The Common Good
May-June 1998

U.S. Subject of Canadian Weapons Search

by Marian Abrecht, Aaron McCarroll Gallegos | May-June 1998

During the stand-off between the United States and Iraq over that country’s suspected possession of chemical and biological weapons...

During the stand-off between the United States and Iraq over that country’s suspected possession of chemical and biological weapons, a Canadian delegation entered Washington state to conduct their own search for "weapons of mass destruction" held by the United States.

On February 26, Libby Davies, a member of the Canadian Parliament from Vancouver, led a "Citizens’ Weapons Inspection Team" made up of community and church leaders to search for U.S. weapons of mass destruction suspected to be deployed in Washington at the Bangor submarine base. The Puget Sound base is the home port of nuke-carrying Trident submarines.

"Canada should play the role of peacemaker by working to ensure that all weapons of mass destruction are banned," said Davies. "Our team will begin by inspecting the country which possesses thousands of the most deadly weapons ever created—nuclear weapons." The Canadians were also making a statement against their own country’s support of the U.S. threat to bomb Iraq.

Though the team was granted access to the site by the base commander, the invitation was overturned by a superior officer. Analysts suspect that 1,600 active nuclear weapons are based in Washington—more than in Britain, China, France (and Iraq) combined.

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