Tuesday, March 14, 2006

You make vague statements, we respond with data

Is the UAE a so-called ‘breeding ground’ for terrorists? I guess that depends on your definition of a breeding ground. But what I can do is present information and let you make your own decision.

  • Viktor Bout- aka: The Merchant of Death. A former KGB General, turned Arms Dealer. He has his own fleet of aircraft and ran Irbis Air out of the UAE. The UAE recently (and hesitantly) shut down the flight operations of Irbis Air. The UN and many nations have been calling for Irbiss Air to be grounded due to flight operations of arms to terrorists and terrorist supporting organizations. However Viktor supposedly had ties to one of the ruling princes of the UAE and that tie was enough to allow him to continue his work until recently. Viktor was a long time supplier of weapons to the Taliban, who in turn supplied weapons to al Qaeda. Nicholas Cage character in the movie Lord of War is said to be somewhat based on Viktor. For more info and an interview with Viktor, click here.
  • The UAE had official diplomatic relations with the Taliban, which they did not cut until AFTER 9/11/2001.
  • The Wisconsin Project, an anti-proliferation group reports on a New York Times article, that in the mid-1990’s UAE officials allowed technology to be shipped through Dubai to Iran. What was this technology? It is not clear, but was is clear is that the senders were representatives of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program. They also report that in 2003 UAE officials allowed switches (used in nuclear weapons) to be sent to a Pakistani man.
  • A 2004 report by the Iraq Survey Group listed 20 UAE firms suspected of having acted as intermediaries for Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) and that the UAE was a throughway for items such as rocket fuel ingredients.
  • According to the CIA Factbook, “The UAE is a drug transshipment point for traffickers given its proximity to Southwest Asian drug producing countries; the UAE's position as a major financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering"
  • The UAE also has ties to the PLO.

These are but a few quick tidbits of information. Click the links, read the sites, and finally do your own research.

The UAE may not be 'breeding terrorists' but they seem to be good at looking the other way when terrorist supportive activities occur.


Anonymous said...

- According to www.tkb.org, there are 41 active terrorist groups in the United States today (only 2 are of Arab of Muslim descent, many are Christian and several are Jewish).

- The Iranian nuclear program was started by the United States to assist the Shah in maintaining dictatorial control over Iran and the Middle East.

- The U.S. gives Israel, one of the world's most powerful militaries, $10 billion a year to finance an illegal occupation against Palestinians. American Apaches have been repeatedly documented as being used against Palesitinian cities, schools and hospitals by Israel.(www.ifamericansknew.org)

- The U.S. is one of the world's largest importers of cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines, marijuana and other illegal narcotics, and the #1 arms dealer in the world.

Ultimately, a more accurate view of the facts and the world situation shows that if anyone is a "breeding ground" for terrorists, it's the United States.

Certainly the UAE will never be seen as a hardliner in the War on Terror. Its very appeal, in Dubai at least, is a calm, investor-friendly environment with low government involvement.

But who is causing the terror? It seems that the record of the UAE is far cleaner than that of the U.S., a trend that continues to this very day.

Anonymous said...

Check out Friedman's latest article -

Dubai and Dunces

Dubai is where we should want the Arab world to go. Unfortunately, we just told Dubai to go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for those who don't know it, 'tkb.org' is a data gathering agency headquartered in Washington D.C. and that is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Not a completely neutral and unbiased resource....

Anonymous said...

TKB is part of the RAND Corporation, which receives funds from many governments, people and organizations but is independent.

Since its establishment many decades ago it has been world known as the premier source of raw data on terrorism.

Seeing as there are no opinions express on TKB I find it hard to accept that it is biased or uncredible, when no evidence has surfaced to support this.

I have no personal interest in defending TKB, so if someone were to find information confirming this, it would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and furthermore, the United States has ties to the PLO! Anyone remember Oslo, or Camp David?

Branding a country as a "breeding ground for terrorists" because it supports a victimized, oppressed group of Arab (in this case Palestinian) Muslims and Christians is bigoted and ignorant.

But then the same could also be said of castigating one of the friendliest and most open governments in the Middle East - the UAE.

I must be mistaken, because I was under the impression that the problem with the Bush Administration was bigotry and ignorance. Is the Democratic Party under the impression it must resort to the same?

Scott said...

We represent not the Democratic Party, but a liberal opinion. Let me stress that again... an opinion

This whole chain of discussion started with a simple question and a public response, (ie; opinion, perception or interpretation)
The results of our poll found that the majority of people 'believe' that allowing a company owned by an arab state (in this case the UAE) to run a potentially vulnerable point of entry into the United States is a bad idea, and counter to the country's position on safety and security.

So no matter the facts, the public opinion is what it is ...and beliefs/opinions are slow moving to change.

We welcome all opinions and it seems that we have a number of them going right now. Our purpose is to inform and to spark thought and civil debate, it appears we have done our job.