US Port Security and the United Arab Emirates

This week we learned that Bush Administration Sells Port Security To Highest Foreign Bidder.
Dubai Ports World is controlled by the UAE royal family. The decision to grant the $6.8 billion sale to Dubai was made by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States...

So Gonzales, Rice, Rumsfeld, Snow, and an other Bush administration officials conducted a security review and decided--unanimously--that the sale did not post a national security threat. How thorough was their investigation? They did not conduct background checks on senior managers of the company, nor did they ask how the company screens its own employees. You know, just in case a terrorist wants to infiltrate the company that now has unprecedented and unfettered access to our ports....

As soon as I saw this story, my paranoia kicked into high gear. This awarded contract was not just boneheaded, it seemed to be criminally negligent or as some on the lefty talk radio called it, treason. This had to be about oil & gas, right? There had to be a connection in there somewhere. This story is about what I found out. Along the way, we'll find out some stuff out about oil & gas activites in the Middle East and future plans there. I can't say I found any definite relationship between this contract and fossil fuels production & exports. The evidence for a connection I lay out is purely circumstantial.
From the EIA UAE Country Analysis Brief
According to Oil and Gas Journal (1/1/05), the UAE's natural gas reserves of 212 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) are the world's fifth largest after Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The largest reserves of 196.1 Tcf are located in Abu Dhabi. Sharjah, Dubai, and Ras al-Khaimah contain smaller reserves of 10.7 Tcf, 4.1 Tcf, and 1.2 Tcf, respectively. In Abu Dhabi, the non-associated Khuff natural gas reservoirs beneath the Umm Shaif and Abu al-Bukhush oil fields rank among the world's largest. Current natural gas reserves are projected to last for about 150-170 years.
And as for oil, the EIA facts speak for themselves.

Figure 1
UAE Oil Production -- Click to enlarge
According to Oil and Gas Journal (1/1/05), the UAE contains proven crude oil reserves of 97.8 billion barrels, or slightly less than 8 percent of the world total. Abu Dhabi holds 94 percent of this amount, or about 92.2 billion barrels. Dubai contains an estimated 4.0 billion barrels, followed by Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah, with 1.5 billion and 100 million barrels of oil, respectively.
Of course, when we look at this, we must bear in mind that Abu Dhabi made a spurious reserves revision of 31.0 Gb to 92.2 Gb in 1988. Despite production since then, reserves have increased despite the production shown in the Figure 1 above. By the way, if somebody would do the UAE Hubbert Linearization, that would be a welcome addition to this post. Nevertheless, let's press on.

Where does this oil go? In this older document Oil and Gas in the UAE, we find that about 94% of these exports go to the Far East in Asia, especially Japan, South Korea and Thailand. So, the US does not benefit directly from UAE oil exports. Superficially, this seemed to be a false lead in our quest for a connection between the port security contract and oil & gas exports. But let's move on again.

What about natural gas? This is where things become more interesting. The UAE has the fifth largest NG reserves in the world but look at this graph from the EIA.

Figure 2
UAE Gas Production -- Click to enlarge

And, they are an LNG exporter (from the same document).

Figure 3
UAE LNG Production -- Click to enlarge

But they are now becoming an importer of natural gas from Qatar in a project called Dolphin that links the gas pipeline network of Qatar, the UAE and Oman. The UAE is actively developing its own natural gas reserves but they only have a population of 2.5 million people. To put it bluntly, what the hell are they doing with all that natural gas? The EIA tells us.

The past few years have seen the UAE embark on a massive, multi-billion dollar program of investment in its natural gas sector including a shift toward natural gas-fired power plants and the transformation of the Taweelah commercial district into a natural gas-based industrial zone....

Most of the UAE's increased nautral gas needs in the next decade are to be satisified with imported natural gas from Qatar. Much of the natural gas development in the UAE itself involves the extraction of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and reinjection of the gas to maintain pressure in oilfields.

They're using it for enhanced oil recovery (EOR)! Which brings us to Qatar.

As I pointed out in Empire On the Edge--Betting On LNG sometime back, the US is making its future LNG arrangements with Qatar as we can see from another article Qatar to become world's leading LNG producer.

The US will be a primary market for the gas produced by the new units [processing trains]. This follows a memorandum signed in November 2005 by the US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman that will mean America will buy up to 30 per cent of its entire LNG needs from Qatar. The agreement provides for the supply of some 15.6 million tonnes of LNG a year to the US market with deliveries beginning by 2009.
So, again to be blunt, by awarding multi-billion dollar contracts to the UAE, the US is accomplishing at least two things.
  • Propping up the UAE's ability to produce oil and buy natural gas from Qatar to keep that oil flowing.
  • Cementing good geopolitical relations with the governments of the fourth and fifth largest holders of natural gas reserves in the world.
This is just as far as I can establish a direct connection between the US port security deal with the UAE and world oil & gas exports. Obviously, what benefits the UAE also benefits Qatar--and what benefits Qatar and their LNG exports to the US is ultimately supposed to help the US get out from under the natural gas supply quagmire looming before us. Paranoia? Maybe so. But I think something stinks here. I'll let the facts speak for themselves.
toto, that comment was way too big.  sorry, can't have it.  I will condense:
totoneila posted:

Hello Drummers,
I refer you to my Yahoo: AlasBabylon posting #24481 to explain this phenomenon:

Abu Musa is just one of the islands smack-dab in the narrow Strait of
Hormuz [SOH]. The other islands under Iranian control are the Tunb
Islands, but I will just focus on Abu Musa for now in this essay.

From this link:

Next, here is an informative link that discusses Iranian military
strategy and past military exercises to possibly counter Iranian

Plans were laid long ago to lockdown the MidEast-- we are just now learning the extent of the plans. Time will tell.

No problem here condensing my post, but since I am a relative newbie--what are the tech or storage limitations of a single post so hopefully I won't oversize again.  I thought the posting software editor would autosize limit a post-- clue me in please.

Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I think it's more a matter of netiquette than physical limitations.  If you have that much to say, you should probably have a blog of your own.  Feel free to link to it, of course, but don't post the whole thing.  It's not fair to hijack someone else's blog just because they have more visitors than you do.  And it's not fair to the other commenters.  Kind of like monopolizing the conversation.  
especially with the first comment of a new thread.  just be more economical in the beginning until the post has some age on it, so you let other voices in and they don't get monopolized out.  You actually made some good points in there, so keep it up...
Prof Goose,

What is good for the Goose, is good for the gander-- I promise to try my best to be concise.

Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Those of us with Attention Deficit ... thank you :)
Thxs, Leanan,

Good advice, but my posting was building on the topic heading, I was not purposely monopolizing or hijacking the conversation.  I am a very fast reader [damn slow typist-LOL] and can scroll very quickly thru long texts, just hitting the highlights if required --  other members, I am sure, do the same.  Since I was first to respond to this thread: I thought I had the luxury of going into greater detail and length as military geo-strategies can be difficult to condense, yet still retain coherency.

Still looking for size specs to prevent this from happening again, I am not wanting to make the busy website masters to have to police for silly things like posting length when I am capable of doing this myself.  Thxs for responding.

Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I am a very fast reader [damn slow typist-LOL] and can scroll very quickly thru long texts, just hitting the highlights if required --  other members, I am sure, do the same.  

I suspect a lot of people wouldn't bother.  They see that huge block of text, and surf elsewhere.

I tend toward verbosity myself, so I know where you're coming from.  But I think you'll find more people wiil read your posts and respond to them if they are shorter.    

Dave, your research on the issue is extremely interesting -- and throws some light on why this deal is being pushed.

Even though the UAE oil may not currently go mostly to the US, the relationship building you refer to certainly gives the gov't here a greater voice (let's call it) as to where it is directed in the future, and at what price. It also gives them a trustworthy gatekeeper at this end, so that any shenanigans that take place would only be authorized shenanigans. I don't know enough about the industry to speculate as to what those shenanigans would be. But I know enough about our gov't to know that there will be shenanigans.

That NG is going to be used for EOR is also telling. I don't remember what's been written about the efficiency of this, but it again indicates a  reluctance (here) to move away from oil to EVEN NG.

The thing I'm not clear about is what form your paranoia takes? None of us thinks our own paranoia is paranoia -- it's justified fear and suspicion. Mine is directed at our US gov't, not Arab or other gov'ts who are always suspected of agency or complicity in terrorism. I won't repeat my views on that here.

No, but you could give us a link to your views here. I have always read your stuff. It cheers me up for some reason.
Always remember Davebygolly:

"Just because you are paranoid, does does not mean they are not out to get you."

Dave wrote...

> by awarding multi-billion dollar contracts
> to the UAE, the US is accomplishing at least two things.
> Propping up the UAE's ability to produce...
> Cementing good geopolitical relations...

The DPW deal isn't "propping up" anything, certainly not the UAE's ability to produce oil. Can you really imagine how that scene would play in the ADNOC boardroom:

"Sorry, guys, the P&O deal is off... looks like we're gonna have to shut in those 3 million barrels of oil a day we were producing for less than a dollar a barrel. Pity, we really could use the money."

Even if the deal gets squelched by Uncle Sam, I don't see the UAE being any less willing to ship oil to the United States. At least, as long as American consumers are willing to match the fifty-whatever dollars per barrel that buyers in other countries are currently willing to pay.

Sometimes, governments are foolish enough to make marketing decisions based on personal likes and dislikes. Chavez seems to be doing this, to the great glee of the lefty press, but they're mostly arts-graduate scum who don't understand the difference between a stb and a MMscf. Those "Bolivarian" gestures actually represent a tiny, tiny fraction of Venezuela's output. Most of the rest is being shipped to the Great Satan, same as always; they're the only country with the sophisticated refineries needed to upgrade Venezuela's miserable crude. PDVSA will end up subsidizing Chavez' childishness in the form of slightly higher shipping costs; you can be damn sure the Chinese won't be stupid enough to pay the extra to ship that stuff across the Pacific.

It's possible that blocking the deal might slightly reduce the willingness of the UAE to do business with Exxon, Chevron et al (in favor of Sinopec, ONGC, Total, Shell, BP...) if ever a big production or petrochem deal comes along and they're looking for foreign partnership. But that won't hurt you directly; it might cost the US government a few hundred million a year in corporation tax, and US shareholders a similar amount in dividends, but there are plenty of non-US companies who are happy to import and market oil in the USA.

