Saudi arms deal rationale troubling
by Toronto Star Letters to the EditorMay 2, 2016
According to the Prime Minister, the Saudi arms deal must go forward, notwithstanding profound universal concern about the Saudi government’s cavalier attitude toward human rights.
According to Justin Trudeau, “We will continue to respect contracts signed because people around the world need to know that when Canada signs a deal it is respected.”
That statement is odd and troubling on many different levels.
Does Mr. Trudeau believe himself to be Canada’s CEO or its head of government? Are we employees of Mr. Trudeau or are we citizen of this country? Is Mr. Trudeau our boss or our servant? Does Canada, as a political entity, sign commercial deals, or is it rather commercial enterprises within Canada that sign deals, and it is the government’s job to regulate those deals? Most importantly, perhaps: Is Canada a large commercial enterprise or a nation that calls itself a democracy?
A likely explanation of Mr. Trudeau’s statement is that he has a habit of improvising rationales that are at odds with rationality, such as his perplexing statements to the effect that Canada will use fossil fuel production to combat fossil-fuel-induced climate change.
Stephane Dion has turned into a quick study in the art of sophistical rhetoric and improvised rationales. On the subject of the Saudi arms sales, he says he had “reviewed the issue with ‘the utmost rigour’ and will continue to do so over the life of the 14-year deal.”
It seems I have been under a false impression that his government had been elected for a four-year term.
Earlier, he had cleverly stated that the sale was justified because the Saudi government has promised not to use the armoured vehicles to suppress domestic dissent. Even if we were to believe the Saudi claim, what about the serious concern about the Saudi ruling family’s hobby of invading neighbouring countries and massacring their civilian populations? Do we need that blood on our hands?
Al Eslami, North York