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Who should control American Ports?

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Should companies based in foreign countries be allowed to control U.S. ports?

Yes
10
29%
No
25
71%
 
Total votes : 35

Who should control American Ports?

Postby knapplc » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:24 pm

I don't want to start a flame war here, and I'm hoping I won't, but I'm really interested to hear what everyone thinks about this proposed deal which would give a United Arab Emirates-based company control over some major US ports.

The big deal is that two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE, and the UAE has historically been a haven for people with ties to terrorism. That doesn't mean that this company has ties to terrorism, or that the UAE government harbors or sympathizes with terrorists, mind you.

Here's a quote from the article on CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday defended a deal that would let a United Arab Emirates-based company run some key U.S. seaports, telling reporters that he would veto any bill to hold up the agreement.

Bush, who has yet to veto a bill during his administration, warned that the United States is sending "mixed signals" by attacking a Middle Eastern company after the ports were run by a British firm for several years.

Lawmakers who have called for the deal to be blocked need to "step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard," he said.

Among the lawmakers from both parties threatening to hold up the deal is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"If the administration cannot delay the process, I plan on introducing legislation to ensure that the deal is placed on hold until this decision gets a more thorough review," Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said.

The administration has faced criticism this week over its decision to let a subsidiary of UAE government-controlled maritime management firm Dubai Ports World run ports in New York and New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana.


So answer the poll question, and by all means explain your answer below.

My thought is pretty much this - I don't care if you're Osama Bin Laden or the Prime Minister of Great Britain, I don't want a foreigner controlling US ports, plain and simple. I think this sort of thing should be in control of Americans. That's my gut feeling.

The only problem is, with companies being so multinational these days, what really is an "American company" anymore?
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Postby flotsamnjetsam » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:31 pm

No way. I can't even believe this is a possibility. Would any other country in the world want the U.S. to control their ports?
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Postby knapplc » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:34 pm

flotsamnjetsam wrote:No way. I can't even believe this is a possibility. Would any other country in the world want the U.S. to control their ports?

Well, that's just it. We do. We control lots of ports in lots of countries.

We even control Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. How's that? Would we let the Cubans control a bay on our soil?

It's an odd world we live in these days. Sometimes it's hard to know who your enemies are, and even harder to know who your friends are.
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Postby maddog60 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:35 pm

I'm opposed to any foreign based company running the securityfor the same reasons I'm opposed to having parts for our tanks and jets, etc, made in foreign nations.
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Postby Goatwhacker » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:38 pm

I'll admit to some mixed feelings, but I have to vote yes. It goes back to the posts last week where we were in the position of having to keep our Arab friends and avoid our Arab enemies. The UAE is overall our ally in the war on terror, if we had no problems with England running some of our ports we should have no problems with a UAE company doing so.

I think both GOP and Democrats are making political hay out of this, the GOP probably drawing on some anti-Muslim sentiment and the Democrats doing their usual knee-jerk disagreeing with George Bush. I don't see what Bush has to gain by this as he is taking flak from both sides - just maybe he is standing up for what he thinks is right. There is talk of a veto but the Congress probably has the votes to override it. Very interesting situation politically.

Edit- oops didn't make myself very clear - Congress is considering a bill to prevent the UAE company from getting the contract, Bush has said he may veto such a bill.
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Postby flotsamnjetsam » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:47 pm

knapplc wrote:
flotsamnjetsam wrote:No way. I can't even believe this is a possibility. Would any other country in the world want the U.S. to control their ports?

Well, that's just it. We do. We control lots of ports in lots of countries.

We even control Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. How's that? Would we let the Cubans control a bay on our soil?

It's an odd world we live in these days. Sometimes it's hard to know who your enemies are, and even harder to know who your friends are.


"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

Maybe I should change my vote. ;-7
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Postby Wizzle » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:57 pm

I voted; No.
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Postby TN_Titans_05 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:58 pm

This sounds like a anti Bush post Knapp....like any of us are going to say we want UAE to control some of our best ports.
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Re: Who should control American Ports?

Postby The_Dude » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:00 am

knapplc wrote:
My thought is pretty much this - I don't care if you're Osama Bin Laden or the Prime Minister of Great Britain, I don't want a foreigner controlling US ports, plain and simple. I think this sort of thing should be in control of Americans. That's my gut feeling.

The only problem is, with companies being so multinational these days, what really is an "American company" anymore?


Well, crap... I just wrote a long answer and then lost it...

so, I'll sum up since I don't want to write the whole thing again...

*I agree that American ports should be controlled by American companies (and not Canadian, or British, or Iraqi or UAE or Finnish or Bolivian companies), but that the issue of multinationals does indeed cloud this.

*I am honestly very surprised about the Bush admin's position on this, and question why in the hell is so convinced this is a good idea - to go so far as to threaten a veto. The Republican leadership is killing him right now, and we have a real live, non-partisan executive/legislative checks and balances fight on our hands here. I am interested to see how things play out, but I think Bush is going to lose in the court of public opinion on this one.
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Postby Wizzle » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:00 am

TN_Titans_05 wrote:This sounds like a anti Bush post Knapp....like any of us are going to say we want UAE to control some of our best ports.


No doubt. Bush is an idiot. Look at what he has ALREADY done to our economy. He should be impeached.
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