lot. It is worth noting though that the company isn't just an Arab-owned company or Dubai-based, it is actually owned by the government of UAE. I just don't want the truth lost in the mix, as people repeat the lies told by Bush et al.

Posted by: Kathleen | Feb 21, 2006 7:25:42 PM

I'm with Allen on this. Most of the country has no real objection to privatizing stuff. But say something like "We shouldn't let a country connected with terrorism manage our ports!" and everybody will be on your side. When Bush opposes you, he looks oddly weak on terrorism.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Feb 21, 2006 7:39:43 PM

There is no need to be blaming "arabs" or discussing why an arab company is concerned with its bottom line like American companies.

The United States should not allow a country with known ties to terrorists to run port security.

As Bush would say, "in french, english, or mexican," that should be the only issue.

Anything else is needlessly confusing.

Posted by: tony | Feb 21, 2006 8:25:28 PM

Is it possible that he was trying to say the British company was, in fact, great? That's the only excuse I can think of.

Posted by: Brian | Feb 21, 2006 9:44:19 PM

Hopefully liberals will reframe the issue around the question of privatizing important government functions rather than the relative merits of firms based in different countries.

Aaaargh, NO. As you may have noticed, the Democrats don't have the best public perception when it comes to national security. This opportunity is pure gold. Bush is pulling this in an election year? Thank you Jesus.

As Kathleen notes, a big part of this issue is that Dubai Ports World isn't just a corporation, it's a state owned corporation.

Allen is dead on. We can have a nice wonky discussion about the appropriate of public vs. private, but let's do it after.

Posted by: gswift | Feb 21, 2006 9:59:21 PM

to be fair, the nomenclature for the entities on the british isles is pretty confusing.

Posted by: anon | Feb 21, 2006 11:23:22 PM

Bush is pulling this in an election year? Thank you Jesus.

Oh, Bush's favorite philosopher told him to do this too?

Posted by: Allen K. | Feb 21, 2006 11:44:58 PM

"Hopefully liberals will reframe the issue..."

There are too many ways to reframe this, and each one is better than the last!

Cronyism: Bush appoints people who have uncomfortably deep connections to business

Corruption: Bush wants to bribe the UAE to support us in the war on terror; in return, they get billions and control of our ports.

Privatization: Bush allows Taliban-supporting countries to take control of our ports because it's cheaper.

Stubbornness: Even when shown that companies owned by the UAE should be treated differently than companies owned by "Great British" companies, Bush still doesn't care!

Lack of port security: This one speaks for itself, but also the fact that we only screen 5 percent of incoming containers also is a strike against Bush

Fealty to corporations: In "fairness" to corporations, we should allow them all to control our ports, no matter who owns them? HELLO?

Katrina connections: The same people who made this deal, including Michael Chertoff, also didn't protect us from the Hurricane Katrina aftermath

Lack of homeland security: No border security, no natural disaster security, and now we're letting questionable governments control our ports?

Bush doesn't really care about democracy: The UAE should not be treated as such a strong ally...it's basically an authoritarian regime!

The administration is incompetent: Rumsfeld says he just learned about the port issue and yet OK's it, and then Bush says, "Hey, the deal has been around for months!" Where's the inter-administration communication about such an important issue?

Bush can't pronounce things: "Great British companies"?

Bush lacks loyalty to conservatives: By throwing FOX News, Limbaugh, et al, into a tizzy, Bush doesn't even care what those who elected him think.

My point is, no matter HOW the Democrats spin this, it's a winner!

Posted by: J. Puckett | Feb 22, 2006 2:34:09 AM

I agree with the other commenters. However, with political instincts like this, you should go far as a Democrat.

Posted by: Jon Parker | Feb 22, 2006 4:33:00 AM

I have reserved judgment on the real issue of security until all of the facts are in on this deal. However, it has been interesting watching the comments here. Few are interested in port security and more are interested in the political opportunity to GET BUSH.
I will predict that this issue, too, will turn sour for the liberals as their their reasons for opposing this is revealed and their true spots are discovered.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 22, 2006 8:43:30 AM

I'm interested most in what Bush thinks of American business owners. He is essentially telling them that a UAE government can protect our ports just as good if not better than an American one. There is also a jobs quotient that is being overlooked. Sure, DWP will have to hire local workers, but I suspect management positions will be held by people from other countries. If Port Security and Jobs are so important, why can't Americans do them?

Posted by: Adrock | Feb 22, 2006 2:25:56 PM

Hey, if you are so interested in protecting American jobs, why aren't you all up in arms about illegal aliens taking jobs from Americans?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 22, 2006 3:38:23 PM

Dubai Ports World, the UAE state-owned port management company will take over port operations at six American ports from... P&O Ports, a British company that currently operates those ports. That's right, the U.S. government is not handing over ports operated by a U.S. company to UAE, it is instead approving the hand-over of operations from one foriegn company to another. In case anyone is actually interested, the Chief Operating Officer of this state-owned company is, in fact, an American (as are a number of other top executives in the company)! One final note (actually, a question) - how many American port operators currently have the resources to manage these ports? Precisely none. So what is a better solution, to allow the ports to managed by one of the most efficient port management companies in the world, to nationalize the ports (as if the government is capable of running ANYTHING efficiently), or to exclude a world-class operator from doing what they do best (operating ports) in favor of smaller, less efficient domestic companies in the name of "national security"
? Besides, where was the hue and cry when a British company began managing the ports? What is this whole argument REALLY about?