Of course, this works both ways. I don't know if the US imported anything from Iran before choosing to ban direct trade, but by adding a little friction to the oil market, the Iran boycott decreases efficiency and increases prices to the American consumer. Probably only by cents a barrel, though; it makes a lot more geographical sense for Iran (and the UAE, and the Saudis) to supply China and India.

The physical market as a whole just rebalances itself. I don't worry about oil market boycotts, and neither should you.

Huh? What are you talking about?
he is trying to inject partisan politics into the discussion.
just ignore him.
If you refuse to respond to an argument because you think the presenter might not share your politics, then remove the term analysis from your posts. Many commenters here have said good and bad things about Chavez. Neither condemns or validates their points. Chavez is not a religious prophet. We are allowed to discuss him.

Plucky Underdog makes a clear and relevant point that "The DPW deal isn't "propping up" anything, certainly not the UAE's ability to produce oil.". This seems accurate and a serious challenge to Dave's assertion. PU says that one of Dave's two main points is wrong. Now you can cast aspersions on the commentor or claim you don't know what it means, but I think that is weak.

Plucky Underdog asserts that UAE's cheap energy resources are commercially viable and that they don't need to be propped up by a Port deal in the US. This seems right to me. If it is not, I would like to hear why.

More importantly, this website is non-partisan and dedicated to pursuit of the truth. I think that trying to silence arguments by tarring commentors with political labels is antithetical to this effort.

More importantly, this website is non-partisan and dedicated to pursuit of the truth.

I agree, which is why we should ignore any post which uses the term 'arts-graduate scum'.

His analysis seems decent on the surface, but his choice of terms casts doubt on his intellectual rigor.  Thus it's better not to get drawn into a dicussion where those terms are implicit, and instead wait for the information to be represented in a more appropriate fashion.

I'm sure we can agree on that.

Yes. You are right.

I should have realized that the content of the initial post "casts doubt on his intellectual rigor" and that it is fair to ignore posts that don't engage at the level of civility required to have a "website (that) is non-partisan and dedicated to pursuit of the truth."

I also did not mean to address Dave directly as he is one of the best posters here, although I do not feel this one is up to his standards.

My point should have been made more generally. Ad hominim attacks on posters are not a positive contribution to the discussion. If you disagree with a point refute it. My orginal comment should be seen as directed to both Plucky Underdog as much as to TrueKaiser. Thank you for pointing this out.

I do think the question of how the US could be seen as propping up UAE is a legitimate one and I, at least, presented it in positive terms.

Phew! Funny how flamewars develop. It wasn't apparent to me that anything I wrote was an attack on any identifiable poster (and we're all hiding behind these monikers anyway). There were certainly no obvious errors of fact in Dave's post, but I'd welcome his clarification of how the UAE's oil production or gas import plans are "propped up" by another UAE state-owned entity's purchase of a company that operates a melange of businesses in unrelated sectors (containerized seafreight, stevedoring, cargo forwarding, passenger ferries, and some logistics/supply chain stuff), and made a loss (that's a LOSS) of UK pounds 250 million on revenues of UK pounds 2400 million in 2004 (last year of figures on Yahoo! UK at if you don't believe me). Can we see the next part of your analysis, Dave?
Re: "I do think the question of how the US could be seen as propping up UAE is a legitimate one and I, at least, presented it in positive terms"

So, why do you say "I do not feel this one [post] is up to his [my] standards"?

I wrote this one up quickly without an in-depth geopolitical analysis because it deserved discussion. Who knows what's really going on? I thought I made that clear. That's it, that was the whole point. Still, I think I presented a reasonable analysis. I'm still waiting for someone to utterly refute it.

Who can deny that the US seems to be making these kinds of deals with the UAE and Qatar given the natural gas situation going forward?

OK, don't worry, you are not the target here. You don't have a dog in this fight. Everybody actually agrees with you. Just a matter of how much. This has moved up a notch. Find Cover Quick! Incoming!
So, why do you say "I do not feel this one [post] is up to his [my] standards"?

Because most of your posts are excellent, analytical views on subjects that I have found to be solid, fact-based and and convincing. This one is largely speculative and in your own words founded on "paranoia" and evidence that is "circumstantial".

Port management is an international business and many ports globally are operated by foreign companies. Dubai Ports World has not launched into some diabolical plan to control US ports. Rather, they have bought another foreign company (British) that already operated the US ports. This makes them the thrd largest operator of ports worldwide (Forbes). So Bush had nothing to do with selecting the highest bidder.

I think you can make an argument that US ports should be run by the US government or only US companies, although I would disagree. However the claim that Dubai Port World's purchase of British P & O is a "criminal negligent" or "treasonous" act committed by the Bush administration to secure oil resources is a stretch.

I think that Plucky Underdog's comment that: "The DPW deal isn't "propping up" anything, certainly not the UAE's ability to produce oil." is right.

Good background:

Ooops, I forget to address this point:

"Who can deny that the US seems to be making these kinds of deals with the UAE and Qatar given the natural gas situation going forward?"

I can. The US did not make the Port deal, so it impossible that they made it based on natural gas resources.

The Bush administration, through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, approved it, but there is no direct evidence that this was anything but routine.

"it is important to note that the vast majority of transactions submitted to CFIUS (including the preceding example) are approved without difficulty."

I do think that energy and terrorism cooperation likely placed a role in the decision, but that fall fars short the strong alleagtions made by you and the Daily Kos.

C'mon Jack, that's why I used the words cirumstantial and paranoia. I qualified what I said. The issue requires discussion. I gave my analysis. You may disagree but the geopolitical argument certainly remains intact at this point, does it not? I would still argue that helping out the UAE benefits Qatar, whose LNG exports are seen as essential to solving America's gas shortages in the future.

However, I agree with your point that Dubai Port World's contract is not necessarily a security problem--though it may be. But it can legitimately be seen as a "pay off" in the insecure oil & gas markets we see today.

best, Dave

I told you to duck. But you want to fight. Jack is your best friend. You can't try to attack him. You have to develop a different strategy. Preferably with Jack on your side.
Dave and I are on the same side. We can still disagree. In fact, although I often quibble with some of his points, I have acknowledged repeatedly that he is a valuable contributor to this site and has helped me explore these issues, deepen my understanding and change my mind. Let's not mistake discussion for opposition. :) (and that's my first smiley face ever !)
Jesus Jack. I'm on your side. And Dave's. What did I say? What did I say that contradicted what either of you believe? I was trying to get you two to cooperate. Now I'm a target. Cease Fire! Stand Down, Gentlemen. Hahahaha!
Too late now Hugo. I got you in my sights. Once I make peace with Dave I can concentrate my full efforts on you.


Jack you will never take me out. I assure you of that. The reason is that I always stand behind my troops. Kind of like Dick in the quail-field. And I keep my head down. You confuse me with the Patton family. I'm an Eisenhower with a bit of Rommel in the mix.
OK Dave, I retract my comment that this post is not up to you usual standards, which should have read 'your usual high standards" in the first place. I accept that this is a piece for discussion and that just because you post a couple multi-thousand word posts replete with data and charts does mean you can never submit a lighter post ever again. On second reading, I do see your use of the words "circumstantial" and "paranoia" as a light hearted qualification.

So back to the discussion:

  1. I don't see how this deal can be a payoff by the Bush administration, because it is an arm's length commercial transaction between companies in two different countries. Is your assertion that approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is the "pay off"? I would disagree. I do not think it is unreasonable to think that this would have been approved in the normal course of business (see my Wikipedia link above).

  2. Dubai World Ports is now the third largest port operator in the world with operations all over the globe. Certainly those were all commercial transactions, not "pay offs" for energy access. I don't see US port operations as any different. I don't see that the deal is on preferential terms or that the dollar value is significant when compared to the energy business it is supposedly supporting.  In this regard, I still find Plucky Underdog's comment that "The DPW deal isn't "propping up" anything, certainly not the UAE's ability to produce oil" convincing.

I don't disagree that the Bush administration is grateful to UAE for terrorism and military support. This is probably true for energy supply as well, although I expect that UAE is acting in their own interests in the developments you describe. I also am sure that UAE has been rewarded by the US, particularly in defense support. However, I do not see any evidence that the Dubai Port World's purchase of P&O is anything other than commercial.
I'll deny it as long as you can't prove it simply because it makes no geographic sense as has already been said.  The only sensible source for LNG in the western hemisphere that I know of is Trinidad.  Any other would be more lost transport cost and boiloff.  Anyway, China and India are already locking up the mideast LNG with long term contracts.  Do you guys think you're going to step in in 2025 and snatch up the last tanker load with a handfull of used F-14s or what?
I'll be honest. I was skimming through this thread to get the jist of it. I was aware of the major themes. But,aside from reading Dave's original post, which I like very much -I didn't stop until I saw Jack's name.

Jack doesn't post here a whole bunch, but I have always been very impressed with what he says. So I stopped to read what he said. Then I went back and read very carefully what everybody else said leading to what Jack said. As usual I believe Jack to be right.

And Dave, I think this is your best piece so far. You are a very quick worker. I know this piece on the UAE will detract from your time on other projects, but I like the info, and the fact that you decided to do it. My only piece of advice for you is to post your stuff and then make the concious decision  to leave the room. Ignore people's comments on your work for at least a week. You don't need to defend yourself. Others will do that for you. You do a great job.

Since I posted this three of you guys' post ended up before mine in the queue.

I disagree Jack, I think this is one of Dave's best. I'm glad I can finally disagree on something with you.

The ties of the administration and its friends to the gulf states are too numerous to list, but here are a couple:

  1. Security for the WTC, Dulles airport, and American Airlines on 9/11 was run by Securacom.  Officers were Marvin P. Bush (the president's brother) and his cousin Wirt Walker III.  A Kuwaiti firm was the major investor.
  2. It is well known that Fox News is owned by Australian born Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp.  The second largest investor is a Saudi.  Wave that US flag boys!

IMO,  Dubai is now in a bad position.  Should any sort of WMD attack occur in any of those US port cities, that would justify a US takeover of Dubai.
Hmmm...I wonder who may be awarded all the LNG Regasification plant construction contracts once we shift heavier into the LNG market.  Perhaps a good deal has been struck with UAE/Qatar to handle the whole 9 yards.  Port security, shipping, and regasification of LNG.  Bush & Co. can't back out of the first piece or they won't get the remainder.
Sigh. The United States will get as much LNG as it is willing to pay for ("pay" in dollar terms and "pay" in terms of environmental impacts, which are tiny). Ditto oil. Ditto anything they want or need to import. The price is set by the market. If buyers in China or India value the stuff more highly, they will get a larger share until they have bid up the price to the point where it is unattractive for them to buy more.

