Thursday, March 09, 2006

Prepare to reap the Dubai whirlwind

Thanks, guys. Really. 70% of America yawned, stretched and decided it was opposed to Dubai Ports World operating six ports on America's east coast -- despite the fact that "security concerns" were just so much hot air. And congressional demagogues -- of both parties -- seem to have cashed in on that knee-jerk opposition and squelched the deal.

You asked for it, you got it. Now, let's look at what you got (hat tip to Jeff Blanco for pointing out this instructive article):

- Last year, the Emirates Group -- UAE's airline -- ordered $9.7 billion (that's "billion" with a "b") worth of aircraft from Boeing, a US company. The key word here is "ordered." 42 Boeing 777s take awhile to deliver.

- Dubai established a $15 billion aerospace consortium last year, and part of their plan is to buy 50 more aircraft over the next four years. The main competitors for those orders are Boeing ... and the French company Airbus.

Like I said, the key word is "ordered" (or, in the second instance, "orders"). The gaggle of xenophobic fucktards in Congress has just asserted its authority to unilaterally veto and/or void international contracts involving the UAE. Presumably the emirs over there will regard themselves as having at least as much authority over such contracts.

I live in St. Louis, where Boeing is a major employer. I wonder how many people in my area are going to end up sitting on the couch and waiting for the unemployment check to arrive because of this fiasco. And I wonder who they're going to blame.

- And, of course, the US Navy docked about 650 ships in the UAE last year. I wonder how many they'll be allowed to dock next year? After all, if we don't trust the UAE in our ports, why should they trust us in theirs? I wonder how much more it will cost the US to re-route its naval traffic to other destinations. I wonder just how interested in giving the US basing rights on one shore of the Strait of Hormuz the UAE will be if the idiots in Washington do, in fact, decide to take on Iran across the water?

That may be one up side, of course -- the US would have had a hell of a time fighting Iraq in 1991 or 2003 without Dubai's support, and losing that support would likely be catastrophic to planning for any Iran campaign. So there's that, anyway.

Another up side -- although the congressvermin aren't likely to see it that way, and although we're all likely to feel it in the pocketbook -- is that putting the kibosh on the port deal may also make it harder for LBJ, Jr. and his big-spending Republican friends in Congress to borrow money. Guess who invests a lot of dough in US Treasury bonds? Guess who may want to re-think their investment in a country that doesn't want to do business with them?

I'm just scratching the surface here. There's no telling how much UAE money is going into American pockets right now ... or how much of it is going to stop going into American pockets in the future. Of course, if they'd listened to me in the first place, things wouldn't have turned out this way, would they?

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