Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port hysteria

"At first glance, Dubai Ports World's acquisition of the British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. looks troubling: Do we really want a company from the United Arab Emirates, one of the only countries that recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, acting as the maritime gatekeeper for New York, Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore and Newark, N.J.? [...] The problem is that blocking the Dubai deal [...] only provides members of Congress an opportunity to talk tough and pander to the terrorism-rattled xenophobe in us all. [...] Dubai Ports World, like the foreign companies that already run the majority of key U.S. ports [...] is a contractor that coordinates logistics. And most important, it's not in charge of security. Port operators work with U.S. security officials (port police, the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security) in charge of preventing terrorism." - editorial in the LA Times