September 12, 2001: The MLPD condemns the terrorist attack on innocent people!

Interview with Stefan Engel, chairman of the MLPD

stefan-engel.jpgQuestion: Presently, everyone is giving statements on the dramatic terrorist attack in the USA. What is the position of the MLPD?

Stefan Engel: It is completely clear that the MLPD strongly condemns this cowardly and senseless terrorist attack on innocent people. After all, 40, 000 employees worked in the offices of the World Trade Center, which has now been completely destroyed, and 10,000 worked for the cleaning and supply services, not to forget the many tourists. These are mostly people, who like most blue- and white-collar workers, have to sell their labor power. We feel grief and sympathy for all the innocent victims and their families.

Question: Yesterday and today, Chancellor Schroeder declared his "unlimited solidarity" with the "US-government" on behalf of all Germans. Did he speak on your behalf, too?

Stefan Engel: Definitely not! I find it extremely arrogant of Schroeder to now declare himself the defender of the "civilized world" when he demands solidarity with the US-government. Why doesn’t he just say what countries and persons he doesn’t consider to be "civilized". One day, these words will stick in his throat.

The MLPD fundamentally condemns such individualist acts of terror which are hostile toward the masses. Imperialism can only be defeated through the struggle of the working-class and the peoples themselves. Our fundamental position has always been that there can be no revolution without or against the masses of the people. But in no way does that mean that we have to practice solidarity with US-imperialism if we reject such actions. Throughout the entire history of US-imperialism is a trail of blood. I refer to the hundreds of thousands of people killed in the Vietnam War, to the war against Iraq, last year’s NATO war against Yugoslavia, etc. US-Imperialism also plays a decisive role in the economic strangling of the developing countries. Every single day, 24,000 people in the entire world die of hunger because of these policies. When German bourgeois politicians said yesterday that the USA is the "freest country" in the world, they are deriding the millions of workers and unemployed people. Exploitation and oppression of the masses prevail in the USA, too. There is hardly any other country in the world where such a large percentage of the population is in prison as in the USA. US-Imperialism is and remains the main enemy of the people. There is an obvious motive behind the declaration of solidarity by all bourgeois parties with the USA. Under the banner of condemning the attacks they want to defame, obstruct and discredit the necessary criticism of imperialism and the anti-imperialist struggle.

Question: Can it be said more exactly who is behind these attacks?

Stefan Engel: That is completely unclear up till now and the MLPD will not participate in any speculations. What is clear is that we are dealing with massive attacks which had been planned for a long time and which required comprehensive preparation. Logistics, personnel and planning – all of this was not so easy to implement. They go far beyond the terrorist attacks we have experienced until now.

Yesterday, suspects were constantly being presented. At first, Palestinian organizations with a claim to Marxism were supposedly responsible. A short time later, that had to be taken back. Now, the USA has evidently targeted the multi-millionaire Bin Laden. It is very questionable whether he could have organized such an operation from Afghanistan’s hinterland. More likely is the thesis that fascist underground organizations are responsible because it is typical for their terror that it is directed against the masses. That means that a lot of the concrete facts are not clear.

Many observers point out that extensive state structures would be necessary to conduct such an operation. It is very hard to believe that the secret services, like the CIA, supposedly got no wind of this.

It remains to be established whether the attacks are of a fascist, religious-fanatic or of a petty-bourgeois-anarchist nature.

Question: In any case, you must see that with the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and further institutions, centers of the economic, political and military power of the USA were hit.

Stefan Engel: As for the entire symbolism, the attacks give the impression of having an anti-imperialist aspect. But here, anti-imperialism is apparently being misused as a mere vehicle for completely different intentions and goals. And so governments of imperialist countries are taking this as an opportunity to suspect and threaten all kinds of liberation movements. That shows whom the whole thing really serves, namely US-imperialism, which can now take on the role of acting in the defense of freedom and justice, thereby supposedly getting justification for its reactionary foreign policy. Whoever is behind these provocative attacks - they are, in any case, playing into the hands of US-imperialism, at least in objective terms.

Question: How is this to be understood?

Stefan Engel: A new upswing in the struggle for national and social liberation is coming. Especially in Latin America, we are experiencing a process of revolutionary ferment beyond national borders. In other countries, the anti-imperialist struggle experiences an upswing and within the imperialist centers, the class consciousness of the working class is awakening on a broad front. Imperialism will definitely attempt to use the terrorist attacks for extensive activities to prepare the suppression of the international proletarian revolution. Already under Clinton, the US military apparatus was concentrated on defeating revolutionary movements. Columbia is the horrible training ground for this, which is being conducted under the code work "Plan Columbia".

Bush is one of the most ruthless US-presidents in recent times. He plans the biggest arms project in history, initiated a new arms race with the missile "defense" system and does not keep to any agreement. He wants to cancel or sabotage the ABM-treaty, research on biological weapons is being resumed, even the most minimal concessions in environmental policy are being rejected. Bush has been on this reactionary course all the time and it is now being labeled as "the struggle against international terrorism" and being accelerated.

The USA will attempt to take advantage of the attack. Comprehensive armament measures have been announced, also under the aspect of overcoming the economic slump by means of a gigantic arms program.

In Germany, too, the government is trying to dismantle further bourgeois-democratic rights on the domestic front and to intensify state terror.

Question: The bourgeois mass media are now writing a lot about the threat of a new "3rd World War". What is your opinion on that?

Stefan Engel: These are systematic attempts at causing panic which aim at creating fear and paralysing people and thus prevent them from fighting resolutely for their own interests. This panicmongering is completely over-exaggerated and there are no signs that the leading imperialist powers currently have an interest in a great war.

The German federal government is even attempting to use the situation of the terrorist attacks in the USA to divert people’s attention from the failure of the government to address the issues that are decisive for the people, from the imperialist operation in Macedonia, etc. In no way can this be accepted.

Question: What is the MLPD going to do now?

Stefan Engel: It is important to discuss this very exactly with people in this country within the framework of our rank-and-file work and to systematically build up the militant opposition of the masses, especially in the factories. We will oppose any attempt to discredit the liberation movements and their justified struggle against imperialist exploitation and oppression – or even to suppress them with bomb raids. Imperialism has not become any bit better because of this attack. Our international solidarity goes to the workers and people - in the entire world!

Red Flag: Thank you very much for this talk.

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