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Counting votes in Pontianak, Borneo. Hardly a strenuous task

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It truly looked grand, impressive – the fourth most populous country on earth voted in general elections, which were held on 17 April 2019. Hundreds of positions were for grab: that of the president, the vice president, members of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), and members of local legislative bodies. There were 190 million eligible voters in the country, and sixteen parties, including four new ones.

The only “tiny” spoiler of this magnificence was that, as always in post-1965 Indonesia, not one single political party was really representing the people. All of them were pro-business, all controlled by the oligarchy. Almost all the candidates were ‘competing’ with each other, trying to prove to the increasingly fundamentalist Muslim majority of the country, how Islamic they really were.

In Indonesia, Communism is banned. Atheism is forbidden as well. Belief in market fundamentalism and religious zeal are the two ‘norms’, expected from any individual who is aiming at any important political office.

On 17 April 2019, people voted. Or more precisely, they came to put pieces of paper into boxes, as they were told by their Western handlers.

In the end, it was down to two main choices: an incumbent President “Jokowi” (Joko Widodo by his real name), and the retired General Prabowo.

Jokowi, originally a humble furniture-maker and later a mayor of the city of Solo in Central Java, could be defined as ‘progressive’, but only in the Indonesian or Southeast Asian political context. He looks so attractive because his challengers have mainly been mass murderers and outright kleptocrats.

However, during the first term in the highest office, Jokowi did almost nothing to stop the genocide and plunder in West Papua, or the alarming surge in the influence of Wahhabism (Saudi-style Islam, supported by the West), which is blocking Indonesia from any intellectual (scientific, artistic, philosophical) achievements.

Whenever accused of being a ‘Communist’, Jokowi bent, going out of his way to prove that he has nothing to do with the real Left. When attacked for ‘not being Muslim enough’, he immediately began ‘leading public prayers’, bringing Muslim politicians into his team, and acting religiously. He failed to defend his former allies who were destroyed by the Islamists, including highly-popular former governor of Jakarta – Ahok – who recently spent time in prison for ‘defaming Islam’. Periodically, often at the request of the United States, Jokowi antagonized China. That’s when his critics from the extreme right were attacking him for getting ‘too chummy’ with Beijing. Indonesia is racist, and many Chinese (as well as members of other ‘non-mainstream groups’) here died during the countless pogroms committed throughout past centuries.

“Don’t pay attention, all this is just a political maneuvering,” it was said by his supporters. But if that was so, it was a terribly ugly maneuvering, to be frank! Just an example: One lady teacher, who exposed her sexual harasser and as a result was thrown into jail, got zero protection from President Jokowi. The increasing Islamisation of Indonesian society, often unconstitutional, goes unchallenged. Compared to the era of the progressive Muslim cleric and past President, Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia is regressing, increasingly resembling the oppressive Gulf States.

The correct argument of many (at least relatively secular) Indonesian citizens, is that, were the other main candidate – the retired General Prabowo – to win these elections, the country would basically collapse; go back to Suharto-style fascist, military dictatorship. Prabowo is actually married to one of Suharto’s daughters. And he has a record, almost a ‘career’ of being a mass murders: from East Timor to Java itself. He surrounded himself by the most conservative Muslim cadres, as well as by the anti-leftists and the oligarchs.

Once before, during the previous elections, Prabowo lost to Jokowi. Most likely, this – 2019 elections – was his last chance.

Joko Widodo and his PDI-P won, with 55.5% votes, while Prabowo Subianto ended up with the support of only 44.5%.

On 21 May 2019, the General Elections Commission declared “Jokowi” and his running-mate Amin as the winners.

Prabowo and his team disputed the election results, and protested against Jokowi’s victory.

One day after the results were announced, deadly riots erupted.

Around the time election results were released, Reuters reported:

Indonesian police arrested a man on Friday accused of creating an anti-Chinese disinformation campaign to incite racial hatred, amid a proliferation of rumours alleging Chinese involvement in post-election unrest that has raised fears of ethnic violence.

Police say the suspect created a viral hoax using a photo of three Indonesian police officers at protests this week with a caption describing them as secret Chinese soldiers based on their “slanted eyes”.

 

Of course, we all knew that it was coming. One week before the disturbances, I was still in the Indonesian capital, filming a group of insane-looking women, gathering in front of the Sarinah shopping center. Their hair covered, maniacal expressions on their faces, they were shouting into my camera:

We love Prabowo! He is good; he is so smart, he is our President!”

Almost the entire extreme Islamist apparatus stood by the former genocidal General. Many housewives obsessed with military uniforms, were ready to support him, unconditionally, until the bitter end.

Life in Indonesia is empty and monotonous. The 1965 US-orchestrated coup destroyed much of the culture and spirituality. Intellectualism had been wiped out, and so were the arts. Political diversity eliminated. Only cheap pop is now available. Pop, as well as the most fundamentalist forms of religion.

