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Port deal with UAE company is not worth the risk

Re: Tampa steps into port deal debate, Feb. 22.

I am not someone who sees a Muslim terrorist hiding behind every tree waiting to set off a bomb. I do hope, however, that the Tampa Port Authority will reconsider its decision to retain Dubai Ports World to manage operations at the port.

Surely there is some company that can manage port operations in Tampa - and the six other U.S. ports for that matter - that is not based in the United Arab Emirates.

In my view, it would be naive to assume that a company based in the UAE would not be sympathetic to the Muslim brotherhood, a brotherhood that is waging "holy war" against the United States. All it would take is one terrorist working undercover in the Port of Tampa to assist in a plan to smuggle other terrorists and weapons into the United States.

Why risk the danger? I urge the Tampa Port Authority to find another company to manage the port.

Terry Ward, St. Petersburg

Stop this fiasco

Dubai Ports World last week bought London's historic old Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation for $6.8-billion, together with its control of several major U.S. ports. Very nice.

What they did not acquire is the freedom and security we Americans enjoy and value - last I heard they were not for sale! Slam the breaks on this fiasco of a deal before more al-Qaida thugs and Iraqi insurgents slam us. The last thing we need is for these hoodlums to undermine and expose our vulnerability.

Kevin Kamen, Palm Harbor

Much ado about nothing

No matter how the deal with Dubai Ports World turns out, almost all container cargo that comes to the United States is loaded at ports run by DPW, and will continue to be. While it's easy to understand the political component, and the hysteria, this is really much ado about nothing.

Ernest Lane, Trinity

Can we believe this administration?

Once again this president and his cronies come out with: "Trust us about this. We checked this out. Everything is good."

Don't forget this is the same bunch that said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This is the same bunch that helped after Katrina; tell that to the people of the Gulf Coast region.

If this president ever gets it in his head that he works for the people of the United States and not for his friends in the Middle East, maybe things in this country could be better.

Dave Trump, Holiday

Standing with the president

Re: UAE port deal.

It's funny watching all these politicians rushing to denounce this port deal and pretending how much they care about national security.

The United Arab Emirates has been a good ally, has not been attacking Israel and holds billions in U.S. Treasury notes. To insult this country now would be a mistake. None of these same foolish politicians seemed at all concerned when the New York Times splashed our national security information across its front page, but now they want to jump on this anti-Arab bandwagon. I'll stand with the president on this one.

Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg

So much for privatization

Republicans and their ideological brothers in corporate America have always maintained that even minimal "interference" in their activities by government would result in inefficiencies and possible disaster. They said such control only exists in communist states and dictatorships, and has always failed.

Now we have a president who sees nothing wrong with a completely state-owned company running some of our ports. Apparently he is saying state-owned companies can do as well as privately owned ones. (As long as they are Arab owned?)

A.T. "Bud" Holland, Dunedin

Why not an American company?

Re: Tampa steps into port deal debate.

Whatever has happened to the notion of "Buy American?" Security concerns are legitimate, but just as important to our national security is the matter of our huge trade deficit.

Why are the Tampa Port Authority commissioners not insisting that this port be operated by an American company? Must we continue to send our tax dollars offshore?

Tom Ziebold, St. Petersburg

Marine's memorial deserves a place

Re: Dead Marine's roadside memorial vanishes,Feb. 17.

I drove by that memorial every day. I didn't know the young Marine but did know he was from Tampa. For me, it was a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice and served as a representation of all service members who have been lost.

I liked that it was in a place for our whole base community to see. I could tell that it was being tended to, and that brought even more value to the memorial. It was a memorial that would be constantly refreshed by people, a service and a nation who cared. I hope we can put it back somewhere. Please let me know if they could use any help.

Eric L. Vincent, technical sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Tampa

It's what soldiers fight for

Re: Dead Marine's roadside memorial vanishes.

I'm writing in regard to Andrew Aviles' memorial being taken down. If that memorial isn't up when I get home, I will gladly go out there in full uniform and put it up myself, even if I have to stop traffic to do so.

Andy was one of my best friends, and I carry a picture of him everywhere I go, especially when I leave camp on a mission. I know he's been watching over me from above and has pulled me out of some tight situations.

He was a soldier like me, but the difference is he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, for our freedom and so that we can express ourselves freely and grieve freely. It shouldn't matter who moved the memorial or why. It goes against everything we soldiers have fought for and died for. If you print this, maybe it will change the mind of the person who had it removed.

Spc. Frank P. Rodriguez, U.S. Army, currently deployed

in Ramadi, Iraq

Public property is the wrong place

Re: Dead Marine's roadside memorial vanishes.

Though a majority of us have a great deal of empathy for the loss of a dear one, child or otherwise, the place for a memorial is not on a piece of public property. If every family who lost a soldier stationed at MacDill put a memorial at the gate, it would look tacky.

If each family visited it every weekend, there would be a crowd. Such private moments of reverence for a lost one belong in a cemetery where memorials are appropriate. They do not belong on highways, side streets, malls, etc.

I wish our county and state leaders would act against this tasteless practice which has grown out of control.

Georgie Bowser, New Port Richey

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