“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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UAVs prohibited by Minsk agreements; Lugansk shoots down armed Ukrainian sabotage drone, April 21

From Fort Russ

By Tom Winter
April 21, 2018

Lugansk, Novorosinform. On Saturday, April 21, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down by the anti-aircraft defense unit of the People’s Militia of the People’s Republic of Lugansk near Lugansk City. This is stated in an urgent statement by the defense ministry’s spokesman Andrei Marochko.

“In addition to reconnaissance functions, Ukrainian terrorists intended to use a drone to conduct sabotage against objects of socially important infrastructure in the territory of the People’s Republic of Lugansk. After the inspection of the apparatus, our specialists concluded that the apparatus was converted into a shock device and carried a military charge,” a representative of the People’s Militia said.

“We would like to remind you that a number of large-scale events are taking place on the territory of the republic with a large number of personnel. Including, preparations for the celebration of the 73 anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War,” he added.

“Currently, our specialists continue working on the Ukrainian UAV. I want to remind you that this is the second drone shot down by the air defense forces of the People’s Militia since the beginning of April. I remind you that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is prohibited by Minsk agreements,” Marachko added.

Recall that the Ukrainian troops on the night of April 17 shelled the staging area for the military equipment, which was prepared to participate in the parade on the Victory Day in the People’s Republic of Lugansk. As a result of the bombardment, a tank from the Great Patriotic War, which was to take part in the Victory Day parade on May 9, plus four units of the military equipment of the People’s Militia of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, were damaged. The people’s militia accused the OSCE of being involved in the shelling of military equipment for the Victory Day parade.

At the end of March, militiamen of the Donetsk People’s Republic shot down a Polish Fly Eye drone. It was spotting for Ukrainian mortar fire on the village of Sakhanka in the south of the republic.

On March 27, the strategic unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-4B-30 Global Hawk of the US Air Force conducted reconnaissance along the front line in the Donbass.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/lugansk-shoots-down-armed-ukrainian-sabotage-drone/

U.S. reconnaissance drone flies along Donbass contact line for 10 hours; able to observe Russia’s border regions

From Fort Russ

February 6, 2017

– Sputnik France, translated by Tom Winter –

“Donbas contact line surveyed by a US reconnaissance drone”

An American reconnaissance drone overflew the contact line in the Donbass for 10 hours. It was able to observe all the territory of the two self-proclaimed republics, plus the border regions of Russia.

A US strategic drone RQ-4A Global Hawk, with the call sign UAVGH000, carried out a reconnaissance flight Sunday that lasted nearly 10 hours over the contact line in the Donbass conflict zone, announced Western sites following the flights of military aviation.

During the flight, the drone followed the line of contact between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk without crossing it. The reconnaissance aircraft flew at an altitude of 15,500 m (51,000 feet).
As the drone can do reconnaissance with a radius of 300 km, it was able to observe all the territory of the self-proclaimed republics, plus the border regions of Russia.

According to open sources, the craft is capable of patrolling for 30 hours at an altitude of 15,000 to 18,000 m.

The American aircraft took off from the base of Sigonella, Sicily, and overflew Romania.

Overflights of the contact line were also recorded on October 15, November 14, and 16 December 2 and 16.
________________________________________________
Note: A BUK launched by the Ukrainian army landed in Makeevka January 31, apparently attempting to destroy such a reconnaissance drone: BUK.

Kiev fires BUK missile at OSCE observation drone; Ukraine’s lie exposed about anti-aircraft missiles when MH17 shot down (VIDEO)

Evidence indicates that MH-17 was shot down by cannon fire from UAF fighter jets. However, Kiev says any missile fired from the ground could not have come from government-controlled territory because they didn’t have such equipment there.
February 1, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –

NOTE from J. Arnoldski: Fort Russ guest analyst Dr. Eduard Popov has received confirmation of this report straight from Makeevka. 

Yesterday evening, January 31st, the tail section of a BUK missile launched by the Ukrainian army from the outskirts of Avdeevka fell in the residential sector of the city of Makeevka. 
The missile part fell right in the yard of a private home and caught fire.


