[News] The Forgotten Holocaust: The 1965-66 Massacre Against Indonesia’s Communists

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The
Forgotten Holocaust: The 1965-66 Massacre Against Indonesia’s CommunistsBy
Nikos Mottas – Sep 30, 2021


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 US 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 in 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.

RELATED CONTENT: Manufacturing Consent for War: 70 Years of CIA Coups,
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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 pointed 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.
Indonesian Army massacred thousands of communists and Communist Party
supporters and sympathisers after overthrowing the Sukarno government in
1965. File photo.

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 played 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].

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The role of the imperialists in the Indonesia massacre has been confirmed
by academics 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 US
and British governments did “everything in their power” to ensure that the
Indonesian army could 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 tries to erase its bloody past in order to safeguard its
future*

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 could
not 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] *CIA 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.

*Featured image: General Suharto, who became the president of Indonesia
after overthrowing the government of President Sukarno in 1965 and
massacring thousands of communists, with US President Richard Nixon at the
White House, May 1970. The US actively supported the 1965 coup. Photo:
Richard Nixon Foundation*

(In Defense of Communism
<http://www.idcommunism.com/2017/09/the-forgotten-holocaust-1965-66.html?fbclid=IwAR2zN7yjGqkUYU2E-FQrv5kszT7rIy8C4RWgCWowRJbDh0m3oIsb8CIbPi0>
)


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