No wonder that in such a ‘climate’, elections as well as the World Cup (to which Indonesia never qualifies, but which it follows with maniacal loyalty), manage to fully mesmerize the society.

And in a nation which since 1965 has perpetrated 3 genocides and various deadly unrests, an excessive obsession with anything, is never constructive, in fact is often devastating.

To some of Prabowo’s ‘obsessive supporters’, he impersonates power, machismo, righteousness and “Muslim values”. The people he killed or gave orders to kill? Who cares – they were all some ‘separatists’, commies, atheists. That’s how the majority sees them.

 

On 22 May, 2019, the pro-Prabowo camp rioted in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities. 6 people were murdered and 200 injured. That has been a very ‘conservative’ estimate, although both sides were accused of manipulating numbers (Jokowi’s camp downwards, Prabowo’s upwards).

Muslim jihadi cadres were apparently involved, too, accused of stabbing and intimidating.

Armed forces crushed the riots. It had to be done, as the rioters were mainly paid thugs and Islamic fundamentalists.

ORDER IT NOW

Earlier, some 600 died, during “the lengthy voting and counting process”. The official numbers were 569, while the unofficial spoke of 700, even 800. Yes, the counting process was very taxing, but perhaps no other elections in the world (in peacetime) registered such a high mortality rate among officials and volunteers. But then again, Indonesia is a very poor country, and many of its citizens are suffering from various undiagnosed diseases. Long hours and difficult conditions during the elections put great pressure on the volunteers. Still, such a mortality rate is unprecedented.

Prabowo’s team immediately claimed “the deaths were linked to fraud that disadvantaged him.” Most likely, it is not the case. However, Jakarta and the provinces remain tense.

 

Most likely, Prabowo was defeated, for good. “Goodbye, General!” But the fact that a genocidal cadre like him managed to get 45% of votes is by itself extremely alarming.

Now, in what direction is Indonesia going to go, under the “second Jokowi term”?

Even after monstrous slaughter of men and women belonging to left-wing organizations during Suharto era, Communism and socialism are increasingly vilified once again. Religions are force-fed to the de-intellectualized and badly informed population. The treatment of women in Indonesian society is despicable. Capitalism is glorified, in fact it is never even publicly challenged.

Jokowi has been flying all over the world, begging for more foreign investment, while his cabinet was promising to ‘liberalize’ labor laws even further.

The environment of Indonesia is thoroughly plundered, as its economic growth (sluggish, considering unbridled population increase, but still at 5%) is fully dependent on the export of commodities.

There are no doubts that Indonesia will continue decaying and cannibalizing itself under the extreme capitalism regime, while intellectually regressing under Wahhabi Islam.

Jokowi may improve ports, airports, and build few new highways, mainly in order to facilitate the extraction of raw materials by local and foreign companies. But unless he fully reverses the course on which Indonesia was forced to embark after the 1965 Western-orchestrated coup, no essential improvements can be expected. There are no indications that he has the capacity or stamina to challenge and change the regime. After all, he is himself a product of the post-1965 era.

For now, extremism and fundamentalism have been defeated, although by an alarmingly narrow margin. However, it was not a revolution, but destructive inertia that won once again.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Four of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Indonesia, Islam 
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  1. JamesD says:

    Let’s summarize:

    1. The U.S. put in a strongman in 1965 and Indonesia, like Chile, is a shining example of what capitalism can do. 5% GROWTH dude. This was because the Left was wiped out.

    2. The moslem fundamentalists are screwing it up, or at least making it a crappy place to live.

    So, lessons learned:
    1. Unleash capitalism in the U.S.
    2. Keep Somalis out of our country.

  2. Svevlad says:

    We’re lucky Malays aren’t exactly the most bright people out there. Obsessiveness is basically the only trait they have, every single one I saw on the internet was some sordid combination of balija and a mosquito

    If they had more IQ points they would have probably exterminated half the world for not being x enough (right now it’s Islam, but if they were smart it wouldn’t be the case

  3. So inside every Indonesian Muslim is NOT a Lutheran social democrat just waiting to get out. Huh.

    • LOL: Thulean Friend
  4. I find it hard to believe that those hundreds of vote counters died from overwork. LOL, Indonesians dying from working too hard; and not as if it was some back breaking physical labour. I suspect they may have been poisoned in some plot to defraud the election.

  5. Making 3rd world countries run a democratic government is like putting lipstick on a pig. Doesn’t matter who they elect, nothing changes. The rich get richer, everyone else gets poorer, stupider, schools get worse, everything continues to deteriorate.

    Unlike in developed countries: USA, UK, Europe…

    Never mind.

