Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How Will Dion Justify This?

Given the ongoing contention surrounding Canada's decision to sell $15 billion worth of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, one wonders what sort of dance moves Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion will engage in to explain his government's ongoing support for the Middle East kingdom in light of this:
Canadian-made armoured vehicles appear to be embroiled in Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemeni-based Houthi rebels – caught up in cross-border hostilities that critics say should force Ottawa to reconsider a $15-billion deal to sell Riyadh more of these weapons.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis – who are aligned with Iran – has already been accused by a United Nations panel of major human-rights violations for what its report called “widespread and systematic” air-strike attacks on civilian targets. Along the Saudi-Yemen border, constant skirmishes pit Houthi fighters against Saudi ground forces such as the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The Saudi Arabian National Guard, a buyer of many Canadian-made light armoured vehicles (LAVs) in the past decade, has published photos on its official Twitter account showing how in late 2015 it moved columns of combat vehicles to Najran, a southwestern Saudi town near the border with Yemen that is in the thick of the conflict.

A significant number of vehicles in the photos have the triangular front corners, the eight wheels and the headlamps fixed above these triangles that are familiar features in earlier LAV models made in Canada.
It would appear that this government, like the last, places a high priority on corporate profits:
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s department refused comment Monday when pressed on whether it is concerned about the armoured vehicle shipments, saying it’s bound to secrecy on anything to do with arms sales to the Saudis.

“In regards to your request, please see our response: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, specific contractual details cannot be shared,” Tania Assaly, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs said in a prepared statement.
Somehow I doubt that there is sufficient money in the world to clean the blood off of the Trudeau administration's hands in this matter.


  1. Yes, those Saudis - the bunch who have been dropping cluster bombs on Houthi villages long before we ever heard the name, Houthi. Yes, and those would be the same Houthis who are waging a fierce ground war against both al Qaeda and ISIS forces in Yemen. So we're selling war wagons to Saudi war criminals that they can be used in aid of al Qaeda and ISIS fighters.

    1. It is indeed a strange world we live in, Mound.

  2. .. probably an unpopular example.. but put in Facebook terms re 'Relationship Status' .. its 'complicated' .. or as in the recent Ghomeshi sexual assault trial.. it becomes not just complicated - but unexplainable .. ! Thus the truly bizarre tale of former PM Harper pimping Arms Sales as a key driver of the Canadian Economy.. certainly not an Election Promise that I recall, but there it was with Harper himself inspecting the vehicles & proclaiming them 'transports' .. then middle aged Trudeau proclaiming them en francais 'just jeeps' ..

    Now it seems the will of the people.. ie Canadians are left to yet again wonder at a major fracture.. a separation of elected Public Servants from those they were elected to service ! Yes yes.. we get it that its all so f'n complicated, dark, dramatic, riddled with secret terms.. endless wedge political stylings, probably involves Israel somehow somewhere in the furball conflict of oil, religion, land, water, freedom, terrorism, arms exports, jobs in southern Ontario blah blah woof woof.. in other words, a classic political illogical 'clusterf$ck' ..

    We need to get the hell out of these losing war games.. get our house in order as JOB # 1 .. Trudeau & his Liberal Government need to speak clearly & openly to explain the apparent constrictions, roadblocks, failures, fabrications, black deals related to truly despicable wheeling and dealing conducted by the previous Harper government.

    1. Sadly, Salamander, our 'new' government seems to be in accord with the old government on many issues, including this one, The former Harper obfuscation has become the new Dion obfuscation, what with the latter's lame and maddeningly vague references to 'business confidentiality,' 'legal obligations,' etc. That such would not withstand the light of day is suggested by the Foreign Affairs Minister's ongoing opacity.

      BTW, if you haven't seen it, take a look at Alison's blog about the Liberal stance on BDS:
      It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the players apart without a program.