At least 119 dead in South Pacific tsunami

,Ok, I’m going to tell you this part of the story, so you can get, “the rest of the story”. Shall we begin;

From USA Today:

HONOLULU — The South Pacific earthquake hit at 6:48 a.m. Tuesday, followed 10 minutes later by the first of four killer waves that hit American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

They were not huge by Hawaii big-wave standards —, up to 20 feet according to Togiola Tulafono, the governor of American Samoa, who was in Honolulu Tuesday for a conference.

But in a low-lying, island nation of about 65,000 people, the kinetic energy of the earthquake-born waves was powerful enough to knock out a major bridge, destroy homes and major roads and send cars crashing into one another, Tulafono said.

Iran Awaits Ayatollah’s Nod to Build Atomic Bomb

Now, while the Lame Stream Media and the rest of the world “speculates”, I will let my learned readers “decide”. After, I have asked the following questions: How do we know they do not already have such a weapon? Just because the media and the powers that be around the world say so? And, what great plan does the “world” have for stopping them if they do?

From the Times of London:

Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times of London.

The sources said that Iran completed a research programme to create weaponised uranium in the summer of 2003 and that it could feasibly make a bomb within a year of an order from its Supreme Leader.

A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate two years ago concluded that Iran had ended its nuclear arms research programme in 2003 because of the threat from the American invasion of Iraq. But intelligence sources have told The Times that Tehran had halted the research because it had achieved its aim — to find a way of detonating a warhead that could be launched on its long-range Shehab-3 missiles.

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Muslims face extra checks in new travel crackdown

From Times Online:

THE Government is discussing with airport operators plans to introduce a screening system that allows security staff to focus on those passengers who pose the greatest risk.

The passenger-profiling technique involves selecting people who are behaving suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, have a certain ethnic or religious background.

The system would be much more sophisticated than simply picking out young men of Asian appearance. But it would cause outrage in the Muslim community because its members would be far more likely to be selected for extra checks.

Officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) have discussed the practicalities of introducing such a system with airport operators, including BAA. They believe that it would be more effective at identifying potential terrorists than the existing random searches.

Here comes the ACLU! Ya know, in certain circumstances racial profiling does work. This is one place that it is very appropriate. I know, those against it constantly say that all terrorists are not muslim, but the overwhelming majority of them are right now. Could they change their appearance? Yes, but that is what all security measures cause them to do, change their tactics. We just have to keep making it harder and harder for them. Notice they are doing more than racial profiling, but that won’t matter to the ACLU and their ilk.

Hat tip: Uncooperative Citizen, JMB

Global Jihad Monitor 03-21-06

The Big Picture

  • Italy announced the arrest of three Algerians believed to be members of an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organization who were allegedly planning attacks against ships, stadiums, or railway stations in the United States. [Full Story]
  • A Kuwaiti court sentenced six people to death and another 23 people to prison for being part of a terror group planning attacks on Americans in Kuwait. [Full Story]
  • A Syrian is being held in connection with the December 12 assassination of journalist Gebran Tueni in Beirut. [Full Story]

Go Read The Whole Report>>

View as a PDF.

Dubai Company to Give Up Stake in U.S. Ports Deal

From FNC:

After Republican leaders warned President Bush that the House and Senate appeared ready to block Dubai Ports World from taking over some U.S. port terminal operations, the company said it would give up its management stake in the deal.

The Thursday announcement was a blow for Democrats, who were pushing for a Senate vote on an amendment that would halt the deal. If they succeeded in that vote, Democrats could then claim a big election year win in the area of national security — an area Republicans generally have a stronger track record on.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., read a statement from DP World executives on the Senate floor Thursday, announcing the concession.

“Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity,” DP World’s chief operating officer, Edward H. Bilkey, said in the statement.

Well that is that for that. However the issue of future sales to foreign companies need to be addressed. I just hope we haven’t damaged our relationship with this very important strategic ally.

Robert M. Green over at TCS Daily has an interesting and thought provocing take on this deal:

Critics of the plan that would put a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company in charge of operations at six major U.S. ports have cited security as their central concern. Advocates of the deal have most often argued that security will not be effected by Dubai Ports (DP) World management, largely because port security is the province of domestic U.S. agencies.

A third argument has not yet been made by the major factions, and may never be. That argument says that the UAE company’s role here might result in better security implementation for the cargo container terminals than would otherwise have been possible.

Two factors explain potentially improved security under DP World management. The first is merely deductive. Given the intense furor already stirred to life in the media, the pressure to assure security could rise to a make-or-break agenda item for the ambitious company which already operates more than 40 terminals around the world.

No matter how you feel about this issue he makes some excellent points. Go read more>>

Dubai ports firm enforces Israel boycott
UAE Dubai firm offers to delay control of ports
Bush Didn’t Know About Port Deal Until Done
Bush Says He Will Veto Any Bill to Stop UAE Port Deal
White House Defends Port Sale to Arab Company
United Arab Emirates Firm May Oversee 6 U.S. Ports

House Committee Votes to Block Ports Deal

House committee today voted to block the controversial ports deal by a UAE company.