    • Replies: @another fred
  6. @JamesD

    1. Unleash capitalism in the U.S.

    You already have and that’s what brought you to where you are now. It was the capitalists that de-industrialised whole regions and relocated their factories to China and elsewhere and started bringing in cheap labour (including those Somalis in your 2nd point) for whatever industries and services were still left over, and the banks and the state were all happy to go along with all this. I don’t know what’ll pull you out but unleashing capitalism won’t do it. You could do with a strongman yourselves for starters, and Trump was supposed to be the man, but he’s hardly reined in the swampers, bankers, and deep state neocons the way Putin reined in some of the more unruly oligarchs.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Wally
  7. Parfois1 says:

    Just another failed state risen from the colonial era. These countries are made up of disparate regions, peoples and languages unified for administrative purposes by the colonial administrations. As such, they are easy prey for centralist power grabbers relying on the loyalty of the dominant ethnic group, here the Javanese, to suppress the periphery minorities.

    The similarity with India and most of Africa is striking: multiethnic states are a failure because the gel that keeps people together is missing. They are made-up countries, artificial entities – in this instance even a made-up language (Bahasa)!

    What can be done with a country with more than 700 languages?

    • Replies: @Escher
    , @Curmudgeon
    , @Anonymous
  8. @Tired of Not Winning

    Strange innit?

    Like there’s some mysterious forces at work whose effects increase exponentially with crowding.

    Gonna need a lot more lipstick in the coming years.

  9. Escher says:
    @Parfois1

    Singapore is a made-up (city) state too, but has done remarkably well. Guess it’s a question of scale, founding leadership and the ethnic make up of the population.

    • Replies: @anon
  10. Che Guava says:

    As always. Vltchek gets much right and much wrong.

    I do not really understand why Mr. Unz publishes his articles at times.

    The central points that he does not seem to understand include that Indonesia is a colonist state, the centres are Java, and to a lesser extent, Sumatra.

    In the late l1940s, western Sumatra already had an extreme Islamist state, it seems to have been supported by the Saudis and the U.S.A. against Soekarno’s polity.

    It lasted for some years, until eventually put down.

    I could say much more, but the Indonesia of Soekarno was no less fascistic in principle than the later ones of Soeharto, and now. Only political difference is international alignment.

    The Indonesian polity, like that of Burma, was set up in wartime by the Japanese form of fascism, Burma seems generally to be working things out, the only way for ‘Indonesia’ to do so would be for the Javanese colonial empire to disintegrate.

    I also wonder, whenever reading any of Vltchek’s generally poor articles, how does he get so much money to fly around the world (likely first class), hire translators and drivers, stay in luxury hotels in between (and whine about them).

    A very strange, possibly sinister, character.

    However, I know that he is one of those who is never to reply here.

    • Replies: @OG
    , @FB
    , @African hostage
  11. The only good mohammedan is a room temp mohammedan. Now and forever.

  12. Indonesia certainly is a strange place. Being the 4th largest country in the world, you’d think you’d hear about them more often, but they barely make a splash on the world scene. Two observations I have about the Indonesians: 1) When it comes to the “jungle Asians”, they seem to be the lowest of the low in terms of IQ and accomplishment. They even let their huge county be dominated by tiny Netherlands up until the 1950’s, which doesn’t speak much for them. 2) I’m surprised Australia hasn’t been inundated with them. While Australia has its immigration problems, Indonesians seem to be fairly low on the list of causing them. Which is strange, because given their proximity, I’d figure Indonesia was Australia’s Mexico.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @Anonymous
  13. @Hapalong Cassidy

    On your second point, it is likely because of close collaboration between the two governments. We can’t exclude that elites in Indonesia get promised that their kids get into Aussie universities and/or get nice homes in Sydney and Melbourne suburban neighbourhoods as payoff.

    Also, huge amounts of water helps. Mexico has a landbridge to the US which inevitably means that the threshold of jumping the border is far smaller than if you had to cross a large amounts of water.

  14. Che Guava says:

    Much of the ‘Bumiputra’ population , with it meaning sons of the soil, is bulllshit. They are immigrants from Java and (less so Sumatra).

    They are not children of the place.

    It is a simple fact.

    • Replies: @Raven
  15. @Parfois1

    The official language of India is English. We may not understand their accent, but they do. Language is not the problem, the caste system, which is still alive, religion, and tribalism are bigger issues.

  16. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Escher

    Average IQ and (nominal Per Capita GDP) in SEA, strange how poorly Indochina performs relative to their IQ, esp. Vietnam:

    Singapore: 108 ($64k)
    Vietnam: 94 ($2.5k)
    Malaysia: 92 ($11k)
    Thailand: 91 ($7k)
    Cambodia: 91 ($1.5k)
    Laos: 89 ($2.7k)
    Myanmar: 87 ($1.3k)
    Indonesia: 87 ($3.8k)
    Philippines: 86 ($3.1k)

    • Replies: @awry
  17. OG says:
    @Che Guava

    I think he is a “kept” man, whether by multiple ex-wives or some shadowy entity, I am not sure.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  18. Republic says:

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/poverty-and-extreme-poverty-filming-in-the-most-depressing-city-on-earth-jakarta/5659556

    Andre Vltchek

    Poverty and Extreme Poverty: Filming in the Most Depressing City on Earth — Jakarta.

