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Re: Good Read From Washington Post on Dubai Ports World

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  • 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 1 of 3 , Mar 13, 2006
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      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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