G. Dubaiya

I’m assuming someone out there can explain this to me. I know that out of all the people who visit this Web site, someone MUST find the whole U.S. port operations story and the fact that they’re pushing to allow a company run by the United Arab Emirates to possibly manage them totally understandable. And to further what I consider insanity, Bush has threatened to Veto all those who try and block the deal. Was he promised a house on Palm Island or a country on The World?

Someone, anyone, if you’re a supporter or if you understand this very odd, seemingly alarming deal, please explain it to me. I want to understand how this is OK. You can even talk to me like I’m seven.


  1. I’d guess it has to do with the Bush family, along with most of the powerful neocons, having strong business and personal ties with rich people in the middle east.

    The UAE is like a little bullshit country where everything is business oriented for shell companies – its kind of like Deleware in the US (which has the most lax corporate tax system and set of laws – so most companies incorporate there and then just have a certificate of ‘Doing Business As’ in whatever state they’re in – and there are all of these services that just accept mail for your company then forward it on, etc).

    Anyways, getting back to the UAE – if you’re in the middle east and you want a company, you base it out of the UAE and take care of all its business friendly practices.

    Bush and Cheney haven’t done anything in office that they didn’t ‘profit’ from somehow. I’m sure some major shareholder of the logistics company, or someone on the management/board, is a friend or supporter.

    In any event – I don’t see it as an issue. I don’t think any port operations should be outsourced – but that stems from the idea that I don’t think any US goverment contract should be outsourced. I think the government has an obligation to its own economy to create and foster a workplace – even if it does so for more than a competitor would cost or at a loss.


  2. Dude, don’t freaking call the UAE a “bullshit” country. I know there is at least one woman who reads this site and lives there. I happen to really like here.

    Why don’t you EVER think before you write? Don’t you realize how you words sound to other people online? I’m not telling you to stop writing, often times you’re very thought provoking and right on, but please, ease up on the insults. :/


  3. Just to clarify – the non-issue was with the fact that its an ‘arab based’ company vs a ‘europe based’ company or some other issue. Pundits are attacking this issue on the completely wrong vector – people are clamoring ‘9/11, omg, 9/11’ ‘the arabs are coming!’. It’s both fucking racist and egregiously stupid. Every security expert has defended it saying “Security remains in the hand of US legal authorities”. its really just a management change, and ‘where do the profits go?’

    What people SHOULD be arguing, is why in the hell are we brining in foreign management ( and likely foreign suppliers) during an economic slump, when those jobs could stay on american soil with american citizens.

    Last week, major corporations announced 50,000 + job cuts. This week Bush pushes for this plan. Does no one care that he’s pushing for job cuts?


  4. I understand, however, that we need to outsource certain things to the private sector. I just wonder if we could have it be managed by a U.S. Company. Aren’t we able to do this?

    Then again, I also realize that the British have been managing it for years now. And the Bush Administration is using that in response to those opposed. “Well, why do you care only that an Arab country is going to manage them?”

    The thing I don’t get is he’s always selling his supporters on homeland security, yet he does shit like this. It sends a message and i’m not sure a decent one. Also, he didn’t know anything about it before this weekend yet he’s asking that we trust him. It’s also a little scary, and this one I can’t back up as it’s emotive, that two of the 9/11 hijackers came from the UAE. I know, that one might get me into trouble. Ah well.


  5. Here’s what I don’t understand: To own an Airline in America a majority of the shareholders must be American. Why doesn’t this extend to ports?


  6. the company that is being sold, is a british company….it’s very interesting that we americans do not operate any port in the entire world which obviously includes the united states ports right now. once this sale is complete(if it doesn’t get shot down) will end england’s last port control in the world too. all have been sold to other companies around the world. so is it a problem? only if you think they are our enemy, i don’t. are the bushes get kick-backs from this? i don’t know but i doubt it. is it a security issue? since 911, probably, but since we don’t own any other port, what should we do? take them away from their owners? i don’t know. the UAE are good people who run a business and are in that business to make money. think of it as a corporate restructuring at the top. i doubt it’ll be like a complete ousting of all employees and importing non-greencard-holding-arabs to take the jobs….americans will still be working there, just who writes their check will be different, instead of the brits, now the UAE company. i think this is being blown way out of proportion, but at the same time, yes i am concerned because we are an open society and that’s the way it is……but i also feel legislation is the wrong approach and shows that we are haters and don’t stand for freedom afterall.


