Khashoggimania

As I started to write “the world is going gaga”, I stopped, out of respect for Lady Gaga who has and continues to bring joy to her audiences across the planet. Instead, I decided to write that the two- faced champions of human rights are at it again.

In this  instance  they joined the verbal lynching party against the Saudi government without, as is their wont, first getting know better the victim, Jamal Khashoggi. Hence, they declared him to be a saintly champion of human rights and democracy , now a martyr  due to the malfeasance of the wretchedly oppressive and lethal Saudi regime.

The only positive thing I can think about  in this situation is that while the western world got on the case of Prince MbS and his entourage   they stopped harassing Israel, accusing her of committing 100 fictitious sins. A welcome break I am sure, although Hamas which has no time for human right niceties, carried on with its violent destructive attacks on Israel.

Now, let me make it clear, I have an abiding respect for human life, I heartily subscribe to the saying that he, who kills, kills humanity, although I prefer the saying; one who saves a life saves humanity.

I absolutely abhor state sponsored violence and the infliction of any kind punishment by the state without due process.

Some years back, I published in Canada (1966), and in England (1967) that focused on the post –conviction behaviour of  murderers in the Canadian penitentiary system to determine whether the abolition of capital punishment  would have an adverse impact on the safety of other prisoners and of the penitentiary personnel. It did not .And I publicised this finding when Parliament debated the abolition of capital punishment in 1967 and suspended it and then abolished it in 1976.

I was against capital punishment in the days when there was no terrorism of the kind the world has been experiencing for some time and clearly in this case the deceased did not personally commit an act of terrorism.

But who and what was he?  The emerging evidence is that he was a journalist with more than one cause, the widely published one:  to criticise the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, of which he was a subject, for the lack of democracy and the systemic breach of human rights, not to mention the cruelty of the kinds of punishment meted out to those convicted of criminal offences.

The other cause, began to come to light  when Daniel Greenfield began to describe it in a piece published in “Front Page”, an online magazine on October 15 inst, and further elaborated  on  the subject in his subsequent two pieces in the same publication on October 18 and 23,respectively.

Greenfield is the Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

To give you sneak preview of these pieces, the sub-heading of the piece published on the 15th reads ”The terrorist truth behind the media lies.”

Germany’s Merkel condemned the killing and suspended the arm sales to the Kingdom pending the outcome of a proper and complete investigation.

Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau can never resist pontificating and preaching to Canadians and to the world  about the sanctity of human rights and  inform them  of  his government’s  steady resolve  to fight for them (when it is safe to do so) .

Clearly, Canada’s decision to join the inquisitorial western chorus of condemnation  of the Saudis in this instance is a one such occasion.

In this instance, I suspect  that Canada is also quietly enjoying the consolation of  giving the  Saudis a slap  on some part of Prince MbS anatomy,  in revenge for the  tough  medicine which  the Kingdom  recently administered to Canada for criticising the Kingdom .

The Saudis were criticised for the  breach of the rights of two Saudi women who were imprisoned for protesting the imprisonment Raif Badawi, another Saudi whose belief in the freedom to speech ran afoul of the government’s prescribed rules of conduct. In the result, in addition to a prison sentence, Badawi was also facing the most painful prospect of being administered 800 lashes.

Canada has been trying to help his wife and children who found refuge in Canada, to spring Badawi out of the Kingdom.

I believe MbS did that for three reasons:

First, because Canada protested in an amateurish way,  of all places, through social media without advance diplomatic notice.

Second, because  it wanted to tell Canada, that  the Kingdom  would not tolerate this kind of guff.

Third, because Prince MbS shrewdly  anticipated that Canada’s allies would leave the Canadian government high and dry instead of giving it a helping hand  to  help Canada in her hour of distress.

Be that as it may, I predict that the Canadian government, unlike Germany, will most likely continue to supply the Saudis with military equipment which they purchase from Canada and use it to fight the war in Yemen which they did not start in the first instance. And why not? Why should Canada push some over 2000 workers out of work and prejudice the financial welfare of the company that supplies the equipment, when other retaliatory measures are available.

