RAF & Action Directe Attack Against the Rhein-Main Air Base “Communique # 1”

The strategists of imperialist war in Washington, Brussels, Bonn, Paris… will no longer be able organize their war from within the security of their military machines and their quiet planning centres.

Today, with the Commando George Jackson [1], we attacked the Rhein-Main Air Base.

Proletarian internationalism is the fundamental consciousness necessary for revolutionary struggle in the metropoles. It is the identification with the exploited and oppressed in the international struggle against the rule of capital, with the knowledge that the goal of completely destroying the imperialist system will only be realistic when this perspective is also established here, at the center of their power. That means we must confront the imperialist bourgeoisiehere with the goal of revolution; we must sharpen the politico-military attack against their power structure and, thereby, destroy the basis on which, using war, capitalist reconstruction and repression as means for solving their extensive crisis, they want, above all, to erect their unified system of domination.

The West European guerrilla develops, through action, the strategy by which the selective and partial struggles against the reality of life in the imperialist system express themselves as part of the process of the liberation struggle, the strategy by which mass antagonism is united with a political purpose through the practice of revolutionary struggle and by which the front in the war of liberation is constructed here.

The revolutionary movement in West Europe must today bring its struggle to a new level from which it can push forward the discussion and the organization of the offensive against the imperialist apparatus in all of its political, economic and military expressions on all levels.

The imperialist system is preparing the offensive. The “struggle against international terrorism” is meant to create a consensus amongst the imperialist states for military operations against liberation movements throughout the world, as well as serving a denunciatory propaganda function and creating splits via psychological war – “directed from Moscow,” “religious fanatics,” “those who have it too good,” etc. – so as to achieve acceptance in the metropole for their strategy of extermination, and to avoid again finding themselves faced with the guerrilla struggle of the oppressed here.

And when Reagan propagated, before the European Parliament in Strasburg, “a Europe from Lisbon to Moscow,” he was formulating the bourgeoisie’s bellicose goal of invading the Soviet Union – their dream since 1917.

No means are too dirty for them if they create the conditions for military intervention and retaliatory attacks, such as those currently being planned against Nicaragua and against the resistance in Lebanon.

Terror actions carried out by secret service organizations (the bombs in the Frankfurt Airport, Ireland, Tokyo…) are meant to get the people used to this “dirty war” (Schultz [2]) and to create a political climate in which anything is.acceptable. They will not recognize any limits in their efforts to wipe out our resistance.

The imperialist bourgeoisie can only oppose the sharpening of the worldwide confrontation between revolution and imperialism, and the fact that the struggle is becoming the standard in all areas, including West Europe, by intensifying their project and accelerating the formation of a functionally unified system.

But the price they are paying for their open military line is that they have pushed the development of the international class war, in the dialectic of struggle, to a broader and higher level.

Every strategic anti-imperialist action and offensive alters the entire relationship of power to the advantage of the revolutionary forces, further driving forward the process of destruction of the imperialist state system.

The international revolutionary front can shatter the power of imperialism. It is the concrete perspective for victory over the imperialist machine.

The Rhein-Main Air Base, the largest military cargo airport of the US forces outside of the USA, is an intermediary point for launching war in the Third World from West Europe; concretely, transports of US intervention troops and their military advisors headed for the Middle East, the Far East and Africa leave from here.

The 435th Tactical Airlift Wing, part of the Military Airlift Command (MAC), is integrated into the Commando Structure of the Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF). The transport of the French and Belgian paratroopers to Shaba [3] in 1978, everything the Yankees did about Iran in 1980, and the transport of Special Units to the Middle East during the recent TWA hijacking [4] were all organized from here.

The Air Base is a state security nest; the computers, aircrafts and helicopters for Special Forces interventions are located there.

A major part of the supplies and provisions for all US troops stationed in West Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa come through this Air Base.

At the same time, it is meant to be the ”gateway to Europe” for the war against the socialist states in the East.

The Air Base, the military purpose of which made the construction of Startbahn West [5] indispensable, also stands a s a symbol of the long, tenacious struggle of a resistance movement, of their confrontation with the state’s concentrated apparatus of violence and of the isolating maneuvers of the reformist left. It also represents their experience of the fact that the struggle for quality of life, as opposed to the alienation, destruction and exploitation offered by the imperialist system, cannot be separated from the development of revolutionary goals and counter-power, and that imperialism can only be understood and struggled against as a unified system.

“Never shrink from the incredible dimensions of your goals.” [6]


Red Army Faction
Action Directe [7]
August 8, 1985


N.B. All footnotes in this document were added by the translator and editor. None are originally from the RAF.

[1] George Jackson – black political prisoner and member of the Black Panther Party, murdered in prison in August 1970. [return to text]

[2] George Schultz – US Secretary of State at the time. [return to text]

[3] Shaba – site of PLO controlled Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. [return to text]

[4] Refers to a hijacking, by a Palestinian commando, in June 1985, demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners of war held in West Europe and the Middle East. [return to text]

[5] Startbahn West – a NATO runway in Frankfurt, West Germany. It was the site of long-term, broad-based resistance for anti-imperialist as well as ecological reasons. This long-term conflict reached a new level on November 2, 1987, when two cops were shot and killed during a clash with demonstrators. This runway is connected to Air Base bombed by the RAF-Adtion Directe Commando. [return to text]

[6] This slogan appeared in both French and German in the original communiqué. [return to text]

[7] This was the first joint action of the RAF and Action Directe, a French anti-imperialist guerilla group, following the release of their joint text “For the Unity of Revolutionaries in West Europe” in February 1985. [return to text]