The Acts of the Democracies

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Year : 1965

13 Items Selected

Generated : 8th December 2023



Coup in Indonesia (Suharto)

After a coup attempt, up to 400,000 suspected communists are massacred in Indonesia (including 120 members of Congress). Some 250,000 people are sent to prison camps.

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."

The Vietnam-USA War

The USA commits 125,000 troops to fight in Vietnam. The military policy consists of indiscriminate killing, bombing and chemical warfare (cancer producing defoliants and napalm that burns flesh). Anti war protests occur in the USA capital, Washington DC.

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.

USA and Dominican Republic

The USA sends 23,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to keep the previously elected president Juan Bosch from returning to power.

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."

USA Race Riots

34 people are killed, mostly by the police, in race riots in Los Angeles, USA. Increasing violence over civil rights for blacks is followed by excessive police response in the state of Alabama.

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel attacks a village in Jordan to fight Palestinian resistance.


The 220,000 white settlers in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), decide to ignore the wishes of the 4,000,000 black Africans and declare independence. Ian Smith rules the country for the whites and does not allow the blacks to vote.

The UK imposes sanctions that are ignored by multinational companies, Portugal controlled Mozambique, and apartheid South Africa.

Elections in Nigeria

Fraudulent elections in Nigeria cause civil unrest. Western oil companies continue to profit and the events are unreported by the media of the USA or UK.

France and Guinea

Guinea severs diplomatic relations with France after the discovery of a French plot to assassinate its president.


India attempts to make Hindi (a north Indian language) the national language of all India. Tamils in the south protest and English becomes an official language.

Coup in Zaire (Mobutu)

A military coup occurs in Zaire (formerly Congo).

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.

USA and Laos

The USA CIA creates the 30,000 strong Armeé Clandestine using Asian mercenaries to destabilise Laos.

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.


The USA builds up a military presence in Thailand as it fights various wars in the region. Some of the forces are used to help the unelected government repress dissidents.

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'".


The USA sets up military camps in the jungles of Peru and exterminates several dissident groups that are fighting the government for economic equality.

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