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Editor's note: For Indonesia-watchers the activities of the military and its leaders remain largely opaque and perhaps even menacing. In recent years the steady stream of memoirs and biographies by and about military leaders has, in some cases, assuaged some of this mystery and in others, added to the intrigue. This week Bob Lowry reviews two of the latest offerings

Review: Lieutenant General Djaja Suparman tells his story

Djaja Suparman was one of the key military leaders who shepherded the transition to democracy in Indonesia.

He was military commander (Pangdam) in East Java straddling the fall
of Suharto and Pangdam Jakarta at the time of the first democratic parliamentary elections in June 1999.

Like the majority of his military contemporaries he had an ideological commitment to the structures of Suharto's New Order, if not to Suharto himself, but accepted that the military no longer had the legitimacy to impose its will. Read more

Superman holds the line but reveals some new insights
into the transition of power after the fall of the New Order
Bob Lowry



Djaja Suparman was one of the key military leaders who shepherded the transition to democracy in Indonesia. He was military commander (Pangdam) in East Java straddling the fall of Suharto and Pangdam Jakarta at the time of the first democratic parliamentary elections in June 1999. Like the majority of his military contemporaries he had an ideological commitment to the structures of Suharto’s New Order, if not to Suharto himself, but accepted that the military no longer
had the legitimacy to impose its will.

However, it succeeded in containing the aspirations of the revolutionary alternative elites and protecting the interests of
the military and the New Order elites in the democratic transition.
The title of this book, Jejak Kudeta (1997-2005) (Uncovering the Coup D’etat (1997-2005) labelling Suharto’s ‘fall’ a coup d’etat, is indicative of a hangover from the New Order mindset.

Whatever your view of the outcome of the democratic transition, it is fair to say that Djaja was a very competent field commander. He succeeded in maintaining the cohesion and effectiveness of the troops under his command in highly stressful circumstances; maintaining cooperation with the other agencies with whom he had to collaborate, particularly the police; and influencing and containing the aspirations of those trying to topple the regime and take charge of the transition.
It is also true that the transition to democracy in the area under Djaja’s command was relatively bloodless despite the mass mobilisations surrounding the Special Session of the Peoples Representative Assembly (SI MPR) in November 1998 and
the elections for parliament and the president the following year.

Not naming names
This book is worth reading because of Djaja’s role in this pivotal chapter of Indonesia’s contemporary life, but a good editor would have improved the work immeasurably.
It is didactic, repetitious, jumps confusingly between the first and third person and most frustratingly of all, does not name names.

For a work of ‘history’ supposedly based on a diary covering the period, the absence of names greatly discounts the value
of the book. His rationale for this approach is that he does not want to denigrate others or to defend himself, but to focus
on the lessons for leaders and for leadership in all its dynamics. Readers can hardly do that if they are not provided with enough of the story to draw their own conclusions.

If some of the peripheral characters had not been named this deficiency could have been overlooked but he fails to name many of the central characters, the most prominent of who was named ‘The Source’, or ‘Sumber’ in Indonesian, who could aptly be named an ‘Oracle’. Between August 1997 and April 1998 this Oracle supposedly laid out the course of events that led to the fall of Suharto and the transition to democracy. He also suggested how Djaja should respond to the unfolding events and Djaja affirms that all his predictions and the consequences for Djaja unfolded just as the Oracle had forecast.
Being Superman

When Djaja was in senior high school he saw the need for a second name and adopted it from his comic book hero Superman. He certainly portrays himself in this light as the defender of life and liberty and the Constitution, but who was the Oracle? Was he merely an invention of Djaja’s imagination, an alter ego or post-facto invention? The only clue we are given is that the Oracle was broadly knowledgeable about domestic and international political developments. The presence of an Oracle also suggests the presence of an evil genius mastermind behind all the machinations. But despite his best efforts Djaja was not able to identify him and there was no suggestion that they were one and the same.

Djaja tells us that the Oracle claimed that there was a small shadowy group (Kelompok Perubahan Abu-abu) working for change within the military, allied to Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) the leader of Nahdlatul Ulama.
They had a masterplan to topple the New Order, establish a presidium, impose a new constitution and sack the senior military leadership to clear the way for radical military reform.
The evidence he gives for this was the alleged involvement of some junior military officers in the demonstrations leading to
the resignation of Suharto and Gus Dur’s foiled attempt to promote Agus Wirahadikusuma, the leader of the radical reform group, to lead the army. There is some truth in this but it is only a small part of the story of the toppling of Suharto and the transition to democracy.

Likewise there are numerous references to foreign influences without any attempt to define them or evaluate how significant they were to the outcome of events.
According to Djaja’s account, these foreign forces were out to topple the New Order through the activities of international
and domestic non-government organisations.
They also planned to separate East Timor and Papua from Indonesia and constrain the defence budget to weaken the military’s capacity to respond. Again the aim was to impose a ‘Presidium’
to lead Indonesia to its first democratic elections. Such references serve to excuse the failures of the New Order and its beneficiaries and to diminish the legitimacy of domestic opponents of the regime.

The last mysterious group Djaja points to as responsible for the mayhem, were the ‘provocateurs’ who were ordered to conduct demonstrations by ‘someone’, working inwards from provincial centres to the capital. Accordingly, demonstrations were not spontaneous. This is proven, he tells us, by the fact that the press often knew where the action was to occur
before the security forces.
However, Djaja assures the reader that although the ‘provocateurs’ often had a military bearing, they were not and had
not been members of the military. The inference is that they were chosen because of their appearance to incriminate the military and spread dissension within the military and between the military and police.

A report in Time magazine prior to the fall of Suharto alleged that Djaja was supporting the demonstrations, which resulted
in him being called to Jakarta by a ‘very influential person’ to explain his actions.

In his book, Djaja tells us that there were forces outside East Java controlling and financing political mobilisation in
East Java but again, there is no direct reference to who they were.

The transition
Djaja’s success in minimising the casualties and damage wrought by the anti-Suharto forces in East Java in the wake of
the student demonstrations and violence in mid-May 1998 saw TNI Commander General Wiranto give him the leadership
of the Jakarta military district, the most important operational command in the country.
Djaja took over from Major General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin who was seen to have failed to respond adequately to the violence leading to the fall of Suharto. The climax of the battle between the forces of the New Order elites surrounding Habibie and those advocating the imposition of a ‘Presidium’ came with the Special Session of the People’s Consultative (SI MPR) assembly in November 1998.

In the lead up to the session, Djaja established strong links with the police who now had prime responsibility for internal security. He spoke to all groups likely to be involved and attempted to establish the ground rules that would allow peaceful demonstrations and avoid casualties and damage. Conversely, the anti-Habibie forces tried to co-opt Djaja to allow demonstrators into the parliamentary complex to force the parliament to establish the Presidium, presumably to be led
by Amien Rais or Gus Dur or both. Despite enormous pressure, the security forces held their ground allowing Habibie
and the MPR to set the reform agenda leading to elections in 1999.

In all these contests Djaja portrays himself as being above politics, the defender of the Constitution and the people, above the sectoral and personal interests of the anti-Suharto and anti-Habibie forces. There is no acknowledgement that by choosing that course, whether right or wrong, he was actually supporting a particular side.
He acknowledges that the military and police were squeezed between the two contestants, but insists that such problems must be resolved politically in accordance with the authorised mechanisms. This, of course, assumes that the authorised mechanisms are considered legitimate by all parties.

Djaja was rewarded for his service and promoted to Commander of the Army Strategic Reserve (Kostrad) in
November 1999.
Under normal circumstances he could have expected to be a leading contender for the army leadership thereafter.
However, after only three months in Kostrad he was shunted aside by Gus Dur in his bid to have Agus Wirahadikusuma
fast tracked to the leadership of the army. Despite his disappointment,
Djaja continued in other roles, as Commandant of the TNI Command and Staff College and Inspector General of the TNI, before retiring on 1 January 2006.

It is clear that in writing this book, part of Djaja’s intention is to clear his name of numerous accusations of alleged misconduct. Amongst other things, Djaja was accused of embezzling money from land deals in East Java and using
$US14 million of Kostrad business funds to finance Laskar Jihad operations in Ambon.
He has also been accused of involvement in the Trisakti and Semanggi killings and the Bali bombing.
According to Djaja, such claims were part of a campaign of character assassination forecast by the Oracle.
Some of these accusations are patently false and others he refuted.

Whether his refutations are accepted or not, his call for some form of genuinely impartial inquiry that would examine
all aspects of the first years of the transition to democracy should be supported.

Suparman, Djaja, Lieutenant General (Retired) TNI, Jejak Kudeta (1997-2005)
(Jakarta: Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia, 2013).

Bob Lowry (robertwlowry@bigpond.com) is an observer of Indonesian defence and security affairs and politics.


Review: Suharto’s guardians and reluctant reformers

A new publication tells the story of the first graduates of the joint Indonesian Armed Forces Military Academy




Truth takes a while, justice even longer

Inside Indonesia 112: Apr-Jun 2013

In 2012 significant new information exposed critical truths about the 1965 massacres in Indonesia, but there remain major obstacles to recovery and reconciliation
Ronnie Hatley

A campaign of mass assassination, torture, rape, imprisonment and other atrocities against people accused of being ‘communists’ swept across Indonesia following the seizure of power by General Suharto on 1 October 1965. More than 30 years of military dictatorship featuring purges, repression, cover-up, trauma and suffering has cloaked the society in silence.

Three important documents about the 1965 massacres in Indonesia were released in 2012: The Findings of the National Human Rights Commission on Human Rights Violations of 1965-66; the award-winning documentary film The Act of Killing, showing 1965 killers reliving their actions; and the Tempo magazine special edition, ‘Executioners’ Confessions’, interviewing killers, survivors and human rights advocates. They prominently reveal more new ‘truths’ about 1965 than ever before.



The ensuing widespread discussions, and new awareness and understandings of the making of the atrocities challenge central features of the account of the violence of 1965 that were imposed by the Suharto dictatorship. Yet the political and ideological control of the elites who have benefited from the massacres continues to be so overwhelming that it is unlikely that this new information will break the long-imposed silence and bring about actual political or legal change. In the first few years of reform after the fall of Suharto, some relief and truth sharing emerged, but successor governments have promoted little restoration of rights, or restitution for the victims, and scarcely any truth or reconciliation

However, the three new accountings encourage new initiatives to recovery and reconciliation. From the beginning of the extermination campaign, millions have been rescued and sheltered by hundreds of thousands of families and neighbourhoods. At the community level new awareness is prompting recovery.

The Komnas HAM Report

‘The events of 1965-66 constitute a humanitarian tragedy that is a dark chapter in the history of the Indonesian nation. These events occurred as a result of a state policy to annihilate the members and followers of the Indonesian Communist Party . . . . [This] state policy was carried out using excessive and inhumane violence . . . leading to death and injury . . . , constituting for the victims and their families violations of human rights . . . , among others: murder, extermination, enslavement, forced removal, deprivation of liberty/arbitrary imprisonment, torture, rape, persecution and forced disappearance. In addition, victims and their families have suffered psychologically, and subsequently they have continued to suffer civil, political, economic, social and cultural discrimination.’

-- introductory paragraph of The Findings of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission on Human Rights Violations of 1965-66, 23 July 2012.

At the request of survivors of the 1965 violence, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) conducted a four-year long investigation, which collected evidence from 349 survivors from six prisons in North and South Sumatra, Bali, South Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara and Buru. The main conclusions of the investigations are that systematic and coordinated serious violations of human rights of citizens occurred, at many widespread locations across Indonesia, between October 1965 and 1978; and that the Indonesian military command who made and ordered the policy that led to the violations, military officers in control of troops, and military personnel in the field, all have individual criminal responsibility for carrying out the violations.

The report recommends that the Attorney General conduct further investigations, and effect non-judicial remedy via a Truth and Reconciliation Commission ‘to provide a sense of justice for victims and their families’. The Komnas HAM report marks the first time that an official government entity has stated that ‘crimes against humanity’ did take place, and that the military was responsible for the self-proclaimed annihilation campaign – lasting over a decade – consisting of several operations of extra-judicial, criminal violations against millions of Indonesian citizens, following General Suharto’s seizure of power on 1 October 1965.

While very few Indonesians have heard of the report, much less its accusations, it has provoked public debate and renewed attention to 1965, especially among the political elite; and it has forever changed the focus of the debate. There have been hopeful responses to the Komnas HAM report from most survivors and human rights advocates, there has been immediate derisive rejection from military related organisations and current state authorities, as well as from members of organisations formed in 1965-66 to conduct the purges.

In a most significant example, on 24 July, the day following the report’s release, a meeting in Bandung organised by veterans – including the Deputy Speaker of the national House of Representatives from the Golkar Party and leaders of Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth) and the Majelis Ulama (Ulama Council) – rejected the report, because it had not considered the ‘violence of the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party)’. General Solihin, former governor of West Java called for continued government vigilance against ‘communism’, and rejected a proposed presidential apology ‘to victims of mass killings of 1965’, as well as the establishment of a human rights court to try ‘perpetrators of the killing of hundreds of thousands accused of being PKI members in 1965’. Several figures from Suharto’s former New Order regime have repeated these rejections.

Since the fall of Suharto, interpretations and concepts regarding the 1965 atrocities promoted by human rights and survivor advocacy groups have led to a more open public discussion. Thus most of the mainstream press now uses terminology as in the last two quotes above, and the direct terminology of Komnas HAM to discuss the commission’s findings. As a result, the public language about l965 is changing, and some parts of society are also changing their understanding of the 1965 violence.

For example, the leadership board meeting of the Nahdatul Ulama Islamic organisation (NU played a large role in the killings, see the Tempo accounts below) on 15 August rejected the Komnas HAM report. In the same meeting, current NU deputy director and former BIN (National Intelligence Service) deputy director As’ad Said Ali still repeated the call to ‘forget 1965’; yet at the same time he felt compelled to say that the NU ‘must protect and honour descendents of the PKI.’ The NU’s Ansor youth group leader at the meeting only still reiterates that ‘they killed many of us’, while the NU’s Syarikat Indonesia survivors’ advocacy network, whose focus is community reconciliation activities, backs the Komnas HAM report and calls for a presidential apology and community reconciliation. These differing views of the Komnas HAM Findings reflect longstanding differences within the NU community between those who continue relationships with the military that were forged during the massacres and before, and those who have followed the lead of former NU leader and President Abdurrahman Wahid in seeking restoration of human rights, apology and reconciliation.

In a 10 November Heroes’ Day speech at the national military cemetery, the Attorney General said the findings of Komnas HAM did not meet legal standards and returned them to the commission. Subsequently, new commissioners were appointed; they immediately resubmitted a revised report in December, and the Attorney General returned it again, calling for the accused to be named. The new commissioners have had their terms limited to one year, instead of two and a half years as previously, prompting the new head of Komnas HAM to resign as of 8 February. Some say the report’s direct indictment of the military has spooked the government and quashed a mooted presidential acknowledgement or apology; others see the new truth as necessary for full assumption of state responsibility for the violence.

Given the previous rejection of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the Constitutional Court, parliament’s rejection of a Special Human Rights Court, the tactical and financial limitations of the work of Komnas HAM, and renewed rejection of new initiatives to remedy by the current president, it is less likely now that the legal routes to recovery can be much advanced. But the indictments of the Komnas HAM report now exist, and these words establish inconvenient new truths. And the current commissioners are committed to continuing their advocacy of their findings.
The Act of Killing

‘We need gangsters to get things done.’

-- Jusuf Kalla, (former Vice President and Golkar Party Chairman, 2014 Presidential aspirant), in The Act of Killing; from a speech at the Pemuda Pancasila paramilitary annual meeting, 21 February 2009.

‘We were crueler than they (‘the communists’) were.’

-- Adi, (an actor/gangster), in The Act of Killing.

‘I can’t do this any more.’

-- Anwar Congo, lead actor/gangster in The Act of Killing, final scene, feeling contrition and refusing to reenact a murder scene.

First screened in August 2013, the documentary film The Act of Killing (Jagal in Indonesian) invites petty gangsters from Medan, North Sumatra, to recreate their acts of violence in 1965, as heroes bragging of no remorse. They are shown cavorting with local and national dignitaries who also continue to practise and condone hooliganism and criminality with complete impunity. The actors – and the director – use movie fantasy, surreal vaudeville and dancing to absolve the guilt of atrocity, in much the same way that we are directed to use reality TV and shopping to distract us all to forget drone strikes. Except the movie lead violently retches when the finally thinks about his acts. It is a most startling film, deservedly winning prizes at film festivals. In showing killing and torture as banal, but also unconscionable, it provides lessons for Indonesia and for all of us.

The Act of Killing is eagerly being viewed widely across Indonesia in hundreds of venues – initially by survivors of 1965 and their advocates, and now – since mid December 2012 – mostly by small groups of middle class students and young people. Because it is film, and readily accessible to a broad audience, it is opening the 1965 atrocities to a wider questioning than the findings of Komnas HAM or Tempo features ever can. Many reviews have been published in Indonesia, all saying it is required viewing. Many say they are confused by the contradiction between the film and what they have learned in history class or from their parents. Most young reviewers are incredulous to learn of the violence and that they have been lied to, and insist that ‘the government’ should be held responsible. And many are shocked by the impunity and see the lack of remorse as reprehensible.

But we all must be cautious in comprehending The Act of Killing. Just as the film – intending provocation – is sensationalist (competing equally with the current Hollywood rage), the boasting of the film’s gangsters, as well as the boasting of Tempo’s executioners and, formerly, of General Sarwo Edhie (see Tempo discussion below), all exaggerate their exploits, as ‘heroes’ are want to do. That many young Indonesian viewers are learning from Anwar’s contrition to reject their leaders’ impunities, speaks well for the directors’ intentions and for Indonesia’s future. No doubt, many international viewers of the film will come to see Indonesia as a nation of gangsters: far fewer will learn from it to appreciate our own Zero Dark Thirtys.

On 8 October, several hundred Pemuda Pancasila youth (who had not seen the film) stormed the Radar Bogor newspaper office for slandering their organisation in a review, which said the film called them thugs. Some showings, such as one in Purworejo in early January and another in Blitar in February 2013, have been banned initially by local police, only to be shown the next evening. Indeed, in Purworejo, Pemuda Pancasila members wearing uniforms viewed the film with students at Soedirman University and participated in the discussion that followed. While it is unlikely the film will pass the censors, bootleg copies are circulating and its Facebook and Internet sites (see Twitter #jagal and theactofkilling.com) continue to announce viewings and publish reviews, and inevitably it will be uploaded to YouTube.

While The Act of Killing begins with English text over the images stating ‘Indonesia 1965 Military Coup’ and ‘One Million People Killed’, the story leads viewers to think that the atrocities were the work of ‘naturally violent’ gangsters, instead of concerted military operations that mobilised mostly local politicised youth groups to kidnap and kill, and that were supported and directed by the same elites who still feel threatened by socialist ideas and political mobilisation. This is the critique of Astaman Hasibuan, a former prisoner who told the Jakarta Post that ‘The film did not involve the military, despite the fact that soldiers carried out the massacres. I voice my protest.’ I saw the film with survivors, some of whom cried recalling their trauma. But they all agreed that the spell of state terror and propaganda had been broken by the film: they saw a killer broken by his crimes. And they, too, like Astaman, know that their personal victimisers were from the military.

The Tempo ‘Executioners’ Confessions’ special edition

‘The policy to eliminate members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and their sympathisers ignited a wave of killings that raged throughout Java and Bali, and later spread to other areas. Executioners emerged from nowhere, swinging their sickles, whether out of personal revenge, religion or a sense of duty to the state. They killed anyone labeled or suspected as a PKI member, disposing the bodies into ravines, rivers and caves. Did the executioners ever feel remorse or guilt over their horrifying actions?'

-- Tempo, ‘Executioners’ Confessions’ special edition, 1-7 October 2012, p 55.

The Tempo magazine ‘Executioners’ Confessions’ (‘Pengakuan Algojo’) special edition was prompted to report and follow-up on the Komnas HAM Findings and The Act of Killing film. As well as reviews of The Act of Killing and an essay about the director Joshua Oppenheimer, it also features Ariel Heryanto’s essay about 1965 related films including the government propaganda film Pengkhianatan G-30-S/PKI (‘Traitorous Communist Coup-Makers’) as the version of 1965 history every schoolchild was forced to view during the dictatorship. There are several follow-up interview articles about various kinds of prisoner mistreatment by the military in the prisons investigated by Komnas HAM, and there are also several interpretive commentaries about the military atrocities by human rights activists and scholars.

