Friday, March 10, 2006

U.S. Humiliation of the UAE in Port Deal Spells Trouble - Mar 10

For some reason I was not able to post yesterday so I'll attempt to make up for it today. Lots to say, so much so in fact that I find I have to edit myself so as not to overwhelm you, the good reader. Six links follow, with a really good article from stratfor on the law of unintended consequences.

666 Alert: Vancouver couple have micro-chip implants in hands to use for access.

Two links here on Ehud Olmert's plan to permanently fix Israeli borders by 2010 and Khaled Mashaal's predictable and lame response.

Iran, it appears, already has enough fissionable material to make 10 to 20 nuclear bombs.

From newsmax comes a chilling story of how the Iranians intend to wage war should the United States Navy involve itself with military action against Iran.

From worldnetdaily comes an incredible story out of California (go figure) on the militant homosexual agenda abolishing references to 'mom' and 'dad' in school textbooks.

Pray for Israel, America and Canada,

The Man in Black

UAE: The Effects of the Port Deal Reversal in the Middle East
Mar 10, 2006

Summary


U.S. President George W. Bush expressed concern March 10 that the reversal of the Dubai Ports World deal will generate adverse perceptions among U.S. allies and partners in the Arab/Muslim world. Bush's concerns are valid; the deal's death will indeed have a negative effect in countries like the United Arab Emirates, where neither the state nor society for the most part has been at odds with the United States. Al Qaeda will exploit this to its advantage in an effort to expand its sphere of operations, which could result in insecurity in these otherwise stable countries.

Analysis

United Arab Emirates (UAE) state-owned firm Dubai Ports World (DPW) reacted to opposition from the U.S. Congress by announcing March 9 it would transfer control of six U.S. ports to a U.S-based entity. The next day, U.S. President George W. Bush said he was concerned about regional fallout from the way in which DPW was forced to back down. Bush said the deal's failure could send a broader message to U.S. allies in the world, particularly in the Middle East, and added that to win the "war on terror" Washington must strengthen its ties with moderate Arab countries in the Middle East.

Bush is right about the repercussions this development could have on U.S. interests at a time when Washington is trying to prosecute its war against jihadism and when relations between the West and the Islamic world continue to deteriorate. Though governments in the Persian Gulf region and beyond -- including the UAE -- will remain U.S. allies, the port deal's death will enhance anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiments among the people. Radical and militant Islamists can manipulate those sentiments, raising the probability of violence in countries prosperous and stable enough to have resisted radical Islamist and jihadist impulses thus far.

It should be noted that the UAE is among the few places in the Middle East that comes close to resembling a Western country. It is one of the few countries in the region that might qualify as a U.S. ally on a standard other than energy and security.

Radical Islamist activists and jihadist operators, in an effort to gain a foothold in such countries, will try to take advantage of the situation by arguing that no amount of wealth or cooperation will make them respected in the eyes of the United States or the West. These Islamists likely will convince many that moderation and alignment with the West has not paid off because the West will always look down on Arabs and Muslims. They will also try to promote the view that in the end, the West will always view Arabs and Muslims -- whether radical or moderate -- as the proverbial "other."

This propaganda will feed on existing frustrations and anger against the West because of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Quran desecration scandal, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal and the recent controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Resentment against the West for being anti-Islam and having anti-Muslim prejudices runs deep and wide in the Muslim world, beyond the Islamist and jihadist spheres of influence. Even mainstream and secular Muslims will view the UAE port deal reversal as an example of an "Islamophobic" attitude gaining ground in the United States and Europe.

Most Muslims will not resort to violence, but the growing anger and frustration increases the potential recruiting pool for al Qaeda and other jihadist groups. Consequently, countries like the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, where political stability and economic prosperity have kept radical ideologies from taking hold, could become insecure. Thanks to the law of unintended consequences, the port deal's failure will result in an increased security threat -- which was the raison d'etre for opposition to the deal.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

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