The Bombodrom on agenda in Brussels - The Intergroup for Peace Initiatives discussed military bases in Europe

By Rainer Rupp, Brussels

During a hearing in the European Parliament (EP) on Tuesday (14 June 2005) the Intergroup for Peace Initiatives discussed among other issues the Bombodrom in Kyritz-Rupiner Heide.

The Co-President of the Intergroup, the independent (though elected through the PDS list) MEP Tobias Pflüger had put on the agenda of the conference on the issue of ‘Military Bases in Europe – What are the Real Issues’ the US bases in Europe, the British bases in Cyprus and the Bombodrom in Brandenburg. According to Pflüger, ‘this is the first step to get a series of resolutions against military bases in Europe under way’. Because they provide the infrastructure for future wars.

At the same time, the attention of the peace movement is to be drawn to the increasingly dangerous and globally focused military activities of the EU. That is why the British bases in Cyprus and the Bombodrom of the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) in the Heide are to be seen alongside the US military bases in Europe. ‘Given their role and structure, they all serve the preparation of future offensive wars’ explained Pflüger.

The resumption of the training missions of different NATO and EU states at the Bombodrom in Kyritz-Wittstock-Ruppin, declared ‘indispensable’ by the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces), is part of the preparation of such offensives. The expert, Hans-Peter Richter demonstrated this on the basis of the operational concept presented by the Federal Minister for Defence in July 2003. In addition, Richter, a member of the ‘axis of peace (Achse des Friedens)’ and the editor of the magazine ‘PAX REPORT’, explained in detail the problems which arise for the local population from the Bombodrom.

The chair of the farmers’ federation, Damian McGenity, in the Northern Irish city of Armagh, saw parallels with the situation in his region. There, too, an area of natural beauty is being destroyed by over-militarization. McGenity asked all those present to cooperate even more closely

Stephanos Stephanou of the Cyprus Peace Council, caused great astonishment when he explained that ‘Europe’ ends at the fence of the two British military bases in his country. Although both the UK and Cyprus are Member States of the EU, London ensured at the time of its accession to the then European Economic Community that the military bases would not become part of EU territory. As with the US base at Guantanamo in Cuba, these bases are only subject to military law. A clause in the Constitutional Treaty was intended to establish this permanently.

In Germany, too, there are still 74 US military bases, two of which equipped with nuclear weapons. The US bases are ‘de-facto extra territorial’, explained Hans-Peter Richter and he quoted the US expert Chalmers Johnson: ‘the 703 officially recognised American military enclaves abroad, and despite the fact that they are, in structural, legal and conceptual terms different from colonies, are in reality micro-colonies, because they are outside the jurisdiction of the occupied country.’

Article from ‘Neues Deutschland’ 17 June 2005

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