The Acts of the Democracies
Year : 1965
13 Items Selected
Lists of over 5,000 suspects are passed to the government by the USA embassy in Jakarta. The UK also aids the slaughter, directing operations from Singapore. The UK ambassador, Andrew Gilchrist states that: "a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change."
General Suharto slowly takes power in the chaos. Business concessions are made to Western companies. Roland Challis (the BBC's South East Asia correspondent) admits that "getting British companies and the World Bank back in there was part of the deal".
Less than a year later Michael Stewart, the UK Foreign Secretary, would report that the economic situation in Indonesia promised: "great potential opportunities for British exporters... I think we ought to take an active part and try to secure a slice of the cake ourselves".
The West does not report much of what happens or its own involvement in the slaughter. These events are the background to the USA made film, The Year of Living Dangerously.
The Indonesian writer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer describes the scene: "Usually the corpses were no longer recognisable as human. Headless. Stomachs torn open. The smell was unimaginable. To make sure they didn't sink, the carcuses were deliberately tied to, or impaled upon, bamboo stakes."
In 1983, a specialist in CIA propaganda, Ralph McGehee, would admit that the evidence of communist weapons running that was the excuse for the troops being deployed was faked by the CIA.
Falling sugar prices had led to a popular uprising against the USA-backed military dictatorship. More than 4,000 Dominicans are killed. The USA newspaper New York Times admits that Dominicans were "fighting and dying for social justice and constitutionalism."
The UK imposes sanctions that are ignored by multinational companies, Portugal controlled Mozambique, and apartheid South Africa.
The new, USA backed, ruler is Mobutu Sese Seko who allows USA companies access to the country's cobalt, copper, and diamonds. In the coming years, Mobutu amasses a personal fortune of over $ 5,000 million. Every foreign company setting up in the country has to pay a "tribute" to the president.
Mobutu would rule brutally for 30 years during which time the Zairian people would become impoverished despite the country's huge natural wealth.
Between 1965 and 1973 the USA would drop more than 2 million tons (2,030 million kg) of bombs on Laos. People would be forced to live in caves for many years; hundreds of thousands would die.
A year later the USA newspaper, Washington Post notes:
"In the view of some observers, continued dictatorship in Thailand suits the United States since it assures a continuation of American bases in the country and that, as a US official put it bluntly, 'is our real interest in this place'".