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Consistency on popular uprisings.

We are again witness to the fact that the West will support popular uprisings against repressive regimes – provided of course that they’re not our allies. We should be cheering what happened in Tunisia, and what is happening in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. If what is going on here was happening in North Korea, we’d see a swell of support from the West, encouraging them on.

I presume it’s because Western governments are afraid that Muslim fundamentalists will come to power – but as mentioned elsewhere, they’re not in the lead on this. Besides, when the West funded these governments with money to support them, rather then try to give them incentives to democratize, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Does Harper want to show leadership and that he is worthy of the silly “land is strong” ad he’s running? He should come out right away and demand these governments stop trying to repress their citizens and institute democratic reforms.

19 comments to Consistency on popular uprisings.

  • Roll Tide

    I read a Haroon Siddiqui take on this subject.
    “In fact, the American and Western model of dealing with the Arab Middle East is teetering.
    The support of military or monarchical regimes has been based on two pillars: keep oil in friendly and pliant hands, and back governments friendly to Israel”
    “Long-simmering tensions are bubbling over. The grievances are the same everywhere — oppression, corruption, lack of freedom, poverty, rising prices and high unemployment amid the opulence of the thieving ruling classes”.

    Given that the description applies to the UAE, (poverty applies to its non citizens-which now out number its citizens)
    Thieving ruling class-oppression-lack of freedom-…yup, thats the UAE..
    That coupled with UAE absurd reaction, over a commercial disagreement, not the mark of a “friend”.
    Especially given the blood sacrifice our troops have made in Afghanistan, for countries like the UAE.

    It would be like Canada withdrawing from NATO over a softwood lumber dispute.
    Or Australia cutting its military cooperation with Canada over our refusal to let them buy a potash company.
    This says more about the UAE autocratic regime then anything else.
    Its amazing how the left is bending over backwards defending the UAE, given how they have behaved.
    Two decisions Harper made, one regarding potash, one regarding airlines.
    Both protectionist.- I disagree with both.
    Both within Harper’s right.
    Just compare the reactions of UAE and Australia.
    You know who the true ally is.
    And who the Liberals defend.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Roll Tide, jeez dude you are so far off the highway you’re dodging trees. Wanna get back on subject?

    • Redrum

      @Roll Tide, whatever. Again, the Libs aren’t defending the UAE: we’re criticizing the PM for having such a poor understanding of how foreign governments think and operate and such a pig-headed approach to international negotations that he has set back our own economy, war effort and international standing (which may have been a big factor in losing the UN Seat, which, yes, the CPC wanted & lobbied for), and has seriously inconvenienced tens of thousands of us travelling & doing there, and is costing Canadian consumers — all to protect an airline that could have avoided this if it had negotiated in good faith & hadn’t got so greedy with the Emirates Airline 4 years ago.

      Blame everything and everyone else if it helps you sleep at night, but if you really want to maintain that this Harper government is to be commended for being principled in its approach to foreign relations, you better take a good hard look at each and every one of its trade agreements from the past 5 years (plus all the earlier ones that it hasn’t tried to suspend) for whether all its partners are so blissfully pure of the human rights and democratic abuses that you’re pretending to be standing up for, now.

      • Roll Tide

        @Redrum,

        whatever. Again, the Libs want us to bow like Obama to the UAE.
        Harper had every right to deny Air Eremites, just as he denied BPH.
        We may disagree with both decisions (I do), but for one country to retaliate in such a thuggish way speaks volumes of the type of regime we are dealing with. And I am not talking about Australia. Our troops are dying in Afghanistan for them.

        I can see the future narrative. Riots spread to the union-less UAE. Bloodshed on the streets, the corrupt regime beats hundreds of thousands of abused workers. Michael Moore does a documentary on how the West has aided and abetted a brutal regime by allowing it to develop a super predatory airline.
        I can see the photo’s now, of Sheikh Khalifa holding George Bushes hand.

        • Redrum

          @Roll Tide, WTF? I know you’re just trying to get my goat, now, but you’re still at least being partly serious in some of these indignant complaints, here.

          Specifically: how just is whatever we’re doing in Afghanistan supposed to be “for” the UAE’s benefit, anyway?

          Bin Laden didn’t attack, hasn’t been targetting, & doesn’t even care particularly about destabilizing _them_, as far as I know.

          And how is it “thuggish” for them to say (in effect):

          “You know what, we’ve been giving YOU lots of landing rights & access to FREE land for the past NINE YEARS for you to wage a war which is making us none too popular with OUR neighbours & so is putting US at risk, and we’ve let YOUR MILITARY PERSONNEL take R&R in our towns which, again, makes us unpopular with our own people, yet you’re IGNORING all that and have blown off our request to have more free trade of the type called for in your own ‘Open Skies’ program all because we wouldn’t give 50% of our profits to these Air Canada extortionists who don’t even fly here themselves?! WTF!!”

          Seriously, if this were a regional _Quebec_ airline that was trying to extort 50% of the profits out of a national airline for the privilege of flying in & out of Montreal to Vancouver, say (a flight the QC airline didn’t do), when, um, they don’t even control the landing rights (the gov’t does), you’d be telling that QC airline to screw off… or much worse.