The primary focus of half the 68 pages of the special issue is new interviews with individual civilian killers which highlight their personal zeal and remorselessness, and which fit the New Order version of the killings as the masses running amok. The stories from Sumatra, Jakarta, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusatenggara Timur show how the purges worked out differently in each setting. But the overall picture that characterises the Tempo special issue is of civilian participation in the killings. A quarter of the stories feature Ansor militia youth and Nadhlatul Ulama religious leaders in rural East Java as remorseless executioners.

While many of personal accounts of Tempo mention military involvement – military orders, prisoners brought in trucks, lists of victims, military training, even military killings and torture – there are no interviews with military captors or killers nor any stories featuring military violence or operations. Thus it is not surprising that many readers of the Tempo revelations with whom I have spoken have now learned that many of the killers of ‘communists’ in 1965 were ‘Muslim fanatics’. Nor is it surprising that as many NU sympathisers see the Tempo special edition as scapegoating them as praising them.

Tempo prides itself as Indonesia’s leading newsmagazine, and in that capacity it not only informs, but establishes the liberal political truth of Indonesia’s ideas of itself. In this issue it is fixing – or refixing – the one-sided legacy of the New Order, a project it has pursued over the years with special features on leading PKI members Sjam, Untung, Nyoto and Aidit as villains, and last year featuring General Sarwo Edhie, commander of the ‘Special Forces’ army brigade (RKPAD) which lead the campaign of killings across Java and Bali in the last three months of 1965, and the father-in-law of the current president, as a military saviour of the nation. Now the executioners.

This special edition teaches us additional accounts of the great crimes and tragedies of 1965, but it retains the New Order narrative that the killing was a convulsive fever that gripped society from the grassroots. Tempo has not yet told us about the commanding organisational role of the military in 1965 as found in the investigations of Komnas HAM, nor of the role of the leading elements of middle class Indonesian (and international) civil society – the parties, government officials, community leaders and organisations – that forged the New Order by joining in the annihilation of ‘the communists’, and benefited by their demise. Truth regarding most aspects of the 1965 violence is still one-sided and very incomplete; that is still a challenge for Tempo and for all of us.
Recovery of survivors and restoration of civility

‘Truth takes a while, justice even longer.’

-- Pak Leo, (‘graduate’ of Buru prison camp), commenting on the pace of truth and restorative justice regarding 1965, 5 December 2012.

With all this new information and questioning, where is the attention to the recovery of survivors, the restoration of civility and dignity to all, and the recovery of history?

The Komnas HAM findings are the first serious authoritative indictment of the Indonesian military. They open the consideration of accountability and responsibility of the military and the elites, and the international forces, that organised, led and carried out serious human rights violations to exterminate the PKI. That these elites still rule extenuates these proceedings. But truth will out.

The Act of Killing is about how we humanise our actions in a state of killing, which authorises crime as heroic: in this case, in 1965 Indonesia. Is the impunity ending? Tempo’s focus too is on executioners’ rationalisations, bragged of for more than a generation.

While the received perception of those accused of being PKI is as murderers, these documents tell us they were the victims of violence. Might the younger generation hear in these stories of inhumanity more empathy for the suffering of the victims than admiration of the victors?

When Komnas HAM interviewed survivors for its report, it only recorded the violation of their rights – their complaint of capture, imprisonment and mistreatment. Almost all of our information of victims and survivors of 1965, both biographic and creative, is about suffering. And far too many of the literary accounts are ‘tragedies’ condemning the victims for their stigma, unwise affiliation and mis-behaviour. While creative stories can reveal the feelings of displacement and deprivation, as with characters in Laksmi Pamuntjak’s novel Amba reviewed as part of the Tempo special edition, little has been recorded over the decades of what victims and survivors actually worked for and accomplished in their lives besides their suffering of 1965 and after.

To restore dignity to the defiled victims and survivors – as well as to the dehumanised victimisers, and to the nation’s history – we must start listening to and hearing victims’ and survivors’ stories of their whole lives, their work and contributions, their needs and wishes, what they need for redress and recovery, and their vision of a shared future. We need true accounts of PKI affiliates’ lives: their activities, accomplishments, ideas and – yes – their violence, in order to know how to proceed. We will hear that the first thing asked for is to restore victims’ and survivors’ humanity (nguwongke in Javanese), allowing them and their families to live and be treated with dignity as human beings.

To remedy the injury of 1965, the Komnas HAM report calls for a non-judicial process, suggesting a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Many survivors and human rights seek a retributive solution in which the perpetrators will be punished. But as Imam Aziz, a Syarikat founder, argues in his comments in Tempo, court processes are still blocked by an unreformed government. It is better, he argues, to proceed now with a ‘restorative justice’ process of community level reconciliation. Such efforts have already occurred in tens of thousands of families and thousands of neighbourhoods across Indonesia independently, and with the help of organisations such as Syarikat Indonesia.

The exemplary progress of community-wide reconciliation is perhaps best seen in Palu where mayor Rusdi Mastura, himself a victimiser in the late 1960s, has led efforts bringing survivors and victimisers together, celebrating a day of public reconciliation on March 24 2012, memorialising sites of human rights abuse, and initiating programs of reparation and restitution: free healthcare for survivors and family members, and education scholarships and government grants for economic cooperatives and startups for descendents of victims.

But for perhaps the majority of communities, and for the nation as a whole, truth-seeking has just begun; undoubtedly more will begin with the revelations of these three new documents. Following the courageous personal apology of President Abdurrahman Wahid and likeminded efforts, the next steps of acknowledgement of state and personal wrongdoing and national apology are more urgent. So too the calls by survivors and human rights workers for restitution of full human rights and for reparations. Full remedy and reconciliation also will require rehabilitation and rehumanisation of the abusers and victimizers. While victims of violence require restoration of their rights and dignity, killers and abusers have become inhuman and need to make amends and be remade into socially responsible persons again.

To plot these further steps, there is still a need for new truth narratives about what happened in Indonesia in 1965, and before and after. Accounts of the executioners in Tempo and The Act of Killing are now public, but the stories of the military officers and personnel held most responsible for the violations by the National Human Rights Commission, and of the elites who worked with the military in 1965, have not yet been heard. While the publication of these three telling documents constitutes a breakthrough, there is also still need for many new stories, investigations, films and Tempo special editions of survivors’ contributions and wishes, of acknowledgement and repentance by tormentors, and of ideas for creating a shared civil future.

Ronnie Hatley (ronniehatley@yahoo.com)
is currently a volunteer visiting lecturer in social science and political economy at Airlangga University in Surabaya.
He has previously taught at universities in Indonesia, Australia and the United States.
Inside Indonesia 112: Apr-Jun 2013






Dalam Labirin Oktober 1965 (1)

In Historia, Politik on October 1, 2010 at 2:36 AM

”Tanpa ‘disadari’, upaya pencarian keberadaan para jenderal yang diculik, terabaikan. Upaya ke arah itu, untuk sementara hanya menjadi perhatian Kolonel Sarwo Edhie, setelah mendapat laporan dua perwira ajudan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani 1 Oktober pagi-pagi. Pangkostrad Mayjen Soeharto, baru pada 2 Oktober petang, hampir 40 jam setelah penculikan terjadi, ‘teringat’ dan memerintahkan Kolonel Sarwo Edhie untuk melakukan pencarian”.

KOMANDAN RPKAD –Resimen Para Komando Angkatan Darat– Kolonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, pagi hari pukul 05.30 Jumat 1 Oktober 1965, dibangunkan dari tidurnya oleh isterinya, karena kedatangan dua perwira yang mengaku membawa berita penting yang bersifat amat darurat. Masih mengenakan piyama dan mata agak kemerahan karena tidur agak larut pada malam Jumat itu, komandan pasukan khusus itu keluar kamar menuju ke ruang tamu menemui dua orang tamu di pagi hari itu. Kolonel Sarwo Edhie yang mempunyai kedekatan pribadi dengan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani segera mengenali kedua perwira itu sebagai ajudan Panglima Angkatan Darat. Mereka adalah Mayor Subardi dan Mayor Sudarto. Keduanya, betul-betul membawa berita penting, bahwa atasan mereka pada dinihari itu, tak lebih dari dua jam yang lalu, didatangi sepasukan bersenjata yang belum jelas, kecuali bahwa di antaranya berseragam Tjakrabirawa, lalu ditembak dan tubuhnya dibawa pergi dengan truk entah ke mana.

Mayor Subardi menerima kabar itu 04.30 dari Mbok Milah pembantu rumah tangga sang Panglima Angkatan Darat, yang datang ke rumahnya yang letaknya tak jauh dari kediaman sang jenderal. Setibanya di kediaman Ahmad Yani, dan mendengar cerita anak-anak Yani tentang kejadian dinihari itu, Subardi sejenak sempat sedikit panik. Namun, tak lama setelah Nyonya Yayu Ruliah Ahmad Yani tiba dari rumah tempatnya tirakatan menjelang pukul 05.00, Mayor Subardi menghubungi Mayor Sudarto lalu bersama-sama menuju kediaman Asisten Intelijen Panglima AD, Mayor Jenderal Soewondo Parman. Maksud mereka semula adalah melapor dan mendapatkan petunjuk untuk tindak lanjut dari asisten intellijen itu. Ternyata, mereka justru mendengar kabar buruk kedua di pagi hari itu di rumah Soewondo Parman, bahwa sang jenderal juga diculik dinihari itu dari kediamannya. Segera keduanya meluncur ke rumah Panglima Kodam Jaya Mayor Jenderal Umar Wirahadikusumah dan tiba di sana 05.00. Ternyata Umar pun belum memperoleh sesuatu informasi yang berarti. Mayor Subardi yang belum mengetahui nasib Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani yang sebenarnya, menyarankan kepada Mayor Jenderal Umar Wirahadikusumah meminta bantuan RPKAD untuk memblokir seluruh jalan penting di ibukota dan jalan keluar dari Jakarta. Sang Panglima Kodam menyetujui usul tersebut dan menyuruh mereka berdua pergi menemui Komandan RPKAD Kolonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo. Dan itulah sebabnya, mereka pagi itu berada di ruang tamu Sarwo Edhie di Cijantung.

Dengan keterangan ringkas dari kedua perwira itu, Kolonel Sarwo Edhie secara cepat menyimpulkan bahwa Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani lebih dari sekedar ‘dalam bahaya’ dan menganalisa bahwa apa yang terjadi dengan atasannya itu ada hubungannya dengan PKI. Dari Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani sendiri sejak beberapa waktu sebelumnya ia mendapat gambaran tentang sikap bermusuhan PKI terhadap Angkatan Darat yang dibarengi rangkaian sepak terjang yang agresif. Dan meskipun Sarwo pagi itu belum punya petunjuk apapun tentang keterkaitan PKI, ia mengambil kesimpulan ke arah itu dan justru itulah yang pagi itu mendorongnya untuk mengambil tindakan. Tanpa membuang waktu lagi, melalui telepon ia menghubungi Komandan Batalion I, Mayor Chalimi Imam Santosa, yang tinggal beberapa blok dari kediamannya di kompleks tersebut. Kolonel Sarwo Edhie yang telah memakai seragam ‘tempur’, tiba dalam beberapa menit kemudian di kediaman Mayor CI Santosa dan menanyakan posisi pasukannya. Ternyata pasukan Santosa berada di Parkir Timur Stadion Senayan, karena akan mengikuti gladi resik dalam rangka persiapan Hari ABRI 5 Oktober 1965.

Pasukan tersebut, meski bersenjata lengkap, namun tak dibekali peluru. Kolonel Sarwo Edhie memerintahkan Mayor Santosa segera menarik pasukannya kembali ke Cijantung. Saat itu, personil RPKAD yang berada di Cijantung terbatas, terutama karena sebagian berada di daerah perbatasan dengan Malaysia atau ditempatkan di daerah lainnya. Santosa segera meluncur ke Senayan dan tiba di sana tepat pukul 06.00. Ia mengumpulkan seluruh anggota Batalion I, memerintahkan mereka naik truk untuk segera berangkat kembali ke Cijantung. Seorang Laksamana Muda Angkatan Laut yang menjadi koordinator pasukan-pasukan yang dipersiapkan untuk acara di Senayan itu, muncul dan mempertanyakan ada apa dan hendak ke mana pasukan itu pagi-pagi begini, tapi Mayor Santosa menghindar dengan sopan lalu meninggalkan tempat itu dengan cepat. Di tengah perjalanan mereka berpapasan dengan sebuah truk perbekalan yang dikirim Sarwo Edhie, berisi amunisi. Mayor CI Santosa segera membagi-bagikan peluru kepada pasukannya, sehingga sejak saat itu, pasukan yang berkekuatan beberapa kompi tersebut sudah dalam keadaan siap tempur.

Di Markas RPKAD Cijantung Batalion 1 ini berkumpul di lapangan, bergabung dengan kompi dari Batalion 3 yang berasal dari Jawa Tengah yang tiba beberapa waktu sebelumnya dan disiapkan untuk berangkat ke daerah perbatasan konfrontasi di Kalimantan Barat namun terhambat keberangkatannya belasan jam karena masalah angkutan udara yang terkendala. Terdapat pula sejumlah personil yang terdiri dari instruktur dari Batujajar yang akan ikut dalam kegiatan Hari ABRI. Mayor CI Santosa memberikan briefing ringkas, bahwa tak ada satu pun anggota pasukan yang boleh bergerak tanpa perintah darinya, dan “saya akan menembak mereka yang melanggar perintah”. Kolonel Sarwo Edhie Wibowo yang tampil berbicara sesudah itu, membentangkan dengan singkat tentang adanya sejumlah jenderal Angkatan Darat yang diculik dinihari tersebut dan belum diketahui dengan jelas oleh siapa atas perintah siapa, dibawa ke mana dan bagaimana nasibnya saat itu. Sarwo juga memperingatkan agar waspada, karena saat itu belum bisa ditentukan dengan jelas siapa saja yang menjadi kawan dan siapa yang menjadi lawan.

Batalion I RPKAD praktis adalah sisa terakhir personil yang ada di Cijantung, sementara yang lain umumnya sudah berada di wilayah-wilayah perbatasan konfrontasi Malaysia. Sebenarnya, batalion ini bahkan hampir saja dikirim ke perbatasan Kalimantan atas permintaan Pangkopur II Kalimantan Brigadir Jenderal Soepardjo. Beberapa saat setelah kunjungan Panglima Kostrad Mayor Jenderal Soeharto dalam kedudukannya selaku Wakil Panglima Kolaga, ke wilayah komando Brigjen Soepardjo di Kalimantan pada bulan Agustus 1965, Panglima Komando Tempur II ini mengirim suatu radiogram kepada Komandan RPKAD Kolonel Sarwo Edhie. Radiogram di akhir Agustus itu sebenarnya agak tak lazim menurut prosedur yang ada. Isinya pun cukup menimbulkan tanda tanya, setidaknya bagi Kolonel Sarwo Edhie. Apalagi secara pribadi Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani belum lama sebelumnya pernah berpesan supaya Cijantung jangan sampai kosong. Dalam radiogram itu Brigjen Soepardjo meminta agar sisa pasukan RPKAD, yakni Batalion I, dikirim ke Kalimantan Barat untuk memperkuat wilayah perbatasan. Menerima permintaan tersebut, Kolonel Sarwo Edhie lalu mengirim Komandan Batalion I Mayor CI Santosa ke Kalimantan Barat untuk melakukan peninjauan di bulan September.

Dengan cermat Mayor Santosa memeriksa situasi dan menyimpulkan bahwa jumlah personil yang sudah ada di sana telah memadai, apalagi Kompi 1 Batalion 3 RPKAD dari Jawa Tengah akan segera tiba sebagai tambahan perkuatan. Mayor Santosa lalu melaporkan kesimpulannya itu kepada Brigjen Soepardjo 27 September. Dengan demikian, Santosa telah menyelesaikan tugasnya dan kembali ke Jakarta dengan pesawat. Santosa agak tercengang bahwa ia ternyata bertemu Brigjen Soepardjo berada dalam penerbangan yang sama. Kepadanya, Soepardjo mengatakan dirinya mendapat panggilan penting dari Jakarta, namun CI Santosa tak melihat ada siapa pun yang menemui atau menjemput Pangkopur II itu di tempat tujuan. Andaikan Kolonel Sarwo Edhie memenuhi permintaan Brigjen Soepardjo, praktis pada 1 Oktober pagi itu RPKAD tidak punya kekuatan tersisa di Cijantung yang bisa diandalkan.

Tatkala telah berada kembali di kediamannya bersama sejumlah staf, sekitar 10.30, Sarwo Edhie mendengar derum panser menuju ke tempatnya. Ia bersikap waspada. Seorang Letnan Kolonel yang tak dikenal Sarwo meloncat turun dari panser. Tetapi salah seorang stafnya yang mengenal perwira pendatang itu, memberi tahu Sarwo Edhie bahwa sang perwira adalah Letnan Kolonel Herman Sarens Sudiro, seorang perwira yang menangani logistik tempur dan penempatannya dilakukan atas perintah Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani sendiri. Herman Sarens mengaku kepada Kolonel Sarwo bahwa ia diutus Panglima Kostrad Mayor Jenderal Soeharto, dan untuk itu ia dibekali sepucuk surat, menjemputnya untuk bertemu dengan sang Panglima Kostrad di Merdeka Timur. Belakang hari, Herman Sarens juga mengakui bahwa ia masuk ke wilayah RPKAD kala itu dengan waspada karena sepengetahuannya sewaktu berkunjung ke Batujajar, terdapat sejumlah instruktur RPKAD yang merupakan simpatisan PKI. Dan sebelum ke Cijantung, pagi itu bersama Mayor Jenderal Umar Wirahadikusumah ia bertemu Mayor Jenderal Soeharto, setelah ia mengetahui bahwa atasannya, Asisten Logistik AD Brigjen DI Pandjaitan diculik dinihari tersebut. Di Markas Kostrad Herman Sarens mendapat informasi perkiraan dari Soeharto bahwa pelaku penculikan ada kaitannya dengan PKI. Sekitar pukul 10.00 ia kemudian ditugaskan membawa surat Mayor Jenderal Soeharto kepada Kolonel Sarwo Edhie.

Agak lama Sarwo Edhie membaca surat Soeharto. Komandan RPKAD itu mempertimbangkan, apakah ia memenuhi panggilan Soeharto atau tidak. Panglima Kostrad Mayor Jenderal Soeharto bukan atasan langsungnya, dan RPKAD pun tidak berada di bawah komando Kostrad. Ia tidak mengenal Soeharto dengan baik. Namun, ketidakjelasan keberadaan dan nasib atasan langsungnya, Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani, mendorongnya untuk bersedia bertemu dan menghitung bahwa suatu kerjasama dengan Soeharto dalam situasi serba tidak jelas saat itu mungkin ada gunanya. Lalu, ia berkata kepada Letnan Kolonel Herman Sarens Sudiro, “Saya akan ke sana”. Herman Sarens balik bertanya, dengan kendaraan sendiri atau ikut panser? Kolonel Sarwo Edhie menjawab, sambil tertawa, “Dengan panser”. Pukul 11.00 Sarwo Edhie sudah berada di Markas Kostrad dan bertemu Mayor Jenderal Soeharto. Keputusan Mayor Jenderal Soeharto mengajak Kolonel Sarwo Edhie bergabung, dilakukan dengan memperhitungkan kedekatan Komandan Pasukan Khusus itu dengan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani. Takkan mungkin Sarwo Edhie menolak, bila itu menyangkut nasib Ahmad Yani.

Bergabungnya Kolonel Sarwo Edhie –dengan setidaknya satu batalion pasukan khusus yang sudah terkonsolidasi dan siap tempur– pagi itu, menjadi salah satu kunci penting bagi gerakan militer selanjutnya yang akan terjadi dalam satu labirin peristiwa yang penuh liku sejak dinihari 1 Oktober 1965. Kolonel Sarwo Edhie, untuk tingkat keadaan saat itu, takkan bisa dibelokkan ke arah lain di luar tujuan mencari siapa pelaku penculikan atas diri atasannya, Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani. Secara luas, ini berarti harus dilakukan operasi pembersihan terhadap para pelaku Gerakan 30 September. Dengan mengajak Kolonel Sarwo Edhie dan pasukannya bergabung, maka Soeharto pun dengan sendirinya ‘terkunci’ pada tujuan objektif dan pragmatis tersebut. Namun pada sisi lain, dalam konteks ‘pembersihan’, ia mendapat satu pasukan yang tangguh sebagai pamungkas dan akan terbukti kemudian menjadi tulang punggung keberhasilan Panglima Kostrad Mayor Jenderal Soeharto dalam babak berikut dalam rangkaian peristiwa.

Nasib para jenderal yang diculik hampir terabaikan. Secara faktual, pembersihan ini, prioritasnya melebihi tujuan ‘menyelamatkan’ Panglima Tertinggi yang hari itu berkali-kali dinyatakan Soeharto. Tetapi, pernyataan-pernyataan menyelamatkan Panglima Tertinggi adalah kebutuhan taktis dan praktis, yang penting bagi Soeharto –maupun bagi Gerakan 30 September– dalam pergulatan opini dan psikologi massa terkait pengaruh dan posisi sentral Soekarno secara faktual dalam peta kekuasaan kala itu. Tanpa ‘disadari’, upaya pencarian keberadaan para jenderal yang diculik, terabaikan. Upaya ke arah itu, untuk sementara hanya menjadi perhatian Kolonel Sarwo Edhie, setelah mendapat laporan dua perwira ajudan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani 1 Oktober pagi-pagi. Pangkostrad Mayjen Soeharto, baru pada 2 Oktober petang, hampir 40 jam setelah penculikan terjadi, ‘teringat’ dan memerintahkan Kolonel Sarwo Edhie untuk melakukan pencarian.

”Keputusan Soekarno untuk tidak meneruskan perjalanannya pagi itu menuju istana, setelah mendengar lolosnya Jenderal Nasution dari penyergapan, adalah indikasi bahwa memang ia menyebutkan nama Nasution dalam perintah penindakan yang diberikannya kepada Letnan Kolonel Untung. Namun pada sisi lain, bahwa Soekarno masih ‘menunggu’ para jenderal itu diperhadapkan kepadanya, berarti pula bahwa Soekarno tidak ‘memikirkan’ para jenderal itu akan dibunuh”. ”Sabur baru tiba pagi-pagi dari Bandung, karena agaknya ia sengaja menghindar dari Jakarta, saat Letnan Kolonel Untung, bawahannya di Resimen Tjakrabirawa, melancarkan gerakan”.

Mayor Jenderal Soeharto, sepanjang yang dituturkannya sendiri dalam otobiografinya, terbangun 04.30 dinihari Jumat 1 Oktober 1965, karena kedatangan juru kamera TVRI, Hamid, yang baru melakukan shooting film. “Ia memberi tahu bahwa ia mendengar tembakan di beberapa tempat. Saya belum berpikir panjang waktu itu. Setengah jam kemudian tetangga kami, Mashuri, datang memberi tahu bahwa tadi ia mendengar banyak tembakan. Mulailah saya berpikir agak panjang”, tutur Soeharto. “Setengah jam kemudian datanglah Broto Kusmardjo, menyampaikan kabar yang mengagetkan, mengenai penculikan atas beberapa Pati Angkatan Darat”.

Soeharto menuturkan lebih jauh apa yang kemudian dialami dan dilakukannya pagi itu. “Pukul 6 pagi, Letnan Kolonel Sadjiman, atas perintah pak Umar Wirahadikusumah melaporkan, bahwa di sekitar Monas dan Istana banyak pasukan yang tidak dikenalnya”. Sebaliknya, kepada Kolonel itu, Soeharto sempat memberitahukan bahwa ia sudah mendengar tentang adanya penculikan terhadap Jenderal Abdul Harris Nasution dan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani serta beberapa perwira tinggi lainnya. Faktanya, Soeharto memang lebih tahu dari mereka yang melapor pagi itu. Termasuk mengenai adanya pasukan ‘tidak dikenal’ di sekitar Monas dan Istana. “Segera kembali sajalah, dan laporkan kepada pak Umar, saya akan cepat datang di Kostrad dan untuk sementara mengambil pimpinan Komando Angkatan Darat”, ujar Soeharto kepada sang perwira. Kemudian Mayor Jenderal Soeharto mengendarai jip ‘sendirian’ ke Markas Kostrad di Medan Merdeka Timur.

Tanggal 1 Oktober 1965, pukul 07.20. Pagi itu, rakyat Indonesia dikejutkan oleh sebuah ‘komunike’ berasal dari yang disebutkan sebagai Bagian Penerangan ‘Gerakan 30 September’, yang disiarkan melalui Radio Republik Indonesia. Komunike tertulis itu dibacakan oleh seorang penyiar RRI. “Pada hari Kamis tanggal 30 September 1965 di ibukota Republik Indonesia Jakarta telah terjadi gerakan militer dalam Angkatan Darat dengan dibantu oleh pasukan-pasukan dari angkatan-angkatan bersenjata lainnya. Gerakan 30 September yang dikepalai oleh Letnan Kolonel Untung, Komandan Batalion Tjakrabirawa, pasukan pengawal pribadi Presiden Soekarno ini, ditujukan kepada jenderal-jenderal anggota apa yang menamakan dirinya Dewan Jenderal. Sejumlah jenderal telah ditangkap dan alat komunikasi yang penting-penting serta objek-objek vital lainnya sudah berada dalam kekuasaan Gerakan 30 September, sedangkan Presiden Soekarno selamat dalam lindungan Gerakan 30 September. Juga sejumlah tokoh-tokoh masyarakat lainnya yang menjadi sasaran tindakan Dewan Jenderal berada dalam lindungan Gerakan 30 September”.

Komunike itu lebih jauh menuduh bahwa Dewan Jenderal adalah gerakan subversif yang disponsori oleh CIA, “dan waktu belakangan ini sangat aktif, terutama dimulai ketika Presiden Soekarno menderita sakit yang serius pada minggu pertama bulan Agustus yang lalu”. Harapan mereka, “bahwa Presiden Soekarno akan meninggal dunia sebagai akibat dari penyakitnya tidak terkabul”. Komunike itu menggambarkan pula bahwa Dewan Jenderal merencanakan pameran kekuatan pada Hari Angkatan Bersenjata RI, 5 Oktober 1965, dengan mendatangkan pasukan-pasukan dari Jawa Timur, Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Barat. “Dengan sudah terkonsentrasinya kekuatan militer yang besar ini di Jakarta, Dewan Jenderal bahkan telah merencanakan untuk mengadakan coup kontra-revolusioner. Letnan Kolonel Untung mengadakan Gerakan 30 September yang ternyata telah berhasil dengan baik”. Komunike itu lalu mengutip penegasan Letnan Kolonel Untung, bahwa “gerakan ini semata-mata gerakan dalam Angkatan Darat yang ditujukan kepada Dewan Jenderal yang telah berbuat mencemarkan nama Angkatan Darat, bermaksud jahat terhadap Republik Indonesia dan Presiden Soekarno”.

Setelah menghadiri Musyawarah Nasional Teknik di Senayan, 30 September 1965 malam, Soekarno pulang ke kediaman salah satu isterinya, Ratna Sari Dewi, Wisma Yaso di Jalan Gatot Soebroto, arah Timur jembatan Semanggi. Menurut Sogul, salah seorang pembantu pribadi di rumah itu, Soekarno sudah bangun sejak 05.00, dan tampak gelisah. Sogul menyebut tanda-tandanya, yakni Soekarno “mengisap rokok” dan berjalan mundar-mandir (Menurut Lambert Giebels, dalam Antonie CA Dake, Sukarno File, Kronologi Suatu Keruntuhan, Aksara Karunia, 2006). Tepat satu jam kemudian dengan berkendara mobil VW kombi yang dikemudikan seorang kolonel, diiringi Komisaris Polisi Mangil yang menggunakan kendaraan lain bersama sejumlah pengawal, Soekarno berangkat menuju Istana Merdeka. Rombongan yang tidak menyolok itu, karena Soekarno tak mengendarai mobil khusus Presiden, melewati Semanggi, Jalan Sudirman ke arah Jalan MH Thamrin.

Tatkala sudah mendekati istana, dan baru melewati bundaran Bank Indonesia, Komisaris Mangil mendapat laporan dari seorang perwira Tjakrabirawa yang berasal dari kepolisian yang yang pagi itu melakukan pengecekan di rumah Jenderal Nasution. Perwira itu melaporkan bahwa Menko Kasab yang pada dinihari itu mengalami percobaan penculikan oleh sepasukan bersenjata, lolos dan belum diketahui keberadaannya. Mangil lalu melaporkannya kepada Presiden Soekarno. Mendengar laporan itu, Soekarno memerintahkan membatalkan perjalanan ke istana. Padahal ‘rencana’nya, Soekarno pagi itu akan menerima sejumlah jenderal yang akan ‘diperhadapkan’ kepadanya pukul 07.00 pagi itu, di antaranya Jenderal Abdul Harris Nasution dan Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani. Akan diperhadapkannya para jenderal tersebut, sesuai ‘jadwal rencana’ yang disampaikan Letnan Kolonel Untung melalui memo yang diterima Soekarno di Senayan pada malam hari 30 September. Sedang menurut agenda acara resmi yang telah diatur ajudan Presiden sejak beberapa hari sebelumnya, pagi itu Menteri Panglima AD Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani akan menghadap pada pukul 07.00.

Sementara itu, Wakil Komandan Resimen Tjakrabirawa Kolonel Maulwi Saelan, yang sejak pagi-pagi sudah berusaha mencari tahu keberadaan Presiden Soekarno, karena mendapat laporan tentang adanya pasukan-pasukan ‘tak dikenal’ di sekitar Monas yang berarti amat dekat ke istana, akhirnya berhasil melakukan kontak dengan Mangil. Maulwi Saelan menyarankan Presiden dibawa ke rumah Nyonya Haryati, isteri Soekarno lainnya, di daerah Grogol. Maulwi Saelan sendiri sudah berada di sana sekitar pukul 06.30, mencari Soekarno, karena menurut ‘jadwal’ pagi itu Soekarno semestinya berada di situ. Soekarno tiba di rumah Haryati pada pukul 06.30.

Soekarno tak ’memikirkan’ para jenderal akan dibunuh. Keputusan Soekarno untuk tidak meneruskan perjalanannya pagi itu menuju istana, setelah mendengar lolosnya Jenderal Nasution dari penyergapan, adalah indikasi bahwa memang ia menyebutkan nama Nasution dalam perintah penindakan yang diberikannya kepada Letnan Kolonel Untung. Namun pada sisi lain, bahwa Soekarno masih ‘menunggu’ para jenderal itu diperhadapkan kepadanya, berarti pula bahwa Soekarno tidak ‘memikirkan’ para jenderal itu akan dibunuh. Bertemu Soekarno di rumah Haryati, Kolonel Maulwi Saelan mengusulkan kepada sang Presiden untuk menuju Pangkalan Angkatan Udara Halim Perdanakusumah, sesuai prosedur baku pengamanan Kepala Negara dalam suatu keadaan darurat.

Lolosnya Jenderal Abdul Harris Nasution dari penyergapan dinihari itu, telah pula menimbulkan semacam ‘kepanikan’ di Gedung Penas yang dijadikan Senko 1 oleh Gerakan 30 September. Hal ini digambarkan oleh Letnan Kolonel Heru Atmodjo yang tiba di sana pagi itu, pukul 05.00, untuk menemui Brigjen Soepardjo sesuai perintah Laksamana Madya Omar Dhani. Kepada Brigjen Soepardjo, perwira intelijen AURI itu, menyampaikan bahwa atas perintah Menteri Panglima Angkatan Udara, “saya diminta untuk menanyakan apa sesungguhnya yang terjadi dan apa tujuan dari gerakan ini”. Heru juga menanyakan tentang keselamatan Pemimpin Besar Revolusi/Panglima Tertinggi ABRI. Keselamatan Soekarno ini lah, menurut Omar Dhani, yang menjadi concern utamanya saat itu (Wawancara dengan Rum Aly, 2006). Saat berada di Penas itulah menurut Heru Atmodjo, “saya menangkap kesan tengah berlangsungnya semacam kepanikan, sungguh pun mereka berusaha tampil wajar”. Kenapa ? “Saya mendengar salah seorang dari mereka, tidak jelas siapa yang bicara, mengatakan bahwa Nasution lolos, sedangkan yang lainnya tertangkap semua”. Di Penas itu, Heru diperkenalkan oleh Mayor Sujono kepada Letnan Kolonel Untung, Kolonel Latief dan dua orang sipil yang belakangan dia ketahui adalah Sjam Kamaruzzaman dan Pono alias Supono Marsudidjojo. “Sebagai seorang perwira , saya menganggap orang-orang ini sungguh kurang simpatik dan kurang sopan. Dalam perkenalan pun nama tidak mereka sebutkan dengan jelas. Yang satu badannya lebih besar dari rekannya. Rupanya agak gelap, mukanya kotor, tidak menunjukkan keramahan pada orang lain”. Orang bermuka ‘gelap’ tersebut tak lain adalah Sjam Kamaruzzaman, pemimpin Biro Chusus PKI.

Brigadir Jenderal Soepardjo mengatakan kepada Heru akan melaporkan sendiri segala sesuatunya kepada Menteri Panglima Angkatan Udara, atasannya di Kolaga, tetapi terlebih dahulu ia ingin melapor kepada Pangti ABRI. Untuk itu ia minta Heru Atmodjo ikut, dan nanti dari istana baru ke Halim Perdanakusumah untuk menemui Laksamana Madya Omar Dhani. Mereka tiba di Istana Merdeka sekitar 06.00. Seorang kapten dari Tjakrabirawa menjemput Soepardjo di depan pos penjagaan dan mengantarnya masuk ke istana, sementara yang lain, termasuk Heru, diminta menunggu di pos penjagaan tersebut. Salah seorang penjaga pos menginformasikan bahwa Presiden Soekarno tak ada di istana. Beberapa lama kemudian, Brigjen Soepardjo keluar bersama seorang jenderal –yang ternyata adalah Brigjen Sabur– yang mengantarnya ke pekarangan istana. Sabur baru tiba pagi-pagi dari Bandung, karena agaknya ia sengaja menghindar dari Jakarta, saat Letnan Kolonel Untung, bawahannya di Resimen Tjakrabirawa, melancarkan gerakan.

Belum berhasil bertemu Soekarno, Soepardjo memutuskan tetap tinggal di istana, sehingga Heru Atmodjo sendirian berangkat menuju Markas Besar Angkatan Udara di Tanah Abang Bukit sebelum ke Halim Perdanakusumah. Pukul 08.30 barulah perwira intelijen itu bertemu Omar Dhani dan melaporkan pertemuannya dengan Brigjen Soepardjo dan bahwa Soepardjo berada di istana menunggu kedatangan Presiden. Tapi, Omar Dhani menyuruh Heru menjemput Soepardjo dengan helikopter, karena Soekarno justru segera akan tiba di Halim sebelum jam sepuluh. Setiba di Halim, Brigjen Soepardjo menemui Omar Dhani dan menyampaikan informasi situasi yang ingin diketahui Panglima Angkatan Udara itu. Usai bertemu Soepardjo, Omar Dhani memerintahkan Heru mengantarkan Soepardjo menemui rekan-rekannya yang tadi berada di Penas. Kini, ternyata para pelaku Gerakan 30 September itu telah berpindah ke Senko 2 yang adalah rumah Sersan Udara Anis Sujatno. Brigjen Soepardjo yang tadinya berseragam upacara –ketika menuju istana pagi itu– sekarang telah berganti pakaian memakai seragam lapangan, dan menjelang pukul 10.00 berangkat bersama Heru kembali ke Halim Perdanakusumah untuk menemui Presiden Soekarno.

Sejak setengah jam sebelumnya, di Halim Perdanakusumah terjadi peningkatan kesibukan, terutama setelah tibanya Soekarno. Setelah bertemu Omar Dhani di kantor Panglima Komando Operasi, Sang Presiden ditempatkan di rumah Komodor Susanto. Kepada Presiden Soekarno, Laksamana Madya Omar Dhani melaporkan bahwa ia telah mengeluarkan suatu pernyataan –yang berisi ‘dukungan’ kepada gerakan yang terjadi dinihari tersebut. Soekarno tidak menunjukkan sikap mempersalahkan tindakan Omar Dhani. Begitu pula ketika Soekarno membaca stensilan pengumuman Gerakan 30 September yang telah disiarkan RRI pada pukul 07.20. Brigjen Soepardjo tiba di Halim Perdanakusumah jam 10.00 dan langsung bertemu dengan Soekarno. Presiden Soekarno tampaknya mengapresiasi dengan baik laporan Soepardjo, kendati sempat menunjukkan semacam kekecewaan mengenai ‘lolos’nya Jenderal Nasution. Beberapa kesaksian menyebutkan, Soekarno sempat menepuk-nepuk bahu Soepardjo dan dalam bahasa Belanda mengatakan bahwa Soepardjo telah menjalankan tugas dengan baik.

Sewaktu Soepardjo mengadakan pertemuan dengan Presiden, Brigjen Sabur sempat keluar ruangan dan mengetik sesuatu. Sabur mempersiapkan suatu pernyataan bahwa Presiden berada dalam keadaan selamat. Pernyataan itu kemudian dibacakan oleh seorang perwira Tjakrabirawa atas nama Brigjen Sabur dalam suatu pertemuan pers pada pukul 11.00. Tetapi ketika pernyataan itu akan dibacakan di RRI, pasukan yang bertugas di sana melarangnya berdasarkan perintah Letnan Kolonel Untung. Barulah pada pukul 13.10 pengumuman itu bisa dibacakan.

“Panglima Kodam Jaya Umar Wirahadikusumah juga disuruh panggil oleh Soekarno, namun tak muncul. Ia terlebih dahulu sudah berada Markas Kostrad dan memutuskan untuk ‘bergabung’ dengan Mayjen Soeharto dan jelas tidak diperkenankan ke Halim bertemu Soekarno. Larangan Soeharto kepada Umar Wirahadikusumah untuk ke Halim, membuat Soekarno marah kepada sikap melawan dan kepala batu Jenderal Soeharto itu. Dan inilah untuk pertama kalinya nama Mayjen Soeharto muncul di ‘hadapan’ Soekarno dalam rangkaian peristiwa ini”.

TERKESAN bahwa sampai dengan tengah hari di tanggal 1 Oktober itu, Soekarno ‘sejalan’ dengan para pimpinan Gerakan 30 September. Namun mundar mandirnya Brigjen Soepardjo antara Senko 2 Gerakan 30 September –di rumah Sersan Anis Sujatno yang masih terletak dalam kompleks perumahan Angkatan Udara Halim Perdanakusumah– dan rumah Komodor Susanto tempat beradanya Presiden Soekarno, menunjukkan pula berlangsungnya suatu proses negosiasi antara kedua pihak itu, dan Soepardjo berperan sebagai perantara. Artinya, ada masalah atau perbedaan terjadi antara Soekarno dengan pelaku gerakan, namun coba diselesaikan melalui semacam perundingan. Ini cara khas politik keseimbangan yang selalu dijalankan Soekarno dalam memelihara kekuasaannya, menengahi para pihak yang terlibat konflik. Hanya saja terhadap Nasution yang dianggapnya pencipta negara dalam negara, Soekarno punya ‘policy’ berbeda, yakni harus disisihkan karena selama ini secara empiris menganggu politik kekuasaan Soekarno.

Sementara itu, hingga menjelang tengah hari, bagi Soekarno, Panglima Kostrad belum merupakan faktor yang perlu diperhitungkan meskipun kemudian nama Soeharto sempat diajukan sebagai salah satu calon pengganti sementara Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani. Soekarno dengan jelas saat itu telah mengetahui nasib Ahmad Yani dan kawan-kawan berdasarkan laporan Brigjen Soepardjo. Dalam pertemuan Soekarno dengan Soepardjo, mulanya Soekarno mengikuti saran untuk segera menetapkan pengganti bagi Letnan Jenderal Ahmad Yani. Soekarno menyetujui nama Mayjen Pranoto Reksosamodra, nama yang diusulkan oleh kawan-kawan Soepardjo di Senko. Padahal, menurut Menteri Panglima Angkatan Laut Laksamana Madya RE Martadinata yang dipanggil menghadap Soekarno di Halim –bersama Menteri Panglima Angkatan Kepolisian Inspektur Jenderal Soetjipto Joedodihardjo, Jaksa Agung Brigjen Sutardhio, Wakil Jaksa Agung Brigjen Sunarjo, Waperdam II dr Leimena– ada beberapa nama lain yang diusulkan, namun Soekarno bersikukuh memilih Pranoto.