I wouldn't see the regas side as being attractive to the UAE government; they don't know the gas market in the States, and can you imagine how the know-nothings on the Hill and in the MSM would react to the prospect of a Middle East government controlling a facility that might contain the energy equivalent of a 120-kiloton citybuster, on US soil? Sorry, guys; you're gonna have to find your own capital for this one.

LNG imports & processing, due to their very nature, are subject to long-term contracts. Again, I must reference my post Empire On the Edge--Betting On LNG and HO's post Some tanker arithmetic relating to LNG supply.

This may change in the future if the LNG market opens up and there is more of a spot market but right now and for the foreseeable future that will not be the case. It is in the interest of the US to establish solid political relationships with the Middle East countries that will supply that LNG market.

This is only common sense since North American natural gas production is in deep, deep trouble. The UAE will not be exporting directly to the US market--Qatar will. But Qatar and the UAE are "in bed" with each other. So, it is natural to pose the geopolitical question, which is all I did, as to what's going on here. Is anyone here at TOD naive enough to think that these political decisions are simply unrelated to future oil & gas production from the countries in question? I think not. At least I hope not.

This geopolitical/supply question referenced above is not being discussed in the kind of serious or intelligent way I anticipated on this thread. This is TOD after all. We're not idiots here.

Dave wrote

> Is anyone here at TOD naive enough to think that
> these political decisions are simply unrelated to
> future oil & gas production from the countries
> in question? I think not. At least I hope not.

"Naive" isn't exactly a value-free word, now is it?

Try this:

"Is anyone here at TOD hard-headed enough to acknowledge that not all commercial decisions are related to future oil & gas production from the countries in question?"

Like those Danish cartoons of the Prophet, this deal has been bubbling under for months now. Look at the step changes in the P&O share price since November. Operatorship of the US ports wasn't a decision as such - it's just a side effect of a medium-sized takeover deal. Some canny journalist or blogger made the tenuous connection to (gasp!) Islamist Terrorism, and now it's being blown up out of proportion.

Cool it. You have the advantage. In fact you have a definite lead. Consolidate your victory.
Not naive.  I'd call it fixated.
So, I'll preface this by saying I'm pretty much completely ideologically opposite of Bush, and would love nothing more than another thing to blast him on, but...

This is NOT nearly a big deal as the press is making it seem.  

I think the write up by Andrew Leonard at Salon, of all places, is the most rational one I've seen on the subject.

I'm not going to completely copy it, as that would be a disservice to both Leonard and Salon, but I'll quote the most relevant parts.

There's been a lot of dumb rhetoric about the sale: Contrary to what politicians are saying, the United Arab Emirates company will not "own" or be running security at the ports. Nearly all American ports are already operated by foreign companies, Dubai Ports World has a sterling reputation around the world, and it just happens to be run by a senior staff that includes a bunch of, guess what, Americans.


First, George W. Bush is not "scheming" to outsource anything. Operation of these ports was already in foreign hands, and the purchase of a British company by a United Arab Emirates company is hardly a result of malign White House maneuvers. Meanwhile, as Time magazine notes, the International Longshoremen's Association workers who currently offload ships at the U.S. ports will continue to do so, regardless of who has the contracts to run the ports.

The rest of the article is here

Basically, the fact is all that is changing is the overall ownership.  And, while, yes, it could be feasible in some sort of wild conspiracy that the new owners, who have absolutely no motivation to muck with their US business relationships, could somehow change shipping logs or fudge some reports without tipping off at least one pro-US worker, the chance of this pales in comparison with some of the other port-related security issues that are STILL unaddressed.  

To me, this entire issue just seems smeared with racial overtones and partisan politics.  Democrats see it as a chance to raise their numbers in security related issues, and Republicans, aware of this possibility, are moving to block that move.  

Ugh.. it's nauseating.

Bush's problem is he used the "terrorist" argument to get his way for 4 1/2 years.
Now they are using it against him.  Same with LNG and the "terrorist" attacks Lucky mentioned.  Bush brought this on himself.
Bush and all the global oligarchs know the only terrorist of significance are themselves.

Why don't tighten up the borders in the US, because there is no real threat.  They would rather spend billions upon billions to install camera systems in all the cities, spy on the citizens through the NSA, and destroy any remaining "freedoms".  Same with the ports, it shouldn't surprise anyone.  It will just be a convenient excuse for the next psyop terrorist attack on US citizens.  After all the citizens are who they are really afraid of...


"Given the right leadership and sufficient external threat, the primary product of such spirituality may be social cohesion. ...Almost every leader of note has, either consciously or unconsciously, fished these murky waters at some time or other.
Their reward is a united people armed with humanity's shining Excalibur.  To unsheathe this magic blade, such visionary leaders must first win over the populace with the primal fairy tale, which invariably contains two ingredients;
1.) A Monster-preferably one who speaks an alien tongue, prays to heathen gods, wears peculiar clothing, and/or has different-colored skin.
2.) A Miracle-earned only by sacrifice, but culminating in triumph for the home team and a nasty end for the Monster.

This tired old routine has worked its magic with astonishing regularity since the dawn of history, and no one with fully functioning DNA seems wholly immune to the lure of it.  Its genetic nature shines through the grisly statistics that follow every major conflict, especially those that incorporate genocidal slaughter."
~Reg Morrison, 1999 "The Spirit in the Gene, Humanity's Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature"

2.) The Miracle, by sacrifice, and the "nasty end for the Monster":

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.  It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.  
We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.

Americans are asking, why do they hate us?  They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government.  Their leaders are self-appointed.  They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."
"This group and its leader -- a person named Osama bin Laden -- are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.  There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries.  They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror.  They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction."

"Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices -- and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear. They know what it's like to fight house to house in a maze of streets, to wear heavy gear in the desert heat, to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. And those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. ... It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."
~George W. Bush

Dave -- "This awarded contract was not just boneheaded, it seemed to be criminally negligent or as some on the lefty talk radio called it, treason. This had to be about oil & gas, right?...I'll let the facts speak for themselves."

Well, let's review some real facts beyond the scope of your presentation.  

If anything related should have leaped out at people, it would be the January nomination of DP World's Dave Sanborn to serve as the administrator of the U.S.Maritime Administration.  

Essentially, many individuals have missed the big picture on what is occurring.  This latest buyout by DP World is about global control of cargo movements via port and terminal operations.  The sale of P&O to DP World will move DP up to the number three global position.  A significant move in terms of global cargo handling.  And this provides a pretty good indication of what crude oil revenues can buy in terms of sustainable investment opportunities in other industries on the global stage.  

Now, I'm not pleased to see a growing number of U.S. port operations run by any foreign corporate interests.  It's rather disgusting to know that the U.S. major port authorities are turning to foreign interests to operate their support facilities.  But, pushing that aside, this buyout is logical from DP World's point of view as it expands its operations globally.  And rest assured that DP World, as a young transnational corporation, is moving along at breakneck speed on multiple fronts to establish a growing share of world dominance.  

Check this out:  

Dubai National Government

Dubai Ports World
UAE-based global operation

"DP World is a leading global port operator with a portfolio of operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.  The company has 22 container terminals in 15 countries."  

"DP World is the result of the integration of Dubai Ports Authority ("DPA") and DPI Terminals ("DPI") in September 2005. This new entity continues the tremendous success of the DPA and DPI businesses, which have been at the forefront of Dubai's extraordinary transformation into one of the world's leading trade and commerce hubs."

"DP World manages the commercial and operational aspects of the port network, formerly developed and managed by DPA and DPI. In 2005, the terminals operated by DP World handled an estimated 13 million TEU which include ports on five continents from the Americas to Asia."

DP World home page 1

DP World home page 2

Company History

* Includes listing of facilities located in each country where DP operates.  Worth noting.  

Management Structure


This pertains to Dave Sanborn, who was nominated in January 2006 by President Bush to head up the  Maritime Administration, a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta, Secretary, Department of Transportation.  

Regional Offices - Overview & New Regional Structure

Regional Office Locations - Map interface

Global Terminal Facilities - Map interface

Affiliated Company => Jafza International

Affiliated Company => Crane Services
Info thus far not posted)

New Developments

Latest Global Acquisition => Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation (P&O)
London-based corporation,207172&_dad=pogprtl&_schema=POGPRTL

Sidebar:  U.S. Maritime Administration  

This deal is about fossil fuels, end of story.
Everything is about fossil fuels. I don't get your point.
Lots of links and such in his post, but you can sum it up in one sentence.
You say: "you can sum it up in one sentence." - then go ahead and sum it up. Otherwise I have to believe your earlier fossil fuels line was a meaningless throw away and you don't even know what it means.
All the comments so far seem to be from a USA perspective. I'll declare an interest here I'm writing from UK and my family have long connections with P&O and even still have some shares so I've been watching closely before this seems to have appeared on the US radar screens. P&O is a very old UK company famous for shipping and its links with the middle east and far east go back to 19th century. It wasn't doing too well about 25 years ago until a man called Geoffry (now Lord) Stirling took it over. He is very clever with a property background and turned it round, finally slimming it down to the 2 remaining divisions, Ports and Ferries. This was smart because he used the company's long connections with Asia, the middle east and latterly America to build a valuable company focussed on the way trade is going, not how it was.

Until October last year all the highly overpaid share analysts missed this and the shares were about £3.30 each. Then DPW got interested and bid. They were overbid by Temesek, the Singapore port company and DPW then outbid them to end up where we are today at £5.20 per share. Thus far the process had nothing to do with the US or UK governments. If it is to do with oil / gas it just shows that hydrocarbon revenues can outbid trading revenues and both can outbid anything in the over borrowed struggling US / UK / Europe economies. UAE is sensibly using its revenue to buy solid income producing assets for when the oil / gas runs down. It has large (multi billion £) holdings in London properties as well and is building a major trading infrastructure on its own soil. Better idea than buying western govt. bonds I would think. Please America don't assume everyone is out to get you, some people are just getting on doing sensible business.

Besides Oil: There Are Military Bases

I find it amazing that the most obvious thing UAE has is being ignored in this thread and by this blog: Military Bases for Force Projection.

