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Arms race not for outer space

Whistler to discuss weapons in space and what citizens can do to lobby for space preservation



What: Weaponizing Space & Potential for Space Preservation Treaty

Where: MY Place

When: Monday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation.

Though it may be bigger than even our wildest dreams, there’s still no room in space for weapons, according to Alfred Lambremont Webre.

Webre is the International Director of the Institute for Cooperation in Space, a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, which is committed to banning space-based weapons and protecting the sanctity of outer space for all humankind.

Webre is coming to Whistler on Monday, July 12 to encourage local citizens to lobby for the preservation of outer space.

He’s not the only one concerned about a future arms race in space.

Last year the United Nations General Assembly held a vote on a resolution calling for negotiations to prevent a nuclear arms race in space.

The vote was 174 to 0 in favour of the treaty. The United States abstained from the vote, along with Israel, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

"(Almost) all of the nations on the face of the planet want a space preservation treaty to keep space weapons-free," said Webre.

The U.S. on the other hand has a different agenda which has been slowly unfolding during the George W. Bush administration, said Webre.

In December 2001 President Bush pulled out of the 30-year ABM treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

The Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty was put in place in 1972, prohibiting ballistic missile defence systems.

This in turn stopped space weapons because ballistic missile defence systems are entry-level space weapons.

Webre said Bush broke the decades-old treaty in much the same way a renter would break a lease, without a second thought to the other party involved in the treaty.

"What we’re doing is we’re going back to the Cold War with the Bush administration plans for world dominance and instability," said Webre.

The U.S. pulled out of the ABM treaty months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Those attacks were part of the official justification for breaking the ABM treaty.

"Today the United States and Russia face new threats to their security," states a 2001 press release from the White House Web site.

"Principal among these threats are weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means wielded by terrorists and rogue states. A number of such states are acquiring increasingly longer-range ballistic missiles as instruments of blackmail and coercion against the United States and its friends and allies.

"The United States must defend its homeland, its forces and its friends and allies against these threats. We must develop and deploy the means to deter and protect against them, including through limited missile defense of our territory."

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