A petition calling for closure of the U.S. military’s Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany is set for presentation to the German government in Berlin. It will also be presented at the Pentagon (on Monday, 26 September) near Washington.
“The Ramstein Air Base’s crucial role in relaying signals for drone strikes is binding the United States and Germany in an unconscionable program for extrajudicial killings,” the petition says. “That program receives major help from German intelligence agencies, which assist with drone targeting as they share surveillance data with the U.S. government.”
While U.S. activists will present the petition at the Pentagon, it will also be presented in Berlin by German activists along with two American veterans of the “war on terror.” They are Cian Westmoreland, a former Air Force technician who worked on the drone program in Afghanistan, and Matthew Hoh, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and became the highest-ranking State Department official to resign in protest of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
In addition to the Ramstein base’s crucial role in the U.S. global drone program, “Ramstein is also central to many other military aspects of the ‘war on terror’ that continues to have such profoundly negative consequences in many nations,” the petition notes.
Addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Barack Obama, the Bundestag and the U.S. Congress, the petition says: “While urgently calling for the de-escalation of conflicts and for serious negotiations, we support nonviolent movements in opposition to the Ramstein Air Base and other U.S. military bases around the globe. We urge you to take immediate steps to close the Ramstein Air Base and not replace its functions at any other location.”
The petition includes thousands of individual comments written by signers from all over the world. The comments are posted online.
* Netzpolitik.org: “Die Ramstein-Drohnenbasis und der Nonstop-Krieg”
The Nation: “The Most Important U.S. Air Force Base You’ve Never Heard Of”
* Der Spiegel: “U.S. Ramstein Base Key in Drone Attacks”
* The Intercept: “Germany Is the Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War”