Category: Indonesia
The forgotten holocaust: The 1965-66 massacre against Indonesia’s communists

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The forgotten holocaust: The 1965-66 massacre against Indonesia’s communists

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-forgotten-holocaust-1965-66.html
By Nikos Mottas*.
 
Without any doubt, the WWII Holocaust and the 1915 Armenian genocide consist the two largest mass slaughters of the 20th century. They are crimes which must never be erased from the collective memory of the peoples, no matter how many decades will pass. 
 
However, there are also less known sides of History, the “forgotten” holocausts to which the bourgeois historiography has given little importance, either by downgrading them as insignificant details of world history or by distorting their true dimensions. 
 
A major example of such a “forgotten” holocaust is the mass slaughter of the communists in Indonesia by Suharto’s dictatorship during the 1965-66.
The criminal called General Suharto was the man who, with the tolerance and silence of the U.S. and British governments, was responsible for one of the most barbaric bloodshed of the previous century: the mass slaughter of more than 1,000,000 people, mostly communists, members and supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia [1].
If we want to have a comprehensive image of the social and political conditions that led to the 1965-66 massacre, we must refer to the historical background of developments in Indonesia after the end of Second World War. These developments are related to the role of the British and Dutch imperialists, the conditions under which the independence of the Republic of Indonesia took place, the formation of the class struggle in the country and, of course, the position of Indonesia in the post-WWII imperialist plans which led to the active involvement of the US in the domestic political processes.
In the mid of 1960s, the sharpening of the intra-bourgeois contradictions (with the steady interference of US-British governments) led to a series of military coups and counter-coups that ultimately resulted to the overthrow of the elected president Sukarno. In the morning of October 2, 1965, numerous military vehicles were patrolling at the streets of Jakarta in order to capture the insurgents and lead them to prison. A day earlier, a failed coup attempt had been organised by the commander of the presidential guard Colonel Untung. From his side, in a message transmitted via radio, the Colonel had justified the coup attempt by arguing that its role was to prevent a conspiracy planned by the CIA and army officials to overthrow President Sukarno.
The army crushed the failed coup’s insurgents, with a General called Suharto playing a decisive role. This man would subsequently override Sukarno’s leadership thus becoming the new powerful leader of the country. Suharto and his imperialist allies point the Communist Party of Indonesia as the source of the failed coup – after all, the well-organised and popular Communist Party had played a leading role in the anticolonial struggle and had significant influence in Sukarno’s policies.
 
The rise of General Suharto- a man who had the support of the US imperialists- in Indonesia’s leadership led to unprecedented violent persecutions against communists, including mass killings, executions, tortures and every kind of barbaric act. Even the CIA had admitted in a subsequent report that the 1965-66 events were “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century” [2]. Of course, both the CIA and the British intelligence services had an active role in the massacre by supporting the Suharto regime. Information about the role of the governments of the United States, Britain and Australia in the anticommunist holocaust of Indonesia were unveiled years later.
On May 17, 1990, based on testimonies by personnel who had worked at the US embassy in Jakarta during the 1960s, an article by the States News Service of Washington DC reported that the US embassy had provided Suharto regime lists with over 5,000 names of communists and supporters of the Communist Party [3].
 
The role of the imperialists in the Indonesia massacre has been confirmed by professors and researchers. For example, Professor Brad Simpson of Princeton University and author of “Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968”, has said that the U.S and British governments did “everything in their power” to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings [4]. The massacre against the communists in Indonesia was followed by an organised plan for the entry of foreign monopoly capital in the country. According to the documentary “The New Rulers of the World” (2001) by Australian journalist and researcher John Pilger, the dictatorial regime of Suharto proceeded to business deals with known monopoly and banking groups such as General Motors, Daimler-Benz, Chase Manhtattan Bank, Siemens, Standard Oil etc.
Imperialism cares to erase its bloody past in order to safeguard its future.
 
Dictator Suharto meets US President Richard
Nixon in Washington DC, May 26, 1970.
The massacre of the communists in Indonesia by the authoritarian Suharto regime, with the support and tolerance of the US-British imperialists, consists one of the darkest pages of the 20th century. It consists a deliberately “forgotten” holocaust that the bourgeois propaganda tries to downgrade as a “collateral damage” of the Cold War. They try to downgrade the historical significance of the 1965-66 massacre of Indonesia’s communists because it is one more example that exposes imperialist brutality.
Imperialism tries to erase its bloody past in order to safeguard its future. For that reason, the imperialists distort History in every possible way. Because they know the actual power that the working class, the proletariat in every country, has. That is why the working people, the people, must know their history and fight against distortion and oblivion, in order to have a powerful weapon in the struggle against the big enemy of humanity which is the rotten exploitative system that generates barbarity, poverty and wars. 
 