    A brilliant polemic against Jakarta
    he also wrote: Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear

    Unz should have published this article

    It stinks, it is the most polluted city on earth, but that is not the most terrible thing about it.
    You can drive for ten or even twenty kilometers through it, and see only ugliness, fences and broken pavements. But there are many miserable cities on this planet, and I have worked in almost all of them, in 160 countries.
    So why is ‘Jakarta killing me’, why am I overwhelmed by depression, whenever I decide to film here, or to write about the state in which its citizens are forced to live? Why, really, do I feel so desperate, so hopeless?

    In fact, it is the most ‘immoral’ place on earth that I know. It is one enormous monument to fascism, intellectual collapse, Western neo-colonialism and turbo-capitalism.
    After all, it was the West that triggered the 1965 coup in which between 1-3 million intellectuals, ‘atheists’, Communists and unionists lost their lives

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Wally
  19. Wally says:
    @Commentator Mike

    We can only wish that capitalism was unleashed in the U.S.

    What we have certainly is not.

    I’ll take Trump over Hillary any day.

  20. Wally says:
    @Republic

    “After all, it was the West that triggered the 1965 coup in which between 1-3 million intellectuals, ‘atheists’, Communists and unionists lost their lives”

    Leave it to Communists to blame others for their own failures, their own crimes.

    Andre Vltchek faithfully does what all Communists do, project.

    • Replies: @Franklin Ryckaert
  21. @Wally

    No, the coup of 1965 was indeed instigated by the CIA, which also provided a list of persons to be killed. The US also approved of the massacre in East Timor. Since then Indonesia has been an “ideal” country for international capitalism : a corrupt elite that allows foreign corporations to plunder the country, while the poor masses remain docile.

    • Replies: @Wally
  22. Adrian says:

    Colonial Indonesia in 1941, one year before the Japanese invasion: Batavia (Jakarta), Bandung and the countryside:

    Indonesia had to pay a high price for the privilege of being governed by men of indigenous ethnic appearance.

  23. They are running amok.

  24. Wally says:
    @Franklin Ryckaert

    I remind the always forgetful Franklin Ryckaert what triggered my comment to Republic

    Republic said:
    “After all, it was the West that triggered the 1965 coup in which between 1-3 million intellectuals, ‘atheists’, Communists and unionists lost their lives”

    Ryckaert then plays dodge-the-comment when he avoids providing proof for Republic’s unsupported claim of “between 1-3 million intellectuals, ‘atheists’, Communists and unionists lost their lives”. I call BS on that Communist claim.

    Go that proof of it, Franklin Ryckaert? Nope.

    Leftist Franklin Ryckaert ignores the fact that US involvement was a response to the violent Communist attempted takeover of Indonesia.

    Ryckaert then continues to laughably redefine ‘capitalism’ to suit the neo-Marxist agenda.

    East Timor happened, greatly exaggerated as usual, but neither Republic or Rykaert have proof that the US was responsible, notice Franklin Ryckaert’s weasel word “approved”.

    Present some proof, Franklin, ‘gas chambers’ Ryckaert.

  25. FB says: • Website
    @Che Guava

    I don’t think you’ve read much of Mr Vltchek, because his writing is very insightful and backed up with first hand witness of the places he goes…

    Indonesia is the definition of a ‘shithole’ country…and Mr Vltchek has been there a lot, and written much…and filmed much as well…

    To say that the Sukarno regime was ‘fascistic’ is simply ridiculous…since if it was there would have been no reason for the fascistic US to overthrow it, accompanied by great carnage…and install in its place a truly fascistic puppet regime that would be a useful cog in the neo-imperialist plunder machine of transnational finance, resource extraction etc…

    At the very least, no matter what we may or may not say about the short-lived Sukarno regime, which never got a chance to show where it was taking the country…the obvious fact remains that the greedy global elites wanted to get their hands on the country and rape it at leisure…

    And whatever the issues with the country’s colonial history, or its territorial or ethnic makeup…this really has nothing to do with anything…Indonesia is simply the poster child of how neo-colonialism operates in the Bretton Woods era…Nigeria and many other unfortunate examples abound…this is the actual problem…not some useless semantics and non issues…

    As for how Mr Vltchek finances his travels…well he’s an author and filmmaker, as well as an academic…he sells books, makes films, gives speeches and lectures…maybe he has friends and sponsors…but he certainly doesn’t stay in luxury hotels…not many of those in the hinterlands of Java and Sumatra…

    You simply don’t like his message…but his message is one of profound truth about the broken world we live in…and the evil men that run it…

    • Replies: @Adrian
  26. Adrian says:
    @FB

    @FB.

