Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Indonesia' is associated with 2 posts.

A Blast From The Past–Literally

Iron­ic arti­cle selec­tion by The New York Times fea­tured a mul­ti-page sto­ry on the Chi­nese pur­chase of a Freeport McMoRan cobalt mine in the Con­go. Pre­sent­ing ide­o­log­i­cal fram­ing of the pur­chase as part of Chi­na’s grab of min­er­als that are key to the devel­op­ment of “Green” tech­nolo­gies, the arti­cle com­pris­es a syn­op­sized, slant­ed Cold War reca­pit­u­la­tion of U.S. min­er­al devel­op­ment in the Con­go, with par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on the reign of Joseph Mobu­tu.The arti­cle has his­tor­i­cal res­o­nance on this 58th anniver­sary of JFK’s assas­si­na­tion in sev­er­al respects; we present infor­ma­tion from FTR#‘s 1054, 1055 and 1056.1) Freeport Sul­phur (part of the com­pa­ny involved with the Con­go) was one of the insti­tu­tions in which Clay Shaw and David Fer­rie’s maneu­ver­ing per­mit­ted Jim Gar­ri­son to con­nect them with the milieu of the JFK assas­si­na­tion. 2) Freeport also ben­e­fit­ted enor­mous­ly from JFK’s assas­si­na­tion. The events of 11/22/1963 reversed JFK’s pol­i­cy of engage­ment with Indone­si­a’s Sukarno. The bloody 1965 coup–highlighted in FTR#1212–permitted Freeport to ben­e­fit enor­mous­ly by devel­op­ing Indone­si­a’s min­er­al resources. 3) Kennedy’s killing dra­mat­i­cal­ly altered U.S. pol­i­cy vis a vis what was the Bel­gian Con­go at the time. Fol­low­ing the assas­si­na­tion, the U.S. threw its weight behind the forces pro­mot­ing Joseph Mobu­tu and Moi­se Tshombe in the Con­go. Iron­i­cal­ly, Tshombe char­ac­ter­ized the unrest in the Con­go as “Chi­nese inspired.” WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.


FTR#1212 The Narco-Fascism of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang, Part 19

Intro­duc­ing the expan­sion of Amer­i­can expe­ri­ence with Chi­ang and his Kuom­intang fas­cists into U.S. Cold War pol­i­cy in Asia, we present Ster­ling Seagrave’s rumi­na­tion about Stan­ley Horn­beck, a State Depart­ment flack who became: “. . . . the doyen of State’s Far East­ern Divi­sion. . . .”

Horn­beck “ . . . . had only the most abbre­vi­at­ed and stilt­ed knowl­edge of Chi­na, and had been out of touch per­son­al­ly for many years. . . . He with­held cables from the Sec­re­tary of State that were crit­i­cal of Chi­ang, and once stat­ed that ‘the Unit­ed States Far East­ern pol­i­cy is like a train run­ning on a rail­road track.  It has been clear­ly laid out and where it is going is plain to all.’ It was in fact bound for Saigon in 1975, with whis­tle stops along the way at Peking, Que­moy, Mat­su, and the Yalu Riv­er. . . .”

This pro­gram chron­i­cles the U.S. coup in Indone­sia. In our land­mark series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio, we not­ed that Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion put the rail­way described by Stan­ley Horn­beck back on sched­ule in Indone­sia, as it had been put back on sched­ule in Viet­nam. 

“ . . . . The Unit­ed States was part and par­cel of the oper­a­tion at every stage, start­ing well before the killings start­ed, until the last body dropped and the last polit­i­cal pris­on­er emerged from jail, decades lat­er, tor­tured, scarred, and bewil­dered. . . . the U.S. gov­ern­ment helped spread the pro­pa­gan­da that made the killing pos­si­ble, and engaged in con­stant con­ver­sa­tions with the Army to make sure the mil­i­tary offi­cers had every­thing they need­ed, from weapons to kill lists. . . . know­ing full well that the method being employed to make this pos­si­ble was to round up hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple around the coun­try, stab or stran­gle them, and throw their corpses into rivers. . . . Up to a mil­lion Indone­sians, maybe more, were killed as part of Washington’s glob­al anti­com­mu­nist cru­sade. The U. S. gov­ern­ment expend­ed sig­nif­i­cant resources over years engi­neer­ing the con­di­tions for a vio­lent clash, and then, when the vio­lence broke out, assist­ed and guid­ed its long­time part­ners to car­ry out the mass mur­der of civil­ians as a means of achiev­ing US geopo­lit­i­cal goals. . . .”

