Mohammad bin-Salman freaks out - again!

For those of you not paying attention to the latest from the authoritarians running Saudi Arabia, herewith the tale:

It turns out that Mohammad bin-Salman, the Crown Prince busy "liberalizing" the Kingdom, only goes so far; he will let women drive, but nobody, and I mean nobody, criticizes him or his Government.  And that includes the Government of Canada, who made the blunder of criticizing the arbitrary arrests of some "activists" that are now sitting in dungeons, awaiting their fate  (probably lashings and long prison sentences).  The acutely prickly MbS thereupon expelled the Canadian Ambassador, shut down direct air travel between Canada (Toronto) and KSA, cancelled all student scholarships to Canada and pulled their students out of Canadian Universities, has Ordered the Kingdom Wheat Board to stop all purchases of Canadian wheat and barley, and is removing Saudis from Canadian hospitals (where they pay full freight for expensive medical procedures). Also all Saudi investments in Canada are cancelled, all gone. 

Perhaps more ominously, there is the unspoken threat to cancel the contract for the supply of wheeled armor, special-purpose desert vehicles with eight large tires instead of tracks, designed to provide firepower to the Saudi army.  The contract is with General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Ltd., which is owned by The US firm General Dynamics, a huge defense contractor.  The factory is located in London, Ontario, and it will supply 928 light armored vehicles in the order, with 119 LAV 6 vehicles to be fitted with 105-millimetre cannons. The remaining vehicles include ambulances, mobile command posts, VIP transports and recovery vehicles equipped with cranes. This order is worth $11 BIllion US, or $15 Billion Canadian, and encompasses several thousand jobs.  If cancelled, it will be a huge hit.

For those of you not following labor conflicts in Canada, the General Dynamics factory is in one-half of the massive building that used to house Electro-Motive Division of General Motors.  EMD built over half of all rail locomotives for the USA and Canada.  When Caterpillar bought EMD from the hedge fund that bought it from GM, the idea was to install huge Caterpillar diesels in the rail locomotives.  CAT wanted to pay a lower wage scale, the union threatened strike, CAT locked out the union, and when there was no resolution, CAT closed the Canada plant and moved out all the machinery to a new plant built in Indiana. That left those specialized metal-workers out of a job, and some then went to work for General Dynamics building these wheeled tanks. Now that business, which is basically the Saudi contract at this point, is in serious threat.  I anticipate that MbS will demand that General Dynamics move production to the USA, and that will be the end of the London plant. 

All of this apparently was touched off by one "tweet," from the Canadian Embassy about the detained activist(s).  Those Saudis prickly enough for you? 

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Incredible. The KSA, Canada and human rights activists.  What could go wrong?  Oh...

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5 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Incredible. The KSA, Canada and human rights activists.  What could go wrong?  Oh...

/sarc on

No worries, Saudi Arabia is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.  This little spat over Human Rights complaints from Canada should get sorted out in a jiffy by MbS.

Hmmmm, perhaps if Canada was also a member of the UN Human Rights Council, this would have been resolved already.

/sarc off

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Saudi Arabia has decided to make an example to deterre the other countries. Canada is not the only country concerned by KSA human rights record but its an easy target. And MBS see it probably like a kind of sharing ennemies with Trump... my nasty neighbour (Iran) is also your ennemy, your nasty neighbour (Canada) is also my ennemy.

The economic retortions exerted by KSA on Canada is not far from the US retortions on countries not appling the US sanctions on Iran. 

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1 hour ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

Saudi Arabia has decided to make an example to deterre the other countries. Canada is not the only country concerned by KSA human rights record but its an easy target. And MBS see it probably like a kind of sharing ennemies with Trump... my nasty neighbour (Iran) is also your ennemy, your nasty neighbour (Canada) is also my ennemy.

The economic retortions exerted by KSA on Canada is not far from the US retortions on countries not appling the US sanctions on Iran. 

You know, you may actually have something here.  Trump is most assuredly in a fight with Canada over trade imbalances.  One could imagine his thinking is: If KSA wants to go after Canada and further weaken (drastically, in this case) the Canadian economy and thereby possibly Canadian resolve, why not?  They'll need a deal with the U.S. even more.  Go for it KSA.  You won't hear anything out of my administration.

Does anyone think Trump gives a rat's axx about 2 women's rights in the KSA?  Nope!  Trade victory against Canada?  Yep!

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(edited)

And if this ends with the transfer of the General Dinamics armor plant from Canada to the US like it was suggesred by Jan, Trump could take advantage of this crisis.

For the moment the US response to the Canada-Saudi crisis seems very mild and Canada is seeking diplomatic help from UK and UAE rather than the US.

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/as-canada-feuds-with-saudi-arabia-trump-administration-pursues-friendly-relations-downplays-human-rights/

Edited by Guillaume Albasini
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To be honest, what I found the most appalling was Trudeau's reaction to the whole thing. Trying the sandwich tactic, patting the Saudis on the shoulder for "progress" in human rights protection. Seriously? Ugh!

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A reminder to the oil industry: Ultimate pricing authority in today's world is held by Saudi Arabia. Therefore any faults and concerns that you may have regarding the stability or competence of the Saudi leadership will apply, as well, to the global price of oil. Does that give you comfort as you plan your forward strategy?

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55 minutes ago, William Edwards said:

A reminder to the oil industry: Ultimate pricing authority in today's world is held by Saudi Arabia. Therefore any faults and concerns that you may have regarding the stability or competence of the Saudi leadership will apply, as well, to the global price of oil. Does that give you comfort as you plan your forward strategy?

nope.

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Just now, Rodent said:

nope.

Me either!

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