Saturday, March 04, 2006

UAE Not U.S. Supporter Since 9/11

The Bush administration says the takeover of the administration of many U.S. ports by United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World is not a security risk because UAE supports us, especially after 9/11/2001.

Such support should thus show in UAE votes in the United Nations shouldn't it?

Here is the record of the frequency that the UAE voted with the United States at the UN:

1998 (before 9/11) 32.1%
2001 0.0%
2002 17.6%
2003 0.0%
2004 12.5%

This record was compiled from U.S. State Department sources. Could find no compiled record for 2005, but a review of UN press releases gives a glimpse of how that year went.

The UN General Assembly met on November 30, 2005 to discuss the Question of Palestine and the Situation in the Middle East. Abdulaziz Nasser Al-Shamsi of the United Arab Emirates said:

"Israel's ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian lands amounted to a failure of international legitimacy, which had allowed Israel to continue its confiscation of lands and natural resources, and the enforcement of laws and regulations with a view to exercising its legal and administrative jurisdiction over the Arab and Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."

There was more, but you get the idea. On the December 1 following, the General Assembly adopted by a vote of 156 in favor to 6 against (with 9 abstentions) a resolution stressing the need for Israel's withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

The 6 against this resolution were: Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

Among the 156 in favor were: Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, both Koreas, Kuwait, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

On the issue of Jerusalem, the Assembly adopted a resolution reiterating its determination that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the Holy City are illegal and, therefore, null and void, and have no validity whatsoever. It did so by a vote of 153 in favor and 7 against with 12 abstentions.

The 7 against were: Costa Rica, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States.

Those in favor remained about the same as the previous vote, Australia abstained. For more details:

In fact, a look around the UN site is quite an education on the isolation of the United States on many votes. On how the Muslim and Arab nations hang together when they vote. On how even those countries we think we can always count on, like the United Kingdom, often disagree and vote against U.S. positions.

For example, our embargo against Cuba. For the fourteenth straight year, the UN General Assembly voted for the necessity of ending the embargo. The vote on November 8, 2005 in the UN General Asssembly for ending the embargo was 182 in favor, 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States) and 1 abstention.

In the debate before the vote, Russia said they "strongly condemned the embargo on Cuba and called for it to be immediately lifted." The United Kingdom speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated states said it encouraged "a process of transition to pluralist democracy with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, while also promoting the improvement in the living standards of the Cuban people." and they upheld the resolution to end the embargo.

Setting aside the political right or wrong of our positions, the UN is a good barometer of world opinion and support. It appears that not only should we not let the UAE get a foothold in our seaports, but we need to take a close look at all foreign investment security situations.

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