The dispute over control of six major U.S. ports has ended; or has it? Dubai Ports World has, in light of congressional antagonism, decided to abandon the U.S. part of the port-control package. According to the most recent news reports, should DPW not find a U.S. company willing to assume control of the ports, the deal could be on again.
That news should serve to re-ignite New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s hysteria. In expressing her rabid opposition to DPW assuming control of the ports in New York City, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Baltimore, the junior senator seems to have forgotten an event that occurred during the fading days of the Clinton White House years. This event could eventually put U.S. interests in as much jeopardy as a United Arab Emirates-controlled port facility.
While the campaign for the White House was at its most heated, the Clinton administration was busily approving the sale of 80 Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Block 60 model fighter aircraft. To what country was this magnanimous gesture made? None other than the United Arab Emirates!
According to the specifications for this hot new F-16, it is equipped with all the high-tech bells and whistles: a new-generation electronic warfare system; the APG-80 Active Electronically Scanning Array radar; and a state-of-the-art integrated infrared targeting system, thanks to the expertise of Northrop Grumman. Now the UAE possesses a fighter jet that not even the U.S. can claim in its arsenal.
Just what does all this mean? According to information sources, the main advantage of the Scanning Array radar means that it has “an extremely fast scanning rate, a much higher range, the ability to track and engage a tremendous number of targets, a low probability of intercept, an ability to function as a radio jammer, and simultaneous air and ground modes.” The plane also has the capacity to carry 450 additional gallons of fuel, thus giving it either an extended range, or the ability to stay in the air for longer periods of time. And the new electronics give the pilot almost total control of the airspace in his range of influence.
Given Sen. Clinton’s histrionics over the DPW fiasco, it’s amazing that the Clinton administration approved the sale of this equipment to the Arab government in Dubai. Admittedly, Dubai is one of the more moderate Arab countries, but that does not preclude this high-tech jet from falling into the hands of more fanatical and hate-filled Muslims.
Her exalted position as a U.S. senator, and the wife of a former president, surely could have netted Ms. Clinton a firsthand look at the F16E/F while it was in production just miles from her district. Why has the senator not pounded the podium in Congress to demand these aircraft – that could pose a significant threat to our allies in the Middle East – be shipped back to the United States? Is she guilty of selective anxiety – the kind that can only be induced by the Bush administration? Perhaps she has simply gone underground for the moment to escape the embarrassment former presidential hubby, Bill, caused by recently giving advice to the UAE on how to secure the U.S. ports operation deal.
And, it will interesting to see if Mr. Clinton falls heir to any more speaking invitations from Crown Prince and UAE Defense Minister Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum – at upwards of $300,000 per engagement. To be too vocal and too outspoken against the UAE on any subject might put a serious dent in the Clinton coffers. (This, by the way, is the same UAE government official who supports the Arab boycott against Israel.)
Could Mrs. Clinton have been totally unaware that the UAE donated between $500,000 and $1 million dollars to fund President Clinton’s Library in Arkansas? Nor did she squeal when Mr. Clinton handed over control of the Port of Long Beach to a Chinese firm. Perhaps she smelled chum in the waters (you know, the fish scraps that draw the sharks) as she shrieked, “We cannot afford to surrender our port operations to foreign governments.”
Sen. Clinton’s rhetoric is sounding more and more (wink, wink) like presidential candidate Clinton. It has become increasingly difficult for the incredibly self-esteemed Mrs. Clinton to remember serious gaffes and indiscretions from her husband’s own White House years. It will be even more interesting to see how former President Bill and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton juggle their tendency to contradict each other. Then again, the “spin cycle” is no new thing for the Clintons.
Jimmy Carter’s familial nemesis was his brother Billy. Will Hillary Clinton’s lot in life be one of constantly extricating herself from hubby Bill’s blunders? If you’ve not seen a good movie lately, stay tuned. The launch of a real theater of the absurd in the form of “See Hillary and Bill Run” is just around the corner.