A coalition airstrike reported on Tuesday that killed at least 85 Syrian civilians—one more than died in the Nice attack in France last week—wasn’t featured at all on the front pages of two of the top US national newspapers, theNew York Times and LA Times, and only merited brief blurbs on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, with the actual stories buried on pages A-16 and A-15, respectively.

According to the London Telegraph (7/19/16), the airstrike killed “more than 85 civilians” after the “coalition mistook them for Islamic State fighters.” Eight families were represented among the dead, with victims “as young as three.” The Intercept (7/19/16) reported the death toll could end up being well over 100.

The Pentagon has not denied the reports, saying an investigation is underway, according to Stars and Stripes (7/19/16), a media outlet that operates inside the Department of Defense.

As many on Twitter pointed out, the number of dead was roughly equal to that of the recent Nice attack, yet the airstrike did not garner nearly as much media coverage, nor did news outlets convey an outpouring of grief:

By contrast, the Nice attack garnered multiple front-page stories in the New York Times and LA Times, as well as significantly more than 20-word blurbs in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

For those who see a “false equivalency,” there are two mitigating reasons for this glaring discrepancy: 1) The airstrike deaths were an “accident” and 2) Syria’s a war zone, where civilian deaths are to be expected. Neither of these retorts are satisfactory, and certainly not enough to justify a virtual front-page blackout.

On the issue of accidental deaths having less import than purposeful ones, this doesn’t explain why unintentional natural disaster deaths routinely receive splashing front-page coverage. Intent rarely affects coverage of these events; only death counts do. And this is granting the deaths were actually accidental, which we don’t know for sure at this time, or whether the US military was using tactics, like so-called “signature strikes,” that are known to greatly increase the chances of killing noncombatants.

As for the “war zone” factor, according to Airwars, a Western group that monitors civilian deaths at the hands of the US-led coalition, the total number of civilians deaths since the beginning of airstrikes in September 2014 has been 190. To increase this number by almost 50 percent in a matter of days would indeed be a radical departure from the normal course of events—rendering it more than newsworthy.

Indeed, all of the publications in question ran a story on the “dozens of deaths” at the hands of US-led airstrikes, so we know they deemed it notable. Just not notable enough, for whatever reason, to put in a prominent position for US audiences.

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst for FAIR.org. Follow him onTwitter at @AdamJohnsonNYC.

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Recently Paul Craig Roberts recounted a conversation he had with James Jesus Angleton, a former head of CIA counterintelligence, in which they discussed strategies that the CIA employs to dupe the American and global public, with a view to perpetrating criminal agendas, cloaked beneath the lie of “national interests”.  Angleton explained to Roberts that, 

intelligence services create stories inside stories, each with its carefully constructed trail of evidence, in order to create false trails as diversions. Such painstaking work can serve a variety of purposes … Then if the official story gets into trouble, the backup story can be released in order to deflect attention into a new false story or to support the original story.

The strategy of “stories within stories”, and using competing narratives to confuse, to distract, and to lead the public down false paths (red herrings) is entirely consistent with the 9/11 crimes, the subsequent “War On Terror”, and the criminal invasion of Syria.

The official stories explaining the 9/11 false flag are bundled with hidden stories, “limited hangouts”, and “distance from accountability” strategies — all serving to daze and confuse North Americans in particular, to the point where we revert to passively accepting the narrative of the day and the overarching lie that supporting the neo-con war agenda is patriotic.

The first 9/11 story – Story A – identified al Qaeda and Bin Laden as the primary perpetrators, but this story is being supplanted by another story – story B – which features Saudi Arabia as the villain.  No doubt Saudi Arabia played a role in the crime and the on-going cover-up, but “Story B” is also a “limited hangout” in the sense that only a limited part of the story is “hanging out”.  It also serves to provide cover or “distance from accountability” for some of the major villains who are still shielded from the glare of the spotlight. Additionally, it serves to lead us down false trails (red herring) that divert public attention from the hidden agenda of global war and poverty.

The Saudi Arabia limited hangout does beg an important question though:  Will the CIA’s Wahhabi mercenary outfits — ISIS, al Qaeda/ al Nursra Front, and all the fraudulently labelled “moderates”, be targeting Saudi Arabia next?

The same strategy of “stories within stories” is occurring with the West’s criminal war of aggression on Syria.

Professor Tim Anderson explains in an interview that

“Washington’s plan for a New Middle East – with compliant states across the region – is failing. Their Plan B is to partition or otherwise divide Syria and Iraq. Their Plan C will be to withdraw while pretending that they have helped bring peace to the region.”

The original Plan A: to quickly destroy democratic, pluralist, non-sectarian Syria with Western and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) backed terrorist invaders — with a view to setting up a stooge Wahhabi-style dictatorship, is failing.  Not only are the terrorists being defeated on the battlefield, but the psy op “strategy of disassociation” is crumbling as well. More and more people are seeing through the lies of the “moderate rebel” story:  the Western/GCC – backed “moderates” (all of whom share the same strategic ambitions as ISIS and the West) are at least as bad, maybe worse than their “comrades in arms”, “ISIS”.

When U.S State Department spokesperson Mark Toner explained that they might put a “pause” on funding the so-called “moderates”, who publically and brazenly chopped off the head of a Palestinian boy, the “strategy of disassociation” was beheaded as well.

Plan B is also failing, at least in Syria, since the “balkanization” efforts at creating ethnically or religiously-based enclaves within Syria is hitting the wall of Syria’s longstanding culture of religious freedom and pluralism.  Syrians identify themselves first and foremost as Syrians, and not according to their religious affiliations.

