Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dennis Ross Meets with UAE Prince, Brother of Filmed Torturer

Heavy handed greed and violence is a fractal in today's world. Western and Middle Eastern versions intertwined this week, when U.S. Special Envoy Dennis Ross met with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Recall the UAE Royal who mercilessly tortured an Afghan man for a missing truckload of grain? The abuser is the brother of Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Did Dennis Ross bring up the video? Doubtful. Ross had a member of the Central Command alongside. Neocon violence is likley in order to deal with the greatest threat in the region. Why post here, on a business oriented blog?

Recall the sale of two aircraft operations, Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero to UAE's Dubai Aerospace? Of course you don't. The deal didn't make the news, despite falling between the Dubai Ports World uproar and the NASDAQ/Bourse brouhaha. The Carlyle Group has that kind of political clout. Why be concerned over Landmark Aviation, a flight based operations company, and Standard Aero, an airplane engine maintenance firm?

Between the two firms, they had operations at over 50 North American airports. Also, Landmark Aviation was rumored to be a rendition flyer.

Recall Larry Summers' concerns over sovereign wealth funds? He shared them before returning to public service as President Obama's Chief Economic Adviser. FT reported:

"..Government shareholders may not always have the same interests as ordinary shareholders. "The logic of the capitalist system depends on shareholders causing companies to act so as to maximize the value of their shares," he wrote. "It is far from obvious that this will over time be the only motivation of governments as shareholders. They may want to see their national companies compete effectively, or to extract technology or to achieve influence."

Governments of target, or "host," countries could find themselves in awkward situations, he said. "What about the day when a country joins some 'coalition of the willing' and asks the U.S. president to support a tax break for a company in which it has invested? Or when a decision has to be made to bail out a company, much of whose debt is held by an ally's central bank?"

They ring more true today, after the Princely beating went viral on the web. Yet, regulating sovereign wealth funds headed by heavy handed monarchs is not on the table.

The UAE Royal family has no plans to conduct an investigation. Their defense:

The UAE government claimed that Sheikh Issa only occasionally indulged in such activities and what was recorded on the tape was 'not part of a pattern of behavior'.

The U.S. modeled no investigation into torture quite nicely. It's world-wide buyer, aka citizens beware.