Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for February 23rd, 2006

Any Port in a Storm: Part III

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

So, anybody besides me sick of this story yet? Almost makes you wish for the good ‘ole days of…um…last week, when the big story was Mr. Cheney’s quail hunting adventures, doesn’t it?

I’ve been reading everything I can find on both sides of the port issue. One great peice that lambasts both sides is Andrew McCarthy’s latest at National Review. I’ve learned alot about how ports work, and just how insecure they can be. I’ve been fascinated by some of the comments. Some seem to have been asleep for 30 years, and have now awakened to find themselves in a global economy for the first time. That’s not a bad thing, but is surprising to me. Polipundit has broken the arguments down in to four groups. I find this grouping to be true of LJiC as well. (HT to Hugh Hewitt)

By now, hundreds of comments, of pretty much every conceivable opinion, have been posted here at Polipundit regarding the sale of P&O Ports to Dubai Ports World. Essentially, there have been two camps established in the main, with two additional camps playing at a position but really using the debate for personal politics, which is a common hobby these days. They are:

1. People who oppose the sale because they believe that the operations of U.S. Ports are too vital to National Security to be entrusted to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, even though that nation has been a close ally in the War on terror, and a strong U.S. ally for many years and through numerous crises.
2. People who support the sale on basis of the U.A.E.’s record on security, on DP World’s long record of port operations, and on the fact that the contract between the United States and Britain which allowed P&O Ports to manage U.S. Ports did not disallow sale of the port leases to a company based in the Middle East which happens to be an American ally.
3. People who see an opportunity to score personal political points, ideally to advance their credentials for the 2008 Presidential race, and they couldn’t care less about whether their comments damage relations with an important ally, or falsely take focus away from vital concerns in order to quell the egotist tantrums of a narcissist hairpiece.
4. People who just love a fight, and are doing everything they can to turn what should be a serious discussion into a useless brawl.

Groups one and two have valid points and perspectives, and if we could just keep the debate to those two, a solution might found. Group three generally consists of the low-life section of the Republican Party (yes Frist, I mean you too) and the now-thoroughly vulgar candidates from the Democrats. Group four is pretty much the media, though I am disappointed to see that some from the New Media have developed a taste for the mud and slime.

Matt and I are firmly in group two. I haven’t read anything that has swayed me from this view yet. In fact, having just heard from Robert Kaplan on the Hugh Hewitt show further cemented my position. I’m hoping the interview will be up on Radioblogger soon. It’s worth hearing or reading. In fact, no one has done a better job of looking at all sides of this debate than Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. And tonight’s show was the best so far.

This debate is a good thing, and well worth the effort everyone has put into it. Here are some positives that I see coming out of this

Posted in Intelligence, Islam, Politics, War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

Michelle Malkin, and now PajamasMedia

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

It looks as if both Michelle Malkin and possiblyPajamasMedia have been hit with Denial of Service attacks. I’ve been able to pull up PajamasMedia intermittently, but Michelle is still off line. Someone is not happy with the truth,and wants to silence it any way they can.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Roe v. Wade: Lock and Load in South Dakota

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

Well, here we go. All that’s needed is the Governor’s signature, and South Dakota becomes the first state to ban abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided. How did Tom Daschle remain a Senator in that state for so long?

Posted in Abortion, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Civil War in Iraq? Maybe Not

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

This post from Bill Roggio is important reading for those watchng the MSM. Civil War would make for much more interesting coverage for the MSM than American soldiers helping to build schools and hospitals, or the Iraqi security forces stepping up and taking on the terrorists. I mean, who wants to read about that?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Cue the Odd Couple Theme: Bennett and Dershowitz

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

superspider.jpgI’ve been going back and forth on rather to post the Mohammed cartoons. I’ve pretty much decided not to. I figure there are plenty of places on the Net that you can go to see them, so why bother? But I have wondered why the MSM does not consider it newsworthy to let their readers see what the fuss is all about. Bill Bennett and Alan Dershowitz have the answer. This team-up strikes me as momentous. Perhaps as earthshaking as the Superman-Spiderman teamup in the mid-’70’s. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

Posted in Islam, MSM, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Any Port in a Storm: Part II

Posted by Mark on February 23, 2006

I promised that I would post any fact based post from readers I received opposing the port deal. Nariel over at Ancient Eyes has put up a good one. Does it convince me? Nope. But it does go beyond the hysteria to some facts to support her point of view. And that’s important.

A couple of points are worth making again:

DP World would NOT take over management of these six ports. They would take over a small percentage of shipping terminals, tranferring crates from a ship to the port, itemizing those items, etc. Saying they would “take over” makes a good sound bite, but is clearly inaccurate.

