It’s hard to run things rationally when you have so many people ready to Monday morning quarterback your calls. But it comes with the territory and Mr. Bush must have wanted this job because he sure fought for it.
Everyone and his brother has an opinion on the UAE state-owned company, Dubai Ports World, which recently bought up the British company, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
Here are five facts about Dubai Ports World, from The Khajeel Times:
- Shareholders at Britain’s P&O, who had been managing the ports, voted last week in favour of Dubai Port’s multibillion dollar bid, giving the firm control over the management of P&O’s global operations, including in the US ports of New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami.
- The deal made Dubai Ports World the world’s third-largest ports group.
- Dubai Ports World purchased the global port assets of US freight rail company CSX Corp. in 2005 for $1.15 billion. US Treasury Secretary John Snow is a former chairman of CSX, but left the company a year before the Dubai deal.
- One of DP World’s top executives, David Sanborn, was nominated by President George W. Bush in January to become the administrator of the Maritime Administration in the US Department of Transportation. At least one senator plans to hold up Sanborn’s confirmation until more questions about the port deal are answered.
- Dubai Ports has international operations in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Romania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, India, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia in addition to the UAE.
What is most striking about this whole dust-up is the lack of information in every quarter. Do we know who made the decision to go with the UAE company (which is essentially staying with the old P&O Company)? I mean, how familiar are any of us with the CFIS — The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States? Do any of us know anything about the oversight of this committee?
What seems to have gridlocked is President Bush’s stubborn executive decision to check out what this committee did, receive assurances that it was standard operating procedure, and then dig his CEO heels in for the tussle. Meanwhile, post 9/11, the whole country is — to coin a phrase — up in arms at what seems like lax, dangerous decisions.
And there doesn’t seem to be an intelligent journalist out there willing to do the legwork to tell us what’s going on. Not that they don’t have opinions. Nearly everyone does:
|In favor of the deal||Opposed to the deal||Straddling|
|George W. Bush||James Lileks||Bill Gertz|
|Jimmy Carter||Michelle Malkin||Cliff May|
|Wall Street Journal||New York Post||Jed Babbin|
|Washington Post||Frank Gaffney||LA Times|
|Saudi Arabia||Gov Pataki, NY||Mark Levin|
|Reuters||Mayor Bloomberg||TKS — Jim Geraghty|
|Gov. Bush, FL||Congress|
|Lawrence Kudlow||Houston Chronicle|
|New York Times|
|Gov. Ehrlich, MD|
Though fewer in numbers, the straddlers get my vote. This is one time to wait and see what can be discovered. Dubai Ports World isn’t galloping in here on their camels, scimitars at the ready.
Can we just wait and see what there is to be seen after the shouting and posturing are done with, and the sandstorm of irrational fear has settled enough to allow us to observe reality?