Laksamana Madya Martadinata menyebutkan nama Mayjen Soeharto sebagai calon berdasarkan ‘kebiasaan’ bahwa bila Panglima AD berhalangan ia diwakili Pangkostrad. Nama lainnya adalah Mayjen Ibrahim Adjie dan Mayjen Mursjid. Nama Mursjid ini sebelum peristiwa, sebenarnya telah ada di ‘saku’ Soekarno sebagai calon pengganti Yani, dan akan disampaikan kepada Yani bila ia ini menghadap 1 Oktober 1965 pagi di istana yang sebelum peristiwa telah merupakan agenda resmi.

Setelah menetapkan nama Mayjen Pranoto sebagai pilihannya, Soekarno mengeluarkan pengumuman bahwa pimpinan Angkatan Darat untuk sementara berada di tangannya dan tugas sehari-harinya dilaksanakan Mayjen Pranoto. Soekarno memerintahkan seluruh Angkatan Bersenjata mempertinggi kesiapsiagaan, namun tak boleh bergerak tanpa perintah. Ia menyampaikan pula bahwa dirinya berada dalam keadaan sehat walafiat dan tetap memegang pimpinan negara dan revolusi. Pengumuman ini tidak disampaikan melalui RRI yang hingga saat itu masih dikuasai oleh pasukan Gerakan 30 September, namun disiarkan melalui Radio Angkatan Udara. Hanya beberapa jam sebelumnya, Letnan Kolonel Untung menyiarkan melalui RRI pengumuman mengenai pembentukan Dewan Revolusi.

Percobaan Konsolidasi dan Negosiasi Soekarno. Perlu untuk mengetahui apa sebenarnya yang berkembang di Senko 1 dan kemudian di Senko 2 Gerakan 30 September, sejak selesainya penyergapan dan penculikan enam jenderal pimpinan Angkatan Darat dan satu perwira pertama, pada dinihari 1 Oktober itu, hingga pukul 13.00, menjelang Soekarno mengambil alih kepemimpinan Angkatan Darat dan menetapkan Pranoto selaku pelaksana sehari-hari.

Lolosnya Jenderal Nasution seperti kesan yang ditangkap Heru Atmodjo sewaktu menemui Brigjen Soepardjo pagi itu di Senko 1 Penas, memang telah menimbulkan semacam kepanikan di kalangan pelaksana gerakan itu. Bahkan, kepanikan itu menjurus kepada sikap putus asa, bahwa pada akhirnya gerakan akan kandas. Karena menurut perkiraan, Nasution pasti bisa mengkonsolidasi kekuatan untuk memukul balik. Meskipun Nasution tidak lagi memiliki akses komando langsung terhadap pasukan, tetapi pengaruhnya di kalangan perwira –bukan hanya di Angkatan Darat, tetapi juga pada angkatan-angkatan lain– masih harus diperhitungkan. Satu-satunya harapan bagi mereka, ialah bagaimana sikap Presiden Soekarno. Namun lolosnya Jenderal Nasution berarti hilangnya kartu truf untuk melakukan fait accompli terhadap sang Presiden, karena mereka tahu dari Letnan Kolonel Untung, concern utama Soekarno adalah ‘penangkapan’ Nasution. Kepentingan Soekarno hanyalah memperhadapkan kepadanya para jenderal yang dianggap tidak loyal, terutama Nasution, sedangkan Gerakan 30 September telah dikembangkan oleh Letnan Kolonel Untung dan Sjam dengan sejumlah tujuan yang lebih luas.

Ketika selewat pukul 11.00 Senko 2 mendengar dari Brigjen Soepardjo tentang konsolidasi yang dilakukan Presiden Soekarno di Halim Perdanakusumah terhadap para perwira AURI terutama dengan Laksamana Omar Dhani, dan mengetahui adanya pernyataan Presiden yang disampaikan oleh Brigjen Saboer, mereka semua menyadari bahwa Soekarno tak bisa mereka kendalikan seperti yang diperkirakan semula. Letnan Kolonel Untung, atas suruhan Sjam, menyampaikan kepada pasukan yang menduduki RRI, agar mencegah pernyataan Presiden disiarkan RRI. Yang paling memukul bagi mereka adalah perintah yang disampaikan kepada Soepardjo, untuk diteruskan kepada para pelaksana Gerakan 30 September, agar Gerakan 30 September dihentikan dan jangan sampai ada pertumpahan darah lagi. Dan Soekarno juga menyatakan mengambil alih seluruh persoalan. Brigjen Soepardjo menyanggupi akan melaksanakan perintah Soekarno. Itulah sebabnya, Soekarno menepuk-nepuk bahu Soepardjo. Bahkan dalam penuturan mengenai adegan ini, Antonie C.A. Dake yang memegang teori Soekarno sebagai dalang peristiwa, mengutip Harold Crouch, Soekarno berkata kepada Soepardjo “Awas kalau tidak bisa menghentikan gerakan, akan saya peuncit”. Dalam bahasa Sunda, peuncit berarti ‘potong leher’. Maka, Brigjen Soepardjo kemudian menyarankan kepada rekan-rekannya di Senko 2 agar perintah Presiden Soekarno itu dituruti.

Setelah penyampaian Soepardjo ini, terjadi perkembangan menarik di Senko 2. Aidit yang tadinya seakan-akan tidak berperan, karena kendali strategi sepenuhnya dijalankan oleh Sjam sejak awal dan kendali operasi militer sepenuhnya di tangan Letnan Kolonel Untung, diminta oleh para perwira Gerakan 30 September –Letnan Kolonel Untung, Kolonel Latief dan lain-lain, kecuali Brigjen Soepardjo– untuk mengambilalih peran dari Sjam. Catatan tentang situasi baru ini didasarkan pada pengakuan Sjam Kamaruzzaman dalam suatu wawancara ringkas (dengan Rum Aly) Pebruari 1968. Kesempatan wawancara dilakukan secara kebetulan atas izin seorang perwira menengah dalam jedah persidangan Mahmillub atas diri Sjam di Gedung Merdeka, Bandung. Wawancara berlangsung beberapa menit, dan terputus karena kehadiran seorang perwira menengah lainnya yang melarang wawancara dilanjutkan. Dalam wawancara ringkas itu, Sjam juga menyampaikan kurang lebih bahwa “peristiwa (maksudnya G30S) sebenarnya tidaklah seperti yang disangka….. banyak soal dibaliknya yang tidak disangka-sangka”. Saat ditanyakan apa yang tidak disangka-sangka itu, ketika itulah wawancara terputus karena kehadiran seorang perwira yang lalu melarang wawancara.

Sebelum ini, ada suatu situasi yang cukup aneh, bahwa sayap militer dari Gerakan 30 September ini lebih ‘patuh’ kepada Sjam, sementara Aidit sama sekali diabaikan. Bahkan kehadiran Aidit di Halim sejak 30 September 1965 malam, adalah karena dijemput oleh perwira Tjakrabirawa atas perintah Letnan Kolonel Untung karena desakan Sjam. (Lebih jauh mengenai hal ini, bisa dilihat dalam Bagian Ketiga buku Rum Aly, Titik Silang Jalan Kekuasaan Tahun 1966). Setibanya di Halim, Aidit hanya ditempatkan di rumah Sersan Mayor Suwardi di kompleks perumahan Halim Perdanakusumah dan ternyata tak pernah dihubungi oleh Senko Penas. Apakah kehadiran peran Aidit kemudian di siang hari itu akan merubah situasi? Sepertinya, angin telah terlanjur mati bagi para pelaksana gerakan itu. Tetapi secara mendadak, pukul 13.00 lewat beberapa menit, Letnan Kolonel Heru Atmodjo muncul di Senko 2 dengan pesan bahwa Brigjen Soepardjo diminta ikut untuk menemui Laksamana Omar Dhani, yang segera diterjemahkan sebagai panggilan dari Presiden Soekarno. Pintu perundingan ternyata membuka mendadak, dan itulah sebabnya bahwa pada jam-jam berikutnya, Brigjen Soepardjo harus mundar-mandir dari Senko ke rumah Komodor Susanto di mana Soekarno berada.

Sewaktu Soepardjo tiba di rumah Komodor Susanto untuk menemui Soekarno, di tempat itu telah hadir Panglima Angkatan Laut RE Martadinata dan Panglima Angkatan Kepolisian Soetjipto Judodihardjo yang baru saja beberapa menit sampai di tempat itu. Telah hadir pula Waperdam II Leimena, Jaksa Agung dan Wakil Jaksa Agung. Panglima Kodam Jaya Umar Wirahadikusumah juga disuruh panggil oleh Soekarno, namun tak muncul. Ia terlebih dahulu sudah berada Markas Kostrad dan memutuskan untuk ‘bergabung’ dengan Mayjen Soeharto dan jelas tidak diperkenankan ke Halim bertemu Soekarno. Larangan Soeharto kepada Umar Wirahadikusumah untuk ke Halim, membuat Soekarno marah kepada sikap melawan dan kepala batu Jenderal Soeharto itu. Dan inilah untuk pertama kalinya nama Mayjen Soeharto muncul di ‘hadapan’ Soekarno dalam rangkaian peristiwa ini.



Peristiwa 1965: PKI Dalam Perspektif Pembalasan dan Pengampunan (1)
In Politik on July 27, 2012 at 3:19 AM

SETELAH Komnas HAM di pekan terakhir bulan Juli 2012 ini menyampaikan rekomendasinya kepada pemerintah mengenai pelanggaran HAM berat yang terjadi di seputar apa yang mereka sebut sebagai Peristiwa 1965-1966, muncul beragam reaksi. Dua di antara yang perlu dicatat adalah komentar Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, dan keterangan Ketua Komnas HAM Ifdhal Kasim, tentang model penyelesaian terkait pelanggaran HAM tersebut.

Presiden SBY (25/7) menyebutkan kriteria solusi yang dapat diterima semua pihak, dan apa yang terjadi harus dilihat jernih, jujur dan objektif.

“Semangatnya tetap melihat ke depan.
Selesaikan secara adil”. Presiden tidak menggunakan terminologi ‘kebenaran’, tetapi menggunakan terminologi pengganti, yakni “dilihat jernih, jujur dan objektif”.

Pada waktu yang hampir bersamaan, Ifdhal Kasim mengatakan kasus pelanggaran HAM yang berat itu tidak harus (selalu) diselesaikan dengan mekanisme hukum.
“Kalau memiliki komitmen politik, pemerintah juga dapat menyelesaikan kasus-kasus pelanggaran HAM berat itu dengan cara-cara politis melalui

Dan sedikit mencengangkan sekaligus terasa dangkal adalah jalan pikiran Wakil Ketua DPR-RI, Priyo Budi Santoso, yang menganggap bahwa membuka kembali Peristiwa 1965-1966 adalah tidak produktif.

Selain kata kunci kebenaran yang kemudian diikuti kata kunci keadilan, kata kunci kecermatan adalah tak kalah pentingnya. Kebenaran akan tergali optimum melalui kecermatan.
Kecermatan dalam meneliti kebenaran suatu peristiwa, berarti tak hanya melihat apa yang terjadi dalam peristiwa, melainkan juga melihat berbagai tali temali yang menyebabkan suatu peristiwa terjadi.



Meski tidak disebutkan dalam bahasa yang lebih terang, Peristiwa 1965-1966 yang dimaksudkan Komnas HAM dalam hal ini kiranya tak lain adalah peristiwa kekerasan yang terjadi sesudah meletusnya Peristiwa 30 September 1965. Bila melihat klasifikasi sembilan pelanggaran HAM berat yang disampaikan Komnas HAM, tak bisa tidak yang dimaksud adalah bahwa pelaku pelanggaran HAM berat itu adalah rezim militer di bawah Jenderal Soeharto yang tampil menggantikan kekuasaan Soekarno setelah peristiwa. Dan dengan menggunakan pencantuman tahun 1965-1966 di belakang kata Peristiwa, yang dianggap korban dalam pelanggaran HAM berat ini adalah bekas-bekas anggota Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) dan partai-partai sehaluan lainnya dalam rangkaian peristiwa politik saat itu. Dengan sendirinya, Komnas HAM belum mencukupkan penelitiannya dengan peristiwa-peristiwa politik dan kekerasan yang terjadi dalam rangka pergulatan kekuasaan sejak tahun 1960 hingga akhir 1965.

Jika Komnas HAM membatasi diri dengan patron di atas, berarti lembaga tersebut belum cukup cermat dalam konteks penggalian kebenaran sesungguhnya dari tali temali peristiwa secara keseluruhan. Di sini kita ingin meminjam apa yang dituliskan mantan Jaksa Agung Marzuki Darusman yang punya latar belakang perjuangan HAM yang kuat, bahwa dalam penanganan pelanggaran HAM, diperlukan politik kebenaran: “Kebenaran sepenuhnya dengan keadilan sebanyak-banyaknya”.

Peristiwa 30 September 1965, didahului peristiwa-peristiwa kekerasan oleh PKI dan organisasi sehaluan, melalui terror gerakan massa dan politik intimidasi, dan setelah peristiwa berlanjut dengan kekerasan lainnya sebagai pembalasan oleh kelompok anti komunis, dengan kadar kekejiannya yang tak kalah tinggi. Semua pihak, baik pengikut partai-partai berhaluan komunis, maupun kekuatan-kekuatan anti komunis dan tentara, sama-sama menjadi pelaku kekerasan yang bersifat balas membalas dalam pola ‘didahului atau mendahului’. (Baca serial ‘Malapetaka Sosiologis Indonesia: Pembalasan Berdarah’ dalam blog sociopolitica Oktober 2009).

Kita ingin mengutip dua catatan berikut, sebagai ilustrasi tentang kekejaman di antara sesama bangsa, yang dibalut motif ideologis yang tercampur aduk dengan pembalasan dalam rangkaian peristiwa sosiologis, 1948 dan 1965. Dikutip dari penuturan Taufiq Ismail penyair yang dikenal sangat anti komunis namun tak punya kebiasaan memanipulasi kebenaran dan Soe Hok-gie aktivis 1966 yang dikenal tinggi integritasnya tentang kebenaran. Dua catatan ini dan beberapa catatan berikutnya, untuk sebagian pernah dimuat di blog ini, namun menarik untuk bisa dipaparkan ulang dengan beberapa perbaikan.

Kekejaman dan kekejaman. Dalam Peristiwa Madiun September 1948, pengikut PKI antara lain menangkap Bupati Magetan Sakidi. Algojo PKI merentangkan sebuah tangga membelintang di atas sebuah sumur di Soco. Lalu tubuh sang bupati dibaringkan di atas tangga itu. Ketika telentang terikat seperti itu, algojo menggergaji tubuh Sakidi sampai putus dua, langsung dijatuhkan ke dalam sumur. Nyonya Sakidi yang mendengar suaminya dieksekusi di Soco, menyusul ke sana dengan menggendong dua anaknya yang berusia 1 dan 3 tahun. Dia nekad minta melihat jenazah suaminya. Repot melayaninya, PKI sekalian membantai perempuan itu disaksikan kedua anaknya, lalu dicemplungkan juga ke dalam sumur. Di Pati dan Wirosari, dubur warga desa ditusuk dengan bambu runcing lalu ditancapkan di tengah sawah bagai orang-orangan pengusir burung. Sementara itu, seorang perempuan ditusuk vaginanya dengan bambu runcing lalu juga ditancapkan di tengah sawah. Kekejaman Peristiwa Madiun ini melekat sebagai ingatan traumatik penduduk di sekitar Madiun itu. Sehingga, menurut Taufiq, ketika 17 tahun kemudian PKI meneror di Delanggu, Kanigoro, Bandar Betsy dan daerah lain dalam pemanasan pra-Gestapu dengan klimaks pembunuhan 6 jenderal pada 30 September 1965, penduduk Jawa Timur yang masih ingat peristiwa 17 tahun silam itu bergerak mendahului PKI dan melakukan pembalasan dalam suatu tragedi berdarah. Tragedi serupa terjadi di Jawa Tengah.

Apa yang terjadi di Jawa Timur dan Jawa Tengah, lambat laun sampai pula beritanya ke pulau Bali. Sejak Nopember 1965 hingga awal 1966, menurut Soe Hok-gie, Bali menjadi sebuah mimpi buruk pembantaian. Wedagama, seorang tokoh PNI, menghasut orang-orang untuk melakukan kekerasan dengan mengatakan Tuhan menyetujui pembantaian terhadap orang-orang PKI, dan bahwa hukum tidak akan menghukum orang yang melakukannya. Kelompok-kelompok yang berpakaian serba hitam bersenjatakan pedang, pisau dan pentungan dan bahkan senjata api bergerak melakukan pembersihan. Rumah-rumah penduduk yang diduga sebagai anggota PKI dibakar sebagai bagian dari pemanasan bagi dilancarkannya tindakan-tindakan yang lebih kejam. Kemudian pembantaian pun mulai terjadi di mana-mana. Juga pemerkosaan kepada kaum wanita. Widagda, seorang pemimpin PNI dari Negara, menggunakan kesempatan dari situasi untuk memperkosa puluhan wanita yang tanpa bukti dan alasan yang benar dicap sebagai PKI.

Sementara itu, dari tulisan ‘Malapetaka Sosiologis Indonesia: Pembalasan Berdarah’, bisa ditarik kesimpulan bahwa pelaku-pelaku kekerasan yang untuk sebagian besar berkategori pelanggaran HAM berat, tercatat pada mulanya pelaku-pelaku adalah massa pengikut komunis (di Jawa Tengah, yakni sebelum maupun pada bulan-bulan pertama setelah Peristiwa 30 September), pengikut-pengikut PNI (di Jawa Tengah dan Bali), organisasi di bawah NU yaitu Banser/Pemuda Ansor (di Jawa Timur), organisasi anti komunis lainnya (seperti misalnya Pemuda Pantjasila di Sumatera Utara, aktivis organisasi Islam di Sulawesi Selatan), serta massa anti komunis lainnya di berbagai daerah lainnya dalam pola balas berbalas. Khusus di Jawa Barat, tak terjadi kekerasan besar-besaran setelah Peristiwa 30 September 1965, karena jauh-jauh hari pada tahun-tahun sebelumnya, kaum komunis telah menjadi sasaran ‘pembasmian’ oleh pengikut DI/TII, terutama di Priangan Timur.

Dan, yang paling menonjol sebagai pelaku pasca Peristiwa 30 September 1965, tentu saja satuan-satuan tentara yang selain melakukan eksekusi langsung, juga melakukan pembiaran kekerasan di berbagai daerah.


Peristiwa 1965: PKI Dalam Perspektif Pembalasan dan Pengampunan (2)
In Historia, Politik on July 29, 2012 at 7:07 AM

NAMUN menarik untuk diteliti lanjut adalah peranan satuan-satuan tertentu tentara yang sebelum Peristiwa 30 September 1965 ada dalam pengaruh komunis, tetapi pada proses ‘pembasmian’ setelah peristiwa, berperan dalam penangkapan dan eksekusi, semacam tindakan kanibal, terhadap mereka yang diketahui pengikut organisasi-organisasi komunis. Ini terjadi di Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Timur. Kelompok tentara ini juga bergerak menindaki mereka yang sebenarnya bukan komunis, bahkan anti komunis, namun dituduh pengikut komunis. Belum lagi penggunaan kesempatan balas dendam pribadi di luar kaitan politik, yang berupa pembunuhan, perkosaan dan penjarahan harta benda. Pengkambinghitaman pada masa itu sangat mudah untuk dilakukan.

Keterlibatan beberapa satuan tentara dalam rangkaian persoalan setelah Peristiwa 30 September 1965 di Jawa Tengah, perlu dicermati.

Sepanjang yang bisa dicatat, pada 1 Oktober 1965, sejumlah perwira komunis di lingkungan Kodam Diponegoro, Kolonel Suherman dan kawan-kawan, sempat menangkap Panglima Diponegoro Mayjen Surjosumpeno dan mengambilalih komando divisi tersebut.

Para perwira ini lalu mengumumkan pembentukan Dewan Revolusi di Jawa Tengah. Mereka pun membunuh Komandan Korem 72 Yogyakarta Kolonel Katamso dan Kepala Stafnya Letnan Kolonel Sugiono karena tak mau mendukung Dewan Revolusi.

Ketika Mayjen Surjosumpeno berhasil meloloskan diri, selama beberapa hari sampai 5 Oktober 1965 ia bisa menarik kembali batalion-batalion yang membelot. Namun ia sangsi bisa melakukan pengendalian seterusnya, sehingga minta bantuan Jakarta.

Jenderal Soeharto memutuskan mengirim satuan-satuan RPKAD yang dipimpin langsung oleh Kolonel Sarwo Edhie saat ia ini dianggap telah menyelesaikan tugas-tugasnya di ibukota.



