Friday, 10 August 2018


Diplomatic relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia are in complete disarray after the kingdom’s asymmetrical response to what it characterises as meddling in internal affairs after the Canadian foreign minister and other diplomats expressed concern over the arrest of human rights activist, Samar Badawi who had recently spurred reform that confers more independence for women in allowing them to drive and to conduct some business without a chaperone—prompting a youth organisation to respond rather threatening for its trading and educational partner to mind its own business.
The medium is the message, as Marshall McLuhan says.  Official government measures from the kingdom included the suspension of all trade and investment (part of this feud may be sourced back to a weapons deal arranged by the previous Canadian administration which the Trudeau government rescinded out of concerns of backing oppressive, authoritarian regimes), recalling its ambassadors, expelling the Canadian mission, ordering Saudi citizens being treated in Canadian hospitals to request discharges and transfers to facilities in another nation and for sixteen thousand students sponsored by scholarships studying at Canadian schools relocate at the risk of losing financial assistance. Other countries in the region joined Saudi Arabia in denouncing Canada for politicising human rights, which seems to me one of the chief if not the primary purposes of government. The US refused to weigh in on this affair, urging Canada and Saudi Arabia to work it together.