NOTES:
 
[1] The Communist Party of Indonesia, the first one established in Asia (1920), reached during the 1960s a significant party strength with approximately 3,000,000 members, especially in the Java region. However, opportunist political choices by its leadership led to the subsequent weakening of the party ties with broader masses. Despite its organisational strength and the extraordinary large number of its members, the CPI didn’t avoid the trap that had been set by both its domestic enemies and their imperialist allies.
 
[2] Blumenthal, T.L.H. McCormack (Ed.), The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Infuence or Institutionalised Vengeance?. International Humanitarian Law Services, Martinus Nijhoff.
 
[3] I.A. Tie Asserted in Indonesia Purge, The New York Times, July 12, 1990.
 
[4] The 1965-1966 Indonesian Killings Revisited, Conference at the National University of Singapore, 17-19 June 2009.
 
* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’.
Meddling in Presidential Elections: Two Cases

http://hetq.am/eng/news/74607/meddling-in-presidential-elections-two-cases.html

13:55, January 13, 2017

By Markar Melkonian

Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States!  How unprecedented!  How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!

In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.”  (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”

But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections of other countries?  Our friends in South America might have insights here—hundreds of cases of economic and military blackmail, election fraud, assassination,and the violent overthrow of democratically elected leaders.  So too in Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Georgia, Ukraine, etc.), east Asia (Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, etc.), north Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco), and dozens of other countries on five of the six inhabited continents. (Joshua Keating, “Election Meddling Is Surprisingly Common,” Slate.com, 4 Jan., 2017; Tim Weiner, CIA:  Legacy of Ashes, 2008; Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1992, 2006.)

In the welter of red-faced indignation, the torrents of denunciations from Senate hearings and press conferences, talk shows and podcasts, one might have expected someone to pose the rather obvious question whether American agencies have ever meddled in Russian presidential elections.  And yet (surprise surprise!) America’s corporate-owned press of record, an institution that constantly flaunts its “objectivity,” has failed to raise that straightforward question.

So, let us raise it here:  Has the USA engaged in this sort of meddling?  And if so, what effect has it had on Russia?

The answer to the first question, of course, is a resounding Yes.  Even as you read these words, you can bet that one or more of seventeenFederal agencies of the United States are busy hacking Russia.  (It is a safe bet that other countries are engaged in cyber espionage against Russia and the United States, too, including China and Israel.)

Let us limit our discussion to one single case.  Readers will recall that in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election in Russia, opinion polls put the pro-western incumbent, Boris Yeltsin, in fifth place among the presidential candidates, with only 8% support.  The same polls showed that the most popular candidate in Russia by a wide margin was the Communist Party’s Gennady Zyuganov. Moved to desperation by the numbers, well-connected Russian oligarchs suggested just cancelling the election and supporting a military takeover, rather than facing a defeat at the polls.  Neocons in the West embraced the idea–all in the name of Democracy, of course.  In the end, though, Yeltsin and the oligarchs decided to retain power by staging the election.

In keeping with Russian laws at the time, Zyuganov spent less than three million dollars on his campaign.  Estimates of Yeltsin’s spending, by contrast, range from $700 million to $2.5 billion.   (David M. Kotz, Russia’s Path from Gorbachev to Putin, 2007) This was a clear violation of law, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In February 1996, at the urging of the United States, the International Monetary Fund (which describes itself as “an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation”) supplied a $10.2 billion “emergency infusion” to Russia.The money disappeared as Yeltsin used it to shore up his reputation and to buy votes.  He forced the Central Bank of Russia to provide an additional $1 billion for his campaign, too.  Meanwhile, a handful of Russian oligarchs, notably several big contributors residing in Israel, provided more billions for the Yeltsin campaign.

In the spring of 1996, Yeltsin and his campaign manager, billionaire privatizer Anatoly Chubais, recruited a team of financial and media oligarchs to bankroll the Yeltsin campaign and guarantee favorable media coverage on national television and in leading newspapers.  In return, Chubais allowed well-connected Russian business leaders to acquire majority stakes in some of Russia’s most valuable state-owned assets.