Spook86 at "In from the Cold" has already written up on this, so I'll quote the Spook:

"Cancelling the port deal could mean the end of U.S. basing rights in the UAE, strained relations with other regional partners, and the potential loss of a key defense contract, all viewed as critical in fighting the War on Terror. Collectively, those factors probably explain why the deal hasn't already been nixed, and why the Bush Administration may put up a fight-even with political allies. ... Cancellation of the contract would be viewed as an insult to the UAE and its leadership; regional critics would accuse the U.S. of hypocrisy-anxious to utilize UAE bases and sell its defense hardware to the Dubai, but unwilling to let a UAE company manage operations in U.S. ports. Such criticism, in turn, would cause other Gulf allies to question Washington's long-term committment to the region, and make it more difficult for the U.S. to sustain basing rights in such countries as Qatar and Bahrain."

More on US bases in UAE here:

Apologies for sounding like an ass in the last posting. I was simply overly flabbergasted by the narrow focus on energy, when there's a lot more going on in UAE and other M.E. states. But the method I wished to express myself was juvenile.
This has to be the funniest thing I have ever read.

I was simply overly flabbergasted by the narrow focus on energy, when there's a lot more going on in UAE and other M.E. states.

I'm curious, did you realize what website you were in when you wrote that? What were you refering to when you said "there's a lot more going on in the UAE and other M.E. states." (?) Was that the cocaine or the hookers?

Sorry I missed that about that the UAE Miltary Bases. I wrote the post based on oil & gas considerations but not taking into account what the US Military was doing now. President Discusses Global War on Terror Following Briefing at CENTCOM

I will be try to be more thorough in the future.
If one reads the very first posting of this entire thread, in its uncondensed entirety, on my speculation of Operation Arabian Gauntlet-- it may help clarify a lot of geo-strategic issues concerning UAE, Qatar, and other MidEast countries, along with a logical, and consequential alignment of businesses for optimal resource streamlining.  I knew this was gonna happen when my post was condensed by Prof. Goose, but, at least, I now understand his reasons.

Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

As I posted a wildly optimistic and naïve comment on another thread I thought I'd return to "reality" with a bump. I thinking about the coming attack on Iran. Won't this function as a kind of litmus test in relation how we choose to deal with peak oil? Attacking Iran and going for "regime change" seems rather risky given our success rate in Iraq! Do we really want to go down that road yet again and led by the same people? Seen from Europe the Bush administration looks close to being the most ignorant, arrogant, dishonest and outright incompetant American government in history. Or am I missing something here? Do they actually have a secret plan, for America and the world, that's simply too awful to mention in public? Is their answer to peak oil really perpetual war? Isn't there a less violent solution we can employ here?

Finally, throwing down my white cain, heaving myself out of my armchair by the fire and jumping on the revolutionary barricade for a moment, let me finish by urging you all to, Defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights! Say "No!" to an imperial Presidency and the Long War! No blood for oil! Power to the People, Right On!

You can't stop terrorism. Not the 9/11 variety, at least. If people are so insanely mad at you that they are willing to die, and if these people are smart, and if there are enough of them you can't prevent that type of attack. None of the anti-terrorism measures we have tried are effective. The risk remains exactly the same if not worse because of the hate the war has stirred up.

I think this ports issue is a scam. Many ports are foreign owned. This smacks of jingoism and grandstanding for the next election. What's next? Torching kebab houses since terrorists could feed us poison lamb kebabs.

I guess it's hard for Bush to show his cards. He knows there is nothing we can do to stop the variety of terrorism we face--that's why he let this deal go through in the first place. It won't matter--terrorism can infiltrate a UAE port as easily as a British one. Just as the metal detectors and irritating security at airports does nothing, it's a show to placate the public. So is the hoopla around this port deal.

Our country only embarrasses itself as we succumb to wild nationalist fears and erode our own dignity and freedom in the name of safety.

Why do we have so many enemies? If it was a small radical fringe they'd be ineffective--we'd have no need to worry. But we are as intent on swelling the ranks of terror cells through our military campaigns as we are wedded to baroque security procedures and destroying civil liberties and manufacturing fear based on the county of origin of a company.

I am as paranoid as anyone here but an alternative explanation for the sale of the port was on NPR a day or so ago.

The gist was this:

  1.  The UAE is just swimming in dollars from the sale of oil.
  2.  They know that oil is finite and will run out sometime in the future (yes they actually said this on the radio).
  3.  The UAE is trying to convert their dollars into hard assets so that when oil peaks (the spokeman said this as well)they are diversified into other things and can keep their economy going.
  4.  The UAE have been buying lots of foreign assets to meet this diversification goal.  The ports are just the latest example.

This argument does make sense to me and it even says the UAE are more far sighted than our own leaders with respect to fossil fuels.  I'm still not happy about the transaction but it might just be part of a long term strategy that means us no harm.
Right on target, NC. My thoughts exactly.
In fact, I saw this same thought put forth someplace else last week (Energybulletin, perhaps?), but cannot relocate the gist of it presently. With the US economy going into the tank and a fiscal crisis looming, it makes sense to cash in those soon-to-be-worth-less dollars for hard assets.

If first China, and now UAE, can not use the billions of US$s they have accumulated in fair trade to buy a US business at the market price - while following all US rules and regulations - then why exactly do need they need to accumulate those dollars?  Both China and the UAE are motivated to prepare for PO in their own way, and the market way allows oil to be fungible.  

If Venezuela or Iran said it would not sell to the US or certain other countries at any price, wouldn't that really be like the same exclusionary policy the US is following?

The problem is that the US needs supporters of the dollar - but that is not enough to secure reliable oil supplies from the trouble spots of the world.  

This is just a silly conspiracy theory, I expect this sort of thing on but I have come to expect higher standards on TOD.

The US did not "award the contract to UAE". A UAE based company was the highest bidder in a private deal. The US authority have approved the deal, in the sense that they can't find any good reason to reject it (political or otherwise). Sure, the US is more inclined to approve deals with friendly oil suppliers than Chinese exporters, but that is as far it goes, it's just obvious politics.

The security issue is a complete red herring as even with the current set up anyone can easily get a container through unnoticed.

This is just a minor coincidence, it is only through the distorting lens of PO fanaticism it becomes a major global conspiracy. It does not warrant paranoid analysis. I gave up because of this stupid stuff, please don't let TOD go the same way.

Terrorism schmerrorism.

The real story here is the massive ability of foreign investment to keep the balance of trade rolling like an avalanche right out of the US. As was noted in another site... we're seling our kidneys to pay our rent.

I think it is naive to think that international deals of this size and at this level soley have to do with economics, particularly when it involves players in the Middle East.

While I know that the Bush regime didn't actually 'authorize' the deal, I stongly suspect that  it would not have gone forward without their back-channel approval.

The simplest explanation I can think of is: If the US is nice to the UAE, the UÅE will be nice to the US.  And, exclusive of favorable oil and gas terms, how can the UAE be nice to the US?  I think the prvious posters who cited military cooperation have the answer.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least that one element of this whole thing is an unwritten understanding regarding future US military basing in the UAE. Perhaps a conclusion has been reach in the Pentagon that the establishment of several large permanent bases in Iraq might not turn out be as easy or as 'permanent' as originally thought.

Yep, if there is anything sinister about this whole deal, I would have to lay my money on the military angle. No evidence, just a guess like everyone else's.

A UAE based company was the highest bidder in a private deal.

Er, let's get our facts straight. It's not a "UAE-based company," but rather a company owned by the UAE government. Big difference. HUGE difference.

The UAE government is a monarchy with ties to Osama Bin Laden.

You want them running our ports? I sure don't.

First, I agree with Jack and others about the economic and domestic implications of the sale.  It was a change of ultimate ownership, but not of actual working personnel.  And, it was due to the UAE's current oil profits being used to buy something concrete.  It doesn't really affect US security, as the company is not really any easier to penetrate than it was before (after all, terrorists have used British credentials before).

Second, there's a fairly good, and fairly simple, geopolitical reason for the Bush Administration not to nix the deal.  The Administration is asking (and pressuring) Middle Eastern governments to cooperate in the GWOT, and is attempting to divide the ME so that the US is not fighting the entire region.  In order to do that, the US must offer carrots as well as sticks.  If the Administration kills this deal specifically because an Arab country is involved, then it sends a fairly strong signal to the entire Arab world that the US is not open for business to Arabs (beyond buying hydrocarbons, that is) and will not reward them for cooperating in the GWOT.  That would be a mistake.

Could some grand conspiracy be at work?  Sure.  Such things have happened in the past.  Personally, I'll stick with Occam's Razor until I receive extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims.

Hi everyone,

I've been reading TOD daily for several months now despite the fact that altogether I am usually reticient to comment on blogs for what ever reason. Yet I felt complelled to do so now.

Dave: A suggestion to you - just a suggestion, that's all. In the future it is probably a better idea to veer a course that stays clear of anything that is redolent of politics, at least when it not tangetially so. It is refreshing to find a blog that is not politcal that, yet, touches on sensitive issues that have tremendous geopolitical implications. I doubt that anyone here at TOD, regardless of policical persuasion thinks that future energy wars are inevitable. But still, I think it is better to stay clear of it in headline posts, because it invites lots of needless acrimony on the boards and detracts from the main purpose of the PO issues and threatens the future viability of discussion. Many trolls just look at headlines on blogs before commenting, and the more neutral the blog is the less likely that this board will become partisan.

All that being said, I couldn't help reacting to one comment:

"I think this ports issue is a scam. Many ports are foreign owned. This smacks of jingoism and grandstanding for the next election. What's next?"

So what? This is nothing new, and when backed into a corner the Democratic Party has no choice but to act dishonestly. Most of the liberal base has for long argued that not enough has been done to act WITHOUT intellectual integrity with the American public, because the electorate responds only to talking points and controversy. They contend that they have lost elections because of it and thus have no choice but to fight fire with fire.

Anyway, my second comment can be construed as contradictory to my first one yet, on the other hand, may actually illustrate what he former insinuated.

Best regards,

On the subject of paranoia.

On this particular thread there seems to be rather heavy use of the terms, 'paranoia' or 'paranoid'. As best I can tell, the operating criterion is: If I think something is amiss, I am merely being'suspicious'; but if YOU think something is amiss that I don't think is amiss,  then YOU are being 'paranoid'.  Oh well.

At the risk of being called paranoid, I will make an all-encompassing statement: Since 9-11 the Bush regime has become totally paranoid about security. There, I got it off my chest. The thing that bothers me though is that their paranoid is high inconsistent. Some examples.

