Canada’s ongoing spat with Saudi Arabia can be likened to a snowflake versus tyrant.
In a recent tweet, Canada reminded Saudi Arabia about its human rights record, specifically relating to the incarceration of liberal blogger Raif Badawi and now his sister, a women’s rights activist.
The kingdom responded by imposing trade restrictions, recalling its ambassador and declaring Canada’s ambassador persona non grata.
Two points are worth noting about this incident:
First, Canada is operating from a very weak and isolated position. The Canadian government has steadily weakened all trade accords under NAFTA and has lost its position of authority among G7 nations after a series of diplomatic and trade gaffes, including a disastrous trip to India by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau has come to be known as a man-child and after his trip to China, he was nicknamed “Little Potato.” The Trudeau government also has been appeasing Iran, which irks Saudi Arabia.
Such is the lure of oil. Yet even Western countries are not supporting Trudeau on the latter decision.
(On a side note, Pakistan has come out in support of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. What an interesting conundrum that none of Trudeau’s members of parliament of Pakistani origin have condemned Saudi Arabia. Talk about infiltration!)
Saudi Arabia probably has the worst human rights record in history. They have beheaded more people than ISIS. The day after they tried to defend their human rights record, they bombed a school bus in Yemen. The death toll is currently at 40.
Second, the real reason the Saudis are paranoid about social media regarding human rights or any criticism of their attitude towards women is because most of the Arab Spring uprisings were started through social media.
While Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) speaks of reforms, Muslims have been struggling for reform for 1,400 years. And as much as they claim to have changed, the Saudis are by no means reformers.
Between their turf war with the equally evil regime of Iran and their constant export of their Salafi/Wahabbi ideology, they will eventually destroy the Muslim world if not the entire world.
As noted by J.J. McCullough in The Washington Post, “If Canada’s goal is a foreign policy oriented to endorse the spread of global liberalism, it is not at all obvious how a prolonged fight with Riyadh is more principled than tighter trade ties to Beijing or an embassy in Tehran.”