From FNC:

The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to attach to a $92 billion emergency supplemental funding measure for hurricane recovery and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The committee vote was 62-2.

“The amendment is straight-forward and is a rifle shot crack to block the Dubai Ports World deal only. This is a national issue. This is a national security bill. We want to make sure that the security of our ports is in America’s hands,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., committee chairman.

House Republicans led the charge to pass legislation that would block an administration-approved plan to hand over terminal operations at six U.S. ports to a UAE-owned company, Dubai Ports World. A British company, Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., currently operates the terminals in question.

I don’t think they had a choice, if the Republicans didn’t do it the Democrats would have called for a vote on it. They want to look strong on National Defense and this one was a safe stand for them to take.

My regular readers know my position on this, and it boils down to no foreign companies, and definitely no foreign company government owned, should be running our ports. Either an American company should run them or our government should run them. Heck they could actually make money off running the ports.

Dubai ports firm enforces Israel boycott
UAE Dubai firm offers to delay control of ports
Bush Didn’t Know About Port Deal Until Done
Bush Says He Will Veto Any Bill to Stop UAE Port Deal
White House Defends Port Sale to Arab Company
United Arab Emirates Firm May Oversee 6 U.S. Ports

Dubai ports firm enforces Israel boycott

Well, well, well…

From The Jerusalem Post:

The parent company of a Dubai-based firm at the center of a political storm in the US over the purchase of American ports participates in the Arab boycott against Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The firm, Dubai Ports World, is seeking control over six major US ports, including those in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It is entirely owned by the Government of Dubai via a holding company called the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCZC), which consists of the Dubai Port Authority, the Dubai Customs Department and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Area.

“Yes, of course the boycott is still in place and is still enforced,” Muhammad Rashid a-Din, a staff member of the Dubai Customs Department’s Office for the Boycott of Israel, told the Post in a telephone interview.

“If a product contained even some components that were made in Israel, and you wanted to import it to Dubai, it would be a problem,” he said.

A-Din noted that while the head office for the anti-Israel boycott sits in Damascus, he and his fellow staff members are paid employees of the Dubai Customs Department, which is a division of the PCZC, the same Dubai government-owned entity that runs Dubai Ports World.

Moreover, the Post found that the website for Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, which is also part of the PCZC, advises importers that they will need to comply with the terms of the boycott.

In a section entitled “Frequently Asked Questions”, the site lists six documents that are required in order to clear an item through the Dubai Customs Department. One of them, called a “Certificate of Origin,” “is used by customs to confirm the country of origin and needs to be seen by the office which ensures any trade boycotts are enforced,” according to the website.

A-Din of the Israel boycott office confirmed that his office examines certificates of origin as a means of verifying whether a product originated in the Jewish state.

On at least three separate occasions last year, the Post has learned, companies were fined by the US government’s Office of Anti-boycott Compliance, an arm of the Commerce Department, on charges connected to boycott-related requests they had received from the Government of Dubai.

US law bars firms from complying with such requests or cooperating with attempts by Arab governments to boycott Israel.

Tsk, Tsk, they did not provide links to the information. Let’s see what we can find?

From the JAFZA Faq:

Certificate of Origin – Produced by the original exporter and legalised by a recognised authority in the country of export. This is used by customs to confirm the country of origin and equally needs to be seen by the office which ensures any trade boycotts are enforced.

OK, so I verified that this part is true, but I am not calling Dubai. So, we are going to have to accept that the reporter did, in fact, talk to them.

This is the last straw that broke the camels back! How is it our government doesn’t know that the company violates U.S. policy in this matter? Well, they had to know, and chose to look the other way.

We cannot do business with a company, that is government owned, that violates our policies. In my opinion, the government would have to publicly recognize Israel, and stop participating in the boycott to be even considered for a contract.

I am still against any foreign countries running our ports, but this can be used to kill the deal. This allows the administration to save face and the UAE can only blame their own policies for their loss of the ports. It is certainly an honorable way out of the deal.

Here is another little tidbit.

From WaPo:

The U.S. Coast Guard, in charge of reviewing security at ports operated by a Dubai maritime company, warned the Bush administration it could not rule out that the company’s assets could be used for terrorist operations, according to a document released yesterday by a Senate committee.

in a Dec. 13 intelligence assessment of the company and its owners in the United Arab Emirates, the Coast Guard warned: “There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that preclude” the completion of a thorough threat assessment of the merger.

“The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities,” says the document, released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

UAE Dubai firm offers to delay control of ports
Bush Didn’t Know About Port Deal Until Done
Bush Says He Will Veto Any Bill to Stop UAE Port Deal
White House Defends Port Sale to Arab Company
United Arab Emirates Firm May Oversee 6 U.S. Ports