Bastard Dead

Thanks to Chicken Backup I learned Suharto is dead, I hope there’s room for a big dancefloor over his grave. John Pilger-

 In 1965, in Indonesia, the American embassy furnished General Suharto with roughly 5,000 names. These were people for assassination, and a senior American diplomat checked off the names as they were killed or captured. Most were members of the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party. Having already armed and equipped Suharto’s army, Washington secretly flew in state-of-the-art communication equipment whose high frequencies were known to the CIA and the National Security Council advising the president, Lyndon B Johnson. Not only did this allow Suharto’s generals to co-ordinate the massacres, it meant that the highest echelons of the US administration were listening in.

The Americans worked closely with the British. The British ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, cabled the Foreign Office: “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.” The “little shooting” saw off between half a million and a million people.However, it was in the field of propaganda, of “managing” the media and eradicating the victims from people’s memory in the west, that the British shone. British intelligence officers outlined how the British press and the BBC could be manipulated. “Treatment will need to be subtle,” they wrote, “eg, a) all activities should be strictly unattributable, b) British [government] participation or co-operation should be carefully concealed.”

Judging from the BBC obit, the whitewash is still going strong. Via Chicken Mark Curtis-

In early October 1965, a group of army officers in Indonesia led by Suharto took advantage of political instability to launch a terror campaign against the powerful Indonesian Communist party (PKI). Much of the killing was carried out by Islamist-led mobs promoted by the military to counter communist and democratic forces. Within a few months, nearly a million people lay dead, while Suharto removed President Ahmed Sukarno and emerged as ruler of a brutal regime that lasted until 1998.

 The declassified files show that Britain wanted the Indonesian army to act and encouraged it to do so.

British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a general’s regime”, one intelligence official explained. Another noted that “it seems pretty clear that the generals are going to need all the help they can get and accept without being tagged as hopelessly pro-western, if they are going to be able to gain ascendancy over the communists”. Therefore, “we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the generals”.

What does the beeb say-

In 1965, a botched coup attempt eventually propelled him to power.

Exact details are sketchy, but on the morning of 1 October, six senior right-wing generals were captured and murdered. Suharto himself was not at home at the time, and was not caught up in the sweep.

As one of the few surviving top generals, Suharto played a key role in the political turmoil that followed.

Communist sympathisers were blamed for the killings. In a wave of retribution that swept across Indonesia, hundreds of thousands of apparent communists and leftists – as well as members of the envied Chinese community – were massacred.

Back to Pilger-

  the Foreign Office opened a branch of its Information Research Department (IRD) in Singapore.

The IRD was a top-secret, cold war propaganda unit headed by Norman Reddaway, one of Her Majesty’s most experienced liars. Reddaway and his colleagues manipulated the “embedded” press and the BBC so expertly that he boasted to Gilchrist in a secret message that the fake story he had promoted – that a communist takeover was imminent in Indonesia – “went all over the world and back again”. He described how an experienced Sunday newspaper journalist agreed “to give exactly your angle on events in his article . . . ie, that this was a kid-glove coup without butchery”.

These lies, bragged Reddaway, could be “put almost instantly back to Indonesia via the BBC”.

With British-supplied Hawk jets and machine-guns, Suharto’s army went on to crush the life out of a quarter of the population of East Timor: 200,000 people. Using the same Hawk jets and machine-guns, the same genocidal army is now attempting to crush the life out of the resistance movement in West Papua and protect the Freeport company, which is mining a mountain of copper in the province. (Henry Kissinger is “director emeritus”.) Some 100,000 Papuans, 18 per cent of the population, have been killed; yet this British-backed “project”, as new Labour likes to say, is almost never reported. 

Yeah, sketchy huh?

19 Responses to “Bastard Dead”

  1. Dave On Fire Says:

    With predictable shamelessness, the BBC are looking back with balance on Suharto’s “mix of terror and progress“. Not a mention of Western support for the bloodshed, but plenty of irrevelant personality stuff.

    But O/T, get a load of this, Rick. You’ll be livid! Incandescent with rage!

  2. RickB Says:

    I think the BBC obits are significantly misleading by virtue of omission and obfuscation, I think corrections need to be pressured on them.
    “McDonald’s chief people officer” why does that make me think of people being fed into huge mincers a la ‘another brick in the wall’? Which is what this smacks of a production line for drones to work McJobs, but who else will recognise the qualification? Pizza Hut? WTF? I’m guessing they won’t encourage other study that might involve labour history or union rights. Education is not just to create reliable workers, ooh yep I’m getting more angry as I think about it. And if your job is the awarding authority bang goes impartial exams, pissed off your asshole boss, bye bye diploma. And it’s a corporation not a frickin’ school, in fact at this rate it’s pretty well much a cult, ever met a McD person who has bought the company line, fucking Scientologists are less screwy. And what’s in those milkshakes anyway???? C students?

