Beast of the Month - June 1998
President Suharto, Indonesian Genocidal Dictator
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
Last month was a time of many tear-filled farewells: so long, Seinfeld and friends, so long, Frank Sinatra, so long, Phil Hartman.
But some farewells were not so sad. In fact, one could call it a watershed time of curtain calls for the Third World puppets of the international lords. Cambodia's Pol Pot, about to face trial in international court for his reign of genocide, suddenly died (at least that's what is being claimed.) General Pinochet of Chile finally retired, closing the most shocking chapter of US sponsored mass murder in Latin America. And in South Africa, the former head of the racist Apartheid government, P. W. Botha, faced trial and likely imprisonment for his own nasty reign.
And yet, as bad as Botha, Pinochet, and Pol Pot are, General Suharto, until last month the President of Indonesia, deserves special recognition, and special award, for his years of bloodthirst which have apparently come to an end.
In 1965, after 20 years of trying to get rid of then-Indonesian President Sukarno (using such ploys as assassination attempts and making a porno flick with a Sukarno look-alike to embarrass him), the CIA succeeded, instigating a failed "leftist" coup to justify a military junta takeover, led by General Suharto, to protect the masses. It was later uncovered by diplomatic documents that the failed coup was a setup to justify the coup d'etat.
Within a few weeks of takeover - as shown in the Mel Gibson-Signourey Weaver flick The Year of Living Dangerously - a massive bloodshed ensued, with up to a million Indonesians being killed by gruesome death squads (who had their hit lists provided by the State Department and the CIA.)
Pretty impressive, but that apparently was just a warm-up. Ten years later, in 1975, Suharto's army invaded the small nation of East Timor, a former Portuguese colony with tremendous oil reserves. In the years that followed, 200,000 (or between a quarter and a third of all people in East Timor) were slaughtered, courtesy of the Suharto army.
As Mark Zepezauer puts it in The CIA's Greatest Hits: "On a per-capita basis, East Timor is the greatest genocide since the Holocaust. Combined with the 1965 killings and other Indonesian atrocities, it puts Suharto in the first rank of twentieth-century mass murders, right up there with Hitler, Stalin, the Turks who massacred the Armenians in 1915 and the generals who run Guatemala."
As for the oil reserves that East Timor was invaded over, they unsurprisingly didn't go to the masses of Indonesia. Instead, it went to powerful multinational corporations, along with Suharto's friends and family. Among the more prominent firms that climbed in bed with Suharto are Edison, Ford Motor and General Electric. Another firm that did big business with Indonesia was Huffco, run by Houston oilman (and pal of George Bush) Roy Huffington, who paid back the Indonesian gift by selling the military shock batons. (The blood money Huffington earned later financed the absurd political career of his empty-suited son Michael and the deranged babbling of Michael's wife, New Age-cultist/right-wing kook Ariana Huffington.) Meanwhile, Suharto and his friends and family turned Indonesia into a obscene kleptocracy, swindling up to $40 billion in his 32 years as President. Among the corporations the Suharto clan drew paychecks from: Deutsche Telecom, Edison Mission Energy, General Dynamics, General Electric, Hyatt Hotels, Hyundai, Lucent Technologies and Merrill Lynch.
And where did this $40 billion go? One of the closest chums of the Suharto family was the Riady family, who kontrol the Lippo Group, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate with investments throughout Asia. Lippo stood to lose millions should China's MFN status be revoked. No problem. Lippo, through bagman John Huang, gave $100,000 to Slick Willie's 1993 inaugural bash, as well as at least $1,250,000 to the Democrats in the 1996 election cycle. They also paid longtime Klinton pal Webster Hubbell (aka Webba the Hubb) $100,000 when he faced criminal prosecution.
The results of all this money peddling? The Klinton administration backed a $2 billion project in Fujian, China, pushed for an end to US trade restrictions on Vietnam, and the delinking of trade with China from its human rights violations, all decisions that Riady and Lippo coincidentally profited magnificently off of. Meanwhile, last November, the announced $40 billion bailout of the Indonesian government included a direct $3 billion commitment from American taxpayers. Not a bad return on investment.
