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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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What's GWB Doing?

I'm a Bush supporter, most of the time, but his decisions leave me wondering. He ignores our borders, is fanatically opposed to stem cell research that every other country is pursuing, has said he wants creationism taught in schools (not outright, but has made it clear) and now we have his approval for U.S. Port security to be managed by the UAE. This is the CNN story. http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/...ity/index.html

My support for GWB is being strained. UAE is officially dedicated to the destruction of Israel and several of the 9/11 hijackers came from the UAE. Don't we have any American companies that can do this job? I just can't figure out what GWB is up to. Pat Buchanan looks better all the time as our next president. Again, just my
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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I take that back about Buchanan for president. He is more fundementalist than Bush. I don't know who would make a good president. Anyone but Hillary.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 10:20 AM
 
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Ok one at a time. I too disagree with the whole of the republican party on some of the ideals you mentioned. But lets be fair and not mis represent them.

At no time did GW ever said creatinism should be tought in schools. What he did say was that the states, and not the federal gov't should be the ones to decide what their schools teach. So he turned it into a state/gov't issue. As far as that goes, I agree, limited gov't isnt bad. As far as creationism? well... I suppose I'd rather see creationism than the whole ID crap. At least creationism is a philosophy.

On to the stem cell debacle. In an ideal world I'd like to see them researched, I'd like to see a sagnificant percetage of out GDP go to research. This is the same ideal world in which I would cut the militaries budget and give it all to nasa. Hey there is no war in the ideal world. I digress. Again, no bans in the united states on researching stem cells. Just very little gov't money for it, so if you want to research it cough up the dough. The rationale? That people who disagree with the morality of this research should not have their tax money spent on it. Well that certainly sounds nobel, but its a load of crap. After all about half the country doesnt believe in this war we are fighting, yet their tax money is going to it... So I'm undecided there. In fact, I have a pretty hard time with the republican thought on reproductive functions. I finally found a decent argument against abortions and gay marriages (I'm sorry I just dont buy the whole "Well, its just wrong" as a basis for national policy) here is the full explanation, and when it dresses the whole things in dollar figures, I have an easy time understanding it. Still dont know if I agree, but at least I understand it.

now to this port deal. Its not exactly as if america is selling one of his ports to a bunch of mujahadeen. Somehow we find that we already have a forign company in control of the whole thing to begin with, so one forign company is selling to another forign company. yeay, at least they are asking for our approval. Now why are we giving it to them? Is it payback for increased oil production? maybe. Is it an attempt to integrate some of UAE into our economy and thus our culture? Possible but I doubt it. Is it a rubber stamp because we dont really have a foot to stand on in blocking the deal? well its that or option 1.



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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now to this port deal. Its not exactly as if america is selling one of his ports to a bunch of mujahadeen. Somehow we find that we already have a forign company in control of the whole thing to begin with, so one forign company is selling to another forign company. yeay, at least they are asking for our approval. Now why are we giving it to them? Is it payback for increased oil production? maybe. Is it an attempt to integrate some of UAE into our economy and thus our culture? Possible but I doubt it. Is it a rubber stamp because we dont really have a foot to stand on in blocking the deal? well its that or option 1.
I find irony in the fact that an Arab company, from a country known for explicit anti-american elements, is granted permission to purchase ports, an important national security element. On the other hand, Chinese oil company was prevented from buying an American oil company (Chevron, if I'm not mistaken?). Chinese have not explicitly threatened the US, although their economic might is more formidable than anything Muslim extremists could ever threaten us with.

Makes you wonder who the US is REALLY afraid of...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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Doesnt make me wonder one bit. Economically china is a greater threat to the US.
The problem with extremists is that they are out to kill modern civilization and replace it with another dark age. China just wants all our money.



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 07:35 AM
 
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From a national security and political perspective; it would appear to be a no-brainer; faced with mounting criticism from both sides of the aisle, the Bush Administration is expected to quietly pull the plug on the deal that would let a Dubai-based company run operations in six major U.S. ports. Just today, the Republican governors of New York and Maryland threatened legal action to prevent the United Arab Emirates Firm (Dubai Ports World) from managing port operations in New York City and Baltimore. Their threat is indicative of the political firestorm that is growing over the port issue.

While the White House has described the United Arab Emirates as an important ally in the War on Terrorism, the Dubai government has a less-than-sterling record in tracking terrorist operatives and commerce. One of the 9-11 hijackers--who flew a jet into the south tower of the World Trade Center--was born and raised in the UAE, before emigrating to Saudi Arabia. There are also indications that nuclear and missile technology may have passed through Dubai, enroute from North Korea to Iran. The UAE even bought SCUD missiles from Pyongyang, in defiance of international sanctions against such transactions. While Dubain was supposed to be punished for the SCUD deal, the Clinton Administration overlooked that transgression when it agreed to sell advanced F-16s to the UAE (more on that in a moment).

