To Murray Dobbin, Justin Trudeau is looking more and more like Stephen Harper with each passing month. C-51, BDS, the TPP and so much more. But it's the venal Saudi arms deal, to Dobbin, is the icing on Trudeau's cake:
...the stunningly stupid decision to go ahead with a $15-billion sale of light-armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia has the potential to expose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a phony.
You could hardly design an issue so perfectly fitted to reveal a government with a progressive public face contradicted by a ruthless disregard for human rights. It raises the question of whether the spin doctors simply misjudged the extent of public revulsion or whether there is something deeper going on. Is it really just about jobs or is there a hard-nosed commitment, inherited from the Conservatives, to a backward Middle East foreign policy?
Dion compounded his credibility problem with another misleading claim that he was following Canadian law in signing the export permits.
After a Globe and Mail editorial accused him of hypocrisy for approving the sale, Dion attacked the newspaper, claiming that "the Foreign Affairs Minister may block the exports permits at any time if there were serious evidence of misuse of the military equipment." That is, presumably, after our LAV's have been used to attack civilians.
Is there a "reasonable risk" that it will do so again? Everything we know about the new and far more aggressive regime in Riyadh today says yes. In January the regime executed 47 prisoners (most by beheading) on a single day. The regime executed 151 in 2015 -- the most in 20 years.
And, Dobbin notes, Trudeau has shown himself faithfully Harperian when it comes to Israel:
In short, so far, Trudeau's Mideast policy looks disturbingly like Harper's.
It is the same and again we're reminded that the son is not the equal of the father, not remotely. He seems to more closely resemble the guy we just threw out.