          Yet that’s just what AC has done here – try to shake down an international carrier by peddling its influence with the Ministry of Transport, to either grant or deny it more landing rights.

          It’s akin to Al Capone or Edgar G. Robinson getting kickbacks on all booze imports, exports & sales out of Chicago even after prohibition was lifted (‘Nothing gets in or out of here without my say-so, see — you can’t sell a drop without my permission… and with the Government indeed going along with that). Cripes, we must look like a corrupt third-world country, to them, now. This whole affair has been a big disgrace.

          Your attempt to deflect the problem back on them is adding insult to injury to cover up their own mistakes — in typical Harper fashion — and it conveniently forgets that it’s been under the current CPC gov’t that trade with the UAE has increased exponentially, from being just in the hundreds of millions a year ten years ago to a total of $2-B a year in bilateral trade, now.

  • Roll Tide

    I like your spunk Redrum!
    I agree!….We need to clamp down on the scammers.
    But what if we saw a uprising in the UAE?

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Roll Tide, What if we saw an uprising in Sweden? No point in speculating the unknown. Wait to see if it happens.

    • Redrum

      @Roll Tide, I dunno; I suppose we might want to evacuate our 27,000 citizens living & working there and temporarily suspend our $2-B in annual trade with our largest trading partner in the region until things were sorted out.

      But here’s a more germane q. for you, who’s busily trying to run interference or make excuses for the way Harper has bungled this file.

      What if we found out this whole debacle with the UAE was due to the greed & what could well be construed as the would-be graft & corruption of Air Canada & Transport Canada, for trying to extort 50% of the Emirate Airline’s profits for the Toronto/Dubai run in exchange for wrangling more landing rights for them, for a run that Air Canada doesn’t even do itself & so which doesn’t cut into the profitability of its actual operations at all?

      Pretend it never happened, apparently — at least, if you’re a CPC apologist — but keep blaming them for being so unfair & unreasonable blah blah blah.

      www + .theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/air-canada-proposed-emirates-deal-in-2006-documents/article1868756/

  • Roll Tide

    We never “tacitly approving protests against the government” of Tunisia either until it happened.
    It wont happen in the UAE because of its immense oil wealth, but those migrant workers are treated no different.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Roll Tide, re: the migrant workers I agree wholeheartedly but Im still not seeing how this ties Tunisia and Egypt to a Canada/UAE trade dispute.

    • Redrum

      @Roll Tide, hey, we should — or, rather, shouldn’t, given the glass house — about migrant workers; who do you think picks OUR crops? And our treatment of domestic workers / nannies has been pretty abysmal, too.

      • Roll Tide

        @Redrum,
        Just ask Ruby Dhalla

        • Redrum

          @Roll Tide, yeah, yeah, except that was a case of Jason Kenney & his buddy who’s vying for a CPC seat in that riding backing a woman who was scamming the system: who quit the family she was sponsored to work for since they actually, you know, wanted her to work; then misrepresenting herself as available to work for another family, when she wasn’t; then seeing a golden opportunity to try to blackmail her way into getting early citizenship even though she didn’t have ANY kids to care for at the new gig (just foot massages for Ruby’s mom).

          And that’s not an isolated case, as this article last week points out:

          Nannies abusing sponsorship program
          http + ://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/01/20/16958776.html?cid=rssnews

          Which isn’t to say that’s common or that it’s not more often the other way round, with many nannies being treated as virtual slaves.

          But the Dhalla case was most decidedly NOT one of those, despite the attempted smear job.

  • Roll Tide

    Given the UAE human rights record, it puts our trade dispute with them in a different light.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Roll Tide, Im not sure how. The trade dispute with the UAE is about landing rights and as far as I can tell, there is no human rights demand from the Canadian government nor are we tacitly approving protests against the government.

    • Redrum

      @Roll Tide, What a load. The UAE dispute has nothing to do with democratic or human rights. And it’s not a trade dispute, per se: the trade b/w the two countries has been growing by leaps & bounds, and some provinces are initiating more free trade agreements with it. It’s our gov’t being protectionist about an airline here which is foundering because it’s overly taxed, which is getting kickbacks from another foreign airline (Germany’s Lufthsana) to subsidize them, so they’re trying to keep out the competition: at the expense of the Canadian travellers, who are stuck paying higher fares, as a result.

      • @Redrum,

        What’s so darned interesting is how these very same Reform/Alliance/Cons (Reform-a-Tories for short) were literally screaming at the tops of their lungs about the Liberal government backing Canadian companies like Air Canada. Remember that? Conservatives used to hate Air Canada. Being that their Calgary home is home to WestJet, it is understandable… but a government needs to stand up for the national “flag carrier” – and it appears that they’ve learned that lesson… ROFL…

        Turning their backs on all their principles – The Harper Conservatives…

  • TofKW

    Turns out Harper is stepping up here.

    http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2011/01/27/harper-egypt-protests.html

    Now he’s not coming right out and demanding democratic reform, but I think his statements are prudent, considering the very fluid and potentially volatile state that Egypt is in currently.

    Yes I’m supporting Harper on this, after all even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • JMR

    Strange Harper is all for citizens demostrations
    in other countries but when it comes to this country he brings in the police in brutal force.
    It’s good for others but not here

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