    Sukarno’s regime was not “short lived” as you call it. He was in power for twenty years.

    Also:

    I will not argue with Mr.Vitchek’s portrait of contemporary Indonesia. Having my own reasons for disliking that country, I find it not altogether unrecognisable.

    What I would like to take issue with is his portrait of the Sukarno-era and of Sukarno himself, a man about whom he seems to have rather childish illusions.

    I wrote earlier about this:

    Unlike Mr.Vitchek, who was born at the very end of Sukarno’s reign, I have been able to follow most of Sukarno;s presidential career as an adult. In addition I have read various Sukarno biographies (notably those by Penders and Giebels).

    This then is my view of Sukarno: he was a wastrel of a President who spent tremendous amounts of money on his almost yearly foreign trips with full retinue that mainly served to reinforce his vanity. Part of that money went on accommodating the women he had had organised for him, often in the most luxurious accommodation. He was a notorious and outrageous erotomaniac for whom even the foreign ambassadors’ wives and daughters were not safe. After every trip abroad this head of state, who was supposed to be a dignified representative of his country, figured in salacious ambassadorial reports on his escapades in the countries he had visited. The last of his three official wives was the Japanese nightclub hostess Nemoto, later known as Dewi, who ran her own extortion racket once she was established as first lady (see L.Giebels, 2005, De Stille Genocide (The Silent Genocide), p.80).

    If one uses Herbert Feith’s conceptual distinction of Indonesian politicians in administrators and solidarity makers one could argue that Sukarno, though always a lousy administrator, was at the beginning of his career at any case a solidarity maker. Finally even that art escaped him, to wit the political earth quake of Sept. 1965. By then he had, if not encouraged at any case tolerated, the terrorisation of whole neighbourhoods by bands of black shirted youths who called themselves communists.

    Cultural life, such as it was, was regimented by an organisation called Lekra which showed disturbing similarities to a Nazi “Kulturkammer”. One of the operatives in that was Vitchek’s beloved Pramudya Ananta Tur who harassed writers who didn’ think like him.

    The Indonesian writers H.B.Jassin, M.Balfas and D.S.Moeljanto founded in 1961 the journal Sastra, that declared that its columns would be open to every one because art is not tied up to ideology. There was an immediate reaction of Lekra . Sastra was reactionary, not progressive, anti-worker, anti-peace, anti-Communist Party;. Jassin was dismissed from his lecturer’’s position and threatened with violence. In 1963 a number of writers without any ideological commitment reacted with the famous “Manifes Kebudayan”;, known as Manikebu, against which Lekra immediately started a campaign of terror: Manikebu (so it was said) should not only be argued against, but those who supported it had to be destroyed until there was no trace of them left in Indonesia. The poet Rendra has testified ( among other places in the Dutch paper “ Volkskrant” of 31-10-81) how the signatories of Manikebu (of which he was one) were dismissed one by one (many of them were teachers) and how their publications and public appearances were prohibited. Some of them were personally threatened and others were molested by teams of strong-arm bpoys. It was a nightmare said Rendra. Dick Hartogo has described how a threatening mass demonstration was organised in Jogya against the journal Basis under the slogan “Basis diterompetkan imperialis”(Basis is the trumpet of imperialism). Sukarno forbade Manikebu under pressure from Lekra; journals and newspapers that did not follow Lekra’s line were no longer allowed to be published; Takdir Alishahbana was confined to a particular city and fled to Malaysia, as did other prominent Indonesian intellectuals. Mochtar Loebis had already been imprisoned earlier. (Rudy Kousbroek in NRC.nl 4th October 1991).

    Pramudya was the vice-chairman of the section literature of Lekra at that time and these things had in all likelihood his approval though in retrospect he has always acted as if he were as innocent then as a babe unborn. But what is more important in this context is that they couldn’t have happened without Sukarno’s approval.

    None of this justifies of course the horrific massacre that followed the failed coup of September 1965 but it is important to realise that that crime against humanity did not fall from the sky and that Sukarno had a share in that disaster.

    And if Mr.Vitchek calls what is going on in Papua genocide (as it is) then he should please remember that it was mainly Sukarno who insisted on the colonisation of that Melanesian territory and even declared it to be the most important achievement of his reign. And it was also this faithless man who committed Indonesia to the organisation of a plebiscite about the future of the region in 1969 in the New York agreement of August 1962. He broke that agreement almost as soon as Indonesia was sure of its prey, declaring that of course the Papuan brethren would want to stay with the Republic and that therefore a plebiscite was not necessary. Sukarno’s intimus, Ruslan Abdulgani, who seemed to take pride in the fact, has testified that Indonesia was intent on breaking the agreement right from the start (Suharto went one better: organising a fake plebiscite and getting that rubber-stamped by the UN).

    This wastrel of a President who spent millions of the state’s money also ran the economy into the ground. I translate from the second volume of Giebels’ biography:

    “Undeer Sukarno’s “Guided Democracy” the guided economy was heading for a total breakdown in 1965. All the signals pointed to red. There was wild inflation, though the official exchange rate was 45 rupiah on the dollar, in the black market this went up to 10,000. In only one year the costs of living went up by several hundred points. Industrial production had gone down to 20 % of its capacity because of a lack of raw materials and spare parts . The reserves in gold and foreign currencies had been completely used up. Foreign debt had increased to 2,4 billion dollar .. .the money presses worked constantly.The circulation of money had increased by 100 % in 1963, by more than 140 % in 1964 and in the first nine months of 1965 it jumped to 240 percent. It appeared that it was impossible to come up with a budget for 1965. The only thing known was that budgetary space was completely exhausted by the costs of defence and the procurement of rice.(L.Giebels, 2001, Soekarno, Vol.II p.372).

    That was Sukarno. Mr.Vitchek can have him.
     

    N

    • Replies: @Ivan
  27. @Wally

    “…East Timor happened, greatly exaggerated as usual, but neither Republic or Rykaert have proof that the US was responsible, notice Franklin Ryckaert’s weasel word “approved”…”

    Here is the proof of US involvement and the reason why I used the “weasel” word approved :

    “…Kissinger, who does not find room to mention East Timor even in the index of his three-volume memoir, has more than once stated that the invasion came to him as a surprise, and that he barely knew of the existence of the Timorese question. He was obviously lying. But the breathtaking extent of his mendacity has only just become fully apparent, with the declassification of a secret State Department telegram. The document, which has been made public by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, contains a verbatim record of the conversation among Suharto, Ford and Kissinger. “We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action,” Suharto opened bluntly. “We will understand and will not press you on the issue,” Ford responded. “We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.”Kissinger was even more emphatic, but had an awareness of the possible “spin” problems back home. “It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly,” he instructed the despot. “We would be able to influence the reaction if whatever happens, happens after we return…. If you have made plans, we will do our best to keep everyone quiet until the President returns home.” Micromanaging things for Suharto, he added: “The President will be back on Monday at 2 pm Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned.”

    Source : The Nation, february 18, 2002 : Kissinger’s Green Light to Suharto, by Christopher Hitchens.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/kissingers-green-light-suharto/

    The slaughter of “communists” in the CIA instigated coup of 1965 happened in total chaos, so only rough estimates of the number of its victims are available. These run from at least 500,000 to 3 million. See: Wikipedia , Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66.

    Sukarno’s regime in its latter days was a balancing act of Nationalists, Islamists and Communists. Sukarno, himself a Nationalist, thought he could manage the Communists. The CIA feared otherwise, hence the coup.

  28. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Parfois1

    Just another failed state risen from the colonial era. These countries are made up of disparate regions, peoples and languages unified for administrative purposes by the colonial administrations. As such, they are easy prey for centralist power grabbers relying on the loyalty of the dominant ethnic group, here the Javanese, to suppress the periphery minorities.

    This doesn’t really address the issue, since Javanese are both Muslim and Christian and the thesis seems to be that Islam is dividing the country.

    The similarity with India and most of Africa is striking: multiethnic states are a failure because the gel that keeps people together is missing. They are made-up countries, artificial entities – in this instance even a made-up language (Bahasa)!

    To be fair to Jakarta, they’ve done a pretty excellent job at nation building. All across Indonesia, almost everyone is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia and consider themselves to be Indonesian first and foremost.

    What can be done with a country with more than 700 languages?

    Not just this. Don’t forget the logistics issues that arise with having a very low per capita economic capacity spread across more islands that anyone cares to count.

    Overall I’d say they’ve actually done a pretty good job at unifying the nation ever since independence, and the recent rise of fundamentalist Islam is at odds with the larger trend.

  29. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I’m surprised Australia hasn’t been inundated with them. While Australia has its immigration problems, Indonesians seem to be fairly low on the list of causing them. Which is strange, because given their proximity, I’d figure Indonesia was Australia’s Mexico.

    Logistics. Darwin’s pretty close, but Melbourne and Sydney are separated by thousands of kilometers of bone dry desert.

    The really funny thing is that they’ve been there for thousands of years and never even got to Darwin.

    • Replies: @Silva
  30. The 1965 US-orchestrated coup destroyed much of the culture and spirituality. Intellectualism had been wiped out, and so were the arts. Political diversity eliminated. Only cheap pop is now available. Pop, as well as the most fundamentalist forms of religion.