Posted by: Tennessee Conservative | Feb 26, 2006 12:46:00 PM

India was formed after the worst communal divide in 1947, in which more than 2 crore people were displaced and some 6 lakhs were killed. Pakistan which was created at that time is sending its foot soldiers now to carry out terrorist activities in India. More than 25000 Indians are killed in Kashmir in the last two decades. About 5 lakhs Hindus were driven out of their homes in Kashmir and remain as internal refugees for the last 12 years. Indian muslims appear to have taken over the terrorist activities and the latest one was the bombing at the Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad city. With the release of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anees Ibrahim wanted in India for the Bombay serial blast from Dubai,it is now becoming clear that the real nerve centre of world terrorism is Dubai. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, as well as India are some of the foot soldier training centers and India can now boasts the maximum number such foot soldiers.The history of Dubai is really revealing. Prior to oil discovery, Dubai survived on gold smuggling to India and was using even Indian currency for its transactions.

Sheik Rashid, the father of the present ruler was involved in the gold smuggling along with every prominent citizen of Dubai. There are so many pending cases against them in India. Heroin refineries were located in Dubai and cargo planes used to fly twice a week between Dubai and the Afghan city of Kandahar with boxes of dollar bills and in return trip with drugs. This is being done by Dawood Ibrahim now using his ships from Karachi carrying drugs to many European ports that are usually seen at the docks at Jebel Ali port in Dubai. Billions of dollars are generated by this, which is shared between Dubai, Dawood and Pakistan including its ISI and Afghan warlords in Kandahar. ISI’s share alone is $ 1 billion. The ruler of UAE in which Dubai is a part, owned the collapsed ‘The Outlaw Bank’ known as the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, (BCCI) which was founded by a Pakistani, Agha Hasan Abedi. BCCI was a bank which became a major global channel for the laundering of narcodollars and other illicit funds It donated 500 million rupees for the creation of Pakistan's Gulam Ishaq Research Institute for nuclear development as part of UAE’s Islamic Bomb Project.


The nexus between BCCI, the Saudi royal family, was preserved after the collapse of BCCI in 1991, and was utilized later to fund Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. A key Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz, was responsible for the missing $2 billion of the bank's assets of 22 billion. The bin Mahfouz family was a major donor and trustees of Muwafaq or Blessed Relief Foundation and the International Development Foundation, which as per US were used to transfer funds to Osama Bin Laden. We are at war with terrorism and are unable to apprehend the top enemy command. US have now legalized the assassination of terrorists. Financing of terrorism including indoctrination and training of foot soldiers in India, by the Muslim nations is against international law. It is time to assassinate the masterminds so that the terror warning and red alerts of terrorist attacks that are becoming a daily affair can be eliminated.


BCCI founded by Pakistani Agha Hasan Abedi and there is a strong involvement of ISI in its activities. Initial capital was just $2.5 million, which obtained from Bank of America, supplemented by another $500,000 from Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi in 1972. By the mid-1980s, BCCI's empire extended to banks or branches in 73 countries, and assets totalling about $22 billion. BCCI is also was the pimping arm of the Arab sheikhs and formed a Protocol Department whose work is to look after the comforts of the the visiting Al-Nahayans and other Arab rulers and their families while visiting Pakistan. With a budget of as much as $10 million a year for private matters including the procurement of Pakistani girl prostitutes for the sheikhs. Once these kids are selected, outfitted and trained by a woman named Begim Hashari Rahim, who later was promoted to the official position of Interior Decorator to the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. There are questions raised on BCCI's relationship with CIA, Pakistan's nuclear program; BCCI's activities in India, including its relationship with the business empire of the Hinduja family.


Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates rulers owned shares of BCCI,and materially aided and abetted Abedi Abu Dhabi,Abu Dhabi has failed to provide documents and witnesses to U.S. law enforcement authorities and to the Congress, BCCI's systematically bribed prominent political figures in most of the 73 countries in which BCCI operated. BCCI BCCI had fully corrupt relationships with officials from countries all over the world, including India. BCCI's criminality included fraud by BCCI and BCCI customers involving billions of dollars; money laundering in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas; BCCI's bribery of officials in most of those locations; support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies; management of prostitution; the commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling, and illegal immigration; illicit purchases of banks and real estate; and a panoply of financial crimes limited only by the imagination of its officers and customers.


Raw has a file on a Dubai Expatriate Sunny Varkey, who with the Paki Consul Generals wife, involved in money laundering operations for ISI and BCCI. He ran for years Pakistani school and a hospital in Dubai with Pakistani funding. Sunny Varkey entertains our Indian consulate staff and some one had even informed him of the
RAW investigation about his activities. So much for our spy agencies. BCCI has established a representative's office in India in 1979 and by 1983 Manmohan Singh has approved the opening of the BCCI branch in India against the RAW advise. Refer http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/lsdeb/ls10/ses1/0514099101.htm
A bank operating out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi could buy top politicians in India and USA. Emirates Airlines of Dubai, operating on waferthin profit, wanted to expand in the lucrative Indian routes and thus bribed and stalled the purchase of aircraft for our national airlines for decades. Chandra Babu Naidu was paid for getting the new routes to India, during his five visits to Dubai. Jet Airways is owned by Gulf Sheikhs, Dawood, and Sonia Gandhi. Now Dubai is taking over USA in the same manner.

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Posted by: judy | Oct 1, 2007 4:37:44 AM

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