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Good Read From Washington Post on Dubai Ports World

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  • Gregory
    Burning Allies -- and Ourselves By David Ignatius Friday, March 10, 2006; A19 DUBAI -- Officials here heard late Thursday that Karl Rove had decided to pull
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 12, 2006
      Burning Allies -- and Ourselves

      By David Ignatius
      Friday, March 10, 2006; A19


      DUBAI -- Officials here heard late Thursday that Karl Rove had
      decided to pull the plug. President Bush's political adviser was said
      to have conveyed to a top manager of Dubai Ports World in Washington
      that the White House couldn't hold out any longer against
      congressional pressure to kill the Arab company's plan to acquire
      freight terminals at six U.S. ports. The initial response of one
      Dubai executive was: "Who's Karl Rove?" But in the end, political
      leaders here recognized that it was time to fold a losing hand.

      Until Rove's decision, Dubai's business leaders had insisted they
      would fight on. The chairman of Dubai Ports World, Sultan Ahmed bin
      Sulayem, told me emphatically on Wednesday that his company would do
      whatever was necessary to convince Congress that the deal posed no
      security risk -- new investment, additional equipment, more scanning
      of cargo, special checks of UAE personnel, including himself. But
      that was before the House Appropriations Committee voted 62 to 2 to
      kill the deal.

      I suspect America will pay a steep price for Congress's rejection of
      this deal. It sent a message that for all the U.S. rhetoric about
      free trade and partnerships with allies, America is basically hostile
      to Arab investment. And it shouldn't be surprising if Arab investors
      respond in kind. One could blame it all on craven members of
      Congress, if the opinion polls didn't show that Americans are
      overwhelmingly against the deal -- and suspicious of Muslims in
      general. Those poll numbers tell us that America hasn't gotten over
      Sept. 11, 2001. If anything, Iraq has deepened the country's anxiety,
      introspection and foreboding.

      To appreciate how cockeyed America's Dubai-phobia is, you have to
      spend a little time here, as I did this week. The truth is, this is
      one of the few places in the Arab world where things have been going
      in the right direction -- away from terrorism and Islamic
      fundamentalism and toward an open, modern economy. That's why
      congressional opposition came as such a surprise here. People in the
      UAE think they're America's friends.

      The ports deal was part of the UAE's embrace of things Western.
      Wednesday night, I traveled with the minister of higher education,
      Sheik Nahayan bin Mubarak, to the dusty city of Al Ain to attend a
      Mozart festival at which the Vienna Chamber Orchestra performed. And
      I visited the American University of Sharjah, created nine years ago
      as a beacon of liberal arts education. On a wall next to the
      chancellor's office is a photo of the twin towers in New York, taken
      by one of the students on June 8, 2001. "There are no words strong
      enough to express how we feel today," reads a statement signed by UAE
      students.

      It's hard to imagine an Arab more pro-American than Sulayem. He
      earned a degree in economics from Temple University in 1981, and he's
      still a fanatic about Philadelphia cheese steaks. He described a
      pilgrimage last New Year's Eve from New York to Pat's King of Steaks
      in South Philly, only to find the place closed. Before the deal
      collapsed, Sulayem had a free-trader's conviction that good business
      judgment would prevail over political rhetoric. "We are businessmen --
      we don't understand politics -- but it is a surprise to us. We have
      been cooperating with the U.S. We are their best friends."

      Many of the UAE's political leaders, including the crown prince,
      Mohammed bin Zayed, had grown increasingly convinced this week that
      the wisest course would be to pull out. But that view was resisted
      until almost the end by the business leadership in Dubai, including
      Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid.

      Arab radicals will be gloating, admonishing the UAE leaders, "We told
      you so." But officials here recognize that they're in a common fight
      with us against al-Qaeda. And unlike some Arab nations, the UAE
      really is fighting -- reforming its education system to block Islamic
      zealots and taking public stands with the United States despite
      terrorist threats. They have created one of the best intelligence
      services in the Arab world, and their special forces will be fighting
      quietly alongside the United States in Afghanistan tomorrow, and the
      day after.

