March 23, 2006
The now eviscerated DPW (Dubai Ports World) deal brings to mind some good idioms for the idiots in Congress who: (1) should shut their mouths and open their eyes; (2) can't see beyond the end of their noses and (3) cut off their noses to spite their faces. The first being an insurmountable challenge for Chuck Schumer.
It’s absolutely amazing that the entire political population of Washington, D.C can’t stop talking long enough to just open their eyes and look at a map. I would suggest a map of the Strait of Hormuz.
If you really cared about the future security of the US, as affected by the DPW deal, all you have to do is look beyond your nose at a two mile wide shipping channel and you would figure it out.
The Strait connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The Straight is bordered by two coastlines; Iran and Oman. However, if you look closely at a map, it is very clear that the territory on the Strait belonging to Oman is land-locked by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) aka Dubai.
And, according to the US EIA (Energy Information Administration), “Oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz account for roughly two-fifths of all world traded oil”.
To add the final piece to this puzzle, Iran’s Interior Minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi,, recently threatened to use oil as a weapon if the UN imposes trade or economic sanctions against Iran in reaction to its nuclear program...”If (the UN) politicize our nuclear case, we will use any means...We have control over the biggest and the most sensitive energy route of the world (the Straight of Hormuz)”.
Oh...it’s also important to remember that DPW is not an “Arab company” or a “Muslim Company”. DPW is a company owned by the government of Dubai...one of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE. And, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is Dubai's leader. Ergo, a slap in the face of DPW is a slap in the face of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Stay calm...this is no time to talk tough.
It is no surprise that Americans, including the Congressional rocket-science-boys (and girls), overwhelmingly opposed the DPW deal because it was viewed as a threat to national security (and midterm elections are approaching). In fact, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll found that Americans opposed “the deal by a nearly 4-to-1 ratio, 66%-17%”.
Surprisingly, 68% of the respondents in another USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll believed that same-sex "marriages" should not be recognized by the law as valid and not come with the same rights as traditional marriages. But that didn’t discourage Nancy Pelosi from saying that “she believes gay couples can marry and that she approved of Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to grant same-sex marriage licenses”. So much for popular sentiment when it comes to the really important issues.
Traversing the pink triangle into the Gaza Strip, Pelosi believes that “The greatest threat to Israel’s right to exist…now comes from Iran”. Domestically, commander Pelosi is convinced that “The ports are our first line of defense in protecting our country”. Funny...I thought that it was the airports...or the subways...or maybe even something esoteric like our BORDERS.
Of course we all know that America’s first line of defense against terrorism is to kill as many terrorists as quickly as we can...and neuter the rest. But let’s play Pelosi’s silly game of Gotcha and just keep hiring more unionized government employees to make our ports as secure as the unionized government employees have made our borders.
I guess that the California-based Pelosi doesn’t really read that much because the LA Times recently reported that “The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach count foreign companies as managers at 13 of 14 port-owned container terminals, and three of those companies are controlled by foreign governments.”
But this isn’t as bad as an “Arab” company managing the ports…it’s only “Cosco, China's largest shipping line, (that) co-manages a terminal...and another huge shipping company controlled by the Chinese government, China Shipping Co., operating a terminal at the neighboring Los Angeles port....”
And, as Pelosi knows (and the Clintons before her), you can trust the Chinese with the security of America.
For instance, you can trust the Chinese to sell the Iranians: Chinese-supplied C-801 and C-802 anti-shipping missiles; satellite intelligence; Huodong missile boats; Silkworm missiles; EM-53 bottom-tethered mines and C-14 high-speed catamaran missile patrol boats outfitted with anti-ship cruise missiles. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget that you better trust China because it is the second largest foreign owner of US Treasury debt.
But, Pelosi isn’t singular in her strategic abyss. It was actually Dean Martin...ur...I meant that other comedian, California’s Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis, who put the final stake in the heart of the DPW deal. Well...he had his 15 minutes of fame.
Always be leery of bipartisanship because it usually means the complete surrender of the Republicans to some lame-brained Democratic scheme. On a 62-2 vote, the Lewis-chaired House Appropriations Committee voted to effectively kill the DPW deal. When they finally put their heads together on something...they were wrong-headed.
If, or should I say, when America has to deal with the Iranians, this bit of Congressional jingoism will come back to haunt these idiots in spades.
America presently has military installations in both the UAE and Oman. But, the little piece of Oman that is crucial to defending the Straits of Hormuz is land-locked by the UAE...and the US Congress has just put the UAE leadership in an “Uncle Tom” position.
When hostilities erupt between the US and Iran, what is the UAE to do? The Arab Street will be watching the UAE for the opportunity to “Uncle Tom” them if they cooperate with the US after just receiving the bitch-slapping of a lifetime. Look at how Turkey disallowed a US northern front through their territory in the Iraq invasion...and we are still paying for that.
How will the US defend the Strait with...Iran on one shore...and an apathetic UAE on the other? More Americans needlessly killed because those idiots in Washington know how to apply television makeup but not how to fight a war.
The US Congressional response to the DPW deal was politically opportunistic and knee-jerk. And, as with all knee-jerk decisions, it was looking at yesterday instead of thinking about tomorrow.
Exactly how do you say, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”? Maybe by making reasoned strategic decisions instead of thinking with the brains that you sit on.