  • An Ohio kindergarten class had to cancel its class trip to a NASA research facility because the Dept. of Homeland Security recently instituted a policy allowing only US citizens, and two of the six-year-old kids were not US citizens.

  •  A family couldn't make a Thanksgiving holiday trip because their 4-year-old daughter somehow got on the No-fly List.

  • An eighty-year-old woman in a wheel chair is strip-searched because airline security 'felt' something was suspicious.

The list of these sort of absurdities and indignities goes on and on and on.

Contrasted to that, the Bush regime seems to have little concern that  our border with Mexico is about as tight as a sieve. Why?

Also contrasted to that is that the Bush regime has no problem whatsover with the government of an Islamic country taking control of vital port management activities. Why?

Now, it has been argued that the UAE company is merely buying a British-owned company and that nothing will really change one way or the other.

I totally take issue with this claim, based on my own experience with the takeover of a US company by a foreign company. While at first nothing changes, little by little the new company gradually implements changes, puts its own people in top positions, and eventually changes the whole character of the original company. What is also rather troubling is that the owner of this company is not just another company, but rather a government, a Middle Eastern government at that. While this government may be friendly now, what about the future?

The only explanation I can come up with as to why the Bush regime shows great concern over even minor security non-issues such as the example of the Kindergarten class, and is seemingly totally oblivious to thing like our border and the UAE takeover, is that much of its War on Terrorism is bogus and is more of a mechanism to increase its power and control over the American people.

If that's being paranoid, then I guess I am paranoid.

There might be another motive - keeping oil trade based on US dollars. Iran is trying to open a Euro based oil trade. If such a move catches on, the dollar will fall, and oil will become more expensive in dollar terms. Perhaps the UAE is exerting a kind of currency pressure on Bush.
This sounds about right.
Does this mean we are about to hear about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Olso, al Qaeda cells in Bergan and tales of evil doers in Trondhiem? According to a translation in Energy Bulletin of an article in the Norwegian paper NRK, Norway is thinking about an oil bourse trading in Euros. Didn't they used to be involved in heavy water production? Surly this is grounds for invasion?
This time its a coincidence.  Not often I say that, but its  true.  Don't believe the political hype your getting from both the Democrats and the Republicans and make a big deal out of it.  I don't have to tell you that the only thing that stinks is the smell that the combination of Republicans and Democrats make when they get together on the same issue.  You can bet FOR SURE, there's a hidden agenda.  They see the vote "milage" they'll be able to get during the coming election year.  They can't go wrong.

UAE is accutely aware that their reserves will not last forever and are proactively planning for their future.  By buying gas now at very low prices, they are reinjecting it to recover immediate oil and at the same time storing a supply of NG for them to use after their oil runs out, which I think is supposed to be in 7 years for one of the Emerates city states (I may be off on that).  UAE states are attempting one of the most rapid diversificatins I've ever seen.  You almost can't get around in Dubai due to all the construction going on there.  They can't build it as fast as the people want to come in.  Even residence status is offered to go along with the right purchase of certain condos.  Where did you ever hear about that before?  Do they want to diversify or what?

In keeping in line with their diversification plan, they will be actively buying up anything they consider good investments.  Their ONLY immediate problem is they have too many USD.  The mideast is SWIMMING in money today.  With all the extra stuff floating around there, ESPECIALLY USD!, what else are they going to do with them, except try to buy high value long term income producing properties denominated in USD, and the best place to find that is the USA?  They're up to their necks and choaking on old US T-bills.

The US politicians see an opportunity to STAND UP for the American worker and appear to be FIGHTING TERROR, BOTH at the same time.  How can they resist?  Why else do you think both Democrats and Republicans are sleepig together?  They can't lose.  Good for them if they block it, even better if the Pipsqueek vetos it.  Who GAS? The Pipsqueek's dead anyway.  We're just waiting around to see how he gets buried.

The Dubai state and the UAE is the safes of all mideast countries.  They are well controlled and diciplined and have no terror threats against them.  They are small and secure.  They just want to buy a good thing when they see it.  Besides all the US west coast ports are owned by the Japanese or somebody anyway.  What have you been doing about that?  Nothing.

Dubai Construction Status,
Check this photo,
Dubai Construction Center facts and figures,

New airport just finished.  Large indoor ski slopes.  Banks (tax haven) They want to 3X tourism in 5 years.  Building shopping centers everywhere.  Everyone in the world seems to want an office there.

Maybe paranoia got the best of you, Dave.  That headline from Daily Kos is inaccurate, as others have pointed out.  The one aspect that had me scratching my head was Bush's threat to veto any bill from Congress to impede the deal, but the military basing aspect is the answer to that one.  The US has to show that it is a stable partner to do business with.
RIGHT.  Unocal's purchase by China has already been nixed.  Bush has to keep a committment on something, so why not free trade and access to foreign markets.  Besides, he can't very well NOT go along what his administration has already approved anyway.  He's had enough admin FUBARs this year.  He's got to veto congressional blocking.  Congress knows the Pipsqueek is a dead duck.  Everybody wants to get as far away as possible from him.  They will block the sale and appear strong for labour and strong against terrorism.  WIN-WIN!  

Next topic please!

Re: "Maybe paranoia got the best of you, Dave"

You're probably right and that's why I used the word paranoia. But I thought it would make for a good discussion topic and it has. Also, it gave me an excuse to examine the UAE and Quatar in some detail. So, I learned something from that and I hope others did too.

Generally speaking, maintaining good relations with the governments of the UAE and Qatar is a high priority for the US. Both countries should be of great interest to us here at TOD for obvious reasons. Below, Stormy says

Curiously, we now have an American who is a senior officer in a Dubai corporation nominated to run the Maritime Administration.
So, we have the usual corruption here. And there is the military aspect that has been brought up here (including by you) that I missed entirely in my post. Still, I hope that people have been informed about what these important producers of hydrocarbons are up to. Ultimately, when you look at the really big picture, these issues really are about maintaining the availability of fossil fuels. There can be no doubt about that since the Carter Doctrine instituted in the late 1970's. That is why CentCom exists and will continue to operate in its areas of responsibility--the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia.

From the terrorism point of view, there is legitimate reason for concern. The UAE does not have a clean record in this area. They're government has cooperated in the phony "War on Terrorism" but citizens of the UAE participated in the 9/11 attack and who knows how many people there are Jihadists or sympathetic to their aims.

There are two different issues: agreeing with a post and appreciating a post. I don't think I agree with where Dave is coming from, but until his post I had no idea what the any of the issues were in the port thing.

I'd far rather read an interesting and informative  post that comes from a perspective I disagree with than one that is PC from my point of view but doesn't teach me a damn thing.

I forgot to add--

That's what makes TOD great:

1. independent research
leading to
2. civil and open discussion and debate

Who payed to build these ports in the first place?  Who pays to keep the shipping lanes dredged?  Who pays for the United States Coast Guard to keep ships from colliding in crowded harbors?  Who pays the harbor master? If it is the American taxpayers then why are corporations given the profits, if any, from the cargo going through these ports?  Of course corporations are making big profits because the Arab monarchs would have payed so much to buy P&O. If I were a citizen of one of the cities or states involved I would demand that those arabs pay the taxpayers back for building the public infrastructure and pay all of the cost incurred by the public for maintanence and traffic control plus 10%.
How do we then retrofit all of the other foreign own port with this idea? I agree that corporate welfare should be examined-- but the stated objection here is terrorism. How is this related to terrorism? Or are you suggesting we just use the jingoism of the moment as a catalyst for reform of corporate welfare?
Tom, supposedly they should maintain the buildings, cranes, operate the cranes (which are pretty expensive), provide security, etc.  The ships entering the port pay the harbourmaster and the port pilot that guides all of them in.

How many trucking companies have you seen out building roads, or airlines financing airport construction, or barge companies running up and down the Mississippi locks and all over the intercostal waterway?  Corps of Engineers dredges and maintains those.

Besides, other furiners already own the west coast ports.

The ports were originally sold to private companies by the local city or state governments that originally owned them and they received their profit at that time.  Now you want it again?

And Halliburton is an American company and apparently has no problem ripping off Tom the taxpayer.  Why don't you ask them to pay you back?  They've already had their hands in your pocket.
There is a larger issue here: Where does a corporation end and a country begin?  To whom or what does a corporation have allegiance when its reach spans countries?  And what of corporations that arise in questionably undemocratic countries?

Curiously, we now have an American who is a senior officer in a Dubai corporation nominated to run the Maritime Administration.  To whom does he owe allegiance? DP, Dubai? The Maritime Adminstration?  Is he an officer of DP running the Martime Administration?  Where is the check sent?  Or does he receive two checks?  And to whom does DP owe allegiance?

I am not necessarily picking sides here, but I think countries themselves are slowly losing control of operations that they formerly reserved to themselves.  Outsourcing creates confusion, as does off-shoring.  Who represents only a country's interest?  

Transnationals and Multinationals are slowly controlling almost every aspect of economic life--including military operations.  They have their interests.  Do they have mine?

Well stated: Keep up the good posts!
Your 'larger issue' does pose interesting and perhaps important questions. I'll begin with some general observations that I'd guess most would agree with...

  • successful businesses generally economically benefit the state
  • the state can make life easier or harder for such businesses
  • large businesses can lobby / influence governments and potential governments
  • governments can seek to acquire foreign information that may be easier for businesses to obtain
  • large corporations may have means of 'punishing' governments that act against their interests
  • ultimately states could probably terminate the operations of particular corporations within their jurisdiction, though that may be at some cost

Given these it is not surprising if 'synergies' arise between states and corporations. IMO that has possibly reached unacceptable levels in the US political system. No doubt it is higher in some other countries, but probably not as high in the other developed nations (I exclude Russia).

I don't have so much concern about specific corporations having too much influence (well, OK, Halliburton but that's a special case, LOL) since governments, if they have the will, can probably do something to reduce their influence. What concerns me more is how the interests of politicians and major corporations have perhaps converged too far and become a too symbiotic relationship.

Just one link for your consideration:

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man certainly makes for interesting reading.  

I am sure you are not surprised that corporations also have their saboteurs and spies--against one another and against countries.  Their allegiance is to the corporation only.  What I am suggesting here is that corporations are beginning to look more and more like "floating countries."   Yes, they can punish countries, small ones right now; in the bigger ones, they confine themselves to moving the levers of power.  Eventually, they may be a bit bolder.  And, yes, the relationship between politicians and corporations is far too symbiotic.

All of your points are well taken.  