    PS. Pizza Hut cheese in the US is …erm…not exactly cheese…gulp…ew
    http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=4855
    “In its patented manufacturing process, Leprino Foods liberally sprays Polydimethylsiloxane on cheese granules . Leprinos Pizza Cheese supplied to Pizza Huts contains about 900 parts per million of Polymethylsiloxane: 90 times higher residue concentration than FDA allows when Polymethylsiloxane is used as a boiler water anti- foaming agent. Leprino Foods, the worlds largest Italian cheese manufacturer, is the nearly exclusive supplier of Pizza Cheese to the 6000+ Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S. Leprino is based in Denver, Colorado. To control costs (and boost profits), Leprino Foods uses patented manufacturing processes that add large volumes of water, salt and food starch to so-called granules of Pizza Cheese prior to flash-freezing.

    Food starch is a particularly profitable addition to processed foods, since food starch holds ten times its own weight in water.

    All that food starch, water and salt in the Leprinos Pizza Cheese creates problems for both cooking and refrigerated shelf-life. To solve these cooking problems, Leprinos patented process for making cheese granules sprays 1.75 parts of a water-based spray containing 0.05% Dow-Corning Antifoam FG 10 for each 100 parts cheese.”

  3. ralfast Says:

    I guess they can be called the Mc-Levels now. All that studying for nothing, eh Rick!

  4. RickB Says:

    I’ll have you know I have a first in gherkinology!

  5. RickB Says:

    Sorry that should of course be McGherkinoloy now.

  6. Dave On Fire Says:

    You’re right actually, I will drop them an angry line before bed.

    That Pizza Hut stuff doesn’t apply over here, does it? I mean, I haven’t been for years and given the wealth of better and cheaper fast food on my doorstep, but just in case…

  7. RickB Says:

    Yep I’m sending one off tomorrow. Don’t know about the UK, we do sometimes escape the worst excesses of the US industrial food complex. Just to be safe (and get a much better pizza & soft warm buttery garlicy dough balls…mmmmmmmm, ahem sorry, use Pizza Express). Ah yes Rusholme, many a memory from around the curry mile, many.

  8. Dave On Fire Says:

    I’ve written it, but I don’t quite trust their little comment form; if you find an email address let me know.

    – – – – – – –

    Dear Jonathon Head / whom it may concern,

    In your article on General Suharto’s legacy, after a lengthy preamble of superficial observations about his personality, you get around to mentioning some of the appalling crimes by which he seized and maintained power. You also mention that “the United States was desperate for reliable allies in the region and willing to turn a blind eye to his human rights record.”

    In reality, “turning a blind eye” was not the half of it. It would have been an apt description of America’s attitude to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor – an invasion which your article fails to mention, despite its remarkable ferocity – but Western complicity in the 1968 coup went far beyond selective blindness.

    John Pilger writes:
    [
    In 1965, in Indonesia, the American embassy furnished General Suharto with roughly 5,000 names. These were people for assassination, and a senior American diplomat checked off the names as they were killed or captured. Most were members of the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party. Having already armed and equipped Suharto’s army, Washington secretly flew in state-of-the-art communication equipment whose high frequencies were known to the CIA and the National Security Council advising the president, Lyndon B Johnson. Not only did this allow Suharto’s generals to co-ordinate the massacres, it meant that the highest echelons of the US administration were listening in.

    The Americans worked closely with the British…
    ] (link: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/101305C.shtml)
    Mark Curtis elaborates:
    [
    “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change,” Sir Andrew Gilchrist, the British ambassador in Jakarta, informed the Foreign Office on October 5 1965. The declassified files show that Britain wanted the Indonesian army to act and encouraged it to do so.

    British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a general’s regime”, one intelligence official explained. Another noted that “it seems pretty clear that the generals are going to need all the help they can get and accept without being tagged as hopelessly pro-western, if they are going to be able to gain ascendancy over the communists”. Therefore, “we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the generals”.
    ] (link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1585802,00.html)
    In particular, as both articles go on to detail, the UK and US were particularly instrumental in terms of propaganda, including the scaremongering of a communist takeover. From the Pilger article:
    [
    British intelligence officers outlined how the British press and the BBC could be manipulated. “Treatment will need to be subtle,” they wrote, “eg, a) all activities should be strictly unattributable, b) British [government] participation or co-operation should be carefully concealed.” To achieve this, the Foreign Office opened a branch of its Information Research Department (IRD) in Singapore.

