Thursday, August 17, 2017

Will This Saudi 'Explanation' Give Freeland And Trudeau The Cover They Desperately Seek?

As I recently wrote, I am very doubtful that the Trudeau government will rescind its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, damning evidence of the Saudi deployment of the weaponry against their own people notwithstanding. It is my suspicion that both Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland hope that their sanctimonious expressions of concern prompted by this evidence will be sufficient for the Canadian people.

Now Saudi Arabia has admitted using the armoured vehicles in their Eastern Province, but guess what? They claim it is to fight terrorism.
The Saudi Arabian government is defending the recent deployment of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against residents of the kingdom’s Eastern Province, saying security forces found it necessary to use “military equipment” to fight terrorists who threatened the safety of its population.
Interestingly, the vehicles have been unleashed in al-Qatif, which is predominantly Shia, a sect that finds no favour in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. And while it is true that tensions abound in the area, the Saudis are not keen to talk about any of the reasons.

Consider the following event from June of this year:
A Saudi soldier has been killed and two others wounded when an explosive device went off during a patrol in the kingdom's restive Qatif province, the interior ministry said.

In a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the ministry said that the blast occurred late Sunday evening in the Masoura district in the village of Awamiya.

It described the explosion as a "terrorist incident".
What led to this 'terrorist incident'?
The oil-rich eastern province of Qatif is mostly Shia, a minority in the Sunni-majority kingdom.

The SPA has reported an increase in clashes between Shia fighters and security forces in Masoura in recent weeks after the Saudi government sent in workers to demolish a 400-year-old walled neighbourhood there.

UN rights experts have urged the Saudi government to halt the demolition, saying the planned commercial zone threatened the town's historical and cultural heritage and could result in the forced eviction of hundreds of people from their businesses and residences.
Nothing to see here, claim the Saudis:
“The terrorist groups in Awamiyah are equipped with military equipment and they are attacking civilians in the area,” the embassy said in a statement.

Cesar Jaramillo, the executive director of Project Ploughshares, a disarmament group that tracks military exports, said the Saudi explanation for what took place merits skepticism.

“The Saudi government’s depiction of military operations in civilian areas as being part of its war on terrorism has become routine, and increasingly suspect,” he said.

“The fact is that there are too many red flags. A country consistently found to be among the very worst human-rights violators on the planet is now categorically denying any human-rights violations in the siege of Awamiyah. The Canadian public needs to know how much credence Ottawa gives to this claim and whether it is consistent with its own findings.”

Ali Adubisi, director of the Berlin-based European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights, said the Saudi government criminalizes any form of dissent. Many civilians were targeted and killed in Awamiyah, he said, while the government is saying it’s fighting armed men. “Portraying themselves as the protectors of civilians in Awamiyah is a mockery.”

Human Rights Watch said in a statement this week that residents in Awamiyah told them Saudi security forces fired into populated areas from Al-Masora, killing residents, occupying a public school, closing clinics and pharmacies and preventing essential services such as ambulances from reaching the area. The group called for an investigation into whether Saudi authorities “used excessive force in Awamiyah.”
There has been long-standing evidence of the almost genocidal hatred the Sunnis have for the Shia. For Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland to cherry-pick the evidence and stand behind the deal would not only be indefensible, but also yet another indication of an amoral government with contempt for principles and human rights.


  1. While it might provide "cover" for the Lib's and Con's, it won't under the UN Arm's Treaty.

    3rd Parties with tear the excuse apart, in Court, with Shia testimony.

    Yup, there are lawful refugee's from Saudi Arabia, living amongst us.

    1. It won't be the first time that Canada has run afoul of the United Nations, Jay. The question is, does the government really care? Perhaps it is giving up on its goal of a seat on the Security Council?

  2. One man's freedom fighter is another man's s terrorist, Lorne.

  3. .. unlikely Peter Kent, as shadow minister/critic re Foreign Affairs will have much to say.. He'd look even more a hypocritical & sleazy POS than usual.

    Of course Trudeau inherited the Saudi deal.. yet I'm sure the situational ethics are flexing mightily as The Liberals count the votes in play.. But after all, just a broken promise.. or wild hypocracy.. take your pick.

    The floating reality however, is that Canadian citizens can demand a retreat from such 'industry' - especially if taxpayers are subsidizing them. i say maintain any valid subsidies, but ensure such industries retool to agricultural equiment and technology. Don't give up on the local hired labour.. just ensure they are rewarded for working in manufacturing sectors that pay off as 'win win'..

    I'm a farm boy.. worked about every aspect of Canadian agriculture aside from tobacco & most of the fruit crops. Its astonishing to see the technologies now commonly employed during the various seasons - planting to harvest to feeding livestock.. and at the same time, disappearing traditional barns.

    Urban agriculture is coming big time.. as is urban hydroponic & vertical urban farming. And drive around Leamington, Ontario to see how its an area of year round production inside staggeringly gigantic plastic 'greenhouses'.. all within eyesight of bands of wind generators. This is a common phenomena on both sides of the Great Lakes..

    What is 'food security' Justin Trudeau.. please explain where it fits into the human or political picture.. ! (for that matter please explain how exporting LNG and Dilbit to Asia qualifies as 'energy security for uh.. Canadians?) Does food security and intensive community based agriculture not outweigh military arms? Does feeding people not outweigh foreign owned petroleum consortiums extracting our resources while benefitting from endless subsidies.. and ridiculously un-enforced 'polluter pays' violations ?

    Earth to Justin.. can you spell Methane ?
    We know - you know - about CO2
    so what about Methane escape eh?

    And how about agriculture vs arms manufacture.. ?

    1. You raise a very interesting alternative to the arms madness, Sal. Food security will indeed be a major concern in the near future, as even the more modest climate change models show us. Unfortunately, our political 'leaders' seldom look beyond the next election.

  4. .. these people are elected as 'public servants' Lorne.. They are not awarded sports or Hollywood 'personalities' positions. Their staff, aides, chiefs, spokeswanks are also there to 'serve us'.. to be accointable.. responsible.. to us. To reflect and respect our dremas, needs & wishes.. how it all gets turned around backwards is one of the great mysteries of life. Refusing to respond to FOI requests? Inventing policies that in no way were present during an election? This is the era of political animals telling taxpayers to go suck eggs. Pissing on our legs & telling us its raining. Fortunately for young middle aged Justin, there's no sustained opposition emplaced within the New Democrats.. and the so called 'conservatives' are adrift.. floating around Andrew Scheer and/or Ezra Levant.. neither of which on any planet coud be described as a 'public servant' .. a serpent yes.. but a servant? Of the people.. ? Its to laugh..

    1. They may be currently buoyed by the disarray in the right, Sal, but the Liberals should fear the day (admittedly likely a distant one) when people start paying attention to what the government is doing in our name. All honeymoons eventually end.

  5. The violence that the Saudi government is imposing on the Shia Lorne is criminal.Trudeau and Freelands fake concern is for show.

    It's the smugness and arrogance with which they deliver their lies that gets me. These 2 who grew up in a peaceful, safe, country are now dictating to Canadians the benefits of militarizing Canada.

    Canadians are not militaristic! Trudeau should study his fathers foreign affairs policy on militarizing Canada.

    Pierre Trudeau despised militarism! I am going to work very hard in the next election to get the liberals voted out. They have turned out to be a disaster.

    1. Sanctimonious public posturing, as I suspect both Trudeau and Freeland are indulging in, Pamela, will wear pretty thin pretty quickly for those paying attention.