Employees of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Donetsk People’s Republic arrived at the scene upon calls from local residents and extinguished the fire.
Russian Spring News would like to offer the following commentary:
At what target was this shot by such a Ukrainian anti-air defense complex which Ukraine has assured there are none of in the so-called Anti-Terrorist Operation zone in Donbass, and whose absence from the frontline is alleged to be the main reason why Ukraine couldn’t have shot down the Malaysian Boeing?
The target of the Ukrainian missile was a large unmanned aerial vehicle of the OSCE observatory mission which is recording Kiev’s genocide against the peaceful civilians of Donbass and is thereby seriously hindering the Ukrainian Armed Forces from executing the criminal orders of the Kiev authorities.
Let’s see how Ukraine will comment on the presence of the infamous BUK complex in the Avdeevka area which, as it has assured, there is no such thing in Donbass. 

Droning Julian Assange and Wikileaks: the Clinton formula

Global Research, October 05, 2016

We believe in what we are doing… If you are pushed you push back.”
Julian Assange

The mutterings have become furious, and it is clear that the Democratic contender for the White House has again shown how traditional her ploys towards power are going to be.  Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have again managed to pull the blinds off an episode of some consequence, not least because it casts insight into the inner workings of the already maligned Clinton complex.

For one, it shows that Hillary Clinton will not be averse to muddying the waters of international law she is so happy to proclaim against Russia, China and other contesting bug bears.  For another, it does not suggest that a Clinton administration is going to go soft on whistleblowers, or the secrecy complex.  The latter is richly ironic given the Secretary’s own slap dash attitude to secrecy protocols when heading the State Department.

The latest WikiLeaks related fuss began a few days ago with the publication on True Pundit that claimed, referring to “State Department Sources” that Clinton had queried the use of a drone to silence the growing nuisance of Assange before the document release that came to be known as Cablegate.[1]

The “early morning November meeting [in 2010] of State’s [the State Department] top brass” has Clinton posing the question: “Can’t we just drone this guy?” This was suggested by True Pundit as being a product of pure frustration, one increased in vain attempts to “cut off Assange’s delivery of the cables” and failing that, forging “a strategy to minimize the administration’s public embarrassment over the contents of the cables.”

Was such a blood thirsty query made in jest, the normalised, crude product of a culture already used to remotely directed extra-judicial assassinations?  The report claims otherwise. Initial, dismissive laughter from officials in the room “quickly died off” before the terse manner of the Secretary.  “Clinton said that Assange, after all, was a relatively soft target, ‘walking around’ freely and thumbing his nose without any fear of reprisals from the United States.”

Such casual talk about eliminating a designated enemy of theUnited States should be of little surprise.  Classified emails (yes, those emails) were of particular interest to the FBI in its own criminal investigation into Secretary Clinton’s butter fingered handling of classified information.

A number touched on the approval process for drone strikes, executed by the Central Intelligence Agency in Pakistan,Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.  Only a few of these were ever rejected by Clinton.  Even more dire, many, notably those touching on attacks in Pakistan, found their way onto her personal email account.[2]

The retorts to these allegations have been far from convincing, having much the effect of flogging by damp lettuce.  (In a campaign featuring such characters as Clinton and Trump, these could never be any other way.)  Clinton’s campaign manager, Robbie Mook, began to see allies of Trump coming out of every cyber nook and cranny.

Donald Trump and his allies are trying to do everything they can to change the debate here right now. Donald Trump failed at the debate, he became increasingly unwound, was tweeting at 3 a.m., making wild accusations of his own against the former Miss Universe and against Hillary Clinton. [3]

For Mook, Trump’s arsenal, supplemented by assistance from his allies (these are not necessarily elaborated with any distinction), had to “find some way to change this up, and they’re trying to do that by doubling down on conspiracy theories.”

Having drawn a web around his own conspiracy theory of compliance, slotting WikiLeaks, by innuendo and suggestion, into a Trump universe, he had to contend with the direct allegations about the drone strike.  The lettuce started looking damper than ever. “I’m reticent to comment on anything that the WikiLeaks people have said. They’ve made a lot of accusations in the past.”

Many of these accusations have had the rather brutal semblance of truth to them, not to mention the previous spectacular of the DNC disclosures.  These did not reveal so much a conspiracy of theory, but of solid fact in efforts, ruthlessly contrived, to eliminate Bernie Sanders as a threat to the Clinton campaign.

