Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?

This morning we learned that an Egyptian court – a kangaroo court, if ever there was one – after what can only be characterized as a farce of a trial, had convicted  Mohammed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera reporter, on “terrorism-related” charges and sentenced him to 7 years in prison.  That the conviction was preordained is undeniable.   This can probably be taken for granted anywhere in the Arab world, but even by the low standards of the region, this trial was a joke.   Apparently, Egypt defines “terrorism” as saying unflattering, if accurate, things about its shit-hole government (that the current shit-hole government isn’t much worse (or better) than its predecessor shit-hole government, is really neither here nor there).  Still, Mr. Fahmy’s conviction  in itself, isn’t all that interesting – after all, did anyone really expect a fair trial? 

What’s more interesting has been the response of some of Mr. Fahmy’s family and supporters, who have been harshly critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Fahmy’s brother’s, Sherif, tweeted Stephen Harper:

I hold you responsible for leaving my brother to rotten in Egyptian prison. Was a call or a public statement that difficult?

Or Tony Burman, columnist for the Toronto Star who said:

The absence of the highest level of intervention, on behalf of the Canadian government has been lamentable. But, there is a chance for reversal…It’s now time for Canada’s prime minister to indicate to Egypt that enough is enough.

More in this vein can be seen here.

Continue reading “Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?”

Tony Burman on Canada’s decision to break ties with Iran – Where does the Star get these lunatics?

For most Canadians, the Canadian government’s decision to cut off diplomatic relations with Iran is a no-brainer.  Iran does, after all, have a long record of abusing the human rights of its own citizens and sponsoring terrorism internationally.  It steadfastly refuses to comply with its treaty obligations in respect of its nuclear program and is widely (and credibly) believed to be trying to build nuclear weapons.  It has repeatedly and publicly called for a genocidal war against Israel, famously threatening to “wipe” it “off the map” and has recently supported the odious Assad regime in the ongoing murder of Syrian civilians.  And, of course, as I reminded readers earlier, members of its security apparatus tortured, raped and murdered a Canada citizen – Zahra Kazemi – an atrocity for which no one has ever been brought to justice.   Need I go on?

Apparently, though, that isn’t enough for Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of the CBC News and now a professor of journalism at Rye-high.  No, in his mind the only possible explanation for Canada’s “abrupt action” against Iran is the “Harper government’s outsourcing of Canada’s Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete.”  Yes, that’s right folks, our government works for Israel, at least in the fevered mind of Tony Burman.

Continue reading “Tony Burman on Canada’s decision to break ties with Iran – Where does the Star get these lunatics?”