Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Corporatizing another asset

There has been no shortage of commentary about the Bush administration's decision to turn over port security to a corporation, based in the Arab world. There has been a great deal of blather about the security risks this poses, and critics of the plan have been just as boisterous on the right, as on the left.

With any issue, I always find that what is being talked about away from the din and cacophony is worth paying attention to. John Nichols' blog at The Nation is a case in point. Rather than focusing merely on the security issues, Nichols looks at the issue of turning another one of our national assets over to a corporation and the consequences associated with this. As Nichols notes, the privitization angle has been sadly lacking in any of the MSM's coverage of this news story.

As Nichols writes, "The private firms that control so many of the nation's ports have not begun to set up a solid system for waterfront security in the more than four years since the September 11, 2001 attacks. And shifting control of the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia -- along with control over the movement of military equipment on behalf of the U.S. Army through the ports at Beaumont and Corpus Christi -- from a British firm, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., to Dubai Ports World, is not going to improve the situation."

I would have to agree with his points concerning this transfer of control of a vital aspect of our national infrastructure. There is more to this story than we are getting and Nichols gives us a solid starting for a deeper look into the matter.

1 comment:

weasel said...

Thought you might find this hoo-ha on the ports story from an outpost of rationalism on the economic right wing interesting: Playing The Muslim Card: Dubai Ports World, Pt. 3.

The big paradox is I suppose who do we distrust the least? Greedy big business or the government who brought you the Hurricane Katrina aftermath?