Friday, February 24, 2006

It's the economy, stupid!

I was asked yesterday what I think of the deal whereby a company funded by the UAE of Dubai will be purchasing some port operations in this country. I said I was ambivalent. I don't think for a minute the priority of the Bush administration is "homeland security," but I don't believe our ports are any more at risk with an Arab company vs a British company managing imports and exports. No, I was waiting to hear what the deal is, the bargain you know was struck between their country and ours, where the Bush administration AND their cohorts get something from it.

Of course, there was lots of grandstanding by congresspeople on both sides, to show to their constituents that national security is all-important and even republicans are willing to fight the president on it if push comes to shove (see, they really do have the good of the American people at heart). But you know they all know that it's a done deal, and they all know why. Of course, a few things had surfaced by this morning (for those of us looking for it, because I didn't hear a thing about it this morning on npr). Associated Press has this outing of the secret deal, but doesn't quite get to the heart of the matter, which I'm sure has something to do with money. This op-ed in the Washington Post alludes to a corporate motive, but still nothing that connects the dots to my satisfaction. I'm still looking . . .

Ah! We are so lucky to have the optimistic Amy Goodman playing for our side! Here's what she'll have on her show today: "CorpWatch's Pratap Chatterjee on the Link Between the Iraq War and the White House's Support for a Dubai-Owned Firm to Take Over U.S. Ports The political firestorm continues in Washington over the proposed sale of six U.S. ports to a Dubai-owned company. Dubai Ports World offered to delay the $6.8 million deal after major clashes between the White House and both Democratic and Republican Congressmembers over national security concerns. We speak with Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch."

A quick jump to the website only reveals this: The ports of Dubai make up some of the busiest commercial hubs in the world for the "global war of terrorism." Conveniently located between the Afghanistan and Iraq, Dubai is the ideal jumping-off point for military contractors and a lucrative link in the commercial supply chain of goods and people.

We'll just have to tune in later for the details. This show doesn't air until later today, but they will post the transcripts shortly thereafter, usually before the end of the day.

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