SNOBELEN: Why do fools fall in love (with Twitter)?

You can learn a lot from drunks and fools.

Drunks and fools will tell you whatever is on their mind.  They aren’t constrained by social norms, civility or concern over any harm their words might cause.

They can say whatever they want, comfortable in the knowledge their words will have no significance.

Heck, who would listen to a drunk or a fool?

Drunks and fools have the whole free speech thing figured out.  The only time speech is free of consequences is when no one is listening.

Ministers of the Crown live at the other end of the free speech spectrum.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has the responsibility to speak for the government.  Her words have consequences.

Freeland is aware of this.  When she speaks (or tweets) she is giving voice to the government of Canada and all Canadians.

Ministers are wise to choose their words with more caution than drunks and fools, if only out of fear of being confused with the later.

Undoubtedly it was Freeland’s understanding of the power of words that caused her concern over the tweets generated from the world’s busiest iPhone – the weary device owned by U.S. President Donald Trump.

After Trump made disparaging comments about Canada, and Prime Minister Trudeau post G7 summit, Freeland was quick to comment, “Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begs to differ.

Clearly the Crown Prince has taken Minister Freeland’s tweet concerning the imprisonment of activist and blogger Samar Badawi personally.

He has a point.

The Saudi’s are used to criticism of their human rights record.  But Freeland’s tweet went beyond the expression of concern.  She called for the immediate release of Samar Badawi and her brother Raif.

Normally diplomats fall short of making demands on another countries legal system.  Concerns are fine.  Demands aren’t.

Perhaps the Crown Prince is sensitive to Freeland’s comments because, until this outburst, Saudi Arabia and Canada seemed to be enjoying a great relationship.

Certainly the Trudeau government did not seem overly concern about human rights when the Saudis ordered armored personnel carriers manufactured in London, Ontario.

Canadian universities, the castles of Canadian virtue, seemed pleased to welcome Saudi students.

Human rights activists (never to be confused with the aforementioned drunks and fools) have recently applauded the young and progressive Crown Prince.

All of that goodwill evaporated as a consequence of the Minister’s tweet.

Trade is suspended between Saudi Arabia and Canada.  Ambassadors have been recalled.  Students have been ordered home.

I wonder if that was what Freeland intended?

As Donald Trump has amply demonstrated to a nervous world, “drive by” tweets can have lasting impacts.

Did Freeland intend to cause a trade war with Saudi Arabia?  Did the Trudeau government decide to suspend trade with nations whose human rights records fall below our standards?

Or did Freeland believe her tweet would lead to the immediate release of Samar Badawi and her brother?

If that was the case she was sadly mistaken.  It appears that young Saudis have taken up the cause against Canada’s intrusion into their country’s affairs.

Freeland’s tweet undoubtedly will work against the early release of Badawi.

Whatever Freeland’s intentions, she would be wise to head the advice she provided to Donald Trump and use conventional diplomacy instead of virtue-signaling tweets.

But then, at this stage in this sad saga even drunks and fools could figure that out.

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies