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Haig Assassination Attempt

June 25th 1979

The Commando Andreas Baader [1] of the Red Army Faction claims responsibility for the attempted assassination of General Alexander Haig [2].

On June 25, 1979, the Commando Andreas Baader launched a bomb attack against the Commander-In-Chief of NATO, US General Alexander Haig. Let us explain why we aimed this action at Haig personally, and why we missed:

We had dug a six foot long trench under the street of a bridge on the route to Haig's residence at NATO Headquarters and buried the payload (50 lbs. of plastic explosives) approximately l 1/2 inches below the surface. The ignition stretched over a 650 foot long electric cable, to be triggered at the instant when the front door of Haig’s Mercedes reached the point where the payload was. We had determined previously that the car traveled 2 meters in a tenth of a second. Our error was that we thought we could manually trigger the explosion quickly and precisely when the target point was reached.

We carried out this action because Haig represents and executes, in a particularly precise way, the "new course" or "modified style" of American strategy.

What has changed since the political and military defeat of the US in Vietnam is that instead of US aggression decreasing, it is increasing.

The people of the world are confronted with a new American offensive, which also marks a qualitative leap forward in the development of the relative strength between the forces of revolution and the forces of counter-revolution; or, as we have already said: the worldwide revolutionary process is the encirclement of the metropoles by the people of the hinterland.

With the victorious liberation of Southeast Asia and Africa, the front is moving nearer to the center; it is coming closer to the metropoles and is making the tactical and strategic retreat of US imperialism inevitable. In other words, the so-called "displacement of the strategically critical points" is towards West Europe.

What Haig calls the "modified style" requests from the West European States, which, meanwhile, are integrated into the "Euro-project", directed by the Federal Republic of Germany, nothing other than that they be the final functionaries for the US global strategy: "Europe can no longer afford to only be an observer standing on the side of the playing field."

What Haig means by that is the French and Moroccan invasion , with US help, of the Shaba Province, Zaire, and Africa; the French invasion of the Central African nation of Chad; the next expedition into the Arab Gulf; and the direct military aggression by the mercenary client States ruled by the US in various "crisis zones" for the vital interest of Western countries.

The concrete steps of Haig’s politics of reinforcement (in his function as NATO Chief) were put into practice with the help of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Those steps were taken in preparation for the "half war stage" in order to have European States firmly under control and to build up the FRG as the most aggressive US base.

This means having overpowering nuclear weapons, having a gradually increasing presence of American troops, as if the entire country were one big barracks.

The function of the FRG is to police the situation on the borders of NATO and in countries in the Middle East and Africa, for example. It functions as an iron collar on neighboring countries.

It means that the social democratic project of covert warfare has already broken down because the measures against the RAF failed; now Schmidt’s social liberal government is internationally known as an outspoken and open war-making Party.

Schmidt’s [3] whole problem is the tightrope balancing act between the "Model West Germany" and the German reality. Remember in 1973 Brandt [4] missed his step too.

Schmidt is in a jam, because in a publication from the Pentagon in 1977 he openly talked about the strategy of "flexible responses" and what it means to Germany: "In a limited European war, perhaps 5 million dead in Germany". All to protect the American homeland. This is the price the German Social Democratic Party pays to stay in power.

This jam is only a symbol of the total dependence of the FRG that we fight against.

Since we have existed, NATO has developed its program against the armed resistance of the Red Army Faction, with NATO directing the execution of the imprisoned cadre in West Germany. There also exists the order to "preventively" shoot in the head those who fight against the State in the streets.

It is clear that in order for the FRG to function in the imperialist offensive, every revolutionary group or movement "whose activities are directed against the interests of the federation" must be destroyed.

And by this they mean everyone who understands and fights in an anti-imperialist and international context.

The only question is: What are we to do? How must we - the forces on the side of the revolution - deal with these times.

It remains a fact that US imperialism continues to be the enemy and the death of humankind.

Commando Andreas Baader - Red Army Faction


Commando Andreas Baader
Red Army Faction - June 25th 1979


N.B. All footnotes in this document were added by the translator and editor. None are originally from the RAF.
[1] Andreas Baader - founding member of the RAF, murdered in prison in 1977. [return to text]

[2] Alexander Haig was Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), hence the ex officio commander of the NATO forces, from 1974 to 1979. He would later be Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1982. [return to text]

[3] Helmut Schmidt - leading Social Democrat and head of the Social Democratic government. [return to text]

[4] Willi Brandt - leading figure in Second International and Party President of the Social Democratic Party, architect of the "Model West Germany", a concept of total technological control to combat dissent. [return to text]

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