Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dion's "Rigorous Process" Doesn't Pass the Smell Test

Merchants of Death.

The Saudi war wagon deal is hanging around the Trudeau government's neck like a long dead fish. It's another rotten deal foisted off on Canadians by Cap'n Sunny Ways (or as Alison at Creekside might call him, Cap'n "Sunni Ways").

It doesn't matter to Justin & Co. that they've had to lie at every turn about the contract for billions of dollars worth of light armoured fighting vehicles.

It reminds me a lot about Harper. Remember when Harper tried to defend the purchase of F-35 stealth light bombers by claiming that the Liberals under Martin had run the selection process, made the choice and inked the contract? That was just a bundle of lies that eventually collapsed under their own weight.

The Trudeau government apparently learned nothing from Harper's disgrace. They came into office ready and willing to lie their asses off to defend the Saudi war wagon deal. If you can bear it, here's our foreign affairs minister, Steffie Dion, from January 6 awkwardly defending the sale as a "done deal" from the Harper days.

The CBC's Neil Macdonald does a masterful job at eviscerating Steffie Dion and his fabulous fabrications.

Well. If further proof was needed that the sunny new regime in Ottawa is perfectly capable of behaving just like the un-sunny previous regime, we now have it, in a memo that was stamped "Secret," then rather inconveniently laid bare in the Federal Court of Canada.

The document, signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, is a gem of hair-splitting, parsing, wilful blindness and justification for selling billions worth of fighting vehicles and weaponry to Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth.

...It employs the death-merchant logic of a long list of other countries that have profited for decades by arming despots: The deal means jobs and the customer assures us it won't misuse the weapons and we can't prove otherwise.

...Among other things, Dion explicitly endorses Saudi Arabia's ruinous military campaign in Yemen, the victims of which, according to the United Nations, are overwhelmingly civilian.

The Saudi-led campaign, Dion agrees, is an attempt to "counter instability" in Yemen and is "consistent with Canada's defence interests in the Middle East."

"Canada's defence interests," just what does that mean? Yes, the "instability" to which Dion alludes would be Yemen's Houthi rebels who are engaged in fierce battles with the very Sunni ISIS and al Qaeda forces. Yes, that instability. And our allies, the Saudis, are bombing the hell out of anti-ISIS Houthi fighters and their wives and kids back at home. Boil it down, they're flying air support for ISIS. And, quothe Dion, that's "consistent with Canada's defence interests." And they're primarily attacking helpless Houthi civilians, sort of Guernica style, which rings all the "war crimes" bells but, again, "consistent with Canada's defence interests."

Deliberately targeting civilians. Hmm - oh yeah, that's what Osama bin Laden did, isn't it? Sure it is. Wait a sec. Yeah, sure - that's Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions. You can't do that. It's a war crime. Even the UN Sec Gen has said as much. Only it's "consistent with Canada's defence interests" as this government sees it.

I don't know. Is this what you Liberals signed on for when you voted these guys into office last October?

Neil Macdonald reports that just 20% of Canadians still support the Saudi arms deal. They're not even getting half of Conservative voters with those numbers. Macdonald's right. Harper/Trudeau - same old, same old.

Update:  In case you're not familiar with what this contract is all about you might want to watch this video. It shows the US military's Stryker combat vehicle which uses the General Dynamics Land Vehicle, the Canadian-made LAV we're supplying to the Saudis, and marries it to a big gun turret the LAV is designed to take.

It's believed that a number of the Saudi deal vehicles will be shipped to Europe to have the heavy gun turret fitted. My, my - I wonder what those silly Sauds have in mind for them?


Owen Gray said...

No matter how hard they try to fumigate it, Mound, the stink from this mess keeps on growing.

Boris said...

There's a photo up at Creekside of the Saudi LAVs en route to Yemen, 105mm gun installed.

In their heart of hearts I don't think the Liberals are at all comfortable with this deal either, but they made a political calculation to go ahead and are now wearing it.

Lorne said...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, eh, Mound?

Anonymous said...

Anyong said...that 20% you mention is probably found in Alberta.

rumleyfips said...

Dion talks about our grandchildren in relation to climate, but the Saudis are killing someone's grandchildren in Yemen. They will have no qualms about using Canadian arms to do it. Trudeau has young children ; he should be more sympathetic to Yemeni parents.

Foreign affairs briefing books say the Saudis are a stabilising influence in the middle east. The Saudis are fighting the Iranians by proxy in Yemen and financing and arming ISIL linked groups to destroy Syria. Some influence.

Dana said...

I get that successor governments have a certain responsibility to not casually cancel contracts made by predecessors. I get that.

Except that, as in this instance, not cancelling a contract defaces and defeats any ability to claim a moral stand on the international stage.

Our capability as a nation to extol humanitarian values has taken a big hit.

The Mound of Sound said...

If you're in the shopping mood, CMI advertises a host of heavy firepower it will mount on your Canadian-built light armoured vehicle.

I have to poach this from Alison at Creekside - from now on think of Trudeau's "Sunni Ways"

zoombats in Hong Kong said...

Remember the great sunny days back in 1993 with the "scrap the G.S.T. " and the ruination of the Cons? The great circle of life.

Anonymous said...

Dollars $$$$ ,Trump!!, all.
At the end of the day our elected officials have to establish a workable economy .
Whoever you vote for will fudge the ethics so as to provide jobs.
The average voter cannot see beyond his or her next paycheque and will vote accordingly.
AS well informed as those on this website and similar ones think we are ; the average Joe or Jill Reads the Vancouver Sun or Province ; watches Global News! and , in Vancouver , works two or three jobs just to make ends meet.
The sad thing is that they think this is normal!
Eff you man ; I have my cellphone bill to pay; I have to stay on Facebook!
The,leased, Beemer needs gas/ F250 in the North ; so why should I care about right vs wrong, the future vs today?