      President Bush tried to do the right thing on the Dubai ports deal,
      but he got rolled by a runaway Congress. The collapse of the deal was
      a measure of Bush's political weakness -- but even more, of America's
      traumatized post-Sept. 11 politics. The ironic fact is that the UAE
      is precisely the kind of Arab ally the United States needs most now.
      But that clearly didn't matter to an election-year Congress, which
      responded to the Dubai deal with a frenzy of Muslim-bashing disguised
      as concern about terrorism. And we wonder why the rest of the world
      doesn't like us.
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      To me it s a case of not so instant karma for the administration. As Al Sharpton put it, Bush spent his entire presidency making Arabs into boogie men, and the
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 12, 2006
        To me it's a case of not so instant karma for the
        administration. As Al Sharpton put it, Bush spent his
        entire presidency making Arabs into boogie men, and
        the American public is not going to do a 180 on his
        say so, especially with his credibility. I understand
        both sides of the issue.. it's a shame it ever came up
        the way it did.

        Tom



        --- Gregory <greggolopry@...> wrote:

        > Burning Allies -- and Ourselves
        >
        > By David Ignatius
        > Friday, March 10, 2006; A19
        >
        >
        > DUBAI -- Officials here heard late Thursday that
        > Karl Rove had
        > decided to pull the plug. President Bush's political
        > adviser was said
        > to have conveyed to a top manager of Dubai Ports
        > World in Washington
        > that the White House couldn't hold out any longer
        > against
        > congressional pressure to kill the Arab company's
        > plan to acquire
        > freight terminals at six U.S. ports. The initial
        > response of one
        > Dubai executive was: "Who's Karl Rove?" But in the
        > end, political
        > leaders here recognized that it was time to fold a
        > losing hand.
        >
        > Until Rove's decision, Dubai's business leaders had
        > insisted they
        > would fight on. The chairman of Dubai Ports World,
        > Sultan Ahmed bin
        > Sulayem, told me emphatically on Wednesday that his
        > company would do
        > whatever was necessary to convince Congress that the
        > deal posed no
        > security risk -- new investment, additional
        > equipment, more scanning
        > of cargo, special checks of UAE personnel, including
        > himself. But
        > that was before the House Appropriations Committee
        > voted 62 to 2 to
        > kill the deal.
        >
        > I suspect America will pay a steep price for
        > Congress's rejection of
        > this deal. It sent a message that for all the U.S.
        > rhetoric about
        > free trade and partnerships with allies, America is
        > basically hostile
        > to Arab investment. And it shouldn't be surprising
        > if Arab investors
        > respond in kind. One could blame it all on craven
        > members of
        > Congress, if the opinion polls didn't show that
        > Americans are
        > overwhelmingly against the deal -- and suspicious of
        > Muslims in
        > general. Those poll numbers tell us that America
        > hasn't gotten over
        > Sept. 11, 2001. If anything, Iraq has deepened the
        > country's anxiety,
        > introspection and foreboding.
        >
        > To appreciate how cockeyed America's Dubai-phobia
        > is, you have to
        > spend a little time here, as I did this week. The
        > truth is, this is
        > one of the few places in the Arab world where things
        > have been going
        > in the right direction -- away from terrorism and
        > Islamic
        > fundamentalism and toward an open, modern economy.
        > That's why
        > congressional opposition came as such a surprise
        > here. People in the
        > UAE think they're America's friends.
        >
        > The ports deal was part of the UAE's embrace of
        > things Western.
        > Wednesday night, I traveled with the minister of