  7. Debra, things like that which tickle the conspiracy theorist in me. I canâ


  8. Well, my point is this: if we allow anyone to outsource, the UAE is no different that the UK. But we shouldn’t outsource to anyone when US jobs are being cut.

    Some 9/11 hijackers came from UAE. Some guy who tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb was from the UK. Oh, and two people responsible for the Kansas City bombings came from the US. We should be distrustful of all people from those countries. They clearly support terrorism.

    Truth be told , though, I don’t think ports or defense contractors should be publically held companies, or that government computers should run microsoft operating systems.


  9. Greg, see, I hope that people don’t see it that way. I don’t hate those who are Arab at all. But to hear Bush say that he wouldn’t do it if it were dangerous and that they’ve looked at it carefuly (when he only found out about it over the weekend) is a bit much. He’s asking us to trust hiim. First of all, he lied to us before and I can’t say that I do, to be honest.

    I think we should reconsider this entirely. No more foreign governments should manage our ports. Period.

    Perhaps our fear of Arab countries, as irrational as it is, might shed light on something most people probably weren’t aware of at all.


  10. I guess I should have reworded my original post. Why is it ANY foreign country is managing our ports? That’d be the politically correct version of the question. But I think it’s pretty safe to say that many Americans feel more sketchy about having an Arab run company manage our ports rather than a British company. Is that hatred? I don’t know if it’s that simple. it’s not right,that’s indisputable, and maybe deals such as this will open our eyes more as we realize nothing will go wrong.

    I donâ


  11. foreign companys run our ports, not governments…as far as i know this too is a company from UAE.

    as i was writing ………….we sure paint ourselves into a corner when we blanket countries who “support terrorist” as countries we won’t deal with. there are terrorists right here in the US of A that we may or maynot know of….sure we don’t support them as a country but they’re here and they’re in england and russia and spain and australia and the list goes on and on. this is a business deal plain and simple in a global economy that depends upon gold diamonds steel food cash information etc…is bush gonna make the money? i doubt it, i’m guessing that the british company is going to. now if they were already making money, there would be no reason to sell unless they were getting lots of money. money making companies rarely sell unless this is true….it’s not a conspiracy, it’s economics.


  12. We only do security scans/inspections on something like 4% of cargo currently. Bush has done nothing for port security. People being up in arms about this is understandable for a LOT of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Islam has been painted as a radical religion and Arab nations as mysterious and unstable threats. Bush threatening his first veto is very suspicious here, but whether or not many people will become very rich on this deal isn’t really a question: we know they will.

    What bugs me is that people aren’t calling bullshit on his homeland security policies. Possible breaches of the Constitution are justifiable in so many minds because of our being in danger… I guess Bush wants to know when the bombs that can so easily be brought into our ports will explode.


  13. Listening to this story on NPR this morning gave me the impression that the change to a Dubai company isn’t really a big deal. For once it sounds to me as though Bush is acting reasonably while other politicians try to exploit the public’s paranoia about all things Arab.


  14. katie: been listening to that too.

    But I think Toby Joe put it well, something I was trying to say (and failing at) earlier: his homeland security tactics basically come off as bullshit based on this new plan. He’s a flip-flopper! ;]


  15. i agree, homeland security is a joke. hell, hurricane katrina proved, that even when we knew what we were dealing with, local, state and federal government is inept in any sort of disaster/emergency situation. a police state is the only way we could possibly control even half of what’s going on in this country, and we all know that won’t happen unless the “commies” take us over. ; )

    these are scare tactics and it’s interesting to see how many politicians are jumping off their old bandwagon of “bush fearmongering against arabs” to their own state of fear and anti-arab sentiment. (I FIND THAT PARTICULARLY FUNNY)oops


  16. “are jumping off their old bandwagon of “bush fearmongering against arabs” to their own state of fear and anti-arab sentiment.”

