April 21, 1999: Only those people can be free who do not take part in the suppression of other peoples!

7th press release against the NATO war in Yugoslavia

Short speech of the party chairman of the MLPD, Stefan Engel, at the weekly Tuesday rally which is conducted as a nationwide initiative in various German cities on April 20th, 1999, in Gelsenkirchen

Dear citizens of Gelsenkirchen, dear friends of peace,

today is the 28th day of war in Yugoslavia. The "Tuesday action” is meeting for the fourth time to express its active resistance against the NATO war against Yugoslavia. This action demands the unconditional halt of NATO war operations and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Balkans!

Last week was marked by various efforts of the UN general secretary or of foreign minister Fischer for a diplomatic solution of the Kosovo crisis. NATO was forced to develop this diplomatic activity because

  1. the unceasing air attacks completely failed and none of its military goals could be reached and because
  2. the discontent and the protest of the people in the NATO countries against this unjustified offensive war of UN troops is growing.

But the diplomatic efforts of the Fischer plan merely provided for the capitulation of Milosevic and his subjugation to NATO's goals. Essentially this means the establishment of a NATO controlled protectorate in Kosovo which practically means abolishing the sovereignty of Serbia. No government of the world can seriously accept such a peace diktat. Therefore it was to be expected that the Yugoslavian government categorically rejected Fischer's peace plans as well as that of the UN last weekend.

In the meantime, press reports are increasing that a ground war is being prepared and a course of the escalation of the war is being intensified. NATO general secretary Solana does not fully exclude such a land war and the British newspaper "Observer” reports in yesterday's German daily newspaper "Frankfurter Rundschau” that a ground war is already being prepared. President Clinton's special advisor Daltor adamantly calls for ground troops. At next week's NATO summit at the latest, the decision about ground troops is to be made. To the question raised in the Senate, why the military is not prepared for the option of a ground conflict, US defense minister Cohen answered that this was not intended by the allies. Today's "Frankfurter Rundschau” states that "while politicians and the military of the NATO are arguing on the pros and cons of bringing ground troops into action in Yugoslavia, more and more allied units are being deployed along Serbia's borders. Even if some of the soldiers currently deployed in the Balkans are presently fulfilling tasks of humanitarian aid or are preparing for operating in a future peace contingent, these units could form invasion forces.”

Everyone knows that a ground war can lead to a dangerous escalation in various respects:

  1. A ground war would unavoidably involve the neighboring countries of Macedonia, Albania and perhaps Bosnia/Herzegovina in the war, too. This would lead to the start of an enduring political destabilization in the Balkans.
  2. Russia has already declared a ground war to be the red line which may not be crossed. Otherwise it would take sides with Serbia militarily. That was an open threat to extend the war. The threat of a 3rd World War is becoming more and more immanent.
  3. A ground war would entail the more general mobilization of NATO troops which would have to involve very many soldiers. In the meantime it is said that with the corresponding logistics 250,000 soldiers would be needed to lead a ground war in Kosovo and to free it from Serbian troops. In this connection, Scharping also announced during the first week of the war that the so-called crisis reaction forces of the German federal army would be increased from 50,000 to 80,000.

A so-called "state of emergency” could develop. According to the emergency laws, this "state of emergency” entails drastic restrictions of democratic rights and freedoms, especially for war opponents. The press would be directly controlled by the federal government and the militarization of society would be considerably increased. The German federal government has repeatedly denied preparations for a ground war. At the same time it emphasizes that it is a firm part of the NATO and that it wants to reach the goals of the war under all conditions. Therefore, in case it is not possible to force Milosevic to make concessions, it is only a question of time that NATO resorts to such means. We should have no illusions that the NATO does not want to push through its policy by all means. It is therefore necessary that we show the government that there are people who actively resist this war and all of its consequences.

In its parliamentary session on Thursday, the government declared that no war is being led. There are only "military emergency actions with humanitarian objectives”. At the same time you see only refugee caravans and mass graves on television that supposedly justify NATO operations. For the MLPD there is no doubt that the misery of the refugees really exists and that the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia is taking brutal action against the people in Kosovo. But we are not blind and we also see the great damage that especially the NATO war is causing in Yugoslavia. According to reliable information by the government in Yugoslavia, the NATO war has already cost more than 1000 lives. The damage to objects already amounts to 180 billion US-dollars. Much of the destruction hits the population directly, their supply and living situation, schools and hospitals, their living and working conditions. It is hypocritical to maintain that a country could be attacked militarily without leading a war against its population.

It is surely very complicated to see through this war because the real background and its real course are being covered up by means of psychological warfare. We Marxist-Leninists maintain that war is the continuation of politics with other means. If we really want to analyze this war, we must examine the policy behind it:

  1. Milosevic is leading an unjustified war against the Kosovo Albanians who are fighting for their right of self-determination in Yugoslavia. The policy of Milosevic is determined by Serbian nationalism and the subjugation of the right of self-determination of the Albanian people in Kosovo. He is therefore leading an unjustified and brutal war against the Albanians.
  2. NATO is also leading an unjustified war against the state of Yugoslavia because it is violating the right of self-determination of Yugoslavia in an imperialist manner. It aims at completing the so-called European integration in the Balkans by armed force. This European integration has more and more become an economic necessity for the European imperialists, who aim at playing a leading role in the international competition with the USA and Japan. Certainly this leads to differences within the NATO, too. The USA also wants to push through its own special interests which are especially of a political nature and aim at military dominance in the Balkans. Their view is aimed toward the Black Sea and to the Caucasus, where the biggest oil reserves of the future are situated.
  3. The struggle for the right of self-determination of the Kosovo Albanians is justified, but at that point of time when the Kosovo Albanians give up their independence and ally with the NATO against Yugoslavia, their struggle will turn into an unjustified war. The result will not be the right of self-determination of the Kosovo Albanians, but the subordination of its autonomous interests to the policy of the European and American imperialists.
The MLPD stands up for international workers' unity

. Serbian, Albanian and German workers must lead a struggle against workers being driven against each other in the name of reactionary interests. One of the greatest dangers of this war is that the working class will be divided, that hatred among people is renewed if we do not bring the war and the war mongers to fall. 800,000 Yugoslavian, Serbian and Albanian workers and their families live in Germany. They work with us in factories, in offices and fight with us against unemployment and exploitation and they live with us. The continuation of the war threatens this workers' unity, drives the Albanian workers against the Serbian, the Serbian against the Albanian workers and the German workers against the Serbian workers, etc. The MLPD fights for international workers' unity because it is the guarantor of peace.


Only those people can be free who do not take part in the suppression of other peoples!

End the NATO war in Yugoslavia! Long live international solidarity!
Workers of all countries, unite!

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