John Baird says giving Assad time to hand over chemical weapons is 'ridiculous and absurd' - Macleans.ca
 

John Baird says giving Assad time to hand over chemical weapons is ‘ridiculous and absurd’


 

ISTANBUL – Canada’s foreign minister John Baird is calling Syria’s offer to begin providing information on its chemical arsenal 30 days after it signs an international convention banning such weapons “ridiculous and absurd.”

Baird said Syrian President Bashar Assad could not be given extra time. Baird said: “This is a man, who up until a week ago denied that they had any such weapons.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who joined Baird at a news conference Saturday in Istanbul, also expressed skepticism, saying that Assad was playing for time while continuing to commit atrocities.

The comments come as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were in Geneva negotiating a Russian proposal to inventory, isolate and eventually destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.

They announced an agreement on a framework to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014 and impose UN penalties if the Assad government fails to comply.

Davutoglu said Turkey welcomed the diplomatic initiative to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, but it was still incumbent on the international community to bring to justice the Syrian officials responsible for crimes against humanity.

Western countries blame Assad for the use of chemical weapons, although he denies the charge and has accused rebels engaged in a two-year-old civil war against his government of using lethal chemical agents.

Canada and Turkey have both called for a strong international response to the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb that U.S. President Barack Obama said killed more than 1,400 civilians, nearly a third of them children.

Baird said on Friday that Turkey is a valued partner for Canada and shares a deep commitment to regional security.

The minister will also hold talks with business leaders in an attempt to advance Canada’s economic interests in Turkey.

The two countries have begun exploratory discussions about a possible free-trade agreement.

Foreign Affairs announced later in the day that Baird will visit Algeria on Sunday and meet with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and Foreign Affairs Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

Their discussions will focus on regional security and counterterrorism, governance and human rights, and economic co-operation.

The politicians will also discuss recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Mali.

“Canada and Algeria have been strong partners in the Global Counterterrorism Forum as co-chairs of its Sahel working group,” said Baird in a statement.

“Terrorism remains the great struggle of our generation, and it knows no states or boundaries.”

Baird will also meet with business leaders to discuss ways of promoting Canadian interests in Algeria.

“There is significant potential for Canadian companies to intensify their activities in Algeria, particularly in the hydrocarbons sector,” Baird said.

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John Baird says giving Assad time to hand over chemical weapons is ‘ridiculous and absurd’

  1. It would take years to remove them anyway John, and you won’t be around that long.

    • Agreed. As I am one of many conservatives (small c) that no longer vote for big C corrupt Conservatives. Many a conservatives are ticked with Harper/Baird/McKay/Flaherty et all neo-Con corruption.

      • Yeah, neo-cons just run off at the mouth….mostly telling other people what to do…but they don’t accomplish anything themselves.

  2. If the Harper government will not be involved in either a military or diplomatic solution to the problem Baird’s grandstanding on the issue hardly matters.

    At least we could be involved in humanitarian efforts and if that is our role then what Baird has to say is irrelevant – which does raise the question of why he is saying anything at all.

    Grandstanding.

  3. You tell ’em John-boy! Tell ’em to stop, or you’ll say stop, again!

  4. Dogs that bark don’t bite.

    • Especially toothless barking dogs. They can only gum.

  5. So what does Baird think about the US being way way behind in the destruction of their own chemical weapons. How many more extensions should the US be given John? They still have 33 thousand tons sitting around compared to Assad’s 1 thousand tons. And while we’re at it what about the elephant in the room? How does Baird feel about Israel’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons hoard?

    • Agreed. But let us not forget all the hazardous depleted uranium scattered about in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or that the largest chemical use in history was USA in Vietnam with Agent Orange, napalm and a long list of poisonous defoliants. Lots of deformed and dead people form USA chemicals and radioactive debris.

  6. Anyone notice no matter what the issue, Harper and his Cons are always off in their own little world, completely cut off from reality?

  7. America just wants to drop the bomb, talking has no meaning.
    And Canada follows America.

  8. Although this was probably the best deal that the US could broker given the circumstances, whatever credibility that Obama had before this on the foreign policy file has literally been shot full of holes. And this from a country that tried to bomb Vietnam back into the Stone Age, set fire to Vietnamese villages with napalm, massacred innocent women and children at Mai Lai, and sprayed enough Agent Orange throughout the Indonesian country to last for a thousand years.