        > higher education,
        > Sheik Nahayan bin Mubarak, to the dusty city of Al
        > Ain to attend a
        > Mozart festival at which the Vienna Chamber
        > Orchestra performed. And
        > I visited the American University of Sharjah,
        > created nine years ago
        > as a beacon of liberal arts education. On a wall
        > next to the
        > chancellor's office is a photo of the twin towers in
        > New York, taken
        > by one of the students on June 8, 2001. "There are
        > no words strong
        > enough to express how we feel today," reads a
        > statement signed by UAE
        > students.
        >
        > It's hard to imagine an Arab more pro-American than
        > Sulayem. He
        > earned a degree in economics from Temple University
        > in 1981, and he's
        > still a fanatic about Philadelphia cheese steaks. He
        > described a
        > pilgrimage last New Year's Eve from New York to
        > Pat's King of Steaks
        > in South Philly, only to find the place closed.
        > Before the deal
        > collapsed, Sulayem had a free-trader's conviction
        > that good business
        > judgment would prevail over political rhetoric. "We
        > are businessmen --
        > we don't understand politics -- but it is a
        > surprise to us. We have
        > been cooperating with the U.S. We are their best
        > friends."
        >
        > Many of the UAE's political leaders, including the
        > crown prince,
        > Mohammed bin Zayed, had grown increasingly convinced
        > this week that
        > the wisest course would be to pull out. But that
        > view was resisted
        > until almost the end by the business leadership in
        > Dubai, including
        > Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid.
        >
        > Arab radicals will be gloating, admonishing the UAE
        > leaders, "We told
        > you so." But officials here recognize that they're
        > in a common fight
        > with us against al-Qaeda. And unlike some Arab
        > nations, the UAE
        > really is fighting -- reforming its education system
        > to block Islamic
        > zealots and taking public stands with the United
        > States despite
        > terrorist threats. They have created one of the best
        > intelligence
        > services in the Arab world, and their special forces
        > will be fighting
        > quietly alongside the United States in Afghanistan
        > tomorrow, and the
        > day after.
        >
        > President Bush tried to do the right thing on the
        > Dubai ports deal,
        > but he got rolled by a runaway Congress. The
        > collapse of the deal was
        > a measure of Bush's political weakness -- but even
        > more, of America's
        > traumatized post-Sept. 11 politics. The ironic fact
        > is that the UAE
        > is precisely the kind of Arab ally the United States
        > needs most now.
        > But that clearly didn't matter to an election-year
        > Congress, which
        > responded to the Dubai deal with a frenzy of
        > Muslim-bashing disguised
        > as concern about terrorism. And we wonder why the
        > rest of the world
        > doesn't like us.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Gregory
        It seems ironic that what President Bush and his administration sowed during the last five years returned to bite the White House in the backside! The use of
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 13, 2006
          It seems ironic that what President Bush and his administration sowed
          during the last five years returned to bite the White House in the
          backside! The use of fear over 9/11 was a political tool used by Karl
          Rove in the campaigns of 2002 and 2004 as the GOP piled up electoral
          points time and time again. They continuously misled the nation about
          the possibilities that might befall the nation if God forbid,
          Democrats were elected to office. They even were able to defeat in
          2002 Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam war vet, who had lost his legs in
          battle on the grounds that he was not enough of a patriot and soft on
          terrorism!