The return was not seen by the people of Indonesia or East Timor, of course. As Campaign for Labor Rights has noted on the so-called "Indonesian Miracle":
For decades, Indonesia's economy achieved dramatic growth. Economists measure growth by such standards as the gross domestic product. It is true that recent decades saw a rapid industrialization in Indonesia. For maybe 200 families, many of whom became multi-billionaires, there also was a rapid growth in wealth. For the great majority of Indonesians, however, this has been a period of immeasurable pain. By design and by default, the agricultural foundation of Indonesia's economy has collapsed, causing millions of peasants to leave the land and to head for the cities, where they became a desperate army of the unemployed, lined up outside the sweatshop hiring gates. Fundamentally, what is wrong with Indonesia's economy is that is impoverishes hundreds of millions in order to enrich a few hundred.
One of the biggest profiteers of the Indonesian sweatshops was 1998 BOTY Phil Knight and his corporation Nike. This is no accident, for, as Nike itself stated in a packet presenting the company position on sweatshop issues, a statement which leads to no doubt what Knight and Nike's view is on democracy and its business interest:
If we delve deeper into where Nike has produced sneakers and its comments about political stability, we notice that Nike tends to favor strong governments. For example, Nike was a major producer in both Korea and Taiwan when these countries were largely under military rule. It currently favors China, where the communists and only two men have led the country since 1949, and Indonesia where President Suharto has been in charge since 1967. The communist party is still very much alive in Vietnam. Likewise, Nike never did move into the Philippines in a big way in the 1980s, a period when democracy there flourished. Thailand's democracy movement of 1992 also corresponded to Nike's downgrading of production in that country.
Sadly, all things must come to pass. As a result of widespread resistance to the Suharto regime and due to Suharto's unwillingness to loosen his family's and his friends' deathgrip on the economy, the inevitable hit Indonesia: Suharto resigned last month after widespread rioting, protests and attacks on college students which resembled Kent State.
But don't cry for Suharto, Indonesia. As he and his family withdraw into retirement, a new puppet has been put in place to pacify the people, without any real reform. Or, as The Who would put it, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Suharto, for all his evil, is a mere puppet to those that pulled his strings, just as Pol Pot, Pinochet, and Botha were when they were figureheads of oppression. And all of them received their backing and financing from the same source: the Military-Industrial Komplex and its happy foot-soldiers in the CIA. However, like all puppets that do their job and leave when told to, he will hardly receive the justice that is demanded for his crimes, just as Pol Pot, Pinochet and Botha haven't. As Campaign for Labor Rights notes:
The IMF money is not going to benefit us. As you know, much of the money will be simply transferred to foreign banks that made risky loans to the Indonesian government and Indonesian enterprises. The money will enter Indonesia for a moment and then get sent back out as debt payments... It is astonishing that the foreign banks that made risky loans to a corrupt and unstable economic system want to be repaid in full. It is even more astonishing that they want the Indonesian people to pay for their bad decisions...
Indonesia has an abundance of fertile land, yet we are now begging other countries to give us supplies of our staple food: rice. The Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that Indonesia needs to be given 2 million tons of rice for the estimated 7.5 million Indonesians who will require 'food assistance' within the next year. There is a famine in eastern Indonesia now... We have been told by the Suharto regime and the US government to exchange our political freedoms for economic prosperity. We have wound up with neither.
Incredibly, despite the stark reality, in October 1997, Suharto was given the United Nations prize for poverty eradication. Perhaps he deserves it, if murdering the impoverished is considered a legitimate solution. If Suharto is a role model, one can only shudder at the plans of international elites when a true one world international government is put into power.
Here is one award that Suharto has earned. Through much of his career, Suharto hasn't received the credit that is due to him, in part because his totalitarianism was of a "non-communist" flavor. Thus, while Suharto was butchering East Timor, the western media ignored it while it screamed headlines about the Khmer Rouge (ironic, considering that, since Pol Pot was at least partially financed by the CIA, there wasn't really anything different between the Khmer Rouge and Suharto besides label.) Well, for once, Suharto will not play second fiddle. As a retirement gift, The Konformist recognized Suharto and his ilk for the Beasts that they are.
In any case, we salute you, Suharto, as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, dude!!!
The Year Of Living Dangerously
NIKE AND INDONESIA: Part 1
Sweatshops, economic disaster and repression
May 20, 1998
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The CIA: A Forgotten History
The Chomsky Reader
"Alex, I'll take conspiracy theories for $200" (November 12, 1997)
The CIA's Greatest Hits
Mark Zepenzauer (Odonian Press)
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