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The Sukarno years - UK Relations

 

 

"Indonesia - How the West has won" would be an appropriate title for this intriguing and treacherous development of events in the Sukarno years. CIA plots and cover-ups, UK secret black propaganda and MI6 covert actions to discredit and de-throne President Sukarno.
Covert operations, high-level intrigue after intrigue aimed at removing Sukarno, a thorn in their eyes because of his stand for neutralism.

It reads like a story.
However, we are not talking fiction but deplorable facts.
Numerous books and media articles are available on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

UK and INDONESIA

 

 

 

UK and Indonesia enjoy a close relationship, with many common interests and values. We are partners in challenges like terrorism and global warming, and work together closely within the G20. We are also here to support and protect UK interests in Timor Leste.

Britain is a leading investor in this country. In April 2012 the Prime Minister and President Yudhoyono announced a commitment to double trade (goods & services) by 2015 to £4.4 billion.

We cooperate with international and local agencies to address global challenges including human rights and democracy, regional security, prosperity and climate change.
We also provide assistance, services and practical advice to British nationals visiting or living in Indonesia, and we deal with visa applications for those who wish to enter the UK to visit, study, live or work.

 

 
 

 

Foreign Secretary congratulates Indonesian President Elect

Published 23 July 2014

   

The Foreign Secretary has congratulated the winner of the Indonesian presidential elections and the Indonesian people.


Speaking today, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

I warmly congratulate Joko Widodo on his Presidential election victory as announced by the Indonesian National Electoral Commission yesterday. I also congratulate the Indonesian people for another successful exercise in democracy.

Indonesia is important to the UK: it is the world’s third largest democracy and a close G20 partner. We share many values as democratic, diverse, island trading nations which are strongly reflected in our growing relationship. We work together to promote trade, security, combat climate change, and in many other areas, and that will continue.

I look forward to working with Joko Widodo and his future government to continue to make progress in those important areas, and in building an ever closer and stronger relationship.

   
   
   
   

Statement by British Government

on Indonesia's presidential election 2014


In response to the holding of presidential election on Wednesday, 9 July 2014, British Ambassador to Indonesia Mark Canning said:


We warmly congratulate Indonesia on a successful and peaceful presidential election and look forward to the official result. We urge all sides to continue to follow the electoral process.


This election, one of the largest exercises in democracy in the world, showcases Indonesia’s remarkable progress in recent years and we pay tribute to the important contribution made by President Yudhoyono.

   
   

 
 

 


UK sees Indonesia as strategic partner

Linda Yulisman
The Jakarta Post
Publication Date : 14-01-2013

The United Kingdom (UK) considers Indonesia an increasingly important partner globally and is committed to efforts to take bilateral relations to new heights, a trade envoy says.
Richard Graham, the newly appointed British trade envoy for Indonesia, said that as Indonesia, a new economic power in Asia following China and India, grew further, it would become a strategic partner for the UK in the future.

Progress of bilateral trade was “quite exciting” already, and the UK hoped to pursue more achievements by 2015, when bilateral trade was projected to reach 4.4 billion pounds (US$7.1 billion), he added.
The commitment to double trade figures was attained by both governments during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron and British Trade and Investment Minister Stephen Green last April.
“There’s much more that we can both do and although the target is quite ambitious, it’s much better to have an ambitious target and go for it. Let’s see what we can achieve in the next two-and-a-half year’s,” Graham, who was among eight envoys appointed in November to promote trade in high-growth and developing markets, said in an interview during his recent visit to Jakarta.

Graham said that in terms of investment, Indonesia offered myriad opportunities in infrastructure projects, particularly airports, roads and railways, apart from sectors where British companies already had a significant presence, such as oil and gas, finance and banking and insurance.

Bilateral trade between Indonesia and the UK settled at $2.89 billion in 2011, after surging by 6.61 per cent from $2.11 billion in 2007. Between January and October last year, trade was valued at $2.61 billion, up 8.44 per cent from a year earlier, according to Trade Ministry statistics.
British companies, such as oil and gas company BP and consumer goods company Unilever, have been among the top foreign investors in Indonesia. From January to September last year, the UK invested $900 million in Indonesia, making it the fourth-largest spender in the archipelago.

Graham said that to markedly boost business activities between two countries, he expected the opening of direct non-stop Jakarta-London flights in October.
Apart from that, a priority visa service for regular Indonesian business travellers to Britain has been available since last May. Efforts to further economic activities in both directions will considerably be helped by a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) between Indonesia and the European Union, according to Graham.

Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said that Indonesia aimed to start the negotiations on the Cepa during the visit of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Brussels, Belgium, in March. The partnership talks were planned to start in November, but were delayed.
“The UK is one of the most important global economic powers so it is an appropriate partner to support Indonesia’s climb up the value chain. We are optimistic our cooperation will realise this goal,” he said.

Indonesia expects new investments from the UK in a wide range of areas, including education, creative industry, infrastructure, transportation and energy, which are basically in line with the goals to create more value-added business.
As both countries aspired to cement a long-term cooperative relationship, Indonesia and the UK would in the middle of this year form a group of eminent persons comprising academics, government officials and business people to study concrete measures that could enhance collaboration on both sides until 2030, Gita further said.
“Recommendations by these eminent persons will serve as a reference for both governments,” he added.

 

 

 


US and British complicity in the 1965 slaughters in Indonesia
01Feb07

By Mark Curtis
Third World Resurgence, Issue 137, 2002

With the release of more declassified US government documents on policy towards Indonesia in 1965, complicity in mass murder becomes ever clearer. Viewed alongside the British declassified files, a fairly clear picture emerges of Western support for one of the postwar world’s worst bloodbaths – what US officials at the time called a “reign of terror” and British officials “ruthless terror”.

However, unlike the terrorists responsible for the outrage of September 11, precisely nothing has ever been done to bring those responsible in Indonesia – and their supporters in Washington and London – to account.

The killings in Indonesia started when a group of army officers loyal to President Sukarno assassinated several generals on 30 September 1965. They believed the generals were about to stage a coup to overthrow Sukarno. The instability, however, provided other anti-Sukarno generals, led by General Suharto, with an excuse for the army to move against a powerful and popular political faction with mass support, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). It did so brutally: in a few months hundreds of thousands of PKI members and ordinary people were killed and the PKI destroyed. Suharto emerged as leader and instituted a repressive regime that lasted until 1998.

The declassified documents show five ways in which the US and Britain were complicit in this slaughter. First, both the US and Britain wanted the army to act and encouraged them to do it. US officials expressed their hope of “army at long last to act effectively against Communists” [sic]. “We are, as always, sympathetic to army’s desire to eliminate communist influence” and ”it is important to assure the army of our full support of its efforts to crush the PKI”, other officials noted.

The British were equally enthusiastic. “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change”, the ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, informed the Foreign Office on 5 October.

Support for army actions continued throughout the period of the worst killings; there is no question that US and British officials knew exactly what they were supporting.

The following day the Foreign Office in London stated that “the crucial question still remains whether the Generals will pluck up enough courage to take decisive action against the PKI”. Later it noted that “we must surely prefer an Army to a Communist regime” and declared: “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.

In the short run, and while the present confusion continues, we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the Generals”. British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a General’s regime”, one intelligence official explained.

Support for army actions continued throughout the period of the worst killings; there is no question that US and British officials knew exactly what they were supporting.
US Ambassador Marshall Green noted three weeks after the attempted coup and with the killings having begun, that “Army has… been working hard at destroying PKI and I, for one, have increasing respect for its determination and organisation in carrying out this crucial assignment”. Green noted in the same despatch the “execution of PKI cadres”, putting the figure at “several hundred of them” in “Djakarta area alone” [sic]. “To date, army has performed far better than anticipated in attacking PKI and regrouping”.

On 1 November, Green informed the State Department of the army’s “moving relentlessly to exterminate the PKI as far as that is possible to do”. Three days later he noted that “Embassy and USG generally sympathetic with and admiring of what army doing” [sic]. Four days after this the US Embassy reported that the Army and allied elements “has continued systematic drive to destroy PKI in northern Sumatra with wholesale killings reported”.

By 16 November, the US Consulate in Medan was reporting that “much indiscriminate killing is taking place”. “Something like a reign of terror against PKI is taking place. This terror is not discriminating very carefully between PKI leaders and ordinary PKI members with no ideological bond to the party”. A British official reported on 25 November that “PKI men and women are being executed in very large numbers”.

By mid December the State Department noted approvingly that “Indonesian military leaders’ campaign to destroy PKI is moving fairly swiftly and smoothly”. By 14 February 1966 Ambassador Green could note that “the PKI has been destroyed as an effective political force for some time to come” and that “the Communists…have been decimated by wholesale massacre”.

The US and British files reveal total support for these massacres.
I could find no reference to any concern about the extent of killing at all –
other than constant encouragement for the army to continue.


The British files reveal that by January the US estimated the number of dead at 150,000, although one Indonesian armed forces liaison officer told US attaches of a figure of 500,000. By March one British official wondered “how much of it [the PKI] is left, after six months of killing” and believed that over 200,000 had been killed in Sumatra alone.
By April, the US Embassy stated that “we frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000 but believe it wiser to err on the side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press”.

Summarising the events of 1965 the British Consul in Medan referred to the army by noting that: “Posing as saviours of the nation from a communist terror, they unleashed a ruthless terror of their own, the scare of which will take many years to heal.” Another British memo referred to the “an operation carried out on a very large scale and often with appalling savagery”. Another simply referred to the “bloodbath”.

The US and British files reveal total support for these massacres. I could find no reference to any concern about the extent of killing at all – other than constant encouragement for the army to continue. And it was not only PKI activists who were the targets of this terror. As the British files show, many of the victims were the “merest rank and file “ of the PKI who were “often no more than bewildered peasants who give the wrong answer on a dark night to bloodthirsty hooligans bent on violence”, with the connivance of the army.

The second way in the US and Britain supported the slaughter concerned the “Confrontation” between Malaya and Indonesia. Here, Britain had deployed tens of thousands troops, mainly in Borneo, to defend Malaya against possible Indonesian encroachments following territorial claims. British policy “did not want to distract the Indonesian army by getting them engaged in fighting in Borneo and so discourage them from the attempts which they now seem to be making to deal with the PKI”. British Ambassador Gilchrist proposed that “we should get word to the Generals that we shall not attack them whilst they are chasing the PKI”, described as a “necessary task”. In October the British passed to the Generals, through a US contact “a carefully phrased oral message about not biting the Generals in the back for the present”.

“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”.

The US files confirm that the message from the US, conveyed on 14 October, read: “First, we wish to assure you that we have no intention of interfering Indonesian internal affairs directly or indirectly. Second, we have good reason to believe that none of our allies intend to initiate any offensive action against Indonesia” [sic]. The message was greatly welcomed by the army: One of the Indonesian Defence Minister’s aides noted that “this was just what was needed by way of assurances that we (the army) weren’t going to be hit from all angles as we moved to straighten things out here”.

Third is the “hit list” of targets supplied by the US to the Indonesian army. As the journalist Kathy Kadane has revealed, as many as 5,000 names of provincial, city and other local PKI committee members and leaders of the mass organisations of the PKI, such as the national labour federation, women’s and youth groups, were passed on the Generals, many of whom were subsequently killed. “It really was a big help to the army” noted Robert Martens, a former member of the US embassy. “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”.

The declassified US files do not provide many further details about the provision of this hit list, although they do confirm it. One list of names, for example, was passed to the Indonesians in December 1965 and “is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time”. It also notes that “lists of other officials in the PKI affiliates, Partindo and Baperki were also provided to GOI [Government of Indonesia] officials at their request”.

The fourth means of support was propaganda operations.
On 5 October a “political adviser” at the British intelligence base in Singapore reported to the Foreign Office in London that: “we should not miss the present opportunity to use the situation to our advantage… I recommend that we should have no hesitation in doing what we can surreptitiously to blacken the PKI in the eyes of the army and the people of Indonesia”.

The Foreign Office replied: “We certainly do not exclude any unattributable propaganda or psywar [psychological warfare] activities which would contribute to weakening the PKI permanently. We therefore agree with the [above] recommendation… Suitable propaganda themes might be… Chinese interference in particular arms shipments; PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign communists”.

On 9 October the political adviser confirmed that “we have made arrangements for distribution of certain unattributable material based on the general guidance” in the Foreign Office memo. This involved “promoting and coordinating publicity” critical of the Sukarno government to “news agencies, newspapers and radio”. “The impact has been considerable”, one file notes.

The fifth means of support was provision of equipment – although this remains the murkiest area to uncover. Past US support to the military “should have established clearly in minds Army leaders that US stands behind them if they should need help”, the State Department noted. US strategy was to “avoid overt involvement in the power struggle but… indicate, clearly but covertly, to key Army officers our desire to assist where we can.”

The Indonesia campaign is one of the most bloody in the postwar history of US-UK collaboration

The first US supplies to the Indonesian army were radio equipment “to help in internal security” and to help the Generals “in their task of overcoming the Communists”, as British Ambassador Gilchrist out it. The US historian Gabriel Kolko has shown that in early November 1965 the US received a request from the Generals to “arm Moslem and nationalist youths…for use against the PKI”. The recently published files confirm this approach from the Indonesians. On 1 November Ambassador Green cabled Washington that “as to the provision of small arms I would be leery about telling army we are in position to provide same, although we should act, not close our minds to this possibility… We could explore availability of small arms stocks, preferable of non-US origin, which could be obtained without any overt US government involvement. We might also examine channels through which we could, if necessary, provide covert assistance to army for purchase of weapons”.

A CIA memo of 9 November stated that the US should avoid being “too hesitant about the propriety of extending such assistance provided we can do so covertly, in a manner which will not embarrass them or embarrass our government”.

It then noted that mechanisms exist or can be created to deliver “any of the types of the materiel requested to date in reasonable quantities”. One line of text is then not declassified before the memo notes: “The same can be said of purchasers and transfer agents for such items as small arms, medicine and other items requested.”

The memo goes on to note that “we do not propose that the Indonesian army be furnished such equipment at this time”. However, “if the Army leaders justify their needs in detail…it is likely that at least will help ensure their success and provide the basis for future collaboration with the US”. “The means for covert implementation” for the delivery of arms “are within our capabilities”.

In response to the Indonesia request for arms, Kolko has shown that the US promised to provide such covert aid, and dubbed them “medicines”. The declassified files state that “the Army really needed the medicines” and that the US was keen to indicate “approval in a practical way of the actions of the Indonesian army”. The extent of arms provided is not revealed in the files but the amount “the medicines would cost was a mere pittance compared with the advantages that might accrue to the US as a result of ‘getting in on the ground floor’”, one file reads. A meeting in Washington of 4 December approved the provision of such “medicines”.

“it is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters. If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia… I think we ought to take an act and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves”.

The British knew of these arms supplies and it is likely they also approved them. Britain was initially reluctant to see US equipment go to the Generals lest it be used in the “Confrontation”. Thus the British files show that the US State Department had “undertaken to consult with us before they do anything to support the Generals”. It is possible that the US reneged on this commitment; however, in earlier discussions about this possibility, a British official at the embassy in Washington noted that “I do not think that is very likely”.

The British files in particular show very close relations between the US and British embassies in Jakarta.
They point to a somewhat coordinated joint US-UK operation to help install a Generals regime and bring about
a government more favourable to Western economic and political interests.

The Indonesia campaign is one of the most bloody in the postwar history of US-UK collaboration that includes the joint overthrow of the Musaddiq regime in Iran in 1953, the removal of the population of the British island of Diego Garcia to make way for a US military base in 1965, UK support for US aggression in Vietnam, Central America, Grenada, Panama and Libya and covert operations in Cambodia and Afghanistan. The current phase of the special relationship is witnessed in joint military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Basic US and British concerns and priorities regarding mid-1960s Indonesia are laid out in the files.
For the British the importance of Southeast Asia was partly explained by the fact that

Southeast Asia is a major producer of some essential commodities” such as rubber, copra and chromuim ore. “Economically, Southeast Asia is a major producer of raw materials… and the defence of the sources of these products and their denial to a possible enemy are major interests to the Western powers”.

Indonesia also “occupies a key position in world communications”, straddling important sea and air routes.
And Britain wanted, of course, to see a change in regime in Jakarta to bring an end to the “Confrontation”
with Malaya.

British Foreign Secretary Michel Stewart wrote at the time that

it is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters.

If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia…
I think we ought to take an act and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves”.

The British feared
the resurgence of Communist and radical nationalism”.

 

 

For the US, Under Secretary of State George Ball had noted that

Indonesia “may be more important to us than South V-N [Vietnam]” (251).

“At stake”,
one US memo read, “are 100 million people, vast potential resources and a strategically important chain of islands”.

Basic US priorities were virtually identical in Vietnam and Indonesia:
to prevent the consolidation of an independent nationalist regime,
with communist components and sympathies, that threatened
Western economic and political interests and that could act as a successful development model.

 

 

“if these efforts succeeded, Indonesia would provide a powerful example for the underdeveloped world and hence a credit to communism and a setback for Western prestige”.

The US Ambassador in Malaysia cabled Washington a year before the October 1965 events in Indonesia saying that “our difficulties with Indonesia stem basically from deliberate, positive GOI [Government of Indonesia] strategy of seeking to push Britain and the US out of Southeast Asia”. Ball noted in March 1965 that “our relations with Indonesia are on the verge of falling apart”. “Not only has the management of the American rubber plants been taken over, but there are dangers of an imminent seizure of the American oil companies”.

The Sukarno regime clearly had the wrong priorities. According to one US report: “the government occupies a dominant position in basic industry, public utilities, internal transportation and communication”. “It is probable that private ownership will disappear and may be succeeded by some form of production-profit-sharing contract arrangements to be applied to all foreign in vestment”. Overall, “the avowed Indonesian objective is ‘to stand on their own feet’ in developing their economy, free from foreign, especially Western, influence” – clearly all heretical priorities to basic US-UK strategy that – as today – needed to be defeated.

The problem with the PKI was not so much its communism but its nationalism: “it is likely that PKI foreign policy decisions, like those of Sukarno, would stress Indonesian national interests above those of Peking, Moscow or international communism in general”, one memo reads. The real danger of a Communist Indonesia was outlined in a Special National Intelligence Estimate of 1 September 1965. This referred to the PKI’s moving “to energize and unite the Indonesia nation” and stated that “if these efforts succeeded, Indonesia would provide a powerful example for the underdeveloped world and hence a credit to communism and a setback for Western prestige”. The problem was that Indonesia would be too successful, a fear in the minds of US planners well documented by Kolko and Noam Chomsky in policy towards numerous other countries.

The Army was by no means the perfect ally of the US in Indonesia – as the files note, it “was strongly nationalist in orientation and strongly favours the takeover of Western economic interests”. Nevertheless in the choice between Sukarno and the PKI on the one hand and the army on the other, “the army deserves our support”. And over time a combination of Western advice, aid and investment did transform the Indonesian economy into one that, although retaining an important nationalist element, provided substantial opportunities and profits for Western investors, aided by an increasingly corrupt President Suharto. The West supported Suharto throughout the three-decade long rule of repression, including in the regime’s murderous policies in East Timor after the invasion of 1975. The hundreds of thousands of deaths then were as irrelevant to US and British officials as those in 1965.

