In 1965, Indonesia’s government was subjugated by its military. Resulting in about
500,000 deaths, this act of violence brought about what is known as the genocide of Indonesia. It only took the military and a number of civilians just over five months to present the world with what Deirdre Griswold calls “The Second Greatest Crime of the Century.” Key roles of this very brief genocide include President Sukarno and his system of “Guided Democracy”, General
Suharto and his rebellious actions, and the Indonesian Communist Party. The murderers also had help from the United States and the United Kingdom. Of all those associated with the mass killings, the only objective was against the Indonesian Communist Party. The true question is
“Who is to blame?”
Indonesia’s political and economic tension had reached a pinnacle level by the late months of 1965. President Sukarno had witnessed the destruction of his government and established the Guided Democracy. This imperious system was only meant to establish a more organized political order so that no one party or association could dominate all else(Cribb). He claimed that since Indonesia’s Independence from the Dutch, their previous parliamentary democracy had failed(McGregor). At the same time,
Partai Komunis Indonesia or the Indonesian
Communist Party had accumulated national prominence with the help of Sukarno’s Guided
(Cribb & Ford)
. This communist party had claimed over three million members by
1965(McGregor). However, its popularity was not a very auspicious one. It was the nation’s knowledge of their actions that made them the target of the mass killings.
All of the killings, arrests, and captures began on the 30th night of September 1965. A group of army generals were planning a to overthrow Sukarno. They called themselves “30
September Movement”(McGregor). This coup attempt started with the kidnappings and murders of Indonesia’s top six army generals and one lieutenant. The next day, 30 September Movement had managed to seize all broadcasting stations to disclose their pruge and annunciate a revolutionary government which they saw fit for Indonesia. October 1st, 1965 was also the day they had called on the people of Indonesia and the rest of the armed forces to take up arms against the Indonesian Communist Party. These exploits all led back to the doings of General
Suharto and his strive to make a “westernstyle economic development”(Cribb & Ford) for
Indonesia. The “New Order” document which provides the explanations of Suharto’s intentions came about after the genocide, but never does it mention the killings at all(Cribb & Ford). With this attempt, many considered Indonesia as a “nationofintent” because of the aspirations its leaders had(Cribb). General Suharto had a plan to mimic the economic systems of the United
States and Britain for the betterment of his country, but never carried it out. Instead, a half of a million of Indonesians were murdered in the process.
Over the course of six months, Indonesia’s military and a few known civilian militia groups had managed to eradicate about onefifth percent of its population in 1965 and
1966(Gittings). However, this genocide was not without its international devotees. The CIA had provided radio equipment and weaponry. America’s Armed Forces contributed with lots of cash and training. Also, the US state department had allegedly given Indonesia’s military death lists.
Britain also played a key role in these killings. MI6 was given tasks to “help” with certain executions. The exact accounts for which the US and Britain are truly responsible for remain unknown. One cannot say, however, that the US and Britain had no part in the genocide(Oppenheimer & Uwemedimo).
It was obvious that the main beneficiary of President Sukarno’s Guided Democracy was the Indonesian Communist Party(Cribb). President Sukarno promised a political…