Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way

Here's a few more facts that I've found while researching the DP World/ US ports issue:

P & O is strictly a container-handling company and has no role in the roll-on, roll-off sector of cargo.

The firm that DP World beat out in the bidding war for P & O was PSA International in Singapore. The port company, PSA, is backed by the Singapore government. DP World beat out PSA in Dec. 2004 for the port business of the American rail company CSX.

DP World is buying up a British company that leases terminals in American ports. The ports are US owned. To lease a terminal at a US port means running some business operations there – contracting with shipping lines, loading and unloading cargo and hiring local labor.

Several companies will lease terminals at a single port. In New Orleans, DP World will be just one of eight companies that lease and operate terminals at the port.

DP World bought the rights to operate up to 30% of the terminals at each of the six ports. In Baltimore, DP World would operate only 2 of the 14 terminals.

Foreign companies already own most of the maritime infrastructure that sustains American trade.

Thirty percent of US port terminals are operated by companies that are non-American.

Port of Los Angeles, 80% of the terminals are operated by foreign companies. Chinese companies operate more than half the terminals.

Internationally 24 of the 25 largest companies that operate Port terminals are not American.

DP World already handles port calls for US Navy ships from the 5th fleet for their regular port calls in the United Arab Emirates.

UAE is a series of 7 sheikdoms along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Have been steadfast US allies since the country’s independence in 1971. The oil rich area has close military and economic ties with America.

UAE hosts about 3500 US servicemembers, mostly Air Force.

The facilities at Dubai are the only ones large enough in the region to handle aircraft carriers.

In 1999, the emirates bought 80 US F-16s.

Air Force U2 spy planes and Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft have been based at al-Dhafra air base, along with KC-10 aerial refueling planes.

Administration negotiated assurances with Dubai Ports – required mandatory participation in US security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials (33 other port companies participate in these voluntarily). Coast Guard inspecting Dubai Ports’ facilities in the US.

1988 law commonly called the Exon-Florio provision which restricts foreign direct investment on the basis of national security criteria. It requires the president or his designated agent – the foreign investment committee – to consider “the control of domestic industries and commercial activity by foreign citizens as it affects the capability and capacity of the US to meet the requirements of national security”.

Also cleared by regulatory agencies under the US Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act

So there are so verifiable FACTS. Not the overblown media catch phrases. Here's a sample of reports in the media. Compare with the facts listed above and in my previous post...

“…The first-ever sale involving US port operations to a foreign, state owned company…”

“…it would put Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations…”

“US terms for approving an Arab company’s takeover of operations at six major American ports are insufficient to guard against terrorist infiltration.”

“…the company given permission to take over the port operations…”

“As President Bush stood behind the transfer of some US port operations to a UAE Company…”

Mayor Martin O’Malley – “we’re being told they’re allies and we should trust them”… “flabbergasted by the explanations…” “outrageous decision to turn over the operations of our port to a foreign government.”

“it is ridiculous to say you’re taking secret steps to make sure that it’s OK for a nation that had ties to 9/11, to take over part of our port operations in many of our largest ports.” Sen. Barbara Boxer

“…ports will go under contract to a government-owned company in the UAE.”

“…a government-owned company from a hostile region should not operate American ports…”

"A company in the UAE is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism."

"...won approval from a secretive US government panel..."

Now compare the facts with the media reports. Is it any wonder why everyone is running around like Chicken Little screaming "the sky is falling"? The American people are being played like a violin by the media, the Democrats and some Republicans that are trying to score political points in an election year.

I am disappointed that so many pundits and experts that I admire and value their opinions have been so quick to just spout the media line without doing any research on their own. I've seen more reports from "tipsters" and "former UAE employees" being thrown around by well known writers that two weeks ago were calling for the heads of writers using the same type of sources for the NSA stories. Like I said before, who has been unwavering in support of national security since Sept 11? Couple that with the facts and you have enough information to make your own decision...

UAE Co. poised to Oversee Six US Ports - ABC News
Dubai Wins Bidding Battle for P & O - NYTimes 2/11/06
P & O Shareholders okay DP World's $6.8 bn bid
Oil's a Means, Not an End at Dubai Inc. - NYTimes 2/17/06
Ehrlich, O'Malley Continue Objections
In Defense of Dubai
Joint Chiefs Chairman Myers Begins Visit to Gulf Allies
Lawmakers Undeterred by Bush Veto Threat
Questions, answers on deal to let Arab company run Terminals
Lawmakers Decry Takeover of US Ports
Scotch the Ports Deal
US, UAE Have Sensitive Relationship

UPDATES: AJ Strata has an excellent update here.
Sister Toldjah has a comprehensive review on the whole ports issue here.

No comments: