A proposal from the government of Indonesia to initiate a public dialogue and conduct a serious review of the circumstances of the 1965 coup that drove President Sukarno from office and ushered in years of genocide that targeted actual and suspected members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the ethnic Chinese population is meeting fierce resistance from radical Muslims in the country. These Islamists are working hand-in-glove with officials and veterans of the Indonesian Armed Forces.
Today, it remains illegal to display any Communist symbols in Indonesia, a leftover from the Central Intelligence Agency’s coup and subsequent purge and execution of Communists. In addition, selling books on Communism and screening films sympathetic to labor rights and socialism are also banned. The defunct PKI remains illegal in Indonesia. Therefore, it appears incongruent that the government of President Joko «Jokowi» Widodo is backing public discussions of the events of 1965, which involve survivors of the massacres of the 1960s, while also permitting the police and violent Islamist gangs to harass anyone favoring a national dialogue on the anti-Communist purges of the past.
At the center of the right-wing opposition to a public dialogue on 1965 and the coup is Jokowi’s defense minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, who has been covertly working with Islamist groups to re-stoke the flames of anti-Communism. Under Ryacudu, Indonesia’s armed forces have gone from a position of neutrality in the US-Chinese military standoff over disputed maritime territory in the South China Sea to one of militarily confronting Chinese fishing vessels and Coast Guard patrol craft in waters claimed as Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. There have been three clashes between the Indonesian navy and Chinese vessels since March of this year in waters surrounding Indonesia’s Natuna islands.
In March, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel tried to prevent the Indonesian Navy from towing away a Chinese fishing boat. In May, the Indonesian Navy opened fire on a Chinese fishing boat as it was fleeing the area. The boat was captured and its crew continues to be detained in Ranai, the capital of the Natuna islands. On June 17, the Indonesian Navy opened fire on another Chinese fishing boat, injuring one crewman.
Ryacudu’s bellicose stance with China, with all of its reminders of the 1960s genocide of the PKI and ethnic Chinese, is music to the ears of the war hawks at the US Pacific Command in Hawaii and the Obama White House.
Barack Obama, in particular, does not want to see a public investigation and rehashing of the events in Indonesia in the 1960s lest they expose the roles that his mother, Javanese expert Ann Dunham Soetoro, and stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, played during those horrific times. With Obama preparing to leave office, his legacy and that of his family are planned to be forever enshrined in the Obama Library and Museum in Chicago. Any information that calls into question Obama’s mother’s role in Indonesia as a CIA snitch masquerading as a US Agency for International Development (USAID) village social worker or his father’s stint as a brutal enforcer of Suharto’s genocide will not only be unwelcome as the museum opens but will be suppressed at any costs. And the cost of making common cause with Indonesian militant Muslim groups and the Indonesian military is one that Obama and his cohorts are willing to pay in order to keep the Soetoro family’s role in the genocide of the 1960s forever secret.
Protests against an investigation of the 1965 coup are publicly being led by Saudi-influenced Islamists in Indonesia. The ringleaders of the protests are the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI), both groups financed by Wahhabist financiers based in Saudi Arabia, and which have been active in targeting Christians in Indonesia with violent action. In addition, the sons and daughters of the coup plotters and enforcers, some of whom likely grew up with Obama in the Menteng district of Jakarta, who operate under the banner of the Communication Forum on Indonesian Veterans’ Children (FKPPI), have joined the Islamists in rejecting an investigation of the coup and bloody purge.
It is more than certain that Obama told Jokowi exactly what he thought about the Indonesian president’s plans to investigate the events of 1965 at their meeting at the US-ASEAN Summit in February of this year in Sunnylands, California.
In return for helping the United States in joining the phalanx of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan in confronting China over the South China Sea, Obama is able to mobilize the CIA station at the US embassy in Jakarta to assist the radical Muslims, as well as the military, in opposing the public’s desire to re-examine 1965. This hardline stance by Washington and its Indonesian military allies flies in the face of the Obama administration’s oft-stated commitment to human rights elsewhere in the world.
Washington, which has deployed special forces and military units to the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, and the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo to help those nations deal with China in the South China Sea, has done the same with Indonesia.
US special operations teams have reportedly deployed with Indonesian naval forces in patrolling the waters of the South China Sea and are assisting with the interdiction of Chinese fishing vessels and Coast Guard patrol boats. This comes on the heels of first-ever joint US-Indonesian submarine exercises in Indonesia waters. For many years, CIA personnel have worked with some Indonesian fishermen, who supplement their incomes by also engaging in piracy, in interdicting and boarding vessels of interest transiting the seas around the Natuna islands. A number of North Korean-flagged, as well as «flag of convenience», merchant ships, have been boarded by joint teams of Indonesian fishermen/pirates and US special operations personnel. The US teams locate and seize military items from North Korea, including missiles and their components, and nuclear components heading to North Korea, while the moonlighting Indonesian fishermen are welcome to take all the Chinese-made televisions, laptop computers, and other consumer goods they can haul away. Some of these same fishermen have now been pressed into service to keep an eye out for alleged Chinese poachers in disputed waters and call in the Indonesian navy and their American friends for assistance.
The close relationship between Obama, who was declared an Indonesian citizen by his stepfather, and Jokowi, makes any serious introspection of the Indonesian genocide dead-on-arrival. In 2015, Obama dangled the Trans-Pacific Partnership carrot in front of Jokowi during a summit meeting at the White House. Jokowi responded by saying, «Indonesia intends to join the TPP». With that statement, Jokowi signed on to the Obama agenda, which will not permit any sort of «truth and reconciliation» program in Indonesia or, if Obama were not so eager and personally committed to protect the legacy of his parents, a full-blown criminal tribunal on the scale of that conducted against the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.
Obama told Jokowi, «Obviously I have a very personal interest in Indonesia, given the fact that I spent a bit of time there as a child and have relatives who are Indonesian». It is true that Obama has a personal interest in Indonesia. However, his interest is in protecting a CIA-installed and CIA-supported regime that committed one of the worst genocides ever experienced in history and a mother and stepfather who avidly supported a deluge of blood and human corpses in the canals of Jakarta and in the rivers throughout the Indonesian archipelago.