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Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador for urging release of activists

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Saudi's crucified a man in Mecca while calling out Canada on our own human rights issues: https://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-crucified-man-in-mecca-while-calling-out-canada-human-rights-2018-8 
 

George Wallace

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To me it seems like Trudeau has some sort of "Death Wish" in the way he is dealing with International Affairs.  He has alienated Trump and the US over NAFTA.  He just alienated the Saudis.  It is like he is on FB and "UNFRIENDING" everyone.  This can not be good.
 

Downhiller229

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George Wallace said:
To me it seems like Trudeau has some sort of "Death Wish" in the way he is dealing with International Affairs.  He has alienated Trump and the US over NAFTA.  He just alienated the Saudis.  It is like he is on FB and "UNFRIENDING" everyone.  This can not be good.

Quite the opposite, nothing but good things can come from separating ourselves from Saudi.

Also how else do you propose we handle the nafta talks? Donald’s classic strategy is to talk a big game and threaten people until he gets what he wants, would you rather we comply?
 

George Wallace

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Downhiller229 said:
Quite the opposite, nothing but good things can come from separating ourselves from Saudi.

Also how else do you propose we handle the nafta talks? Donald’s classic strategy is to talk a big game and threaten people until he gets what he wants, would you rather we comply?

No need to rehash all those questions.  They have been adequately answered in the previous two pages. 

Trudeau version 2.0 and his Social Engineering version 2.0 have no place in Trade Talks, nor International Affairs.  He can hold his opinions, as all of us do, to himself; but to actually lecture foreigners on what they are doing wrong is very immature and unprofessional as a statesman (And I am being way too kind in calling him in any way a statesman.).  It makes all those Conservative Attack Ads more truthful than many thought.
 

Downhiller229

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On the contrary I believe we are obliged to hold others to higher social standards regardless of economical or political impact. In this Saudi case it’s a no brainer, very few ramifications to exclude a very poor trade partner from our sphere. 

Also the blatant dislike for the PM is pathetic. I did not vote for them but im frustrated at how people tend to blame his supposed lack of intellect for any shortcomings our country may face. Same with with the NDP in Alberta.

Don’t pretend for a single second that the overall outcome wouldn’t be the same with a different PM, minus small partisan tokens here and there. In any case I’d rather issues like this being brought up then maintaining the status quo. Being so belligerent towards the national policy serves no one but those working against us.
 

daftandbarmy

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whiskey601 said:
Saudi's crucified a man in Mecca while calling out Canada on our own human rights issues: https://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-crucified-man-in-mecca-while-calling-out-canada-human-rights-2018-8

The Saudis are in good company then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_China

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Japan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Singapore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Iran
 

Infanteer

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George Wallace said:
He can hold his opinions, as all of us do, to himself; but to actually lecture foreigners on what they are doing wrong is very immature and unprofessional as a statesman (And I am being way too kind in calling him in any way a statesman.).

Kind of like this?

 

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PuckChaser

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Downhiller229 said:
Also the blatant dislike for the PM is pathetic. I did not vote for them but im frustrated at how people tend to blame his supposed lack of intellect for any shortcomings our country may face. Same with with the NDP in Alberta.

Don’t pretend for a single second that the overall outcome wouldn’t be the same with a different PM, minus small partisan tokens here and there. In any case I’d rather issues like this being brought up then maintaining the status quo. Being so belligerent towards the national policy serves no one but those working against us.

Let's slow down the pity party here. Justin Trudeau chose the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, and this is her @#$@ up, but he also needs to take ownership that as the leader of a country, everything his cabinet does is a reflection on him. Maybe you'd easily like to dismiss this incident, but its escalating rapidly out of control, after a single tweet. I don't think for a second the former PM, or any of the former Liberal PMs would have conducted diplomacy this way.

Anyways, back on topic... Erin O'Toole spoke with Freeland, and posted his take on the issue to social media https://twitter.com/ErinOTooleMP:

I have not commented on the situation with Saudi Arabia until after I was able to speak with Minister Freeland.  I appreciate her call this evening. The Conservatives offered to work with the government to find a  resolution to this diplomatic dispute. 2/6

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. 3/6

I said it earlier, and I'll say it again. You don't have to disagree with the message to know it was wrong to conduct diplomacy over Twitter.

