EDITORIAL: “Voyage of the damned”…not on Canada’s watch !

Canada, I am proud, we are a country that stands up for its convictions. We would have given the S.S. St. Louis a port of entry as demonstrated by our stand in support of human rights and opposition to its abusers.

Read the Washington Post editorial of Aug. 7 with its support of Canada in its stand for human rights.

It is very disappointing so few others show public support for Canada, in particular, nations who profess to be friends and allies. How sad to see these nations again refusing the S.S. St. Louis entry.

It looks like humanity will never learn. The totalitarianism of the late 1930’s was conceived in the nest of blind fools. Those same blind fools are heads of governments throughout the world. Still blind, still mute.

Canada rejected the S.S. St. Louis too
Why is it so? Why does mankind continue to choose Barabbus before Christ? Why do so many countries, world leaders have spines of jelly? Why do truth, morals and principles continue to be mortal victims? What will it take for more people and more world leaders to demonstrate the same courage as Canada? Canada has learned from its past mistakes. Never again!

But we stand alone. It should not be so. What will it take to tweak the moral backbone of others and get them to act with courage and conviction? Surely, they believe in the same truths and principles as Canada does.

We stand alone but should it be so?

The WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL 

Canada won’t look the other way on Saudi Arabia. We shouldn’t either.
by Editorial Board August 7, 2018

[ To view the Washington Post posting click on WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL

Saudi Arabia has offered a telling response to Canada’s complaint about the arrest of two prominent female activists, Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah. The Saudi Foreign Ministry protested that Canada was engaging in “blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs” and an “unacceptable affront to the Kingdom’s laws and judicial process.” The call by Canada to release the women was “reprehensible,” the ministry said. In other words, Saudi Arabia would like the rest of the world to look the other way.

Fortunately, Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, refused. On Aug. 2, she wrote on Twitter that Canada was “very alarmed” about the detention of the two women. Ms. Badawi is the sister of Raif Badawi, a blogger serving a 10-year jail sentence for running a website that was critical of Saudi’s strict religious authorities. Saudi Arabia’s young ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been intolerant of dissent and jailed dozens of critics, including intellectuals, journalists and advocates of women’s right to drive. Most have been thrown in jail for long periods without any semblance of due process. When Ms. Freeland called for the Badawis to be freed, the crown prince answered by expelling Canada’s ambassador and severing trade, travel and student exchange links. The intended message: Other countries should mind their own business, or else.

What Ms. Freeland and Canada correctly understand is that human rights and basic liberty are universal values, not the property of kings and dictators to arbitrarily grant and remove on a whim. Saudi Arabia’s long-standing practice of denying basic rights to citizens, especially women — and its particularly cruel treatment of some dissidents, such as the public lashes meted out to Mr. Badawi — are matters of legitimate concern to all democracies and free societies. The crown prince has been impressively active in seeking to modernize the kingdom economically, pushing to diversify away from oil and to satisfy a burgeoning youthful population’s thirst for Western culture and entertainment. Doesn’t he see how this futuristic vision is undermined when he throws critics into dungeons and behaves like a police-state despot?

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has largely withdrawn from the role of championing freedom and human rights abroad. The State Department reacted to the latest news with a depressingly tepid statement, urging both Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve their differences, adding, “We can’t do it for them.” It is great to see Canada holding aloft the human rights banner, even at the cost of damaged ties to Saudi Arabia. But Canada should not have to do this alone. It is the traditional role of the United States to defend universal values everywhere they are trampled upon and to show bullying autocrats they cannot get away with hiding their dirty work behind closed doors.

Every leading democracy — let’s start with the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations — should retweet Ms. Freeland’s post about the imprisoned Badawis. Basic rights are everybody’s business.

Read more:

The Post’s View: The Saudi crown prince is throwing women in jail for speaking up
Abdullah Alaoudh: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is taking the kingdom back to the Dark Ages
Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia’s women can finally drive. But the crown prince needs to do much more.
The Post’s View: Saudi Arabia takes a wrong turn on women’s freedomManal al-Sharif: Why I can’t go back to Saudi Arabia to drive for the first time with my son

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