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Monday, 28 January 2008

Suharto - RIP (In the highly unlikely event anyone is interested)

Former Indonesian president, Suharto, died yesterday. He came to power in 1967 following a coup (known as Gestapu) in 1965 in which Indonesia's leftist generals were murdered along with hundreds of thousands of communists, socialists, atheists, artists, writers and other fellow travellers.

Suharto's achievement was in selling to the world (see newspaper/magazine/television obituaries this week) the idea that the coup (in which all the pro-left military figures got killed) was the work of the Communists.

There are those who believe Suharto and other anti-communist generals were the real brains behind the coup, including Peter Dale Scott, who has also come up with the idea of Deep Politics to talk about the complex interactions of money, personality, politics and power that lie behind virtually every noteworthy event.

In the highly unlikely event anyone is interested, you can read about Dale Scott's version of events here (The Cia in Indonesia, 1965-1967)

picture copyright Colin Pantall

The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967

Peter Dale Scott

In this short paper on a huge and vexed subject, I discuss the U.S. involvement in the bloody overthrow of Indonesia's President Sukarno, 1965-67. The whole story of that ill-understood period would transcend even the fullest possible written analysis. Much of what happened can never be documented; and of the documentation that survives, much is both controversial and unverifiable. The slaughter of Sukarno's left-wing allies was a product of widespread paranoia as well as of conspiratorial policy, and represents a tragedy beyond the intentions of any single group or coalition. Nor is it suggested that in 1965 the only provocations and violence came from the right-wing Indonesian military, their contacts in the United States, or (also important, but barely touched on here) their mutual contacts in British, German and Japanese intelligence.

....This article argues instead that, by inducing, or at a minimum helping to induce, the Gestapu "coup," the right in the Indonesian Army eliminated its rivals at the army's center, thus paving the way to a long-planned elimination of the civilian left, and eventually to the establishment of a military dictatorship.2 Gestapu, in other words, was only the first phase of a three-phase right-wing coup -- one which had been both publicly encouraged and secretly assisted by U.S. spokesmen and officials.3

Continue reading here

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