Note: The US files referred to were published last year in the Foreign Relations of the United States series by the US Government Printing Office. British files are in Public Record Office, London.

 

 

 

 


Ini Cara Kami Hancurkan Soekarno!


Pada musim gugur 1965, Norman Reddaway (George Frank Norman Reddaway) seorang yang terpelajar dengan karir
yang bagus di Kantor Luar Negeri Inggris, mendapat brifing untuk suatu misi khusus.
Duta Besar Inggris untuk Indonesia saat itu, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, baru saja mengunjungi London untuk berdiskusi dengan Kepala Dinas Luar Negeri, Joe Garner.

Diskusi itu mengenai Operasi Rahasia (Covert Operations) untuk melemahkan Sukarno, Presiden Indonesia yang merepotkan dan berpikiran mandiri, ternyata tidak berjalan dengan baik. Lalu, Garner dibujuk untuk mengirim Reddaway, pakar propaganda FO, untuk Indonesia.
Tugasnya untuk mengambil hati anti-Sukarno dalam "Operasi Propaganda" yang dijalankan oleh Kementerian Luar Negeri Inggris dan Dinas Rahasia M16. Garner memberikan Reddaway £100.000 poundsterling tunai untuk melakukan apapun
yang bisa dilakukan untuk menyingkirkan Sukarno.

Kemudian Reddaway bergabung dengan sebuah tim yang terdiri dari kelompok campuran dari Kementerian Luar Negeri Inggris, M16, Departemen Luar Negeri dan CIA di Timur Jauh (Asia Timur), semua berjuang untuk menggulingkan
Sukarno dalam difus dan cara-cara licik.
Selama enam bulan ke depan, ia dan rekan-rekannya akan menjalankan misi menjauhkan dan meretakkan teman dan kerabat yang bersekutu di rezim Sukarno, merusak reputasinya dan membantu musuh-musuhnya di militer.

Pada bulan Maret 1966 basis kekuatan Sukarno mulai compang-camping dan ia dipaksa untuk menyerahkan kekuasaan kepresidenan kepada Jenderal Suharto, sebagai panglima militer, yang sudah menjalankan kampanye dengan pembunuhan massal terhadap dugaan komunisme.
Menurut Reddaway, penggulingan Sukarno adalah salah satu kudeta dan misi paling sukses yang dilakukan oleh Kantor Luar Negeri Inggris yang telah mereka rahasiakan sampai sekarang.
Intervensi Inggris di Indonesia, disamping operasi CIA yang "gratis", menunjukkan seberapa jauh Kementerian Luar Negeri siap untuk melakukan operasi rahasianya dalam mencampuri urusan negara lain selama Perang Dingin.

Indonesia sangat penting baik secara ekonomi dan strategis. Pada tahun 1952, AS mencatat bahwa jika Indonesia jauh
dari pengaruh Barat, maka negara tetangganya seperti Malaya mungkin akan mengikuti, dan mengakibatkan hilangnya sumber utama dunia karet alam, timah dan produsen minyak serta komoditas lainnya yang sangat strategis dan penting.
Ketika terjadi penjajahan oleh Jepang saat Perang Dunia Kedua di Indonesia, yang bagi orang Indonesia bahwa ini adalah sebuah periode lain yang dilakukan oleh pemerintahan kolonial, telah direvitalisasi gerakan nasionalis yang setelah perang, menyatakan kemerdekaan dan berkuasanya Republik Indonesia.

Ahmad Sukarno menjadi presiden pertama Indonesia. Kekhawatiran Barat tentang rezim Sukarno tumbuh karena kekuatan Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) yang pada puncaknya beranggotakan lebih dari 10 juta, ini adalah partai komunis terbesar
di luar negara komunis (non-komunis) di dunia.
Kekhawatiran dunia barat tidak dapat disembuhkan oleh kebijakan internal dan eksternal Sukarno, termasuk nasionalisasi aset Dunia Barat dan peran pemerintah untuk PKI.

Pada era awal Sukarno di tahun 60-an, masa ini telah menjadi duri besar bagi Inggris dan Amerika. Mereka percaya ada bahaya nyata bahwa Indonesia akan jatuh ke komunis. Untuk menyeimbangkan kekuatan ketentaraan yang tumbuh, Sukarno menyelaraskan dirinya lebih dekat dengan PKI.

Indikasi pertama dari ketertarikan Inggris dalam menghilangkan Sukarno muncul dalam sebuah memorandum CIA dari
tahun 1962. Perdana Menteri Macmillan dan Presiden Kennedy setuju untuk melikuidasi Presiden Sukarno, tergantung
pada situasi dan kesempatan yang tersedia.
Permusuhan terhadap Sukarno diintensifkan oleh keberatan Indonesia atas keberadaan "Federasi Malaysia". Sukarno mengeluhkan proyek ini sebagai plot neo-kolonial yang menunjukkan bahwa Federasi adalah proyek Barat untuk mengekspansi tanah raja-raja Malon dengan cara mencomot wilayah pulau Kalimantan dan penerusan pengaruh Inggris
di wilayah tersebut.

Tercatat dalam sejarah sebelum terjadi penjajahan di wilayah Asia Tenggara oleh Inggris, Belanda, Portugis dan negara imperialis lainnya, Nusantara jauh lebih besar. Kini terkotak-kotak dan terpisah sesuai dengan 'bagi-bagi kue' diantara
negara imperialis tersebut.

Niat Sukarno ingin menyatukan kembali raja-raja yang dulunya bersatu padu kembali berjaya dalam Republik Indonesia Raya (Greater Indonesia) atau Melayu Raya.
Pada tahun 1963 keberatan Sukarno mengkristal dalam kebijakan tentang "Konfrontasi Indonesia-Malon", yaitu sebuah kebijaksanaan untuk memutuskan hubungan diplomatik dengan pihak Malon yang dianggap pro-imperialis, dan segera ditambah dengan intervensi militer tingkat rendah oleh Indonesia.

Sebuah perang perbatasan yang berlarut-larut dimulai sepanjang 700 mil di perbatasan antara Indonesia dan Malon di pulau Kalimantan dan pihak Malon sempat kewalahan, lalu pihak mereka akhirnya dibantu oleh Inggris dan juga dibantu Australia.

Sukarno tak rela, saudara-saudara mereka (suku Dayak dan suku lainnya di Kalimantan) yang tinggal di satu pulau,
ternyata dibagi menjadi dua bagian, mereka sejatinya adalah satu, satu saudara, dan tak boleh dipisahkan.
Dan sebenarnya memang begitulah yang terbaik bagi mereka untuk menjadi satu, namun karena ada campur tangan
Inggris di sana pada saat menjajah, maka pulau yang terdiri dari para raja-raja Kalimantan tersebut justru dibagi menjadi
dua bagian.

Kalimantan dibagi-bagi, dan pembagian daerah jajahan ini dilakukan oleh negara imperialis setelah menguasai Kalimantan. Dua bagian itu adalah utara dan selatan, yang bagian utara menjadi Kalimantan Utara (bekas jajahan Inggris dan menjadi negara caplokan boneka Malon, karena di dukung Inggris) dan wilayah Kalimantan Selatan (bekas jajahan Belanda dan
tetap menjadi Indonesia).
Jadi secara otomatis mental para raja-raja Malon adalah memang bukan pejuang dan merupakan kaki-tangan Imperialis Inggris sejak dulu hingga kini.

Menurut sumber-sumber Kementerian Luar Negeri Inggris, keputusan untuk menyingkirkan Sukarno telah diambil oleh pemerintah Konservatif Macmillan dan dilakukan selama pemerintahan partai buruh oleh Wilson pada tahun 1964.
Kementerian Luar Negeri Inggris telah bekerja sama dengan rekan-rekan Amerika mereka pada sebuah rencana untuk menggulingkan Sukarno yang masih bergolak.
Maka dibuatlah sebuah operasi rahasia dan strategi perang psikologis yang menghasut, berbasis di Phoenix Park, Singapura, markas Inggris di kawasan itu.

Tim intelijen M16 Inggris melakukan hubungan dekat secara terus-menerus dengan elemen kunci dalam ketentaraan Indonesia melalui Kedutaan Besar Inggris. Salah satunya adalah Ali Murtopo, kemudian kepala intelijen Jenderal Suharto, dan petugas M16 juga secara terus-menerus melakukan perjalanan bolak-balik antara Singapura dan Jakarta.

Ali Murtopo berperan besar dalam melakukan modernisasi intelejen Indonesia.
Ia terlibat dalam operasi-operasi intelejen dengan nama Operasi Khusus (Opsus) yang terutama ditujukan untuk memberangus lawan-lawan politik pemerintahan Soeharto.

Pada tahun 1968, Ali menggagas peleburan partai-partai politik, yang saat itu sangat banyak jumlahnya, menjadi
beberapa partai saja agar lebih mudah dikendalikan.
Hal ini kemudian terwujud pada tahun 1973 sewaktu semua partai melebur menjadi tiga partai: Golkar,
PPP (penggabungan partai-partai berbasis Islam), dan PDI (penggabungan partai-partai berbasis nasionalis).

Pada tahun 1971, bersama Soedjono Hoemardhani, asisten pribadi Soeharto, ia merintis pendirian CSIS
(Centre for Strategic and International Studies) yang merupakan lembaga penelitian kebijakan pemerintahan.
Pada tahun 1972, ia menerbitkan tulisan
"Dasar-dasar Pemikiran tentang Akselerasi Modernisasi Pembangunan 25 Tahun"
yang selanjutnya diterima MPR sebagai strategi pembangunan jangka panjang (PJP).

Dengan adanya rencana ini, berarti pemerintahan baru Indonesia dibawah Suharto adalah sebuah rezim terencana,
yang telah merencanakan kepemimpinan selama 25 tahun ke depan!

Informasi Departemen Riset Kantor Luar Negeri Inggris (The Foreign Office’s Information Research Department atau IRD)
juga bekerja dari Phoenix Park, Singapura guna memperkuat kerja intelijen M16 dan ahli perang psikologis militer.
IRD didirikan oleh pemerintah Partai Buruh di Inggris pada tahun 1948 untuk melakukan perang propaganda anti-komunis melawan Soviet.

Tetapi dengan cepat justru IRD menjadi andalan dalam berbagai operasi gerakan anti-kemerdekaan dalam usaha penurunan kolonial dan imperialisme oleh Kerajaan Inggris (British Empire) oleh negara-negara yang sedang dijajah, termasuk di utara pulau Kalimantan yang masih dipertahankan oleh Inggris melalui Malaysia, hingga kini.

Pada tahun 60-an, IRD memiliki staf di London sekitar 400 orang dan staf informasi yang berada di seluruh dunia guna mempengaruhi liputan media yang menguntungkan pihak Inggris.
Menurut Roland Challis, koresponden BBC pada saat di Singapura, wartawan terbuka bagi manipulasi IRD, karena ironisnya kebijakan Sukarno sendiri.

Dengan cara yang aneh dan tetap menjaga keberadaan media dari luar negeri di Indonesia, Sukarno justru membuat mereka manjadi korban dari media resmi luar negeri tersebut karena hampir satu-satunya informasi penyadapan dan mata-mata yang bisa didapatkan adalah dari Duta Besar Inggris di Jakarta.

Kesempatan untuk mengisolasi Sukarno dan PKI datang pada bulan Oktober 1965 ketika dugaan percobaan kudeta oleh PKI adalah 'dalih dari tentara' untuk menggulingkan Sukarno dan membasmi PKI.
Siapa sebenarnya yang menghasut kudeta, dan untuk tujuan apa, tetap menjadi spekulasi. Namun, dalam beberapa hari kudeta itu telah dilakukan lalu terjadi kehancuran, dan pihak tentara dengan tegas telah mengendalikan situasi.

Kemudian Suharto menuduh Partai Komunis Indonesia atau PKI berada di balik kudeta, dan mulai menekan mereka.
Setelah kudeta yang dirancang oleh Inggris dengan memanfaatkan situasi telah berhasil, pada tanggal 5 Oktober 1966, Alec Adams, penasihat politik untuk Commander-in-Chief, Wilayah Timur Jauh, menyarankan Departemen Luar Negeri:
"Kita harus tak ragu-ragu untuk melakukan apa yang kami bisa lakukan secara diam-diam untuk menghitamkan PKI di mata tentara dan orang-orang Indonesia."

Kementerian Luar Negeri Inggris setuju dan menyarankan tema propaganda yang cocok seperti kekejaman PKI dan intervensi Cina.
Salah satu tujuan utama yang dikejar oleh IRD adalah membuat opini tentang ancaman yang ditimbulkan oleh PKI dan komunis Cina. Laporan surat kabar Inggris terus menekankan bahaya yang akan dilakukan PKI.

Merujuk pada pengalaman mereka di Malaya di tahun 50-an, Inggris menekankan sifat Cina dari ancaman komunis.
Roland Challis mengatakan, "Salah satu hal yang lebih sukses yang ingin dilakukan Barat ke para politisi non-komunis di Indonesia adalah untuk mentransfer seluruh ide komunisme ke minoritas Tionghoa di Indonesia. Ternyata hal itu malah menguntungkan Inggris karena menjadi sebuah 'rasis etnis'. Ini adalah masalah mengerikan yang telah dilakukan Inggris untuk menghasut orang Indonesia agar bangkit dan membantai orang Cina."

Tapi keterlibatan Sukarno dengan PKI pada bulan-bulan setelah kudeta berdarah justru yang akhirnya menjadi kartu truf untuk Inggris.
Menurut Reddaway, "Pemimpin komunis, Aidit, melarikan diri alias buron dan Sukarno menjadi politikus, pergi ke depan istana dan mengatakan bahwa pemimpin komunis Aidit harus diburu dan diadili. Dari pintu samping istana, Sukarno selalu berurusan dengan Aidit setiap hari oleh seorang kurir."


Informasi ini diungkapkan oleh intelijen sinyal GCHQ Inggris (the signal intelligence of Britain’s, GCHO).
Orang-orang Indonesia tidak memiliki teknologi tentang rahasia mata-mata stasiun radio dengan bermuka dua dipantau dan didengar oleh GCHQ, sedangkan Inggris memiliki basis penyadapan utama di Hong Kong untuk menyiarkan peristiwa di Indonesia.

Mendiskreditkan Sukarno adalah penting bagi Inggris. Sukarno tetap menjadi pemimpin yang dihormati dan populer selama Suharto yang tidak bisa bergerak secara terbuka, sampai kondisi benar-bener memungkinkan untuk melakukan kudeta.
Rentetan konstan dengan cakupan internasional yang buruk dan posisi politik jungkir balik Sukarno, secara fatal telah merusak dirinya.

Pada tanggal 11 Maret 1966, Sukarno dipaksa untuk menandatangani surat atas pengambil-alih kekuasaan kepada
Jenderal Suharto yang dikenal sebagai Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret (Supersemar) tahun 1966.

Sekarang, hal ini dianggap terkait erat dengan usaha kudeta dan masalah PKI, Sukarno telah didiskreditkan ke titik dimana tentara merasa mampu bertindak. PKI telah dieliminasi sebagai kekuatan yang signifikan dan kediktatoran militer pro-Barat yang mapan.
Hal itu dilakukan tidak lama sebelum Suharto dengan diam-diam mengakhiri kebijakan yang akhirnya tidak aktif dalam Konfrontasi Indonesia dengan Malon yang mengakibatkan peningkatan sangat cepat dalam hubungan Anglo-Indonesia yang terus menghangat hingga hari ini. ()


Sumber :
independent.co.uk
indocropcircles
`Britain’s Secret Propaganda War 1948-77, by Paul Lashmar and James Oliver.

 

 

 

HOW WE DESTROYED SUKARNO

(SEE BELOW)

 

 

 

 

 


This article appears in the June 8, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Attempt To Break Up Indonesia: British Policy of 40 Years

by Michael O. Billington

This article, essential to understanding the causes of the ongoing potential breakup of the Indonesian nation—an outcome which would have wide-reaching evil consequences for Asia if not prevented—is excerpted from a forthcoming report by the author, "The British Takeover of American Foreign Policy After JFK: Asia, 1963-65."

In an earlier report, I demonstrated the importance of Indonesia, Vietnam, and China in the mid-1950s effort to circumvent London's Cold War division of the world into warring blocs.[1] In particular, I showed how Indonesia's Sukarno and China's Zhou Enlai, at the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, set in motion the "Spirit of Bandung," an alliance of Third World nations committed to bringing together East and West, North and South, toward the development of the formerly colonialized nations.

Three tragic and world-shaping developments which struck Asia in 1965-66—the plunge of the United States into full-scale war in Vietnam, the coup and subsequent mass slaughter in Indonesia, and China's "Cultural Revolution"—were all part of a brutal British assault on this "Spirit of Bandung," and on what remained of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's anti-colonial legacy in U.S. policy toward Asia.

The attempt by John F. Kennedy during his brief Presidency, to revive Roosevelt's anti-colonial policy, was the immediate target of the British deployments of 1965-66 and their terrible outcome. These developments were part of a downward, global "cultural paradigm shift," following the assassination of JFK and the successful cover-up of that assassination.

In the Spring of 1965, the United States began ten years of neo-colonial warfare against Vietnam, including the introduction of ground troops, and the most extensive aerial bombardment in world history to that point, over both North and South Vietnam, and soon spreading to Laos and Cambodia.

A few months later, in Indonesia, following the still-obscure kidnapping and murder of six leading generals by a rebel group of senior Army officers, gangs of Indonesian youth, armed by the military, joined the Army in slaughtering several hundred thousand supporters of Indonesia's founding father, President Sukarno, targetting especially those who were also aligned with one or the other of the numerous popular organizations that had been set up by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

The third tragic development began in the Spring of 1966, when the youth of China were mobilized into Red Guard units to attack every vestige of authority in the social structure of the country, including the leadership of the Communist Party (CCP) itself, thus launching the ten-year bloody nightmare known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

These disasters were entirely avoidable, but they were the intended result of British geopolitical policy, aimed at ending once and for all the impact of the anti-colonial, American System policies which had been promoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States and around the world. President Kennedy, for his part, during his brief tenure in the White House, had increasingly come to terms in his own mind with the dangerous, and evil, Cold War mentality promoted by the British and
by much of the American establishment—including most of his own advisers.

The assassination of Kennedy at the hands of British intelligence[2] must be seen in this context, and in conjunction with the simultaneous efforts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle (by the same British intelligence networks that killed Kennedy), and political operations to remove Kennedy's other collaborators in Europe: German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Macmillan, undermined by the Profumo scandal, made way for the man preferred by the City of London, Harold Wilson, who prided himself as an "East of the Suez" man, dedicated to maintaining Britain's imperial role in Asia and Africa. The ongoing and unavoidable de-colonization process, initiated by Macmillan's "Winds of Change" policy, was to be "the pursuit of Empire by other, informal means," as reported even by London's official historians.[3] Crucial to this process was London's taming of the American giant, the subversion of America's optimism and commitment to the idea of progress, and the use of America's economic and military strength to enforce British geopolitical, neo-colonial strategic interests around the world.

The destruction of this historical American impulse required the elimination not only of the leaders of the Bandung Conference, but also of President Kennedy and his European allies, as well as several other American statesmen, now long-forgotten or slandered in the history books written almost universally by their enemies. These American patriots, such as Ambassador to Indonesia Howard Jones, despite their shortcomings, had committed themselves to FDR's ideal of ending European colonialism and developing the Third World with American System methods.

The resulting Asian disasters of the 1960s were totally unnecessary. Likewise, the disasters unfolding today in Asia and elsewhere—in particular, the destabilization and threatened economic and political disintegration of Indonesia—can be reversed. But this requires that the citizens of the Western nations act decisively to replace the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) bankrupt financial institutions and the financial oligarchy governing American and British Commonwealth affairs.

The same foreign and domestic interests responsible for the holocaust in 1965-66 are again mobilized to destabilize the emerging political unity of ASEAN-Plus-3 (the alliance of the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with China, Japan, and South Korea) against the speculation and looting passed off as "globalization." This Asian-wide defense of national sovereignty and development, against the onslaught of neo-colonial financial controls and destabilization, is more than "local" self-defense, but, as Lyndon LaRouche has insisted,[4] it could, in league with Russia, India, and other Eurasian nations, serve as a seed-crystal for the required formation of a new world economic order, based on the original intent of the Roosevelt-inspired Bretton Woods system. This defines the urgency of this historical report.
Indonesia's 1965 Holocaust

Howard Palfrey Jones, U.S. Ambassabor to Indonesia from 1958 to 1965, was a man shaped by the Cold War strategic environment in which he was employed, but who retained a belief in and dedication to Franklin Roosevelt's idea of global peace and development, through the application of America's scientific and industrial capacity to the development of the former European colonies in the Third World.
Jones was, like then-U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Frederick Nolting, forced out by Averell Harriman and Henry Cabot Lodge, to facilitate launching the U.S. war in Vietnam. While the failure of the cause of men like Jones and Nolting can be traced in part to their inability or unwillingness to recognize that the British-created Cold War was inimical to the fundamental interests of the United States, it is most important for our purposes here to demonstrate that such moral individuals posed a mortal threat to the Anglo-American oligarchy, and had to be removed along with President Kennedy.

As we shall see, one of Jones's most praiseworthy qualities, all too rare in recent American statesmen, was his willingness to publicly identify the destructive, duplicitous, and anti-American policies of the British in Indonesia, as carried out both directly, and indirectly through influence upon U.S. policy.
In his memoirs, Indonesia, The Possible Dream, Ambassador Jones reflects the influence of the ideas of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy: "The world cannot exist half-poor and half-rich. Yet the gap between the developed and the less-developed nations is year by year becoming greater rather than less. There is an alternative to accepting today's world conflicts merely on a political level: to explore and to understand the social and economic pressures that are the source of the conflicts and have their roots in a contrasting culture."[5]

Jones was appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower as Ambassador to Indonesia in February 1958, just at the peak of the covert British and American sponsorship of a subversive movement within Indonesia, aimed at splitting the country and bringing down Sukarno. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, like the British, had made clear his "sympathy" for the rebel forces, but instructed Jones to inform Sukarno that the United States had no involvement. In fact, as Jones wrote later, with reference to a CIA role in the rebellion, "numerous published accounts lend credence to that assumption. In May 1958, however, neither the fact nor the extent of such support was known to us in the Embassy." Jones's own view, after careful analysis of the situation within Indonesia, was that, if the United States engaged in supporting the separatist movement, "U.S. pretensions to non-interference in internal affairs of Asian nations would have been completely discredited, and the moral quality of our leadership, so recently established in Asia by our voluntary act in granting independence to the Philippines, would have been lost."[6] Jones believed that both John Foster Dulles at State and Allen Dulles at the CIA, and others in Washington, were acting in Indonesia in a manner contrary to the needs of the country, and contrary to U.S. interests as well. He described the subversion as "another case of predelictions blinding us to facts, of prejudices blocking judgment, of the wish being father to the thought ... , and unmovable objects, preconceptions in the minds of the readers [of my reports to Washington]."

Jones was worried about the growing strength of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), but recognized that London's and Washington's identification of a nationalist like Sukarno as a "communist" was ludicrous. Sukarno once asked Jones why the United States was so concerned with the large PKI vote in Indonesian elections. "You aren't worried about France and Italy's communist votes, yet theirs is higher," said Sukarno. Jones responded: "We were worried about Communism in these countries. That is what the Marshall Plan was all about." He pointed out that the Communist votes in Europe were decreasing as a result of economic development. Like Kennedy, he belittled the posture of "fighting Communism," if there were no true effort to foster economic development.

Jones studied Indonesia's history and culture, and confessed a deep love for the country. His admiration for President Sukarno grew from his appreciation for the richness of Indonesia's past, and the perfidy of colonialism which Sukarno had battled to overcome. He also agreed with Kennedy that Sukarno deserved the title of "the George Washington of Indonesia." Although appointed by a Republican administration, Jones showed his admiration for Kennedy during the 1960 electoral campaign by presenting Sukarno with a copy of Kennedy's book, Strategy of Peace, a collection of his Senate speeches. Sukarno later told Jones, "If President Kennedy means what he says in these speeches, than I agree with him completely."

Jones's anti-communism was constrained by his appreciation for the legitimate national aspirations of the former colonial peoples. He took Sukarno seriously when the President told him that PKI leader D.N. Aidit was an "Indonesian communist" rather than simply a communist, and that he was "Indonesian first, a communist second"—just as Ho Chi Minh had described himself as a "nationalist first, a communist second." Jones believed that "Aidit and his associates were confident of riding the democratic road to power." While he considered it a legitimate U.S. policy to oppose that rise to power, he thought that such an effort must be accomplished by proving the superiority of republican methods of economic and social development. Jones highlighted a quote from a Sukarno speech in 1958: "Indonesia's democracy is not liberal democracy. Indonesian democracy is not the democracy of the world of Montaigne or Voltaire. Indonesian democracy is not à la America, Indonesia's democracy is not the Soviet—No! Indonesia's democracy is the democracy which is implanted in the breasts of the Indonesian peoples.... Democracy is only a means. It is not an end. The end is a just and prosperous society."

Sukarno pursued what he called "Guided Democracy," whereby the political parties continued to function in the society, but the cabinet was composed of all the major parties (including the communist PKI), while a National Council, under Sukarno's leadership, included both party representatives and others from the "functional groups" in society (labor, peasantry, military, religious, business, etc.).

John Foster Dulles found Guided Democracy to be adequate evidence to prove that Sukarno was taking Indonesia down the road to communism.

Following the failure of the Anglo-American separatist subversion in 1957-58, Dulles and his British allies tried to instigate another military coup against Sukarno in 1960. The plot collapsed when the Dutch (with backing from London and Washington) insulted Indonesian nationalism, by reinforcing their military position in Irian Jaya, the western half of the island of New Guinea, which the Dutch had refused to liberate from colonial control at the time of Indonesian independence. The Indonesian military rallied behind Sukarno's uncompromising demand that the Dutch relinquish colonial control over Irian Jaya. The Army would not turn on Sukarno while that nationalist battle for liberation from colonialism remained incomplete, and the coup plot evaporated.

With Kennedy's inauguration in 1961, U.S. relations with Indonesia improved radically. Sukarno was warmly received on a visit to the White House and the Congress, and Kennedy delegated his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to convince (or coerce) the Dutch to give up Irian Jaya, which he accomplished in short order. At the same time, the last holdouts of the 1957-58 rebellion in Sumatra and Sulawesi were finally subdued, and the Darul Islam, a movement dedicated to making Indonesia an Islamic state, put up their arms—all due in great part to the publicly acknowledged termination of all U.S. backing for subversion. In 1962, for the first time since 1945, there was peace throughout Indonesia.

Sukarno also initiated a process aimed at the integration of the three nations composed primarily of the Malay people—Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia—to be called Maphilindo. Potentially included in the union were the three British colonies of northern Borneo: Sabah, Brunei, and Sarawak (the larger, southern portion of the island of Borneo is part of Indonesia).
President Kennedy supported Sukarno's Maphilindo project, much to the consternation of the British.
British Sabotage


Although the British had granted independence to Malaya in 1957, it retained colonial control over Singapore (run by London's leading comprador in Asia, Lee Kuan Yew) and the three North Borneo states. The British had not completely broken from their Nineteenth-Century methods of assigning colonial power to a "private" firm under Crown control, such as the British East India Company. Sabah had been run by the British North Borneo Chartered Company until the Japanese occupation, while British adventurer James Brooke, who was accorded the title of Raja of Sarawak in 1841, founded a dynasty of "White Rajas" that ruled the colony until World War II. Both Sabah and Sarawak became "traditional" British Crown Colonies, controlled by London, after the war.

Brunei, the oil-rich mini-state, was separated off and run indirectly by British Malayan Petroleum (later Brunei Shell) through the resident Sultan. In 1950, when the Sultan threatened to break from British control (with some help from the United States), he conveniently died in Singapore while en route to London, and his written instructions to his subordinates, including his choice for his successor, were ripped up by the British Resident of Brunei, who handed titular leadership to a more pliant brother of the Sultan.

It was in Brunei, the most tightly controlled British enclave, that a Malay-nationalist revolt in December 1962 was turned to London's advantage in its drive to sabotage Maphilindo and eliminate Sukarno. The British wanted to include the North Borneo colonies in a proposed merger between the colonial city-state of Singapore and Malaya, forming a new state to be called Malaysia. Although Indonesia was not totally opposed to the creation of Malaysia, the Sukarno government insisted that the people of the North Borneo states be allowed to determine whether or not they wished to join the union.

The leader of the Brunei revolt, Sheikh Ahmad Mahmud Azahari, was not some loose cannon, but the head of the dominant political party in Brunei, with good relations with the Sultan. He had a long history of ties to Indonesia, where he had lived after World War II, fighting alongside the Indonesian nationalists against the Dutch, and serving in local government until 1951, when he returned to Brunei and established a political movement. His movement, and the December 1962 revolt, were not against the Sultan (whom they expected would support it), but against the British, against absorption into Malaysia, and for a unification of the North Borneo States. Asahari also had close ties to government leaders in the Philippines, and supported Sukarno's Maphilindo concept of close ties between and among all the Malay states.

The Sultan, however, did not back the revolt as expected, and the British Army moved in, crushing the revolt, and blaming it on Sukarno. In January 1963, with British troops heavily deployed along the Indonesian border to suppress the broad-based popular revolt, Sukarno announced a campaign to confront the British over the forced inclusion of the North Borneo States into the new union of Malaysia, calling the campaign by the Dutch term "Konfrontasi" (confrontation).

The Konfrontasi was to last, with ebbs and flows, for the next three years, leading eventually to the aborted coup of Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 1965, and the slaughter that followed. Throughout the Konfrontasi, Sukarno tried to sustain the Maphilindo initiative, posing this as the proper framework for solving the conflict over Malaysia. Several conferences were held between Sukarno, Malaya's leader Tunku Abdul Rahman, and Philippines President Diosdado Macapagal, or their representatives, eventually reaching an agreement on Maphilindo, and arranging a UN-controlled appraisal of the views of the North Borneo populations regarding the Malaysia merger. All three leaders agreed to abide by the results of the UN survey.

In his memoirs, U.S. Ambassador Jones reviews the various theories proposed by Western sources as to Sukarno's "real" reason for launching the Konfrontasi: that Sukarno and Zhou Enlai had agreed at Bandung to "split up" Asia between them, with Sukarno getting the islands; or that Sukarno was only trying to divert attention from his domestic economic problems by creating a foreign diversion. Jones dismisses these theories as "wholly inapplicable." Sukarno, he writes, was sincerely and legitimately concerned about British colonialism: "He was ready to fight for people's freedom anywhere, at any time; he was highly suspicious of British motivation."

Jones also reported on a most revealing discussion he held with the British Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore in June 1963. The commissioner, after adding his voice to those who criticized Jones for being "soft" on Sukarno, lied that the British had no plans to topple Sukarno, but nonetheless "wanted to know whether there was a possibility of a breakup of Indonesia owing to the antagonism between Sumatra and Java."

In other words, the British were still trying to reactivate their 1957-58 subversion, by turning the outer islands against the center, and angling for a re-run of U.S. support for their dirty work. When Jones told him that such plans were unrealistic, the commissioner went to the next level: "What, in your opinion, would happen if Sukarno were no longer on-stage?" Coming just a few months before the assassinations of President Kennedy and President Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam, such a question was not idle speculation.

Jones travelled to Manila to be "in the wings" at the crucial heads-of-state Maphilindo conference at the end of July 1963, and helped shape a deal which brought in UN Secretary General U Thant to conduct the survey in the North Borneo states. The British tried by various means to sabotage the process (Commonwealth Relations Secretary Duncan Sandys, said Jones, "had determined to make it as difficult as possible"), and then, just days before the survey was complete, the British brought the Malayan leader, the Tunku, to London, where they declared that Malaysia would be formed regardless of the results of
U Thant's survey! Since it was generally acknowledged, even by Sukarno, that the survey would turn out in favor of Malaysia, the announcement had no purpose other than to insult Indonesia and the Philippines (which concurred with Indonesia in regard to the Malaysia question), making it impossible for Sukarno to concede with dignity to the results of U Thant's survey. Ambassador Jones wrote that the Indonesian leader "was quite aware, as I was, that the British were a key factor in determining the Tunku's position."

The situation exploded precisely as the British had desired.
With the Manila agreement in shambles, the Konfrontasi continued, and Indonesia refused to accept the declaration creating Malaysia in September. Jones returned to Washington for consultations, meeting with President Kennedy at some length on Nov. 19, 1963—just three weeks after President Diem's assassination. He briefed the President on the British duplicity, urging "empathy" for Indonesia, despite Sukarno's intransigence and the mounting anti-Anglo-American sentiment within Indonesia. President Kennedy concurred, and agreed to schedule a trip to Indonesia in early 1964, pending only a peaceful settlement to the Konfrontasi, while also agreeing to ship emergency rice to Jakarta, to resuscitate a stalled aid program, and to help in setting up another Maphilindo meeting. Three days later, President Kennedy was killed.
The Disaster Plays Itself Out

Jones met with the new American President, Lyndon Johnson, a few days later.
Indonesia was not foremost on the President's mind, and nothing was concluded. Almost immediately, however, Johnson submitted to the British approach, supported by the advisers left over from the Kennedy Administration, as well as most of Johnson's friends among the Southern Democrats, to punish Indonesia for allowing the existence of a strong Communist Party, and for its resistance to England and Malaysia. Johnson refused to sign a required assessment that aid to Indonesia was in the national interest, thus sabotaging the promised U.S. aid, a "major setback in our efforts to build a good-will bridge," according to Jones.
Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who was concurrently planning "progressive escalation" of the war in Vietnam, proposed "progressive curtailment" of aid to Indonesia, supposedly to force the U.S. will upon Sukarno.

Johnson did agree to send Robert Kennedy back to Indonesia, to try to settle the Konfrontasi. Drawing on the continuing goodwill from his role in settling the Irian Jaya issue, Kennedy succeeded in setting up a new Maphilindo meeting, including Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. But Kennedy's report back to Washington fell on deaf ears, and lack of U.S. support contributed to the failure of the new initiative.

Jones continued to work with Sukarno toward solving the Konfrontasi and arranging economic aid. One of the biggest problems he faced came from the fact that the Economic Declaration worked out between Indonesia's financial leaders and the United States in March 1963, was essentially an IMF prescription for cuts and austerity. One of the earliest "IMF assistance" programs, it was just as disastrous as the IMF looting 35 years later, which brought down the Suharto regime and threw Indonesia into chaos. The March 1963 program provided an IMF loan, but the conditions included 400-600% increases in the prices for transportation, postal, electric, and other utilities, along with devaluation of the currency, the rupiah, and imposition of overall austerity. Food prices doubled in 1963. The result was almost universal rage, not only from the PKI base, but from the business sector and the military as well. Easily foreseeable anti-Chinese riots broke out, as responsibility for the price hikes was falsely blamed on the Chinese, who dominated the business and retail sectors. And, of course, anti-U.S. sentiment skyrocketted, feeding the PKI's identification of the United States as the most dangerous imperialist power.

The outbreak of the Konfrontasi in the Fall ended the Economic Declaration, and the IMF program, but Jones (who does not appear to have acknowledged the destructiveness of the IMF conditions) had to face mounting anti-U.S. antagonism, in trying to rebuild relations.

The related problem Jones faced, was overt subversion by the British. Jones was convinced that Sukarno was prepared to call off the Konfrontasi if the British would stop intentionally humiliating his country, and allow the development of relations within the Maphilindo framework. However, wrote Jones, "Part of the trouble was that the British and Malaysia had no intention of supplying Sukarno with an easy solution. They felt they had this troublemaking Asian leader on the run."

This is also the view of one of Indonesia's most prominent citizens, the author Pramoedya Ananta Toer, who spent 14 years in prison (without any charges ever being brought against him) under General Suharto's New Order, after 1965. In his introduction to a recent book by Australian Greg Poulgrain on the Konfrontasi,[7] Pramoedya writes: "G30S [the abbreviation for the Sept. 30, 1965 coup attempt which sparked the bloody reaction] is nothing but the metamorphosis of protracted British opposition to Sukarno's confrontation policy.... Until now, generally the suspicion is rather one-sided towards the Americans, the CIA, while, in fact, British intelligence played a substantial role in the G30S conspiracy," beginning with the multiple military and political provocations during the Konfrontasi.

The British, in fact, welcomed the Konfrontasi as the opportunity to destroy Indonesian nationalism once and for all. The British Chief of Staff had already prepared a staff report, at the time of the September 1963 provocation which led to the Konfrontasi, which proposed covert operations to achieve their goal. Lord Louis Mountbatten, who had led London's effort during and after World War II to recolonize Asia, was now Chief of the British Defence Staff, in charge of operations. The British had lost patience with President Kennedy, who had refused British demands to cut off all aid, to undermine Sukarno. Once Kennedy was removed by an assassin's bullet, the British rushed into action. At Kennedy's funeral, the new British Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Hume, met with U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who agreed to take punitive action in Indonesia. In December, Commonwealth Relations Secretary Duncan Sandys met with Rusk to go over the details.[8] McNamara, preoccupied with preparing a war in Vietnam, was delighted to have the British take the lead in covert operations against Sukarno.

