If you wanted to find opposites in the world of international relations, you could not find countries as contrary to each other as Canada and Saudi Arabia. When people refer to the Saudis as the Kingdom, it is not a friendly term. It is reality. And a country such as Canada is anathema to everything the Saudi Royal family stand for.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is a country deeply imbued in the extremism of Wahhabism. While Sunni Mohammedan in origin Wahhabism is the Tea Party sector of Islamic fundamentalism. And the Kingdom runs on it. It was Saudi’s who supported Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. It is also widely believed that it was funds from the sale of Saudi oil that funded the fledgling Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). For where the state teaches extremism, extremists are created.
While Canada’s foreign affairs has to deal with the Saudis, there is no reason to ever consider the Kingdom as friends. For Canada to sell the Saudis the heavy weapons of war is hypocrisy. These armoured vehicles Canada is sending to the Saudis are to suppress the Saudi’s people. They are the product of an American company made in Canada. They are licensed to kill people.
But there is one thing for sure, the Saudis will not let their women drive them. Women are not even allowed to have a driver’s license in that country.
Canada, a pluralistic, democratic and open society, does not have to pander to the Saudis. We do not even need their oil. And do not forget that it was the Saudis who drove down the price of oil to force tar sands synthetic oil producers in Canada and Venezuela out of business. So far they have done a good job of it.
What Canada and the world cannot countenance is the wholesale slaughter of people who dissent in their society. When a society can so casually kill people, what is our moral position in doing business with them? You cannot sell people the bullets one day and then remonstrate them for using the bullets for their purpose.
Canada does not have to like countries with which it maintains relations. It should stand ready at any time to offer the hand of friendship to a country that recognizes the value of human life. Until then, the Kingdom should be quarantined.
Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry
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