The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lou Dobbs blasts the White House

In this link, Dobbs points out the various business ties between White House officials and the UAE.

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser and is a who's who of former high-level government officials. Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government-backed buyout firm, invested in an $8 billion Carlyle fund.

Another family connection, the president's brother, Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from the UAE investors. A call to his company was not returned.

Then there is the cabinet connection. Treasury Secretary John Snow was chairman of railroad company CSX/. After he left the company for the White House, CSX sold its international port operations to Dubai Ports World for more than a billion dollars.

In this link, Dobbs takes Bush up on his ludicrous challenge to explain what difference there is between UK management of a port and UAE control of a port. Fish in a barrel.

President Bush has put forth a challenge tonight that I simply can't ignore. The president yesterday said he wanted those who are critical and questioning of this port deal to "step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company."

Well, first of all, Mr. President, to equate any country to your principal partner in the coalition ignores that special relationship this country's enjoyed with the United Kingdom for decades and decades. This also is not just a British company and an Arab company, as I think you well know.

Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation is a British privately owned company. Dubai Ports World is a UAE government controlled and owned company. You see the difference, of course.

And furthermore, the money used to fund the 9/11 attacks, most of it, in fact, was sent to the hijackers through the UAE banking system. In fact, two of the hijackers were originally from the UAE.

Prior to this story, the Carlyle Group's greatest media exposure was through Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11-- which no rightie would regard as anything but baseless propaganda. And any press about the machinations of the military-industrial complex is welcome as far as I'm concerned. When outfits the GOP have relentlessly portrayed as enemies of America are shown to be bedfellows of prominent Republicans, it can only add to the momentum of Democrats in the coming elections. When neo-fascist stalwarts like Bill Frist, Denny Hastert and Tom DeLay are taking a stand against the White House, and media figures like Lou Dobbs are this openly critical of the administration, we've really got got something. Democrats should be tripping over themselves shouting their opposition and reminding America that national security is only a concern to Republicans when it doesn't mean smaller profits.