During 1963 and 1964, London reactivated the separatist movements it had sponsored in 1957-58. The most successful British front was in the Celebes, but they also supplied weapons and support to rebels in Kalimantan, Sumatra, and elsewhere. However, toward the end of 1964, and especially after the Harold Wilson government came in, in October, the British made a shift in tactics, reflecting the lesson of their failure in 1957-58. The operative British policy document of January 1965 noted that, "in the long term, effective support for dissident movements in Indonesia may be counteproductive in that it might impair the capacity of the Army to resist the PKI." Britain should, therefore, "make it clear to the Indonesian Army that any support for dissidents is no more than a tactical response to 'confrontation.' "[9]

Beginning in August 1964, the British established secret contacts with the man in charge of the military side of Indonesia's Konfrontasi, General Suharto, who deployed his intelligence chief, Col. Ali Murtopo, to meet with British and Malaysian leaders in Malaysia.[10] The details of those contacts have never been revealed. Any competent analysis of the 1965-66 mass slaughter must examine the timing and content of those meetings in relation to the simultaneous British determination to cultivate Indonesian military opposition to Sukarno and the PKI.

A few words about the Army leadership and the PKI are necessary. Sukarno used the acronym NASAKOM to describe his approach to nationalist cooperation in governing Indonesia—nationalism (NAS), religion or agama (A), and communism (KOM). Sukarno had always tried to balance the three primary social forces in Indonesia: the revolutionary Army; the popular, mass-based Islamic organizations; and the PKI. When the 1957-58 subversion threatened to dismember the nation, Sukarno declared martial law and strengthened his Guided Democracy, bringing the PKI into his coalition government. Following the successful battle over Irian Jaya, in 1962, Sukarno ended martial law, over the opposition of the military, and shifted the Army leadership. Long-standing Army chief Nasution, who had served the nation admirably while also occasionally clashing with Sukarno, was "kicked upstairs" to Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and Gen. Ahmad Yani took over the Army. Nearly all the military leaders were anti-communist to some extent, in the sense that they wanted to at least prevent a PKI rise to power. But Yani and his circle were essentially loyal to Sukarno himself, and were more willing to tolerate the strength of the PKI, as long as the government remained within Sukarno's general control. There was not a clear, factional breakdown between Yani and Nasution, and many of Nasution's closest allies retained their positions when Yani took command, but Yani replaced several regional commanders with people in his own circle, who were also strong supporters of Sukarno.

Tensions within the military increased during 1964. At the same time, the PKI was strengthened, due both to its leading role in supporting Sukarno's Konfrontasi, and because of a militant PKI organizing campaign in the countryside, based on the enforcement of Sukarno's land reform policies. As a result, in December 1964, both Yani and his critics agreed that a direct meeting of the emerging military factions was necessary to prevent a breakdown in the high command. A secret meeting was held on Jan. 13, 1965, between six members of Yani's group from Army headquarters, and five generals, including General Suharto, who held grievances against Yani in regard to the role of Sukarno and the PKI. The problems were not resolved.[11] It is most pertinent to note that four of the six generals representing Yani at this meeting were killed, along with Yani himself, in the Sept. 30, 1965 aborted military coup, while three of the five critics of Yani and Sukarno became leaders in Suharto's deployment to "crush the coup."[12] These facts, and many others, dramatically challenge the credibility of the "official" analysis of the aborted coup of Sept. 30, 1965 as a PKI-led operation.

Since the generals targetted for kidnapping and assassination were all part of the Yani group (with the exception of Nasution), and were among the strongest supporters of President Sukarno and the President's policy of accommodating the PKI, it is beyond credibility that the military coup attempt was masterminded by the PKI, although PKI leader Aidit had clearly had some association with the coup group. As the writer Pramoedya said: "That the G30S kidnapped generals who were faithful to Sukarno indicates that the wishes of Sir Andrew Gilchrist (then British Ambassador to Indonesia) were carried out."[13] Pramoedya quotes a telegram which Gilchrist sent to London in 1965, which said: "I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change."

The claim that the kidnapping and brutal murder of the six generals was an attempted "PKI coup," later became the justification for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of supposed communists. Therefore, the question must be asked, how was this patently false and simplistic claim "sold" as legitimate? As in all such strategic matters in a time of great global crisis, the answer cannot be found within Indonesia alone, but in the policies emanating from the centers of power internationally. As is easily demonstrated, the "PKI coup" story was ready-made in London and Washington, and filled the London-controlled world press almost before the event took place!

Most of the accounts of the 1965-66 aborted coup and subsequent slaughter which have at least challenged the official line, have painted the United States as the controlling hand behind the Suharto-led forces who crushed the coup and ran the operation to wipe out the PKI and Sukarno's base of support. Some, such as Peter Dale Scott, have argued that the Army faction that carried out the Sept. 30 coup attempt were actually "set up" by the United States and its assets within Indonesia, in order to wipe out the Yani faction, so that the more virulent anti-communists, centered around General Suharto, could take over, blaming the coup on the PKI, and even on Sukarno himself. Not only do these accounts leave out the crucial British role in these events, but they ignore the most important strategic evidence: that the governing policy faction in the United States, which opposed British colonial policy in the area—namely, President Kennedy and Ambassador Jones—had to be eliminated in order to drag the United States into submission to British policy.

To follow this trail, we must examine the process whereby Howard Jones was replaced as Ambassador by Marshall Green, who arrived in Indonesia in July 1965, a few months before the Sept. 30 coup attempt. In his memoirs, Green paints himself as the exact opposite of Jones in regard to statecraft, and, perhaps unintentionally, also exposes his virtually satanic world view. While Jones immersed himself in Indonesian history and culture, seeking what was best in that culture as a basis for collaboration, Green took no interest in the nation or its culture, concerned only with imposing what we now know as the "Kissingerian" view of America's supposed narrow self-interest—a euphemism for U.S. support for British geopolitical interests. One example: Jones, after careful study, and hours of intensive conversation with Sukarno and other Indonesians, noted: "The Indonesian believes deeply in God. His occult trappings are carried along with him as baggage, which he thinks helps him communicate with the Infinite."

Green, while making no attempt to understand Indonesia's religious beliefs, embraced the occult "baggage"! Green reports: "My experiences in Indonesia left me somewhat shaken in my disbelief in the occult." He describes how the new U.S. Embassy in Jakarta had been haunted by certain ghosts, until a "Javanese exorcism ritual, that involved several of us on the Embassy staff, preceded by chanting officiants carrying incense sticks, parading through the new building." He claims the exorcism worked (although Green, clearly a ghoul, continued haunting the place for years to come).[14]

Politically, Green's role in sabotaging President Kennedy's policy in Indonesia began long before his appointment as Ambassador in May 1965. He had worked closely with John Foster Dulles on East Asia policy since the 1950s, playing a hand in a coup in South Korea, and in America's belligerent China policy. Immediately after Kennedy's assassination, Green was brought into LBJ's State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Far East, working closely with Cold Warriors Dean Rusk and the Bundy brothers, William and McGeorge. He soon took a leading role in opposing Ambassador Jones directly on Indonesia policy. Green writes that he and Jones were of different "schools," where Jones wanted to improve relations with Sukarno, and Green wanted to get rid of him.

Jones identifies the turning point as July 1964, when, "just as the improving internal situation (in Indonesia) seemed to justify undramatic albeit hopeful expectations that U.S.-Indonesian tensions would be eased, the boom was lowered." Robert Kennedy's trip had brought about new hope for a peaceful end to the Konfrontasi, and Jones had strongly appealed to President Johnson to remain neutral in regard to Malaysia. Then, in July 1964, without any pre-consultation with Ambassador Jones, President Johnson went over to the British side, signing a joint communiqué with the Malaysian Tunku, pledging U.S. military aid to Malaysia to fight Indonesia. In the Tunku's press conference in Washington, Sukarno was compared to Hitler, and Indonesia described as a greater threat to Malaysia than colonialism.

A few weeks later, in his annual Aug. 17 Independence Day speech, President Sukarno announced the "vivere pericoloso," the "Year of Living Dangerously," declaring Indonesia to be dedicated to the cause of revolutionary resistance to colonialism. He defined an axis of anti-imperialist nationalist defense, passing through Beijing, Panmunjong, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, and Jakarta. "I have to address a few words to the government of the United States," he said. "... On the part of Indonesia, the desire to be friends with the U.S. is already very clear." He explained that he had forgiven the subversion of 1957-58, the insults and efforts to impose conditions contrary to Indonesian sovereignty, but, "with a heavy heart, I have to state that the Johnson-Tunku Joint Statement is really too much. It really exceeds all bounds."

Sukarno strengthened relations with China. A plan to create an armed militia within Indonesia, a "fifth force," was put forward by Sukarno for discussion, provoking strong reactions in the military. Rumors that China was already shipping small arms to the country to equip the fifth force, and especially the PKI cadre, although they were subsequently proven to be false, further aggravated the situation.

Jones continued his efforts to settle the Konfrontasi, but got no response from the British. In January 1965, he asked President Johnson to meet with Sukarno, a proposal which soon-to-be Ambassador Green proudly admitted to have sabotaged. Johnson did send Ellsworth Bunker to Indonesia in April 1965—a month after the war was launched in Vietnam—and Bunker, after extensive meetings with the Indonesian leadership, including President Sukarno, totally backed Ambassador Jones's policy to continue working with Sukarno. However, the combination of the "Rolling Thunder" bombing campaign in Vietnam, and the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in April 1965, "sent tidal waves that rocked the Indonesian boat," as Jones put it.

In July, Green arrived in Jakarta to replace Jones as Ambassador. Like Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge in Vietnam, who considered his mission to be the overthrow of President Diem and the implementation of a military dictatorship under U.S. control, Green's explicit intention was the elimination of the host nation's President, by whatever means necessary. "To leave without having a real showdown with Sukarno," wrote Green, "would, in my opinion, be a mistake." A British pro-consul couldn't have said it more clearly. In fact, Green gushed with pride in his memoirs: "My closest colleague was the British Ambassador, Sir Andrew Gilchrist (and later, his successor Horace Phillip), who lived across the street from our residence."

Jones, after years of intimate collaboration (and conflict) with President Sukarno, described him as "a human being of great warmth and magnetism, a leader of vision who ... stuck by his precepts of unity in which he had always believed, even though this meant pulling the pillars of his temple down upon his head." Jones believed Sukarno had a tragic flaw, that he "lost himself in self-glorification, forgetting that the truly great are humble, and in so doing, betrayed his people."

Whatever the truth of this judgment, compare it to that of Green, who knew nothing of importance regarding either Indonesia or Sukarno, but proclaimed Sukarno to be "a vainglorious man—a dangerous man, to be sure, but not a very serious man," who merely wanted to "get into the world spotlight," and who had "a striking resemblance to Mussolini." Here we see clearly the degeneration in American statecraft in 1964-65.

Green asserted that three of the four branches of the Indonesian Armed Forces were "penetrated" by the communists. "The Army," he wrote, "was the only remaining effective counterforce against communism; however, the Army was loyal to the President" (emphasis added). Reversing this, to his mind, was the neo-colonial task he was required to carry out, in league with the British, who were already on the job.
The PKI and the Slaughter

Without trying to analyze the PKI, a few points are necessary to understand the enormity of the subsequent mass slaughter. The PKI was taken over in 1951 by four young men, headed by D.N. Aidit, who remained together as the collective leadership throughout the next 14 years of the PKI's existence. All four had been part of the nationalist youth movement during the 1945-49 independence war with the British and Dutch, joining the Communist Party in the process. From the beginning of their period of leadership, the four never deviated from a policy of achieving political power through peaceful means. Their dedication to Sukarno grew stronger over the 1950s, as the President demonstrated that he valued the revolutionary zeal of the communist organizers, while he was always cautious to keep this zeal bounded by the requirements of the general welfare of the population.

The PKI developed into the largest Communist Party outside of China and the Soviet Union. Aidit remained neutral in the Sino-Soviet split until late 1963, and, rather than adopting a "line" from either Moscow or Beijing, developed his own view of the social forces active within Indonesia. Unlike the theories advocating either "armed struggle" (associated with Beijing) or the doctrinaire "popular front" (from Moscow), Aidit rejected class distinctions altogether, to pose a division of society between those who are "pro-people" and those who are "anti-people." While focussed on organizing workers and peasants into mass organizations, his general policy was to work with all those who were "fighting for the establishment of a national and democratic economy." The "pro-people aspect," said Aidit, "is embodied in the progressive attitude and policy of President Sukarno."[15] The PKI provided much of the organizational muscle for Sukarno's campaigns against the Dutch over Irian Jaya, against the Anglo-American-backed rebellions of 1957-58, for land reform across the country, and in the Konfrontasi with the British. The PKI won 16% of the vote in 1956, and was expected to have done even better, had there been subsequent elections. The PKI-initiated labor unions, peasant organizations, women's organizations, and youth groups, all had several million active members.

There had always been antagonism between the military, the Islamic organizations, and the PKI, and Sukarno carefully balanced their influence. The PKI relations with the Muslims became more acrimonious in 1964, when the PKI expanded their campaign to implement the official land reform policies of the Sukarno government. Faced with stalling and diversion from landlords, often directly or indirectly tied to the Islamic institutions in the countryside, the PKI launched "unilateral actions" to seize the lands designated to be distributed to landless peasants. Sukarno backed this, saying, "I am impatient. I can no longer wait. Perhaps the farmers will also box the ears of those officials who are moving too slowly."[16] However, too many ears were getting boxed on both sides, and the campaign was scaled back in 1965, leaving behind extreme hostility against the PKI among certain Islamic layers, hostility which would be tapped by the Army under Suharto to facilitate the slaughter.

As reported above, the Army officers who conducted the kidnapping and murder of General Yani and his allies in the Army leadership all came from Army units associated with General Suharto, and several were very close to him personally. Suharto, although second in command to Yani, was inexplicably not included on the list for kidnapping, and the rebel forces who occupied the central square in Jakarta did not block the side facing the Special Forces offices under Suharto's command. Suharto moved quickly and easily to crush the coup. Chief of Staff General Nasution, although not a member of the Yani group, was targetted for kidnapping by the coup plotters, but managed to escape. However, Suharto, upon seizing control of the Army during the coup attempt, never relinquished power to his superior, Nasution.

The actual role of the PKI in the coup is still not entirely clear. Aidit had had some contact with the conspirators, and was at the coup headquarters, an Air Force base, on the day following the kidnappings, as was President Sukarno, while the outcome of the coup was still uncertain. Both Aidit and Sukarno left (separately) before the air base was taken over by General Suharto's forces. The PKI membership base was never mobilized or activated to support the coup in any way, and, except for a few localized pockets of resistance, was never even mobilized to defend itself against the slaughter that followed.

What is clear, however, is that the British, the Australians, and the U.S. Embassy under Ambassador Green, immediately declared the attempted military coup to be a communist plot, and promoted the massacre. Green wired Washington on Oct. 5: "Muslim groups and others except communists and their stooges are lined up behind army.... Army now has opportunity to move against PKI if it acts quickly.... In short, it's now or never. Much remains in doubt, but it seems almost certain that agony of ridding Indonesia of effects of Sukarno ... has begun.... Spread the story of PKI's guilt, treachery and brutality—This priority effort is perhaps most needed"[17] (emphasis added).

Australian Ambassador Shann echoed this sentiment: "Now or never... ; if Sukarno and his greasy civilian cohorts get back into the saddle it will be a change for the worse.... We are dealing with such an odd, devious, contradictory mess like the Indonesian mind."

The British-American-Commonwealth leadership knew of the killing from the beginning. Under the direction of the military, much of the slaughter was carried out by enraged Muslim youth, armed and turned loose against any and all supporters of the Sukarno/PKI programs.

Ambassador Green's cables as early as Oct. 20 referred to hundreds of summary executions, but warned that the PKI was "capable of recovering quickly if ... Army attacks were stopped." He praised the Army for "working hard at destroying PKI and I, for one, have increasing respect for its determination and organization in carrying out this crucial assignment." A cable from the American consul in Medan, in Northeast Sumatra, is most revealing: "Two officers of Pemuda Pantjasila [a Muslim youth group] told consulate officers that their organization intends to kill every PKI member they can catch ... , much indiscriminate killing is taking place.... Attitude Pemuda Pantjasila leaders can only be described as bloodthirsty.... Something like a real reign of terror against PKI is taking place. The terror is not (repeat) not discriminating very carefully between PKI leaders and ordinary PKI members with no ideological bond to the party." He added that there was "no meaningful resistance."

Approximately one-half million Indonesians were murdered in cold blood over the next several months.

Green concluded in his memoirs that "the bloodbath ... can be attributed to the fact that communism, with its atheism and talk of class warfare, was abhorrent to the way of life of rural Indonesians, especially in Java and Bali." Ambassador Jones concluded otherwise: "I have witnessed what occurs when reason is replaced by fear and suspicion, when decisions are based on prejudice, rumor and propaganda."[18]

It is coherent with Green's fond embrace of the genocidal "solution" to the problem (as he perceived it), that he went on to become one of the world's leading promoters of population control, setting up population control units in the State Department and the National Security Council, and heading the U.S. delegation to the UN Population Commission.

One final comparison of Jones and Green situates the analysis in the broader context of America's failure in the post-World War II era. Jones concludes his memoirs with a quote from Franklin Roosevelt, written on April 11, 1945, intended for the fireside chat which was cancelled due to FDR's untimely death the following day: "Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all people, of all lands, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace."

Green, on the other hand, after helping to drive the United States into a neo-colonial "Thirty Years' War" in Asia, invited Anglophile geopolitician William Bundy to write the foreword to his memoirs, in which Bundy's praise of Green included the following incredible statement: "History is likely to regard the period from 1946 to about 1970 as the golden age of the American Foreign Service."

Only one person of stature in American politics questioned U.S. support for the mass killing in Indonesia. Robert Kennedy, in 1966, said: "We have spoken out against inhuman slaughter perpetrated by the Nazis and the Communists. But will we speak out also against the inhuman slaughter in Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged Communists have not been perpetrators, but victims?"[19]

[1] "Britain's Cold War Against FDR's Grand Design: The East Asian Theater, 1943-63," EIR, Oct. 15, 1999.
[2] "Why the British Kill American Presidents," New Federalist pamphlet, December 1994.
[3] John Darwin, Britain and Decolonization: The Retreat from Empire in the Postwar World (London: 1988).
[4] Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "An Asian Monetary Fund," EIR, May 26, 2000.
[5] Howard Palfrey Jones, Indonesia: The Possible Dream (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971).
[6] Ibid.
[7] Greg Poulgrain, The Genesis of Konfrontasi: Malaya, Brunei, Indonesia, 1945-1965 (Bathurst, U.K.: Crawford House, 1998), Foreword by Pramoedya Anata Toer.
[8] David Easter, "British and Malaysia Covert Support for Rebel Movements in Indonesia during the Confrontation, 1963-66," in Ed Richard and J. Aldrich, The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945-65, Western Intelligence Propaganda and Special Operations (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000).
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ulf Sundhausen, The Road to Power: Indonesian Military Politics, 1945-67 (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1982).
[11] Harold A. Crouch, The Army and Politics in Indonesia (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988).
[12] Peter Dale Scott, "The U.S. and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967," Public Affairs, 58, Summer 1985.
[13] Poulgrain, op. cit.
[14] Marshall Green, Indonesia: Crisis and Transformation, 1965-1968 (Washington, D.C.: Compass Press, 1990).
[15] Rex Mortimer, Indonesian Communism Under Sukarno: Ideology and Politics, 1959-1965 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1974).
[16] J.D. Legge, Sukarno: A Political Biography (New York: Praeger, 1972).
[17] This and the following quotes are all from David Jenkins, the Sydney Morning Herald, July 12, 1999.
[18] Jones, op. cit.
[19] Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978).