    The IRD was a top-secret, cold war propaganda unit headed by Norman Reddaway, one of Her Majesty’s most experienced liars. Reddaway and his colleagues manipulated the “embedded” press and the BBC so expertly that he boasted to Gilchrist in a secret message that the fake story he had promoted – that a communist takeover was imminent in Indonesia – “went all over the world and back again”. He described how an experienced Sunday newspaper journalist agreed “to give exactly your angle on events in his article . . . ie, that this was a kid-glove coup without butchery”.

    These lies, bragged Reddaway, could be “put almost instantly back to Indonesia via the BBC”. Prevented from entering Indonesia, Roland Challis, the BBC’s south-east Asia corres-pondent, was unaware of the slaughter. “My British sources purported not to know what was going on,” Challis told me, “but they knew what the American plan was. There were bodies being washed up on the lawns of the British consulate in Surabaya, and British warships escorted a ship full of Indonesian troops down the Malacca Straits so that they could take part in this terrible holocaust. It was only later that we learned that the American embassy was supplying names and ticking them off as they were killed. There was a deal, you see. In establishing the Suharto regime, the involvement of the IMF and the World Bank was part of it . . . Suharto would bring them back. That was the deal.”
    ]
    In addition, as the quote from Roland Challis implies, Suharto’s military legacy and his economic legacy were far from seperate. The Us and UK wished to smash Indonesian democracy and, with it, any burgeoning leftwing movements, not merely for a reliable ally in their warmaking, but also for profitable exploitation of Indonesia’s natural and human resources.

    Noam Chomsky writes:
    [
    In 1958 US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles informed the National Security Council that Indonesia was one of three major world crises, along with Algeria and the Middle East. He emphasized that there was no Soviet role in any of these cases, with the “vociferous” agreement of President Eisenhower. The main problem in Indonesia was the Communist party (PKI), which was winning “widespread support not as a revolutionary party but as an organization defending the interests of the poor within the existing system,” developing a “mass base among the peasantry” through its “vigor in defending the interests of the…poor (2)”.

    The US embassy in Jakarta reported that it might not be possible to overcome the PKI “by ordinary democratic means”, so that “elimination” by police and military might be undertaken. The Joint Chiefs of Staff urged that “action must be taken, including overt measures as required, to ensure either the success of the dissidents or the suppression of the pro-communist elements of the Sukarno government.”

    The “dissidents” were the leaders of a rebellion in the outer islands, the site of most of Indonesia’s oil and US investments. US support for the secessionist movement was “by far the largest, and to this day the least known, of the Eisenhower administration’s covert militarized interventions,” two leading Southeast Asia specialists conclude in a revealing study (3). When the rebellion collapsed, after bringing down the last residue of parliamentary institutions, the US turned to other means to “eliminate” the country’s major political force.

    That goal was achieved when Suharto took power in 1965, with Washington’s strong support and assistance. Army-led massacres wiped out the PKI and devastated its mass base in “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century,” comparable to the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, the CIA reported, judging “the Indonesian coup” to be “certainly one of the most significant events of the 20th century (4)”. Perhaps half a million or more were killed within a few months.

    The events were greeted undisguised euphoria. The New York Times described the “staggering mass slaughter” as “a gleam of light in Asia,” praising Washington for keeping its own role quiet so as not to embarrass the “Indonesian moderates” who were cleansing their society, then rewarding them with generous aid (5). Time praised the “quietly determined” leader Suharto with his “scrupulously constitutional” procedures “based on law, not on mere power” as he presided over a “boiling bloodbath” that was “the West’s best news for years in Asia” (6).

    The reaction was near uniform. The World Bank restored Indonesia to favour. Western governments and corporations flocked to Suharto’s “paradise for investors,” impeded only by the rapacity of the ruling family. For more than 20 years, Suharto was hailed as a “moderate” who is “at heart benign” (The Economist) as he compiled a record of slaughter, terror, and corruption that has few counterparts in postwar history.
    ] (link: http://mondediplo.com/1998/06/02chomsky)
    This Paradise for investors was, of course, no accident; the bloody suppression of the Indonesians to the benefit of Western investors fit the pattern of US interventions in Latin America around the same period. Whatever benefits trickled down to the Indonesian people were incidental and, indeed, less substantial than implied in your piece. Chomsky goes on to document how Indonesian growth was exaggerated by a tiny, corrupt elite which reaped most of its benefits, while John Perkins’ book “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman” documents how American institutions actively colluded in this corruption to gain economic and political influence.