    Is there a major third world country where the US has NOT orchestrated a coup? I would really like to know. what I’ve realized was most of the folks in the west are completely oblivious about the shit their government does abroad on a near regular basis and then lecture the whole world about international law(lessness)! Even today, it backs the worst “royal” family in the Muslim world (the saudis) who are nearly universally hated by moderates and intellectuals across the muslim world (From Indonesia to Morocco). Perhaps it is their cosy warmth with Israel, the real power center for most of the western world and more so for the US.

    One would assume the US would have picked the Syrians over the Saudis since the former has one of the oldest christian communities in the world. For one, the Syrians are against the Israelis, the real kings of the west. Secondly they still have a thriving old semitic christian community which the (((benjamins))) hate along with their hatred for Muslims. one thing I’ve realized over the decades and after my brief stay in the west is that, the west is no longer Christian. Or more like post Christian with it’s decadent gay pride parades and it’s queer worship and it’s rampant sexplosion being shoved down the throat of the last person (and child). After spending some time in the west for my graduate studies, the homomania, which was pretty strong, even in the early 2000s was too much for me so I left and got back home. Thank goodness or else I’d be dealing with a gender confused son and an asexual daughter.

    I think a lot of white nationalists resent this too. I hope this monstrosity [the current western (((model))) of civilization] goes down the toilet pretty fast so both of us (Muslim nationalists in Muslim nations and white nationalists in white nations) can work on rebuilding their respective societies in their true indigenous fashions.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  31. awry says:
    @anon

    Communist rule has taken its toll. Yeah I know they are a market economy now, but still.
    Malaysia and Thailand seem to be most successful in this list (I would exclude Singapore as an outlier – a city state functioning as a financial center).

  32. Republic says:
    @Wally

    I was only quoting Vltchek, See the URL of his article at the time of my reply

  33. @AbdullahFromTheEast

    ABDULLAH

    Why did you waste the Chinese in Indonesia?

  34. Che Guava says:
    @OG

    Yes, it has to be something along such lines.

  35. Raven says:
    @Che Guava

    Picked this up over the net.

    Bumiputra means “Prince of the Earth” and not sons of the soil. The Bumiputras in Malaysia now labelled themselves as “Ketuanan Melayu” or, Malay Masters. This even beats Hitler.

  36. @Wally

    Ryckaert then plays dodge-the-comment when he avoids providing proof for Republic’s unsupported claim of “between 1-3 million intellectuals, ‘atheists’, Communists and unionists lost their lives”. I call BS on that Communist claim.

    Are you mentally deficient in some manner? The Communists never ruled in Indonesia.

  37. Che Guava says:
    @OG

    I am sure that it is something like that. See post 26 in this thread, an attempted rebuke to me.

    Sure, I know he takes some good photos. So do I, possibly also you.

    I do know that he stays in luxury hotels, because he wrote a long attack on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo some years ago, complaining about the service (or, from the way he was writing, lack of servility). If I didn’t live here but was visiting, I wouldn’t choose the Imperial Hotel. Too expensive.

    However, working near there for a time just a little earlier, going to a nearby drinking place, one manager and two staff from the hotel were drinking companions for a time. They were nice people, and, I am sure, very conscientious about their jobs at a five-star hotel.

    The best part of my reply to Vltchek’s whining (I don’t recall the site, and he would eventually have been embarassed about whining about his stay in a five-star hotel, so had the article pulled) was ‘phony as a three-dollar bill’.

    That article convinced me.

    Given his choice of lodgings between ‘assignments’, my guess about first and maybe occasional business class flights, except where there are none at his destinations, is almost certainly correct.

    • Replies: @OG
    , @OG
  38. Che Guava says:
    @Raven

    Thank you Raven.

    I am not sure if the meaning has been changed, or was misrepresented, would not be surprised at either.

    However, the more modest meaning was what I was taught in Malay lessons as a child.

    Your latter would be a natural result of lines of thought from Mahathir (and I was so surprised to see him P.M. again, and like his spirit, not that I agree with him, but have read him, to me his return is one of the biggest surprises this century) and Islam.

    Not having been there for many years, still, I suspect that your second term is more popular in the states at the north-eastern extreme (except Penang) and in the general north-west of the peninsula. After all, it is from there that the three southernmost states of Thailand receive problems, and there where the Islamic bombers and killers in Thailand receive shelter.

  39. OG says:
    @Che Guava

    I completely agree. I’ve never seen foreign affairs journalists from MSM get around as much as he does. And come on, he isn’t so well known that his books and articles could cover his travels from South America to Africa to Asia to the middle east. At best he is a poseur with a fat trust fund/hefty alimony. At worst, as you suspect, he is sinister.

