"The Conservatives Pick a Side — And It’s Saudi Arabia
Party allies with a government that beheads criminals and oppresses women and Shia Muslims."
Stress, it’s said, reveals true character. If so, the stress of the Saudis’ quarrel with Canada has revealed the Conservative Party of Canada as a gang of sellouts, coming out solidly in support of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the Saudis’ idle quarrel with Canada.
As the uproar began last week, Tory MP Michelle Rempel, shadow minister for citizenship and immigration, tweeted a thread paying lip service to human rights issues like the imprisonment and flogging of Raif Badawai and jailing of his sister Samar and blasting the Liberals’ “inconsistent” approach to human rights advocacy.
At the same time, shadow foreign affairs minister Erin O’Toole was tweeting: “My view is that a disconnect between our countries arose because of the use of Twitter as a substitute for proper diplomacy by the Trudeau government. Serious diplomacy requires effort. The Prime Minister and Minister should advocate face to face on issues and not by hashtag.”
That was just the warmup. The Guardian ran a piece on Saturday with a photo of a solemn Justin Trudeau and a mournful headline: “We don’t have a single friend.” Those weren’t Trudeau’s words; they were a quote from Rachel Curran, who used to be Stephen Harper’s policy director. She went on to say: “…in the whole wide world.”
And to cap it all off, the Tories' former foreign minister, John Baird, demanded that Trudeau fly to Riyadh to get down on bended knee and beg the crown prince's forgiveness.
The Conservatives, if they were consistent, would have held a quiet face-to-face meeting with Trudeau and his cabinet to chew them out in private and then work out a united-front response to the Saudis. Instead, they’ve sided with the kind of government that beheads and crucifies criminals, and oppresses women and Shia Muslims.And let's not forget the Saudi and Gulf State proteges - the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Harem - and all the madrasas the Saudis fund throughout the Arab world that preach its own murderous theocracy - Wahhabism.
As for meddling in other countries’ internal affairs, the Saudis are past masters. As The Economist recently observed, “Since 2011 they have helped quash a [pro-democracy] uprising in Bahrain, backed a coup in Egypt and detained Lebanon’s prime minister.” Not to mention blockading Qatar and turning Yemen’s civil war into a humanitarian catastrophe: over a million cholera cases, a shattered health care system, the risk of famine for millions, and just recently an air strike on a school bus that killed at least 40.
We know from then secretary of state Hillary Clinton's hacked diplomatic note that the Americans know the Saudis and their Gulf State princes, sheikhs and emirs shuffled the essential money needed to raise, equip and train ISIS. If you want more, Google Bandar bin Sultan and Sir Richard Dearlove. Read more here, and here, and here.
Let's be clear on one thing. The Tories are using this manufactured crisis to attack Justin Trudeau but it's really Canada that's getting thrown under their bus and they're just fine with that.
I'm no fan of Trudeau or his government, anything but, and yet I know there is a line that no Canadian should cross as Tories past and present have done so freely. They have allied themselves foresquare with the Saudis and that means against Canada. The Conservatives are a goddamned disgrace.