We have truly entered the rabbit hole where nothing is what it seems and roles are blurred.  Every now and then a brief sliver of this reality is exposed to the public, as in the case of the DP fiasco.  Alarms are sounded.  Politicians trot like obedient penguins to put out the fire...only to later resume business as usual.

I know there is not much we can do about greed and other human frailties.  Nor can we blame corporations for doing what they are designed to do: Make money.   But we can redefine the charter of corporations.  That would be interesting.  We can also insist that the government take on its proper duties, not outsource them.

What we can do is to insist that the structure be changed, not superficially as is being done in consequence of the Abramoff scandal--more penguins trotting--, but profoundly changed.  Simple things: If you become a senator, that's it.  When you leave, you either retire or go back to doing what you did before you were a senator.  Go be a bricklayer.  If you are a general, you cannot later run a company that does business with the government. Just fade away, please.  I know I am oversimplifying things, but perhaps it is time to think about what "public service" really means.

Your observations and points are well made. It would, indeed, be nice if politicians and business were more at arm's length in the US.

[Interlude: I suppose I must own up to a heresy: I have never really understood this 'money thing'. If one has enough money to live then money is not a problem, if one doesn't then it is. I fail to understand why people want more and would compromise themselves for it. Beyond sufficiency a surfeit of money is as much a curse as a blessing.]

But I would say the intertwining is beyond disentanglement. Somehow the tree and its weeds must be burnt so something true and vigorous may grow. Uh-oh, mayhap I have transmogrified into Chancey Gardner!

For a rare exception I suggest Jimmy Carter.

Best I don't stray down the rabbit hole, my perception is weird enough as it is, I might tell you what I see and then you would be truly frightened.

The only reason this move is getting any attention from the american public is due to their vague and nonspecific mistrust of anything arabic, muslim or wearing a turban. I'm surpassed we haven't switched back to roman numerals! How many Americans know where this country is? How many realise it is a country and not some kind of "UN of the East" -- It'd be fun to pretend that my people had finely gotten sick of the corporate take over of our country-- but that is wishful thinking.

Well stated.  On the money.  

People should keep an eye on the Maritime Administration's decisions.  Each one.  

And we really need to do backgrounds on all future Administration appointees.  

There is little likelihood that President Bush wasn't aware (as suggested by the White House staff - until this past weekend...) that DP World was purchasing P&O.  If nothing else, the FBI background package on the Maritime Administration nominee would have included some reference to the ongoing CFIUS action regarding DP World.  And the nominee would certainly have had an obligation to mention  the pending issue during any interview with the President or his White House staff.  

It's a shame that this Administration, or any Administration for that matter, has any success in dishing out this type of BS to the American public.  

If they are so incompetent as to supposedly not know that a multiple of actions are ongoing or have occurred, then we should be telling them to step down.  

Am I supposed to believe that Sec Rice didn't talk to Sec Rumsfeld?  Or didn't mention a word to the President?  Come on, now.  

Back to your point - I hope that you continue to raise this issue of divided or questionable loyalties.  It's a valid issue.  


The administration was too busy illegally spying on American citizens to pay attention to what swarthy fellows from the middle east were doing at our ports.
That's how the jingoist US public sees it...
On page 8 of Staff Report Number Six you will find the following:

"The Desert Camp, February 1999
"During the winter of 1998-99, intelligence reported that Bin Ladin frequently visited a camp in the desert adjacent to a larger hunting camp in Helmand province of Afghanistan, used by visitors from a Gulf state. Public sources have stated that these visitors were from the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning of February, Bin Ladin was reportedly located there, and apparently remained for more than a week. This was not in an urban area, so the risk of collateral damage was minimal. Intelligence provided a detailed description of the camps. National technical intelligence confirmed the description of the larger camp and showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the UAE. The CIA received reports that Bin Ladin regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited with Emiratis. The location of this larger camp was confirmed by February 9, but the location of Bin Ladin's quarters could not be pinned down so precisely. Preparations were made for a possible strike at least against the larger camp, perhaps to target Bin Ladin during one of his visits. No strike was launched.

"According to CIA officials, policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike might kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with Bin Ladin or close by. The lead CIA official in the field felt the intelligence reporting in this case was very reliable; the UBL unit chief at the time agrees. The field official believes today that this was a lost opportunity to kill Bin Ladin before 9/11.

"Clarke told us the strike was called off because the intelligence was dubious, and it seemed to him as if the CIA was presenting an option to attack America's best counterterrorism ally in the Gulf. Documentary evidence at the time shows that on February 10 Clarke detailed to Deputy National Security Adviser Donald Kerrick the intelligence placing UBL in the camp, informed him that DOD might be in position to fire the next morning, and added that General Shelton was looking at other options that might be ready the following week.

"Clarke had just returned from a visit to the UAE, working on counterterrorism cooperation and following up on a May 1998 UAE agreement to buy F-16 aircraft from the United States. On February 10, Clarke reported that a top UAE official had vehemently denied that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan. Evidence subsequently confirmed that high-level UAE officials had been hunting there.

"By February 12 Bin Ladin had apparently moved on and the immediate strike plans became moot. In March the entire camp complex was hurriedly disassembled. We are still examining several aspects of this episode."

"To put it bluntly, what the hell are they doing with all that natural gas?"


The UAE has the largest per capita ecological footprint in the world: ndex.cfm

They're burning it. Mostly to power air conditioning, I suspect.

After all that, I think we ended up having a pretty good and wide-ranging discussion around Dave's original post. I'm not sure if any concensus (sp?) emerged, but maybe that wasn't the point. It was a real eye-opener to see the range of vigorously-defended opinions that can be held (and vigorously defended) concerning a single point, where I thought that my own views were obvious and shared by all.

A lot this stuff will be aired again (usque ad nauseam) in the coming weeks and months. Like it or not, the petro-bloc will need somewhere to stash that torrent of dollars. In ten years, more of us will be working for the benefit of those guys than are now. And the question of how to influence the holders of reserves in the ground to give access to US rather than THEM will continue to exercise the political classes.

Finally, I'd like to apologize to scum everywhere for bracketing it with arts graduates. That was out of order; clearly I went too far, and it touched a nerve. I won't do it again. Sheesh... lighten up guys

Back to lurking (for now)

aargh. repeated a phrase. memo to self - read before hitting POST.
The Other Side of the Dubai Coin

How easy is it for a foreign corporation to own and/or operate a company, or purchase land in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?  


The Dubai Facts:

"The [UAE] Federal Companies Law applies to all commercial companies established in the UAE and to branch offices of foreign companies operating in the UAE. Companies established in the UAE are required to have a minimum of 51 percent UAE national ownership."

"The [UAE] Commercial Agencies Law requires that foreign principals distribute their products in the UAE only through exclusive commercial agents that are either UAE nationals or companies wholly owned by UAE nationals."

"The [UAE] Federal Industry Law stipulates that industrial projects must have 51 percent UAE national ownership. The law also requires that projects either be managed by a UAE national or have a board of directors with a majority of UAE nationals. Exemptions from the law are provided for projects related to extraction and refining of oil, natural gas, and other raw materials. Additionally, projects with a small capital investment or special projects governed by special laws or agreements are exempt from the industry law."  

"The [UAE] Government Tenders Law stipulates that a supplier, contractor, or tenderer with respect to federal projects must either be a UAE national or a company in which UAE nationals own at least 51 percent of the share capital or foreign entities represented by a UAE distributor or agent."

"Up until recently, only Emiratis and other GCC nationals were permitted to own land in the UAE, while foreigners, who comprise 80-85% of the population, had been restricted to renting."  [GCC = Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, a.k.a. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)]

"Perhaps the most important impediment to freeholds is that owners cannot register titles with the Dubai Land Department, a step that allows owners access to the full range of legal protections and transactions that property ownership requires. If a national and foreigner try to register a change of land title, the Land Department normally turns them away."  

"Defense contractors with an eye for investment in the UAE must negotiate directly with the UAE Offsets Group (UOG), and invest an amount that will generate a profit equal to 60% of their contract in the UAE. UOG investment projects generally must show the required profit after seven years. The contractor may not own more than 49 percent of the project, and UAE nationals must hold the remaining 51 percent."

"There is no national treatment for investors in the UAE. The UAE maintains non-tariff barriers to investment in the form of restrictive agency, sponsorship, and distributorship requirements. In order to do business in the UAE outside one of the free zones, a foreign business in most cases must have a UAE national sponsor, agent or distributor. Once chosen, sponsors, agents, or distributors have exclusive rights. They cannot be replaced without their agreement. Government tendering is not conducted according to generally accepted international standards, and re-tendering is the norm. To bid on federal projects, a supplier or contractor must be either a UAE national or a company in which UAE nationals own at least 51 percent of the capital or have a local agent or distributor."

"Title to all land in Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate, resides in the ruler."


U.S. State Department - United Arab Emirates 2005 Investment Climate Statement

That's not so unusual. In global and historic terms, American openness to foreign investment is the surprising news, not the UAE's restrictiveness. The US is probably more open to investment than any country in the world. This may explain why America is so wealthy and powerful. Clearly some politicians like the idea of becoming less open to investment, though.

Dubai recently changed the rules so that non-nationals can hold title to residential property. And they throw in permanent residence as a bonus - very attractive to some.

General info sources for brushing up on UAE...

Library of Congress - Federal Research Division - Country Profile: United Arab Emirates
December 2005

The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
May 9, 2005

State - Background Note: United Arab Emirates

CIA World Factbook - United Arab Emirates (UAE)

EIA Country Analysis Brief - United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Library of Congress - A Country Study: United Arab Emirates
* Older presentation (Dec 1992)

Rumsfeld was AWOL from CFIUS?  Say it's not so...

It's highly unlikely in my judgment that the Administration will reverse its decision.  The Administration is stuck, for a multitude of reasons.  Moreover, a reversal wouldn't necessarily stop the legal sale of P&O to DP World.  That is a foreign to foreign transaction.  (more later on this point)

Meanwhile, Rumsfeld steps to the mic:

News Transcript, DoD News Briefing with Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Pace, February 21, 2006

It's entertaining to note Rumsfeld's 'knowledge innocence' on the sale of P&O to DP World during the follow up Q&A with the news media. One is led to think that DoD didn't have a chair at the Committee table (U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States). That's complete nonsense, of course.  

