1) a physical war of man against man, religion vs religion. This battle of arms was meant as a final resort, only to be undertaken in self-defence. (The West and the Extremists dwell on this. Moreover they pervert it by dropping the reference to self-defence). 2) an internal spiritual struggle. A battle against hate, and towards God (towards love). A fight to submit life to Allah, and not to human whims and desires (esp against the desire to dominate over man).

The term "jihad"; often poorly translated as "Holy War" can mean: 1) a physical war of man against man, religion vs religion. This battle of arms was meant as a final resort, only to be undertaken in self-defence. (The West and extremists dwell on this. Moreover they pervert it by dropping the reference to "self-defence"). 2) an internal spiritual struggle. A battle against hate, and towards God (towards love). A fight to submit life to Allah, and not to human whims and desires (esp against the desire to dominate over man).

So Suharto is dead.

For this I will take a break from Philippine issues and wade into those of a sister nation to which I have some affinity and attachment (I lived there for over a year in 2001).

Here’s some quotes from some papers in Canada:

“World leaders on Sunday praised the late Indonesian president Suharto for the stability and growth he brought to the region…” – The National Post

“…Suharto is credited with stimulating economic growth…” – The Toronto Star

”Suharto is credited with developing the economy…” – 24 Hours

Then, almost in the same breath they write:

“The former general, 86 when he died on Sunday, ruled with an iron fist for 32 years… his time in power, which ended in 1998 after mass protests, also witnessed corruption, massacres and human rights abuses, particularly in separatist hot spots such as Papua and East Timor.” – The National Post

“The estimates of the number of people killed by Suharto’s regime “vary from 300,000 to 2 million, but the exact number nobody knows,” said Asmara Nababan, former secretary general of Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission.”

“[H]e oversaw some of the worst bloodshed of the 20th century…” – 24 Hours

For most of us non-Indonesians (and probably a good number of Indonesians) the story of how he came to power is unknown.

The noodle street vendor down the road from my house.

The noodle street vendor down the road from my house.

The president he took power from was Sukarno, a man who believed in neutralism during the Cold War. He wanted to chart his country’s own path towards development and not succumb to the open market capitalism pushed by West. As such, the West [read: the USA/CIA] was none too happy with him.

Thus the CIA funneled millions of dollars to Sukarno’s political opponents. And a big (and at times downright weird) campaign was put together to paint him a communist and thus to discredit him (and justify a US maneuvered) coup.

One such attempt took advantage of an attractive blonde stewardess on his flight to the Soviet Union. A story published around the world in 1958 revolved around this poor Indonesian man being manipulated by a blonde Soviet spy.

Taking it further the CIA commissioned fake sex photos to implicate the president with this blonde seductress (though there’s no evidence of these photos being used). A porn film, entitled “Happy Days” was also made.

During this period US aid was tied to military training programs (this hasn’t changed in today’s world). They took advantage of this to bring selected Indonesian security people (cops and military) to the US for “special” training—and to sleep with white prostitutes. This was of course paid for by US taxpayers and only helped endear these Indonesians to the Americans.

I know this all sounds ridiculous but it’s all documented, and in no way limited to the Indonesian intervension.

Using bases in the Philippines [groan] the Americans trained the Indonesian military for the next phase. Tens of thousands of Indonesians and mercenaries were assembled (the biggest US organized paramilitary operation ever up to that date) to support a small insurgency against Sukarno (this is a favourite method for the CIA, they call it supporting “freedom fighters”). They used the above mentioned blonde Soviet spy story as one of the claimed rationals for rebellion.

With an arsenal including 15 sanitised b-26 bombers they went on the offensive. Some of their “successes:”
– a ship off Ambon was hit killing all on board, as well as a church on shore, 700 dead [april 1958]
– the Ambon marketplace, killing many on their way to church on Ascension Thursday [15 May 1958].

Three days later an American pilot, Allen Lawrence Pope, was shot down and spent four years in jail before Sukarno acceded to a request from Robert Kennedy to release him. Pope was captured with a set of incriminating documents that established him as a US Air Force pilot, and a CIA operative. This violated standard procedure, but Pope’s alternative would have led to him being shot on the spot (as is custom for spy’s).

Having caught American interference red handed Sukarno managed to survive another seven years.

In 1965 his luck ran out.

On 1 October, General Suharto, a man who previously served Dutch and Japanese masters, led a band of junior military officers, and captured and killed six generals. Suharto claims that the six were Communists (under command of the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party) and that they were planning a government take over.

In order to “protect” the government, Suharto effectively took over, and systematically slaughtered the members and suspected members of the PKI.

“Washington is being careful not to claim any credit for this change [from Sukarno to Suharto]… but this does not mean that Washington had nothing to do with it. There was a great deal more contact between the anti-communist forces in that country and at least one very high official in Washington before and during the Indonesian massacre than is generally realized.” – New York Times, 19 June 1966

“Nearly 100 communists, or suspected communists, were herded into the town’s botanical garden and mowed down with a machine gun… The head that had belonged to the school principal, a PKI member, was stuck on a pole and paraded among his former pupils, convened in a special assembly.” – New York Times, May 1966

Twenty-five years later the Americans admitted that they compiled communist lists and handed them over to military. Said Robert Martens, former member of the US Embassy in Jakarta: “It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.”

Then there was East Timor. Again the Americans worked hard to help their friend in Asia. And another 200,000 died.

Up to two million people were killed by the Suharto regime, he was finally deposed in 1998 when the fake economic bubble burst and street riots broke out.

So Suharto is dead. Let us remember him properly.

——————-

Reference:

Blum, William. Killing Hope (2003), IBON Books.

The ruins of the royal Water Palace in Yogya.

The ruins of the royal Water Palace in Yogya.

Advertisements