  40. @Raven

    “…Bumiputra means “Prince of the Earth” and not sons of the soil…”

    No, it does mean “sons of the soil”. It comes from Sanskrit bhumiputra. Bhumi means “earth” and putra means “son” in Sanskrit. It is their term for “autochthonous”.

  41. OG says:
    @Che Guava

    By the way, the article you mentioned is here http://travel.cnn.com/tokyo/visit/tell-me-about-it/andre-vltchek-why-i-hate-traveling-japan-342716/

    Enjoy Vltchek whining about the lack of comfort in five star hotels paid for with his bunch of gold and platinum cards. Apparently, this Marxist revolutionary poet, philosopher and journalist claims these are his homes away from home, where he goes to ‘lick his wounds’ after witnessing the brutality of a broken capitalist system.

    • Agree: Che Guava
  42. Che Guava says:

    OG,

    Very funny, thanks, but I can assure you that before he was whining about the Miyako Sheraton he was whining about the Imperial Hotel.

    I don’t know about the former (maybe only four, four-and-a half stars?) .

    Of course, it confirmed my predictions re. flying.

    \(^o^)/

    Thx.

    (-.-)Zzz・・・・

    • Replies: @OG
  43. @Che Guava

    The only sinister person seems to be you. Why should Mr Unz who has been running a successful gig, all of a sudden decide to listen to a rant and act upon it? Surely if you were to enlighten us with some of your published works and your responses to those of differing opinions to yours, then taking you seriously might just be possible. In the meantime keep on trolling as you keep your finger firmly plugged in the dyke

    • LOL: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  44. OG says:
    @Che Guava

    see comment 44. Curiouser and curiouser. This African hostage guy appears on unz only ONCE and just to defend Vlthchek. Methinks it’s our elusive revolutionary philosopher, poet and journalist himself.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  45. Che Guava says:
    @OG

    Thank you again.

    It was entertaining.

    You may well be correct, if it isn’t Vltchek himself, it is a relatively talented troll who is liking his bullshit.

    A satire video with Vltchek riding first and business class around the world (which could he represented with stock and advertising footage), interspersed with his arrogant and rude behaviour at luxury hotels (still cartoon frames and external scenes with voiceover would do), intercut with brief cuts from his wild adventure videos would make a great comedy.

    I don’t have time for such a project, and I would expect neither do you, but I am able to fully envisage (intentional split infinitive) it, would he hilarious.

    I have frequent cinematic dreams lately, the films are non-existent, but usually, something like the flavour of David Lynch, believe me, a couple were true masterpieces, but only viewed in my own brain while asleep.

    Memory and dreams and their interplay can be miraculous.

    Unlike Vltchek, I have to rush to work after I awake (as you, likely), so I never have time to make detailed notes, but remember some scenes.

    I am posting too many words, Vltchek deserves satire of his nonsense, but it seems to me that no-ome much is paying attention to his bullshit now, so an elaborate cut-up video as I suggest above would be very funny, and he deserves ridicule for his hypocrisy, but making it well would take time. If anyone was trying to do it, I would help as time is available.

    Regards.

  46. Che Guava says:

    You have many good details.

    I should be asleep, but can’t.

    Wrote a better reply earlier.

    Soekarnos and Soeharto’s states were not much different, except in parts of foreign policy.

    Everyone must recall that the origin of the Indonesian state was under fascist (some would argue simply imperialistic, I could write many pages to refute that) Japan.

    The origins of the Indonesian state are in the military trained from us, and in Javanese imperialism, to my eyes, worse than the Dutch ever were on that point.

    It always is amusing to me that, while western countries were so eager to dismember the Warsaw Pact, then the USSR, then Yugoslavia, the only step against the far more imperialistic Javanese empire was in Timor l’Este. The rest just have to suffer.

  47. Ivan says:
    @Raven

    Franklin Ryckaert is correct. That is how the term “bumiputra” is understood. But the Malays are not the only “sons of the soil”, there are the Orang Asli, ie, native peoples. But of course the term “bumiputra” carries with it the connotation of the privileges of being both Malay and Muslim. There is something of a racket going on, in that many of the successful bumiputras actually have some Indian Muslim blood, coming from some migrant. As always follow the money.

  48. Ivan says:
    @Adrian

    Well said sir. In Indonesia they celebrate Sukarno not for his urbanity (such as it is), but as an imperialist who established the Indonesian territorial claims over the disparate peoples, straddling three time zones. They are pretty unashamed about it. Under the cover, Indonesia is run by the Javanese elite. Such successful peoples as the Chinese have to pay “rent” in many ways.

    It is about time that Western commentators give up playing Jesus – taking on all the sins of the world as though anything that happens is the fault of the West – and stop pretending that other races have no moral agency of their own. The Dutch left ages ago, there is no trace of their presence, they might as well have been one of the hoary old empires, yet the animosity between the races remain. Which is not to say that say that the Indonesians are any worse or better than the rest of us.

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