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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Monday, February 20, 2006

Port security sellout?

Many have raised concerns regarding a Dubai based business purchasing U.S. port operations. The issues being that security may be compromised, as it is hard enough to secure the ports and shipping without having a company from a Muslim country involved.

I am concerned as well and think we should take it slow. I don't really care to move at the speed of Democrats criticizing the administration, as they only see a political opportunity. Still, prudence is required in these times and perhaps we should take another very close look, before proceeding.

Michelle Malkin covers the concerns here.

Dubai Ports, after all, is owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose banking system - considered the commercial center of the Arab world - provided most of the cash for the 9/11 hijackers. Indeed, much of the operational planning for the World Trade Center attacks took place inside the UAE.

And while the Bush folks now consider the UAE a major ally in the war against terror, the Treasury Department has been stonewalled by the emirates, and other Arab countries, in trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts. The new leader of Dubai, one of the seven small countries that make up the UAE, has said all the right things about fighting radical Islam since 9/11. But this remains very much an Islamist nation, where preaching any religion other than Islam is prohibited.

She has much more, be sure to read it all.

On the other side of the issue is this view.

Folks, it is best to research a subject before going off in a panic of ineundo and incorrect information (which leads to wild conclusions).

Port Operations are not security or ownership. It is traffic control, trash and clean up, etc. Security and the law are handled by the Coast Guard as part of Homeland Defense and normal law enforcement (local, state and Federal).


BTW, I can think of no scenario to sneak something into our ports (bribing folks to look the other, placing people sympathetic to Bin Laden) that cannot be done under the current arrangement - easier. Not one scenario is made easier with the UAE owenership of the parent company and the visibility of this issue. In fact, I would not be surprised that the UAE company looks at the risk of being blamed for any successful attack and possibly backs out of the deal. Which of course, if this happens, confirms everyone was wrong. A sincere UAE company would back out, an Al Qaeda plot would ignore the concerns and focus on their objective.

That is not to say if the UAE company hangs in there they are part of an Al Qaeda plot. There are a myriad of reasons they may hang in (prodding by our government, a pride to show they are not animals, a need to show people they are not a risk). But a pull out would definitely remove the Al Qaeda possibility.

Again, read the whole thing.

Some good points are made on both sides. For some the UAE is moving out of the extremism that infects so much of the Muslim world and port security is not affected; others, care not for taking what appears to be a risk that can be avoided. Some are leveling the charge of racism against those who object to this company or country being involved. I would disagree with that, as we have seen, there were some connections to 9-11 through the UAE. The dangerous times we live in demand caution, we missed dots and connections before, we need to be confident we are not doing the same again.


Other blogs to check out:

Jo's Cafe has Monday Specials
Mudville Gazette has an Open Post
The Land of Ozz has Open Post Monday - WayBackMachine
Blue Star Chronicles has What Everybody's Talking About
third world county has Monday Open Post
basil's blog is having a Picnic

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