A Modest Proposal:The CNN reporting states the following:
Neither side has noticed that there is a fairly obvious compromise staring us in the face, which Big Lizards believes would resolve the very real security concerns without losing the equally real security benefits from this deal.
Both the actual national-security risk and also the political danger come, not from the ownership of the company, but rather from the day to day management -- the actual control of operations. The emirate wants the profits that accrue from ownership; rational Americans want to see control of the port, even the cargo areas, in friendly hands, preferably American.
This suggests a workable compromise: an American company should be chartered -- American owned and American managed -- that is a wholly owned but independently operated subsidiary of Dubai Ports... call it American Port Services, Inc., or somesuch name that makes clear the nationality; and then let all the actual management of the ports be handled by the American APS, not by Dubai Ports.
This will add a middle corporate layer, so Dubai Ports won't make quite as much of a profit as they would running the ports directly; but on the other hand, it's still better than no profit at all. And Americans can be assured that rather than shifting from British control to UAE control, we will in fact have shifted from British to American control of port operations.
A United Arab Emirates-owned company has agreed to turn over all of its operations at U.S. ports to an American "entity," Sen. John Warner said Thursday.UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a roundup of reaction.
Reading a statement from DP World on the Senate floor, Warner, a Virginia Republican, said the reason is "to preserve" the strong relationship between the UAE and United States.
The announcement comes after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the deal for DP World to assume some operations at six U.S. ports appeared dead on Capitol Hill.
Reaction to the DPW decision is going to come fast and furious. Just a day after the House voted overwhelmingly to restrict DPW from taking over operations at the ports, this deal heads off the showdown between Congress and the Administration. Others blogging: The Moderate Voice who wonders whether this is really a breakthrough or a smokescreen, Decision 08 thinks DPW saw the writing on the wall, Mary Katherine Ham, and Howie at The Jawa Report.
The reaction has indeed been fast and furious. A review of Memeorandum or Technorati shows just how many people are blogging the issue. Some specific reactions: Tel Chai Nation weighs in. Rick Moran would still like to have Congress hold hearings on foreign company operations at transportation hubs (ports, airports, etc.), TechinBlack notes that everybody wins in this deal (though he doesn't quite realize that quite a few ports are already being operated by foreign entities - it was the nature of this specific deal that got everyone going), and The Discerning Texan notes that this deal took all the air out of the Congressional Democrats' sails.