hearts and minds
Nevertheless, the whole affair served as a lesson for other Arab companies who may have thought of investing in what has proved to be a hostile US atmosphere. All the free trade talk proved to be just empty rhetoric. Another irony is that the Democrats, the supporters of globalisation, were the key opponents of the deal. There must have been something else behind the sudden change of heart.
It was definitely not the concern for national security, as they fully know the Bush administration had run a meticulous review of the deal, which established it was not a threat. Was it the "Israeli element" as some have suggested? Maybe. Otherwise, why would some Congress members bombard the
DP World executive, during last week's hearing, with questions about the Arab boycott of Israel? Did they want to force the UAE to end the pan-Arab boycott of Israel in order approve the deal?
These questions need to be investigated. But the fact remains it was an ugly scene in Washington. Other foreign-owned companies run US ports but they were not Arab. That is the message.
And we got it.
Meanwhile, Chinese government-owned companies control terminals in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities, and both ends of the Panama Canal.
Had the present Administation been taking port security seriously for the past five years, this whole afair would have been rendered moot. Instead we have this fiasco.
Actually, Israeli companies that have done business with Dubai World offered very positive assessments to Congress WRT to its security. I think that a lot of this highlighted a broader and dare I say it bipartisan cultural trend in American society that I find quite disturbing.
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About City of Brass
City of Brass was originally launched in March 2002 under the name UNMEDIA. The blog focuses on issues related to muslims in the West. The primary author is Aziz Poonawalla, a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS). Also see the technical blog, entitled Khidmat is not a zero-sum game, detailing the open-source infrastructure behind our community web portal, mumineen.org.