Image Image

  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

Dubai Ports World Versus the Congressional Mafia

Date: 15 July, 2006

By: Chief

ImageBack a few months ago three members of the Congressional Mafia, Senators Schumer and Clinton of New York and Senator Menendez of New Jersey, dressed in their finest black overcoats, were holding a solemn press conference at pier side denouncing the proposed buy out of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company by Dubai Ports (DP) World. It is probably the first time any of them have seen a pier in their lives but it makes for good visual effects to go with the rabid sound bites. About the only thing missing is a violin case to hold a Tommy Gun.


When word got out that an Arab company (heaven forbid), DP World, made an offer to P&O, a foreign company also (yeah that's right), to outright purchase P&O our Congressional mafia (politicians) wasted no time working themselves and their ignorant constituents up into a foaming at the mouth lather. It was almost rabid. Come to think of it all politicians are rabid dogs, but I digress.

The Congressional mafia spewed forth the port deal as a matter of 'national security'. 'Arabs simply cannot be trusted'. 'They (criminals or cowards) could sneak a 'dirty' bomb inside a container and blow up an entire city'. 'Reelect me and I'll keep them-thar nasty ragheads away from our country'. 'I'm looking out for your security'. 'We cannot hand over port security to a foreign government'. And on and on, ad infinitum. That was the battle cry of the Congressional mafia led by Clinton, Schumer, Menendez and joined by Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Of course there were numerous other — up for reelection — members of the Congressional mafia who added their very own foam to the pyre as well. And the anti-arab flames got higher and hotter.

But what is the big deal anyhow? One company is buying out another company. It happens all the time. Besides, and this is a real important point, both DP World and P&O are foreign owned companies. Got that? Neither are American owned companies. Indeed quite a few terminal operations companies operating at various U.S. ports are foreign owned companies. Companies such as Hanjin Shipping Company and APM Terminals, the third largest terminal operator in the world, (owned by A.P. Moller - Maersk Group) to name just two of many foreign owned companies operating at U.S. ports.

You would think, utilizing the illogic logic of the Congressional mafia, that no foreign company, bar none, should or could be a terminal operator at any U.S. port. It is in the interest of national security don't you know. But, it certainly appears that is not the case. Not by a jug full.

The purported big deal is fourfold:

Put those four facts together and you end up with more fire and brimstone rhetoric foaming out of the mouths of politicians and ignorant citizens than you would ever see at a convention of Southern Baptist ministers.

Yeah buddy, the 'ugly American' syndrome reared its ugly head — big time.

Now have I got news for y'all. No terminal operator such as DP World or P&O for that matter has got anything to do with port security. None. Nada. Zero. Zip. And they never have either. Terminal operators move cargo on and off of ships. No more — no less. Period.

What? Do you mean to say that members of the Congressional mafia such as Senators Clinton, Schumer, Menendez and Boxer along with numerous Congressmen (including my representative Congressman Steve Pearce, R-NM) outright lied to the American people? You must be joking.

No. I am not joking. Not in the least. It is an election year. Of course they lied. It is what they do for a living. That and take bribes.

Port security

Now for y'alls edification and entertainment seaport or maritime security is handled by the:

Yup there you have it. In other words — government is responsible.

The Customs Service is responsible for inspecting all cargo, collecting duties, tariffs and the like. They are good at what they do but there is no way they can inspect all the cargo that arrives at any one port on a given day let alone what arrives at all U.S. ports over the course of a single year. There is just way too much for them to handle.

The Coast Guard is responsible for security of inland waterways and U.S. territorial waters. Additionally they have authority to inspect and shut down terminal facilities and operations. Furthermore they can refuse to let ships into U.S. ports. They can turn them around and send them home. And they have done exactly that.

The various port authorities are responsible for the security of the ports themselves, whether seaports or airports under their jurisdiction. They are also responsible for the development of ports within their jurisdiction.

Additionally port authorities have their own police force.

Port authorities, by the way, are normally government agencies, independent government corporations or something similar. They have an appointed board of directors and a commissioner or executive director along with a supporting staff. The primary job of a port authority is the development of facilities for tenants, like DP World, to ensure a smooth and speedy flow of commerce.

For example the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey is a public agency. The governors of both states appoint six commissioners each. The commissioners in turn elect one of their members as the executive director for the port authority.

On the other hand the Port Authority of Oakland, California, has seven commissioners appointed by the Mayor of the City of Oakland. I don't know how the port authority executive director is chosen.

The bottom line is that government at the city, state and federal level is responsible for port security. Not DP World. Not any terminal operator. It has been that way for decades and I do not foresee any changes coming down that particular track any time soon.

How twisted up did our populace become after members of the Congressional mafia finished their foaming at the mouth lies? According the San Francisco Gate poll a full 71% felt that the Dubai port deal should be blocked. And that is coming from the capital of the land of fruits, nuts and flakes. Yeah, the 'celebrate diversity' crowd showed their true colors — ignorance and bigotry.

Speaking of ignorance and bigotry, I received an email news letter from my Congressman, Steve Pearce. Here is what he said of the DP World deal:

"Undoubtedly, the withdrawal of a Dubai, United Arab Emirates company as a candidate to operate six ports in the Eastern U.S. makes us safer. To our North, South, East, and West, our borders and ports remain accessible to the terrorists. In the post-9-11 environment, we simply cannot afford to gamble with our security.


"I was prepared to vote against the President on the floor of the House - and I will not hesitate to speak up when he's wrong in the future. The American people have a right to expect that we will openly and thoroughly debate matters that impact the safety and security of our neighborhoods and communities."

Undoubtedly makes us safer? Where pray tell did Pearce get that nugget of nonsense from? He is, after all, a member of the Congressional mafia and is up for reelection this year. But since port security is solely a governmental affair, how in the world could he state, as a fact no less, that having DP World sell off the American terminal operations makes our ports and our country any safer?

The answer is Congressman Steve Pearce lied through his teeth and he knows it.

Openly and thoroughly debate matters of safety and security? Just who the hell is Pearce kidding anyway? Concerning the sale of P&O to DP World there was not really a debate at all. It was an election year feeding frenzy. 'Hey voter, reelect me. I'm really tough on security. Ya just can't trust them A-rabs no way'.

I believe it would be fair to say that Congressman Pearce and every other member of the Congressional mafia should preface their remarks by stating:

'My name is [whoever] and I don't have a clue what I'm talking about'.

As for DP World, the company realized they could not win against ignorance, bigotry and the Congressional mafia so DP World threw in the towel after they had purchased P&O and stated that they would sell off their newly purchased American assets to an independent American company. And, as far as I'm concerned, that is sad and someday we just might regret it.

Unfortunately, as DP World found out, there are times when you just cannot beat the mob.

(Return to the top)