The lyrics above sum up Canada’s situation right now in its recent spat with Saudi Arabia. Alone in the fight for human rights, Canada was under a lot of pressure from Saudi Arabia, after its foreign ministry echoed the concerns of the United Nations over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists. Saudi Arabia retaliated aggressively to Canada’s criticism: it expelled Canada’s ambassador, suspended new trade and investment with Ottawa, and even halted flights to and from Canada. In the midst of the conflict, Canada was not at all supported by its allies, as the US officially said it would remain on the sidelines. The silence from Canada’s once friendly neighbor not only disappoints the Northern American country, but also signals another blatant shift in its relationship with the US since Trump rose to power. The incident carries another implication, that Western governments’ voices are no longer welcomed, let alone easily accepted, by more radical states – and Saudi Arabia is only one of the few to start with.
Written by Uyen Le-Khuc