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: The John­son Administration’s deter­mi­na­tion to wage a “major war against Indone­sia; the inabil­i­ty of U.S. strate­gic plan­ners to com­pre­hend  Indonesia’s sta­tus of non-align­ment in the Cold War out­side of the “either with us or against us” oper­a­tional par­a­digm that was insti­tu­tion­al­ized in U.S. for­eign and nation­al secu­ri­ty under the Dulles broth­ers dur­ing the Eisen­how­er admin­is­tra­tion; Pakistan’s ambas­sador to Paris sent a let­ter to for­eign min­is­ter Zul­fikar Ali Bhut­to: “ . . . . West­ern intel­li­gence agen­cies were orga­niz­ing a ‘pre­ma­ture com­mu­nist coup.’ Indone­sia, the NATO offi­cer told him, ‘was ready to fall into the West­ern lap like a rot­ten apple.’. . .” The enthu­si­as­tic cov­er­age of the Indone­sian slaugh­ter in the West­ern press, exem­pli­fied by The New York Times’ C.L. Sulzberg­er, who penned the piece “When a Nation Runs Amok”; the cul­tur­al chau­vin­ism tinged with racism of the West­ern press cov­er­age, embod­ied by Sulzberger’s piece: “ . . . . the killings occurred in ‘vio­lent Asia, where life is cheap . . . . hid­den behind their [Indone­sians] smile is that strange Malay streak, that inner, fren­zied blood-lust which has giv­en to oth­er lan­guages one of their few Malay words: amok . . . .”; The fact that the main point of irri­ta­tion in the U.S. about the PKI (Indonesia’s Com­mu­nist Par­ty) was not that they were unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic or try­ing to seize pow­er through sub­ver­sion, but that they “were pop­u­lar;” the role of U.S. plan­ta­tion man­agers and cor­po­rate per­son­nel in sub­mit­ting names to the Indone­sian army and its allies for liq­ui­da­tion; His­to­ri­an John Roosa’s encap­su­la­tion of the results of the slaugh­ter: “ . . . . Almost overnight the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment went from being a fierce voice for cold war neu­tral­i­ty and anti-impe­ri­al­ism to a qui­et, com­pli­ant part­ner of the US world order. . . .”; New York Times colum­nist James Reston’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the coup and result­ing slaugh­ter as “A Gleam of Light in Asia” that out­weighed U.S. set­backs in Viet­nam; he—by now—longstanding and well-rec­og­nized Amer­i­can tac­tic of “mak­ing the econ­o­my scream;” Suharto’s delib­er­ate engi­neer­ing of hyper­in­fla­tion in order to restrict the sup­ply of fun­da­men­tals need­ed by peo­ple to sus­tain their lives; “The U.S. gov­ern­ment was inten­tion­al­ly desta­bi­liz­ing the econ­o­my;” Robert Kennedy’s crit­i­cism of the Indone­sian coup; U.S. cor­po­ra­tions find­ing Indone­sia “open for busi­ness”; a busi­ness con­fer­ence spon­sored by James Linen, Pres­i­dent of Time-Life (it was Time-Life that was–to a con­sid­er­able extent–the eyes and ears of the U.S. on both Chi­ang Kai-shek and the assas­si­na­tion of J.F.K.; The slaugh­ter that took place on the island of Bali, some­thing of an icon­ic trop­i­cal par­adise; analy­sis of the sig­nif­i­cance of machetes being used in the slaugh­ter of scores of thou­sands on the beau­ti­ful Bali beaches–the machete is not a blade used by the Bali­nese, who use a thin­ner, domes­tic cut­ting tool caused the kle­wang; Chi­ang Kai-shek’s Kuom­intang and their sup­port for the Indone­sian coup, includ­ing stag­ing attacks on the Chi­nese embassy in Jakar­ta; Tai­wan as the site for the merg­ing of the Asian Peo­ple’s Anti-Com­mu­nist League with the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations to form the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League.

Epit­o­miz­ing and encap­su­lat­ing the coup was the butch­ery that tran­spired on the Island of Bali and its after­math in the con­tem­po­rary lux­u­ry resort econ­o­my that pre­vails there:

” . . . . Then he [Wayan Badra] heard what was hap­pen­ing on the beach­es. They were bring­ing peo­ple from the city to the east to kill them on the sand. It was pub­lic prop­er­ty there, and emp­ty at night. The bod­ies were aban­doned there. . . . they found a field of bod­ies. . . .They began look­ing through bones, pick­ing up skulls. . . . There were just ‘too many skulls, too many skele­tons. . . . In total, at least 5 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Bali was killed—that is, eighty thou­sand peo­ple . . . .”

” . . . . Wayan Ban­dra, the Hin­du priest, lives on the street where he grew up, in Semi­nyak, South­west Bali. But the neigh­bor­hood has changed dras­ti­cal­ly. The same beach he used to walk on for forty min­utes every morn­ing, as he head­ed to school down in Kuta, is cer­tain­ly not emp­ty. It’s packed wall to wall with lux­u­ry resorts and ‘beach clubs,’ a very com­mon type of busi­ness on the island, where for­eign­ers can sip cock­tails all day, and take a dip in a pool, right on the sand. It’s the same sand, of course, where the mil­i­tary brought peo­ple from Ker­obokan, a few miles east, to kill them at night. . . .”

” . . . . . . . . Over the years, Wayan Badra and his neigh­bors have found bones and skulls in the sand . . . . As the elder priest for this vil­lage, he takes it upon him­self to give the bod­ies a prop­er Hin­du funer­al. . . .”