WikiLeaks has been thrilling, horrifying and agitating its audiences with the top hits of disclosure over the ten years it has been in existence. On Tuesday, the organisation celebrated 10 years of an often heady existence, which comprised the release of over ten million classified documents.

It was fitting that this pearler, featuring such a recurring figure of notoriety as Hillary Clinton, should surface at this moment of commemoration.  Clinton’s campaign coven have been less than convincing in denying this point. This stands to reason, given that previous denials have tended to vanish before the onslaught of reality.

Like many previous WikiLeaks revelations, it will be up to voters, opinion makers, and the chattering classes to decide what this means.  In the case of Tunisia, these assisted the first disruptions that came to be known as the Arab Spring.  In the case of the United States, it may harden pre-existing sentiment, the sort fairly immune to any revelations, however grotesque.

A Trump in the White House sends shivers down the spine and turns the stomach of many a voter; but to have a Clinton there, redux of corruption, calamity and mistake, would also shock the sensible and enrage the conscionable.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at SelwynCollege, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University,Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

 Notes

[1] http://truepundit.com/under-intense-pressure-to-silence-wikileaks-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-proposed-drone-strike-on-julian-assange/

[2] http://www.wsj.com/articles/clinton-emails-in-probe-dealt-with-planned-drone-strikes-1465509863

[3] http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/clinton-manager-reticent-to-comment-on-report-about-droning-assange/article/2603505

 

Air Force Times runs ad urging drone pilots to disobey orders

From RT
September 19, 2015

A US veterans’ organizations is running an advertisement in Air Force Times urging military drone operators to refuse orders to fly attack missions. This comes as the Air Force encounters trouble retaining drone operators due to the stress of the job.

The ad was funded by KnowDrones, an organization that aims to achieve an outright ban on the use of weaponized drones

Many argue that drone operators do not know what they’re getting into when they sign up for the job.

“What this ad is trying to do is to say, ‘look at this now, understand the consequences and follow your conscience and do the right thing,” KnowDrones coordinator Nick Mottern told RT. “Given the fact that the president and Congress won’t act to stop this, we’re appealing directly to the people who are being ordered to do the killing, and who have to bear the weight of this on their conscience to put a stop to it.”

The ad was supported by organizations such Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink and Veterans for Peace, but a lot of the money came from private individuals using the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.

“It costs over $5,000 to run this half-page ad for one week, and the vast amount of that money came from military and ex-military people.” Mottern said.

This level of support does not surprise Mottern, who is a veteran himself. The KnowDrones campaign, which has ads targeted through television broadcasts near military bases, is concerned with the wellbeing of those who operate drones in addition to those who are victims of them.

READ MORE: Child or militant? 6th-grader killed in US drone strike in Yemen (VIDEO)

“I know people who suffer from PTSD because of these experiences,” Mottern said. “The idea that everyone who supports this has is to prevent more people from going through it, and to prevent more people from being killed.”

The turnover of drone pilots has been something of a problem in the Air Force. The Government Accountability Office found that the Air Force “faces challenges to recruit, develop, and retain pilots and build their morale” in a 54-page field study from 2014.

The report goes on to say that the Air Force has not even set out guidelines to pick candidates based on how psychologically fit they are for the task.

Consequently, its recruitment last year fell short by 39 percent. As a result, the rest are working overtime; 57 percent of drone pilots said that they work more than 50 hours a week.

“This work is very tedious. It involves sitting hours on end in front of computer screens, it means increased hours on the job because of increased demands that politicians are making on drone operators.” Morton says.

READ MORE: US drone pilots are ‘stressed’ and ‘demoralized’ – official report

In addition to subpar training, pilots suffer from exhaustion brought on by the complex timetables demanded by drones which need to be flown on missions that sometimes last over 24 hours. The report says that “constantly rotating shifts caused sleep problems for pilots because they must continuously adjust their sleep schedule to accommodate new shifts.

Nick Mottern agrees with this assessment, citing it as one of the reasons why the drone pilots should be seen as doing the right thing when refusing orders to kill.

“We have had military people who did act on the conscience, like Chelsea Manning and there are drone operators that have acted on their conscience.” He continued. “There are a number of people because they have listened to their soul, have benefitted tens of thousands of people by what they have revealed and what they’ve decided they aren’t going to participate in.”

http://www.rt.com/usa/315920-air-force-drone-advertisement/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.