So why not cancel the deal, and avoid giving the left some badly-needed, election year ammunition in the political battle of homeland security? Unless the deal is scrapped, the administration will find itself in the akward position of appearing weaker on port security than, say, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. At this point, one would assume that GOP powerbrokers are leaning on the White House to cancel the agreement.

But it's not that simple. 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.

Let's beging with the basing rights issue. U.S. military forces--particularly Air Force units--have been using airfields in the UAE since the start of Operation Desert Shield back in 1990. Bases in the UAE are viewed as particularly important for potential military operations against Iran, given their proximity to disputed islands the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Hormuz. Flying from bases in the UAE, U.S. fighter-bombers would have only a short hop to targets in Iran, allowing them to maintain constant pressue on Tehran's military forces and political leadership. The presence of large numbers of tactical aircraft in the UAE would also make it easier to keep the strait open, and reduce Iran's ability to restrict the flow of oil to the global market. If the White House cancels the port deal, Dubai may end its basing agreement, and greatly complicate our military strategy in the region.

Overturning the port deal could also create other problems in the Persian Gulf. 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. In fact, the loss of basing in the UAE would probably force the U.S. to approach Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain to take in more U.S. personnel, a potentially tough sell in the wake of a cancelled port deal between the Dubai and Washington. U.S. basing in Qatar is viewed as extremely critical, since the Gulf nation is home to a multi-billion dollar Air Operations Center, that is used to direct combat operations in the region.

Finally, striking down the port deal would mean likely curtailment of the sale of U.S. F-16s to the UAE. Back in the late 1990s, the Clinton Administration signed an agreement to sell 80 F-16s to the UAE, at a cost of roughly $8 billion. The UAE F-16s (Block 60 models) are most sophisticated version of that fighter ever produced, with capabilities beyond those of USAF F-16s. Sale of the F-16s was viewed as essential in continuing U.S. basing agreements in the UAE, and a major economic plum for the state of Texas, where Lockheed-Martin builds the F-16. The UAE deal came at a time when F-16 production was winding down; the U.S. and other countries had essentially completed their purchase of the F-16, and the assembly line was facing closure until the UAE deal came along. Lockheed hopes the UAE contract can stimulate other F-16 purchases, possibly by other Gulf States or possibly India. In economic terms, the UAE F-16 deal means literally billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the President's home state.

Brit Hume of FNC has predicted that the White House will quietly cancel the UAE port deal a few weeks from now, after the initial furor has died down. But I'm not so sure. The military stakes are enormous, and the economic consequences (through the F-16 sale) are significant as well. Cancelling the port deal may solve political and security issues here at home, but it will also create significant problems in the gulf region, at a time the White House can ill afford them. It's a tough call, but one the President has to make--and soon.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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"Brit Hume of FNC has predicted that the White House will quietly cancel the UAE port deal a few weeks from now, after the initial furor has died down. But I'm not so sure. The military stakes are enormous, and the economic consequences (through the F-16 sale) are significant as well. Cancelling the port deal may solve political and security issues here at home, but it will also create significant problems in the gulf region, at a time the White House can ill afford them. It's a tough call, but one the President has to make--and soon."

If Bush can show where port security would be at the same level as before, then the deal may have a chance. I believe the Coast Guard and each local Port Authority has complete power, that is , they can walk in and stop anything they don't like at any time. My opposition to this deal is letting up the more I learn about it. The problem is the decision was make in Bush's administration without any consultation with anyone.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 07:55 AM
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This is not an issue of that kind of control. This is an issue of giving the terrorists, effectively, the detailed plans to highly critical infrastructure. Bad idea

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:10 AM
 
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This is not an issue of that kind of control. This is an issue of giving the terrorists, effectively, the detailed plans to highly critical infrastructure. Bad idea

If we were talking about a port that was previously ran by the military I'd agree with you. But the so called plans were in civilian hands, more over they were in foreign civilian hands. So anyone with a fax machine and a decent letterhead can get ahold of the "critical" schedules.
The issue is more of wether the new operators would be more likely to "overlook" something as part of cooperating with an attack.
And are the chances of them cooperating justify loosing access to some rather strategic air bases?



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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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And are the chances of them cooperating justify loosing access to some rather strategic air bases?
That's true. If this UAE company was complicit in some kind of terrorism at an American port or any other port, they would lose all thier contracts, as well as most of their employees winding up at Gitmo or dead.
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