You say good riddance to Saudi Arabia? No problem. How do you replace the $15B CAD worth of jobs in London at GDLS? How about the 15% of our national oil imports that, if taken away, devastate the Atlantic provinces overnight? Energy East would have more than covered that loss to NB refineries, but the Trudeau Government basically allowed Quebec to veto it. Saudi students are $2B a year in investments, and we exported $1.45B in goods to them last year. Not to mention the many Canadian oil companies (headquartered here so they pay corporate tax) who stand to lose contracts if the Saudi government goes that far. That's a significant hit to our economy that is going to drop below 2% growth for the first time in years, and will drop further if the carbon tax gets implemented.

Clearly Saudi Arabia isn't that bad, they are on the UN Human Rights Commission. We aren't (probably a good thing looking at the despots on the members list). The same UN that our government now seeks to court for a UNSC seat.
 

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Infanteer said:
Kind of like this?

To be honest, I think that's an apples to oranges comparison considering there is next to no normal diplomatic/trade relationships between Iran and the US.
 

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PuckChaser said:
To be honest, I think that's an apples to oranges comparison considering there is next to no normal diplomatic/trade relationships between Iran and the US.

Pretty hard to say that when in the preceding post, you said this:

PuckChaser said:
I said it earlier, and I'll say it again. You don't have to disagree with the message to know it was wrong to conduct diplomacy over Twitter.

So which is it?
 

George Wallace

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Downhiller229 said:
On the contrary I believe we are obliged to hold others to higher social standards regardless of economical or political impact. In this Saudi case it’s a no brainer, very few ramifications to exclude a very poor trade partner from our sphere. 

I take it that you are indeed watching the ramifications this is having on Canada.  Granted, Saudi Arabia is far from a major Trade partner of ours, but they do has some influence in many spheres.  Saudi Arabia is having all its students studying in Canadian universities, leave Canada; among them a large number of practicing Medical Students who are working in Teaching universities an serving our Health Care needs as they study.  That is thousands of students, in all fields, no longer paying the higher Foreign Student tuitions to universities. They are also major stockholders in the Fairmount Hotel chain.  There are many ramifications of the Saudis pulling out of any dealings with Canada, not just diplomatic.

Downhiller229 said:
Also the blatant dislike for the PM is pathetic. I did not vote for them but im frustrated at how people tend to blame his supposed lack of intellect for any shortcomings our country may face. Same with with the NDP in Alberta.

I am surprised that you never threw in "racist" or "Islamophobe" there.  When it comes to the 'Blame Game', that is all this Government has excelled at.  They still haven't stopped blaming Harper, even for things that they themselves initiated.  Anyone who disagrees with them is a "Nazi" or an "Islamophobe" or some other name that they can use to name call, but not put a reasoned argument forward to defend their point of view.  Liberals, both small "l" and large "L", love to blame Trump for all the evils of the world, and ignore what he is actually doing to better America.  Trudeau is playing that card as well. 
But you are correct; I do not like Trudeau.  I personally believe he is a moron, as are half, if not all, his Cabinet Ministers.  I admit that.

Downhiller229 said:
Don’t pretend for a single second that the overall outcome wouldn’t be the same with a different PM, minus small partisan tokens here and there. In any case I’d rather issues like this being brought up then maintaining the status quo. Being so belligerent towards the national policy serves no one but those working against us.

Unfortunately, as you have already surmised, I think that the outcome would have been much different with a different PM with a competent Cabinet and advisers.

As for having a national policy; could you point out what that may be?  Alienating the nation on the world stage, does not seem to be a productive move.  And you wonder why I think Trudeau has a "Death Wish". 
 

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Infanteer said:
Pretty hard to say that when in the preceding post, you said this:

So which is it?

I meant the situation is different. Once you've abandoned normal diplomatic relations, who cares who you call out on social media? There's no ambassadors to recall, no trade deals to break, its a different scenario. That still doesn't mean its professional diplomacy in the slightest, but there's no consequences.

In this situation, Canada has officially brought up the issue before with the Saudi ambassador, and on numerous occasions was told to pound sand. The Minister apparently thought Twitter was a better avenue (because it's worked so well for the US President  :facepalm:) and brought it up there. It likely was the straw that broke the camel's back, and the Saudis took the opportunity to lash out at a G7 nation and show it won't be dictated to. If the US had done it, I'm willing to bet the response wouldn't have been so swift, but Canada is the small nerdy kid on the playground, and we're being made an example of.
 

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George Wallace said:
But you are correct; I do not like Trudeau.  I personally believe he is a moron, as are half, if not all, his Cabinet Ministers.  I admit that.

Mike Bobbitt said:
Therefore, effectively immediately, there will be the following changes:

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Please re-read the rules for the politics forum.  Consider this the first warning.
 

