A blast from the past

Monday, March 06, 2006
Dennis has more info on the port deal including a very interesting press release from the office of the former vice president:

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Vice President

March 05, 2000


Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore today congratulated Lockheed Martin and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday's announcement from Abu Dhabi that they have completed terms on the sale of 80 F-16 fighter jets to the UAE -- finalizing a purchase announced at the White House in May of 1998 by UAE Crown Prince Khalifa and Vice President Gore.

The sale of the 80 F-16s at an estimated cost of more than $6 billion will generate -- according to company data -- 100,000 man-years of direct employment at Lockheed Martin; at Northrop Grumman, which supplies some of the F-16's most sophisticated technology; and at the hundreds of companies in 40 states who supply parts for the advanced fighter jet. At the same time, the sale will enhance the UAE's defense capability and the U.S.-UAE security partnership.

"This sale is just the latest in a long line of acknowledgments of the skill, ingenuity, and excellence of Lockheed Martin employees and their suppliers," Vice President Gore said. "It shows us again how American mastery of high technology is essential to both advancing our economic growth and protecting our national security."

Vice President Gore was part of a White House team that encouraged the UAE to purchase the F-16 as the Gulf country was considering bids from international competitors. In May of 1998, the Vice President and Crown Prince Khalifa announced at the White House the UAE's intention to purchase 80 F-16s. That same week, the Vice President joined UAE officials at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth to celebrate the announcement. Early this year, the Vice President was in contact with the Crown Prince during the final push for an agreement.

The sale is part of U.S. efforts to help Gulf allies defend their interests in the region. Just before Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, Saddam had threatened the UAE along with Kuwait for overproduction of petroleum. The UAE then played an integral role in the Allied coalition against Iraq.

"The UAE will reap immense national security benefits from the F-16, and from the close relationships it will bring them with the finest Air Force and finest defense contractors in the world," Vice President Gore said. "The sale also advances U.S. interests by equipping an important Gulf ally with an advanced fighter jet that can help deter aggression in the region."

Keep scrolling and you will also find an interesting post on Congressman Duncan Hunter's vow to "kill this deal"..If Republicans keep acting like this I might have to go back to voting for Democrats. The Congressman says the UAE are not to be trusted. If this is true why did he not demure at selling them all kinds of military hardware?

This is turning into historical revision with a dose of polictical oppurtunism. Some people say it does not matter if the US Navy trusts Dubai Ports or not, after all what does that have to do with terrorism? I should think the fate of the USS Cole might make it plain to some folks that the US Navy has every reason to be careful who they do and do not trust.

People blame Bush's number on bad PR but when people can get away with this kind of short sighted dishonest posturing, what good will PR do?

My grandmother had an old saying about biting off your nose to spite your face. We need these people and they have not broken a law by winning a bidding war. Demonizing them can always backfire on us.


David Thomson said...

"Demonizing them can always backfire on us."

I must change this sentence ever so slightly to read:

Demonizing them will always backfire on us.

Make no mistake, we will pay a serious price if we insult the moderate Muslims of Dubai. They have gone out of their way to cooperate with us. We would be sending the wrong message to our allies.