“Stop the Ramstein Air Base” protests, 24 June – 1 July; German citizens preparing to block U.S. main base at Kaiserslautern

From Fort Russ

By Tom Winter
May 25, 2018

Translated from a German commentary by Klaus Hartmann

Again this year, the campaign “Stop the Ramstein Air Base” aims to expose the threat of war that emanates from this US military base at Kaiserslautern.

The Ramstein Air Base plays the central role in NATO warfare and all the covert and open aggression that the United States has in the Middle East. Whether drones to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, arms supply for the terrorists in Syria, the threat of war against Iran – nothing works without Ramstein. From here, from German soil, war is going out!

Surely the drone war out of Ramstein as a way station is superficially in the focus of public attention. This is also very justified, because this permanent murder without declaration of war and without court sentences is barbaric and scandalous. However, it should not be forgotten that the overall threat caused by the Air Base is many times greater.

In recent years and months, NATO has stationed a chain of new headquarters and weapons depots, battalions, and “spearheads” along the Russian border. NATO tanks are rolling through Germany to the “Eastern Front,” as the German media write without restraint, without inhibitions or scruples. With the Allied Air Command, the command center of a war against Russia lies in the US Ramstein Air Base.

The AEGIS missile system, deployed on four warships and land-based in Romania and Poland, shortens missile warning times for Russia. The US wants to secure a “risk-free” nuclear first strike capability by eliminating a counter-strike.

The misleading “missile defense shield” called the AEGIS system is offensive. At the push of a button from the US Ramstein Air Base, the land-based launchers can also shoot down atomic equippable Cruise medium-range missiles, which have been banned since 1987, bringing a new level of the nuclear threat to Europe.

Russia is not threatening any country in Europe or the world, and advocating collective security worldwide. However, NATO’s rearmament and new deployment threatens Russia’s sovereignty. Before that, it can not back down, but will take all necessary countermeasures.

Nevertheless, Russia has reduced its military spending by 20% to $ 55.3 billion, while the US has increased its own to $ 610 billion. The 29 NATO countries together spend $881 billion on armaments, almost 16 times that of Russia.

In the event of war, Russia could be forced to use its destructive power early and massively against the rear space of the enemy. Russia would have 6 minutes to press “the button,” then the Kaiserslautern region, the West Palatinate and all Germany in total is transformed into an atomic desert.

The intensified NATO confrontation with Russia gives further urgence to the protests in Ramstein / Kaiserslautern this year. On Friday,June 29, the big public evening event will take place in the Reconciliation Church Kaiserslautern with Gabriele Krone-Schmalz: “Don’t turn Russia into an enemy!”

The lethal US Air Base could disappear in a short time. The Federal Government must “only” terminate the “Contract on the Residence of Foreign Armed Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany,” and the notice period is only two years!

More than 50,000 people have signed the call “Disarm instead of arm up!” However, as a member of NATO, the Federal Government has committed to doubling its armaments budget to more than € 75 billion by 2024. Small note, this obligation is actually only for NATO members! What could be more natural than to withdraw from this alliance of aggression? We could save so much money and use it for education, social and affordable housing, care and health!

The protests from 24 June to 1 July 2018 include a one-week action, information and culture camp. The camp participants travel in buses to Büchel and demonstrate for the withdrawal of the nuclear weapons stationed there. From Monday to Thursday, a “Peace Workshop” will be held in Kaiserslautern with over 60 forums and workshops on topics relevant to peace policy. From the situation in Iran to the chances of armament conversion in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The climax of the protests will be on Saturday, June 30, 2018, two opening rallies in Landstuhl and Ramstein followed by a demonstration to the Air Base. Sahra Wagenknecht and Eugen Drewermann will speak at the closing rally. For the first time there is also a call for actions of civil disobedience – We will block the Ramstein Air Base!

The protests in Ramstein have become highlights of the action-oriented peace movement in recent years. But the success of the protest is not a matter of course! It depends on each and every one. We want, we have to become more so that the warmongers in Berlin can no longer play deaf!

Talk to friends and colleagues, organize the joint trip to Ramstein!  Inform yourself on the internet at https://www.ramstein-kampagne.eu/. With a variety of actions we contribute to a climate in society that puts the closure of the military base on the political agenda!


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