Kehadiran Sarwo Edhie di Jawa Tengah ini –dan kemudian di Jawa Timur dan Bali– membuat ia berada dalam sorotan berkali-kali dari waktu ke waktu, karena bertepatan dengan terjadinya kebangkitan perlawanan massa yang kemudian berubah menjadi kekerasan massal terhadap pengikut-pengikut PKI. Majalah Tempo yang biasanya cermat, 13 November 2011 lalu misalnya, menurunkan laporan utama yang judul dan sub-judulnya sedikit mencengangkan, bernada sorotan tajam dan terkesan sedikit ‘menghakimi’ peran Jenderal Sarwo Edhie di seputar peristiwa 1966-1966, “Jejak Berdarah Sang Pembasmi”.

Isi pemaparan laporan utama Tempo itu sendiri, tak mengandung data yang langsung memastikan suatu peran berdarah dari sang jenderal yang kebetulan belakangan menjadi ayah mertua Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Misalnya, memang benar atas perintah Sarwo Edhie para pemuda diberikan pelatihan militer ringan agar bisa membantu menghadapi anggota-anggota PKI yang kala itu, setidaknya sepanjang bulan Oktober 1965, masih agresif. Pelatihan dilakukan karena permintaan Sarwo Edhie ke Jakarta agar diberi tambahan pasukan waktu itu tidak dipenuhi. Namun apakah, ketika para pemuda itu kemudian melakukan gerakan pengejaran dan pembasmian PKI dengan kekerasan, itu dilakukan berdasarkan perintah Sarwo Edhie atau perwira-perwira RPKAD lainnya, tidak ditunjukkan dalam laporan utama tersebut. Salah seorang perwira bawahan Sarwo waktu itu, Letnan Sintong Panjaitan –yang dibenarkan seorang wartawan, Daud Sinyal– menyebutkan RPKAD tidak melakukan pembunuhan terhadap anggota-anggota PKI, tetapi dilakukan oleh masyarakat.

Tetapi terlepas dari itu semua, bagaimana menilai situasi dan kekejaman balas berbalas yang timbul sebagai symptom pertarungan ideologis ini? Dan bagaimana pula mencerna keseluruhan jalinan kekerasan dalam peristiwa politik yang kacau balau ini?

Peristiwa simptomatis yang berdarah-darah. Bertahun-tahun waktu telah dihabiskan untuk perdebatan mengenai pelurusan sejarah Peristiwa 30 September 1965 ini serta ekses terhadap kemanusiaan yang menjadi ikutannya. Bukannya pelurusan dalam konteks kebenaran yang terjadi, tetapi perdebatan yang ada seakan-akan hanya suatu gimnastik bagi lidah dan tenggorokan dalam memelihara dan melanjutkan dendam tujuh turunan. Perdebatan tak beraturan itu begitu terasa menyita waktu dan energi, sehingga pengantar sebuah buku sejarah menyarankan dalam satu keluhan, perlunya alternatif lain bagi wacana sejarah nasional yang agaknya kini hanya berkisar pada pelurusan sejarah seputar kejadian ‘Gerakan 30 September’ (dan ’11 Maret’). Memang, peristiwa tersebut amat ‘menguras’ waktu dan pikiran masyarakat sejarah di tanah air, sehingga seakan-akan tak ada perhatian tersisa untuk meluruskan atau tepatnya lebih mendekati kebenaran sejarah bagi peristiwa-peristiwa lainnya.

Peristiwa 30 September 1965 itu sendiri, pada hakekatnya hanyalah sebuah symptom yang menunjukkan betapa dalam tubuh bangsa ini terdapat sejumlah permasalahan mendasar yang dari waktu ke waktu belum berhasil diberikan penyelesaian tuntas. Sebuah media generasi muda terkemuka, hanya dua tahun setelah terjadinya peristiwa, 1967, menuliskan dalam tajuk rencananya, bahwa “hakekat dari timbulnya peristiwa itu bersumber di dalam tubuh masyarakat kita sendiri”. Peristiwa tahun 1965 hanyalah sekedar manifestasi dari ketidaksehatan tubuh bangsa kita di dalam semua bidang kehidupan: politik, ekonomi maupun sosial kultural.

Sebenarnya terdapat beberapa episode sejarah Indonesia yang memerlukan perhatian untuk lebih didekati kebenarannya. Akan tetapi terlepas dari masih banyaknya episode sejarah Indonesia masa lampau maupun masa modern yang perlu untuk lebih didekati kebenarannya, tidak berarti upaya pelurusan bagi Peristiwa 30 September 1965 harus berhenti. Pada point ini upaya Komnas HAM untuk mencari kebenaran sejarah, perlu diapresiasi. Jangan biarkan pikiran kita ikut mendangkal bersama Priyo Budi Santoso, seorang politisi tergolong tokoh muda yang kini menjadi Wakil Ketua DPR-RI yang menganggap membuka kembali kasus 1965-1966 tidak produktif. “Membuka sejarah lama tak akan selesai”, ujarnya dikutip pers yang kemudian dikecam Kontras. Namun, pada sisi lain tak ada salahnya untuk mengingatkan Komnas HAM agar cermat dan utuh dalam meneliti kebenaran suatu peristiwa sejarah. Ketidakcermatan dan ketidakutuhan pengungkapan suatu peristiwa sejarah hanya akan menambah dan memperpanjang persoalan.

Dalam konteks ini, pelurusan sejarah harus sekaligus bermakna tidak hanya menempatkan peristiwa pada posisi kebenaran sejarah, tetapi juga bermakna –meluas ke luar jangkauan bidang sejarah– penyelesaian atas akar permasalahan dari suatu peristiwa dan bukan sekedar memerangi symptom. Tanpa pernah menuntaskan akar-akar permasalahan yang membelit dalam masyarakat, sehingga membuat tubuh bangsa ini sakit, sejarah akan menunjukkan terus menerus berulangnya berbagai peristiwa simptomatis yang menyakitkan. Setelah Peristiwa 30 September 1965, lalu Peristiwa Mei 1998, bentrokan horizontal antar etnis dan agama –maupun intra agama– di berbagai daerah dan entah peristiwa berdarah apa lagi nanti.

Antara kebenaran dan manipulasi sejarah. Dalam konflik penafsiran dan kontroversi narasi atas Peristiwa 30 September 1965 dan peranan PKI, klaim kebenaran bagaikan pendulum yang berayun dari kiri ke kanan dan sebaliknya, sehingga membingungkan masyarakat, terutama generasi baru yang masanya jauh sesudah peristiwa terjadi. Apalagi, sejumlah sejarawan –mungkin di sini kita bisa menyebutkan antara lain nama Asvi Warman Adam dari LIPI– yang semestinya ‘sangat jujur’ dan penuh integritas dalam konteks kebenaran, ikut memasukkan intrepretasi-intrepretasi atas peristiwa yang bukan hanya subjektif, melainkan sudah menyesatkan. Tetapi perbedaan versi kebenaran itu sendiri terjadi sejak awal segera setelah terjadinya peristiwa, sesuai kepentingan masing-masing pihak per saat itu. Di tingkat internasional, Kantor Berita RRC (Republik Rakyat Cina), Hsinhua, memberikan versi bahwa Peristiwa 30 September 1965 adalah masalah internal Angkatan Darat Indonesia yang kemudian diprovokasikan oleh dinas intelijen Barat sebagai upaya percobaan kudeta oleh PKI.

Presiden Soekarno –yang sadar atau tidak, banyak menjadi sumber terjadinya konflik di masyarakat dengan politik perimbangannya– pun berkali-kali melakukan pembelaan bahwa PKI tidak terlibat dalam peristiwa sebagai partai melainkan karena adanya sejumlah tokoh partai yang keblinger dan terpancing oleh insinuasi Barat, lalu melakukan tindakan-tindakan. Dan, karena itu Soekarno mengatakan tidak akan membubarkan PKI.

Kemudian, pada sisi lain, pimpinan dan sejumlah perwira Angkatan Darat memberi versi keterlibatan PKI sepenuhnya, dalam penculikan dan pembunuhan enam jenderal dan seorang perwira pertama AD pada tengah malam 30 September menuju dinihari 1 Oktober 1965. Versi ini segera diterima secara umum sesuai fakta kasat mata yang terhidang dan ditopang pengalaman buruk bersama PKI dalam kehidupan sosial dan politik pada tahun-tahun terakhir. Hanya saja harus diakui bahwa sejumlah perwira penerangan, pengikut Jenderal Soeharto, telah menambahkan dramatisasi artifisial terhadap kekejaman, melebihi peristiwa in factum. Ini diakui oleh seorang jenderal yang pernah menjadi perwira penerangan masa itu. Penculikan dan kemudian pembunuhan para jenderal menurut fakta memang sudah kejam, tetapi dramatisasi dengan pemaparan yang hiperbolis dalam penyajian, telah memberikan effek mengerikan melampaui batas yang mampu dibayangkan semula. Dan akhirnya, mengundang pembalasan yang juga tiada taranya dalam penumpasan berdarah antar manusia di Indonesia.





Lessons of the 1965 Indonesian Coup: Chapter One

Chapter One
The historical background

In October 1965 the international working class suffered one of its greatest defeats and betrayals in the post-World War II period.
Up to one million workers and peasants were slaughtered in a CIA-organised army coup led by General Suharto which swept aside the shaky bourgeois regime of President Sukarno, crushed the rising movement of the Indonesian masses, and established a brutal military dictatorship.

Retired US diplomats and CIA officers, including the former American ambassador to Indonesia and Australia, Marshall Green, have admitted working with Suharto's butchers to massacre hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants suspected of supporting the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). They personally provided the names of thousands of PKI members from the CIA's files for the armed forces death lists.

According to Howard Federspeil, who was an Indonesian expert working at the State Department at the time of the anti-communist program: "No one cared, so long as they were communists that they were being butchered."
The coup was the culmination of a prolonged operation by the CIA, with the help of agents of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, to build up and train the Indonesian armed forces in preparation for a military dictatorship to suppress the revolutionary strivings of the Indonesian masses.

At the time of the coup, the PKI was the largest Stalinist party in the world, outside China and the Soviet Union. It had 3.5 million members; its youth movement another 3 million. It controlled the trade union movement SOBSI which claimed 3.5 million members and the 9 million-strong peasants' movement BTI. Together with the women's movement, the writers' and artists' organisation and the scholars' movement, the PKI had more than 20 million members and active supporters.
During the independence struggle against the Dutch in the 1940s and throughout the 1950s and 1960s hundreds of thousands of class conscious workers joined the PKI, believing that it still represented the revolutionary socialist traditions of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Yet by the end of 1965, between 500,000 and a million PKI members and supporters had been slaughtered, and tens of thousands were detained in concentration camps, without any resistance being offered.
The killings were so widespread that the rivers were clogged with the corpses of workers and peasants. While the CIA-backed military death squads rounded up all known PKI members and sympathisers and carried out their grisly work, Time magazine reported:

"The killings have been on such a scale that the disposal of corpses has created a serious sanitation problem in northern Sumatra where the humid air bears the reek of decaying flesh. Travellers from these areas tell us small rivers and streams have been literally clogged with bodies. River transportation has become seriously impeded."

How was this historic defeat able to be inflicted? The answer requires an examination of the history of the struggle of the Indonesian masses, the treachery of the national bourgeoisie led by Sukarno, the counter-revolutionary role played by the PKI, and the crucial part played by the Pabloite opportunists of the "United Secretariat" of Ernest Mandel and Joseph Hansen in aiding the treachery of the Stalinists.

The 'Jewel of Asia'
The bloody coup in Indonesia was the outcome of the drive by US imperialism to gain unchallenged control of the immense natural wealth and strategic resources of the archipelago, often referred to as the "Jewel of Asia".
The importance that United States imperialism attached to Indonesia was emphasised by US President Eisenhower in 1953, when he told a state governors' conference that it was imperative for the US to finance the French colonial war in Vietnam as the "cheapest way" to keep control of Indonesia.

Eisenhower detailed: "Now let us assume that we lose Indochina. If Indochina goes, several things happen right away. The Malay peninsula, the last little bit of land hanging on down there, would be scarcely defencible. The tin and tungsten we so greatly value from that area would cease coming, and all India would be outflanked.
"Burma would be in no position for defence. All of that position around there is very ominous to the United States, because finally if we lost all that, how would the free world hold the rich empire of Indonesia?

"So you see, somewhere along the line, this must be blocked and it must be blocked now, and that is what we are trying to do.
"So when the US votes $400 million to help the war (in Indochina), we are not voting a giveaway program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can prevent the occurrence of something that would be of a most terrible significance to the United States of America, our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indonesian territory and from South East Asia.

Indonesia is estimated to be the fifth richest country in the world in terms of natural resources. Besides being the fifth largest oil producer, it has enormous reserves of tin, bauxite, coal, gold, silver, diamonds, manganese, phosphates, nickel, copper, rubber, coffee, palm oil, tobacco, sugar, coconuts, spices, timber and cinchona (for quinine).
By 1939 the then Dutch East Indies supplied more than half the total US consumption of 15 key raw materials. Control over this vital region was central to the conflict in the Pacific between the US and Japan during World War II. In the post-war period the US ruling class was determined not to have the country's riches torn from their grasp by the Indonesian masses.
Following the defeat of the French in Vietnam in 1954 the US feared that the struggle of the Vietnamese masses would ignite revolutionary upheavals throughout the South East Asian region, threatening its grip over Indonesia.

In 1965, just prior to the Indonesian coup, Richard Nixon, soon to become US president, called for the saturation bombing of Vietnam to protect the "immense mineral potential" of Indonesia. Two years later he declared Indonesia to be the "greatest prize" of South East Asia.
After the coup, the value of Suharto's dictatorship to the interests of US imperialism was underlined in a 1975 US State Department report to Congress which referred to Indonesia as the "most strategically authoritative geographic location on earth":

"It has the largest population of any country in South East Asia.
"It is the principal supplier of raw materials from the region.
"Japan's continued economic prosperity depends heavily on oil and other raw materials supplied by Indonesia.
"Existing American investments in Indonesia are substantial, and our trading relationship is growing rapidly.
"Indonesia will probably become an increasingly important supplier of US energy needs.
"Indonesia is a member of OPEC, but assumed a moderate stance in its deliberations, and did not participate in the oil embargo.
"The Indonesian archipelago sits astride strategic waterways and the government of Indonesia is playing a vital role in the law-of-the-sea negotiations which are vital to our security and commercial interests."

During World War II Sukarno and the national bourgeoisie worked with the occupying Japanese forces in the hope of achieving a degree of national self-government. In the dying days of the war Sukarno, with the reluctant support of the Japanese, declared the independent Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945.
The perspective of the national bourgeois leaders was not to lead a proletarian uprising against imperialism but to establish an administration and strengthen their hand for negotiations with the Dutch, who had no forces in the region.

But the response of the Dutch ruling class was to launch a brutal war to suppress the new regime. They ordered that Indonesia be kept under Japanese command until British troops could arrive. The British and the Dutch then used Japanese troops to attack the ferocious resistance of the Indonesian workers, youth and peasants. Thus all the imperialist powers united against the Indonesian masses.
As armed opposition erupted throughout Indonesia against the Dutch forces, Sukarno, backed by the PKI leadership, pursued a policy of compromise with the Dutch and signed the Linggadjati Agreement in March 1947. The Dutch nominally recognised Indonesian control over Java, Madura and Sumatra and agreed to evacuate their troops. But in fact the Dutch used this as a breathing space to build up their forces and prepare for a new attack of unsurpassed brutality in July and August 1947.

Throughout this period, hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants joined or supported the PKI because of their disillusionment with the bourgeois leaders and because they viewed the PKI as a revolutionary party. They were also greatly inspired by the advances of Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party in its war against Chiang Kai Shek. In the war against the Dutch, workers and peasants repeatedly seized property and mass unions were formed.
To head off this development, Sukarno's Republican government, led by the then Prime Minister Amir Sjarifuddin (a secret member of the PKI), signed the January 1948 Renville Agreement (so called because it was negotiated aboard the USS Renville in the harbour). This pact gave the Dutch control of half the sugar mills in Java, 75 percent of Indonesia's rubber, 65 percent of coffee, 95 percent of tea and control of Sumatran oil. Moreover, this US-imposed settlement provided for the withdrawal of guerrilla forces from Dutch-occupied territory and created the conditions for the liquidation of the PKI-led "people's armed units" in favour of the bourgeois "Indonesian National Armed Forces" controlled by Sukarno and his generals.

In 1948 a series of strikes erupted against the Republican government, now headed by right-wing Vice-President Hatta as Prime Minister, demanding a parliamentary government. These strikes were suppressed by Sukarno who appealed for "national unity".
At the same time, the exiled PKI leader Musso returned from the Soviet Union and a series of prominent leaders of the Indonesian Socialist and Labor parties announced that they had been secret PKI members for many years. The announcement revealed a far wider base of support for the PKI than previously realised by the imperialist powers.

In July 1948 the bourgeois leaders, including Sukarno and Hatta, held a secret meeting with US representatives at Sarangan where the US demanded, in return for assistance to the government, the launching of a purge of PKI members in the army and the public service. Hatta, who also held the post of Defence Minister, was given $10 million to carry out a "red purge".
Two months later, in an attempt to crush the PKI, the Maduin Affair was launched in Java. A number of army officers, members of the PKI, were murdered and others disappeared, after they opposed plans to demobilise the guerrilla units of the army that had been at the forefront of the fight against the Dutch.
The killings provoked an uprising at Maduin which was suppressed bloodily by the Sukarno regime. Prime Minister Hatta proclaimed martial law. Thousands of PKI members were killed, 36,000 were imprisoned and PKI leader Musso and 11 other prominent leaders were executed.

The US Consul General Livergood cabled his superiors in the US that he had informed Hatta that "the crisis gives the Republican government the opportunity (to) show its determination (to) suppress communism".
Encouraged by the anti-communist pogrom, the Dutch launched a new military attack in December 1948, arresting Sukarno. But widespread resistance forced the Dutch to capitulate within six months.

Even then, the 1949 Round Table conference at the Hague imposed a new betrayal on the Indonesian masses, involving still more concessions by the Indonesian bourgeoisie.
The Sukarno regime agreed to take over the debts of the former colony, and gave guarantees to protect Dutch investments. The Dutch were to keep control of West Papua and the Indonesian Republic was to continue to cooperate with the Dutch imperialists within the framework of a Netherlands-Indonesian Union. The Sukarno government kept all the colonial laws intact. A new army was formed by incorporating the former Dutch troops of Indonesian nationality into the "National Armed Forces". In other words, the old colonial state apparatus and laws were retained beneath the facade of parliamentary government in the new Republic.

The PKI leadership supported the betrayal of the national liberation struggle and determined to confine the working class and peasantry to "peaceful democratic" forms of struggle. This was a continuation of the PKI's position throughout World War II when the PKI leadership (as well as the Communist Party of the Netherlands) had followed Stalin's line of cooperating with the Dutch imperialist government against Japan, and called for an "independent Indonesia within the Commonwealth of the Dutch Empire". This call remained PKI policy even during the post-war fighting against the Dutch.
But for the Indonesian masses, the fraud of "national independence" under the continued domination of Dutch, American and world imperialism became ever more apparent. The natural resources, principal industries, agricultural estates and financial power remained in the hands of the foreign corporations.

For example, 70 percent of the inter-islands sea traffic was still controlled by the Dutch firm KPM and one of the big Dutch banks, the Nederlandche Handel Maatschappij, controlled 70 percent of all Indonesian financial transactions.
According to the Indonesian government calculations, in the mid-1950s, Dutch investments in the country were worth $US1.5 billion. The Sukarno government declared that even if it wanted to nationalise the Dutch possessions it did not have the money to indemnify the former colonial rulers. And to nationalise without compensation would be labelled "communism".

The growing disillusionment of the masses was reflected in the 1955 elections when the number of seats held by the PKI increased from 17 to 39.
Within two years the mass movement was to erupt in the seizure of Dutch, American and British factories, plantations, banks, shops and ships.

Chapter Two:
Stalinists betray the mass movement
In December 1957 the whole fabric of imperialist domination over the Indonesian economy was shaken by a massive eruption of the working class and peasantry. Factories, plantations, banks and ships were seized and occupied.

Sukarno's bourgeois nationalist regime was only able to survive because the Stalinist Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) leadership sabotaged the mass movement, insisting that the masses hand over the property they had seized to the US-backed army which was sent in by Sukarno to take control.