 

 

 

Document:Slaughter in Indonesia 1965-66

An edited extract from Web of Deceit: Britain’s real Role in the World ISBN 0099448394
By Mark Curtis
This page was last modified on 19 May 2011-

I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia
would be an essential preliminary to effective change.”
(Britain’s ambassador to Indonesia, letter to the Foreign Office, 1965)

 

 

 

The formerly secret British files, together with recently declassified US files, reveal an astonishing story. Although the Foreign Office is keeping many of the files secret until 2007, a clear picture still emerges of British and US support for one of the postwar world’s worst bloodbaths – what US officials at the time called a “reign of terror” and British officials “ruthless terror”.

In his 600-page long autobiography, Denis Healey, then Britain’s Defence Minister, failed to mention at all Suharto’s brutal seizure of power, let alone Britain’s role. It is not hard to see why.

The killings in Indonesia started when a group of army officers loyal to President Sukarno assassinated several generals on 30 September 1965. They believed the generals were about to stage a coup to overthrow Sukarno. The instability, however, provided other anti-Sukarno generals, led by General Suharto, with an excuse for the army to move against a powerful and popular political faction with mass support, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). It did so brutally: in a few months hundreds of thousands of PKI members and ordinary people were killed and the PKI destroyed. Suharto emerged as leader and instituted a brutal regime that lasted until 1998.

Close relations between the US and British embassies in Jakarta are indicated in the declassified files and point to a somewhat coordinated joint operation in 1965. These files show five ways in which the Labour government under Harold Wilson together with the Democratic government under Lyndon Johnson were complicit in this slaughter.

First, the British wanted the army to act and encouraged it. “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change”, the ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, informed the Foreign Office on 5 October. The following day the Foreign Office stated that “the crucial question still remains whether the Generals will pluck up enough courage to take decisive action against the PKI”. Later it noted that “we must surely prefer an Army to a Communist regime” and declared: “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. In the short run, and while the present confusion continues, we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the Generals”. British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a General’s regime”, one intelligence official later explained.

US officials similarly expressed their hope of “army at long last to act effectively against Communists” [sic]. “We are, as always, sympathetic to army’s desire to eliminate communist influence” and ”it is important to assure the army of our full support of its efforts to crush the PKI”.

US and British officials had clear knowledge of the killings. US Ambassador Marshall Green noted three weeks after the attempted coup, and with the killings having begun, that: “Army has… been working hard at destroying PKI and I, for one, have increasing respect for its determination and organisation in carrying out this crucial assignment”. Green noted in the same despatch the “execution of PKI cadres”, putting the figure at “several hundred of them” in “Djakarta area alone”[sic]. On 1 November, Green informed the State Department of the army’s “moving relentlessly to exterminate the PKI as far as that is possible to do”. Three days later he noted that “Embassy and USG generally sympathetic with and admiring of what army doing” [sic]. Four days after this the US Embassy reported that the army “has continued systematic drive to destroy PKI in northern Sumatra with wholesale killings reported”.

A British official reported on 25 November that “PKI men and women are being executed in very large numbers”. Some victims “are given a knife and invited to kill themselves. Most refuse and are told to turn around and are shot in the back”. One executioner considered it “his duty to exterminate what he called ‘less than animals’”. A British official wrote to the Ambassador on 16 December, saying: “You – like me – may have been somewhat surprised to see estimates by the American embassy that well over 100,000 people have been killed in the troubles since 1 October. I am, however, readier to accept such figures after [receiving] some horrifying details of the purges that have been taking place… The local army commander… has a list of PKI members in five categories. He has been given orders to kill those in the first three categories… A woman of 78… was taken away one night by a village execution squad… Half a dozen heads were neatly arranged on the parapet of a small bridge”.

The US Consulate in Medan was reporting that “much indiscriminate killing is taking place”: “Something like a reign of terror against PKI is taking place. This terror is not discriminating very carefully between PKI leaders and ordinary PKI members with no ideological bond to the party”. By mid December the State Department noted approvingly that “Indonesian military leaders’ campaign to destroy PKI is moving fairly swiftly and smoothly”. By 14 February 1966 Ambassador Green could note that “the PKI has been destroyed as an effective political force for some time to come” and that “the Communists…have been decimated by wholesale massacre”.

The British files show that by February 1966 the British ambassador was estimating 400,000 dead – but even this was described by the Swedish ambassador as a “gross under-estimate”. By March one British official wondered “how much of it [the PKI] is left, after six months of killing” and believed that over 200,000 had been killed in Sumatra alone – in a report called “The liquidation of the Indonesian Communist Party in Sumatra”. By April, the US Embassy stated that “we frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000 but believe it wiser to err on the side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press”.

Summarising the events of 1965 the British Consul in Medan said: “Posing as saviours of the nation from a communist terror, [the army] unleashed a ruthless terror of their own, the scars of which will take many years to heal.” Another British memo referred to “an operation carried out on a very large scale and often with appalling savagery”. Another simply referred to the “bloodbath”.

British and US officials totally supported these massacres, the files show. I could find no reference to any concern about the extent of killing at all – other than constant encouragement for the army to continue. As the files above indicate, there is no question that British and US officials knew exactly what they were supporting. One British official noted, referring to 10,005 people arrested by the army: “I hope they do not throw the 10,005 into the sea…, otherwise it will cause quite a shipping hazard”.

It was not only PKI activists who were the targets of this terror. As the British files show, many of the victims were the “merest rank and file“ of the PKI who were “often no more than bewildered peasants who give the wrong answer on a dark night to bloodthirsty hooligans bent on violence”, with the connivance of the army.

Britain connived even more closely with those conducting the slaughter. By 1965, Britain had deployed tens of thousands of troops in Borneo, to defend its former colony of Malaya against Indonesian encroachments following territorial claims by Jakarta – known as the “confrontation”. British planners secretly noted that they “did not want to distract the Indonesian army by getting them engaged in fighting in Borneo and so discourage them from the attempts which they now seem to be making to deal with the PKI”.

The US was worried that Britain might take advantage of the instability in Indonesia to launch an offensive from Singapore “to stab the good generals in the back”, as Ambassador Gilchrist described the US fear. So the British Ambassador proposed reassuring those Indonesians who were ordering mass slaughter, saying that “we should get word to the Generals that we shall not attack them whilst they are chasing the PKI”. The British intelligence chief in Singapore agreed, believing this “might ensure that the army is not detracted [sic] from what we consider to be a necessary task”.

In October the British passed to the Generals, through a US contact, “a carefully phrased oral message about not biting the Generals in the back for the present”.

The US files confirm that the message from the US, conveyed on 14 October, read: “First, we wish to assure you that we have no intention of interfering Indonesian internal affairs directly or indirectly. Second, we have good reason to believe that none of our allies intend to initiate any offensive action against Indonesia” [sic].

The message was greatly welcomed by the Indonesian army: an aide to the Defence Minister noted that “this was just what was needed by way of assurances that we (the army) weren’t going to be hit from all angles as we moved to straighten things out here”.

According to former BBC correspondent Roland Challis, the counsellor at the British embassy, (now Sir) James Murray, was authorised to tell Suharto that in the event of Indonesian troops being transferred from the confrontation area to Java, British forces would not take military advantage. Indeed, in his book, Challis notes a report in an Indonesian newspaper in 1980 that Britain even helped an Indonesian colonel transport an infantry brigade on confrontation duty back to Jakarta. “Flying the Panamanian flag, she sailed safely down the heavily-patrolled Malacca Strait – escorted by two British warships”, Challis notes.

The third means of support was propaganda operations, mainly involving the distribution of false anti-Sukarno messages and stories through the media. This was organised from Britain’s MI6 Phoenix Park intelligence base in Singapore. The head of these operations, Norman Reddaway, told the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent to “do anything you can think of to get rid of Sukarno”. On 5 October Reddaway reported to the Foreign Office in London that: “We should not miss the present opportunity to use the situation to our advantage… I recommend that we should have no hesitation in doing what we can surreptitiously to blacken the PKI in the eyes of the army and the people of Indonesia”.

The Foreign Office replied: “We certainly do not exclude any unattributable propaganda or psywar [psychological warfare] activities which would contribute to weakening the PKI permanently. We therefore agree with the [above] recommendation… Suitable propaganda themes might be… Chinese interference in particular arms shipments; PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign communists”. It continued: “We want to act quickly while the Indonesians are still off balance but treatment will need to be subtle… Please let us know of any suggestions you may have on these lines where we could be helpful at this end”.

On 9 October the intelligence agent confirmed that “we have made arrangements for distribution of certain unattributable material based on the general guidance” in the Foreign Office memo. This involved “promoting and coordinating publicity” critical of the Sukarno government to “news agencies, newspapers and radio”. “The impact has been considerable”, one file notes. British propaganda covered in various newspapers included fabrications of nest-eggs accumulated abroad by Sukarno’s ministers and PKI preparations for a coup by carving up Jakarta into districts to engage in systematic slaughter (forerunners of current modern propaganda on Iraq).

The fourth method of support was a “hit list” of targets supplied by the US to the Indonesian army. As the journalist Kathy Kadane has revealed, as many as 5,000 names of provincial, city and other local PKI committee members and leaders of the mass organisations of the PKI, such as the national labour federation, women’s and youth groups, were passed on the Generals, many of whom were subsequently killed. “It really was a big help to the army” noted Robert Martens, a former official in the US embassy. “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”.

The declassified US files do not provide many further details about this hit list, although they do further confirm it. One list of names, for example, was passed to the Indonesians in December 1965 and “is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time”. Also, “lists of other officials in the PKI affiliates, Partindo and Baperki were also provided to GOI [Government of Indonesia] officials at their request”.

The final means of support was provision of arms – although this remains the murkiest area to uncover. Past US support to the Indonesian military “should have established clearly in minds Army leaders that US stands behind them if they should need help [sic]”, the State Department noted. US strategy was to “avoid overt involvement in the power struggle but… indicate, clearly but covertly, to key Army officers our desire to assist where we can.”

The first US supplies to the Indonesian army were radios “to help in internal security” and to aid the Generals “in their task of overcoming the Communists”, as British Ambassador Gilchrist pointed out. “I see no reason to object or complain”, he added. The US historian Gabriel Kolko has shown that in early November 1965 the US received a request from the Generals to “arm Moslem and nationalist youths…for use against the PKI”. The recently published files confirm this approach from the Indonesians. On 1 November Ambassador Green cabled Washington that: “As to the provision of small arms I would be leery about telling army we are in position to provide same, although we should act, not close our minds to this possibility… We could explore availability of small arms stocks, preferable of non-US origin, which could be obtained without any overt US government involvement. We might also examine channels through which we could, if necessary, provide covert assistance to army for purchase of weapons”.

A CIA memo of 9 November stated that the US should avoid being “too hesitant about the propriety of extending such assistance provided we can do so covertly, in a manner which will not embarrass them or embarrass our government”. It then noted that mechanisms exist or can be created to deliver “any of the types of the materiel requested to date in reasonable quantities”. One line of text is then not declassified before the memo notes: “The same can be said of purchasers and transfer agents for such items as small arms, medicine and other items requested.” The memo goes on to note that “we do not propose that the Indonesian army be furnished such equipment at this time”. However, “if the Army leaders justify their needs in detail…it is likely that at least will help ensure their success and provide the basis for future collaboration with the US”. “The means for covert implementation” of the delivery of arms “are within our capabilities”.

In response to Indonesia’s request for arms, Kolko has shown that the US promised to provide such covert aid, and dubbed them “medicines”. They were approved in a meeting in Washington on 4 December. The declassified files state that “the Army really needed the medicines” and that the US was keen to indicate “approval in a practical way of the actions of the Indonesian army”. The extent of arms provided is not revealed in the files but the amount “the medicines would cost was a mere pittance compared with the advantages that might accrue to the US as a result of ‘getting in on the ground floor’”, one file reads.

The British knew of these arms supplies and it is likely they also approved them. Britain was initially reluctant to see US arms go to the Generals for fear that they might be used by Indonesia in the “confrontation”. The British files show that the US State Department had “undertaken to consult with us before they do anything to support the Generals”. It is possible that the US reneged on this commitment; however, in earlier discussions about this possibility, a British official at the embassy in Washington noted that “I do not think that is very likely”.

The threat of independent development

The struggle between the army and the PKI was “a struggle basically for the commanding heights of the Indonesian economy”, British officials noted. At stake was using the resources of Indonesia for the primary benefit of its people or for businesses, including Western companies.

British and US planners supported the slaughter to promote interests deemed more important than people’s lives. London wanted to see a change in regime in Jakarta to bring an end to the “confrontation” with Malaya. But commercial interests were just as important. Southeast Asia was “a major producer of some essential commodities” such as rubber, copra and chromium ore; “the defence of the sources of these products and their denial to a possible enemy are major interests to the Western powers”, the Foreign Office noted. This was a fancy way of saying that the resources will continue to be exploited by Western business. Indonesia was also strategically located at a nexus of important trading routes.

British Foreign Secretary Michel Stewart wrote in the middle of the slaughter: “It is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters. If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia, as I hope one day there may be, I think we ought to take an active part and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves”.

Similarly, one Foreign Office noted that Indonesia was in a “state of economic chaos but is potentially rich”. “American exporters, like their British counterparts, presumably see in Indonesia a potentially rich market once the economy has been brought under control”.

For the US, Under Secretary of State George Ball had noted that Indonesia “may be more important to us than South V-N [Vietnam]”, against which the US was at the same time massively stepping up its assault. “At stake” in Indonesia, one US memo read, “are 100 million people, vast potential resources and a strategically important chain of islands”. US priorities were virtually identical in Vietnam and Indonesia: to prevent the consolidation of an independent nationalist regime that threatened Western interests and that could be a successful development model for others.

President Sukarno clearly had the wrong economic priorities. In 1964, British-owned commercial interests had been placed under Indonesian management and control. However, under the Suharto regime, the British Foreign Secretary told one Indonesian army General that “we are…glad that your government has decided to hand back the control of British estates to their original owners”.

The US Ambassador in Malaysia cabled Washington a year before the October 1965 events in Indonesia saying that “our difficulties with Indonesia stem basically from deliberate, positive GOI [Government of Indonesia] strategy of seeking to push Britain and the US out of Southeast Asia”. George Ball noted in March 1965 that “our relations with Indonesia are on the verge of falling apart”. “Not only has the management of the American rubber plants been taken over, but there are dangers of an imminent seizure of the American oil companies”.

According to a US report for President Johnson: “The government occupies a dominant position in basic industry, public utilities, internal transportation and communication… It is probable that private ownership will disappear and may be succeeded by some form of production-profit-sharing contract arrangements to be applied to all foreign investment”.

Overall, “the avowed Indonesian objective is ‘to stand on their own feet’ in developing their economy, free from foreign, especially Western, influence”. This was – is – a serious danger that needed to be removed. Third World countries are to develop under overall Western control, not by or for themselves, a truism about US and British foreign policy revealed time and again in the declassified files.

It is customary in the propaganda system to excuse past horrible British and US policies by referring to the Cold War. In Indonesia, the main threat was indigenous nationalism. The British feared “the resurgence of Communist and radical nationalism”. One US memo says of future PKI policy: “It is likely that PKI foreign policy decisions, like those of Sukarno, would stress Indonesian national interests above those of Peking, Moscow or international communism in general”. The real danger was that Indonesia would be too successful, a constant US fear well documented by Kolko and Noam Chomsky in policy towards numerous other countries. A Special National Intelligence Estimate of 1 September 1965 referred to the PKI’s moving “to energize and unite the Indonesian nation” and stated that “if these efforts succeeded, Indonesia would provide a powerful example for the underdeveloped world and hence a credit to communism and a setback for Western prestige”. One critical area was the landlessness of the poor peasants – the source of the grinding poverty of most Indonesians – and land reform more generally, the key political issue in rural areas and the smaller cities. The PKI was recognised by British and US officials as the champion of the landless and poor in Indonesia.

Britain was keen to establish good relations with Suharto, that were to remain for thirty years. A year after the beginning of the slaughter, the Foreign Office noted that “it was very necessary to demonstrate to the Indonesians that we regarded our relations with them as rapidly returning to normal”. Britain was keen to establish “normal trade” and provide aid, and to express its “goodwill and confidence” in the new regime. British officials spoke to the new Foreign Minister, Adam Malik, of the “new relationship which we hope will develop between our two countries”. A Foreign Office brief for the Cabinet said that Britain “shall do all we can to restore good relations with Indonesia and help her resume her rightful place in the world community”.

There is no mention in any of the files – that I could find – of the morality of engaging with the new regime. The slaughter was simply an irrelevance. Michael Stewart recalled in his autobiography that he visited Indonesia a year after the killings and was able to “reach a good understanding with the Foreign Minister, Adam Malik”, a “remarkable man” who was “evidently resolved to keep his country at peace”. Suharto’s regime is “like Sukarno’s, harsh and tyrannical; but it is not aggressive”, Stewart stated. Malik later acted as a primary apologist for Indonesian atrocities in East Timor. In 1977, for example, he was reported as saying: “50,000 or 80,000 people might have been killed during the war in East Timor…It was war…Then what is the big fuss?”.

A combination of Western advice, aid and investment helped transform the Indonesian economy into one that, although retaining some nationalist orientation, provided substantial opportunities and profits for Western investors. President Suharto’s increasingly corrupt authoritarian regime kept economic order. Japan and the United States, working through consortia and the multilateral banks, used aid as a lever to rewrite Indonesia’s basic economic legislation. Indonesia rejoined the IMF and the World Bank and issued an investment law making it a haven for foreign investors. The consequence was that landlessness increased as land ownership became more concentrated; the peasants were afraid to organise, and the prospects of fundamental economic changes preferential to the poor were successfully eradicated.

Western businesses moved in. By the mid-1970s, a British CBI report noted that Indonesia presented “enormous potential for the foreign investor”. The press reported that the country enjoyed a “favourable political climate” and the “encouragement of foreign investment by the country’s authorities”. RTZ, BP, British Gas and Britoil were some of the companies that took taken advantage.

With Suharto gone after May 1998, British ministers were able to talk frankly of the regime they had supported. It could now be admitted that under Suharto there was “severe political repression”, the “concentration of economic and political power in a few, extremely corrupt hands”, and the “involvement of the security forces in every tier of social and political life”, for example. All these things had been miraculously discovered.

 

 

Britain keeps lid on MI6 role in ousting Sukarno


The Cabinet Office is refusing to declassify documents which would give an insight into the UK's secret involvement in Indonesian politics in the 1960s. The most significant documents are those of the late Sir Andrew Gilchrist, who was British ambassador to Indonesia in the late-1960s. He was a leading supporter of a policy of destabilizing former Indonesian President General Sukarno. Historian Mark Curtis alleges that the UK ignored anti-communist massacres following a failed coup against Sukarno in 1965.

