Thursday, February 23, 2006
I got several emails asking me to post my opinion regarding the ports management thing.
I am not quite aware of the operations of a port in Egypt yet alone in the US but I would still give my 2 cents here.
First let us start with the concerns voiced by US legislators. They have a reason to be concerned. UAE banks were involved in 911 money. The banks were not involved themselves in the attacks, but the terrorists used the Emirates’ sophisticated banking system in order to wire thousands of dollars to Atta and Co. Therefore, it is very possible that terrorists sympathizers might infiltrate the management company just as Cocaine drug smugglers might infiltrate a Columbian company. In addition, the concern over this deal is bipartisan. And when both Democrats and Republicans agree on something then this something must be of some importance!
However, the Bush administration is right to say that a company’s origin should not be a reason to avoid dealing with it especially if this country is an ally in the region. Besides, refusing to go ahead with the deal will send a very wrong message to the world about how the US conducts its business.
So in my humble opinion, I think the US government should work out a deal with the company in a way that eases the concerns of the legislators. Probably the US government could ask for unrestricted security access to the ports or something.
To sum, it would be wrong to reject the company just because of its nationality, and it would be unwise to brush aside these concerns.
On a different note, it’s funny how the Arab media is treating this issue. Nobody wants to give Bush some credit for standing up and defending this deal to the extent of threatening a veto if it was hurdled. Arab media give credit to Bush??!!!! Blasphemy!!