    Is it that? or they’re calling him a hypocrite? I see it more like that. People think heâ


  17. i think what hes saying or not saying is, ‘business is business’ and that we can all go back to watching american idol.


  18. …while he listens in on who we think should win and how one contender had camel toe.


  19. all i can say is that we stopped putting up signs that say…”irish need not apply”….”no jews”…..”blacks to the back of the bus”……..but right now the bush opposition is saying loud and clear,”No Arab Companies” but they’re not saying it directly because they’re trying to make it look like Bush is screwing up again. so to them it’s more important to defame bush than it is to be a blatant racist! but the left gets away with racist comments constantly. because they claim to be against it and the conservatives are the real racists. but bush does this and he’s not compassionate or open minded, he’s “aparently making a shitload of money off the deal.” it’s bs, that’s all IMHO


  20. but right now the bush opposition is saying loud and clear,”No Arab Companies”

    Are they? Loud and clear? You think?


  21. People don’t call bullshit on Bush’s policies because they’re idiots.

    The policies are in place because the administration is wholly inept. Bush claims he needs the laws/practices to uphold peace. He’s right – he does (need them). The problem is that no real leader would (need them). Not a single ‘goal’ of any administration policy regarding security can’t be met while still ensuring constitutionality and civil rights. The problem is that Bush doesn’t want to try, and even if he did, he probably couldn’t figure out how to do so.

    It’s sad that people are so complacent in the face of sheer ineptitude. It’s even sadder that with all of his egregious transgressions and attempts at absolute power, Bush’s administration still can’t do anything right.

    It’s really pathetic that Bush couldn’t do his job within the law, and he’s still failing while breaching it.


  22. sure michele, what does it sound like to you? eliminate the overtones of “national security” and “bush Lied” and look at what’s happening. this is a business deal plain and simple and until national security is broken, bush has no authority to stop this and neither does congress. unless congress/media drums up enough FEAR (anti-marab-muslim) in the “people” to warrant such legislation. our national security, though inept, still has to opperate as action/reaction in this type of situation. denial of UAE company from purchasing a port is definining them as guilty before they have done anything wrong. sure their may have been terrorists from that country, but so what? it’s backwards and it’s racist. all of a sudden people who were agaist racial profiling at airports, public places,etc are now racially profiling companies, why? aren’t they good enough for us? aparently not. it’s still profiling and it’s still racist and the media is so stupid not to see it, but they’re right there with the anti-bushes are straight up being racist and i love it.


  23. There are many people on the right who are against this deal, as well, for what it’s worth.

    On the note of racism vs. terrorism as a motive, the UAE has in the past proven to be a financial and logistical hub for terrorism and was the center of the Khan nuclear materials black market. This seems, to me, to be a bipartisan effort not to block all Arab nations from doing business in the U.S. but an attempt to keep a country with a history of being a hub for terrorists from owning one of our most vulnerable assets and inherently eliminating the oceans-as-moat security model we’ve had in place for a while.

    Until I see universal attempts to squash Arab businesses, I’m gonna call bullshit on the racism claims. Apprehensions here are following a safety-first model. This isn’t a universal initiative, but a single, discrete circumstance.


  24. Calling this racially motivated is like calling a policy against hiring felons racist because ONE person who is turned down if of a given race. Let’s call it what it is:



  25. Greg, I’m not sure it’s that simple. How would people feel if it was North Korea or Cuba or Iran? Does it make it racist to not want to open our ports to a corporation who most likely have numerous people working for them who don’t like us right now and for very good reason? Is that being racist? Or is it being cautious.

    Given our occupancy of Iraq and how we’re treating Arabs, don’t you think that by giving an Arab company who will employ Arab men and women(?) the freedom to manage our ports we’re potentially opening ourselves up to danger?

    What if an airline was being sold to an Arab run company, do you think people would be afraid to use said airline?

