Saturday, January 9, 2016

Canadians Speak Out About Saudi Arabia

While our new government would, I'm sure, dearly love to change the channel on the indefensible arms deal with Saudi Arabia that I have been recently writing about, it is clear that Canadians are not about to be easily diverted. A selection of letters from today's Star attests to that fact:
Would someone please explain why we are selling armoured cars to Saudi Arabia? Would we sell armoured cars to the Islamic State? Of course not. In that case, tell me the difference between those two entities.

Both ISIS and the House of Saud, in the name of their various twisted interpretations of Islam, turn their guns on innocent civilians and demonstrate a particular interest in decapitation. At least 4 of the 47 people beheaded by Saudi Arabia on Jan. 1 were guilty, it seems, of peacefully protesting against that country’s repressive regime. That’s all.

I therefore ask again, why are we sending war material to the likes of the Saudis? Ah, why am I so naive as to believe that money shouldn’t trump morality?

Richard Griffith, Ravenna

The minute I heard of the executions in Saudi Arabia I thought that the delivery of light armored vehicles to that country would be halted. I was shocked to hear that nothing was to be done. We have a moral obligation to prevent arms going to a country that will not hesitate to use them on its own people.

Even if contracts have been signed and money transacted, it does not mean that Canada must honour this agreement. If we have to compensate the company concerned, so be it. We are aiding, abetting and condoning the atrocious acts of last Saturday if we do not cancel this sale.

Carol Duffy, Richmond Hill

In its Jan. 6 editorial, the Star says that the sale of $15 billion worth of Canadian-made arms to Saudi Arabia “bears close watching.” What we will be watching is people being run down and otherwise scared into submission by ruthless Saudi rulers using our armoured vehicles.

This deal, begun under the abolished Harper regime, should be cancelled at once. Our new government’s talk about new ways should not be undermined by the same old greedy hypocrisy.

Jean Gower, Kingston

ISIS beheads people under their control who disagree with them. So do the Saudis. ISIS invades sovereign territories and kills civilians who dwell there. The Saudis do it by air in Yemen. ISIS practices an absolute dictatorship form of goverment. So do the Saudis.

Why is it that we vilify ISIS, but provide military hardware to the Saudis? Why are the Saudis our valiant allies in the soi-disant War on Terror?

Patrick McDonald, Toronto


  1. I was toying with the relative merits of Green Party versus Liberal, Lorne, until this, the TPP and the Kinder Morgan pipeline problem all bubbled to the surface. I'll be sticking with May and the Greens. She denounced this rancid arms deal a year ago. It was bad enough when Harper was behind it. It's intolerable when Junior has chosen the same path.

    1. It certainly calls into question, Mound, the promise that the Trudeau government is going to do things differently. As you pointed out on your blog, the low-hanging fruit has already been picked in reversing some of Harper's most egregious offences. IT is in these more difficult issues that the true character of our new government emerges.