Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dubai Ports World, and other lingering issues

I've been wanting to comment on the American stupidity that created the fiasco around Dubai Ports (DP) World taking over operations at six US ports. The same kind of superb reasoning that mothers in American suburbia used when they voted for Bush, you know, because they feel safer walking into a mall with him being the president! American legislators deemed that it would endanger America's security to have an Arab owned company manage some American ports. It does not matter that managing the ports has nothing to do with security, that it's mainly a logistical task, and that security is in the hands of US Coast Guard and Customs Department, have an Arab owned company, or the boogie man, manage the ports is a no no.

Of all Arab countries, the company was bought by the United Arab Emirates, and of the seven Emirates, it was Dubai that closed the deal to acquire the previously British corporation. Now the UAE has always been friendly to the US, and Dubai has got to be one of the most open, liberal, business oriented, multi-cultural metropolis in the Arab world. But that does not matter, they're the bad guys, they're Arab.

A funny twist to this whole issue, is that Bush, the right-wing conservative, tough-on-security, strong-against-terrorism, smoke-them-out-of-their-caves guy, was all for the deal. While the Democrats fanatically opposed even giving DP World a chance. I guess that's to be expected in a day and age when a republican president, wait.. The neo-con republican president, advocates the use of alternative energy sources and tells his fellow Americans that they are addicted to gas. Seriously, what's happening in the world? FUCK politics.

Less than an hour ago, (R) Sen. John Warner announced on the senate floor that DP World has given up on the deal, and the firm is to transfer port operations to a US entity. The reason given in the statement DP World released was "Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the US operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity". Damn right! The UAE should also apologize to the US for causing such a concern over homeland security. If it's not apparent, I'm extremely bitter. Way to reward your friends America.

A couple more things I wanted to rant about and didn't get the chance to are, Paradise Now the movie, I was really rooting for it to win an Oscar but I guess it just wasn't meant to be, I didn't see the other films that were nominated in the same category so I won't comment on whether it was more deserving of a win. But I will say that I was extremely disappointed to hear the country of origin change from Palestine to The Palestinian Territories, retarded really. Turns out Israel has some control over Hollywood, the media and US policy, who would've THUNK it!!

The other issue is Hamas and their election win, I was watching a hearing for the US House Committee on International Relations on C-SPAN, and learned that the US has already retrieved over $50 million of this year's funds from the Palestinian Authority through the current interim government. The US is making sure that no cash whatsoever finds its way to a Hamas controlled government, they stated that medical and food assistance would continue as planned. It's just that cash is necessary for the flow of day to day business and for paying of salaries and such, I wonder if a Hamas government would be able to handle that, especially if the Europeans follow suit and withhold funds as well. How would Hamas cope? If alternative funding sources step up to the plate, who would they be? And what kind of problems would that create for the Palestinian Authority?

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