How Do You Feel About A Company From The UAE Running American Ports?

Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 07:52 AM

Pamela Leavey, at Democratic Daily takes a good look at the approval of the corporate takeover that results in port security at several American ports being run by a company, DP World,  from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Check out the comments, too, for several flurries of accusations of racism and bigotry on the part of people who might object to the deal.

As I said in a comment there, this is an interesting issue for a lot of reasons.  Opposition to approval of the DP World takeover can be based on:
--the way the deal was reviewed in secret
--the fact that you think certain essential functions should remain in American hands (or even, God forbid in this era of privatization, in American government hands)
--suspicions of foreigners in general or Arabs in particular
--suspicions about this company in particular
--the fact that this company has UAE government backing; isn't this ridiculous, in a Bush admin that is so rabidly anti-subsidy and pro-private enterprise?

I'm someone who thinks that certain essential functions should remain in American hands, and in this case, probably American government hands.  Even if I didn't feel that way, I'd object based on the UAE company's government backing.  If that UAE backing gives the company an unfair advantage over American companies, how could we possibly accept that?

I was unaware that security at American ports was in the hands of a British company.  Had I known, I would have found that objectionable, too.

I don't think that our military defense should be provided by foreign mercenaries, I don't think our local police services should be provided by private companies (American or foreign), and I have to say I thought it was absurd when the U.S. had to go to foreign sources to replenish the military's supply of bullets when our two wars brought inventories too low.