A dispatch in the New York Times of December 8, 1957 provided some idea of the scope and intensity of the upsurge: "The movement of the workers in Jakarta, to the extent we have been able to determine, took place without the government's sanction, and in opposition to the declarations of Prime Minister Djuanda, of the Army Chief-of-Staff, General Abdul Haris Nasution, and of other high governmental functionaries, according to whom such measures were inadmissible and rendered their participants liable to severe penalties...
"The three Dutch banks here, the Netherlands Trading Society, the Escompto and the Netherlands Commercial Bank, were seized by the delegates. They read a proclamation before their enthusiastic comrades and then before the Dutch administrators, stating that the seizure was made in the name of the Association of Indonesian Workers and that the banks would become the property of the Indonesian Republic."

The Dutch newspaper Volksrant reported with alarm on December 11, 1957: "In Jakarta the Communists continue to hoist red flags on the Dutch enterprises ... Today the main office of Philips in Jakarta and that of the Societe D'Assurances Nillmij have been 'expropriated' by the Indonesian personnel under the leadership of 'Communist' trade union functionaries."

The movement was not confined to Java. According to the New York Herald-Tribune of December 16: "Workers of SOBSI, central trade union organisation dominated by the Communists, seized Dutch bakeries and stores in Java and banks in Borneo." The New York Times of the same day reported that in Palembang, capital of South Sumatra, "security forces arrested a number of workers belonging to the central trade union organisation controlled by the Communists for having taken 'arbitrary action' against three Dutch proprietors. Thirty seven red flags hoisted by the workers before the houses occupied by the Dutch employees were confiscated".
Other bourgeois papers spoke of "a situation of anarchy in Bali" and a fleeing Dutch plantation owner was quoted as saying that in Atjeh and Deli, on the east coast of Sumatra, the mass actions were directed not only against the Dutch companies but also against the American and British. Similar reports came from North Sumatra, the Celebes and other islands.

There were reports too that the uprisings inspired resistance in Australian-occupied Papua New Guinea. At Karema 20 people were wounded when native people fought soldiers after a native nurse reported that she had been insulted.
The rebellion throughout Indonesia erupted in response to a call by Sukarno for a general strike against all Dutch enterprises. He had previously raised the question of nationalisation of Dutch industry at a mass rally. Sukarno's aim was to use the threat of nationalisation to pressure the Netherlands to withdraw from West Papua, which it retained under the 1949 Round Table Conference agreement, so that Indonesia could then take control.

Seeking to balance between the rapacious dictates of Dutch, US and British imperialism, the seething discontent of the oppressed masses and the growing strength of the US-backed military on which his regime relied, Sukarno sought to use the pressure of the masses to force the hand of Dutch imperialism.
Workers themselves began to occupy the Dutch companies. Sukarno was totally unprepared for such a response. He immediately authorised the military to move in to take control of the enterprises which had been seized by the masses.

The Political Bureau of the PKI rushed to Sukarno's assistance, issuing a resolution that urgently appealed to the people "to quickly resolve the differences of opinion on the methods of struggle against Dutch colonialism by negotiations, so that in this way unity in the people and between the people, the government and the army may be strengthened".
At the same time the PKI appealed to the workers, "not only to set going the occupied enterprises, but to make them function in a still more disciplined and better way and to increase production.
"The government must appoint a capable and patriotic direction for these enterprises and the workers must support this direction with all their strength."

In addition, the PKI insisted that the takeovers must be confined to the Dutch companies, seeking to reassure US and British imperialism that their interests would not be harmed: "All the actions of the workers, of the peasants and the organisations of youth are directed against the Dutch capitalists. The other capitalist countries did not take a hostile attitude in the conflict between Holland and Indonesia in West Irian. That is why no action will be engaged against the enterprise of the capitalists of other countries."

Recognising the efforts of the PKI to choke the movement of the masses, Tillman Durdin wrote in the New York Times of December 16: "Members of the National Consultative Council of Communist orientation are known to have actually pronounced forcibly against the seizures by workers and have called such movements undisciplined 'anarcho-syndicalism'. The Communists defend a program of seizure directed by the government such as it is now applied."

Sukarno himself was ready to flee the country for a "holiday" in India, but the handing over of the Dutch enterprises to the military, on the instructions of the PKI, rescued his bourgeois regime. The Stalinist leadership of the PKI not only saved the day for the Sukarno government. They created the conditions for the military generals and their US backers to prepare for their bloody counter-revolution eight years later.
The perspective fought for by the PKI leadership was the Stalinist "two stage" theory that the struggle for socialism in Indonesia had to first pass through the stage of so-called "democratic" capitalism. The revolutionary strivings of the masses for socialist measures had to be suppressed and subordinated to a "united front" with the national bourgeoisie.

In line with this reactionary perspective, the Stalinist bureaucracies in the Soviet Union and China hailed Sukarno and his regime throughout this entire period. Krushchev, for example, visited Jakarta and said he would give Sukarno every assistance in "all eventualities". In fact most of the weapons that were to be used to massacre the Indonesian masses in 1965 were supplied by the Kremlin.

Military preparations begin
In 1956 the US-backed army had begun preparations for military dictatorship to crush the movement of the masses. In August the commander of the West Java military region ordered the arrest of Foreign Minister Roeslan Abdulgani on a charge of corruption. In November the army Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel Zulkifli Lubis, attempted unsuccessfully to seize control of Jakarta and overthrow the Sukarno government. The next month there were regional military takeovers in Central and North Sumatra.

In October 1956 Sukarno moved to strengthen his hand against the masses and to appease the military by calling for political parties to disband themselves. This call was later extended to an attempt to form a National Council of all parties, including the PKI, to rule the country. When military commanders in East Indonesia, Kalimantan, Atjeh, and South Sumatra rejected the plan and took control of their provinces, Sukarno declared a state of emergency. Finally a new "non-party" cabinet was formed which included two PKI sympathisers.
In response to the mass upsurge of December 1957 the operations of United States imperialism were immediately stepped up. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been active since the 1940s, spending millions to subsidise pro-US elements within the national bourgeoisie, particularly the Socialist Party (PSI) of Sumiro, a colleague of Hatta, and its larger Moslem ally, the Masjumi party of Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, with whom Hatta had also retained close links.

Throughout 1957 and 1958 a series of CIA-inspired secessionist and right-wing revolts were orchestrated in the oil-rich islands of Sumatra and Sulawesi, where the PSI and Masjumi dominated politically.
The first was the Permesta military revolt which began in March 1957 and continued into 1958, ending in a CIA-backed attempted coup in February 1958.

The United States government provided substantial financial support, military advisers, arms and a small airforce of B-26 bombers, piloted from bases in Taiwan and the Philippines. US Secretary of State Dulles even publicly expressed his support for the right-wing rebels.
An aircraft carrier of the US Seventh Fleet was sent to Singapore and for some time it appeared that the US might directly intervene in Sumatra under the guise of defending Caltex oil personnel and property.
The Indonesian military command finally decided that the rebellion, having failed to win any popular support at all, had to be ended. The Sukarno leadership survived.

But the role of the army had been enormously strengthened. Over the next six years the US poured huge resources into it, laying the basis for General Suharto to begin his climb to power after leading the military campaign to seize control of West Papua in 1962.
Between 1959 and 1965 the US supplied $64 million in military grant-aid to the Indonesian military generals. According to a report in Suara Pemuda Indonesia: "Before the end of 1960, the US had equipped 43 battalions of the army. Every year the US trained officers of the right-wing military clique. Between 1956 and 1959 more than 200 high-ranking officers were trained in the US, while low-ranking officers are trained by the hundreds every year. Once the head of the Agency for International Development in America said that US aid, of course, was not intended to support Sukarno and that the US had trained a great number of officers and ordinary people who would form a unit to make Indonesia a 'free country'."

At the same time, Sukarno instituted his system of "Guided Democracy". In July 1959 the parliament was dissolved and Sukarno imposed a presidential constitution by decree again with the full support of the PKI. He further boosted the hand of the military, appointing army generals to leading positions.
The PKI warmly embraced Sukarno's "Guided Democracy" and his supposed consensus or Konsepsi alliance between nationalism, Islam and communism called "NASAKOM".
In pursuit of their "national united front" with Sukarno and the national bourgeoisie, the PKI leaders promoted the most deadly illusions in the armed forces.

Only five years before the bloody defeat inflicted upon the Indonesian workers and peasants at the hands of the military, the PKI line was put most crudely in a statement by the leadership of SOBSI, the PKI-led trade union federation, on May Day 1960:
"The SOBSI maintains the viewpoint that the armed forces of the Republic are still the true son of the popular revolution ... and therefore from the officers down to the NCOs and soldiers ... they cannot be drawn into actions which are treacherous to the Republic. Besides, president Sukarno, who identifies himself with the people, possesses a strong influence over members of the armed forces and he refuses to be a military dictator."

A new upsurge
In 1962, Indonesia's military annexation of West Papua was fully backed by the PKI leadership, along with the suppression of the resistance of the West Papuan people to the occupation.
In Indonesia itself, the underlying economic and class tensions, produced by the continued exploitation of the Indonesian masses by the imperialist corporations and their national bourgeois lackeys, re-emerged.

The period of "Guided Democracy," that is, of the collaboration of the PKI leadership with the national bourgeoisie in suppressing the independent struggles of the worker and peasant masses, failed to resolve any of the pressing economic and political questions. Export income declined, foreign reserves fell, inflation continued to spiral, and bureaucratic and military corruption became endemic.
From 1963 onwards the PKI leadership increasingly sought to avoid the growing clashes between the party's mass activists and the police and military. PKI leaders stressed the "common interests" of the police and "the people". PKI leader D.N. Aidit inspired the slogan "For Civil Order Help the Police".

In April, 1964, in an interview with S.M. Ali of the Far Eastern Economic Review Aidit set out for the international bourgeoisie the Stalinists' perspective of a peaceful and gradual "two stage" transformation to socialism in Indonesia.
"When we complete the first stage of our revolution which is now in progress, we can enter into friendly consultation with other progressive elements in our society, and without an armed struggle lead the country towards socialist revolution."
He presented a scenario in which the masses would be confined to placing pressure on the national bourgeoisie: "The chastening effect of the present stage of the revolution will maintain a kind of revolutionary pressure on Indonesia's national capitalists.
"There will be no armed struggle unless there is foreign armed intervention on the capitalists' behalf. And when we successfully complete our present national democratic revolution the chances of any foreign power interfering with Indonesia's international affairs will become extremely remote."

In August, 1964, Aidit urged all PKI members to rid themselves of "sectarian attitudes" toward the army, calling on all left-wing artists and writers to make the "soldier masses" the subject of art and literary works.
In late 1964 and early 1965 hundreds of thousands of peasants took action to seize the land of the big landowners. Fierce clashes developed with landlords and police. To forestall the revolutionary confrontation which was rapidly developing, the PKI called on its supporters to prevent violent conflict with the landlords and to improve cooperation with other elements, including the armed forces.

At a meeting of the PKI central committee Aidit urged the suppression of peasants' actions and denounced party cadre who, "carried away by their desire to spread the peasant actions, immediately became impatient, indulged in individual heroism, were insufficiently concerned with developing the consciousness of the peasants and wanting a definite event, were not careful enough in differentiating and choosing their targets." PKI leaders justified halting the land takeovers and handing back the land to the landowners by referring to the "impending probable" formation of a "NASAKOM cabinet".
In early 1965 workers in the oil and rubber industries owned by US corporations began to seize control of them. The PKI leadership responded by formally joining the government. At the same time, leading generals were brought into the cabinet.
The PKI ministers not only sat beside the military butchers in Sukarno's cabinet, but they continued to promote the deadly illusion that the armed forces were part of the "peoples' democratic revolution".

Aidit delivered a lecture to army staff school trainees in which he referred to the "feeling of mutuality and unity that daily grows strong between all the armed forces of the Indonesian Republic and the various groups of Indonesian people, including the communists".
In this way, the Stalinists completely disarmed the most class conscious sections of the working class. The elementary Marxist understanding of the state as the "body of armed men" employed by the ruling class to maintain its rule was criminally denied.
Aidit rushed to assure the bourgeoisie and the military that the PKI opposed the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses. "The important thing in Indonesia now is not how to smash the state power as is the case in many other states, but how to strengthen and consolidate the pro-people's aspect ... and to eliminate the anti-people's aspect".

The Sukarno regime moved against the working class by banning all strikes in industry. The PKI leadership raised no objections because industry was considered to belong to the NASAKOM government.
Just before the coup, the PKI, well aware of preparations for military rule, called for the establishment of a "fifth force" within the armed forces, consisting of armed workers and peasants. Far from fighting for the independent mobilisation of the masses against the military threat, the PKI leadership sought to constrain the deepening mass movement within the bounds of the capitalist state.
They grovelled to the generals, seeking to assure them that the PKI's proposal would lead to the strengthening of the state. Aidit announced in a report to the PKI central committee that the "NASAKOMisation" of the armed forces could be achieved and that the fifth force could be established with the cooperation of the armed forces. Right up to the very end, the PKI leadership suppressed the revolutionary aspirations of the working class.

As late as May 1965, the PKI Politburo sowed the illusion that the military and state apparatus was being modified to isolate the "anti-people's aspect" of state power:
"The strength of the pro-people's aspect (of state power) is already becoming steadily greater and holds the initiative and the offensive, while the anti-people's aspect, although moderately strong, is relentlessly pressed into a tight corner. The PKI is struggling so that the pro-people's aspect will become more powerful and finally dominate, and the anti-people's aspect will be driven out of the state power."

The Indonesian and international working class paid a bitter and bloody price for this Stalinist perfidy when Suharto and the generals struck on September 30, 1965.

Chapter Three
1965 -- Stalinism's bloody legacy

The Indonesian military coup of October 1-2, 1965 was the outcome of a carefully-orchestrated and long-planned operation by the CIA and the US-trained and backed commanders of the Indonesian armed forces.
Throughout 1965 class tensions mounted. The year began with peasants seizing the estates of large landowners and oil and rubber workers occupying US-owned enterprises. President Sukarno had brought the army commanders, led by General Nasution, and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) leadership into his cabinet to suppress the movement.

The PKI leadership halted the takeovers but the mass movement was becoming increasingly difficult to control. There was growing discontent over the sentencing of 23 peasants to 15 to 20 years in prison for allegedly beating an army officer to death in the course of resisting military action to suppress land seizures in Sumatra.

On the evening of September 30, 1965, a CIA provocation was organised. A group of middle-ranking military officers, at least one of whom had close personal relations with General Suharto, arrested and executed the army chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Ahmad Yani, and five other leading generals, and announced the establishment of a Revolutionary Council.
The round up of the generals did not include two key figures. The first was Suharto, then the commander of the Strategic Reserve Forces (Kostrad), comprised of the military's crack troops. The mutineers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Untung made no attempt to arrest Suharto nor cut off his headquarters in Jakarta despite being in a position to do so. The Defence Minister, General Nasution, also escaped. He was supposedly on the plotters' death list but miraculously survived.

Untung's so-called coup bid was a charade. Within 24 hours Suharto routed the rebels, virtually without a shot being fired, and took control of the capital, backed by Nasution.
By the end of the week, Suharto's reconstituted army command eliminated all pockets of resistance, and launched the greatest anti-communist pogrom in history, orchestrated by the US embassy and the CIA. The White House, Pentagon and CIA, already fighting an undeclared war in Vietnam, were determined to drown the Indonesian revolution in blood.
US diplomats and CIA officers, led by the US ambassador to Indonesia, Marshall Green, worked hand in glove with Suharto's death squads to exterminate every known member and supporter of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

CIA-organised holocaust
In preparation for the coup, US officials had spent at least two years compiling death lists which were handed over to the military with a clear instruction: exterminate them all. Suharto's men were ordered to report back after each set of killings so the names could be checked off on the CIA's lists.
Some of the American officers involved described what took place. "It really was a big help to the army," said a former political officer in the US embassy in Jakarta, Robert Martens. "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."
Martens headed an embassy group of State Department and CIA officers who, from 1962, compiled a detailed who's who of the leadership of the PKI. They included, he said, names of provincial, city and other local PKI committee members, and leaders of PKI-backed trade union, women's and youth groups.

The operation was masterminded by former CIA director William Colby, who was then director of the CIA's Far East Division, and thus responsible for directing US covert strategy in Asia. Colby said the work to identify the PKI leadership was a forerunner to the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam, which attempted to exterminate supporters of the National Liberation Front in the late 1960s.
Colby admitted that the work of checking off the death lists was regarded as so important that it was supervised at the CIA's intelligence directorate in Washington. "We came to the conclusion that with the sort of draconian way it was carried out, it really set them (the PKI) back for years."

Deputy CIA station chief Joseph Lazarsky described with undisguised relish how Suharto's Jakarta headquarters provided the US embassy with running reports on the roundup and killing of PKI leaders. "We were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being picked up. The army had a 'shooting list' of about 4,000 or 5,000 people.
"They didn't have enough goon squads to zap them all, and some individuals were valuable for interrogation. The infrastructure was zapped almost immediately. We knew what they were doing. We knew they would keep a few and save them for the kangaroo courts, but Suharto and his advisers said, if you keep them alive, you have to feed them."

All this was conducted with the approval of Green who was later appointed US ambassador to Australia, where he played a leading role in the preparations for the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975.
At least one million people were slaughtered in the six month holocaust that followed the coup. This was the estimate of a team of University of Indonesia graduates commissioned by the army itself to inquire into the extent of the killings.

Instigated and aided by the army, gangs of youth from right-wing Muslim organisations carried out mass killings, particularly in central and east Java. There were reports that at certain points the Brantas River near Surabaya was "choked with corpses". Another report from the east Javan hill town of Batu said there were so many killed within the narrow confines of a police courtyard that the bodies were simply covered over with layers of cement.
On the island of Bali, formerly considered to be a PKI stronghold, at least 35,000 were killed by the beginning of 1966. There the Tamins, the storm-troopers of Sukarno's PNI (Indonesian National Party) performed the slaughter. A special correspondent of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung told of bodies lying along the roads, or heaped in pits, and of half-burned villages in which peasants dared not leave the charred shells of their huts.

In other areas suspects were forced to kill their alleged comrades with their own hands to prove their loyalty. In the major cities anti-Chinese pogroms were conducted. Workers and public servants who went on strike in protest at the counter-revolutionary wave of terror were sacked.
At least 250,000 workers and peasants were thrown into concentration camps. An estimated 110,000 were still held as political prisoners at the end of 1969. Executions continue to this day, including several dozen since the early 1980s. Another four prisoners, Johannes Surono Hadiwiyono, Safar Suryanto, Simon Petrus Sulaeman and Norbertus Rohayan, were executed nearly 25 years after the coup, a clear sign that the Suharto regime still fears the resurgence of the Indonesian proletariat and poor peasantry.

Stalinist betrayal deepens
While hundreds of thousands of suspected PKI members and supporters were being hunted down and slaughtered, the PKI leadership and their Stalinist counterparts in the Kremlin, Beijing and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) urged PKI cadre and workers and peasants to offer no resistance, giving a green light for the generals to proceed with their mass executions.

The Stalinists deepened their reactionary line of demanding that the masses subordinate themselves to the national bourgeoisie and Sukarno, who was maintained by Suharto as a puppet president, and to the armed forces themselves.

On October 1, 1965 both Sukarno and PKI secretary general Aidit responded to the formation of the so-called rebel Revolutionary Council by moving to the Halim Air Base in Jakarta to seek protection.
On October 6 Sukarno called for "national unity," that is, "unity" between the military and its victims, and an end to violence. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the PKI immediately urged all members and mass organisations to support the "leader of the Indonesian revolution" and offer no resistance to the military. Its statement was reprinted in the CPA's paper Tribune:
"Having studied the appeal by the supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Indonesian Republic, by the leader of the Indonesian revolution, president Sukarno, the political bureau of the central committee of the Communist Party of Indonesia declares full support for the appeal and appeals to all party committees and party members and sympathisers, as well as revolutionary mass organisations led by the PKI members to facilitate the carrying out of this appeal."

Meanwhile, Sukarno, the "leader of the Indonesian revolution," was collaborating with the military repression in the hope of saving his own neck. He called for a thorough purge of those allegedly involved in the "September 30 affair," (the alleged coup bid led by Colonel Untung), and permitted PKI leaders to be arrested and murdered. On October 15 he appointed Suharto as army chief.
Five months later, on March 11, 1966, Sukarno handed Suharto unchallenged decree-making power. He "ordered" Suharto to "take all steps" to re-establish order and to safeguard Sukarno's "personal safety and authority". Suharto's first exercise of his new powers was to formally outlaw the PKI. In recognition of the value of his services, Sukarno was retained as the titular president of the military dictatorship until March 1967.