    While I see your point and I understand how it can and will be seen as racist, America isnâ


  26. On Sunday, the Australian government issued this warning to its citizens in the UAE:

    “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against Western interests in the UAE. Commercial and public areas frequented by foreigners are possible terrorist targets.”


  27. i know it’s not that simple, and i’m not saying it is. i don’t want the sale and it makes me wonder if i’m being racist or full of fear. what i’m seeing is more people accepting fear where there shouldn’t be. sure there’s terrorism threats everywhere but it doesn’t stop the world economy in its tracks. just because terrorist money goes through UAE doesn’t mean that the company buying the ports is hand in hand with them. the media if filling us with fear and the president is trying to reasure us there is no reason to fear. but why is this particular instance causing so much fear? and change of heart. racism is not the intent, but it is a reaction that could be ferreted out depending on the politics of the individual watching what is happening.


  28. “Does it make it racist to not want to open our ports to a corporation who most likely have numerous people working for them who don’t like us right now and for very good reason? Is that being racist? Or is it being cautious.”

    Thats being racist.

    I “fucking hate” the US administration. Most people in the US i know “fucking hates” the US administration. Every European I know “fucking hates” the US administration. Most Europeans I don’t know “fucking hate” the US administration. In fact, most of the world “fucking hates” the US administration.

    This is being singled out because its an Arab company. More than that, its an arab company with an arab name “DUBAI ports world”, based in a country with arab in the name “united ARAB emeriates”.

    North Korea, Cuba, and Iran are ‘enemy states’ – their GOVERNMENTS oppose the US, and i’m pretty sure that there is no official diplomatic relations with those countries.

    The US and the UAE have good diplomatic relations. As far as I know, there is no mention of state-sponsored terrorism from the UAE – in fact, the UAE tends to be pro american in a lot of respsects (they tend to be neutral, but are very pro business , which means they often side with the US ).

    To quote the us state dept:
    The United States has enjoyed friendly relations with the U.A.E. since 1971. Private commercial ties, especially in petroleum, have developed into friendly government-to-government ties which include security assistance. The breadth, depth, and quality of U.S.-U.A.E. relations increased dramatically as a result of the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. In 2002, the U.S. and the U.A.E. launched a strategic partnership dialogue covering virtually every aspect of the relationship. The U.A.E. has been a key partner in the war on terror after September 11, 2001. The United States was the third country to establish formal diplomatic relations with the U.A.E. and has had an ambassador resident in the U.A.E. since 1974.

    The only known thing that the UAE as a government has in relation to arab terrorists is race. As far as I’m concerned, that makes any anti-UAE ‘security’ concern racist so long as any other country is considered a viable source. The UAE is effectively as much a threat as the UK in this scenario.


  29. I don’t even know what to say to that. So, I’ll avoid it entirely.


  30. i do agree jonathan, and we all know you hate the administration : ), i don’t hate them, but i sure as hell don’t agree with the administration for alot of things, but i do agree this is a very polarizing subject and i see the poles flipping.


  31. I will say this, I would have no problem with an Arab company out of England. I do have a problem with one run in a country with a history of funding terrorists.

    Call me whatever the hell you want, Jon (and anyone), but yes, I see this as a security issue.


  32. England hasn’t served as the base for a black market for nuclear materials.

    Tony Blair hasn’t gone on hunting trips with Osama bin Laden, as Emirati royals have.

    England doesn’t have travel rules that are lax enough to be worrisome.

    The people who are against this deal are only calling for an investigation into national security concerns, after all. They’re doing so because, not only is such an investigation fully legal, but it concerns a state with a very recent and very clear history of acting as a hub for many terrorist groups. To me it seems like common sense to allow for an investigation. If a similar history were assigned to an individual, it would constitute probable cause.


  33. Jon, you’re always so quick to lay on the hate. First, you insult an entire country and you compare it to a state. Coming from someone else, I might know it was a joke. But coming from you, it just seems hateful. Tell me, do you ever write about things that bring you joy? Do you ever write telling someone how amazing they are? Do you ever stop for a second and say, “Wow, _ makes me happy.”?

    Because, I gotta be honest with you, I haven’t ever seen it. I’m not sure whether I should feel sorry for you or allow you to make me feel angry.