The Secretary of Defense is a member of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.  Did he skip all of the supposed meetings?  Sec Rice appears to know about the meeting(s) and the thinking that resulted in the Committee's decision.  If Sec Rumsfeld further delegated the E.O.  committee role (not sure he has any authority to do that...), did that individual not keep him fully informed on the activities and decisions of the Committee?  Rumsfeld acts as though he had no knowledge of the Committee activities prior to, during, or after the Committee meetings on the sale of P&O to DP World.  He says that he didn't know anything until this past weekend. I call Rumsfeld's hand on his remarks to the news media.  If he's telling the truth, then I have little confidence that the Committee held any meaningful meetings.  Who the hell attended?  Not DoD...?

Turning to the Congressional side of this issue...

If the Congress intends to get off its collective butt and address the notable differences in airport operations vs port operations and security of infrastructure operations in general, any serious legislation put forth would provide the foundation for initiating an equalization of the security treatment considerations being applied to U.S. infrastructure facilities and operations.  Right now, we're not witnessing a level playing field.  

The Congress has, in the last five years, failed to go back and adequately readdress the Exon-Florio provision in such a manner as would address the ownership of U.S. ports by U.S. port authorities, and terminal operations/ownership, and/or functions contracted out to foreign subcontractors (such as the operation of entire ports or major terminals ).  If the U.S. Congress doesn't want foreign ownership or control of U.S. ports and/or terminals, then that needs to written into U.S. Code.  

Stepping back, the bigger question is what actually triggered the current Exon-Florio provision review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.  Perhaps it is the 50% P&O ownership of the Port of Miami.  Beyond that issue and any other related U.S. corporation asset ownership considerations, I don't see where the sale jurisdiction comes into play if focusing on the language of the Exon-Florio provision.  

U.S. Department of Treasury - Exon-Florio Provision (as exercised under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States)

A careful read of the jurisdiction responsibility of the Committee is in order if one is to understand that the U.S. really doesn't have any authority to prevent the sale of one foreign corporation to another foreign corporation (or nation state), unless arm twisting the new deal if the first foreign corporation owned or took control of U.S.- based U.S. corporate assets.  As such, that would imply that the U.S. exercised prior approval of P&O ownership of whatever U.S. assets may be involved.

P&O can be sold to DP World without any approval by the United States Government.  Now, having said that, it may be the case that DP World could be forced to divest itself of the 50% ownership of the Port of Miami.  That's a strong possibility under U.S. Code.  For those who bothered to research news releases from P&O or DP World, it is the case that P&O recently sold some U.S. assets prior to the agreed upon sale of P&O to DP World.   Similarly, some effort could be undertaken to "encourage" or force DP World to sell its recent U.S. rail line assets.  

Obviously, the six port authorities affected in the sale of P&O to DP World (and the nation state of Dubai) can pursue legal means to void the existing operational support contracts with P&O/DP World. Beyond the Port of Miami ownership issue, the Exon-Florio provision may be of little help in voiding those contracts unless there is a legal determination that operation of terminals at any U.S. port authority facilities in the United States falls under the jurisdiction of the statute or related statutes that address matters of U.S. national security.  

Oh - back to that AWOL deal on Rumsfeld.  Maybe someone should call Gay Hartwell Sills at Treasury and find out the real story on Rumsfeld.  The number?  Phone: (202) 622-9066  Also: (202) 622-1860

Rumsfeld's the one member of the Committee who should never miss a meeting.  Those meetings are supposed to focus on national security issues.  

Right, Rummy?  


Mikey Chertoff for Dummies - Chapter 7, Section 161

Here are just a few of the things we haven't heard Homeland Secretary Chertoff mention in recent days...

UAE and Terrorism
December 2005 update

"Dubai is strongly linked to the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States; more than half of the hijackers flew directly out of Dubai International Airport to the United States."  

"As of late 2004, however, evidence suggested that al Qaeda was continuing to use Dubai as a logistical hub for international travel, planning, and finance."

The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
May 9, 2005

"The UAE was one of only three countries (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the others) to have recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, after the movement captured Kabul in September 1996. During Taliban rule (1996-2001), the UAE continued to allow Ariana Afghan airlines to operate service to UAE, and many U.S. officials believed that Al Qaeda activists might have spent time in UAE."

"Two of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks were UAE nationals, and there were reports that the hijackers had used financial networks based in the UAE in the plot. Since then, the UAE has publicly acknowledged assisting in the 2002 arrest of at least one senior Al Qaeda operative in the Gulf, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri."  

"The UAE record on assisting U.S. anti-proliferation efforts may be of somewhat greater concern. In connection with recent revelations of illicit sales of nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea by Pakistan's nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan.  Dubai was named as a key transfer point for shipments of nuclear components sold by Khan. Two Dubai-based companies were apparently involved in trans-shipping such components: SMB Computers and Gulf Technical Industries."


(Apologies for the length, but this covers UAE references in the 9/11 attacks as noted by U.S. DOJ in one indictment)


Mikey Chertoff for Dummies - Chapter 7, Section 162

Mikey was completely tone deaf while defending UAE during the past week, forgetting his principal role and responsibility in this Federal prosecution:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v-ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI a/k/a "Shaqil," a/k/a "Abu Khalid al Sahrawi

U.S. Prosecutors:  

  1. Michael Chertoff, Assistant Attorney General
  2. Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia  
  3. Mary Jo White, United States Attorney, Southern District of New York

UAE related issues cited in the U.S. Federal indictment include:  


On or about August 23, 1996, a Declaration of Jihad indicating that it was from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan entitled, "Message from Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden to His Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula" was disseminated.

In February 1998, Usama Bin Laden endorsed a fatwah under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders." This fatwah, published in the publication Al-Quds al-`Arabi on February 23, 1998, stated that Muslims should kill Americans - including civilians - anywhere in the world where they can be found.

In an address in or about 1998, Usama Bin Laden cited American aggression against Islam and encouraged a jihad that would eliminate the Americans from the Arabian Peninsula.  

In or about April 1998, ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI was present at the al Qaeda-affiliated Khalden Camp in Afghanistan.

On or about May 29, 1998, Usama Bin Laden issued a statement entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and the Crusaders," in which he stated that "it is the duty of the Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God."

In or about June 1999, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden issued a further threat indicating that all American males should be killed.

On or about June 29, 2000, $4,790 was wired from the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") to Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) in Manhattan.

On or about July 19, 2000, $9,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On or about July 26, 2000, in Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh wired money to Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) in Florida.

On or about August 7, 2000, $9,485 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On or about August 30, 2000, $19,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

In or about September 2000, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden called for a "jihad" to release the "brothers" in jail "everywhere.  

On or about September 18, 2000, $69,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohamed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On July 18, 2001, Fayez Ahmed (#175) gave power of attorney to Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi for Fayez Ahmed's Standard Chartered Bank accounts in UAE.  

On July 18, 2001, using his power of attorney, Al-Hawsawi picked up Fayez Ahmed's VISA and ATM cards in UAE.

Between July 18 and August 1, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi caused Fayez Ahmed's VISA and ATM cards to be shipped from UAE to Fayez Ahmed in Florida. (The VISA card was then used for the first time on August 1, 2001, in Florida.)

On June 25, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi used a cash deposit to open a checking account at a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Dubai, UAE.

On June 25, 2001, at the same Standard Chartered Bank branch in Dubai, UAE, Fayez Ahmed (#175) used a cash deposit to open a savings account and also opened a checking account.

On or about July 30 and 31, 2001, in Hamburg, Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, using the name "Ahad Sabet," received two wire transfers, totaling approximately $15,000, from "Hashim Abdulrahman" in UAE.

On or about August 22, 2001, Fayez Ahmed (#175) used his VISA card in Florida to obtain approximately $4,900 cash, which had been deposited into his Standard Chartered Bank account in UAE the day before.

On or about September 3, 2001, in Hamburg, Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, using the name "Ahad Sabet," received approximately $1500 by wire transfer from "Hashim Ahmed" in UAE.  

On or about September 4, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) sent a FedEx package from Florida to UAE.

On or about September 8, 2001, an Arab male retrieved the package from Mohammed Atta (#11) at FedEx in Dubai, UAE.  

On September 8, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) wired $2,860 to "Mustafa Ahmed" in UAE.

On September 8, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) wired $5,000 to "Mustafa Ahmed" in UAE.

On September 9, 2001, Waleed M. al-Shehri (#11) wired $5,000 to "Ahamad Mustafa" in UAE.

On September 10, 2001, Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) wired $5,400 to "Mustafa Ahmad" in UAE.

On or about September 11, 2001, Mohammed Atta, Abdul Aziz Alomari, Satam al-Suqami, Waleed M. al-Shehri, and Waleed al-Shehri hijacked American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, which had departed Boston at approximately 7:55 a.m. They flew Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan at approximately 8:45 a.m., causing the collapse of the tower and the deaths of thousands of persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Hamza al-Ghamdi, Fayez Ahmed, Mohald al-Shehri, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, and Marwan al-Shehhi hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which had departed from Boston at approximately 8:15 a.m. They flew Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan at approximately 9:05 a.m., causing the collapse of the tower and the deaths of thousands of persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Khalid al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Salem al-Hazmi, and Hani Hanjour hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, which had departed from Virginia bound for Los Angeles, at approximately 8:10 a.m. They flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Virginia at approximately 9:40 a.m., causing the deaths of 189 persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Saeed al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Nami, Ahmed al-Haznawi, and Ziad Jarrah hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757, which had departed from Newark, New Jersey bound for San Francisco at approximately 8:00 a.m. After resistance by the passengers, Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania at approximately 10:10 a.m., killing all on board.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, approximately $16,348 was deposited into Al-Hawsawi's Standard Chartered Bank account.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, at about 9:22 a.m. local time (the early morning hours of Eastern Daylight Time), Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi moved approximately $6,534 from the $8,055 in Fayez Ahmed's (#175) Standard Chartered Bank account into his own account, using a check dated September 10, 2001 and signed by Fayez Ahmed; Al-Hawsawi then withdrew approximately $1,361, nearly all the remaining balance in Ahmed's account, by ATM cash withdrawal.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, approximately $40,871 was prepaid to a VISA card connected to Al-Hawsawi's Standard Chartered Bank account.

On September 11, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi left the U.A.E. for Pakistan.  

On September 13, 2001, the VISA card connected to Al-Hawsawi's account was used to make six ATM withdrawals in Karachi, Pakistan.

On or about October 7, 2001, in Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Muslims to join the battle against the United States.