We are a part of a global Core community. That won’t change, nor should it. The best way to achieve a lasting peace in this world is to bring as many nations in to that community as possible. Few authors make this case better than Thomas Barnett:

As globalization deepens and spreads, two groups of states are essentially pitted against one another: countries seeking to align their internal rule sets with the emerging global rule set (e.g., advanced Western democracies, Japan and Asia’s emerging economies, Putin’s Russia) and countries that either refuse such internal realignment or cannot achieve it because of political/cultural rigidity or continuing abject poverty (much of Central Asia, the Mideast, Africa and Central America).

One more quote from the same article:

I dub the former countries the Functioning Core of globalization, the latter the Non-Integrating Gap. If we count up U.S. military crisis response activity over the past 20 years, it quickly becomes apparent that the overwhelming majority of our effort was concentrated inside the Gap. In other words, the U.S. “exports” security to precisely those parts of the world that have a hard time coping with globalization or are otherwise not benefiting from it. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks did the U.S. national-security establishment a huge favor by pulling us away from the abstract planning of future high-tech wars against make-believe “near peers” into the here-and-now concrete threats to global order. By doing so, the geographic dividing lines between the Core and the Gap were made clear.

The United States faces three national-security tasks in its role as “system administrator” to globalization: 1) to bolster the Core’s immune-system response to the sort of disruptive perturbations unleashed by 9/11; 2) to build a firewall to protect the Core from the Gap’s worst exports — namely terror, drugs, pandemics; and 3) to progressively export security to the Gap’s worst trouble spots. These are three very different tasks, and each will demand very different levels of cooperation with other states.

Barnett’s article, and his books, are important to understanding the current debate, rather you agree with the DP World decision or not. His books (listed under Liberty Recommends) have found wide acceptance throughout the Pentagon, the State Department, and many other departments in the Federal Government. They have produced a paradigm for understanding the world as it is now, not, as Nariel’s post implies, as she might wish it to be.

Barnett’s ideas are also important in understanding my post. The UAE has shown every evidence of wanting to become a member of the Functioning Core. We should not turn our backs on that effort.

Posted in Intelligence, Islam, MSM, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

This Changes Everything

Posted by zaphriel on February 23, 2006

No… Not really…

WASHINGTON — A new government agency created in October reviewed the Dubai Ports World deal to manage commercial operations at six U.S. ports, a senior administration official told FOX News.

But documents surfaced late Wednesday that showed approval of the transaction excluded some routine requirements.

Meanwhile, administration officials continued to defend the deal Thursday, saying it will not threaten U.S. port security and that it’s not unusual for the president to not know about such deals until they are completed, unless there is an unresolved security risk. They also stress that the United Arab Emirates is a strong U.S. ally in the War on Terror.

Since my opinion, and I think Mark’s, was based on UAE being a good ally of ours, and that we had no reason to deny them this deal. My opinion still stands. UAE is still a good ally, and there is still no reason to block the deal.

I am more concerned here with the CONSTANT LEAK… the papers containing the information about this deal were labeled CONFIDENTIAL. Last I knew, confidential is still a classification that should be protected. This and the many other leaks over the last few years are very disturbing to me. Very Disturbing.

Update:

Bush: Ports Deal Nothing to Worry About


WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday said Americans shouldn’t fret over the controversial ports deal involving a United Arab Emirates-owned company that has taken Washington and state lawmakers by storm.

“People don’t need to worry about security,” Bush said after meeting with his Cabinet about a White House report issued Thursday regarding the national response to Hurricane Katrina.

“We wouldn’t go forward if we were concerned about the security of the United States of America,” the president added.

The president’s comments come on the heels of a firestorm of criticism over a deal that would allow the UAE-owned Dubai Ports World to take over operations at six U.S. ports. The deal has lawmakers from both sides of the aisle screaming for a more thorough review of the deal and arguing that the deal with threaten port security in the United States that already is lacking. Bush has vowed to veto any bill aimed at halting the commercial transaction.

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments »

MSM – Catches Up…

Posted by zaphriel on February 23, 2006

Didn’t I say this Yesterday?

b4andafter_shrine.jpg

Mosque Attack Pushes Iraq Toward Civil War


SAMARRA, Iraq (AP) – Insurgents posing as police destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, setting off an unprecendented spasm of sectarian violence. Angry crowds thronged the streets, militiamen attacked Sunni mosques, and at least 19 people were killed.

With the gleaming dome of the 1,200-year-old Askariya shrine reduced to rubble, some Shiites lashed out at the United States as partly to blame.

The violence – many of the 90 attacks on Sunni mosques were carried out by Shiite militias – seemed to push Iraq closer to all-out civil war than at any point in the three years since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Many leaders called for calm. “We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq’s unity,” said President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd. “We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war.”

Of course it was kind of obvious…

Posted in Islam, MSM, Politics, War and Terror | 1 Comment »