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February 27, 2006

Ports deal

I am appalled, worried and severely disappointed in our government’s “blessing” on the sale of the British firm that manages six of our major ports to Dubai Ports World. What are we thinking? According to your front-page (2/21), “lawmakers of both (U.S. political) parties say they are worried about terrorist infiltration.” Duh! Who wouldn’t be?

What kind of security checks will put in place to make certain that once again Americans will not welcome terrorists into our country with open arms and later find them attacking our citizens in the worst possible way?

Wake up, Washington, before it is too late. I am beginning to think that no one in the government should be re-elected. We need to start over from the top down.

Kay Salter
Prairie Village

Since 9-11, we, as citizens of the United States, have had to go through a lot of changes in how we travel, renew documents, i.e. drivers licences, and other things in the name of protecting ourselves. What I don’t understand is why the man who tells us to be aware of things, to keep us safe, would let a foreign, state-owned company control our ports. It is like hiring the fox to protect the hen house.

Allen Tucker



"Can you imagine the outcry from Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly et al had Clinton been dumb enough to try this deal -- which of course he wasn't."

Have you been staying current with the Hannity talking points irishguy? He's ripping the President a new one on this port issue. With such abandonment and glee you would have thought he was talking about Hillary.


tomw, I'm afraid Mary Sanchez merely swallowed the latest Karl Rove "talking point".

Can you imagine the outcry from Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly et al had Clinton been dumb enough to try this deal -- which of course he wasn't.

Ray Seay

"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his secretary of state and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."


It appears that Sanchez was caught between her open borders policy and a chance to bash Bush, never to be passed up by 90% of the Star's Editorial Board. In my opinion it is that stress that gave rise to a somewhat strange column.


Chris40-I've heard of the left blaming America first also. It's a thought put forth by windbags like Sean Hannity. It seems as if you like to read too much into things as well. Sanchez was making the point that Americans are being xenophobic over the port issue and elected officials are playing into those fears. I don't agree with her position, but I don't find it " over the top".

Ray Seay

Dubai Ports World (or DP World for short) is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.. It is controlled by the royal family of United Arab Emirates member, Dubai. [1]
In 2006, it agreed to purchase the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) of the United Kingdom. DP World has promised to keep P&O's headquarters in London.

One of DP World's top executives, Dave Sanborn, was nominated by President George W. Bush in January to become the administrator of the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation
Dubai Ports has international operations in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Romania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, India, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia in addition to the UAE.

The debate has curiously divided the opposing sides into mixed camps, with the New York Times, Lindsey Graham, The New Republic, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill Frist, Hillary Clinton, Robert Menendez, John Gibson, Jon Corzine, the New York Post, and Peter King opposing it,

while the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly supporting it.
On February 23, 2006, DP World volunteered to postpone its takeover of significant operations at the seaports to give the White House more time to convince lawmakers and the public that the deal poses no


Jack- I don't know that the panic over the port sale is directly related to anything Bush may have said. I think we are seeing a panic that has more to do with people's predjudices than a true cause for concern. When I first heard the hubub over the ports story (which was first reported with no fanfare in October) I too was confused, until I came across the following facts:

We are not at war with the westward leaning U.A.E. To the contrary, they have arguably been our strongest Arab supporter in the war on terror, and are more likely to be victimized by terrorists than support them. The employees and security staff at the ports in question will not change - only who pays them. U.A.E. allready owns many ports around the world that regularly ship to the U.S. without incident. If we were to turn our collective nose up to a rare Arab ally, what's the chance that other Arab states will come to our aid?

I think this story will die down once another staff member shoots someone, or one of the Bush daughters gets a little tipsy, or once people realize it's not much of a contraversy after all.


What is now happening to the Administration over this is so ironic to me. Most of this administration's power comes from running around, scaring the hell out of the American people. We should give up our rights in order to be "safe". A vote for the other guy is a vote to die. After almost six years of them running around yelling, "Be afraid, be very afraid, we are the only ones who can keep you safe," (note to the neo-cons: This is not a specific quote of any individual. It is used as an example only. Yelling "give me the direct quote reference" is just an excuse to blow me off.), the piper has now called. He wants paid.

It is almost biblical (the irony). Something about reaping what one has sown.

I don't like this deal. It bothers me that the port operations are being sold to a foreign country, not a foreign owned business as the administration has ben "mistating". But the fact is this outfit is currently running ports all over the world. And the other, more troubling fact, is that our port security is already so lousy that the bad guys don't need help to get in.

The whole political mess is a direct result of the fear mongering of the Administration. They just can't seem to understand that when your power base is fear, the people will react out of that fear even when it doesn't help the President. Dumb.

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