On June 25, 1979, the Andreas Baader Commando carried out a bomb attack on NATO Commander-in-Chief General Alexander Haig.
We want to explain how the action failed in its concrete objective, which was to directly hit Haig:
We dug a 1.8 meter trench under the road surface of a bridge on the route from Haig’s home to the NATO Headquarters and buried the payload (20 kg of plastic explosives) approximately 40 cm below the surface. The fuse was a 200-meter electrical cable, to be triggered at the moment when the front door of Haig’s Mercedes was directly above the payload. We had determined that his car traveled two meters per tenth of a second. Our error was in thinking that we could manually trigger the explosion precisely enough with the target moving that quickly.
We carried out this action, because Haig represents and executes in a particularly precise way the “new course” or “modified style” of the American strategy.
Since the political and military defeat of the U.S. in Vietnam all that has changed is that instead of U.S. aggression decreasing, it is increasing, confronting the people of the world with a new American offensive, which also marks a qualitative leap forward in the development of the relationship of forces between the revolution and the counterrevolution, or, as we have said elsewhere, the worldwide revolutionary process of the cities being encircled by the villages.
With the victories of the liberation struggles in Southeast Asia and Africa, the front line has moved closer to the center. It has fallen back to the metropole itself and is making the tactical and strategic retreat of U.S. imperialism—the so-called shift of the strategic core to Western Europe—inevitable. What Haig calls the “modified style” requires that the Europroject managed by the FRG finally integrate the West European states into U.S. global strategy: “Europe can no longer afford the luxury of being a spectator on the sidelines.” What Haig means by that is Shaba, is Chad, is the next expedition into the Gulf, is the direct military intervention by states subjugated to or bought off by North America in the “crisis zones,” all to defend the vital interests of the West.
The concrete steps in this policy of reinforcement—which Haig, as NATO Chief, has carried through with the FRG’s help, so as to be prepared for this “half war” (which also means having the European states firmly under control, which was not the case in ’73)—requires molding the FRG into the most aggressive U.S. base—atomic weapons deployment accompanied by a “steady increase in the number of American troops,” turning the entire country into one big barracks. Thus the FRG will address the “ambivalent and ambiguous situations arising on NATO’s flanks or in the peripheral areas, for instance in the Middle East and in Africa,” and act as an iron collar controlling neighboring countries. For Schmidt’s Social-Liberal government this means that the social democratic project of covert warfare—which, in its measures against the RAF, has already broken down—is exposed, and the government is recognized internationally as a party of brazen warmongers.
This balancing act between the “Model Germany” sales pitch and the reality of the Federal Republic, which led to Brandt’s downfall in ’73, is now Schmidt’s biggest problem. This problem arises from the 1977 Pentagon publication that openly addressed what the “flexible response” strategy means for the FRG: five million of us dead to protect the American homeland. That’s the price the SPD pays to stay in power, and it is only a symptom of the total subjugation of the FRG against which we are fighting.
NATO began developing its program against the armed resistance of the RAF the moment we came into being. Under orders from NATO, cadre incarcerated in West German prisons have been executed. For those of us who struggle on the outside, there is the order to preventively shoot us in the head.
The eradication of every revolutionary group and movement “the activities of which are directed against the interests of this alliance”—and that’s everyone who understands and carries out their struggle within the framework of internationalist anti-imperialism—is the necessary precondition for the imperialist offensive, and that is clearly understood.
The only question is what we will do. How, for example, will we mobilize the revolutionary forces in this phase in which U.S. imperialism continues to act as the deadly enemy of humanity?
The struggle never ends!
Smash U.S. imperialism and its bases throughout the world!
Organize armed resistance in Western Europe!
Build the anti-imperialist front in the metropole!
Solidarity with the Palestinian resistance against the imperialist final solution!
Solidarity with the anti-imperialist resistance in Turkey!
Andreas Baader Commando
June 25, 1979