Campaign strategists for the former Republican governor of California Pete Wilsoncovertly made their way to the President Hotel in Moscow where, behind a guard and locked doors, they served as Yeltsin’s “secret campaign weapon” to save Russia for Democracy.  (Eleanor Randolph, “Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win,” L.A. Times, 9 July 1996)  Yeltsin and his cohorts monopolized all major media outlets, print and electronic, public, and private. They bombarded Russians with an incessant and uncontested barrage of political advertising masquerading as news, phony “documentaries,” rumors, innuendos, and bad faith campaign promises (including disbursement of back pay to workers and pensioners, stopping further NATO expansion, and peaceful settlement of Yeltsin’s brutal war against Chechnya). Yeltsin campaigners even floated the threat that he would stage a coup and the country would descend into civil war if Zyuganov were to win the vote.

It is now public record that the Yeltsin campaign conducted extensive “black operations,” including disrupting opposition rallies and press conferences, spreading disinformation among Yeltsin supporters, and denying media access to the opposition.  The dirty tricks included such tactics as announcing false dates for opposition rallies and press conferences,disseminatingalarming campaign materials that they deceitfully attributed to the Zyuganov campaign, and cancelling hotel reservations for Zyuganov and his volunteers.  Finally, widespread bribery, voter fraud, intimidation, and ballot stuffing assured Yeltsin’s victory in the runoff election.

The day after his victory, Yeltsin disappeared from the scene and did not reappear until months later, drunk. During Yeltsin’s second term, the “non-ideological” IMF provided another infusion of money, this time $40 billion.  Once again, more billions disappeared without a trace, much of it stolen by the President’s chronies, who placed it in foreign banks.  The re-elected President didn’t even pretend to make good on his campaign promises.

Serious observers, including leading Democrats, agree that even if the recent hacking allegations against Russia turn out to be true, the “dirty tricks” did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  By contrast, American meddling and financing of the 1996 presidential election in Russia clearly played a pivotal role in turning Yeltsin from a candidate with single-digit approval at the beginning of the yearinto a winning candidate with an official (but disputed) 54.4% of votes cast in the second-round runoff later that same year.

Let us consider some of the consequences of Yeltsin’s electoral win:

–In the first years of the Chubais-Yeltsin privatization scheme, the life expectancy of a Russian male fell from 65 years to 57.5 years.  Female life expectancy in Russia dropped from 74.5 years in 1989 to 72.8 years in 1999.

–Throughout Yeltsin’s terms as President, flight of capital away from Russia totaled between $1 and $2 billion every month.

–Each year from 1989 to 2001 there was a fall of approximately 8% in Russia’s productive assets.

–From 1990 to 1999 the percentage increase of people living on lessthan $1 a day was greater in Russian and the other former socialist countries than anywhere else in the world.

–The number of people living in poverty in the former Soviet Republicsrose from 14 million in 1989 to 147 million in 1998.As a result of the 1998 financial collapse and the devaluation of the ruble, the life savings of tens of millons of Russian families disappeared over night.  Since then, the Great Recession and low oil pries have only made matters worse.

–In the period from 1992 to 1998 Russia’s GDP fell by half–something that did not happen even under during the German invasion in the Second World War.

Under Yeltsin’s tenure, the death rate in Russia reached wartime levels.  Accidents, food poisoning, exposure, heart attacks, lack of access to basic healthcare, and an epidemic of suicides—they all played a role.  David Satter, a senior fellow at the anti-communist, Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, writing in the conservative Wall Street Journal, described the consequences of this victory of Democracy:  “Western and Russian demographers now agree that between 1992 and 2000, the number of ‘surplus deaths’ in Russia–deaths that cannot be explained on the basis of previous trends–was between five and six million persons.” (Accessed 8 April 2015.  American sociologist James Petras has given a figure of 15 million surplus deaths since the demise of the Soviet Union.)

NATO continued its expansion east. Yeltsin turned the Chechen city of Grozy into a field of rubble, and he quickly became the most reviled man in Russia.  But as one observer put it at the time, “Yeltsin didn’t seem to notice, which is hardly surprising, since he was drunk for most of his tenure in office.”By the time he left office, the American-approved President of the Russian Federation had an approval rating of 2%.  (CNN, 2002)   But by that time it didn’t matter:  the kleptocrats were safely installed in power, and American-imposed Democracy had achieved its aims in Russia’s “transition.”