On or about October 7, 2001, in Afghanistan, Usama Bin Laden praised the September 11 attack, and vowed that the United States would not "enjoy security" before "infidel armies leave" the Saudi Gulf.

On or about October 10, 2001, Sulieman Abu Ghaith announced, on behalf of al Qaeda, that all Muslims had a duty to attack United States targets around the world.


Your posts are absolutely superb.

Kind words, Stormy.  Kind, indeed.  

Many thanks.  

Here are a few more thoughts on the subject.



U.S. Trade with UAE

I believe I will leave this subject area to Stormy.  I have complete confidence that he is well armed on the issue.  



U.S. and UAE - Military Defense and Sales

The U.S.-UAE defense relationship and military sales pictures are outlined with the following sources.

Allied Contributions to the Common Defense Reports to the Congress

These are good summary reports that address the defense role of the GCC and UAE.  

The following offer some appreciation for U.S. military sales to UAE.

Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Search - type in United Arab Emirates [UAE]

According to Agence France-Presse - "Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), together spent about 277 billion dollars on defense and security between 1995 and 2002, according to Arab League figures. ...The GCC states spent about 37 billion dollars on defense in 2004, according to Jane's. ... The UAE historically has purchased its major combat systems from France, but UAE officials now appear to believe that arms purchases from the United States enhance the U.S. commitment to UAE security. In March 2000, the UAE signed a contract to purchase 80 U.S. F-16 aircraft, equipped with the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM), the HARM (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) anti-radar missile, and, subject to a UAE purchase decision, the Harpoon anti-ship missile system." 2Fawcgate%2Fcrs%2Frl31533.pdf

Examples of Foreign Military Sales to UAE:

The United Arab Emirates and Foreign Military Sales(appears to be a 1998 document)

September 16, 1998 - In support of a potential commercial sale of 80 F-16 Block 60 aircraft - sale of AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and AMRAAM training missiles; AIM-9M 1/2 SIDEWINDER missiles and SIDEWINDER training missiles; AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) and HARM training missiles; AGM-65D/G MAVERICK missiles and MAVERICK training missiles; AGM-84 HARPOON missiles; MK 82 and MK 84 general purpose bombs; MK 82 and 560 MK 84 air inflatable retard kits; BLU-109 bombs; GBU-10 and GBU-12 PAVEWAY II laser guided bomb kits; GBU-24 PAVEWAY III laser guided bomb kits; CBU-87 combined effects munitions; CBU-58 inert cluster bomb units; BDU-33 training bombs; MK 106 training bombs; 20mm and 20mm inert bullets sales+%3Cand%3E+uae&p=Simple

March 1999 - SecDEF meeting with UAE officials in Dubai regarding the potential sale of F-16s

"On his March 8 stop in the UAE, Cohen met with government officials to discuss outstanding issues in the proposed F-16 purchase. Washington has so far refused UAE requests that it release the software codes used in the F-16's on-board electronic warfare systems. As in the earlier AMRAAM negotiations, the UAE has threatened to take its fighter buy elsewhere if its demands are not met."

April 28, 2000 - F-16 aircraft

Analysis of the F-16 Block 60 sale

26 April 2001- F-16 tail kits

25 October 2001- Harpoon missiles

4 September 2002 - Refurbished/upgraded E-2C Aircraft to the E2C HAWKEYE 2000

17 July 2002 - Upgrade to Apache Helicopters ses%2F36-b%2FUAE_02-30.pdf

November 14, 2003 - Harpoon Missile Block II retrofit kits and warhead section kits

17 November 2004 - JAVELIN anti-tank missile systems, missile rounds and associated
equipment and services ses%2F36-b%2F2004%2FUAE_05-09.pdf

Dubai air show Nov. 22, 2005 (note military sales discussion)

Related GAO analysis reports on weapon systems sales to Middle East nations 4&y=14

Meanwhile, after September 11, 2001, UAE was classified as an 'Imminent Danger Pay' zone for U.S. military personnel:

DFAS memorandum and change in 'Imminent Danger Pay' zones
November 26, 2001



UAE?  The Selective Knowledge Vacuum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

All of this brings me to the President of the United States. And the White House staff.

President Bush. The leader of the United States of America. And those around him.  The inner circle, plus those down the hall and in the basement, as well as those next door in the Old Executive Building.    

We are supposed to believe that the President didn't have any knowledge of the activities of the CFIUS?  He had no knowledge whatsoever that DP World was bidding on the acquisition of P&O? None? At any time before this past weekend?  

Why not?

Did none of the CFIUS members, including Sec Rice, Sec Chertoff, and/or Sec Rumsfeld (oh, that's right...he knew nothing, too) advise the President or his immediate staff of the national security decision? None? Not one word? Not even a nod?  No report?  No summary?  No memo? Nothing?!

You're trying to tell me that Sec Snow, the CFIUS Chairman, did not inform the President of the United States of the Committee's recommendation to the President? That's how it works under Exon-Florio provision, by the way.  


Uh, huh.  Right...  Whatever.  

Did Dave Sanborn, the Maritime Administration nominee, not advise the FBI or any single member of the White Staff that his firm, DP World, was in the process of attempting to purchase P&O?  He didn't mention the pending action during any interviews?  The FBI background package (the appendix) is a blank page on this NATIONAL DEFENSE subject?

Karen Hughes (over at STATE) didn't breathe a word?  Not a word?  Not even to the First Lady?  

I would lay odds that Barney, the President's dog knows the truth.  But he's not talking to the news media.  Barney's probably worried that someone is busy practicing for a hunting trip.  He might be hiding out.  

And that's exactly what we're hearing from Sec Rumsfeld and the White House Staff.  The See and Hear Nothing crowd. And we're supposed to buy into that BS.  Again and again.  

The President? He might not have known.  But I believe that he did know.  

It's high time that this Administration stop trying to con the American public.  We're getting a bit tired of the "Didn't Know" routine.  It's child's play.

If the White House staff, the Cabinet, and the President are that ill-informed and oblivious about ongoing events and activities, then we should ask them to step down.  Negligence is not among the attributes that we expect and demand of national leadership.  

Step Up or Step Down, people.   Do It Now.


Sorry about not just providing the link.  The link story changes a lot.

23 February 2006
"Economic Brief: U.S. Ports Deal, Italian Banking Sector"

Last week, Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, purchased British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. for US$6.8 billion. The acquisition, approved by the Bush administration, gives control of ports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami to Dubai Ports World, sparking controversy in Washington and in state capitals among Democrats and Republicans.

Many lawmakers have questioned whether handing control of major U.S. ports to the U.A.E., which is considered an ally in the "war on terrorism" but has a mixed record, is in the best interests of national security. In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, who also heads the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (C.F.I.U.S.), several members of Congress asked that he conduct a 45-day investigation of the acquisition that "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S." The letter also cited the fact that two of the 9/11 hijackers were U.A.E. nationals, that the FBI found that the U.A.E.'s banking systems were used to transfer funds for the 9/11 attacks, the U.A.E. had recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan and that the Treasury Department criticized the U.A.E. for a "lack of cooperation" in tracking down Osama bin Laden's bank accounts.

Much of the commentary on the deal focuses on the fact that the U.A.E. is an Arab and Muslim state, and that the major issue is whether the U.S. should entrust its ports to such states. However, a key motive behind this argument is that Democrats, depicted by Republicans as weak on defense since 9/11, are seizing the opportunity to appear tough on national security and portray the White House as negligent ahead of the 2006 and 2008 elections. As such, lawmakers have pledged to pass legislation that would ban companies controlled by foreign governments from acquiring U.S. port operations, regardless of the fact that firms from England, Denmark, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan currently operate other U.S. ports

The Dubai Ports World deal was quietly approved as a precursor to a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.A.E. that recently entered a fourth round of talks. Trade between the two countries will rise significantly as a result of a free trade agreement.

The heavy secrecy under which the White House usually operates is another motivation for Congressional resistance. The Bush administration's disregard for Congressional approval, especially with regard to the N.S.A. spying program, has angered many members of Congress, who undoubtedly see the ports deal as an opportunity to strike back. In calling for hearings on the matter, Democrat Nancy Pelosi stated, "In the meantime, Congress must put an immediate halt to this deal that the administration hastily approved in secret without input from the Congress or state officials."

The White House now finds itself in unfamiliar territory of asking Congress to look beyond the 9/11 attacks so that the U.S. may cultivate relationships with friendly Muslim states. Bush has threatened to veto any measure that would block the deal, and members of Congress claim to have the support to overturn a veto. Bush now faces unprecedented opposition from Republicans in Congress and needs the U.A.E. deal to pass in order to save face.

Expect Congress, particularly Democrats, to continue to point to this deal as a major lapse by the Bush administration, and for Bush to struggle to maintain his steadfast commitment to national security and free trade.

Another article  same page

22 February 2006 Saudi Arabia Looks East: Woos China and India

   The only reason I can see for the administration takeing the heat for this is the decision to use the emirates as a stageing ground for war preps for a attack on Iran.defending passage thru the straites of Hormuz in exchange for 21 ports in the usa[u.p. just gave thatnumber of ports]
   This is a lose/lose situation for the matter how it shakes out the average joe will think "sellout" of the security of the usa to the arabs  
What Can we do about Joe?
   The only reason I can see for the administration takeing the heat for this is the decision to use the emirates as a stageing ground for war preps for a attack on Iran.defending passage thru the straites of Hormuz in exchange for 21 ports in the usa[u.p. just gave thatnumber of ports]Such a deal!
   This is a lose/lose situation for the matter how it shakes out the average joe will think "sellout" of the security of the usa to the arabs  
Wall Street Journal, 2/23/06
"In Ports Furor, A Clash over Dubai," Spindle, Bill, et al;

"...according to sanctions experts and numerous U.S. court and regulatory cases, Iran uses Dubai to evade U.S. economic sanctions on Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.  The U.A.E. doesn't recognize those sanctions.

"Iranian front companies in Dubai routinely obtain prohibited U.S. goods, federal court records show.  In one undercover investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that resulted in a November 2005 guilty plea in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the representative of an Iranian front company was caught on tape assuring an undercover agent posing as a businessman not to worry about sanctions regulations.

"'You are going to export to Dubai, which does not have any regulations.  It's a free, uh, country for importing, exporting,' said Khalid Mahmood, according to his guilty plea.  Asked if the equipment would then be shipped to Iran, Mr. Mahmood replied, `Once it comes here, we'll ship it anywhere in the world, no problems.'" [p. A12]

"No problems" indeed.