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Old 01-23-2015, 04:51 PM
 
29 posts, read 43,699 times
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Saudi Arabia sounds like a terrible country to live in, but i think it is necessary to maintain respectful relationships. I prefer a stable kingdom in middle east with no civil rights rather than a country in civil war that kills it own people as well as others.

In general I prefer Saddams, Assads, King Husseins to instability.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Manila
1,144 posts, read 1,590,682 times
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Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
I will say one last thing.

I am frankly tired of you using skewed examples of places like Saudi Arabia to paint Western foreign policy with a broad brush.

No one pretends to be doing things for "moral" reasons. It is true that Western countries have made very bad foreign policy decisions in the past. But for the past 6-8 years, I have not witnessed Obama (or other Western leaders) act irresponsibly and talk about regime change in foreign countries.

In fact, the exact opposite has happened. That includes building back ties with Cuba and placing strategic sanctions on countries like North Korea, Russia, etc. And most recently, countries planning on getting together to TALK with Iran.

There has been a clear shift in foreign policy over the past many years. You can keep ignoring it if you want and keep talking about Saudi .... but the fact is that Western foreign policy is much more strategic and much more MORAL (human, rights freedom, etc) than it used to be .. (call it foreign policy 2.0 if you will).

And finally, let's challenge your obsession with Saudi. Why do you think Saudi is so bad? Cause they have archaic Islamic laws and don't let women drive? Is that it? Do you think that there is an equivalency between the actions of the Saudi Kingdom and countries like North Korea or Russia? Is the Saudi Kingdom like Boko Haram? No.

The fact is that Saudi is a country mostly under US control. But there is no doubt that the Western countries should apply more pressure on the Saudi rulers to moderate many of their practices. But what more can they do? Obama has given many speeches that deal with this Saudi problem head on. I am sure that you have never read about them. But the point is that no one trying to "pretend" that Saudi is free country with no human rights problems. But to equate them with other evil regimes like North Korea and Russia is just wrong.

Saudi does more than that when it comes to human rights abuses! Their people abuse and treat like slaves their foreign domestic workers and employees, their justice system is so rigged to the point that in any criminal case involving Saudis and foreigners the Saudis are always deemed correct even if the Saudi is the wrongdoer, women always get blamed when it comes to rape cases and suffer the consequences (like getting stoned to death), homosexuality is punishable by death, the Saudis refuse the right of people of other faiths to worship openly in their land, covertly fund terror groups like Al Qaida and ISIS, send troops to crack down on pro-democracy movements in neighboring nations like Bahrain, and the list goes on! With such a control freak mindset on blatant open display and with the knowledge the USA and other Western nations often ignore their human rights violations when dealing with them, I am certain they will crack down brutally hard on an Arab Spring-like movement within their country if they need to, and not be afraid of getting sanctioned!

I think part of the problem the OP has is the fact that the West is so fond of using "human rights", "democracy promotion" and the like in its rhetoric, especially to flog rivals like Russia, but turn a blind eye and not make a fuzz when the issue involves important allies like Saudi!

If you want to be seen as sincere with the issue, don't just flog rivals like Russia! Flog the Saudis too - perhaps a bit more harshly cuz they're your friends [Remember the "Show me your friends..." cliche? - you don't wanna look bad by letting nasty high-profile allies like the Saudis run amok with their own human rights abuses right?]! If NATO countries do like what Sweden did by publicly denouncing Saudi human rights violations (which led to a recent spat between Stockholm and Riyadh), then maybe their human rights rhetoric may be a bit more believable to any outsider without a dog in this fight!
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,700 posts, read 8,543,827 times
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Originally Posted by mrconfusion87 View Post
Saudi does more than that when it comes to human rights abuses! Their people abuse and treat like slaves their foreign domestic workers and employees, their justice system is so rigged to the point that in any criminal case involving Saudis and foreigners the Saudis are always deemed correct even if the Saudi is the wrongdoer, women always get blamed when it comes to rape cases and suffer the consequences (like getting stoned to death), homosexuality is punishable by death, the Saudis refuse the right of people of other faiths to worship openly in their land, covertly fund terror groups like Al Qaida and ISIS, send troops to crack down on pro-democracy movements in neighboring nations like Bahrain, and the list goes on! With such a control freak mindset on blatant open display and with the knowledge the USA and other Western nations often ignore their human rights violations when dealing with them, I am certain they will crack down brutally hard on an Arab Spring-like movement within their country if they need to!

I think part of the problem the OP has is the fact that the West is so fond of using "human rights", "democracy promotion" and the like in its rhetoric, especially to flog rivals like Russia, but turn a blind eye and not make a fuzz when the issue involves important allies like Saudi!

If you want to be seen as sincere with the issue, don't just flog rivals like Russia! Flog the Saudis too - perhaps a bit more harshly cuz they're your friends [Remember the "Show me your friends..." cliche? - you don't wanna look bad by letting nasty high-profile allies like the Saudis run amok with their own human rights abuses right?]! If NATO countries do like what Sweden did by publicly denouncing Saudi human rights violations (which led to a recent spat between Stockholm and Riyadh), then maybe their human rights rhetoric may be a bit more believable!
I absolutely agree, we should not be afraid to take the Saudis to task over their human rights record, nor should we turn a blind eye to actions that are a threat to global peace and our own interests, such as covertly funding ISIS, which is really all about them fighting a proxi war with Iran over Iraq. What do we really get out of acting cowed and cowardly when it comes to this brutal and totalitarian state? What could they possibly do with their oil policy in response that could phase us? Anyways, some things are more important than money and not standing by our own values at then end of the day cheapens them and makes it look like we don't really value them at all and simply use them as a bludgeon or smoke screen for the only thing we really care about - money. This, at the end of the day, hurts the currency of these ideas in areas that aren't yet sold on them, and I don't think that's worth it when it is those very ideas that lead us to a happier, better world. Sweden's foreign policy is moral and in line with their countries actual values, ours makes us into hypocrites, and that makes me ashamed. Could they cost us money by restricting trade with us? Sure, but somehow we have no trouble forgoing trade revenue with Iran, and I don't see how they're a worse regime, at least they've a generally more democratic government structure and women there just have to wear head scarves, not dehumanizing obligatory full abayas.

Last edited by BIMBAM; 03-23-2015 at 02:01 AM..
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:27 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,353,429 times
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Sweden's foreign policy is moral and in line with their countries actual values, ours makes us into hypocrites, and that makes me ashamed. Could they cost us money by restricting trade with us? Sure, but somehow we have no trouble forgoing trade revenue with Iran, and I don't see how they're a worse regime, at least they've a generally more democratic government structure and women there just have to wear head scarves, not dehumanizing obligatory full abayas.
I don't see Iran being worse than Saudi Arabia either.

In the 1950s, the US and UK actually overthrew a democratically elected Iranian government just because they didn't like the energy policy this government was going to adopt. And are we supposed to think these countries are interested in spreading "democracy"???

Hypocrites are all I can say about these western powers. They say one thing and do the other. All the time.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,700 posts, read 8,543,827 times
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I don't see Iran being worse than Saudi Arabia either.

In the 1950s, the US and UK actually overthrew a democratically elected Iranian government just because they didn't like the energy policy this government was going to adopt. And are we supposed to think these countries are interested in spreading "democracy"???

Hypocrites are all I can say about these western powers. They say one thing and do the other. All the time.
Exactly. We should be like Sweden and be a Western country that behaves differently. We should set an example for the world with a morally consistent and predictable foreign policy, or all our campaigning for human rights and democracy in this world will be seen as meaningless. We need to change that, we need a movement in this country demanding of our government a morally consistent foreign policy, they've gotten away without consequences for making us into hypocrites for far too long.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:58 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,129,075 times
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Exactly. We should be like Sweden and be a Western country that behaves differently. We should set an example for the world with a morally consistent and predictable foreign policy, or all our campaigning for human rights and democracy in this world will be seen as meaningless. We need to change that, we need a movement in this country demanding of our government a morally consistent foreign policy, they've gotten away without consequences for making us into hypocrites for far too long.
This has always been my hope for what Canada should stand for as a nation. A soft power, yes, but one rooted in strong moral compass, reason, and objectivity. A country with a consistent ideals that nations around the world will respect and even consult. One where our voice means something. We may shovel more tax dollars into public services than the US (but less than Europe) but honestly, we're not much different from others in terms of self-interests at the highest levels when it comes to environmental degradation and foreign policy escapades, except on a smaller scale.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:28 PM
 
2,568 posts, read 2,205,632 times
Reputation: 1816
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
and the sanctions are based on what? American wishes? For example, does Canada sell weapons to Iran or Iraq? They don't pose a direct threat on Canada whatsoever. Does Russia pose a direct threat on Canada?

I think it is perfectly fine to deal with whoever suits our national interest, just don't pretend it is due to moral reasons (human rights, freedom), when in fact Canada and US don't care about those in other countries whatsoever.
Oh but my dear fellow, politics is all about ideas, perceptions, and how good your story holds before the people. There's absolutely every need to pretend, because our society and the people need guiding, over-arching ideals that will always be noble and morally upright, whether or not the politicians themselves are.
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