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Forbes on FOX: What's Good for Dubai Is Good for America

Reported by Marie Therese - March 6, 2006

On Saturday March 4th the Forbes on FOX panel claimed that "Congress is clueless" about the Dubai Ports World deal and should be "fired" because of it. I won't bore you by repeating the same tired old free-trade talking points that the Forbes magazine panel spewed. It was a rehash of most of the same pro-DPW, pro-administration talking points FOX News has run all week. Instead, I'd like to focus on a comment made by Rich Karlgaard that seemed to introduce a new argument into the mix, one that I found curious.

Host David Asman said to Karlgaard, "Well, Rich, what about this. You believe in the intelligence of the American public. They have great instincts, the folks out there. They're against this deal."

Karlgaard responded "Well, you know it's up to the President of the United States to really articulate why we need to engage in the world, keep free trade and so on. I mean, forgotten in this whole Dubai Ports issue was that there is really a lot of longshoremen's union money going into the coffers of people like [California Senator] Barbara Boxer and so on. You know, we could give the ports back to American companies and then be hostile to strikes and violence that the longshoremen's union has been guilty of in the past. ..."

Asman quickly changed the subject back to the "cluelessness of lawmakers" as if he did not want to pursue what Karlgaard had said about unions.

Here's my dilemma. By all accounts that I've read, the DPW takeover of Britain's P&O would NOT affect the union contracts. Members of the longshoremen's union are supposed to retain their port jobs.

Was Karlgaard alluding here to some side agreement, secret deal, loophole or codicil in the P&O-DPW takeover that would eventually do away with the American dockworkers union? Does he know something that the rest of us, especially the unions, do not?

Additionally, in his lead-in to the segment David Asman said "Well, California Senator Barbara Boxer has said 'I don't just think any foreign company, period, ought to be running our ports' but she should have known that the vast majority of ports in her state alread are managed by foreign firms. Other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made similar statements so is this proof - PROOF - that Congress is clueless?"

A little research shows that Senator Boxer sits on the Senate Commerce Committee. Here's what the ultra-conservative World Net Daily reported on September 3, 1998:

The Chinese Overseas Shipping Co. [COSCO] is pushing harder than ever to secure a port facility at the former U.S. Naval Base in Long Beach, Calif.

**********

Several members of Congress have also confided that the Chinese use their industrial facilities and assets around the world as spy bases. Those suspicions are not limited to conservative Republicans, either. Even California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have enough political sense to have urged a full national security review of the COSCO Long Beach deal.

It is obvious from this excerpt that a least since 1998 Senator Boxer has known about foreign operation of California ports.

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