Sunday, August 12, 2018

Side with the home team

Much as I believe that tweeting diplomacy is stupid, and that Chrystia Freeland and her Foreign Affairs Department were foolish to chastise the Saudis publicly in an attempt to shame them into changing their minds on the imprisoned activists, I also believe that backing down would be morally reprehensible.

Former Foreign Affairs minister, John Baird, has called on PMJT to travel to Riyadh to smooth things over....uh--- no.

The Tweets were ill-advised, but they were not wrong. They reflect our stand on Saudi human rights abuses. Sure, the government has not similarly called out all of the other rights-abusing regimes in the world. Does that mean that we should back down on calling out this one? Absolutely not.

You took a stand. Bad timing. Wrong platform. But you hold your ground. Just this weekend a Saudi air strike took out a group of Yemeni school kids on the way back from a picnic and we're gonna start sniveling to them, begging for what? Oil they've already said won't be affected by this dispute?

There is no need to escalate. We don't want to jeopardize the captives, but at the same time, we should not be apologizing for speaking our truth. Maybe apologize for doing it publicly, on such an informal platform, without regard to typical diplomatic protocols, but no-- we should not be stooping before the Prince of Saud and calling him our 'ally'. We are trading partners, with mutually beneficially business interests. We are not friends with the Saudis, I hope. And it bothers me that because this blunder was made by a Liberal government, so many conservatives are willing to yield our values to mend fences with an evil regime.

I am getting to the point where I loathe Justin Trudeau, but this is bigger than him. His government made a mistake and now, on behalf of Canadians, they have to own it. To grovel before the Saudis is to betray our values and while Justin Trudeau doesn't reflect my values most of the time, right now, he represents Canada. Canada believes in human rights. We cannot apologize for that.



Fred from BC said...

This is a bit of a tricky situation, though. If we condemn Trudeau, we make it appear as though we don't care about human rights...but if we don't condemn him, then we effectively validate what he did and the way he did it, don't we?

Anonymous said...

old white guy says-----------------Trudeau deserves condemnation. he is an idiot of the first order. that does not mean we condone any violation of human rights. which rights would we up hold?

Frances said...

It's not the condemnation, it's the manner in which it was done which I cannot condone. All the tweets did was to make matters worse. And I also call this government out for hypocrisy - what other regimes have been "gifted" with our Foreign Minister's sanctimonious tweets? I found this interesting perspective on SDA:

canadianna said...

Thanks for the link, Frances.

Old white guy... you're right. 100%!

Fred - that's why this is kind of a win for Trudeau regardless of what happens. You can't effectively criticize without appearing to condone barbaric behaviour. Frustrating sometimes.