imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Arab Port Deal Distorted for Political Gain

by William Hughes Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006 at 5:35 PM
liamhughes@comcast.net

Recently, 8,600 U.S. companies have been taken over by foreign ownership, while 20 percent of all U.S. assets are held by foreigners. The politicians were silent. Now, a United Arab Emirates’ enterprise will soon be operating stevedoring companies in six U.S. ports, including Baltimore’s. Its Mayor, Martin O’Malley, almost broke a blood vessel complaining. However, he didn’t say a word while the preceding British outfit was doing the work. Go figure!

A deal to permit an Arab company to do business in a number of East and Gulf coast ports in the U.S., has brought out the worst in some politicians, particularly, the Mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley. He went over the top when he heard that an enterprise, Dubai Ports World, based in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE), and owned by that government, would soon be running some operations in the ports of Baltimore, New York, Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans. The federal government has already given its approval to the proposal and said it had passed a "vigorous review," which included national security concerns. (1)

At a silly press conference, on Feb. 18, 2006, held at a waterfront site, next to blocks of ultra-luxurious condos, O’Malley, a Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland, ranted away to the TV cameras, about how it is “outrageous and irresponsible to turn over a port to any foreign government.” One of his political cronies, the pro-Iraqi War congressman, Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD), was also present. According to the Baltimore Sun, O’Malley accused the UAE of being a “key transfer point for nuclear components on their way to North Korea, Libya and Iran.” (1) To his credit, O’Malley didn’t blast the UAE for hiding Osama bin Laden, preparing to launch WMD at the U.S., or causing the Baltimore Ravens' NFL team to miserably flop again last year.

Here's the crux of the problem: O’Malley doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about! Period! He also made a reference to the War of 1812-1814, and how the city had successfully defended itself against the British invasion and that somehow this proposed contract fits into that historic happening. That, too, is pure baloney! What O’Malley didn’t reveal at the press conference was that the organization presently in charge of much of the stevedoring operations in Baltimore is - a British-based, privately owned outfit - Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, (P&O). It has been supervising “container cargo operations at the publicly owned Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals” for the last few years. (1) This essential fact didn’t seem to bother O’Malley’s fragile psyche. Now, however, since, the P&O has recently been purchased by Dubai Ports World for .8 billion, he has chosen to go over the proverbial edge and use the incident to make a cheap political point or two. I hope the voters will see though this ploy.

The critical point is that Dubai Ports World won't be running the port of Baltimore, or any other U.S. port for that matter. What it would be doing, as ex-Rep. Helen Delich Bentley (R-MD), a respected expert on Maritime matters, explained in a Feb. 18th letter, to the “Baltimore Sun,” is hiring the longshoremen to load and unload the cargo from the vessels. The Maryland Port Authority, an agency of the state, she underscored, would continue to “run the port of Baltimore’s public terminals and be the spokesman for the port in general.” Bentley added that this transaction only means that the “UAE’s Dubai Ports World will be the firm bidding competitively for contracts to handle cargo coming off or loading on to ships in the six ports where P&O Ports has contracts. Baltimore is one of those ports.” (2)

It is also important to emphasize that the vast majority of the cargo handling in the six U.S. ports mentioned above is done by union labor, who are locally based workers. They are card carrying members of the International Longshorman's Association (AFL-CIO), which is headquartered in New York City. This is the same union, (Local 829 ILA), that this writer belonged to, in Baltimore, back in the late 1950s. The idea that the longshoremen will somehow not be able to do the same kind of highly professional stevedoring work for Dubai, which they did for the P&O company, and other stevedoring companies before them, just doesn't fly. For the ILA member, it will be just another day's work on the docks, irrespective of who's doing the hiring.

Query! Where has O’Malley been on the important issue of foreign ownership of American industry? Recently, the bankrupt Bethlehem Steel’s sprawling Sparrows Point Plant, located on the shores of the Patapso River, just southeast of the city, was purchased by a foreign conglomerate, Mittal Steel. It is controlled by a London-based tycoon, Lakshim Mittal, a native of India. (3) If O’Malley had any national security concerns about that massive deal, he has sure kept them to himself. There was no press conference at the Sparrows Point Plant on that one. In the last ten years alone, the U.S. economy has lost a staggering “8,600 of our best companies to foreign ownership.” (4)

Here are some other shocking economic statistics for O’Malley to digest for his next camera mugging effort. In the past two decades: "The US federal deficit during the Ronald Reagan administration was Trillion and it is now Trillion. The US trade deficit has gone from 0 Billion per year to 6 Billion per year. .0 Trillion cumulatively over the past 20 years. And, Trillion of US assets are now held in foreign hands, roughly 20% of all US assets.” (4) If 20% of U.S. industry is in foreign hands today, what will it be like in another decade or two of gross indifference?

In summation, just because O’Malley is a wannabe governor for Maryland shouldn’t give him a license to distort the facts in this matter in order to manipulate the fears of voters. Foreign ownership of U.S. industries should be of concern to all. The UAE-based company running a stevedore operation in six U.S. ports shouldn't, however, be one of them, especially with the ILA members doing the work. If any good comes out of this controversy, it may be for the elected politicians, and for the public, to pay closer attention to the larger, extremely distressing, economic picture. Our country is being de-industrialized by the decisions of Wirepullers based in Washington, D.C. and on Wall St. You think global warming is going to be a problem? Just wait for this Alan Greenspan-contrived economy to collapse, and it will, unless corrective measures are immediately taken. (5)

Notes:

1. “Deal Affecting Port Upsets Mayor,” by Julie Bell, Baltimore Sun, 02/19/06.

2. “Port Administration Runs Region’s Port,” Letter to the Editor of the Baltimore Sun, 02/18/06, by Helen Delich Bentley.

3. http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/2005/03/10/cx_pm_0310mittal_bill05.html

4. http://www.economyincrisis.org/

5. http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

* The Podcasts of William Hughes' "The BillyClub" are found here: http://web.mac.com/bhughes2/iWeb/The%20BillyClub/Podcasting/Podcasting.html

© William Hughes 2006

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (Iuniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at: liamhughes@comcast.net.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy