UAE port issue; Xenophobia or Security?


i am torned in this one, although the histeria smacks of xenophobia, I wouldn't want to live close to any port in the U.S. controlled by Middle Eastern power, no matter how "friendly".

And to tell you the truth I am not comfortable by the fact that companies from China, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Europe control ports too.

Any thoughts?

Feb 23, 06 11:42 am
el jeffe

the ports are on US soil and the coast guard and customs still regulate the imports, so i'm not sure this media issue is meaningful. i'm more concerned with the growing use of corporations to solve problems that should be the resonsibility of governments. of couse the way the bush administration is handling this situations is predictable pathetic and fueling criticism.

this reminds me of the hysteria over flying after 9/11. The formation of the TSA and screening everyone down to their nail clipper as though that had some relevance to air safety. The reailty is that a HUGE quantity of material comes through airports via cargo - that is a real security issue.

Feb 23, 06 11:52 am
sporadic supernova

Xenophobia !!! .. no doubt.
UAE being a security threat ?? puhlease !! open your eyes.

Wonder what hapenned to globalization now?
And I dont like the idea that a country has to agree with everything US stands for in order to be deemed a "friendly" country .. and thus acceptable for economic growth.

Another issue for xenophobia... reluctunce shown towards Mittal steel's takeover bid

Feb 23, 06 12:29 pm

U.S. sticks foot in mouth, yet again...

Wait until the Chinese stop buying our debt or OPEC denominates oil in Euro instead of Dollar.

Feb 23, 06 12:42 pm


This is one issue the democrats don't need to be seizing. The company only manages a small part of port options, it doesn't control it. And the actual employees aren't from UAE. The employees will be the same, they'll just get their paystubs from a different multi-national corporation.

Of course, Bush is handling this issue with his typical arrogance. By saying "we've looked into it and have no concerns, and i'll try and stop anyone else who tries looking into it" he's adding fuel to the fire.

Feb 23, 06 12:52 pm

i thought bush new nothing about the issue until after the fact

Feb 23, 06 12:55 pm

I find it really hard to beleive that Bush didn't know, right here off the Dubai Ports website:
"Dubai, 24 January 2006: - Global ports operator DP World today welcomed news that one of its senior executives, Dave Sanborn, has been nominated by US President George W. Bush to serve as Maritime Administrator a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation and Cabinet Member.

The White House has issued a statement from Washington DC announcing the nomination. The confirmation process will begin in February.

Mr Sanborn currently holds the position of Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America for the Dubai-based company"

No wonder he is going to veto anything.

Feb 23, 06 12:59 pm


Feb 23, 06 2:41 pm

it's pure dim-witted reactionary xenophobia.

random link:
United Arab Emirates Decision to Sever Ties with Taliban

Feb 23, 06 4:20 pm

sergant ahmad


kung-fu cargo

Feb 23, 06 5:35 pm

I think the American people are so freaking confused by all of the anti-terror rhetoric that even the Bush adminstration (who got us into this mess) is no longer in the position to convince us that we aren't under constant threat by something that the administration itself endorses.

Oh well. We elected irrational logic when Bush won his second term - we shouldn't really be surprised.

Feb 24, 06 1:12 am

for the sensitive...

Feb 24, 06 11:15 am

I almost agree with Bush. This issue has been hard for me, I see the good points on each side, but I think that we cannot stop globalism, and this really makes us look bad. We go to peru and get copyrights on the dna of their potato genes, but we won't let a few arabs own the company that hires americans to run our U.S. ports..... hmmm.... the global plot thickens....

Mar 10, 06 11:18 am

UAE has supported the yanks in their war and this is just a slap is the face. would make any country think (esp in the middle east) think twice before supporting the US again...

also it might make foreign investors think twice about how freely the american economy actually is.

Mar 10, 06 11:23 am
brian buchalski

i vote xenophobia. that is, in answer to the above question rather than implying that i support xenophobia...everybody knows i'm a xenophile.

Mar 10, 06 1:42 pm

Xenophobia exists in all countries. Remember a couple years ago when Russian oil giant Lukoil was going to bought up by ExxonMobil and suddenly Putin said they owed billions in taxes. Few months go by and they are state owned and not for sale. How is that so different than the ports deal?

Last year Chevron was buying Unocal when a Chinese state owned company put in a take-over bid trying for a hostile take over. When Congress got involved there for national security reasons the Chinese backed off.

What if Airbus (European Gov't supported) tried to take over Boeing and eliminate their only competition? Would you call it xenophobia if that were blocked?

Private American companies have been blocked just as much as any entity seeking assets in the USA. Business knows this very well. I'm sure there will be political fallout, that's unwarranted, but seems to always happen in these situations. What if the American gov't went in and wanted to buy a UAE corporation? They would object just as much. I call double standard. America has every right to review who runs any business in our country, as all other countries the world over do.

Mar 10, 06 2:06 pm

...or Common Sense?

Mar 10, 06 3:18 pm

Security. I'm sorry, I don't want people from ANY other country controlling our ports. Not even somewhere harmless, like Canada or Switzerland. The only way to be absolutely sure that someone has your country's best interests at heart is if they are your countrymen. I agree with A that there's a double standard at work here. If a big American corporation tried to take over the running of say, Columbian or Spanish ports, do you think everyone would be thrilled about it? No. Do you think American's would be accused of trying to use an influential position to control another country? YES. The only difference is that we are bigger and more stable, so everybody else is seen in a sort of 'underdog' put-down sort of role in any relations we have with them. It is the same reason that the President of the United States must be a native-born American - WE want to be in charge of our own positions of power, not give them away to people who may have other interests.

Mar 10, 06 3:44 pm

In my opinion, this should have been a no brainer (if it hadn't been for the no brainer we have in the oval office).

The company in question is widely known in the industry for its lax security and tolerance of smuggling (some of which it's management benefits from)... which does not mean that they're terrorists but certainly does mean that they should have been instantly disqualified from being a candidate to run our ports. It reportedly shares directors with businesses suspected to have provided assistance to AQ and other terrorists, suggesting that a reasonable person might very well believe that at least some of their executives might sympathize with AQ. It's owned by a government with laws that include brutal and barbaric punishments for trivial crimes, and a long history of blatent human rights violations that simply do not comport to our values. And all this is googleable much less available to our nation's multi-bilion dollar intelligence establishment. I just don't understand how the WH's initial review of the deal could conceivably have lasted more than a few minutes and returned a decision other than "hell no." The fact they they strongly supported the deal and then tried to distance thenselves from it show just what kind of people we're ruled by.

Mar 10, 06 5:04 pm

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