I have been covering the Dubai port deal, and how idiotic our congress has been acting in this matter, completely ignoring the real security threats in our transportation chain. The 'newest' threat identified just this week in the press is the high number of truck drivers with criminal records. Just look at all of the bills introduced in Congress over this issue lately. (See: Congressional Action:UAE DP World Port Deal - "Dubai Hysteria") In the long run, the big losers in all this will be the incumbent Republicans that fought this deal. They have shown their true colors. I was an independent, and it was President Bush who brought me into the Republican Party, with a small helping of the Democrats who pushed me to the Republican side. But now I am stuck with lots of crappy Republicans in Congress. They should not count on my support. They were too quick to abandon the President for my liking. Stanley Bing, a columnist for Fortune, wrote in 2000 "Fifteen things you young people need to know about comportment." A good number of Congressional Republicans broke Rule Ten:
Congress also broke Rule Three:
Be loyal. even when it is to your detriment. That kind of behavior has a way of getting noticed and appreciated in your target audience. As does the lack of it.
Be really nice to everybody you can be nice to. If you must be tough with somebody, don't overdo it. And if you have a choice between screwing somebody or helping him get a little bit out of the deal, do the latter. People will come to see you as someone who deserves to win and will rejoice in your success.
Have some insight about what you can and cannot do. That will make it unnecessary for others to point it out.
Problem is, by not understanding what this deal entails, you cannot understand what the threats really are. For one thing, a terrorist is not going to tell a shipping company or a port terminal operator what he is shipping around. Look at the drug trade. How often are containers full of drugs 'stuffed' by people who work in the ports? (essentially never.) So if the drug trade does not need access to port details, why do terrorists need this sort of access?
Anyway, Malkin is right. Terrorists come from Arab Countries. However, there are many types of Arabs. Those in this deal are not the terrorist type. Even if they were, this deal does not give them any access. Here is where Malkin is wrong. They would not control the ships going back and forth. They do not control the visa process required for anyone in that Company to come to the US, other than the American Employees who do not require visas. The Terminal Operator also has no control over security. They would barely have any control over their employees, most of which are supplied by the local unions.
Killing this deal also denies US Intelligence groups potential access to container movements around the world. Aren't we trying to track the movement of WMD around the world. Just how does Ms. Malkin suggest we do that? Forget the possibility that Boeing might lose a multi-billion dollar contract with Emerites Airlines. What about that container full of explosives destined for a US Embassy somewhere in the world?
Also, if the UAE is such a dangerous place, how come US soldiers and sailors (and Merchant seafarers) aren't being gunned down, kidnapped, or targeted in any way in the UAE? I thought that place was full of radicals? For that matter, if this Company is so dangerous, does that make the American Executives of this Company traitors?
This whole issue was handled poorly. While many conservatives came out against this deal, once they learned more about it, their opinions changed and I give them credit for being brave enough to admit that their initial reactions might have been a little overboard. Some, like Malkin, appear to be digging holes on this issue. Until now, I have never seen negative comments from Conservatives about Malkin. It will be interesting to see how she deals with it, or decides to ignore it and more on. Perhaps moving on it the best way to go. This is easier said than done. I for one demand accountability, but from Congress, not from her.
Finally, here is Rule Eight which applies to bloggers like myself, where despite all our efforts, our Blogs seem to just simmer with a handful of visitors each day:
Don't be bitter at the success of others. Their status has nothing to do with you, even though you may feel as if it does. There will always be people more successful than you, many of whom are less talented or worthy. That's the nature of existence. Why worry about it? You'll eat yourself up from the inside out, and it won't change a thing. Be happy instead. I know it seems stupid and impossible, but try.
Fifteen things you young people need to know about comportment - Fortune
Other FFI Posts on the Port Deal:
Why the UAE is so Important to the Navy and America - 9 March 06
Congress Reaction "Ignorant, Scaremongering" - Maritime Industry - 8 March 06
NJ Senator Lautenberg - "Dubai Hysteria" Victim - 8 March 06
UAE DP World Port Deal - Endorsed by Israeli Shipping Line - 3 March 06
Congressional Action:UAE DP World Port Deal - "Dubai Hysteria" - 2 March 06
Try this Port threat on for Size - 20 February 06
UAE DP World Port Deal is a Non-Issue - 19 February 06