February 2006

I supported this deal from the get-go.

Then I read Michelle Malkin and she links to a Jerusalem Post piece and note that:

The parent company of Dubai Ports World participates in the Arab boycott against Israel

Not good, thinks I. Then I read this at Little Green Footballs:

Dubai Ports World, the combined United Emirates (UAE) port management company for the Gulf, has stepped up its challenge to win the operating rights of six major ports in the US, by claiming it has strong business ties with Israeli shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. ..

Sounds like business trumps ideology, as it should.

BTW, if there is a need to take out Iran’s nuclear sites, that huge US air base at Al Dhafra, UAE would be very important. It would seem to be rather foolish for the US to torpedo a business deal with the UAE while it needs reliable allies in the region.

Some of the troubles in Iraq are directly related to Turkey’s treacherous refusal to allow the US to invade Iraq from bases in Turkey. With the prospects of conflict with Iran increasing it is essential the US maintain good relations with its allies the region.


You can see the cartoons here. Number 1 is just a drawing of a bearded man leading a donkey. Bit hard to see why anyone could take offense. If you said it was Jesus and it had been drawn by a Muslim, it’s a bit hard to imagine Christian mobs running amok across half the globe, burning mosques and murdering Muslims.

Number 2 shows a bearded figure with a crescent moon behind his head in a position that suggests the horns of Satan. Given the evil inflicted upon the world by Islam (recent history here – warning extremely disturbing images) the ambivalence suggested by the cartoon is appropriate.

Number 3 shows the crescent moon of Islam with a bearded face. It combines the man with the symbol of the religion he founded. It’s not so much a cartoon as a logo.

Number 4 shows Muhammed with two bhurka clad women behind him. Their eyes show through rectangulr slits. A corresponding black rectangle covers Muhammed’s eyes. It is clever way of pointing out the blindness of Islam to the equality of the women.

Number 5 shows Muhammed in Heaven telling a bunch of smoldering suicide bombers that they’ve run out of virgins. Given the way the Islamic world glorifies suicide bombers, the cartoon seems appropriate.

Number 6 is prophetic. The caption reads “Jyllands-Posten’s journlists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs”.

Number 7 is also prophetic. It shows a cartoonist furtively drawing Muhammed.The Danish cartoonists now live in fear of their lives and are fated to live like Salman Rushdie until the cancer of radical Islam has been eradicated from this Earth. The message of the cartoon has been repeated by various Western cartoonists. This one, in particular, is a stronger version of the same message.

Number 8 shows a line up of cartoon Muhammeds. Some of the images are from the other cartoons.

Number 9 shows what look like balloons using the symbol of Islam. I don’t know what the caption says.

Number 10 is also prophetic. It shows two mad Arabs in period costume being told by their leader to “Relax folks, it is just a sketch made by a Dane from the South-West Denmark”. Would that they had relaxed. They are madder than hornets and a billion times more dangerous.

Number 11 shows an irate Muhammed with a bomb for a Turban. This cartoon probably helped set off the bomb in the Islamic world precipitated by the exploitation of the cartoons by radical Islamic forces. It, too, is prophetic.

Number 12 shows a goofball, presumably the cartoonist, holding a stick drawing of Mohammed.

These cartoons represent gentle criticsm of Islamic intolerance. By Western standards, they are mild and amusing. They should be judged by Western standards. If they give offense to hypersensitive Muslims, tough. The last thing we need is our leaders apologizing for a few obscure Danes exercising their right to free speech. Bill Clinton, in particular, needs to put a large sock in his mouth. He shouldn’t be saying “None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions … there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark … these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam…”. He should be saying, “Grow up, morons”. He seems determined to become the next “Dhimmi” Carter.

As to the Muslims? How can we take seriously people who think Tom and Jerry is a Jewish plot. Unfortunately, we have to take nuclear armed zealots as seriously as a nuclear-armed Hitler.

Last August I asked why Muqtada al-Sadr was still loose. He is still causing havoc in Iraq as this account by Iraq the Model makes clear:

The sense in the streets and the statements given by some Shia clerics suggest that retaliation attacks are organized and under control and are focusing on mosques frequented by Salafi and Wahabi groups and not those of ordinary Sunnis.

