Past Event

Café Society: Dubai Ports -- Truth & Consequences?

The controversy that has erupted surrounding the proposed purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a British firm that currently manages the operation of a number of large ports in the United States by Dubai Ports World, has pit members of the Republican party against the current administration. It has also served as a rallying cry for Democrats hoping to paint President Bush as weak on terror. The purchase has proved controversial because the Dubai Ports World is headquartered and owned by the United Arab Emirates, a country that has long served as a center of financing for terrorism, and, more recently, for smuggling and other illegal activities.

The President’s detractors contend that turning over control of vital infrastructure such as ports to such an entity constitutes an unacceptable risk. Those in favor of the sale point out that vital services such as security and cargo screening, will be handled by the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs officials, as they are currently at all U.S. ports. Some have suggested that an undercurrent of racism drives much of the outrage over the proposed sale.

Congress has proposed a 45-day moratorium on the sale to allow a more thorough examination of its implications. Many feel that the sale will go on as proposed, once this wait is over and the spotlight of the media is focused elsewhere. Is there anything wrong with a foreign entity controlling such a vital piece of American infrastructure?

Come to a Café Society near you to voice your opinion.

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For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.