Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Do Buy Our Ports, Dubai.

That the Dubai Ports deal is REALLY, REALLY stupid seems to actually have broad agreement among both Republicans and Democrats. That is because it is so manifestly stupid that even the Republicans can't seriously defend it.

In case you missed it, our Government wants to turn the management of six major seaports (New York and New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans) over to a company that is wholly owned by the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

Great idea, eh?

Since we silly liberals have a tendency to complain about privatizing National Security - and balk at turning our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor over to somebody else's profit motive - the Bush Administration will have a Government managing our ports. Just not OUR Government.

You know, under Bush, private citizens are expected to allow searches, have their email checked, their phones tapped, their Internet access spied on, and put up with indignity after indignity. But the Government of the UAE gets to make the rules.

I'm SURE it will be OK. Michael Chertoff - who, after all, shown himself to being the very soul of competence by watching "Desperate Housewives" while New Orleans drowned - says, "Trust Us." And dammit, that should be good enough for any right-thinking American. SURELY the Bush administration has shown that they can be trusted. Haven't they?

After all, do you know what criteria they used when determining that there were no National Security issues to worry about? Well.. no, you don't. NONE of us know. They won't tell us.

And why did they completely fail to mention this to the Governors of the States that have the ports in question? We don't know. They won't tell us.

What we DO know is that they have demonstrated total incompetence with everything they have TOUCHED, and are FAR more concerned with lining their own pockets than with National Security.

And not only would the UAE be managing those ports, they would ALSO control the movement of our military equipment to the war zone. PerThink Progress:

From today’s edition of the British paper Lloyd’s List:

[P&O] has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring [loading and unloading] of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.

According to the journal Army Logistician “Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports.”

Thus, the sale would give a country that has been “a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia” direct control over substantial quantities U.S. military equipment.

How nice.

My question is: How much money do Bush's cronies stand to make from this deal?

Because I'll eat my hat if that isn't the REAL justification for this stupid, stupid thing.

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