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PuckChaser said:
I meant the situation is different. Once you've abandoned normal diplomatic relations, who cares who you call out on social media? There's no ambassadors to recall, no trade deals to break, its a different scenario. That still doesn't mean its professional diplomacy in the slightest, but there's no consequences.

So its the message, not the medium.  There is no point arguing that the medium was inappropriate.  Twitter (and other social media platforms) are acceptable methods to communicate with domestic and international audiences.

There is validity in arguing whether or not Canada should have escalated its messaging to the KSA.  Good public discourse.  But for folks here (not you specifically) to be arguing that the government failed because it used a specific medium is pretty flimsy.  Even worse is just complaining about Twitter because the Trudeau government happened to use it that day (again, not you specifically).
 

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Infanteer said:
So its the message, not the medium.  There is no point arguing that the medium was appropriate.  Twitter (and other social media platforms) are acceptable methods to communicate with domestic and international audiences.

There is validity in arguing whether or not Canada should have escalated its messaging to the KSA.  Good public discourse.  But for folks here (not you specifically) to be arguing that the government failed because it used a specific medium is pretty flimsy.  Even worse is just complaining about Twitter because the Trudeau government happened to use it that day (again, not you specifically).

I think the argument (or at least mine), is that Twitter by itself is not a poor medium for furthering policy. I believe the problem in this case was that the tweet was intended for a domestic political audience to show the Canadian government standing up to someone over alleged human rights issue (I think there's far better issues to stand up to, this is case has a weak link to Canada), but you don't control who gets to read your tweets. To be fair, this specific case was followed by an official GAC statement, and not just a tweet, which probably just compounded the problem.

At the end of the day, did the KSA need to be called out for some of the stuff it does? Absolutely. Was this the right time, and did Canada have international backing to actually leverage KSA to make changes? Absolutely not. We just tried to go all-in against KSA with a pair of 2s, and KSA is holding 4 Kings. Canada is not a nation that can act unilaterally against a large economy like the KSA and win.
 

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>we are obliged to hold others

"We" are not.  "We" especially should refrain from inflicting costs that trickle down to other people.
 

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PuckChaser said:
At the end of the day, did the KSA need to be called out for some of the stuff it does? Absolutely. Was this the right time, and did Canada have international backing to actually leverage KSA to make changes? Absolutely not. We just tried to go all-in against KSA with a pair of 2s, and KSA is holding 4 Kings. Canada is not a nation that can act unilaterally against a large economy like the KSA and win.

Fair enough.  A worthwhile issue to discuss.

The real shame is the last part.  Is it true?  We are a top-10 economy in the world, so is it a case of not having enough soft power to be taken seriously?  If so, why?

On the other hand, if the KSA has already gone at it with Germany over a similar issue, then it is indicative of the fact that there is probably only one economy in the world that could hold its feet to the fire.
 

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Infanteer said:
Fair enough.  A worthwhile issue to discuss.

The real shame is the last part.  Is it true?  We are a top-10 economy in the world, so is it a case of not having enough soft power to be taken seriously?  If so, why?

On the other hand, if the KSA has already gone at it with Germany over a similar issue, then it is indicative of the fact that there is probably only one economy in the world that could hold its feet to the fire.

To be honest I don't believe we had the soft-power with the previous government either, and haven't had it in many years. The only card we really had to play against KSA was banning Saudi oil imports, but with the demise of Energy East and North American pipeline/rail capacity at its limits, that card is gone. As well, the government waffled over the $15B arms deal with the KSA. Had we had the testicular fortitude to cancel it, maybe the KSA would have taken our statement seriously. Instead, they realized we could be pushed into making an apology/retraction because we weren't willing to deal with the financial hardship to back up our principles.

The Germany issue is also interesting, and probably should have foreshadowed exactly what would happen here. KSA has 5 times the dollar value of imports from Germany as they do from Canada, so the fact that they were willing to absorb those losses based on statements from a former foreign minister should have shown Minister Freeland what would happened when current government officials make similar statements. Here's an article on some of the issues with Germany/KSA relations: https://global.handelsblatt.com/politics/saudi-arabia-german-companies-boycott-928152
 

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Infanteer said:
The real shame is the last part.  Is it true?  We are a top-10 economy in the world, so is it a case of not having enough soft power to be taken seriously?  If so, why?

According to the World Bank, Canada has twice the GDP of Saudi Arabia. Source.
 

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In-depth report from the Associated Press that shows that the Saudi's and the UAE, contrary to official statements, have for the last two years have been recruiting/paying off Al-Qaida fighters to fight against rebels in Yemen.

AP Investigation: US allies, al-Qaida battle rebels in Yemen

ATAQ, Yemen (AP) — Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

Rest of article here.
 
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