    Small wonder that your description of Suharto’s economic legacy sits so ill with the popular conception of Indonesia as a land of sweatshop slaves working long hours in poor conditions for low pay to make trainers they will never afford. This phenomenon, too, is so well-documented as to be uncontroversial; try Naomi Klein’s “No Logo” for a start.

    I frequently have issues with the BBC’s reporting, but the omission and distortion in this article were such that I could not let them pass without comment. There can be no justification for this kind of misrepresentation from a media institution of the BBC’s standing. Please correct the imbalance in this article, and the similarly flawed “Indonesia ex-leader Suharto dies” (link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7211565.stm)

  9. RickB Says:

    Excellent, now I’ll just copy and print that bung my name on it and post it…er I mean…
    I think I’m going to write mine on snail mail, I’ve had 1 good response from several, mostly I think they ignore a lot of the email traffic. That obit/profile is there from now on, so a year from now someone will be fooled by it if it stands. I think we stand a good chance to have it corrected, this isn’t so much news as stopping history going down the memory hole and I would reckon quite a few people will be writing to them about this (I would expect Medialens to be on this too). It’s a bit like writing ‘noted vegetarian and Wagner enthusiast dies, no Jews are expected at the funeral’ for a Hitler obit.

  10. Dave On Fire Says:

    As well as both complaints forms (the one for the news site, and the “serious” one) I got a few addresses from media lens to write to – and CC’ed the editors. Such delicious spam (says the vegetarian) but I’m not staying up til stupid o’clock writing letters just for them to be ignored!
    Good luck with the snail mail, and g’night.

  11. RickB Says:

    copy them to me would you, I’ll also send to them then. And yes goodnight, tis late.

  12. Dave On Fire Says:

    FYI the Media Lens eds have pulled me up on one thing: the US turned far more than a blind eye to the invasion of East Timor too. moral: if you’re gonna write angry letters to Aunty Beeb, 4am is not the time to do it.

  13. RickB Says:

    Latin that up and you gots yourself a fine motto there!

  14. Andrew Says:

    General Suharto spent his evil life creating an American version of the Dutch East Indies Corporation (VoC); in 1961 he organised a pathetic attempt at a military invasion of West Papua, while his Freeport friends in Washington tricked Kennedy into writing the “New York Agreement” selling the people of West Papua like cattle to Indonesia.

    After Suharto came to power he gave the colonial minerals to Freeport & related American corporations; and he put the population of Java to work in factories making the cheap American clothes of the 1970s.
    By time America moved its cheap factories to Mexico the people of Java had developed a taste for Colonial Profits of West Papua & other colonies, and they liked it.

  15. RickB Says:

    Hello Andrew, thanks for that information and I’ve perused the website and well worth a visit, I’ll have to examine this in detail and post about it.
    http://wpik.org/
    ” According to US Dept. of State and hundreds of NGO records and reports the Indonesian military and government continues a brutal regime of theft, murder, rape; and acording to the opinion of the Yale Law School, genocide.

    Some corporations share three anti-Papuan motives (Gold, Oil, Colonization), such as Freeport McMoRan mining of Papua’s gold & copper with the world’s largest mine dumping over 300,000 tones of waste per day into the world’s oceans and environment. The Tangguh LNG Project despite foreign and local concerns and reports; seeks the Indonesian military’s (TNI) colonial access to the nation’s wealth and to suppress the people’s objections, a military who cut down the Papuan forests for China Olympics, Japanese paper, European and US furniture markets while eliminating the Papuan population’s homelands and hope of hidding from TNI attack. Exxon, Freeport, Bechtel, and their US Indonesia Society lobby want silence about West Papua, want colonial access to its minerals; even the US Congress were not allowed to ask these questions about West Papua; so we hope you will ask questions and let the US electorate know. “

  16. Ding Dong « Complex System Of Pipes Says:

    […] all that, but after a little prompting from RickB, I wrote a long and angry email to Aunty Beeb: Dear BBC Online News […]

  17. Chicken Yoghurt » Blog Archive » Polishing turds Says:

    […] Sure, like everybody else, I’ve tried to see the sunny uplands of the cuddlier aspects of the old butcher’s personality, but the view was obscured by piles of bodies. […]


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: