OPEC's decision to maintain production gives Mr. Prentice an opportunity to remake government. Instead of protecting Big Oil from OPEC, Mr. Prentice should protect Albertans from Big Oil by revamping Alberta's revenue structure and diversifying our economy so that Albertans will never experience another crash like the crash of 2015.
If Saudi Arabia is concerned about its reputation, it should first revamp its laws, reform its political system, allow for a genuine democratic process to take route, and enable its citizenry to think and act freely. The international community must also exert pressure on the Saudi regime to loosen its grip on its citizens.
The Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shiite, is far from perfect. It has failed to create a shared sense of nationalism in Iraq that unites the Shiites and Sunnis in peaceful co-existence. However, Prime Minister Maliki remains the world's best hope against the Jihadists who, if left unchecked, would continue to wage wars against Shiites and the West.
Co-founder of the Liberal Muslim Network in Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi, has been in jail in Jeddah since June, 2012. His imprisonment and if he is executed, his death, would only prove what the Kingdom already knows, as captured in the words of the late, great Malcolm X that, "power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression."
Even the most ardent Conservative supporters must wonder what principled position is behind the recent government-sponsored arms deal with Saudi Arabia that will send over $10 billion worth of Light Armoured Vehicles to one of the most anti-woman and repressive countries in the world. Outside its borders, the Saudi royal family uses its immense wealth to promote and fund many of the most reactionary, anti-women social forces in the world. The Conservatives have ignored these abuses, staying quiet when the regime killed "Arab Spring" protesters and intervened in Bahrain. Worse still, the Harper government's hostility towards Iran and backing of last July's military takeover in Egypt partly reflects their pro-Saudi orientation.
When Canada announces that it is ramping up its arms dealing to Colombia and Saudi Arabia, the media coverage is accurate in the details but lacks comprehensiveness. The corporate agenda, as reflected in media messaging, prefers to suppress the far-reaching consequences of Canada's growing military-industrial complex.
President Obama does not want to lose the Senate to the Republicans, yet that might happen if he is seen to side with Iran, which Americans detest, and against Israel, which most Americans, including mainstream Democrats, solidly support. For this reason, the Obama Administration could be counted on to veto the anti-Israel resolutions that would surely arise at the United Nations.
The U.S. under President Ronald Reagan opposed Israel's decision to destroy Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor, and when Israel went ahead in 1981 Reagan embargoed delivery of F-16 fighters to punish Israel. The U.S. under President George H Bush insisted that Israel not retaliate against Iraq when Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles into Israel.
As Saudi Arabia curbs its vital but "illegal" migrant population violently this week to appease high unemployment, I cannot help but reflect on my moment with such destitute citizens a few years ago. Like almost all migrant workers everywhere including in North America, these people perform jobs that their own citizens would not dare touch.
I never have to think twice about getting behind the wheel whenever I need groceries, or pick up kids, or go to the bank. I do not wait for my husband, or father or brother to first give me permission to leave the house, or wait for his availability to attend to my needs. In Saudi Arabia, of course I would not have that luxury.
Last Friday Dr. Reza Aslan was interviewed by Fox News on his recent book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Bigotry reigned as Green repeatedly asked Aslan why as a "Muz-lim" he would write a book about Jesus. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, another secular Muslim sat in a Saudi prison, awaiting his sentence. His crime? Attempting to liberalize religion in Saudi Arabia and criticizing religious police.
John Baird, Canada's foreign minister, may be barking up the wrong tree. He has identified and targeted Iran as the threat to Canadians. However, it is the Saudi Arabia-based charities that pose the greatest threat. As long as the Saudi charities continue to fund militancy and chaos across the globe, Canadians must stand on guard.
In the last few months the world has witnessed, once again, atrocities planned and in two cases, carried out, disguised in the name of Islam. The debate among Muslims in the West is filled with tension. And as Muslims what more must we do to stop the chaos, in addition to demanding changes in our Western countries' foreign policies?
Our government may say that we're engaging the Saudis to foster reform in the kingdom. Apartheid South Africa's allies made similar arguments, calling for "constructive engagement" with the racist regime. Thankfully, Canada rejected that approach and led the world on sanctions, which hastened the end of apartheid.