          But now the Republicans who so often eat their own in bad times,
          (Remember Harriot?) swarmed over the White House demanding that Bush
          bend to their will on the port management issue. It was a site to see!

          Gregory

          --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, THOMAS JOHNSON <AVRCRDNG@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > To me it's a case of not so instant karma for the
          > administration. As Al Sharpton put it, Bush spent his
          > entire presidency making Arabs into boogie men, and
          > the American public is not going to do a 180 on his
          > say so, especially with his credibility. I understand
          > both sides of the issue.. it's a shame it ever came up
          > the way it did.
          >
          > Tom
          >
          >
          >
          > --- Gregory <greggolopry@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Burning Allies -- and Ourselves
          > >
          > > By David Ignatius
          > > Friday, March 10, 2006; A19
          > >
          > >
          > > DUBAI -- Officials here heard late Thursday that
          > > Karl Rove had
          > > decided to pull the plug. President Bush's political
          > > adviser was said
          > > to have conveyed to a top manager of Dubai Ports
          > > World in Washington
          > > that the White House couldn't hold out any longer
          > > against
          > > congressional pressure to kill the Arab company's
          > > plan to acquire
          > > freight terminals at six U.S. ports. The initial
          > > response of one
          > > Dubai executive was: "Who's Karl Rove?" But in the
          > > end, political
          > > leaders here recognized that it was time to fold a
          > > losing hand.
          > >
          > > Until Rove's decision, Dubai's business leaders had
          > > insisted they
          > > would fight on. The chairman of Dubai Ports World,
          > > Sultan Ahmed bin
          > > Sulayem, told me emphatically on Wednesday that his
          > > company would do
          > > whatever was necessary to convince Congress that the
          > > deal posed no
          > > security risk -- new investment, additional
          > > equipment, more scanning
          > > of cargo, special checks of UAE personnel, including
          > > himself. But
          > > that was before the House Appropriations Committee
          > > voted 62 to 2 to
          > > kill the deal.
          > >
          > > I suspect America will pay a steep price for
          > > Congress's rejection of
          > > this deal. It sent a message that for all the U.S.
          > > rhetoric about
          > > free trade and partnerships with allies, America is
          > > basically hostile
          > > to Arab investment. And it shouldn't be surprising
          > > if Arab investors
          > > respond in kind. One could blame it all on craven
          > > members of
          > > Congress, if the opinion polls didn't show that
          > > Americans are
          > > overwhelmingly against the deal -- and suspicious of
          > > Muslims in
          > > general. Those poll numbers tell us that America
          > > hasn't gotten over
          > > Sept. 11, 2001. If anything, Iraq has deepened the
          > > country's anxiety,
          > > introspection and foreboding.
          > >
          > > To appreciate how cockeyed America's Dubai-phobia
          > > is, you have to
          > > spend a little time here, as I did this week. The
          > > truth is, this is
          > > one of the few places in the Arab world where things
          > > have been going
          > > in the right direction -- away from terrorism and
          > > Islamic
          > > fundamentalism and toward an open, modern economy.
          > > That's why
          > > congressional opposition came as such a surprise
          > > here. People in the
          > > UAE think they're America's friends.
          > >
          > > The ports deal was part of the UAE's embrace of
          > > things Western.
          > > Wednesday night, I traveled with the minister of
          > > higher education,
          > > Sheik Nahayan bin Mubarak, to the dusty city of Al
          > > Ain to attend a
          > > Mozart festival at which the Vienna Chamber
          > > Orchestra performed. And
          > > I visited the American University of Sharjah,
          > > created nine years ago
          > > as a beacon of liberal arts education. On a wall
          > > next to the
          > > chancellor's office is a photo of the twin towers in
          > > New York, taken
          > > by one of the students on June 8, 2001. "There are
          > > no words strong
          > > enough to express how we feel today," reads a
          > > statement signed by UAE
          > > students.
          > >
          > > It's hard to imagine an Arab more pro-American than
          > > Sulayem. He
          > > earned a degree in economics from Temple University
          > > in 1981, and he's
          > > still a fanatic about Philadelphia cheese steaks. He
          > > described a
          > > pilgrimage last New Year's Eve from New York to
          > > Pat's King of Steaks
          > > in South Philly, only to find the place closed.
          > > Before the deal
          > > collapsed, Sulayem had a free-trader's conviction
          > > that good business
          > > judgment would prevail over political rhetoric. "We
          > > are businessmen --
          > > we don't understand politics -- but it is a
          > > surprise to us. We have
          > > been cooperating with the U.S. We are their best
          > > friends."
          > >
          > > Many of the UAE's political leaders, including the
          > > crown prince,
          > > Mohammed bin Zayed, had grown increasingly convinced
          > > this week that
          > > the wisest course would be to pull out. But that
          > > view was resisted
          > > until almost the end by the business leadership in
          > > Dubai, including
          > > Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid.
          > >
          > > Arab radicals will be gloating, admonishing the UAE
          > > leaders, "We told
          > > you so." But officials here recognize that they're
          > > in a common fight
          > > with us against al-Qaeda. And unlike some Arab
          > > nations, the UAE
          > > really is fighting -- reforming its education system
          > > to block Islamic
          > > zealots and taking public stands with the United
          > > States despite
          > > terrorist threats. They have created one of the best
          > > intelligence
          > > services in the Arab world, and their special forces
          > > will be fighting
          > > quietly alongside the United States in Afghanistan
          > > tomorrow, and the
          > > day after.
          > >
          > > President Bush tried to do the right thing on the
          > > Dubai ports deal,
          > > but he got rolled by a runaway Congress. The
          > > collapse of the deal was
          > > a measure of Bush's political weakness -- but even
          > > more, of America's
          > > traumatized post-Sept. 11 politics. The ironic fact
          > > is that the UAE
          > > is precisely the kind of Arab ally the United States
          > > needs most now.
          > > But that clearly didn't matter to an election-year
          > > Congress, which
          > > responded to the Dubai deal with a frenzy of
          > > Muslim-bashing disguised
          > > as concern about terrorism. And we wonder why the
          > > rest of the world
          > > doesn't like us.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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