Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Saudi Feel-Good Festival Flops
The goal was to make Saudi Arabia a bit more palatable to Canadians infuriated over Canada's Death Wagon deal. The plan was to stage a festival in Ottawa, a celebration of Saudi 'culture' (of some highly sanitized variety).
Kaboom. Didn't work. Operation Make Nice cancelled.
The May 18-21 festival appeared to be a Saudi charm offensive aimed at federal policy makers as the Trudeau government fields questions about its decision to grant export permits for the armoured vehicles to a country that U.S. watchdog Freedom House regularly ranks among “the worst of the worst” on human rights.
The Saudi embassy blamed “logistical reasons” for its last-minute change of plans when contacted Monday and a spokesperson said the country’s decision was not motivated by fear of protesters. Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s office had already said he would not be attending the “Saudi Cultural Days in Canada.”
I guess that's maybe why Saudi men dance alone. What woman would want to tango with a dude who's always waving around a sharp sword?
If you're gutted that the Saudi embassy pulled the plug on their festive stunt and jonesing for a taste of that legendary Saudi culture, The Guardian has just the thing for you. It's the report on the first installment of 50 out of 1,000 lashes to be inflicted on blogger Raif Badawi during his 10-year stretch in a Saudi prison for "insulting Islam." These are the same Saudis who Steffie Dion and his boss, Slick, are proud to proclaim Canada's allies. Yeah, right.