    Greg, I don’t hate the administration either. I’m just not sure this is a wise move.

    But I won’t lose sleep over it.

    But I might lose sleep over how what I’ve written here be misunderstood.


  34. I just realized that all the claims about racism, etc, are fully unsubstantiated and speculative. I discount them based not only on that, but that, as I said, a larger pattern or official policy that spans more than one case would have to be proven. Who has said that they support an investigation because the citizens of the UAE are Arab? Has anyone, or have they all said that they want an investigation due to the UAE links to terrorism in the past?

    What can you guys actually substantiate?


  35. substantiate? absolutely nothing actually, but that wasn’t my point. speculative, absolutely, i’m just pointing out an obsevation. i’m seeing fear promoted in the press to gain public opinion and put pressure on the administration to act…” in the name of public security”…in order to stop the US from allowing a private sale of a port(6). i just doubt there would be much of a stink if it were to be sold to say canada….and don’t forget there are terrorists living in canada. i’m not trying to step on toes, i’m just pointing out that people outside of the US could see this and exploit it just as i’ve noticed it. i can’t prove it’s intent, but it sure makes sense when i strip off all the “political hype and terrorism scare” crap.


  36. “i just doubt there would be much of a stink if it were to be sold to say canada”

    True. Canada doesn’t have the same history as the UAE.

    I think we might be talking in circles at this point. No offense to anyone. I think I steered it that way, actually. :]


  37. I’m cool with arabs running the ports. Import more camel toe! And cigarettes.


  38. here’s how the world is starting to see this, it doesn’t matter much how we see it. this is the fear i have of this type of politicising / press fear-o-mania”…….

    here’s a link from rueters



  39. Re: UAE a ‘bullshit country’—it’s a tiny nation with only 15% of its population as its own citizens. The bulk of the population is there to take advantage of the business oriented legal system. Maybe my choice of words was poor – but the country is essentially a tax shelter for international corporations who make use of their lax laws and often set up operations and fly in workers from 3rd world countries to exploit.

    b- Yes, I write happy things too.

    c – I didn’t call anyone a racist. I said that a certain reasoning is racist.

    d- re: Substantiation of Racism by officials
    Watch the news. Every network is spinning it with the fear of ‘arabs in control of our ports’. Thats a racial concern, plain and simple. Every news pundit has correlated Ports -> Dubai -> September 11th -> Arab and jumbled everything together. Not all arabs are terrorists, not all terrorists are arab. According to the news, however, Arabs are coming and we should be outraged.

    If you watch interviews with Schumer and Pete King, in their entirety, instead of the edited soundbits, you’ll see that one minute they’re talking about a full security review to substantiate that transitions are appropriate (which is expected and common sense), but then lose track and talk extensively about this company being arab owned and talk about 9/11 this and that to pander and get support for their cause. They’re playing the race card.

    Other congressional members are speaking out that a port in a ‘post 9/11’ world controlled by arabs is unconscionable, yet they have no issue with ports in control of other nations. No one has addressed how security measures from a Dubai owned company would be different than a British owned company.

    I was wrong about something though – Dubai Ports World is a state owned company. That means this would literally make these ports controlled by another nation. Thats a very discomforting thought.


  40. Outsourcing flows to various countries depending on what expertise they have developed.

    As illustrated by the fact that in Heaven, all the policemn are British, the mechanics are German, the chefs are French, the organizers are Swiss, and the lovers are Italian.

    And in Hell, all the chefs are British, mechanics are French, policemen are German, lovers are Swiss, and the orgaizers are Italian.

    There you have it.



  41. Or to keep balance with the other side of the World …

    Heaven is to live in Mexico, on an AMerican salary, with a Japanese wife.

    Hell is to live in Japan, on a Mexican salary, with an American wi- ouch! hey, she hit me!


  42. I just woke up went to my daily dose of Mihow…OMG a storm is brewing. Let me drink my cup of Kaffee and read these posts. i am sure I will have something to say!!!!


  43. Jonathon,

    None of the 9/11 bombers were Emarati. They transitted through Dubai. I believe they transitted through a few other world airports including American ones.