As a Canadian, my problem with Trudeau government’s behaviour in this particular instance is the fact that it operates with double standards.

For a country that claims to cherish the sanctity of life and human rights, the Prime Minister has yet to condemn the Palestinian Authority  publicly and  strongly for its “pay for slay” program  and its refusal to cancel it  by refusing  to deal with the Authority.

Nor has the Prime Minister, a committed environmentalist, kept mum about the destruction of the environment  of southern Israel by Hamas.

Likewise, nor did he raise his voice  to condemn Hamas’  in the strongest possible terms for its breach of the most fundamental of human rights, namely, the right to live safely,  by using Gazans as human shields in the  unprovoked war against the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

If there is one people who should have been helped to secure their independence   since  the end of the First World War, Kurds are this people. Unhappily, just like in the case of Poland stuck between various hostile powers , the Kurds’ historical homeland is located in a most undesirable and dangerous neighbourhood, namely within the borders of  Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The Prime Minister, who champions democracy and democratic rights, has yet to speak up on behalf of the Kurds and strongly defend, support and advocate the Kurd’s inalienable right to become an independent  country,  at the United Nations  and before all its emanations.

And one could  go on ,not forgetting the cruel fate of the Nigerians who are being massacred on an on- going basis and  their villages and places of worship destroyed, for the simple reason  that they happen to be Christians.

Then we have Kuwait, a world class financier and supporter of terrorists including Hamas, and an ally of Iran, the terrorist state, pointing a nasty  accusatory finger to the Saudis: a perfect case of the pot calling the kettle black.

And here comes Mr. Alex Neve, Secretary –general, of Amnesty International Canada, earning his living by using the occasion, as he has done in the past, to criticise Canada  and the western world for supplying the Saudis with armaments and in the process for chasing the buck before or instead of fighting breaches of human rights in various countries.

He is the same fellow who takes gratuitous pot shots at Israel, a democratic country, if there ever was one, where human rights are cherished, protected and promoted, and the rule of law rules the country, while he invariably almost instinctively  averts his sight from the grim realities  of  the abuse of the Palestinians human rights  in the  P.A. and  in Gaza.

If he were to do so, he would have found, long time ago what the Human Rights Watch (HRW) , miraculously, discovered after a two year investigation and documented it  in the report it just published.

The report establishes that, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use, as HRW puts it a “machineries of repression” i.e.  they “engage in systematic torture and arbitrary arrests among other tactics to quash dissent by peaceful activists and political rivals.”

HRW also concluded that the systematic use of torture  by Hamas and the P.A. could amount to a crime against humanity under the United Nations’ Convention against Torture, of which the P.A. is a signatory, and called on countries that provide funding to Palestinian law enforcement to suspend their assistance.

Where has Amnesty International  been in all of this? What are the other members of the Convention and more particularly, Canada and the countries of the European Union doing to stop the breach of Palestinians’ civil and human rights and bring the offenders to justice?

At the end of the day, Khashoggimania is just that: a mania for someone, not to put too fine a point on it, with,  dubious political credentials, at least  a couple disreputable friends; connections with disreputable organization, and  last but not least,  someone with a “political plan”  to democratically secure the election of  the kinds of western governments that will run their respective countries in accordance with the tenets of Muslim Brotherhood’s version of Islam.

Is the world going inane? No, not the world. Just the westerners so enamored with an ethnocentric version of human rights, that they either cannot or simply refuse to see and  understand the facts on the ground which  is plainly in their sight and do something useful about them by resorting to a single standard of justice.

 

About the Author
Doğan Akman was born and schooled in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon his graduation from Lycee St. Michel, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published some articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice working first as a Crown prosecutor, and then switching to civil litigation and specialising in aboriginal law. Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled This is My New Homeland and published in Istanbul.
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