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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

As decreed by the UAE, thou shalt be banned in their dictatorship

Michelle Malkin's got three topics that show even more why we should not do business with Dubai: they're against free speech and opinion within their country, including hers, another blogger's, and ours. As a correspondent to her from the UAE informed, the UAE government-owned ISP, which controls all access, has banned her site from their servers (Tim Worstall also got a letter confirming that). Then, the BoingBoing website got banned, and shows that there's a special screen picture displayed on the UAE's servers that tells that the site is blocked (see also this topic, for how to get around some of these problems). Then, there's - who else? - Jews who aren't allowed to enter the country (via Fifth Virginia and also One Jerusalem):
"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.
Now if the UAE and also Saudi Arabia are going to forbid Jewish businesses, products and even physical entry, then, as Fifth Virginia asks:
If the deal goes forward, isn't the Bush administration violating a US law?
Yes, why is the Dubya administration keeping on with defending the deal?

CBS News reports that 70 percent of US citizens oppose the port deal:
Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement.

CBS News senior White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that now it turns out the Coast Guard had concerns about the ports deal, a disclosure that is no doubt troubling to a president who assured Americans there was no security risk from the deal.

The troubling results for the Bush administration come amid reminders about the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina and negative assessments of how the government and the president have handled it for six months.

In a separate poll, two out of three Americans said they do not think President Bush has responded adequately to the needs of Katrina victims. Only 32 percent approve of the way President Bush is responding to those needs, a drop of 12 points from last September’s poll, taken just two weeks after the storm made landfall.
Well if Bush is going to allow any funding to go to the PLO, as the State Dept reportedly told their officials, or even Sweden's government is going to (both links via IRIS Blog), which is clearly spiting its own citizens in Scandanavia, then is it any wonder that Americans would be let down? That money should be going to Katrina victims, and NOT to terrorists.

The American Spectator finds that the UAE's even allowed narcoterrorists to go free from jail.

And yet, despite these telling details which show that the UAE is a terrorist supporter and free speech suppressor, Dubya is still going along and defending it when he doesn't have to.

It should also be noted that the government did not do any of this publicly, which would've allowed the US public to judge for themselves, and that too should show why the port deal is a bad idea. Don't be fooled by the argument of one of Dubai Port World's knee-jerk officials, who argued that the deal "poses no threat to national security." If he said otherwise, it's quite possible that he'd lose his job, and it's possible that DPW may have ordered their US employee to defend the deal fully.

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