  9. Spoken like a true chickenhawk, who has never been called upon to do anything more dangerous than handle a butterknife at the “all you can eat buffet” or run the risk of a particularly nasty papercut from the gold embossed business cards that the kitsch idiot thinks are sooo great.
    The phrase “lions led by lambs” has never been so much of a compliment, I’d go with lions who get told to die in order to pad the resume of slugs and other assorted invertebrates.

    • Although we’re all still trying to discern what you’re trying to convey here I think that if you really want to step up to the plate grab a rifle, a helmet, a backpack full of rations, and do a tour of duty along with the Syrian rebels on the front lines in Homs. We’ll be right here cheering you on. Go harebell.

      • Your comment makes no sense, but as you’ve made a move I’ll play.

        I’ve done a wee bit in uniform, still have the soldier’s copy of the next of kin documents I signed prior to being mobilised for the first Gulf War before being stood down like many others. Now I’m too old and too used up to be considered for active service.

        As for the meaning of my comment, it’s odd to me that the first people to advocate military intervention are those who will not ever dream of being on the front line and will ensure that their families will be far from danger too. That would be the chickenhawk Baird and others like him, a person so devoid of spine yet so keen to act the part despite that.

        Anything more you want to add metro?

        • OK. Point taken. I tried unsuccessfully to join the reserves many years ago in Ontario in order to get some drilling experience and learn how to handle a high powered weapon. I was told that at the ripe old age of 28 I wouldn’t qualify. Go figure.
          As for Baird. Just remember that he gets his marching orders from Harper. The PM’s calling the shots here. No pun intended.

          • Wait until the the Cons get their way, then they’ll only too willingly take up to 50 year olds, especially if it means that they and theirs won’t have to serve.

            As to your explanation of Baird’s rationale for being a chickenhawk, repeating the orders of a dyed in the wool professional coward and supporter of military expansionism makes Baird look and even bigger jellyfish than he did before. Give the useless Baird a weapon, a tin toppee and a ration pack and ask him to survive the weekend in anywhere he wants others to go and we’ll see the yellow idiot squirm.

  10. Well, he has a point. But EVERY course of action is ridiculous and absurd here, we are boxed into a can’t win situation. We could choose much worse.

  11. Who’s asking for this neanderthalian’s opinion, anyway?!

    • LOL
      Not the kind of Neanderthal who can’t even get his head around the proper spelling of the word that’s for sure. Are you still renting out that extra space in your cave to your relatives Rexbo?

  12. What gives?
    Question: Does the Harper gov
    Expect that we’re so stupid as to throw our
    support behind them based on their illusions of
    False grandeur and self importance to the rest of the world?
    Answer: YES

  13. Assad and Russia isn’t stupid. They don’t want western spies in to identify targets for the CIA/military. Is Baird smoking the wrong stuff and pushing too much propaganda? Fact is Obama can’t prove anything, but videos do exist of terrorists using these weapons. Hey, but it is political, the western economic print money or debt fraud system is failing and politicians are desperate to employ younger people with a engineered war.

    Happens any time USA tries to cut CIA/military, engineer a war. I wouldn’t even doubnt CIA helped one of the 5+ radical terrorists groups pull it off. As they even have videos of Saudi/UAE chemicals packaging in a terrorist hold out.

    But we are supposed to buy this propaganda? Me, I do not. Maybe our governments need to declare war on debt, waste and corruption.

  14. USA spends more on CIA/military than the other top 25 nations combined, as if at war with the world.

    We are part of the regime. Effective policy seems to be, accept our depreciating fiat fraud electronic money you can’t spend for your cheap resources or we bomb you if Sunni Saudi agree. And Saudi always agree when the targets are more peaceful Shia Islam. Obama, a Sunni Islam follower, fails to see 911 was Saudi sponsored Osama with 19 Saudi/UAW Sunni Islam radicals.

    USA is effectively sponsoring terrorism and a war to support terrorists.

  15. Yes, clearly a peaceful diplomatic solution to the western backed terroism in Syria is not what Baird would prefer. He would much prefer the Al Qeada flag flying over the court house as it does in Libya. Why is Baird is fighting for terrorism. Perhaps if he had enjoyed the company of a women and had children of his own he would be more peaceful?

    Libya: the West and al-Qaeda on the same side 2011-03-18 The Telegraph.