March 6, 2006


Ruling allows Dubai firm's takeover of port operator (Associated Press, 3/06/06)

The controversial takeover of British shipping company P&O by Dubai's state-owned DP World received the green light today when Britain's Court of Appeal dismissed a Miami firm's objection to the deal.

The Court of Appeal declined to hear an appeal from Miami-based Eller & Co., which had tried to have the deal barred on technical grounds, arguing that U.S. concerns about a United Arab Emirates company owning significant operations at six major U.S. seaports could harm its business.

The lower High Court had already approved the 3.9 billion pound ($6.8 billion) acquisition of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. and today's unanimous decision by the three judges of the Court of Appeal means that the deal is now free to proceed through the final regulatory stages.

In a statement following the decision, P&O said the takeover will now become effective on March 8 and that the shipping company's shares will be delisted from the London, Sydney and Tokyo stock exchanges on March 9.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 6, 2006 11:40 PM

ALL THE EMOTION, NONE OF THE LAW...but all of the poll numbers.

Unless this was Rovian plot to sever House & Senate Repubs from Bush's falling poll numbers, it goes down in history as the worst thought out and subsequently worst-handled issue so far.

Even if one accepts all of your (OJ and crowd) views (that the reaction is all about bigotry, racism, etc. etc.), the idea that this couldn't have been handled by the Administration is (how would OJ put it???) risible.

Again, I tend accept that most of you are correct on the merits of the issue. That said, I'd love to hear a scenario where this turns out as a benefit for the Administration.

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2006 11:12 AM


"handled better"

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2006 11:13 AM


It wasn't a thought out strategy by the White House, it's just the law. Attacking the deal was thoughtless xenophobia on the part of idiots.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 11:31 AM

Again, were I to accept all of your points (I accept most), the reaction, once the "attacking" began, was incompetent.

This is politics. It isn't like they don't do a few focus groups/week. What part of "75/25 against" don't they understand?

Perhahps Bush should get a committee to adminstratively repeal the minimum wage. Being against such a move would be "thoughtlessness on the part of idiots" as well.

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2006 12:01 PM

PS - the case in your post is a "British Court of Appeal" decision.

Yet more red meat for the Xenophobes...a foreign court OKing a deal on American Ports.

90/10 here we come - Live by the Jacksonian Mob, Die by the Jacksonian Mob.

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2006 12:06 PM


Yes, are you willing to leave coporate America at the prey of all the anti-Amerrican loons overseas just so you can exercise your anti-Arab prejudice? Who do you think loses in such a deal, Dubai or you?

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 12:29 PM


Just because racists attack doesn't mean you destroy free trade for them.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 12:30 PM


1. Corporate America is quite capable of looking after their own interests, and when I check in, I find their interests are often more "corporate" than "American."

2. Any attempt to paint me with "anti-Arab" predjudice is simply unfair, particularly from some one who just posted something about how one must distinguish between friends in India and enemies in Iran. (WHY DOES BRITAIN GET NUKES BUT NOT CUBA?)

Though the poll numbers certainly indicate a strong visceral "bigot" reaction (re: Ports), the fact is that if Dubai was viewed as a "friend" by the majority of the population, these numbers wouldn't look the way they do.

3. From the looks of it, we all stand to lose in this deal, and I find that as irksome as you do.

If you wish to project the blame upon me as some sort of anti-Arab racist simply because I think the Administration could have handled this better, be my guest.

Posted by: Bruno at March 7, 2006 1:10 PM


There is no other iussue implicated in the port deal except that the company is Arab. Thus, opposition is anti-Arab. much of that may well just be a function of complete ignorance rather than racism, but neither speaks well of opponents.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 1:14 PM

Mr. Judd;

But Bruno isn't writing about the opponents. Could I not criticize Patton's handling of the Third Army without being pro-Nazi? And can Bruno not criticize the handling of this issue without agreeing with the critics?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 7, 2006 2:43 PM

My initial take was that Bush was correct on the merits but the administration probably should have seen this one coming and had some plan in place to deal with it.

Unless Karl Rove is masterminding this, in which case his genius dwarfs us all (as usual).

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 7, 2006 3:04 PM


Sure, you can criticize Patton if there's something he deserves criticism for. The point of the port deal is that there is no rational basis for criticism, only hate.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 4:22 PM


Plan in place? What, like rescinding US and International Law to screw an ally so that the anti-Arab nitwits don't squawk?

A British company had the contract and no one cared, even though it's a terrorist hotbed, unlike Dubai.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 4:38 PM

Harken back some decades ago when the same people were jumping up and down because the Japanese were buying Rockefeller Center, Pebble Beach Golf Course . . . and yet we survived unscathed.

Posted by: erp at March 7, 2006 5:31 PM


The Japanese businessman who bought Pebble Beach lost like $300 million on the deal. Not good.

The 'failure' of foresight is nothing more than the administration simply accepting the bureaucratic decisions made by bureaucrats bureaucratically every day. Every White House enjoys this experience.

Of course Bush isn't going to jump at the first negative media report - that would be insane (and reminiscent of how his predecessor governed). Remember what Bush said about Michael Brown on day +3 or +4 of Katrina - "Brownie's doing a good job". Maybe he even believed it at the time. When that became untenable, Brown was relieved.

The report from Prof. Instapundit tonight shows that 'security' at ports run by the Port Authority of NY/NJ is even worse than you can imagine. Is Hillary Clinton or Frank Lautenberg going to jump in front of the cameras to condemn the Authority? No - it isn't a federal entity. No benefit in that, and Bush can't be blamed (although I'm sure Jon Corzine and Eliot Spitzer might try).

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 7, 2006 11:07 PM

The guys in the GOP bitching loudest about port security voted against spending more money on port security as many as a dozen times each. It's not about security, just hate.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2006 11:21 PM

Japanese businessmen lost money on Pebble Beach. The Dubai company may lose money on the Port deal. That's business, not a threat to the Republic. Professor Instapundit's self promotion, which now includes the little woman, is becoming a bit tiresome. His pork buster meme is ridiculous and if he doesn't know it, he should.

Posted by: erp at March 7, 2006 11:49 PM

Brownie was doing a good job. The irony of all this is that Katrina was probably the best hurricane response in the history of FEMA.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 8, 2006 7:27 PM


I agree with you as usual, it was just unsettling watching the administration get blindsided by this. The Bush administration seemed genuinely flabbergasted that people would be upset about this. The instant math that most folks did in their heads upon hearing this story ran as follows: Arabs plus ports plus security equals bad idea. That is in no way an accurate depiction, but it's an obviously combustible issue and the White House should've seen it coming.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 9, 2006 1:47 AM


Unless, as noted above, this is all Karl Rove's doing and then we can rest easy.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 9, 2006 1:47 AM


Why? The Chicoms run the ports on the West Coast and Arab airlines fly into NYC

Posted by: oj at March 9, 2006 7:11 AM


Most Americans just don't see the Chinese as an implacable enemy and Arab airlines have been flying into American airports since before 9/11. Folks are used to it.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 9, 2006 3:54 PM

Yes, so why would they expect this to be so kerfufflicious?

Posted by: oj at March 9, 2006 4:03 PM

Because, unlike the airlines, people aren't used to it and it can easily be misconstrued as a security problem.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 9, 2006 9:57 PM

They aren't scared that Arabs fly airplanes into our cities everyday, but the Administration should have known they'd get hysterical over cargo shipping?

Posted by: oj at March 9, 2006 11:23 PM

Many people following this story string together these two words:


U.S. ports

...and immediately worry about a security risk. As far as I know, it's a new situation for Arab companies to be operating these terminals and the Bush administration should try to anticipate the gut feelings of folks outside the Beltway loop. That's difficult but doable.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 10, 2006 2:10 AM

The proposition that folks would be more worried about Arabs + ports than about Arabs + planes isn't tenable.

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2006 7:09 AM


Except that, as this fracas shows, they obviously are.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 10, 2006 4:49 PM


If you could get the airtime that was devoted to this to explain that Arabs fly jumbo jets into American cities everyday we'd ban them by April.

Posted by: oj at March 10, 2006 5:07 PM