The PKI leadership continued to demand that the masses bow to the authority of the Sukarno-Suharto regime. Aidit, who had fled, was captured and executed by the army on November 24, 1965 but his line was maintained by the PKI's Second Secretary Njoto. In an interview given to a Japanese newspaper correspondent he emphasised:
"The PKI recognises only one head of state, one supreme commander, one great leader of the revolution President Sukarno... It is President Sukarno united with the forces of the people who will decide the destiny and future of Indonesia."
All party members, Njoto continued, should "fully support the directives of President Sukarno and pledge themselves to implement these without reserve... Our party is making every effort in its power to prevent a civil war."

In other words, while the military butchers and their CIA mentors organised the systematic liquidation of not only the PKI leadership but the most class conscious sections of the Indonesian masses, the PKI ordered its cadre to ensure that no-one fought back.
The utter bankruptcy and treachery of the Stalinist "two-stage" theory of insisting that the masses tie their fate to Sukarno and the national bourgeoisie could not have been spelt out more graphically.
The betrayal of the PKI was endorsed and reinforced by the Stalinist bureaucracies in Moscow and Beijing. The Kremlin blamed "putschist" and "adventuristic" elements in the PKI for the defeat and called repeatedly for the "unity" of the Indonesian "revolution" around Sukarno's NASAKOM (Nationalism, Islam and Communism).

On October 12, 1965 Soviet leaders Brezhnev, Mikoyan and Kosygin sent a special message to Sukarno: "We and our colleagues learned with great joy that your health has improved ... We have with interest heard about your radio appeal to the Indonesian people to remain calm and prevent disorders ... This appeal will meet with profound understanding."
At a Tricontinental Conference in Havana in February, 1966, the Soviet delegation tried in every way to block a public condemnation of the counter-revolutionary terror raging against the Indonesian masses. Its stance won praise from the Suharto regime. The Indonesian parliament passed a resolution on February 11 expressing "full appreciation" for the "efforts of the delegations of Nepal, Mongolia, the Soviet Union and others at the Solidarity Conference of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America, who successfully neutralised the efforts of the counter-revolutionists of the so-called September 30 movement, and their protectors and leaders, to intervene in the internal affairs of Indonesia".

Thus, the betrayal of the Stalinists was so brazen that the parliamentary lapdogs of the military junta were able to refer to the CIA's September 30 set-up as an attempted counter-revolution!
The Beijing Stalinists similarly wiped their hands of the fate of the Indonesian masses. They even went ahead in Jakarta with a World Conference Against Foreign Bases and stood by without protest as their Indonesian comrades were arrested in the conference hall itself.

The legacy of the 'bloc of four classes'
The Stalinist betrayal in 1965 was the culmination of more than 20 years of treachery in which the PKI, working on the basis of the Stalinist "two-stage" theory and, in particular, the Maoist ideology of a "bloc of four classes," tied the working class and peasant masses to the bourgeois nationalist regime of Sukarno.

Aidit spelt out the ideological framework of the bloody defeat of the Indonesian revolution shortly after returning from 18 months in China in July 1950 and wresting control of the PKI leadership:
"The working class, the peasants, the petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie must unite in one national front."
Aidit slavishly followed the line of the Maoist regime in China which suppressed the independent struggle of the working class and attempted to establish a "New Democracy", a bourgeois state, in alliance with sections of the national bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie after the collapse of Chiang Kai Shek's dictatorship.
Parroting Mao, he called for a "people's democracy" and a "united front of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal forces in the country. That is to say, the working class, the peasantry, the petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie."
In keeping with the counter-revolutionary "two-stage" theory of Stalinism, "The task of this alliance is to bring about not socialist but democratic reforms".
Aidit demanded that the workers and peasant masses support not only the national bourgeoisie but also "all other patriotic and anti-colonial forces including the left (rather progressive) landlord group".

It was this line, which Aidit hammered out incessantly, which was used to suppress workers' and peasants' struggles, tie the working class to the Sukarno regime, and create the conditions for the US-backed military to strike.
Time and again, PKI members and supporters were instructed to strangle the class struggle and the revolutionary strivings of the oppressed masses in order to preserve the "national united front":
"The basic principle we must adhere to in the conduct of the national struggle is to subordinate the class struggle to the national struggle."

The "two stage" theory of Stalinism insists that in the colonial and semi-colonial countries such as Indonesia, the oppressed masses must not engage in struggles that threaten the national bourgeoisie nor raise the program of socialist revolution. The class struggle has to be stifled to prop up the national bourgeoisie and establish a national capitalist democracy.
The bloody counter-revolutionary consequences of this Stalinist line were first demonstrated in China in 1926-27 when the butcher Chiang Kai Shek inflicted a crushing defeat on the Chinese working class after the Communist Party had been instructed by the Kremlin leadership to join his bourgeois nationalist Koumintang.

The massacres carried out by Chiang confirmed Leon Trotsky's warnings that the weak and belated bourgeoisies of the oppressed nations are organically incapable of conducting any consistent struggle against imperialism and feudalism. That is because, to do so requires the mobilisation of the masses in revolutionary struggle and such a struggle immediately comes into conflict with the class position of the national bourgeoisie as exploiters of their "own" working class and peasantry.

As Trotsky explained in his writings on the betrayal of the Chinese Revolution:
To really arouse the workers and peasants against imperialism is possible only by connecting their basic and most profound life interest with the cause of the country's liberation. A workers' strike small or large an agrarian rebellion, an uprising of the oppressed sections in city and country against the usurer, against the bureaucracy, against the local military satraps, all that arouses the multitudes, that welds them together, that educates, steels, is a real step forward on the road to the revolutionary and social liberation of the Chinese people... But everything that brings the oppressed and exploited masses of the toilers to their feet inevitably pushes the national bourgeoisie into an open bloc with the imperialists. The class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the masses of workers and peasants is not weakened, but, on the contrary, is sharpened by imperialist oppression, to the point of bloody civil war at every serious conflict." (Trotsky, Problems of the Chinese Revolution, New Park 1969, p.5)

The criminal role played by the PKI in tying the Indonesian masses to Sukarno's national bourgeois regime made Trotsky's analysis tragically prophetic.
The unresolved tasks of genuine national liberation, land redistribution, democracy and economic development in Indonesia and all historically-oppressed countries can be achieved only by the working class leading the peasant masses in the socialist revolution. That is, national self-determination can only arise as a by-product of the socialist revolution led by the proletariat.

The victory of this struggle is bound up with the development of the world socialist revolution to overthrow imperialism on a world scale.
This is the kernel of the Marxist theory of Permanent Revolution developed by Leon Trotsky and vindicated by the victory of the October 1917 Russian Revolution.

Chapter Four
Pabloite accomplices of counter-revolution

In the months following the bloody CIA-organised military coup of October 1-2, 1965, every known member and supporter of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and all working class parties, and hundreds of thousands of other Indonesian workers and peasants, were massacred or thrown into concentration camps for torture and interrogation.
The systematic extermination and ruthless suppression of working class opposition intensified after March 11, 1966 when Sukarno, the bourgeois nationalist leader retained by the military as President, granted unfettered decree-making power to the coup leader and army chief, General Suharto.
The betrayal of the tumultuous revolutionary movement of the Indonesian masses by the Stalinist leadership of the PKI was a profound defeat with enormous implications for the international working class.

The PKI blocked the repeated attempts of the workers and peasants to seize the factories and plantations. It tied the masses to the bourgeois nationalist regime of Sukarno and ultimately joined the US-backed military leaders, the future butchers of the masses, in the Sukarno cabinet. After the coup the Stalinists ordered their cadre to enforce Sukarno's appeal for "unity" with the military and to prevent any resistance to the holocaust that was being unleashed.
The blow struck to the Indonesian revolution reverberated throughout Asia and around the world. In particular it encouraged and enabled the massive escalation of the US invasion of Vietnam, it crushed the hopes and revolutionary striving of the masses in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, and it strengthened the hand of the unstable bourgeois regimes in the Indian sub-continent.

Mandel and Hansen whitewash Stalinist treachery
But the response of the Pabloite revisionists of the "United Secretariat," led by Ernest Mandel and Joseph Hansen, was to minimise the magnitude of the great Indonesian betrayal, to whitewash the counter-revolutionary role of the Stalinists, and, above all, to cover up their own responsibility for the bloodbath.

While the Indonesian masses were being slaughtered, Professor Mandel attempted to paint the most reassuring picture of the future prospects of the Indonesian revolution, in order to dull the consciousness of the international working class.

"Naturally the struggle has not ended in Indonesia," he wrote from the comfort of his Belgian university chair in an article published in the Pabloite journal World Outlook on March 11, 1966.
"A part of the Communist cadres have been able to go underground," he went on. "The discontent of the hungry masses is increasing from day to day; the empty stomachs of the workers and peasants are not filled through massacres. The revolt will widen against the corrupt regime. Sukarno understands this and will resume his eternal balancing act; he has just eliminated the most ferocious of the generals from his cabinet. The people will again have their turn."
This whitewash of the immense betrayal of the Indonesian masses demonstrates the counter-revolutionary consequences of Pabloite opportunism, which emerged in the Trotskyist movement from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Led by Michel Pablo, elements such as Mandel adapted to the post-World War II stabilisation of capitalism and the seeming strengthening of the Stalinist bureaucracies which suppressed the revolutionary upsurge of the international working class in the immediate post-war period. They abandoned Trotsky's struggle for the construction of the Fourth International as the world party of socialist revolution and claimed that the Moscow and Beijing-line Stalinist bureaucracies and parties would be pressured by the masses into playing a progressive role. On this basis, they set out to liquidate the Fourth International into whatever Stalinist or social democratic formation then dominated the labour movement in each country, declaring that the road to socialism consisted of centuries of horribly deformed workers' states of the type established in Eastern Europe and China.

In 1953 this liquidationism was combatted by the formation of the International Committee of the Fourth International in response to an Open Letter issued by American Socialist Workers Party leader James P. Cannon calling for the defence of "orthodox Trotskyism". However, by the early 1960s the SWP leaders themselves had increasingly adapted to the prolonged post-war boom. They hailed the apparent successes of national bourgeoisie and petty bourgeois elements, such as Castro in Cuba, as a substitute for the seizure of power by the working class led by revolutionary Marxist parties, proclaiming that socialism could be achieved through such "blunted instruments". This was the perspective on which they reunified with the Pabloites in 1963 to form the United Secretariat.

Central to the Pabloite renunciation of proletarian revolution was the reactionary objectivist method which presented the struggle for socialism as a quasi-automatic "historical process" achieved through the spontaneous movement of the masses led by whatever political tendencies were at hand, regardless of their class composition and program.
Thus the Indonesian "people" would prevail regardless of the terrible crisis of leadership produced by the perfidy of the mass Stalinist party. Sukarno, by now the willing tool of General Suharto, was supposedly muzzling the most ferocious generals. And, even after its unspeakable betrayal, Mandel referred to the PKI as a "Communist" party.

Mandel's snow job was ratified by the "United Secretariat" in a statement issued on March 20, 1966. Its conclusion was that the emergence of General Suharto as the "strong man" of the counter-revolution was of little consequence, because "It is extremely unlikely that the counter-revolutionists now in power in Jakarta will be able to stabilise the situation for any length of time."
Today, with Suharto's military junta still riding ruthlessly on the back of Indonesia's oppressed millions, it is crucial to study how the Pabloite opportunists provided the essential political cover for the PKI and the Sukarno regime itself.

The "United Secretariat" statement sowed the most deadly illusion that even General Suharto's American-trained killers would be compelled to act in the interests of the Indonesian masses against imperialism as part of Sukarno's phoney "confrontation" with the newly-formed state of Malaysia: "The army leaders themselves will not readily give up their nationalist, anti-imperialist verbiage which reflects real conflicts of interest with British imperialism and the ruling comprador bourgeoisie and semi-feudal landowners of Malaysia."

While the Indonesian masses were left leaderless in the face of Suharto's horrific slaughter, the Pabloites loftily declared their confidence that somehow the masses would be victorious.
"The masses, though leaderless and deeply shaken, have not lost all fighting potential, particularly in the countryside. It will prove impossible to get the thousands of squatters to evacuate the imperialist-owned or 'nationalised' plantations managed by corrupt army officers, or to compel the thousands of plantation and oil workers to revert to the 'normal' working conditions of colonial times."
Above all, the Pabloites continued to insist that the masses place their trust in the Stalinist leaders of the PKI, arguing that they could be convinced to play a revolutionary role, even after they had strangled every mass movement against the Sukarno regime.

"If they succeed in regrouping and in regaining a mass following in some regions of the countryside by calling on the peasants to immediately take over the land held by the landlords, the plantations and army administration, they could gain on a progressive scale due to the inability of the Indonesian reaction to solve the country's basic economic plight and due to the divisions in the ranks of the army which that inability will undoubtedly provoke."

In 1957, and again in 1964-65, the PKI had directed workers and peasants to surrender the factories, banks, oil installations, plantations and other enterprises they had occupied, saving the day for Sukarno and the Indonesian bourgeoisie. Now, the Pabloites claimed, they could play a progressive role.

Mandel's article and the "United Secretariat" statement were published, together with an article by a Pabloite member of the PKI, by the US Socialist Workers Party in a pamphlet called "The Catastrophe in Indonesia" dated December 1966. It was complete with an introduction by Joseph Hansen, an SWP leader who had played a poisonous role in the 1963 reunification with the Pabloites. Hansen, subsequently exposed as a Stalinist agent who became an FBI plant in the SWP, was a central instigator in the SWP's 1963 break from the ICFI. Hansen sought to reassure the pamphlet's readers that "one of the new features of world politics today" was "the quickness with which the masses recover from defeats that formerly would have left them prostrate for decades".

The stunning indifference of the Pabloites to the fate of the Indonesian masses was not simply the product of the callousness and contempt for the working class which characterises their fetid petty-bourgeois milieu but was also a bid to cover-up the critical factor in the Indonesian betrayal the role played by the Pabloites themselves and their Indonesian representatives.
It is a measure of the cynicism of the Pabloites and their subservience to the Stalinists and the national bourgeoisie that none of the articles and statements published in the 1966 pamphlet so much as mentioned the existence of a section of the "United Secretariat" in Indonesia, let alone explained the part it played in the events leading up to the coup.

There was just one brief appeal for the legalisation of and release of all members of the PKI, the Partai Murbah (a social democratic formation) and the Partai Acoma, even though the Acoma party had relations with the Pabloites at least as early as 1953 and was admitted as a section of the "United Secretariat" in 1960, just as the American SWP was intensifying its unprincipled reunification manoeuvres with the Pabloites.
This fleeting reference to their own members was a guilty attempt by the Pabloites to hide the part that they and their Indonesian proteges played in providing the PKI Stalinists with much-needed credibility throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

How Pabloism emerged in Indonesia
The Partai Acoma originated as a breakaway from the PKI in 1948. By falsely claiming to be Trotskyist, it served to divert and trap working class and peasant opposition to the support of the PKI for the national bourgeois regime of Sukarno. Led by an MP, Ibnu Parna, its programmatic documents presented the PKI as a "Marxist-Leninist party like us." As we shall show, this was a fraud in relation to both the PKI and the Partai Acoma.
The need for such a fake "Trotskyist" safety valve was demonstrated by the explosive events of 1948.
The collaboration of the PKI leadership in the post-war administrations headed by Sukarno and their acceptance of the Indonesian bourgeoisie's rotten agreements with the Dutch colonialists aroused intense working class opposition.

From July 5, 1947 to January 23, 1948 President Sukarno's Republican administration was headed by Amir Sjarifuddin who was both Prime Minister and Defence Minister. Sjarifuddin was a secret member of the PKI, as was the Deputy Prime Minister and a Minister of State. In addition, two Ministers of State were open members of the PKI. This administration signed the Renville Agreement with the Netherlands which maintained Dutch control of the lion's share of the sugar, rubber, coffee, tea and oil industries, required the withdrawal of guerrilla forces from Dutch-occupied territory and provided for the liquidation of the PKI-led "people's armed units" into the bourgeois "Indonesian National Armed Forces" controlled by Sukarno and his generals.

Such was the popular opposition to the acceptance of the US-imposed pact with the Dutch that the government was brought down and replaced by one headed by right-wing Vice-President Hatta as Prime Minister.
Strikes then erupted, demanding a parliamentary government. The PKI leadership supported the suppression of this movement by Sukarno who appealed for "national unity". When this betrayal was opposed by a section of the PKI, the PKI leadership responded savagely, executing the leaders of the opposition faction.
Partai Acoma emerged from this dissenting group. While it opposed the PKI leadership, the Acoma party maintained that the Indonesian revolution had to be carried out by the PKI as a "Marxist-Leninist party". Subsequently the Acoma leaders established contact with the "United Secretariat" which encouraged their pro-Stalinist positions and illusions in Maoism.
It is apparent that the Partai Acoma diverted wide layers of workers and peasants looking for an alternative to the class collaborationist program of the PKI.
From 1953 to 1955, for example, the Acoma's strength in the 200,000-strong Indonesian Peasants Association (SAKTI) delayed for two years plans by the PKI leadership to merge SAKTI with two PKI-controlled peasants' organisations, the RTI and the BTI.

Pabloites prepare betrayal
An article published in February 1958 in the Pabloite journal Quatrieme International provides a graphic indictment of the role played by Pabloism in opposing the fight for revolutionary Marxist leadership in the working class.
The article, "The Indonesian Revolution on the March," by Sal Santen, a close associate of Pablo, was written at the height of the revolutionary convulsions of December 1957, when workers and peasants seized control of Dutch and other imperialist-owned plantations and enterprises.

The article provided a criminal cover for the counter-revolutionary role of the PKI, which ordered the masses to hand over their conquests to the military in order to shore up the Sukarno administration.
According to Santen: "It must be added that the Communist militants, the basic and average cadres of the PKI and of the SOBSI, the big Indonesian workers' union organisation, have nothing of the bureaucratic character of Aidit (Communist Party leader) and Co. They are in front; they are the ones who took over the initiative in occupying the factories, the plantations, the banks and the ships. There is no doubt that the most conscious of them are inflamed by the revolutionary audacity of Tan Malakka, by Leon Trotsky's ideas of the permanent revolution."

Acting on this perspective, the Indonesian Pabloites politically disarmed the tens of thousands of workers and peasants who came forward into struggle only to find their way blocked by the PKI. Just at the point when the decisive task was to educate the most class conscious elements in the necessity for an uncompromising struggle against the Stalinist "two-stage" and "bloc of four classes" line of the PKI, and the need for a thorough arming with the program of Permanent Revolution, the Pabloites worked for the opposite.

Opportunist to the core, they equated Trotsky with Tan Malakka, an early PKI leader who opposed the plans for a revolt in 1926 and split from the PKI to form his own organisation. They falsified the Marxist theory of Permanent Revolution, transforming it from a conscious strategy to guide the struggles for the dictatorship of the proletariat into a spontaneously generated perspective.
The central tenant of Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution is the perfidy of the national bourgeoisie and their incapacity to lead a real struggle against imperialism. Only the working class can free the masses from national and class oppression, by carrying the socialist revolution and uniting with their class brothers throughout the world in a common struggle to overthrow imperialism internationally.

Such a struggle can only be undertaken consciously under the banner of the Fourth International in an uncompromising struggle against the Stalinist and petty-bourgeois forces, such as the Pabloites, who attempt to disarm the working class and tie it to its own bourgeoisie.

In the hands of the Pabloites, the program of Permanent Revolution became a justification for their own adaption to the national bourgeoisie and the Stalinists. The working class did not need its own revolutionary party to come to power because the PKI was the instrument through which the Permanent Revolution was being realised, albeit unconsciously.
Thus, Santen, speaking on behalf of Pablo and Mandel, declared:
"In any case it is clear that the whole of Indonesia is moving. The march of the masses has become irreversible although the process remains contradictory and has already reached the stage of dual power in a good part of Indonesia, and above all in Java. The occupation of enterprises, of plantations, of the fleet, and the banks by the masses has only one meaning: It is a question of the classical beginning of the proletarian revolution. The Indonesian revolution is in the act of breaking the limits of the national revolution under a bourgeois nationalist leadership. It develops according to the laws of the permanent revolution." (Emphasis in the original)

The Pabloites held out the prospect of a peaceful transition to "worker and peasant power":
"A speedy and almost 'peaceful' victory of the revolution up to worker and peasant power (above all in Java) was possible, if the PKI, at the first moment pushed by the spirit of the masses, had not done everything to castrate the action of the masses by subordinating it to the control of the government."

