I've recently blogged about United States hypocrisy regarding its chastising of US search engine companies operating in China and adhereing to Chinese local laws governing censorship of the Internet. But now, the UAE, which censors the Internet for its citizens, has been granted control of perhaps the six largest US shipping ports. Where's the public outcry from the administration/government officials here? I certainly can't find any. Can you?
In its article, Boing Boing points out that US President George W. Bush has recently defended a UAE takeover of control and administration of six of the United States's international shipping ports:
"I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can't manage the port," Bush said.There's just one (well, at least one) problem with Bush's rationale, and I recently explained it to my fellow New York State Young Republicans:
[T]here is a major difference between Great Britain and the UAE administering our ports: Great Britain is a NATO ally with whom we have a long-standing treaty governing the mutual defense of our countries; the UAE is not a NATO ally and we have no such treaty with them. I would have a problem with any non-NATO ally having complete control over a portion of our internal infrastructure.And speaking of allies, is the UAE even any sort of ally to the United States?
By the way, you might be interested to know that the track record of that "country with a good track record from another part of the world" to which Bush refers (the UAE) consists of the following:
- The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
- The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.
- According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.
- After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin LadenÂs bank accounts.