April 1, 1999: 2nd press release of the MLPD against the NATO aggression in Yugoslavia

The massive protests against the war policy of the Schroeder-Fischer-government are the focal point of this year's Easter marches. The MLPD supports these demonstrations. It is the first time that the Easter marches are directed against a belligerent German government. It participates in the NATO aggression against the peoples of Yugoslavia.

Since the NATO began bombing Yugoslavia on 24th March, the war has escalated day by day. Although this was demented, plans for an intervention of NATO ground troops have existed for some time. This was indicated by the arrest of three US-soldiers on 1st April in the border area between Macedonia and Yugoslavia.

War is the continuation of politics by other means. The "humanitarian reasons" for this war brought forward by the federal government and the NATO are pure hypocrisy. Neither does the federal government accept the right of self determination for the Kosovo-Albanians, nor does it have an interest in really protecting them from persecution. That follows from the recent decision of an administrative court in the German federal state of Hesse according to which "Kosovo-Albanians cannot be generally regarded as a people subject to political persecution". According to a basic ruling that became known at the end of March, there are no "general obstacles for the deportation of Kosovo-Albanians to their mother country, because an extreme threat for their lives in Yugoslavia does not exist." While NATO bombs are being thrown over Yugoslavia, supposedly to protect the Kosovo-Albanians, at the same time they can be deported from the Federal Republic of Germany, because there is no sufficient proof of political persecution!

The hypocrisy of the government is accompanied by the playing down of what is, in fact, a rising threat of a world war. That is especially expressed in the sharp reaction of Russia, which broke off relations to NATO, lifted the arms embargo to Yugoslavia and keeps measures of military support for Yugoslavia in reserve.

The real reasons for the NATO aggression are deliberately being kept secret:

The MLPD condemns the imperialist attempt of a military subjugation of the Milosevic government with the aim of abolishing the "center of unrest in the Balkans" as a disturbance for the internationalization of capitalist production in Europe.

The MLPD condemns the new aggressive NATO strategy according to which this imperialist alliance can intervene militarily at any time in the entire world and without the "legitimization" of a UN order if its "vital interests" are impaired.

We criticize the provocation of the Russian rival by the NATO and the threat of a 3rd World War that this brings about. The strategic aim of the NATO to push back the Russian influence in the Balkans by military means is a big risk. The former US security advisor Brzezinski demands "an expanded security system" "with which" Russia "can be kept under control in case it regains its former strength."

Last but not least, the hostile policy of the NATO is expressed in their use of the war to test new weapon systems, like the B2 bomber. That steps up arms production in the participating countries in order to delay the transition to the world economic crisis.

For the immediate halt to the NATO aggression against the peoples of Yugoslavia!

For the disbandment of the NATO, WEU and the intervention troops of the German federal armed forces!

No German troops abroad!

Ban and destroy all ABC weapons!

Protests of the masses of people against the NATO aggression are taking place in many countries, such as Greece, Italy and France. In Germany the peace movement is reforming itself. In calls to participate in the Easter marches, it takes a stand against the policy of the government. That shows that in Bonn, there is a big coalition for the war, but on the streets the militant opposition is arising. The peace movement is not willing to accept the participation in the NATO aggression of a federal government which, in the fall of 1998, wrote in its coalition agreement "German policy is peace policy". While the coalition agreements still spoke of the "respect of international law" and of "peaceful solution of conflicts", the participation in the aggression of the NATO not only breaks existing international law, but also the 25th and 26th articles of the constitution which prohibit offensive warfare. In the meantime, many of the members of the government parties, especially the representatives of the Greens at peace activities, declare that they are ashamed of their party.

The open support of the war by the DGB-leadership also was met with immediate protests of trade union members. Whoever supports this war splits international workers' unity. Within the past months, it has gained strength in the struggle for jobs, for higher wages, against the flexibilization of working time, for jobs for young people corresponding to their training and for a full and legal right to strike in all matters. International working-class unity is also the firm basis of the struggle for peace. The workers must not allow themselves to be turned against each other in a war. Therefore it must be welcomed that the state level of the three unions HBV (commerce, banks and insurance), the media union and NGG (food and restaurants) demand in their joint press release of March 30, 1999, the "immediate halt of all NATO air attacks against Yugoslavia (Serbia) ... the unions demand the immediate halt of the military operation of the federal armed forces which are against the constitution and international law".

The struggle against the NATO bombing does not mean the support of the reactionary Milosevic government in Serbia. On the contrary! The MLPD supports the right of self-determination for peoples and nations. This includes the Albanian population in Kosovo but also the right of self-determination of the Yugoslavian nation. The peoples must solve their problems by themselves. It is therefore completely justified to reject the permanent deployment of NATO soldiers on Serbian territory. The aggressor is clearly the NATO. Therefore, the main thrust must be directed against the NATO.

For the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Balkans!

For the respect of the right of self-determination of the peoples and the nations!

The preparation and organization of the 9th International Whitsun Youth Meeting on May 22nd and 23rd , 1999 is a good opportunity to become a big meeting of all forces of the militant opposition against the anti-people Schroeder-Fischer government. It announced a "change in policy", but what it does is nothing else than implementing the crisis program of the monopolies on the backs of the working people and promoting the big power policy of German imperialism. That makes it even more necessary that the various movements that are arising against this policy now join forces.

The MLPD and its youth organization Rebell will actively participate in building up a militant opposition. And, beyond the active resistance against the NATO aggression,

we declare that the struggle for world peace affords the perspective of genuine socialism. Only when capitalist exploitation and oppression are abolished can the foundations be laid for lasting peace and friendship among peoples.

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