Looking at the geographic distribution of the attacked mosques, I found they were mostly in areas adjacent to Sadr city forming a line that extends from the New Baghdad district in the southeast to al-Hussayniya in the northeast.

The Association of Muslim Scholars is accusing the Sadrists in particular, actually it’s not only the Association that accuses the Sadrists, most people here in Baghdad point out the role of Mehdi army of Sadr in carrying out most of the attacks.

The Association is trying to remind Sadr of the their times of solidarity during the battles in Najaf and Fallujah yet they are condemning his message to his followers in which he called for keeping up and escalating the “protests”.

William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz skewer the MSM for its failings in the War on Bush, oops, War on Radical Islam. Slight kudos to the WPO for publishing their criticsm. The closing paragraph says it all:

When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press — an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms — would be among the first to surrender.

Fast Bunny has a full accounting of everything they did wrong. Here’s a taste:

4. Bob Woodruff and his cameraman exposed themselves on top of the Iraqi vehicle for the purpose of filming a shot. News accounts have indicated that this IED was command detonated, which means that an insurgent pushed a button to make the IED explode on that particular vehicle. Most likely because “Woodruff stood in one of the rear hatches, with his legs inside the vehicle. Vogt sat on the ledge of a hatch.” I can’t begin to describe how incredibly stupid this is.The US military doesn’t allow this with vehicles in completely benign environments, because if the vehicle has any sort of accident the person would be thrown. But to do it in a combat zone on a dangerous route? They made themselves a target. And they made the Iraqi Army soldiers and the US Army soldiers targets along with them.

Michelle Malkin explains how the deal was put together and the reasons why. She quotes ITP Business, which says that:

In order to help fund the massive bid, Dubai Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) have launched the world’s largest sukuk, or Sharia-compliant bond. What was intended as a US$2.8 billion issue has instead rocketed to US$3.5 billion, after an overwhelming response from investors. Lead-managed by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and Barclays Capital, the distinctive sukuk is also the first convertible instrument in the Islamic finance market.

The issue is just one of a series of initiatives designed to boost the PCFC’s corporate activities, ongoing business development needs and expansion plans. Its unique convertible structure allows partial redemption of up to 30% in the form of equity shares of the PCFC entities as and when they go for a Public Equity Offering within the next three years. If no Public Equity Offering takes place prior to the final redemption date, investors will be compensated with a higher yield.

The result will be a massive UAE investment in America. This is a good thing. It gives them an incentive to keep America safe, not because they love us, but because it would cost them big bucks if there were more attacks on the US.

Ownership does not give control over operations. At NRO, James Jay Carafano explains:

Foreign companies already own most of the maritime infrastructure that sustains American trade — the ships, the containers, the material-handling equipment, and the facilities being sold to the Dubai company. It’s a little late now to start worrying about outsourcing seaborne trade, but congressional hearings could serve to clear the air.

Sure security is important. That’s why after 9/11, America led the effort to establish the International Ship and Port Security code that every country that trades with and operates in the United States has to comply with. And compliance isn’t optional—it is checked by the U.S. Coast Guard. And the security screening for the ships, people, and cargo that comes into the United States is not done by the owners of the ships and the ports, but by the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, both parts of the Homeland Security department. Likewise overall security for the port is coordinated by the captain of the port, a Coast Guard officer.

What happens when one foreign-owned company sells a U.S. port service to another foreign-owned company. Not much. Virtually all the company employees at the ports are U.S. citizens. The Dubai firm is a holding company that will likely play no role in managing the U.S. facilities. Likewise, the company is owned by the government, a government that is an ally of the United States and recognizes that al Qaeda is as much a threat to them as it is to us. They are spending billions to buy these facilities because they think it’s a crackerjack investment that will keep making money for them long after the oil runs out. The odds that they have any interest in seeing their facilities become a gateway for terrorist into the United States are slim. But in the interest of national security, we will be best served by getting all the facts on the table.

