Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Sales are louder than words

The Canadian government may have condemned Saudi Arabia's recent mass executions and raised concerns about human rights abuses, but it insists a $15 billion weapons sale goes ahead, despite mounting evidence of atrocities committed by the state in Yemen. It is reportedly Canada's largest-ever arms export contract. The deal involves the sale of an undisclosed amount of armored vehicles by the Ontario-based company General Dynamics Land Systems.

Under federal policies, the Department of Foreign Affairs must ensure that military exports will not be used against civilian populations. According to the research of the Canadian peace NGO Project Ploughshares, "there is video evidence that Canadian-built armored vehicles supplied to Saudi Arabia were used in 2011 to support the repression of peaceful civilian demonstrations by Bahrain security forces."

However, U.S.-based companies are the number one supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia, with the Department of Defense announcing in October approval of an $11.25 billion deal to sell combat ships to Saudi Arabia. What's more, the Pentagon announced in November initial approval of a $1.29 billion arms sale to the Gulf state, including over 10,000 bombs, munitions, and weapons parts.

It's hypocrisy. Looks like Trudeau is extending Harper's term just as Obama has extended George W Bush. He is still a Corporatist party-leader. 

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