Apolitical Deconstruction

The title of this blog refers to my journey of self-transformation from someone loathe to publicly express his personal opinions on political matters to...well, keep reading and see!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Securing U.S. Ports

Yesterday, I sent the following letter to my U.S. Senators concerning the upcoming takeover of U.S. port facilities by Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates. This CNN article from last week, although a bit dated with respect to the very fluid political dynamics of this story, gives a good background to the events and issues involved. The story continues to evolve, and the D.P. World deal may yet be undone, however, I remain of the opinion that the security of U.S. ports is not contingent on the nationality of the port management company. Certainly, D.P. World must be properly screened and vetted, but port security will remain the province and responsibility of the U.S. government.

Dear Senator,

I have been closely following the news of the pending Dubai Ports World port management takeover deal. I am pleased that the company has agreed to a second and more thorough 45 day investigation. Although I would prefer that U.S. ports be managed by American owned companies, I think that Dubai Ports World should be given the opportunity to do so, provided that the company can fully address and comply with U.S. national security concerns.

Actually, I am far more concerned that the U.S. Coast Guard has requested $5.4 billion to fully fund its port security responsibilities, but thus far, the Bush administration has sought funding for only one tenth of that amount. I would like to request that you please work to ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard is provided with the full funding required to ensure that it can fulfill its responsibilities to secure our ports.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.



Blogger Dr O2 said...

Guess your senator will soon be sending assassins to deal with ya David ;-) You read,know & care too much :-)

3/02/2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger David said...

I thought I saw a Ninja stalking me yesterday. ;)

Well, someone said "ignorance is bliss", but I never was very good at taking advice. :)

3/02/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger Melantrys said...

Some day in the near future that senator will shuffle through his mail, start, and mumble "Oh no, that David person again...."


3/03/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger David said...

Melantrys, I'm sure that my Senators are just quaking in anticipation of my next letter! :) Actually, I'm not sure they ever even see my letters. Some staff assistant probably just notes my position on whatever issue I am complaining about and makes a tick mark in the appropriate column, followed by a form letter to my address.

3/04/2006 3:24 AM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

So, update us, David. Is all well?
In my experience, yes, at first they will just kind of automatically list your letter's position (or what they think it is), but if you keep it up, they will remember your name. And then you make personal visits, or show up at places your reps are speaking...and they WILL remember you.
And maybe pay attention to what you think and say.

3/29/2006 9:02 PM  
Blogger a dracul said...

Hey Dave,
First how very polite you all are, remind me of letters to the London Times from the last millenium. I don't think they pay much attention to emails or email campaigns. It's so easy to get people to click on email responses or to make them up, some regard them as a type of virus. Microsoft once suggested that if they charged 1cent for every email sent it would end this type of virus. They try to help and everyone shouts them down.

One MP here said if he received one letter on a subject he assumed twenty others thought the same but just don't write letters. People under 30 may never remember ever sending a letter, they text and message and email. And elected representatives tend to play stats, they listen much more to that advertising/marketing game, when you get 50 people randomly selected in a room and find out what they believe. And they care more before elections. Well that is their job, to survive the four yearly appraisals.

The worry here is that the Russian Government's oil and gas industry wants to buy up all the european ones, clearly they won't switch the power off if Europe doesn't back them on a policy, it's like letter writing a much more subtle affair. But I guess free market capitalism is the american way.

I am sure you end up on a list for this. My concern is that as everyone gets placed on a list, list keeping becomes meaningless. The first set of ten thousand contacts garnered by Home Security after 9-11 led to zero arrests or convictions. But some of the terrorists were already on lists held outwith co-ordination.

Similarly at our bombing of the tube, I just saw Ms Wright, her legs were blown off and she was told even with therapy she would never be able to walk even with crutches and prostethics, seven months on she is walking with prosthetics and crutches. Admittedly she is a cripple and no one will ever marry her (you said don't be rude not don't be untruthful yes), but she is grateful because some of those next to her didn't make it. Where was I we were told all the terrorists (from the midlands, sons of middle class businessmen) came from under the radar, we had no intelligence on them. It turned out though we have never had a full inquiry (all they seem to do is leave more questions and people asking for another inquiry) at least one of the terrorists was a criminal currently under investigation as part of a credit card fraud ring.

I'd love to be placed on a no fly list. I'd love for some second rate moron working for the FBI or our new SOCA to regard me as a dangerous man. The only problem is I am not. Our security forces can't work out that Kennedy is an American Senator not a Terrorist, Yusuf Islam is an ex-hippie singer song writer not a terrorist one of our citizens held for two years in Guantanamo was released for trial in an Iraqi court and convicted of entering Iraq on false papers, then handed back to gaol with american troops not british troops though he is one of ours. If he were a threat to our forces we should try him, but our courts still require evidence to be presented.

It's a long rant, I am sure someone with a very similar name will end up on a no fly list. Terrorism and counter-terrorism are like car crashes. There is no intelligence involved by either party. You seem like a clever guy Dave, if you wanted to bring down a hundred planes in a hundred days, you could do it. The terrorists don't want to do it and our security forces are too busy enjoying the glamour of power.

I thought I'd apply to join SOCA (our new FBI I can't wait for the TV series) if my application to be a lay magistrate fails. I wonder what you will write when your passion runs high, those polite letters can be quite sexy.

4/25/2006 5:26 AM  
Blogger a dracul said...

oh yeah he got 15 years for entering iraq on false papers. for a first offence I would have given him a fine based on ability to pay (probably £50 payable in instalments) and a dozen hours community service. 15 years seems a little harsh even for an american puppet court. (what is the american equivalent to the kangaroo)

4/25/2006 5:30 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hello a dracul,
Well, you certainly had a lot to say and you did say it politely, but I am curious, do you have any thoughts about my post? It is my understanding that Dubai Ports World is buying (or has bought) a British company: Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation. Are people in England upset about Dubai controlling some of their ports? One more thing. You mentioned a Ms. Wright who lost her legs in the Tube Bombing. Why would you say that no one will ever marry her? Are intact legs really so important to love?

4/28/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger CpnJack said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/05/2006 7:19 AM  
Blogger David said...

CpnJack, I found some of the language and content of your comment to be quite inappropriate. Blogger does not allow the editing of comments, so I had no choice but to delete what you wrote. If you would like to comment in the future, please be polite and try to focus your thoughts on the content of the post. Thanks.

5/10/2006 11:16 PM  

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