February 22, 2006

Media Still Behind on Port's Deal

Now that the Port's deal finally made front page news, I'm still noticing that the media is missing the boat on a few crucial issues. Maybe I'm just ahead of the game.

Dubai Ports World is borrowing the money to become a major security risk in America:

DP World, $6.5bn loan for P&O
United Arab Emirates: Saturday, February 18 - 2006 at 10:34
State owned Dubai Ports World is to raise $6.5bn next week to fund its purchase of Dubai Ports World, a $200m revolving credit facility and $6.3bn five-year syndicated loan, the largest ever loan facility raised in the Middle East. Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank are joint lead arrangers, with some 30 banks expected to take part in the syndication.

I lost a lot of respect for Bill O'Reilly when I heard him last night calling the UAE America's best ally in the Middle East and he thought it was disasterous to back out of this deal because it will offend the Arabs. "Offend the Arabs?," if it isn't this, it will be another thing. The last thing anyone should worry about is dancing on eggshells avoiding offending Arabs.
As far as the UAE being friends of the USA, check out the Zogby Poll results from an October poll (Partially Sponsored by Young Arab Leaders and The Arab American Institute). 500 interviews conducted in UAE, from Oct. 18-24, 2005 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. Of these, 101 were Emirati citizens. Slight weights were applied to religion, age, education, nationality, and city to more accurately reflect the adult population. MOE for the sample of 101 is +/- 10.0 percentage points:

Please tell me if your overall impression of each is very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or if you are not familiar enough to form a judgment.

Favorable 32%... Unfavorable 66%

In the past year, how has your attitude towards the United States changed? Is it now…?

Better 8%...Worse 58%...Same 31%

How can you let a state owned company run 6 ports in America when two thirds of the people from that state owned company admittedly hold the USA in disfavor?

One more thing, from what the US Committee on Foreign Investments, has only turned down 1 deal out of 1500 ("In the 17 years since it was created, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. has completed reviews of more than 1,500 foreign takeovers. Of those, it has forwarded only 12 for presidential review. And only one--a Chinese takeover of a Seattle aerospace parts-maker--was rejected, in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.") They make their decisions based on business and economics, not security. I've yet to see any evidence that this deal was scrutinized by Homeland Security.

I'm a firm believer that the majority of Americans voted Republican, not George Bush Jr., in the last election. And now Bush's two strongest allies in this Ports deal are the UAE and Jimmy Carter. If a US Presidential election was to be held tomorrow, Bush would get 2% of the popular vote because of his stance here.

Free trade and capitalism is one thing, but the line has to be drawn because of the War on Terror. Would it be acceptable if the UAE bought airplane schools, nuclear plants or anthrax manufacturing facilities in the US too? I'm pretty sure the Committee on Foreign Investment would approve the deals as being clean.


  1. Well, MSNBC and FOX are both reporting that Bush was in the dark on the deal until it was already approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments.


    Ok, I was partly right when I said on Sunday that I thought Bush didn't know about this deal. I feel a little better, now knowing my gut instinct is somewhat accurate. Man, this is a screwy story.

    I didn't think he would be this protective of this obviously bad deal though.

    However, it is in character for Bush has always delegated power since he became president. He is standing behind the judgment of his advisors, instead of his political party. Its one of his strengths. This time, its his weakness.


  2. I just added some more research to my post. About the Committee on Foreign Investment.
    You have to wonder how and why this was kept from Bush until the weekend.