 

 

 


The Thinker: Britain’s Hand in 1965

David Jardine | May 26, 2009

In the recent brouhaha over whether or not Adam Malik had links to the CIA, I was struck by the absence of any commentary on a possible British role in efforts to undermine and overthrow President Sukarno.

Why would the British not have joined with the Americans in their subversion of the “left-leaning” Sukarno? After all, Britain had a long record of colonial-imperial adventures from the creation of the states of Iraq and Jordan, for example, to the role played by British Intelligence in the overthrow of the elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953. Mossadeq’s “crime” was to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in an effort to divert revenues for the benefit of the Iranian people.

Then there was Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and his nationalization of the Suez Canal for which “crime” the British response was the Suez invasion.
Mossadeq, Nasser and Sukarno had something in common: They opposed European colonialism and neocolonialism. Had Mossadeq been strong enough to ward off the coup that overthrew him and installed the Shah on the Peacock Throne he might very well have been in Bandung for the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Formal decolonization, such as Malaysian independence in 1957, did not bring an end to British interests in Southeast Asia. Far from it, as Sukarno recognized. The terms of the independence agreement negotiated with Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman were favorable to British companies such as Sime Darby in the plantation sector.
Any movement to the left in Southeast Asia raised alarms in London.


As the British researcher Mark Curtis has shown from his study of declassified documents in the UK Public Records Office in London, British Intelligence, specifically MI6, had Sukarno in their sights right through the 1950s and 1960s. In 1962 British Prime Minister Harold “Winds of Change” MacMillan and US President John Kennedy came to an agreement to “eliminate” Sukarno, should “the opportunity arise.” We are speaking here of assassination, of course.

If I may introduce some anecdotal evidence of British intelligence gathering in Indonesia, it applies to my father, a middle-ranking British Royal Air Force officer stationed in Singapore for almost three years in the 1950s. He told me much later that an RAF colleague of his sent on a logistics purchasing trip to Palembang had been “buttonholed” by British Intelligence to gather information about the city.
A small detail, perhaps, but one that indicates efforts were afoot to project a possible direct intervention against Indonesia.

Of course, it all came to a head with Konfrontasi in 1963 when British, Australian and New Zealand troops faced off against the Indonesians in Borneo. Konfrontasi was still going on when the epoch-making events that followed the botched power play of Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 1965, got under way. What Curtis shows is that the British then used the power struggle and the anti-leftist bloodbath in Indonesia both to strengthen their own hand and to facilitate the mass murders going on under the direction of Gen. Suharto.

What British declassified items show, most interestingly, is that British Royal Navy vessels escorted Indonesian troops aboard a Panamanian-flagged ship down the Strait of Malacca to Java to strengthen Suharto’s hand.
This brings us to the small matter of the role played in 1965 by the British ambassador to Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist. Curtis alleges that Gilchrist, having learned of the mass killings, could scarcely contain his glee and wrote to the Foreign Office in London on Oct. 5 to say, “I have never hidden from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to change.”

At least one source disputes this. If you go to a search engine you will see that there is a Wikipedia entry referring to Gilchrist that claims the cable was a forgery dreamed up by an agent of what was then Communist Czechoslovakia.
How then did it pass Foreign Office scrutiny?

There is clear evidence of MI6 activity directed at Indonesia in this bloody period. An anti-Sukarno propaganda campaign was run from the MI6 listening post at Phoenix Park in Singapore under the leadership of Norman Reddaway, a top operative.
Britain’s role in subverting Sukarno is unmistakable and goes back to the early 1950s when the president moved to nationalize Dutch interests in Indonesia, causing serious alarm in London. What Curtis has done is to demonstrate the continuum.

David Jardine is a freelance writer based in Indonesia.

 

 

 

Secrets and spies
Mark Hollingsworth on Stephen Dorril's revealing history of MI6
The Guardian, Friday 7 April 2000

MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations
Stephen Dorril

At the heart of this exceptionally well researched book is the notion that MI6 has operated as the covert interventionist instrument of British foreign policy. In forensic detail Stephen Dorril shows how, since 1945, our secret service has engaged in what he politely calls "disruptive actions": attempted assassinations (Egypt, Libya), coup d'états (Albania, Iran, Oman), forging Swiss bank account documents (East Germany) and psychological warfare (planting of false information, secret funding of propaganda and smearing opponents).

Many MI6 officers believed in the 50s and 60s that they were the true arbiters of the national interest. As former deputy chief George Young stated: "It is the spy who has been called upon to remedy the situation created by deficiencies of ministers, diplomats, generals and priests." So, for the past 50 years, argues Dorril, MI6 has operated as a state within a state, influencing and manipulating foreign policy to suit its jaundiced view of the world.

Like most western leaders, MI6 believed that nationalism in the Middle East and Africa would inevitably lead to communism. That baseless but popular preconception, alongside a desire to protect US/UK oil interests, coloured their operations, and Dorril catalogues just how far the service was prepared to go to ensure that a government was to its liking. A recurring theme is MI6's dependence on the CIA, whose financial fire-power often gave it the edge, notably in funding European anti-communist networks and technical intelligence-gathering.

But their joint covert actions were not always successful. The 1949 attempt to overthrow the communist regime in Albania ended in abject failure. "It is a gruesome story," wrote defence specialist John Keegan, "made all the more so by the perception, apparently denied to the masterminds of subversion, that the Albanian communists were far more adept at deciding the future of their country than a bunch of romantic meddlers with a public-school education and a free supply of plastic explosives."

A more effective operation was the MI6-controlled coup in Iran, which removed the popular and moderate prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, despised by the British because he nationalised the Iranian oil industry. MI6 and the CIA armed, funded and directed the conspirators, and Mossadeq was ousted in 1953.

A crucial component of what MI6 calls "special political action" is the use of psychological warfare. According to Dorril, MI6 planted false stories, secretly subsidised news agencies and radio stations, manipulated opinion polls and smeared opponents by leaking forged documents. Known as "black propaganda", this was a combination of covert news management and sinister dirty tricks.

What emerges from Dorril's exhaustive research is that MI6 has been a law unto itself. A group of senior operatives were obsessed with Britain's decline as a world power, and would resort to any illegal operation to reverse it; they appeared to think foreign policy should be founded on the maxim "God is an Englishman" (as stated by ex-operative Julian Amery). Former MI6 controllers admit that the period 1948-1958 was a horrific dark age, but they claim that the service was cleaned up by Harold Macmillan and has been under ministerial control ever since. Any controversial "black arts" operation needs full Foreign Office sanction. Is this credible?

Dorril provides evidence to the contrary. He cites MI6's involve ment in the 1970 coup in Oman and, to a lesser extent, in Yemen, and relates how, in 1965, MI6 conspired with the CIA to "liquidate" Indonesia's president Sukarno. Margaret Thatcher showed no reluctance in sharing the burden of policing the world; Dorril claims that, in 1980, Thatcher "authorised MI6 to undertake 'disruptive actions' " during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

More recently, former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson described how, in 1992, he saw an internal document that described a plan to assassinate President Milosevic. Three years later, according to former MI5 officer David Shayler, MI6 plotted to murder Colonel Gaddafi by funding and running Libyan agents who opposed the regime. As more evidence emerges to support Shayler's allegation, it appears that MI6 has not quite relinquished its self-appointed role as an international enforcer of British foreign policy.

If it is to be effective in its new role - investigating the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons, tracking drug smugglers and countering money-laundering - MI6 will need to lift the veil of secrecy behind which it has hidden for too long. The lesson of this book is that, unless there is more transparency and accountability, a revival of unofficial bomb-and-blast foreign policy cannot be ruled out.

Dorril, co-author of books on the Profumo scandal and MI5's plot against Harold Wilson, has read an enormous amount. He has interviewed some former MI6 officers who have not spoken before; however, the book relies largely on published sources and there are some gaps. For example, there is not enough on MI6's organisation, its internal structure and how special operations were authorised.

It also suffers from inadequate editing, and Dorril has a tendency to bombard the reader with a bewildering array of facts and names. Given its ambitious scope, though, this is a remarkable achievement and an encyclopedic post-war history which any student of the secret world should read.

• Mark Hollingsworth is the author, with Nick Fielding, of Defending the Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair (Andre Deutsch).

 

 

 

 

 


Britain plotted to depose Sukarno
By Paul Lashmar and James Oliver
Tuesday 01 December 1998

THE FOREIGN Office secretly helped the Indonesian military to overthrow the country's former nationalist President Sukarno in the early 1960s, new evidence shows. Their actions brought to power the now notorious pro-Western President Suharto, who ruled from 1966 until earlier this year.
The Foreign Office has always denied Britain was involved in the fall of Sukarno. But new revelations show British intelligence agencies and propaganda specialists carried out covert operations to overthrow his regime.

With Sukarno neutralised the Indonesian military was free to murder hundreds of thousands of suspected communists. Amnesty International has said Suharto sanctionedabout 500,000 murders. In 1975 Suharto's regime also invaded East Timor and killed a third of the population.
As President Sukarno's future hung in the balance in late 1965, owing to growing military discontent, Britain sent a senior Foreign Office official and propaganda specialist to boost anti-Sukarno operations.

Norman Reddaway was given pounds 100,000 by the head of the Foreign Office, Joe, later Lord, Garner to manipulate the media. Mr Reddaway, now 81, says he was told "to do any-thing I could do to get rid of Sukarno".
The former Foreign Office diplomat says the removal of Sukarno was considered a huge success. Indonesia was to become one of Britain's biggest customers for arms.

Sukarno had become president in 1949 after Indonesia won independence from the Netherlands. Western concern grew over the strength of the Indonesian Communist Party and Sukarno's policy of nationalising Western assets. The Foreign Office was enraged by Indonesian efforts to destab-ilise the Malaysian Federation.

In the early 1960s a small unit of the FO's information research department (IRD) went to Singapore to join MI6 and Army psychological warfare officers to spread anti-Sukarno propaganda. IRD was a covert cold-war propaganda operation set up in 1948. In the 1960s it had more than 400 staff.
In late 1965, Mr Reddaway was sent to run the IRD unit. His team worked alongside MI6 officers on covert operations, assisting anti-Sukarno elements in the military.Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency listened in to Sukarno's government communications and passed on information to his opponents in the military.

The evidence of Britain's involvement is published this week in Paul Lashmar's book,
`Britain's Secret Propaganda War 1948-1997'.

 

 


How we destroyed Sukarno
Foreign Office `dirty tricks' helped overthrow Indonesia's President Sukarno in 1966.
Over the next 30 years, half a million people died.


By Paul Lashmar and James Oliver
Tuesday 01 December 1998

In autumn 1965, Norman Reddaway, a lean and erudite rising star of the Foreign Office, was briefed for a special mission. The British Ambassador to Indonesia, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, had just visited London for discussions with the head of the Foreign Office, Joe Garner. Covert operations to undermine Sukarno, the troublesome and independently minded President of Indonesia, were not going well. Garner was persuaded to send Reddaway, the FO's propaganda expert, to Indonesia. His task: to take on anti-Sukarno propaganda operations run by the Foreign Office and M16. Garner gave Reddaway pounds 100,000 in cash "to do anything I could do to get rid of Sukarno", he says.

Reddaway thus joined the loose amalgam of groups from the Foreign Office, M16, the State Department and the CIA in the Far East, all striving to depose Sukarno in diffuse and devious ways. For the next six months he and his colleagues chipped away at Sukarno's regime, undermining his reputation and assisting his enemies in the army. By March 1966 Sukarno's power base was in tatters and he was forced to hand over his presidential authority to General Suharto, the head of the army, who was already running a campaign of mass murder against alleged communists

 According to Reddaway, the overthrow of Sukarno was one of the Foreign Office's "most successful" coups, which they have kept a secret until now. The British intervention in Indonesia, alongside complimentary CIA operations, shows how far the Foreign Office was prepared to go in intervening in other countries' affairs during the Cold War. Indonesia was important both economically and strategically. In 1952 the US noted that if Indonesia fell out of Western influence, neighbours such as Malaya might follow, resulting in the loss of the "principal world source of natural rubber and tin and a producer of petroleum and other strategically important commodities".

The Japanese occupation during the Second World War, which to the Indonesians amounted to another period of colonial rule, had revitalised the nationalist movement which after the war, declared independence and assumed power. Ahmed Sukarno became Indonesia's first president. Western concern regarding Sukarno's regime grew owing to the strength of the Indonesian communist party, the PKI, which at its peak had a membership of over 10 million, the largest communist party in the non-communist world. Concerns were not allayed by Sukarno's internal and external policies, including nationalising Western assets and a governmental role for the PKI.

By the early Sixties Sukarno had become a major thorn in the side of both the British and the Americans. They believed there was a real danger that Indonesia would fall to the communists. To balance the army's growing power, Sukarno aligned himself closer to the PKI.

The first indication of British interest in removing Sukarno appears in a CIA memorandum of 1962. Prime Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy agreed to "liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities". Hostility to Sukarno was intensified by Indonesian objections to the Malaysian Federation. Sukarno complained the project was "a neo-colonial plot, pointing out that the Federation was a project for Malayan expansionism and continuing British influence in the region.

In 1963 his objections crystallised in his policy of Konfrontasi, a breaking off of all relations with Malaysia, soon coupled with low-level military intervention. A protracted border war began along the 700-mile-long front in Borneo.
According to Foreign Office sources the decision to get rid of Sukarno had been taken by Macmillan's Conservative government and carried through during Wilson's 1964 Labour government. The Foreign Office had worked in conjunction with their American counterparts on a plan to oust the turbulent Sukarno. A covert operation and psychological warfare strategy was instigated, based at Phoenix Park, in Singapore, the British headquarters in the region. The M16 team kept close links with key elements in the Indonesian army through the British Embassy. One of these was Ali Murtopo, later General Suharto's intelligence chief, and M16 officers constantly travelled back and forth between Singapore and Jakarta.

The Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD) also worked out of Phoenix Park, reinforcing the work of M16 and the military psychological warfare experts.
IRD had been established by the Labour government in 1948 to conduct an anti-communist propaganda war against the Soviets, but had swiftly become enlisted in various anti-independence movement operations in the declining British Empire. By the Sixties, IRD had a staff of around 400 in London and information officers around the world influencing media coverage in areas of British interest.

According to Roland Challis, the BBC correspondent at the time in Singapore, journalists were open to manipulation by IRD, owing, ironically, to Sukarno's own policies: "In a curious way, by keeping correspondents out of the country Sukarno made them the victims of official channels, because almost the only information you could get was from the British ambassador in Jakarta." The opportunity to isolate Sukarno and the PKI came in October 1965 when an alleged PKI coup attempt was the pretext for the army to sideline Sukarno and eradicate the PKI. Who exactly instigated the coup and for what purposes remains a matter of speculation. However, within days the coup had been crushed and the army was firmly in control. Suharto accused the PKI of being behind the coup, and set about suppressing them.

Following the attempted coup Britain set about exploiting the situation. On 5 October, Alec Adams, political adviser to the Commander-in-Chief, Far East, advised the Foreign Office: "We should have no hesitation in doing what we can surreptitiously to blacken the PKI in the eyes of the army and the people of Indonesia." The Foreign Office agreed and suggested "suitable propaganda themes" such as PKI atrocities and Chinese intervention.

One of the main themes pursued by IRD was the threat posed by the PKI and "Chinese communists". Newspaper reports continually emphasised the danger of the PKI. Drawing upon their experience in Malaya in the Fifties, the British emphasised the Chinese nature of the communist threat. Roland Challis said: "One of the more successful things which the West wished on to the non-communist politicians in Indonesia was to transfer the whole idea of communism onto the Chinese minority in Indonesia. It turned it into an ethnic thing. It is a terrible thing to have done to incite the Indonesians to rise and slaughter the Chinese."

But it was the involvement of Sukarno with the PKI in the bloody months following the coup that was to be the British trump card. According to Reddaway: "The communist leader, Aidit, went on the run and Sukarno, being a great politician, went to the front of the palace and said that the communist leader Aidit must be hunted down and brought to justice. From the side door of the palace, he was dealing with him every day by courier."

This information was revealed by the signal intelligence of Britain's GCHQ. The Indonesians didn't have a clue about radio silence and this double-dealing was picked up by GCHQ; the British had its main eavesdropping base in Hong Kong tuned into events in Indonesia.
The discrediting of Sukarno was of fundamental importance. Sukarno remained a respected and popular leader against whom Suharto could not move openly until the conditions were right. The constant barrage of bad international coverage and Sukarno's plummeting political position fatally undermined him. On 10 March 1966, Sukarno was forced to sign over his powers to General Suharto. Now perceived as closely associated with the attempted coup and the PKI, Sukarno had been discredited to the point where the army felt able to act. The PKI was eliminated as a significant force and a pro-Western military dictatorship firmly established.

It was not long before Suharto quietly ended the inactive policy of Konfrontasi resulting in a swift improvement in Anglo-Indonesian relations, which continue to be close to this day.

From: `Britain's Secret Propaganda War 1948-77',
by Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, to be published by Sutton on 7 December

 

 

 


US and British complicity in the 1965 slaughters in Indonesia
01Feb07

By Mark Curtis
Third World Resurgence, Issue 137, 2002

With the release of more declassified US government documents on policy towards Indonesia in 1965, complicity in mass murder becomes ever clearer. Viewed alongside the British declassified files, a fairly clear picture emerges of Western support for one of the postwar world’s worst bloodbaths – what US officials at the time called a “reign of terror” and British officials “ruthless terror”.

However, unlike the terrorists responsible for the outrage of September 11, precisely nothing has ever been done to bring those responsible in Indonesia – and their supporters in Washington and London – to account.

The killings in Indonesia started when a group of army officers loyal to President Sukarno assassinated several generals on 30 September 1965. They believed the generals were about to stage a coup to overthrow Sukarno. The instability, however, provided other anti-Sukarno generals, led by General Suharto, with an excuse for the army to move against a powerful and popular political faction with mass support, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). It did so brutally: in a few months hundreds of thousands of PKI members and ordinary people were killed and the PKI destroyed. Suharto emerged as leader and instituted a repressive regime that lasted until 1998.

The declassified documents show five ways in which the US and Britain were complicit in this slaughter. First, both the US and Britain wanted the army to act and encouraged them to do it. US officials expressed their hope of “army at long last to act effectively against Communists” [sic]. “We are, as always, sympathetic to army’s desire to eliminate communist influence” and ”it is important to assure the army of our full support of its efforts to crush the PKI”, other officials noted.

The British were equally enthusiastic. “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change”, the ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, informed the Foreign Office on 5 October.

Support for army actions continued throughout the period of the worst killings; there is no question that US and British officials knew exactly what they were supporting.

The following day the Foreign Office in London stated that “the crucial question still remains whether the Generals will pluck up enough courage to take decisive action against the PKI”. Later it noted that “we must surely prefer an Army to a Communist regime” and declared: “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.

