Monday, March 13, 2006

Port Deal

Blocking of the Dubai Ports World deal is a sad commentary on the American electorate. While selling our strategic resources isn't good for national security, we've ceded control of our ports and shipping to foreign powers long ago. The Chinese Secret Police (like the KGB) own and operate numerous industries and businesses including the global shipping company COSCO, and the arms manufacturer Norinco. Cosco owns and operates one of our largest port facilities on the West Coast along with companies from Singapore, South Korea, and other nations.

DP World is widely recognized as one of the most modern and efficient port operators in 41 other global ports. They would likely have upgraded our aging port facilities and modernized the operation. It is anybody's guess how they would deal with longstanding mob corruption and the Longshoremen's Union. Such activity is hardly unique to the US. In any case, blocking this deal didn't improve security one iota. It simply eliminated one port operator that has a reputation for doing everything first class.

The minimal Coast Guard and Customs security we have on our ports would not have been reduced. We spend only about $750 million to secure our 37 international shipping ports but over $20 Billion on airport security. Like all our border security the top priority remains “maximize commerce”.

Theft security on the average $100,000 container load is up to the port operator and DP World tracks their containers as well as anyone. The simple truth is that Homeland Security knows we are not going to stop the flood of consumer goods into the US for the sake of national security, so they put their money and efforts elsewhere. Realistically, for nuclear security we need to inspect and secure cargo containers as they depart overseas ports, and pass through others, not upon arrival. Miami understands this and at least scans the hulls of all inbound ships well before they enter the Miami port area.

Congress and everyone elsewhere in the world learned long ago that as a group Americans are arrogant, ignorant, more greedy and wasteful than any civilization since ancient Rome. Having lived abroad for many years I was regularly embarrassed by my fellow white countrymen who treated everyone they encountered the same way they treat Blacks in America or worse. Most Americans think all Arabs are “stupid camel jockeys”.

Americans seldom venture abroad except to kill people. But when we visit we make no allowance for any language or customs other than our own, assume other nations are backward, poor and uneducated, and expect everyone to deal with us on our terms, in English, and for US dollars. Every glare and overly loud remark carries the implied expression “after all, we saved your butts and rebuilt your miserably little country after WWII. We are the Super Power.” News flash: that ship sailed sixty years ago. Get over it. It is a 21st Century global economy and we aren't the producers anymore. We're just dumb consumers. We no longer control our own destiny let alone our security.

It is a new Century and we have a hard lesson to learn. We borrow more than we make to buy crap we don't need from people who may use this money against us or to buy up America's assets. Like this port deal, we just don't get it. Our unwise Free Trade made it an open global economy where the developing World rises at the expense of the old developed world. Us. If you don't like foreigners buying up America, get used to it. Our excessive life style depends upon the continued selling of America to others.

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