Pro-government Saudi twitter account posts 9/11-inspired threat to Canada


#22

That’s more than we can say for American journalists (with some caveats).


#23

Does Canada have any Methodists or Quakers who are willing to deactivate them?

The pair were found not guilty at Burnley Magistrates Court following their arrest for an action at the BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire on January 29th where they tried to disable the warplanes, which had Saudi markings painted on them, from being used to support the ongoing bombing of Yemen. Sam and Daniel successfully argued that their intention was to save innocent lives and prevent war crimes, by physically disabling the warplanes.


#24

Right, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Just because someone is from Saudi Arabia doesn’t automatically mean they have, or want to have anything to do with their government’s misdeeds. I’m from the US and I sure as hell don’t agree with (and have actively opposed) quite a lot of what my government has done both to other countries, and to its own people.

I think it is safe to say that the Saudi Arabian government is run by some pretty bad folks though.


#25

My expectations of American journalists are unfortunately pretty low.

A great example of why: how many Americans are aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in a low-intensity civil war with indigenous people in and around the state of Chiapas since January 1st, 1994? I’m guessing the answer is relatively few. Basically the rules that protected the communal lands of indigenous people in Mexico were incompatible with NAFTA investment plans. The laws prevented the land from being sold to anyone, so the government stripped the rules of any meaningful power in order to appease the US and Canada which brought a conflict to boil that had been heating since at least the 1970’s.

The war “ended” 12 days after it started, but it nothing ended at all. The Mexican government is still fighting the Zapatistas, and the communal lands of Mexico’s indigenous people are still at risk. None of the agreements that “ended” the conflict were held up by the government.

I haven’t heard about that on the news since the 90’s, and even then, coverage was pretty sparse compared to how closely Trump is covered every single time he complains about how “unfair” NAFTA is for the US. The violence has gone in both directions, though the government and pro-government militias are far better armed than the Zapatistas, and in recent history the actual fighting has been generally unilaterally against indigenous people and their supporters.

NAFTA is unfair, but it’s unfair because neoliberal trade policies are written by and for the sorts of people that Trump is actually loyal to. He’s not calling it unfair because it instantly killed a huge amount of domestic Mexican farms, or calling it unfair because it further defanged labor unions in all three countries, clearing the way for increasingly poor working conditions. He thinks its unfair because some old white guy he likes doesn’t have as many yachts as they think they should.

(Bleh, I realize that I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but hopefully that example is close enough to home to maybe rattle a few more people out of complacency. I think people find it much easier to write off conflicts happening on the other side of the planet than ones happening in their neighboring country, but that’s probably overly optimistic.)


#26

No, but there are factions in Saudi Arabia that have the money and ideology to finance terrorism. There are reasons for many Saudis to look askance at the West’s meddling and manipulating their lands. I don’t think it’s a mystery as to why a number of educated Saudis became involved with extremism, including Bin Laden. The West has run roughshod over the entire Middle East for centuries.


#27

Canada?!  


#28

I fear their use of poutine armaments in response to an invasion. That’s how they defeated us in 1812.


#29

Citation? Is it the government? Has there been direct evidence of the central government funding al-Qaeda? That’s what we’re talking about here, not either factions within the (very large) House of Saudi who don’t directly control the government or private citizens within Saudi Arabia.

The government is profiting off of it. They are getting our material and moral support for a genocidal war in Yemen, and they are getting our support in their Cold War with Iran.

Are they exporting their vision of Islam, which is leading to radicalization in places like Pakistan or the Balkans, very much so. Is that the GOAL of the government? I very much doubt it. Their goal is to be the only people who can claim leadership over the Islamic world, in order to raise their status in the global community. Groups like ISIL and AQ disrupt their attempts to dominate the Islamic world.

Not quite true. The west had less power to manipulate events directly during the Ottoman period, pretty much until the 20th century. Much like China, they could not waltz right in and do whatever they wanted to do. They had to chip away at the edges pretty much until the end of the first world war.


#30

" There’s a time to think, and a time to act. And this, gentlemen, is no time to think." – Boomer, Canadian Bacon (1995)

“The Canadians. They walk among us. William Shatner. Michael J. Fox. Monty Hall. Mike Meyers. Alex Trebek. All of them Canadians. All of them here.”

“Think of your children pledging allegiance to the maple leaf. Mayonnaise on everything. Winter 11 months of the year. Anne Murray - all day, every day.”

“Like maple syrup, Canada’s evil oozes over the United States.”

“Here he is now. The man that a thin majority of you chose to be the president of the United States.”


#31

Meanwhile, in a break from concern trolling Canada, the Saudi government have just executed and crucified a man in Mecca.

Are we outraged? We’re barely surprised.This is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace.


#32

At the root of this dispute, seems to be that under Harper the Canada-KSA relationship was warming up, and the Saudis and Harper Cons saw the $15B not-arms-but-actually-arms deal as just one step toward all-round closer cooperation. AFAIK Trudeau has stuck to the letter of the deal, but has not pursued the friendship that it was supposed to foster, rankling the Saudis. Seems the Saudis were already upset and just waiting for the slightest provocation to go ahead and do what they’re doing now.

Since the trade relationship is a comparatively small one, the Saudis seem mainly to be warning any other allies who might have been considering speaking out about rights, Yemen or anything else. It has also served, so far, to keep Canada quiet about Yemen. No doubt there are ongoing talks to resolve this spat, in which case Canada can’t afford to poke the KSA with an even bigger stick. Not yet, anyway.

Here’s what I’d like to see now:

  • Cancellation of the arms deal. I think it’s likely the Saudis will do this, unilaterally, but it’s probably an ace they’re holding onto in talks to resolve the dispute.

  • A Canadian offer of scholarship support or fee waivers to Saudi students who don’t have the means to stay in Canada without their now-cancelled Saudi government scholarships. A horribly provocative act that I hope the Canadians are considering

  • release of prisoners, with the Badawis in particular being allowed to emigrate to Canada if they wish

  • One other country, with a more substantial Saudi trading relationship, to support Canada publicly. What if a big arms-dealing and oil-buying country like, say, France were to officially take Canada’s side? Would the Saudis really go through all the same petulant moves all over again with higher stakes?

But, I realize that’s all naively optimistic. Here’s what I think will happen:

  • There will be some kind of deal reached to restore diplomatic, trade and educational ties while allowing both sides to walk away claiming victory. For the Canadian government, a cancellation of the not-arms-but-actually-arms deal would play very well with a very large slice of the electorate. Not having to apologize has become essential at this point, and is probably a huge stumbling block, so I don’t see this ending anytime soon if the Saudis are going to insist on an apology. This could drag on for a while.

What the Saudis are right about:

  • Canada really does have an appalling record of human rights abuses against indigenous peoples, and it’s not history, it’s ongoing. Like most of his recent predecessors, Trudeau has paid lip service to rectifying the situation but has done sweet fuck all. This doesn’t excuse anything the Saudis are doing, and the Saudis’ use of it in this context is whataboutism at its finest… nevertheless it’s true.

#33

There’s also the Canadian Comedy Cabal. Ever notice how many comedians are from Canada? Now, I’m not anti-Canadian, but our neighbors to the north hold a disproportionate number of the most powerful seats, and pull many of the strings, controlling global comedy.


#34

Man-babies. That’s been the primary problem with humans since “civilization” began.


#35

No one would ever take something called a “tweet” seriously, would they? /s


#36

That doesn’t make any sense, Sunshine.


#37

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