“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!

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/germans-citizens-preparing-to-block-the-us-main-base-at-kaiserlautern-heres-why/

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The Pentagon can’t account for $21 trillion (that’s not a typo)

This is from 1998-2015 — 17 years — and the number could go higher.

No one knows how the money was spent.

The Pentagon apparently has access to any amount of cash it wants, no matter what the “budget” says, and with no accounting — with zero accounting.

By comparison, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act was $700 billion. This is 30 times the 2017 military budget.

“My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as, ‘How much money did you spend?’ and ‘How many people do you have?’ 
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a 2011 speech
Global Research, May 20, 2018
Truthdig 14 May 2018
Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 million can buy (and we may want that thing), but you probably don’t know how tall a stack of a million $1 bills is. You probably don’t know how long it takes a minimum-wage employee to make $1 million.

That’s why trying to understand—truly understand—that the Pentagon spent 21 trillion unaccounted-for dollars between 1998 and 2015 washes over us like your mother telling you that your third cousin you met twice is getting divorced. It seems vaguely upsetting, but you forget about it 15 seconds later because … what else is there to do?

Twenty-one trillion.

But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”

So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was fucking $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “fucking.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.

Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017,

“[He] and Catherine Austin Fitts … conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”

Let’s stop and take a second to conceive how much $21 trillion is (which you can’t because our brains short-circuit, but we’ll try anyway).

Continue reading

Gen. Wesley Clark 2007 interview: U.S. planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years, finishing with Iran

From Democracy Now

Interview with retired Gen. Wesley Clark
March 2, 2007

Excerpt:

About 10 days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon, and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military, and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the secretary of defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

For the full interview:
https://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/2/gen_wesley_clark_weighs_presidential_bid

In a goodwill gesture, South Korea removes propaganda loudspeakers from border with North Korea (VIDEO)

From Fort-Russ

 

South Korean military personnel were seen removing the propaganda loudspeakers used for cross border anti-North Korean broadcasts on Tuesday.

Dozens of loudspeakers were used for anti-Pyongyang messaging and their removal is seen as indicating a further step in thawing relations between the two Koreas.

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un recently agreed to work on a “complete denuclearize” of the Korean peninsula.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/in-a-good-gesture-south-korea-removes-propaganda-loud-speakers-from-border-with-north-korea/

Ukraine moves heavy forces up to Donbass frontline. Is war around the corner?

From Fort-Russ

April 30, 2018 – Fort Russ News –

By Eduard Popov, translated by Jafe Arnold –

On Sunday, April 29th, disturbing news came from the frontline in Donbass. The official spokesman of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Major Andrey Marochko, cited intelligence data from Ukraine’s forward positions that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are moving heavy arms and troops up to the frontline.

According to Marochko, a train convoy of four wagons loaded with military vehicles and UAF soldiers arrived at the Kiev-controlled town of Rubezhnoe. Nine infantry fighting vehicles, two Grad multiple rocket launcher systems, and 200 UAF troops were “delivered.” Meanwhile, Marochko also reported, another company of troops from the Ukrainian National Guard’s Poltava battalion has been deployed to the town of Belovodsk.

At the same time, Ukrainian troops have continued to violate the ceasefire in Donbass. On April 26th, the UAF shelled the city of Dokuchaevsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic, killing two civilians and one DPR soldier.

According to my sources on the LPR frontline, UAF logistics infrastructure has been expanded throughout the Ukrainian-controlled Lugansk territories. In particular, military hospitals have been set up, and my sources say that preparatory work on organizing civilian hospitals for receiving wounded has also been noted.

There are no signs of inevitability that full-scale war will break out in Donbass in the coming days, but it cannot be ruled out. By pulling up troops to the frontline and preparing its logistical infrastructure, Ukraine is obviously preparing the preconditions for such.

My opinion remains that Kiev will attack not when it decides that the time is ripe for an offensive, but when the West gives the command. These days, it is becoming increasingly widespread to claim that the Ukrainians might go on the offensive ahead of the World Cup, the inauguration of President Putin, or Victory Day. Indeed, these are suitable political timings, but so were the Russian presidential elections on March 17th, yet there was no attack.

My sources in the military circles of the Lugansk People’s Republic told me in early March that they did not expect a Ukrainian attack ahead of the Russian presidential elections simply because of weather conditions preventing tank movements – whether heavy snow or the water runoffs from melting snow. In their opinion, a Ukrainian offensive would be possible no earlier than late April or May, i.e. now.

Now, as we can see, all the preconditions for a Ukrainian blitzkrieg are ripe or being prepared. Only one conditions, perhaps the most important factor, remains: geopolitics. A UAF offensive on Donbass would inevitably lead to a conflict between Russia and the West. This would be an extremely costly development. Hence why I would refrain from volunteering any unequivocal answer as to whether or not war is around the corner. Rather, we should continue to closely monitor both specific local developments and the larger geopolitical picture.

Eduard Popov is a Rostov State University graduate with a PhD in history and philosophy. In 2008, he founded the Center for Ukrainian Studies of the Southern Federal University of Russia, and from 2009-2013, he was the founding head of the Black Sea-Caspian Center of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, an analytical institute of the Presidential Administration of Russia. In June 2014, Popov headed the establishment of the Representative Office of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Rostov-on-Don and actively participated in humanitarian aid efforts in Donbass. In addition to being Fort Russ’ guest analyst since June, 2016, Popov is currently the leading research fellow of the Institute of the Russian Abroad and the founding director of the Europe Center for Public and Information Cooperation. 

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/ukraine-moves-heavy-forces-up-to-donbass-frontline-is-war-around-the-corner/

Breaking — April 30, Poroshenko announced military operation for return of Crimea

From Fort-Russ

April 30, 2018

The president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has today, April 30, officially announced the completion of the so-called antiterrorist operation in the Donbass. At the same time, the president proclaimed the beginning of the operation of the united forces (OOS).

“Today, on April 30, 2018, a large-scale anti-terrorist operation in the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions ends. We are now starting a military operation under the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to ensure the protection of territorial integrity, ” Petro Poroshenko said.

The Ukrainian president also said that “a military operation to protect territorial integrity will be completed only when the last piece of Ukrainian land, including the Crimea, is liberated.”

Today, America’s long awaited lethal weapons have been confirmed to be delivered to Ukraine.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/urgent-poroshenko-announced-operation-for-return-of-crimea/

Urgent: U.S. confirms Javelin delivery to Ukraine

From Fort-Russ
By Inessa S.
April 30, 2018

Javelins – American anti-tank missile systems have been delivered to Ukraine, according to the State Department.

The US authorities in 2017 approved the supply of weapons to Kiev, including portable anti-tank missile systems “Javelin.” Despite repeated requests from the Ukrainian side, the previous administration of Barack Obama refused to supply thee.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko earlier said that Kiev expects to receive weapons from the US in 2018.

Russia has repeatedly warned against the supply of arms to Ukraine, as this will only lead to an escalation of the conflict. As the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, repeatedly stated, the supply of arms to Ukraine will not contribute to a settlement in the Donbass and the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Grigory Karasin, also told RIA Novosti that Moscow is concerned about the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine.

As reported earlier from the Donbass republics – they are expecting a new Ukrainian offensive in early May.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/urgent-us-confirms-javelin-delivery-to-ukraine/