  44. Toby joe

    we receive those warnings weekly. we all do. Americans, canadians, brits….they are nothing. I received them in morocco and Taiwan. It is like the embassies insursnce policy to be able to say i told you so. I feel you get the same message in america daily. I get Fox news here and they have the terror colour bar as elevated every day.


  45. I don’t really have anything to add except.

    I would believe that the company would only be UAE money. Almost all the companies here are run by “Western” management teams. the emaraties themselves are not really educated in a system that would be conducive to international business, except for the few who have been educated , in lets say Texas like my nieghbour.

    This is shooting my own foot here….we don’t have addresses here. So if your house is burning down you have to call the fire department and tell them to go past the shopping mall, take a left at the incensee burner roundabout, right at the pink mosque and then follow the smoke. If you were having a heart attack I have no idea how they would find you. So I can hardly imagine them running a port but I can see their money financing it!

    That was so racist. I don’t want to be racist. But that is a truth i live with daily.

    PS..whoever up there said that Blair hasn’t hunted with Osama…are you sure? I would bet that Bush has hunted with Bin Ladens.


  46. Sorry jonathon,

    i was wrong. one was born here. that doesn’t necessarily make him emarati but still he was born here… anyway he’s from a back water emirate where they just deported a guy for having sex with a caml…he really was in love with the camel is his defence.

    Whay I am trying to say anyway is 1) I was wrong and 2) this is a collection of emirates each with their own laws and standards of morality. Dubai is extremely western and their only source of income is tourism and commerce. The people there just want to keep things running smoothly so they can keep getting money to send home to their families. Ras Al khama (where alshehhi was from) is poorly educated and economically repressed. they have no oil and no commerce.

    As i said before terrorism would be best fought over here with education not indoctrination and the eradication of global poverty.


  47. not to switch the theme of this discussion from the fears of terrorism that this deal brings to the surface, but why aren’t more people talking about how this smacks of the bush administration’s back-room, secretive, nepotism-like dealings and nominations that have permeated his tenure in office for the last five years? i’m not saying that the president and his men in previous administrations have never not given preferential treatment to those who have helped him along in his journey, but the bush administration has taken it to a new level. we’re not talking about the diplomatic envoy to Luxembourg here. these are some pretty high profile positions and contracts that have been going to people with direct ties to bush, cheney, oil, texas, you name it.

    every time something like this happens, I get that sneaking suspicion I will wake up one day and realize that I no longer live in the United States of America, but in the Corporation of Bush, Cheney, and Friends… if that hasn’t already happened.

    I sometimes (okay alot of the time) feel like politics play a definite second fiddle to business with this administration. that bush and all his political bumblings is a big ol’ smokescreen for what is really going on behind the curtain.

    ok, now you can tear me apart.


  48. No way I’m going to tear you apart for that comment.

    We talked about this last night. Why does Bush NOT want Congress to have their investigation before the deal goes through? Why has he vowed to veto such a request? What does he have to hide with this deal? What is actually going on?


  49. There is an open plan right now to make the UAE a free market and, hopefully (if you’re a corporations-first thinker) spread that to the entire middle east. There’s the backroom nepotism for you, Aimee. As Rachel Maddow said this morning, when Republicans are doing something that doesn’t seem to make much sense, big business is always the silent partner.

    So here’s to exploitation of people, environmental destruction, and all the additional benefits of “free” markets!


  50. But environmental ddestruction doesn’t matter as the true damage won’t be seen during our life time. You know how it is, who gives a shit about future generations! Today, they can be rich! Rich! Rich!


  51. i was more referring to David Sanborn and Treasury Secretary John Snow with the whole backroom nepotism thing. I just feel like some time down the road, someone’s finally going to connect all the Bush administration’s dots and we’re going to have one hell of a constellation. I just think by that point it will be way too late.


  52. manchurian global, anyone?


  53. I think the constellation might look like this:

    click me


  54. hey that’s pretty good!


  55. and I bet you’ll be able to see it perfectly in the nighttime sky over Palm Island…


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