This political spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada truly puts in context the choices we now face in the West between protecting our Democratic values/freedoms or surrender these to The Power of the Purse. In layman terms here is the proposition on the table; we’re NOT only supposed to do trade, provide arms and expertise and open wide our markets to autocratic regimes; we’ve already crossed that bridge thanks very much. Now we actually need to keep our mouth shut from criticising their human right abuses and maybe – just maybe – learn from their form of governance, right Covfefe & Inc.? Now I would kindly like to suggest that – not withstanding the Covfefe Reign – this might be a bridge too far; and I use the word “might” deliberately because it is after all our choice to make that judgment as we have/continue to make flawed foreign policy judgements that have led us to this point. It’s also kind of amusing that one of the threats the Saudi officials passed on to Canada is that if they continue with interference in their internal affairs, the Saudi government will also do the same. Now if being critical of policies is some how branded as Interference in Internal Affairs then by all means the Saudi’s are more than welcome to be critical of governments in the West because around here we’re kind of used to that; as a matter of fact this is considered the norm in international affairs and does NOT constitute an attack on the principal of Non-Interference in Domestic Affairs as you would like us to believe, otherwise we’d all be wearing straightjackets when discussing policies/actions of other states. It would also be helpful of course if you can provide similar privileges internally to your people but we understand that’s your call.
I do like the quote on the image above attributed to JFK; “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us”. I believe every word of that quote heart & soul and yet we continue to assign “novices” to run the Foreign Office while our leaders view Foreign Policy from a purely commercial/transactional rather than a strategic perspective with complex multilayered objectives that span decades and requires expertise to develop/master; Good Luck with that.
And finally to all these wonderful people complaining that Immigration is destroying our Identity, please also spare a thought or two to “Foreign Affairs” which contributes through flawed policy in putting pressures on our borders, undermines our security and impacts our economy & social cohesion as a nation; so the short-medium term benefits we gain from the “Purse” is outweighed 10 fold as I mention in numerous posts – it’s all a Circle you understand NOT a Straight Line.