What the Pabloites meant by "worker and peasant power" was completely opposed to the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Pabloites lined up as cheer leaders for the counter-revolutionary Stalinist "two-stage" perspective of demanding that the proletariat give up the struggle for socialist revolution.
To sanctify their opposition to the independent mobilisation of the working class and to the forging of a revolutionary proletarian, that is, Trotskyist, party, the Pabloites insisted that the PKI, despite its betrayal of the December 1957 occupations, would be pressured to the left by the masses:
"At the same time, at each aggravation of the situation, the masses have the tendency to push the SOBSI and PKI further. A great deal will now depend on the boldness, on the revolutionary Marxist understanding of the militants, of the average Communist cadres. We feel completely solidarised with them, inspired and enthused by their initiatives, by their boldness which we passionately hope will not stop before the 'taboos' of the Aidits. We salute the Indonesian Trotskyist cadres who are integrated in the PKI with the correct revolutionary perspective that the radicalisation of the masses will be realised above all through the PKI and SOBSI."

This was the greatest crime of Pabloism the liquidation of Trotskyist cadre, and those who were attracted to Trotskyism, into the camp of Stalinism.
Santen added a footnote to emphasise that this treacherous line was advanced in direct opposition to the struggle waged by the International Committee of the Fourth International since its founding in 1953 to defend Trotskyism against Pabloite liquidationism. Santen specifically denounced the ICFI's fight for the construction of sections of the Fourth International to defeat counter-revolutionary Stalinism:
"In contradiction to some sectarian 'orthodox' people, the International does not let itself be fascinated by the reactionary Stalinist policy, but orients itself, above all, on the dynamism of the situation itself, a dynamism that pushes the masses, and through the masses the PKI itself into contradiction with the present order in Indonesia."

This passage should be burned into the consciousness of every worker as the summation of Pabloism's pro-Stalinist dirty work.
In direct struggle against the ICFI, the Pabloites consciously pushed fatal illusions in the PKI Stalinists, precisely at the point where the burning question of the hour was to expose the criminal role of the Stalinists and resolutely fight for a decisive break by the masses from the PKI to construct a revolutionary Trotskyist leadership.
The protracted and implacable struggle waged against the Pabloite opportunists by the ICFI, which appeared for many years to be a fight taken up by small isolated forces in the Fourth International, was a life and death question for millions of Indonesian workers and peasants.

Counter-revolutionary handmaidens
Within weeks of Santen's lines being penned, the rotten fruits of the PKI's betrayal of the December 1957 movement began to emerge. A counter-revolutionary government was formed in Central Sumatra in February 1958 by coup leader Colonel Achmed Hussein and headed by Dr Sjafruddin Prawiranegara. This CIA-backed operation, only possible because of the PKI's disarming of the December 1957 rebellion, was a test run for the bloody coup that was to take place seven years later.
Fully conscious that this was a dress rehearsal for counter-revolution, the response of the Pabloites was to intensify their wretched boosting of the PKI. Quatrieme International's editor added a footnote which climaxed with the following purple passage:

"Since the 'rebels' main aim is to do away with Sukarno's 'guided democracy' in which is included the PKI, then any compromise will be at the expense of the PKI. In this case, the immediate perspective is that the PKI, under mass pressure, will be obliged, willy nilly, to execute a major policy about-face as was performed by the Chinese Communist Party in a similar situation in 1949, and to go past the bourgeois-nationalist stage of the revolution to the socialist stage of workers' power. Thus, in fact, but again without acknowledgement, operating on the basis of, and validifying the Trotskyist theory of permanent revolution."
Thus the PKI, the hangman of the Indonesian revolution, was depicted as the unwitting instrument of the Permanent Revolution!

Added to this was the lie that the Chinese Stalinists, the mentors of Aidit and the other PKI leaders, had carried through the "socialist stage of workers' power" in 1949. In fact, the peasant armies of the Maoists brutally suppressed the proletarian uprising in 1949, murdered the Trotskyist opposition, and established an extremely deformed workers' state based on the Stalinist perspective of a partnership with the national bourgeoisie, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry. This was indeed the model upon which the PKI leadership based itself.
Not content with glorifying the Stalinists, the editor's special footnote then promoted the prospects of the national bourgeoisie undertaking a progressive transformation as well. It suggested an alternative scenario premised on the Sukarno government leading a struggle against the CIA-organised "rebels":

"In the other event, that the Sukarno government takes a stronger line of opposition and resistance to the 'rebels,' a further polarisation of all the bourgeois and semi-feudal counter-revolutionary forces will be seen; confronting a shadow bourgeois-nationalist government and the masses. This confrontation of the masses against the new 'slaveholders' rebellion,' against the new 'Kornilov putsch,' will mean a new upsurge of the revolution, while the experience of this kind of revolutionary action by the masses will leave little chance of a relapse to the stability of a bourgeois nationalist regime."

The events of October 1965 were to prove the Sukarno regime to be no less accommodating to General Suharto's killers than the Kerensky government was to General Kornilov's coup bid in 1917. Sukarno displayed the essence of bourgeois nationalism by ending his political career as a puppet President for Suharto's military junta.
The conclusion of the editor's footnote should be inscribed on the tombstone of Pabloism: "In either case our optimistic perspective is justified. The Indonesian Revolution is on the march! Its victory as a socialist revolution is now in generation. (Emphasis in original)

From 1957 to 1965 the Pabloites internationally perpetrated this objectivist cover-up of the grave dangers confronting the Indonesian revolution.
The work of the Pabloite section in Indonesia was central to the whole Pabloite world perspective. It was discussed intensively at the so-called Fifth World Congress of the "United Secretariat" in 1957.

"Our Fifth World Congress, in discussing the progress and the road of the world colonial revolution, gave serious attention to the developments in Indonesia. Recognising the Indonesian situation as pre-revolutionary, it expected a revolutionary explosion very soon," declared the article by Santen.
The entire Pabloite "United Secretariat" has blood on its hands. They aided and abetted the Stalinist betrayal of the Indonesian workers and peasants.

Chapter Five
Pabloites cover up Stalinist treachery

The crisis of working class leadership was never posed so sharply as in Indonesia between 1963 and 1965. The fate of the Indonesian workers and peasants depended entirely on overcoming and defeating the counter-revolutionary line of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) which bound the working class hand and foot to the tottering bourgeois nationalist regime of Sukarno while the US-backed military prepared for a bloody coup.
The PKI Stalinists, led by general secretary Aidit, repeatedly demanded that workers and peasants hand back factories and plantations which they had seized. They then joined the army generals in taking cabinet posts in the Suharto government and backed the outlawing of workers' strikes.

The more it became obvious that the generals were preparing for a bloody coup, the more the PKI leaders worked feverishly to assure the bourgeoisie and the military that the PKI opposed the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses.
Aidit repeatedly declared that the state power in Indonesia did not have to be smashed but could be reformed from within to "strengthen and consolidate the pro-people's aspect," which included President Sukarno. The PKI leader gave lectures at army colleges in which he heralded a "feeling of mutuality and unity that daily grows strong between all the armed forces of the Indonesian Republic and the various groups of Indonesian people, including the communists".

The PKI leadership could only advance these positions because the Indonesian Pabloites were working equally feverishly to prevent workers from breaking with the Stalinists. They vehemently opposed the construction of a new revolutionary leadership.

The responsibility for the bloody counter-revolutionary consequences of this line can be traced directly to the 1963 Pabloite Reunification Congress at which the American Socialist Workers Party consummated an unprincipled break from the International Committee of the Fourth International and joined the Pabloite "United Secretariat" of Ernest Mandel.
After leading the struggle against Pabloite liquidationism in 1953, the SWP leaders had in the late 1950s increasingly adapted to the pressure of the protracted post-war boom and the apparent quiescence of the working class. They abandoned the struggle for proletarian revolution led by a Bolshevik-type party and sought "regroupment" with petty bourgeois radicals and disaffected Stalinists. In 1963 they joined hands with the Pabloites in claiming that not only the Stalinist parties, such as the PKI, but also the bourgeois nationalist and petty-bourgeois nationalist forces in the backward countries, such as Castro in Cuba and Sukarno in Indonesia, could become vehicles for the establishment of socialism.

The reunification resolution declared that there was no crisis of revolutionary leadership in the oppressed countries: "In the colonial and semi-colonial countries ... the very weakness of capitalism, the whole peculiar socio-economic structure produced by imperialism, the permanent misery of the big majority of the population in the absence of a radical agrarian revolution, the stagnation and even reduction of living standards while industrialisation nevertheless proceeds relatively rapidly, creates situations in which the failure of one revolutionary wave does not lead automatically to relative or even temporary social or economic stabilisation. A seemingly inexhaustible succession of mass struggles continues, such as Bolivia has experienced for 10 years."
In other words, no matter how crushing were the defeats and betrayals inflicted on the masses, they would rise again. There was no need for a Trotskyist party. The criminal character of this opportunist complacency was soon to be spelt out in the blood of the Indonesian masses.

The 1963 conference was based on the rejection of the historical necessity of building sections of the Trotskyist movement in the backward countries. The Pabloite resolution declared: "The weakness of the enemy in the backward countries has opened the possibility of coming to power even with blunted instruments."
In Indonesia, the "blunted instrument" was to be the PKI.

The great betrayal in Sri Lanka
The Pabloite treachery in Indonesia was intimately bound up with the great betrayal in Sri Lanka in 1964 when the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Pabloite organisation, joined the bourgeois coalition government of Mrs Bandaranaike, together with the Stalinist Communist Party of Sri Lanka, in order to behead the mass working class movement against capitalist rule.

The LSSP had opposed the formation of the International Committee in 1953 and subsequently played a central role in preparing the American SWP's reunification with the Pabloites. Its opposition to the struggle against opportunism in the Fourth International was rooted in its increasingly nationalist orientation and abandonment of Trotskyist program and principles in order to accommodate with the Stalinists and Bandaranaike's capitalist party, the SLFP, in Ceylon.
The Pabloite Reunification Congress of 1963 covered up the LSSP's national opportunism by claiming that "Our Ceylonese section has progressively corrected the wrong orientation adopted in 1960 of supporting the liberal-bourgeois government of the SLFP. Since the masses began to go into action, it has not hesitated to place itself at their head against its electoral allies of yesterday." Just one year later the fake "Trotskyist" credentials supplied by the Pabloites were used by the LSSP to join the capitalist government.
This betrayal by a party hailed by the Pabloites as the "largest Trotskyist party in the world" had disastrous implications internationally, first of all in Indonesia. It strengthened the hand of the Stalinist and Maoist parties, such as the PKI, whose capacity to suppress and disarm the working class would have been shattered had the LSSP upheld the program of permanent revolution and fought for the overthrow of bourgeois rule in Sri Lanka.

Pabloites boost PKI
After the entry of their Sri Lankan section into the capitalist government in Sri Lanka alongside the Stalinists, the Pabloites continued to pursue a very similar pro-Stalinist and pro-national bourgeois line in Indonesia.
The Pabloites' pamphlet, The Catastrophe in Indonesia, not only covered up the part played by the Indonesian Pabloite section, the Partai Acoma, as we exposed in the previous chapter.
Even after the bloody coup in Indonesia, the pamphlet continued to promote the prospect of the national bourgeoisie and the PKI playing a progressive role.

It included an article by T. Soedarso, described by US Socialist Workers Party leader Joseph Hansen in the pamphlet's introduction as a "young member of the Indonesian Communist party who succeeded in making his way into exile". Hansen enthusiastically commended Soedarso's article as "an indication of the determination of an important sector of the Indonesian Communist Party to learn from what happened and to utilise the lessons in such a way as to ensure victory when the masses again surge forward, as they surely will".
Soedarso's article treated the counter-revolutionary program of the PKI leadership as a series of "mistakes", including the "errors" of "seeking to achieve socialism by peaceful means," and of pursuing a "policy" of a two-stage revolution and a united front with the national bourgeoisie.

Soedarso expressed no fundamental differences with the Stalinists, agreeing, for example, that "The revolutionary movement could and should support the progressive attitudes or actions of the national bourgeoisie". If ever proof was needed that the semi-colonial bourgeoisie, personified by Sukarno, was inherently incapable of a "progressive" program and would line up behind the slaughter of the working class, the Indonesian bloodbath provided it. For 18 months Sukarno served General Suharto's dictatorship as a puppet president, and even after that, from March 1967, he was retained as a token "president without powers".

The Pabloites likewise belittled the significance of the PKI's entry into the Sukarno NASAKOM coalition government with the military butchers. Soedarso implored the PKI to reverse this "line," as if it were a mere lapse.
Soedarso's virtual apology for this fundamental class treachery was no accident. The cardinal premise of Pabloism was the reversal of Trotsky's struggle against Stalinism. The evolution of Stalinism into a counter-revolutionary bureaucracy was established irrevocably in 1933 when the Stalinist Comintern, approved, without a single dissenting voice, the betrayal of the German Communist Party in handing over the German working class to Hitler without a shot being fired. From that point on Trotsky insisted that the Third International, following the Second, had passed definitely into the camp of the bourgeoisie, and that the Fourth International had to built as the world party of socialist revolution to ensure the continuity of Marxism.

Soedarso's article was a conscious cover-up, organised by Mandel and Hansen, for the reactionary role of Stalinism. The article deliberately did not use the word Stalinism, but fraudulently referred to the PKI as "Communist". And then to make his position crystal clear, Soedarso concluded: "The above criticism is not intended to undermine the role of the PKI nor to arouse distrust in Indonesian Communism."
Thus, a year after the military coup, by which time a million workers and peasants had perished, the Pabloites were whitewashing the lessons of 1965 and still urging the Indonesian workers and peasants to maintain their faith in the PKI.

The Pabloite 'lessons' of Indonesia
Soedarso's article was not an isolated instance. In fact the line advanced in the article provided the essential themes for the statement issued on March 20, 1966 by the Pabloite "United Secretariat". Entitled "The Lesson of Indonesia," it opposed any break from the PKI and issued no call for the building of a section of the Fourth International. On the contrary, it declared that the "Indonesian Communists" could "overcome the results of the present defeat" by assimilating certain lessons.

The first "lesson" was stated as follows: "While it is correct and necessary to support all anti-imperialist mass movements, and even to critically support all concrete anti-imperialist measures taken by representatives of the colonial bourgeoisie like Sukarno, for colonial revolution to be victorious it is absolutely essential to maintain the proletarian organisations strictly independent politically and organisationally from the 'national' bourgeoisie."

Not only did the Pabloites continue to sow the most dangerous illusions in the "anti-imperialist" pretensions of the national bourgeoisie, their talk of "independent" proletarian organisations was an utter fraud. The political independence of the working class could only be forged by building a Trotskyist party in pitiless and audacious struggle against the Stalinists whom the Pabloites were trying to resuscitate.

The second Pabloite "lesson" claimed that "While it is correct and necessary during the first phases of the revolution in backward countries to place the main stress on the problems of winning national independence, unifying the country and solving the agrarian question (i.e., the historical tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution which constitute the most burning tasks in the eyes of 80 to 90 percent of the population), it is indispensable to understand that the solution of these tasks is only possible when the working class, in alliance with the poor peasantry, has conquered leadership of the revolution, establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasantry and pushes the revolution through to its socialist phase."

With this opportunist line of "two phases," the Pabloites were trying to breathe new life into the discredited "two stage" theory of the Stalinists, which demanded that the "socialist phase" of the revolution be delayed until the completion of the democratic and national revolution. The Pabloite position was the opposite of Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution which was based on the international character of the socialist revolution and the revolutionary role of the international proletariat. Trotsky emphasised the essential lesson of the Russian revolution that, in this epoch, the democratic and national tasks in the backward and oppressed countries could be achieved only through the proletarian revolution and its extension on the world scale.
The Pabloite call for the "dictatorship of the proletariat and poor peasantry" sought to revive the "Old Bolshevik" formula of the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry" discarded by Lenin in 1917. Lenin adopted Trotsky's unequivocal position that the proletariat is the only consistently revolutionary class which can lead the peasants and carry through the democratic and socialist tasks of the oppressed nations as part of the struggle of the working class on a world scale.

The third "lesson" advanced by the Pabloites was: "While it is necessary to win the broadest possible mass base in the countryside, a revolutionary party capable of applying that policy must be based upon a hardened proletarian cadre thoroughly trained in Marxist theory and revolutionary practice."

The duplicitous character of this "lesson" can be seen from the fact that it was oriented toward the Stalinists. The references to a "hardened proletarian cadre" and "Marxist theory" were a sham.
In fact, the "United Secretariat" advised the survivors of the PKI leadership to take the road of rural guerrilla warfare.
Its statement expressed the hope that "what remains of that leadership along with the surviving party cadres especially the best educated, those steeled by the terrible experiences they went through in the past six months will have taken the road of guerrilla war, if only out of self-defence.

They urged the Stalinists to turn to a peasant-based guerrilla war, aping the Maoists in China. Maoism is a variant of Stalinism based on peasant hostility to the hegemony of the working class. Arising out the defeat of the 1926-27 Chinese revolution and the destruction of the Chinese Communist Party's working class membership, Mao's turn to the peasantry led to the abortion of the 1949 Chinese revolution. It produced a highly deformed workers' state based on Mao's "bloc of four classes" the national bourgeoisie, the urban petty-bourgeoisie, the peasantry and the working class.
It was this very doctrine which guided the determination of the Aidit leadership of the PKI to prevent a proletarian socialist revolution in Indonesia. In Aidit's words: "The working class, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie must unite in one national front."

The Pabloites' pamphlet was a cynical bid to divert class conscious workers from the most essential lesson of the Indonesian betrayal the necessity for a Trotskyist party to defeat the Stalinists and their Pabloite accomplices who function as counter-revolutionary petty-bourgeois agencies within the mass movement. There was and is only one revolutionary party which can avenge the betrayal of 1965 by leading the Indonesian workers to power an Indonesian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

In 1951 the PKI leadership had set out clearly the path of betrayal it was to pursue. "In the struggle to realise their political convictions, the communists will not use force while the ruling class still leaves the peaceful, the parliamentary way open. If there is the use of force, the spilling of blood, a civil war, it will not be the communists who start it but the ruling class itself."

This counter-revolutionary perspective was only able to be inflicted on the Indonesian masses because the Pabloites tied the most class conscious sections of the working class to the banner and program of the PKI.
The Pabloite betrayals in Sri Lanka and Indonesia demonstrated the counter-revolutionary character of Pabloism. As the International Committee of the Fourth International stated in its 1988 perspectives resolution, The World Capitalist Crisis and the Tasks of the Fourth International,:

"In the assistance it rendered to Stalinism, social democracy and bourgeois nationalism, the opportunism of the Pabloite centrists played a vital role in enabling imperialism to survive the crucial years between 1968 and 1975 when its world order was shaken by economic turmoil and an international upsurge of the working class and the oppressed masses in the backward countries. It verified Trotsky's assessment of centrism as a secondary agency of imperialism. The petty-bourgeois defeatists who pontificate on the doomed character of the proletariat while discovering new vistas for the bourgeoisie never bother to concretely analyse how decrepit capitalism survived into the 1980s. The Pabloites care least of all to examine the results of their own policies. Inasmuch as the entire petty-bourgeois fraternity of centrists, radicals and declassed intellectuals dismiss a priori the revolutionary capacities of the working class and accept its defeat as inevitable, they never even consider what the consequences of a correct Marxist policy would have been in Sri Lanka in 1964, in France in 1968, in Chile in 1973, and in Greece and Portugal in 1974.

"The International Committee, on the other hand, derives from the strategical experiences of the proletariat during the postwar period the crucial lesson upon which it bases its preparation for the coming revolutionary upheavals: that the building of the Fourth International as the World Party of Socialist Revolution to ensure the victory of the international working class requires an uncompromising and unrelenting struggle against opportunism and centrism."

A new revolutionary leadership must be built to lead the Indonesian masses to smash the Suharto dictatorship, overthrow the bourgeoisie and throw off the yoke of imperialist exploitation in the fight for the world socialist revolution. Against the Stalinists and Pabloites who are preparing another bloody trap for the masses, an Indonesian section of the ICFI must be forged to lead this struggle.

(c) 1998 by World Socialist Web Site (TM)
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