Thursday, April 14, 2016


October 2015 election campaign : Justin Trudeau defends the Conservative government's $15B armoured combat vehicle deal with Saudi Arabia as being just about "jeeps".

Are those our LAVs? Yes they are.

"... a retired Canadian general consulted by The Globe and Mail, who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the LAVs being transported to Najran as fighting vehicles made by General Dynamics Land Systems. 
Critics say having Canadian-made arms enmeshed in a conflict that has claimed more than 2,800 civilian lives should prompt Ottawa to rethink the recent $15-billion deal to sell hundreds or thousands more to the Saudis."
Doctors Without Borders MSF reports a third MSF hospital in Yemen bombed by Saudi coalition forces. 

From March 21 documents  "...the department of Global Affairs recommended approval of the Saudi export permits because it could help Saudi Arabia wage war in neighbouring Yemen." 
CBC April 12 2016 St├ęphane Dion approves export permits for $11B in LAVs to be sent to Saudi Arabia
Documents say past sales have not been linked to violations of civil or political rights in the kingdom

[Global Affairs Minister St├ęphane Dion] said he can't block exports unless the armoured vehicles are being used against innocent civilians.
So far, he said, there is no evidence of that.
"Should I become aware of credible information of violations related to this equipment, I will suspend or revoke the permits," he said.
So Global Affairs' "key partner for Canada""using Canadian-made combat vehicles against Yemeni rebels" five months ago isn't sufficient reason not to forge ahead with the deal Dion lied to Canadians about as long as we don't 'become aware' the new LAVs are similarly used in the future. Got it.

CBC April 13 2016 : Justin Trudeau says jobs in southern Ontario are dependent on the Saudi arms deal

And in what will come as a surprise to absolutely no one : 
Sunni ways indeed.
Saturday Update from Mound of Sound : One More Thing About that Saudi Death Wagon Deal


Boris said...

Yep, thems is LAVs going off to war. They are trying very desperately spin this deal away, chucking excuses left, right and centre.

Sure, part of is the thing is worth 15 billion bucks, part of it is jobsjobsjobs*, but the more they spin, the more it seems there's something else in there that we're not being told. And Stephane Dion, goodness, "I will revoke permits if there are violations..." What, revoke an export permit after the export?

*Sure the ME dissolved into war and hundreds of thousands or millions were killed or displaced, but look at the bright side, some folks in Ontario got a few years of employment!

Boris said...

I don't know enough to say what it is were not being told, but collectively the US and Europeans have sold Saudi Arabia significant amounts top-shelf weapons, probably because of the oil-regional security nexus and the ability of SA to pay top dollar. Canada has obviously joined that club. And despite the rapidly changing in the regional security environment including two US-led wars, thawing of relations with Iran, the rise of ISIS, disintegration of Syria, and the serious Russian involvement, etc, they haven't quite publicly rethought ME strategy. Strategy which amounts to find regional powers we like (for oil, arms, stability) and give them piles of weapons.

Alison said...

Boris : Yeah, Charlie Wilson's War.
I also wonder how this factors in. From February :

"Saudi Arabia's oil minister told a crowd of U.S. oil executives in Texas on Tuesday exactly what they were afraid of hearing: that OPEC is more than happy to ride out cheap crude prices until higher-cost producers are pushed out of the market.
"Inefficient, uneconomic producers will have to get out, that is tough to say, but that's fact"
Al-Naimi wasn't specifically speaking of Canada with that comment, but said earlier in the speech that $100 oil had unleashed investments in what were previously uneconomic oil fields such as the Canadian oilsands."

Boris said...

The funny thing is that with renewables coming to or exceeding cost-parity with oil, and a very permissive environment, low oil prices might be here to stay. Which really fucks the Saudis, Texans, and Albertans still betting the farm on the black stuff. Well, maybe the last two: SA is literally hedging its bets:

What annoys me most is if the govt's reasoning is real politik, they should come clean and lay it. Instead, like all governments, they attempt to maintain varying degrees of fictions. I can work with honesty, no matter how repulsive. It's the lies and spin that piss me off.

West End Bob said...

I guess promoting jobsjobsjobs* in areas that don't plunder the planet, murder innocent civilians or pad corporate profit$ would be too much to ask for, huh ? ? ? ?

Anonymous said...

Trudeau in London this morning:
"Fundamentally this issue is about principle. The principle at play here is that Canada's word needs to mean something in the international community. As I have said every single time I have been asked about this contract, this contract was signed in February 2014 and we will be respecting that contract. It is important that people know when they sign a deal with Canada, a change in government isn't going to lead to that contract being ripped up."

Boris said...

Anon, the art of the deal, I see:

Yep, it's about principle alright.

Has Trudeau mentioned anything about granting asylum to Bahraini, Saudi, or Yemeni refugees or political dissidents?

West End Bob said...

Telesur pulls no punches in their headline . . . .

The Mound of Sound said...

I take it that's the gun/turret system the Dutch produce for the LAV. It's an immensely capable gun that can fire both the range of standard 105mm. rounds plus a special rocket round.Just the thing for leveling a Houthi village or two.

Vice TV did a segment on the Saudi war on the Houthis several months back. It's still available on their web site.

From pipelines to BDS, the Saudi death deal to TPP, I've had it with this government and am eternally grateful I voted Green. I would feel guilty as hell had I supported Trudeau.

ron wilton said...

The term 'jeep' derived during WWII when Willys supplied the U.S. army with a 'general purpose' vehicle and whenever an officer called upon a subordinate to bring him a GP the 'g p' soon became pronounced as 'jeep' and that name has stuck as the identifier of that vehicle.

I wonder if Justin is/was aware of what the Saudi government considers to be their 'general purpose'.

Anonymous said...

Self explanatory link.


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