Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Their Own Words

One of the arguments some defenders of the UAE/ports deal make is that the UAE is an important antiterrorism partner of the United States. Mansoor Ijaz writes at NRO:
Whatever the UAE's policies in the pre-9/11 world (whether as home to A. Q. Khan's illicit nuclear network, one of three Taliban embassies, questionable banking practices, or as an alleged repository for Iranian-terror funds), Dubai's record under these young leaders in the post 9/11 world reflects serious and structural change in national strategy. As Jim Robbins noted Tuesday, in December 2004, Dubai was the first Middle East government to accept the U.S. Container Security Initiative as policy to screen all containers for security hazards before heading to America. In May 2005, Dubai signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to prevent nuclear materials from passing through its ports. It also installed radiation-detecting equipment -- evidence of a commitment to invest in technology. In October 2005, the UAE Central Bank directed banks and financial institutions in the country to tighten their internal systems and controls in their fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Whatever the myth and reality of the DP World ports deal, citing the antiterrorism credentials of the UAE is hardly convincing. There's no escaping the fact that before 9/11, the UAE took a less than rigorous approach to terrorism; color me unconvinced that it's a priority for them even now. But don't take my word for it. They'll tell you that themselves. For those who haven't seen it, here's the link to an interview in which Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman of DP World and one of the UAE's leading businessmen, ranks the threats that concern him. Note where "terrorism" and "weapons of mass destruction" place on the list. Remember, this is someone overseeing a global logistics, customs and ports network in a post-9/11 world.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting find. This may be one case where watching what they say (at least when they think no one's listening) is just as important as watching what they do.

2/23/2006 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see:
- contributed to the support and training of jihadis in Afghanistan? Yes, the U.S. government did that (to defeat the Soviets).
- supported the Taliban pre-9/11? Yes, the U.S. government did that, too.

Need I go on? So tell me again how the UAE government is so evil.

Well, they differ from the U.S. government on one point: they haven't let the Communist Chinese government run a bunch of _their_ ports. Tsk, tsk.

2/23/2006 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! This "scandal" is over! Please let it die!

2/23/2006 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai wants IT business as well as U.S. ports

Oh yeh, they can develop our infrastructure code for our nuclear and energy facilities, banking, and security. Icks!

I don't know how it is in Dubai, but I've read, in Kuwait citizens get free education including college and free medical care.

Also when a couple gets married the Emir gives them a $12k wedding gift :-) But unfortunately women don't have the right to vote but they are still considered to be a "democracy".

2/23/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this supposed to be funny? :

"[E]x-9/11 commissioner Bob Kerrey said he's also concerned but admitted there are few options.

"It exposes an uncomfortable truth: Our ports are vulnerable no matter who manages them," he told the Daily News. But he added, "I'd prefer the UAE to FEMA." [...] "

Well, it's not.

Heckuva job.

2/25/2006 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush is basically saying we won't be any safer with an American-owned company so he may as well cash in on some favors with the UAE cronies. He doesn't trust Americans either, or at least the 60% who don't think he's doing a heckuva job, which explains the need for warrantless wiretaps. 2/3 of the country are enemies of the state (=Bush).

2/26/2006 3:21 PM  
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