In the short run, and while the present confusion continues, we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the Generals”. British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a General’s regime”, one intelligence official explained.

Support for army actions continued throughout the period of the worst killings; there is no question that US and British officials knew exactly what they were supporting.
US Ambassador Marshall Green noted three weeks after the attempted coup and with the killings having begun, that “Army has… been working hard at destroying PKI and I, for one, have increasing respect for its determination and organisation in carrying out this crucial assignment”. Green noted in the same despatch the “execution of PKI cadres”, putting the figure at “several hundred of them” in “Djakarta area alone” [sic]. “To date, army has performed far better than anticipated in attacking PKI and regrouping”.

On 1 November, Green informed the State Department of the army’s “moving relentlessly to exterminate the PKI as far as that is possible to do”. Three days later he noted that “Embassy and USG generally sympathetic with and admiring of what army doing” [sic]. Four days after this the US Embassy reported that the Army and allied elements “has continued systematic drive to destroy PKI in northern Sumatra with wholesale killings reported”.

By 16 November, the US Consulate in Medan was reporting that “much indiscriminate killing is taking place”. “Something like a reign of terror against PKI is taking place. This terror is not discriminating very carefully between PKI leaders and ordinary PKI members with no ideological bond to the party”. A British official reported on 25 November that “PKI men and women are being executed in very large numbers”.

By mid December the State Department noted approvingly that “Indonesian military leaders’ campaign to destroy PKI is moving fairly swiftly and smoothly”. By 14 February 1966 Ambassador Green could note that “the PKI has been destroyed as an effective political force for some time to come” and that “the Communists…have been decimated by wholesale massacre”.

The US and British files reveal total support for these massacres.
I could find no reference to any concern about the extent of killing at all –
other than constant encouragement for the army to continue.


The British files reveal that by January the US estimated the number of dead at 150,000, although one Indonesian armed forces liaison officer told US attaches of a figure of 500,000. By March one British official wondered “how much of it [the PKI] is left, after six months of killing” and believed that over 200,000 had been killed in Sumatra alone.
By April, the US Embassy stated that “we frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000 but believe it wiser to err on the side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press”.

Summarising the events of 1965 the British Consul in Medan referred to the army by noting that: “Posing as saviours of the nation from a communist terror, they unleashed a ruthless terror of their own, the scare of which will take many years to heal.” Another British memo referred to the “an operation carried out on a very large scale and often with appalling savagery”. Another simply referred to the “bloodbath”.

The US and British files reveal total support for these massacres. I could find no reference to any concern about the extent of killing at all – other than constant encouragement for the army to continue. And it was not only PKI activists who were the targets of this terror. As the British files show, many of the victims were the “merest rank and file “ of the PKI who were “often no more than bewildered peasants who give the wrong answer on a dark night to bloodthirsty hooligans bent on violence”, with the connivance of the army.

The second way in the US and Britain supported the slaughter concerned the “Confrontation” between Malaya and Indonesia. Here, Britain had deployed tens of thousands troops, mainly in Borneo, to defend Malaya against possible Indonesian encroachments following territorial claims. British policy “did not want to distract the Indonesian army by getting them engaged in fighting in Borneo and so discourage them from the attempts which they now seem to be making to deal with the PKI”. British Ambassador Gilchrist proposed that “we should get word to the Generals that we shall not attack them whilst they are chasing the PKI”, described as a “necessary task”. In October the British passed to the Generals, through a US contact “a carefully phrased oral message about not biting the Generals in the back for the present”.

“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”.

The US files confirm that the message from the US, conveyed on 14 October, read: “First, we wish to assure you that we have no intention of interfering Indonesian internal affairs directly or indirectly. Second, we have good reason to believe that none of our allies intend to initiate any offensive action against Indonesia” [sic]. The message was greatly welcomed by the army: One of the Indonesian Defence Minister’s aides noted that “this was just what was needed by way of assurances that we (the army) weren’t going to be hit from all angles as we moved to straighten things out here”.

Third is the “hit list” of targets supplied by the US to the Indonesian army. As the journalist Kathy Kadane has revealed, as many as 5,000 names of provincial, city and other local PKI committee members and leaders of the mass organisations of the PKI, such as the national labour federation, women’s and youth groups, were passed on the Generals, many of whom were subsequently killed. “It really was a big help to the army” noted Robert Martens, a former member of the US embassy. “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”.

The declassified US files do not provide many further details about the provision of this hit list, although they do confirm it. One list of names, for example, was passed to the Indonesians in December 1965 and “is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time”. It also notes that “lists of other officials in the PKI affiliates, Partindo and Baperki were also provided to GOI [Government of Indonesia] officials at their request”.

The fourth means of support was propaganda operations.
On 5 October a “political adviser” at the British intelligence base in Singapore reported to the Foreign Office in London that: “we should not miss the present opportunity to use the situation to our advantage… I recommend that we should have no hesitation in doing what we can surreptitiously to blacken the PKI in the eyes of the army and the people of Indonesia”.

The Foreign Office replied: “We certainly do not exclude any unattributable propaganda or psywar [psychological warfare] activities which would contribute to weakening the PKI permanently. We therefore agree with the [above] recommendation… Suitable propaganda themes might be… Chinese interference in particular arms shipments; PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign communists”.

On 9 October the political adviser confirmed that “we have made arrangements for distribution of certain unattributable material based on the general guidance” in the Foreign Office memo. This involved “promoting and coordinating publicity” critical of the Sukarno government to “news agencies, newspapers and radio”. “The impact has been considerable”, one file notes.

The fifth means of support was provision of equipment – although this remains the murkiest area to uncover. Past US support to the military “should have established clearly in minds Army leaders that US stands behind them if they should need help”, the State Department noted. US strategy was to “avoid overt involvement in the power struggle but… indicate, clearly but covertly, to key Army officers our desire to assist where we can.”

The Indonesia campaign is one of the most bloody in the postwar history of US-UK collaboration

The first US supplies to the Indonesian army were radio equipment “to help in internal security” and to help the Generals “in their task of overcoming the Communists”, as British Ambassador Gilchrist out it. The US historian Gabriel Kolko has shown that in early November 1965 the US received a request from the Generals to “arm Moslem and nationalist youths…for use against the PKI”. The recently published files confirm this approach from the Indonesians. On 1 November Ambassador Green cabled Washington that “as to the provision of small arms I would be leery about telling army we are in position to provide same, although we should act, not close our minds to this possibility… We could explore availability of small arms stocks, preferable of non-US origin, which could be obtained without any overt US government involvement. We might also examine channels through which we could, if necessary, provide covert assistance to army for purchase of weapons”.

A CIA memo of 9 November stated that the US should avoid being “too hesitant about the propriety of extending such assistance provided we can do so covertly, in a manner which will not embarrass them or embarrass our government”.

It then noted that mechanisms exist or can be created to deliver “any of the types of the materiel requested to date in reasonable quantities”. One line of text is then not declassified before the memo notes: “The same can be said of purchasers and transfer agents for such items as small arms, medicine and other items requested.”

The memo goes on to note that “we do not propose that the Indonesian army be furnished such equipment at this time”. However, “if the Army leaders justify their needs in detail…it is likely that at least will help ensure their success and provide the basis for future collaboration with the US”. “The means for covert implementation” for the delivery of arms “are within our capabilities”.

In response to the Indonesia request for arms, Kolko has shown that the US promised to provide such covert aid, and dubbed them “medicines”. The declassified files state that “the Army really needed the medicines” and that the US was keen to indicate “approval in a practical way of the actions of the Indonesian army”. The extent of arms provided is not revealed in the files but the amount “the medicines would cost was a mere pittance compared with the advantages that might accrue to the US as a result of ‘getting in on the ground floor’”, one file reads. A meeting in Washington of 4 December approved the provision of such “medicines”.

“it is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters. If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia… I think we ought to take an act and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves”.

The British knew of these arms supplies and it is likely they also approved them. Britain was initially reluctant to see US equipment go to the Generals lest it be used in the “Confrontation”. Thus the British files show that the US State Department had “undertaken to consult with us before they do anything to support the Generals”. It is possible that the US reneged on this commitment; however, in earlier discussions about this possibility, a British official at the embassy in Washington noted that “I do not think that is very likely”.

The British files in particular show very close relations between the US and British embassies in Jakarta.
They point to a somewhat coordinated joint US-UK operation to help install a Generals regime and bring about
a government more favourable to Western economic and political interests.

The Indonesia campaign is one of the most bloody in the postwar history of US-UK collaboration that includes the joint overthrow of the Musaddiq regime in Iran in 1953, the removal of the population of the British island of Diego Garcia to make way for a US military base in 1965, UK support for US aggression in Vietnam, Central America, Grenada, Panama and Libya and covert operations in Cambodia and Afghanistan. The current phase of the special relationship is witnessed in joint military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Basic US and British concerns and priorities regarding mid-1960s Indonesia are laid out in the files.
For the British the importance of Southeast Asia was partly explained by the fact that

Southeast Asia is a major producer of some essential commodities” such as rubber, copra and chromuim ore. “Economically, Southeast Asia is a major producer of raw materials… and the defence of the sources of these products and their denial to a possible enemy are major interests to the Western powers”.

Indonesia also “occupies a key position in world communications”, straddling important sea and air routes.
And Britain wanted, of course, to see a change in regime in Jakarta to bring an end to the “Confrontation”
with Malaya.

British Foreign Secretary Michel Stewart wrote at the time that

it is only the economic chaos of Indonesia which prevents that country from offering great potential opportunities to British exporters.

If there is going to be a deal in Indonesia…
I think we ought to take an act and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves”.

The British feared
the resurgence of Communist and radical nationalism”.

 

 

For the US, Under Secretary of State George Ball had noted that

Indonesia “may be more important to us than South V-N [Vietnam]” (251).

“At stake”,
one US memo read, “are 100 million people, vast potential resources and a strategically important chain of islands”.

Basic US priorities were virtually identical in Vietnam and Indonesia:
to prevent the consolidation of an independent nationalist regime,
with communist components and sympathies, that threatened
Western economic and political interests and that could act as a successful development model.

 

 

“if these efforts succeeded, Indonesia would provide a powerful example for the underdeveloped world and hence a credit to communism and a setback for Western prestige”.

The US Ambassador in Malaysia cabled Washington a year before the October 1965 events in Indonesia saying that “our difficulties with Indonesia stem basically from deliberate, positive GOI [Government of Indonesia] strategy of seeking to push Britain and the US out of Southeast Asia”. Ball noted in March 1965 that “our relations with Indonesia are on the verge of falling apart”. “Not only has the management of the American rubber plants been taken over, but there are dangers of an imminent seizure of the American oil companies”.

The Sukarno regime clearly had the wrong priorities. According to one US report: “the government occupies a dominant position in basic industry, public utilities, internal transportation and communication”. “It is probable that private ownership will disappear and may be succeeded by some form of production-profit-sharing contract arrangements to be applied to all foreign in vestment”. Overall, “the avowed Indonesian objective is ‘to stand on their own feet’ in developing their economy, free from foreign, especially Western, influence” – clearly all heretical priorities to basic US-UK strategy that – as today – needed to be defeated.

The problem with the PKI was not so much its communism but its nationalism: “it is likely that PKI foreign policy decisions, like those of Sukarno, would stress Indonesian national interests above those of Peking, Moscow or international communism in general”, one memo reads. The real danger of a Communist Indonesia was outlined in a Special National Intelligence Estimate of 1 September 1965. This referred to the PKI’s moving “to energize and unite the Indonesia nation” and stated that “if these efforts succeeded, Indonesia would provide a powerful example for the underdeveloped world and hence a credit to communism and a setback for Western prestige”. The problem was that Indonesia would be too successful, a fear in the minds of US planners well documented by Kolko and Noam Chomsky in policy towards numerous other countries.

The Army was by no means the perfect ally of the US in Indonesia – as the files note, it “was strongly nationalist in orientation and strongly favours the takeover of Western economic interests”. Nevertheless in the choice between Sukarno and the PKI on the one hand and the army on the other, “the army deserves our support”. And over time a combination of Western advice, aid and investment did transform the Indonesian economy into one that, although retaining an important nationalist element, provided substantial opportunities and profits for Western investors, aided by an increasingly corrupt President Suharto. The West supported Suharto throughout the three-decade long rule of repression, including in the regime’s murderous policies in East Timor after the invasion of 1975. The hundreds of thousands of deaths then were as irrelevant to US and British officials as those in 1965.

Note: The US files referred to were published last year in the Foreign Relations of the United States series by the US Government Printing Office. British files are in Public Record Office, London.

 

 

 


Britain's Secret Propaganda War


Reviews of Paul Lashmar and James Oliver's book "Britain's Secret Propaganda War 1948-1977"

The Arthur Daleys of diplomacy.
Thursday Book Review The Independent. 18 Feb 1999.
by Hugh O'Shaughnessy

HOW DARE they! I have scarcely recovered from the misery of reading This Blessed Plot, Hugo Young's account of Britain's calamitous international relations since the Second World War, when Paul Lashmar and James Oliver present an equally absorbing, depressing and well-written work.

Young's book sets out in masterly detail the monstrous incompetence of recent British politicians and civil servants. He tells how these people guided the country down wrong roads and up blind alleys, seeking to superannuate the Empire at one moment, depending on the Commonwealth the next, truckling to Washington thereafter, but always turning up their fastidious Kiplingesque noses at our Continental neighbours. How was it that a British establishment - so well paid and so splendidly honoured - played out such a ridiculous pantomime? How could it have continued superciliously spurning the European future, leaving our country isolated on the margins of the European Union, potentially the greatest economic power the world has yet seen?

Paul Lashmar, one of Britain's foremost investigative journalists, and the historian James Oliver have produced a fascinating and authoritative study of one agency of state - the Information Research Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - which was responsible for more than its fair share of such strategic blunders. This is a sad tale, splendidly told. Created in 1948 and funded from the clandestine budget of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, the IRD had as its not ignoble task the campaign against Communist influence outside this kingdom, and the battle for worldwide public acceptance of British strategic aims.

One of its most important operations, which proved to be one of the last independent actions of global significance by British intelligence, was its assistance in the overthrow in 1965 of President Sukarno of Indonesia, whose troops had been seeking to destabilise Malaysia. The operation, one could argue, had its justification. But did the IRD know that his successor, General Suharto, was to preside over the immediate massacre of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians? It probably did. After all, the US, our Nato ally and junior partner in the campaign against Sukarno, passed on to Soeharto's army the names of thousands of left-wingers.

As these people were killed by the army, their names were crossed off a list at the US embassy in Jakarta. In that city running with human blood, the diplomat Robert J Mertens said "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." Did the IRD know that Suharto would go on to slaughter a third of the population of occupied East Timor, plunder Timor's oil and, in our day, cause the almost fatal weakening of the economy of South-East Asia? Probably not. But members of the department can never evade responsibility for helping to put him there in the first place.

The department was, however, always the Arthur Daley of the British diplomatic world, staffed with people disdained by their colleagues as less than high-fliers. The IRD ended up deserting its official brief and peddling smears against a British prime minister and half-truths to its allies in the British press about what was going on in Northern Ireland. Just before Dr David Owen closed it down in 1976, the department was asked to prepare a broad philosophical briefing for the Labour government.

As the white terrorist government in Pretoria was beating up or murdering those black activists it was not locking up on Robben Island, the hapless IRD produced a document entitled "South Africa: the Communist Peril". In Latin America, IRD tried to seek intellectual acceptance for its right- wing views but was hampered by the quality of the staff it employed (or shared with the CIA).

One thinks of the troubled Australian, Robert Moss, author of Chile's Marxist Experiment - a book rushed out to support Augusto Pinochet within 10 weeks of his 1973 putsch and which formed part of a series portentously entitled "World Realities". Moss, say the authors, had visited Chile, then under the disorderly but democratically elected government of Dr Salvador Allende, at the expense of Forum World Features, a CIA operation based in London. The department used to send me its briefings on Latin America - unattributably and, like direct-mail condoms, always under plain cover, never franked and always bearing an adhesive stamp. I was constantly struck by the oddity of their arguments and the paucity of their supposedly "privileged" information. The briefings never contained anything that could not be gleaned from a reading of the daily newspapers in any Latin American capital.

The Information Research Department (IRD), a creation of the British intelligence community, played a major role in Western news and cultural media from 1948-1977.

As late as 1976, when IRD's secret history first began to unravel due to the persistence of researcher Richard Fletcher, 92 British journalists were still on IRD's distribution list. In earlier years, IRD's influence was even greater.

This is the first book about IRD, and with it, another piece of the cold war media-manipulation picture is now in place. (The CIA's manipulation of the media was equally impressive, but U.S. journalists dropped the issue in 1978 and never looked back.)

The first chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It details British propaganda efforts against Indonesia's Sukarno in 1965, before and after the so-called abortive "coup," which became the excuse for Suharto's genocide against the PKI. IRD and MI6 "black" operations were intense before and after this alleged coup, as forged documents suggesting PKI atrocities and Chinese intervention were combined with sophisticated signals intelligence that monitored Sukarno's every move.

This book also quotes a June 1962 CIA memorandum, which states that President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan, in April 1962, agreed to "liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities."


ISBN 0-7509-1668-0

 

 

The ousting of Sukarno

Excerpt from
Spoils of a Massacre
report by John Pilger,
Guardian Weekend 14 July 2001

Ralph McGehee, a senior CIA operations officer at the time, whom I first interviewed almost 20 years ago, described the ousting of Sukarno in Indonesia as a "model operation" for the US-run coup that got rid of Salvador Allende in Chile seven years later. "The CIA forged a document purporting to reveal a leftist plot to murder Chilean military leaders," he wrote, "[just like] what happened in Indonesia in 1965." He says the Indonesian massacres were also the model for Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, where US-directed death squads assassinated up to 50,000 people.

In November 1967, following the capture of the "greatest prize", the booty was handed out. The Time-Life Corporation sponsored an extraordinary conference in Geneva which, in the course of a week, designed the corporate takeover of Indonesia.
It was attended by the most important businessmen in the world, the likes of David Rockefeller, and all the giants of western capitalism were represented. They included the major oil companies and banks, General Motors, Imperial Chemical Industries, British Leyland, British-American Tobacco, American Express, Siemens, Goodyear, the International Paper Corporation, US Steel.
Across the table were Suharto's men, whom Rockefeller called "Indonesia's top economic team". Several were economists trained at the University of California in Berkeley. All sang for their supper, offering the principal selling points of their country and their people: "Abundance of cheap labour . . . a treasure house of resources . . . a captive market." Recently, I asked one of them, Dr Emile Salim, if anyone at the conference had even mentioned that a million people had died in bringing this new business-friendly government to power. "No, that was not on the agenda," he replied. "I didn't know about it till later. Remember, we didn't have television and the telephones were not working well."

The Indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector, at the conference. In one room, forests in another, minerals. The Freeport Company got a mountain of copper in West Papua (Henry Kissinger is currently on the board). A US/European consortium got West Papua's nickel. The giant Alcoa company got the biggest slice of Indonesia's bauxite. A group of US, Japanese and French got thetropical forests of Sumatra, West Papua and Kalimantan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II: British Foreign Office/CIA/MI6 and 'The Fall Of Sukarno'  

Hantu Laut

The birth of Malaysia was not without intrigue, espionage, psychological war, military intelligence and counter-intelligence. Sukarno had suddenly become the most dangerous man in the region. A crazy expansionist that needed to be checked, removed or liquidated.

Sukarno withdrew Indonesia from the United Nations as protest to the UN Security Council's recognition of Malaysia and threatened to form an alternative world body, the Conference of New Emerging Forces (CONEFO)

On 10 March 1965 Indonesian saboteurs bombed the MacDonald House in Singapore, killing 3 and injuring 33.

In the early stage of confrontation British and Commonwealth forces were not allowed to cross the border to pursue the enemy.Prior to the Singapore bombing in April 1964, the British government gave permission for its troops to cross the border into Kalimantan up to 3000 yards. In January 1965 the order was extended to attack up to 10,000 yards.British and Malaysian military intelligence also secretly gave aid to rebel groups in Indonesia, in Sulawesi and the restive province of Aceh in Sumatra, as way to weaken Sukarno's military confrontation campaign and destabilised his government.

The British were alarmed by Sukarno incorrigibility and possibility of a full-blown military adventurism.Something had to be done to get him out of the way.

Earlier, in 1962, it has been claimed that a CIA memo indicated that British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and US President John F.Kennedy alarmed by Sukarno's confrontation and the possibility of it spreading elsewhere in the region have agreed to 'liquidate' Sukarno.The plan was never carried out.John F.Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963.

In a series of exposes by Paul Lashmar and Oliver James of the Independent newspaper of the involvement of the Foreign Office's IRD (Information Research Department) and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) exposed that the decision to unseat Sukarno was decided by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and then executed under Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

To weaken the Sukarno regime the Foreign Office coordinated what it called 'psyops' (psychological operations) together with the military to spread 'black propaganda' casting bad light on the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), Chinese Indonesians and Sukarno.

Coordinated by the British High Commission in Singapore the propaganda machinery brought in the mass media, the BBC, Associated Press (AP) and the New York Times all filed sexed-up and embellished reports on the crisis in Indonesia.The manipulations by the Foreign Office's IRD included a report by BBC of the communists plan to slaughter the citizens of Jakarta.The false report was based solely on forgery planted by Norman Reddaway, a propaganda expert with the IRD.

Sukarno who fought the Dutch for independence of his country succeeded in declaring independence in 1945 and was appointed president.Although, outwardly he appeared a strong leader, Sukarno were actually weak and inexperience, easily influenced by people around him and lacked the administrative skill to run a nation.His management of the nation's economy was a total disaster. Bad economic planning resulted in failure to lift its citizens out of severe poverty and brought widespread famine and starvation.

Sukarno knowledge and understanding of economic problems was minimal and apparently below the level expected of a moderately intelligent high school student.He, himself, had admitted and said "I am not an economist, I am a revolutionary".

As far as Sukarno cared, his ministers were there to provide the President with funds for both his public and private use.A special budget was set aside for his expenditure on his overseas trips, his mistresses, his wives, girl friends and his other worldly pleasures.Sukarno also had a weakness for beautiful women and sought them out everywhere he went.To take advantage of him, some world leaders pandered to his licentiousness and provided him with what he desired.

Sukarno officially married eight wives and the youngest was Dewi Sukarno, formerly Noko Nemoto, a young and beautiful Japanese girl he met on his visit to Japan.She met Sukarno when she was only 19 and was an art student and an entertainer.She had one daughter with Sukarno.

The Western powers, particularly the US increased their aid to Indonesia hoping the country would recover from its economic woes.The American only came to realise later how large sum of the money was squandered on Sukarno's project of "Crush Malaysia" campaign.When the US condemned his anti-Malaysia stance Sukarno blew his top and told the American to keep their money and told the US Ambassador "Go to hell with your aid".A month later he coined a new slogan "Banting Stir Untuk Berdiri Diatas Kaki Sendiri"(Turn the wheel around and stand on your own feet). By then the economy was in shambles.

The country was in default of foreign debt estimated at $2.4 billion.Foreign exchange earnings were unlikely to cover one month of import, tax collection was declining and uncontrolled government expenditure added to the already precarious economic situation.The greatest beneficiary of this economic disintegration was the Communists party.
The PKI (Parti Komunis Indonesia) which had a moderate support in 1950 had grown to almost 3 million members by 1965 and with its other auxiliary organisations the party have added another 20 million supporters.Its leader Ahmad Aidit said that if elections were held there and then the PKI would have captured more than 50% of the votes.The PKI had become the largest political party in Indonesia and the third largest communist party in the world after China and the Soviet Union and Sukarno's open patronage was well known and one that would eventually lead to his downfall.

The fateful day came on 30 September 1965.
At around 3:15 A.M. on October 1, seven groups of troops in trucks and buses comprising soldiers from the Tjakrabirawa (Presidential Guard) the Diponegoro (Central Java) and Brawijaya (East Java) Divisions, left the movement's base at Lubang Buaya, just south of Jakarta to kidnap seven generals, all members of the Army General Staff. Three of the intended victims, (Lieutenant General Ahmad Yani, Major General M.T.Haryono and Brigadier General D.I.Panjaitan) were killed at their homes, while three more (Major General Soeprapto, Major General S.Perman and Brigadier General Sutoyo) were taken alive. Meanwhile, the main target, Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Abdul Harris Nasution managed to escape the kidnap attempt by jumping over a wall into the Iraqi embassy garden, but his Aide-de-camp, First Lieutenant Pierre Tendean, was captured by mistake after being mistaken for Nasution in the dark. Nasution's five-year old daughter, Ade Irma Suryani Nasution, was shot and died on 6 October. The generals and the bodies of their dead colleagues were taken to a place known as Lubang Buaya near the Halim Perdanakusumah Air Force Base where those still alive were shot, and the bodies of all the victims were thrown down a disused well.

At 5.30AM, General Suharto was woken up by his neighbor and told of the disappearances of the generals and the shootings at their homes. He went to KOSTRAD HQ and tried to contact other senior officers. He managed to contact the Naval and Police commanders, but was unable to contact the Air Force Commander. He then took command of the Army and issued orders confining all troops to barracks.

Due to poor planning, the coup leaders had failed to provide provisions for the troops on Lapangan Merdeka, who were becoming hot and thirsty. They were under the impression that they were guarding the president in the palace. Over the course of the afternoon, Suharto persuaded both battalions to give up without a fight, first the Brawijaya troops, who came to Kostrad HQ, then the Diponegoro troops, who withdrew to Halim. His troops gave Untung's forces inside the radio station an ultimatum and they also withdrew. By 7PM Suharto was in control of all the installations previously held by the 30 September Movement's forces. At 9PM he announced over the radio that he was now in command of the Army and that he would destroy the counter-revolutionary forces and save Sukarno. He then issued another ultimatum, this time to the troops at Halim. Later that evening, Sukarno left Halim and arrived in Bogor, where there was another presidential palace. Most of the rebel troops fled, and after a minor battle in the early hours of October 2, the Army regained control of Hali, Aidit flew to Yogyakarta and Dani to Madiun before the soldiers arrived (Wikipedia)

Aidit was shot in Yogyakarta by pro-government forces led by General Suharto. General Omar Dani and Foreign Minister Subandrio, both communist sympathisers, were jailed and eventually sentence to death for treason.

Below is an extract from Times magazine:
Friday, Jan. 06, 1967
..................................

When Indonesia's Communists attempted a coup in September of 1965, General Omar Dani was commander of his country's MIG-equipped air force. As a Communist sympathizer, he allowed Halim Airbase near Djakarta to be used as headquarters and staging area for the plot; in turn, he was promised that he would eventually become chief of state. But the plot was smashed by the Indonesian army, and Dani, along with Foreign Minister Subandrio and other top government officials, was put in jail on charges of treason. Subandrio was tried by a military court and sentenced to death in October. On the day before Christmas, Dani got his: after three weeks of testimony before another military court, he too was sentenced to death.
As in the Subandrio trial, much of the evidence against Dani suggested that President Sukarno himself had known about, condoned, and even taken part in the attempted coup. Dani's trial, like Subandrio's, brought renewed demands from Indonesia's anti-Communist professional and student associations that Sukarno himself be removed from his position as President and brought to court. The father of his country, however, seemed unfazed.

Last week, in a brief ceremony at his summer palace in the mountain resort of Bogor, Sukarno calmly swore in one of his old leftist cronies, Suwito Kusumowidagdo, as Ambassador to the U.S. The appointment hardly pleased the military regime, which now claims most of the power in Indonesia, and it raised eyebrows in Washington. The Bung's only answer was a sentence of advice to his new ambassador: "Tell them that Sukarno is still President of Indonesia and that he is the man who sent you there."

Suharto immediately blamed the PKI as the masterminds of the attempted coup.The army with the help of the locals went on a rampage to kill suspected communist.There were widespread purging of communists and their sympathisers.It was reported that almost a million suspected communists had been killed.

Sukarno was stripped of his presidential title on 12 March 1967 and remained under house arrest until his death at age 69 in 1970. Suharto was appointed President.
The American and British propaganda machines had, somehow, helped to destabilise Sukarno and the PKI.Although, such clandestine operations were seldom admitted by the US administration, the CIA had been active in many parts of the world to bring down leaders not favoured by the US or deemed as threat to world peace.

The confrontation stopped under Suharto.

 

 

 

Part I: The Making Of A Nation
Hantu Laut

Ten years after giving up power from its biggest colony on the Indian sub-continent, Britain was getting tired of administering the last few remaining colonies in its far-flung empire in the Far East. The lost of the 'Jewel In The Crown' was a wake-up call for Britain to return what rightfully didn't belong to them.It's time for decolonisation.It was time to pack up and go. The last few remaining colonies of the British Empire in Asia and Africa literally have had independence thrown on their laps.It was a peaceful and smooth transition of power transfer from colonial masters to colonial subjects without the horrific bloodshed that some less fortunate colonies have to endure to get independence from their colonial masters. 

We might have shed some sweat and tears but otherwise it was the most civilised manner Britain had conducted itself when it gave independence to this nation. There were no real heroes of independence that one can really talk about but there were champions.

In January 1946 the British published proposals for a Malayan Union to unite the whole of the peninsula under a strong central government.These proposals were resisted by the Malays, who quickly formed a political party known as United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

The Malayan Union concept was abandoned and in its place the 'Federation of Malaya Agreement' was signed on 21 January 1948 and came into effect on 1 February same year.A common citizenship was created for all who acknowledged Malaya as their permanent home and gave their undivided royalty. Citizenship were also to be given to the Chinese and Indians as one of the conditions stipulated by the British.At that time the Federation did not include Penang and Malacca which remained British territory and Singapore remained a separate colony.

After the fall of Malaya and Singapore to the Japanese during World War II the communists mounted a campaign of active resistance against the Japanese and hope to gain control of the country in September 1945 but the attempt was thwarted by the arrival of the British military administration. The communists insurrections continued until after the end of World War II and after Malaya gained independence on 31 August 1957.

Those who depicts Chin Peng as liberator and hero of independence were trying to rewrite the history book and should have their head examined. Chin Peng was nothing else but a communist insurgent and a criminal.The Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) continued its arm struggle in trying to overthrow the legitimate government well into the late eighties.

Chin Peng renewed the insurgency in 1967 which went on until 1989. How could Chin Peng be termed a hero, a liberator and freedom fighter when he wanted independence from an already independent nation and a government elected by the people.

For those Gavin Menzies wannabes who didn't have the fantastic skill of rewriting history as Menzies had (Menzies wrote the books '1421' and '1434' that changed the history of navigation and discoveries, giving all credits to China as the pioneers,discoverers, inventors, including the discovery of America, which he refuted was Columbus. Highly recommended for those who loves history) , forget it, Chin Peng was a communist, an armed insurgent and a rebel without a cause and he should stay in the history book as such.

Though hardly credible, the story have some resonance with certain group of people in the country.Raja Petra Kamaruddin in one of his articles, played the ball, with this ridiculous idea.

After the independence of Malaya, the last remaining colonies of the British Empire in the Far East were Singapore on the southern tip of Malaya, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.Both states would be sitting ducks if given independence on their own unless Britain was prepared to continue giving both states security and defence in the event of external aggression from its neighbours.

The British biggest fear was for the security of Sabah, Sarawak and its protectorate Brunei.To give independence to these states on individual basis would be endangering them of being taken over by bigger, better equipped, more aggressive and expansionist neighbours.The fear was Indonesia and the Philippines but more Indonesia. This fear was proven true when the formation of Malaysia was announced, Indonesia's Sukarno immediately launched a confrontation against Malaysia with its 'Ganyang Malaysia'(Crush Malaysia) slogan and Sukarno promising that he would take over Malaysia before the cock crows on 1st August 1963.Although, it has an outstanding claim over Sabah the Philippines being militarily weak could only cut off diplomatic relations with Malaysia.

There were many military incursions by Indonesia along the Borneon borders between Sabah/Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan.There were also military and guerrillas landings on the shores of Peninsula Malaysia.The one that almost saw the light at the end of the tunnel was the Indonesian backed rebellion by the North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU) against the Sultan of Brunei led by leaders of Parti Rakyat Brunei Dr.Azhari and Ahmad Zaidi.The British army was able to suppress the rebellion and Azhari and Ahmad Zaidi fled to Indonesia.

Kota Kinabalu was not spared from Sukarno's psychological war. As a young boy then, I still remember the drone of an approaching aircraft that later flew very low over our house in the early hours of the morning just before dawn, few months before the formation of Malaysia.That instantly reminded me of Sukarno's promise of "Sebelum ayam bercokok" (before the cock crows) and think quietly to myself, that's it, they are here to take us.

By 1965, the height of the confrontation, there were 14,000 British and Commonwealth forces in Borneo.There were also British, Australian and New Zealand SAS Regiments that pursued the attackers over the border into Kalimantan in secrets.This was only revealed many years after the incidents.

Before the formation of Malaysia the British government set up a fact-finding commission to find out the views of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.The Cobbald Commision was set up to collect information regarding the concept of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore joining the Federation of Malaya to form a new nation to be named Malaysia.Brunei eventually decided not to join.Joining Malaysia would mean the Sultan would lose his status as absolute monarch and his position reduced to ceremonial status like other sultans in the Federation of Malaya.The Sultan of Brunei was very rich even then.

I take the findings of the Cobbold Commission with a pinch of salt.There were no referendum held in Sabah and Sarawak on the popular wishes of the people.What the commission did was to gather a few selected tribal leaders and selected leaders from other communities who were beholden and sycophantic to the British and sought their views, which the British already knew would be in the affirmative.Some of these leaders have little claim to be regarded as representative leaders.There were objections mainly from the natives of Sabah and Sarawak but these objections were drown by the Commission by putting forth those selected leaders as the mouthpieces of the people of the two states.

Priorities had already been established in London and Kuala Lumpur, irrespective of the outcome of the findings of the Commission, the formation of Malaysia was imminent.

The findings of the Cobbold Commission were a farce.

Members of the Cobbold Commission were:
Lord Cobbold, former Governor of Bank of England, the Chairman.
Dato Wong Pow Nee, Chief Minister of Penang.
Mohammad Ghazali Shafie,Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sir Anthony Abell, former Governor of Sarawak.
Sir David Watherson, former Chief Secretary of Malaya.

As can be seen above not even one representative from Sabah and Sarawak sat as member of the Commission.The British already had the answer even before they deploy the Commission on the fact finding mission.Although, I have no evidence to back it, I believe the idea of the formation of Malaysia was not originally Tungku Abdul Rahman's idea, it was fed to him by the British.

Due to the confrontation by Indonesia the formation of Malaysia which was supposed to be on 31st August was delayed to 15th Sept 1963.

 

 

 Information Research Department


The Information Research Department, founded in 1946 was a covert anti-communist propaganda unit within the
U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The department was closed down by then Foreign Secretary, David Owen,
in 1977. The last head of the IRD was Ray Whitney, later a Conservative Party member of parliament and junior minister.

The IRD... played a major role in Western news and cultural media from 1948-1977. It financed a publishing house ‘Ampersand’ and at one time employed a staff of 300. A secret Foreign Office memo in February 1948 described the establishment of the IRD as a response to the “developing communist threat to the whole fabric of Western civilization”.
The origins of the IRD lie in the recommendations in a paper put up by the Imperial Defence College.

In their book on the IRD, Lashmar and Oliver note that “the vast IRD enterprise had one sole aim: To spread its ceaseless propaganda output (i.e. a mixture of outright lies and distorted facts) among top-ranking journalists who worked for major agencies, papers and magazines, including Reuters and the BBC, as well as every other available channel. It worked
abroad to discredit communist parties in Western Europe which might gain a share of power by entirely democratic means, and at home to discredit the British Left”.

IRD fed information and propaganda on 'communists' within the labour movement through confidential recipients of its briefings one of whom is now known to be the late Vic Feather into the media, and into the Labour Party's policing units,
the National Agent's Department and the Organisation Subcommittee.

However a more insidious role has been documented by Lashmar and Oliver. These authors explain that in the 1960s the Foreign Office was fearful that the British-backed neighbouring Malaysian Federation would be influenced by Sukarno's independent stand and this would result in the loss of the world's largest source of rubber. Moreover, Britain had a 40 percent stake in Royal Dutch Shell with its monopoly status in Indonesia, controlling at the time 75 percent of the world's oil production. Their book details the role of IRD and British propaganda efforts against Indonesia's Sukarno in 1965, before and after the so-called abortive "coup," which became the excuse for Suharto's genocide against the PKI. IRD and MI6 "black" operations were intense before and after this alleged coup, as forged documents suggesting PKI atrocities and Chinese intervention were combined with sophisticated signals intelligence that monitored Sukarno's every move.

By the late-1960s the IRD was cut back by the Labour Government, and Intelligence writer Stephen Dorril states that it found additional work in Northern Ireland: “its Information Policy section was engaged in the 1970s in running propaganda campaigns against mainland politicians”. IRD was closed down in 1977 because its cover was blown by a persistent researcher Richard Fletcher. The Foreign Secretary at the time, David (now Lord) Owen was reported in The Guardian (18 August 1995) as stating that the IRD had become involved in the grey area of manipulating journalism and that clandestine operations were MI6’s job, not that of a “civil department”.[1]

 

 


Role in Indonesia

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. 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." 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 correspondent, 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."

The bloodbath was ignored almost entirely by the BBC and the rest of the western media. The headline news was that "communism" had been overthrown in Indonesia, which, Time reported, "is the west's best news in Asia". In November 1967, at a conference in Geneva overseen by the billionaire banker David Rockefeller, the booty was handed out. All the corporate giants were represented, from General Motors, Chase Manhattan Bank and US Steel to ICI and British American Tobacco. With Suharto's connivance, the natural riches of his country were carved up.[2]