Let’s assume the nay-sayers are right and the deal allows a Muslim terrorist group to smuggle a container containing, say, a dirty bomb into a US port. Because the container would have to go through two radiation detectors, it is unlikely it would get out of the port area. So, to be of any use, the bomb would have to be detonated inside the port. Poof! There goes Dubai Ports World’s $3.5 billion dollar investment.

If there was an attack somewhere else on US interests and there was any link to the owners of Dubai Ports World, which is not entirely unlikely given the track record, the US could launch its most potent weapon against them – that horde of locusts otherwise known as Trial Lawyers. It’s a lot easier to execute a judgement if the assets to be siezed in compensation are located in the US.

The biggest challenge we face in the war on Radical Islam is to modernise and moderate Islam. Making Muslim countries part of the global economy is part of that process. Standing in the way of deals, such as the Dubai Ports World takeover of P&O, is not in our best interests. It reeks of hypocrisy; the same sort of hypocrisy that prevents third world countries from exporting their agricultural products to the EU and US.

Update: AJ Strata approves of the deal.

According to AP Muslim mobs have killed 15 people and torched nearly as many Christian churches in protests against a dozen innocuous pictures of Mohammed by Danish cartoonists published months ago and three offensive images produced by the Damish Imam who set off the furore. One of those three images has proven to be bogus and the others likely have similarly bogus origins. What in the name of Allah have black Christians in Nigeria got to do with the original “offense”? But the Muslim mobs, by their very reaction, have demonstrated that reason is not one of their strong suits. Blind rage and pig-headed stupidity seem to be the dominant attributes of the mobs. The motives of the instigators are rather more cunning. They have forced the West to sacrifice freedom of speech and accommodate the strictures of Sharia law.

This is not the first time that Muslim mobs have rioted and Christians suffered in Nigeria. Back in 2002, 200 died in rioting triggered by comments by a Nigerian journalist:

The Miss World contest would go on. But inside Nigeria, some Muslims expressed their own discontent over the competition, condemning it as an indecent spectacle. Contest organizers tried to quiet the criticism by postponing the pageant, originally scheduled during Ramadan, until after the Muslim holy month.

But after a young fashion writer in Nigeria wrote that Prophet Mohammed probably would have chosen one of the Miss World contestants as his wife, old tensions between Christians and Muslims exploded. Riots erupted in the northern city of Kaduna, where two years before, 2,000 people had died in religious clashes. The trouble spread to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The death toll exceeded 200 people, with hundreds of others reported injured.

With smoke from the riots still billowing over Kaduna, the Miss World competition ditched its Nigerian venue. Pageant president Julia Morley boarded a charter jet for London along with 90 contestants. The competition was held in Britain, where Miss Turkey was crowned the 2002 winner.[my bold]

If we look at the historical record of Muhammed and his wives and concubines we can see that Mohammed had an eye for the ladies:

Muslim scholar and statesman Ali Dashti gives the following list of the women in Muhammad’s life:

1. Khadija
2. Sawda
3. Aesha
4. Omm Salama
5. Halsa
6. Zaynab (of Jahsh)
7. Jowayriyi
8. Omm Habiba
9. Safiya
10. Maymuna (of Hareth)
11. Fatema
12. Hend
13. Asma (of Saba)
14. Zaynab (of Khozayma)
15. Habla
16. Asma (of Noman)
17. Mary (the Christian)
18. Rayhana
19. Omm Sharik
20. Maymuna
21. Zaynab (a third one)
22. Khawla

Several observations need to be given about the above list:

The first 16 women were wives. Numbers 17 and 18 were slaves or concubines.

The last four women were neither wives or slaves but devout Muslim women who “gave” themselves to satisfy Muhammad’s sexual desires.

To a rational person, the observation that a man with that history might fancy a Miss World contestant would be a harmless remark. Not to the Muslim mob, apparently.

Yet, we in the West seem to be easily cowed by those mobs. Shame on us.

Update: Bare Knuckle Politics links to a report that Nigerian Christians are fighting back:

LAGOS, Nigeria — Christian mobs rampaged through a southern Nigerian city Tuesday, burning mosques and killing several people in an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence that followed deadly protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad over the weekend.

Next Page »