Yeltsin died in 2007, celebrated as an anti-communist hero by the neocons in Washington and New York, but hated by the vast majority of Russians.  Four years later, Dmitri Medvedev, then-President of Russia, eulogized Yeltsin for creating “the base of a new Russian statehood, without which none of our future successes would be possible.”  But a Time magazine writer reported that, despite Medvedev’s public praise, the story he told privately was quite different.  On 20 February 2012, he reportedly told attendees at a closed-door meeting:  “Russia’s first President did not actually win re-election in 1996 for a second term.  The second presidential vote in Russia’s history, in other words, was rigged.”  (Simon Shuster, “Rewriting Russian History:  Did Boris Yeltsin Steal the 1996 Presidential Election?” Time online, 24 Feb. 2012.)

Some readers, perhaps, do not see the point of reminding ourselves of America’s role in the election of Yeltsin and America’s responsibility for the resulting misery and mass death.  But let us remind ourselves that the recent hacking accusations are just one element of a full-on media assault against Russia, led by Washington.  From supposed Russian war crimes in the fight against the murderous jihadi occupiers of Syria to Russia’s re-annexation of overwhelmingly pro-Russian Crimea and the doping of Olympic athletes, America’s neocons are engaged in a propaganda blitz with high stakes.

Armenia is one of many frontline positions in Washington’s escalating media campaign against Russia.  Yes, the Russian Federation is an imperialist state, in V.I. Lenin’s technical sense of the term.  And yes, Russia wields undo influence in Armenia.  But by now it is clear that greater sovereignty for Armenia is not what is at stake when it comes to the Russophobe opposition.  After all, the Russia haters do not seem to have much problem with the idea of giving up sovereignty to the American imperialists and their regional surrogate, the Republic of Turkey. More importantly, the cause of greater national sovereignty will be harmed if the Russia haters have their way.  They only confirm the pervasivesense of vulnerability, economic isolation, and military encirclement among Russians, a people who have endured three decades of enormous destruction and humiliation, after a century of invasion and wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions of their compatriots.

Let us remind ourselves that the loudest of Yerevan’s Russia haters are the same fanatics who led Armenia to its present state of ruin.  After so much failure and disaster, they continue to hawk the old dangerous fantasy of Uncle Sam as Armenia’s savior. They are unrepentant, and like Yeltsin, they take their marching orders from Washington.

Markar Melkonian is a teacher and an author. His books include Richard Rorty’s Politics:  Liberalism at the End of the American Century (1999), Marxism: A Post-Cold War Primer (Westview Press, 1996), and My Brother’s Road (2005).

 

Primitive anti-communism in Indonesia: Russian citizen detained for wearing a t-shirt with sickle and hammer

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Primitive anti-communism in Indonesia: Russian citizen detained for wearing a t-shirt with sickle and hammer

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/01/primitive-anti-communism-in-indonesia.html

It seems that the spirit of the mass murderer, dictator of Indonesia between 1967 to 1998, Suharto, still lives on in the country- and so the anticommunist legislation in the country continues to exist. According to Sputnik International a russian citizen was confronted and briefly detained in Indonesia for wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle!

 
According to sputniknews.com, Igor Riabchuk, a Russian national, was accosted by a group of local people in Batam, Indonesia, December 31, for wearing a t-shirt with the communist symbol.

The people turned out to be members of an organization that calls itself Children of the Red Beret Command (AKBM); the group tried to explain to Riabchuk that he was violating Indonesian law by wearing a communist symbol, but could not overcome the language barrier. Unable to communicate with Riabchuk, who can only speak Russian, not English or Indonesian, the locals took him to a police station by force, where he was detained. According to Riau Islands Police spokesman Saptono Erlangga, the police decided to detain Riabchuk “for his own safety.”

Riabchuk is reportedly the third person to be detained in Indonesia for wearing communist symbols. According to police reports, one citizen of Singapore was detained for wearing a similar t-shirt. His t-shirt was also confiscated by the police, and he was subsequently released without charge.
 
A local taxi driver who was heading to a New Year’s eve party, ended up having to spend the night at the police station for the offensive sign. Communism has been officially banned in Indonesia for more than 50 years and this ban is unlikely to be lifted any time soon. According to Indonesian law, a person promoting communism may end up in jail for up to seven years.
 
Suharto, mass murderer and US-backed tyrant of Indonesia,
with President Richard Nixon.
The ban was imposed after Suharto became president following a US-backed coup against the progressive government of Sukarno in 1965. Following the coup, Suharto carried out a nationwide purge of communism known as the Indonesian Genocide. The death count from the purge is estimated to be between half a million to 1 million people. The Indonesian Communist Party-the third largest in the world at the time-was systematically destroyed.