Hopefully, Plan C is around the corner.  The West will pretend that it has achieved peace, and it will withdraw its disgusting terrorist proxies.

The ugly truth about the genocidal Western designs for Syria – well documented for years by sources including former Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Michael Flynn, by Generals Dempsey, and Clark, by Vice-President Biden, and by publicly available Defence Intelligence Agency documents, as well as from other open source documents — is increasingly being accepted.

Despite the fake reporting, the fake NGOs, the “stories within stories”, the indolence and criminality of the corporate presstitutes, the ugly truth is imposing itself on Western audiences, whether they like it or not.

Just peace requires a foundation of truth.

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 There are at least five Daesh military training camps in Kosovo, located in remote areas near the self-proclaimed republic’s border with Albania and Macedonia, a source close to the intelligence services told Sputnik.

In an interview with Sputnik, a source close to the intelligence services singled out at least five Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) training camps, located in remote areas near Kosovo’s border with Albania and Macedonia.

The largest camps are located in areas adjacent to the towns on the Urosevac and Djakovica line as well as the Decani district, the source said, adding that the smaller camps were tracked in the Prizren and Pec regions.

A total of 314 Kosovo Albanians along with Daesh terrorists are now fighting government troops in Syria and Iraq, among them 38 women, according to the source.

As for the recruitment, it takes in two stages; the first is conducted by non-governmental organizations that operate in Kosovo and at numerous private schools, the source said.

“The future Daesh terrorists are ‘brainwashed’ there and they also learn Arabic and study the Koran, something that is followed by so-called ‘combat practice’ training, headed by former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). They typically teach the rookies to wage guerrilla warfare and handle guns, among other things,” according to the source.

“In addition, each camp has several Daesh terrorists who decide on sending the rookies to the war or preparing them for the role of suicide bombers,” the source said, citing about 70 Kosovo Albanian families who decided to join Daesh.

The source also warned of the possible spread of such camps to Macedonia and in Bosnia, where about 800 jihadists arrived during the wars in the 1990s. As far as Macedonia is concerned, the country is just beginning to grapple with the problem, the source said, referring to Macedonian villages which were earlier KLA centers and which have already been turned into Daesh training camps.

In 2013, the Western Balkans Security Issues news website warned of the territory of Kosovo and Albania being used for Daesh training camps, something that was recognized by Kosovo authorities only a year later.

Meanwhile, the source has told Sputnik that the training process dates back to 1999, when al-Qaeda terrorists were involved in training the KLA militants in Kosovo.

In a separate interview with Sputnik earlier this week, Fadil Lepaja, director of the Center for Balkan Studies in Pristina, shared the view that with Kosovo’s borders with Albania and Macedonia existing only on paper, tracking Islamists’ training camps is almost impossible.

He noted that tackling Daesh supporters is a global problem, rather than one limited to Kosovo and Albania. Even though NATO’s mission in Kosovo (KFOR) and all relevant services keep a watchful eye on those who have returned from the war in Syria, it is hard to foresee everything, according to him.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after spending several years under UN administration. It is recognized by Washington and many EU member nations.

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A survey conducted by FAIRof US media coverage of ISIS or ISIS-inspired attacks in Europe and the Middle East reveals a disparity of coverage, showing that European deaths are roughly 1,800 percent more newsworthy than deaths in the Middle East.

For the purposes of this survey, both articles and video reports were included. We chose the three most-circulated “traditional media” newspapers andBuzzfeed, one of the most popular newsites for “Millennials,” to get another perspective. The list was compiled using a combination of the Nexis news database and Google.

Building on a survey of media mentions from March (AlterNet3/31/16) of mass attacks on civilians that are either connected to or perceived to be connected to ISIS (note: The Nice attack has yet to be confirmed as an ISIS-inspired attack), one finds that a death in Europe, broadly speaking, is seen as 19 times more newsworthy as one in the Middle East. Setting aside Baghdad, which one could categorize as a “war zone” (unlike Turkey or Lebanon), deaths in non-Western attacks are nine times less likely to garner news coverage.

Stories on ISIS-linked attacks in selected news outlets

But why? American pundits like Max Fisher (Vox11/16/15) and Brian J. Phillips (Washington Post,  11/16/15) have dismissed those concerned over this discrepancy as “tragedy hipsters,” a pejorative used to describe people who feign outrage over imbalanced coverage.

Vox: Did the media ignore the Beirut bombings? Or did readers?

Max Fisher in Vox (11/16/15): “I have never really succeeded in getting readers to care about such bombings that happen outside of the Western world.”

Those like Fisher who dismiss such concerns largely chalk up the difference in coverage to a gap in reader interest, which Fisher supports with a personal anecdote. This argument ignores the extent to which audience interest is shaped by media priorities. Phillips blames the “man bites dog” factor—meaning the attacks in France have more news value by virtue of the fact that attacks there are “more unusual.” While this could be said for Baghdad (and to a lesser extent Turkey), there have actually been three times as many terror attacks in France as there has been in Lebanon over the past year and a half, yet France merited over five times the coverage. 

Not surprisingly, Fisher’s former publication Vox had only one passing mention of the Baghdad attacks, while dedicating nine articles to the Nice attack, despite it having one-third as many victims. As another point of reference, Vox dedicated three times as many articles to the Taylor Swift-Kanye West controversy as it did the worst terror attack in Iraq’s post-invasion history.

Recent reports by Public Radio International (7/16/16) and the New York Times (7/5/16) attempted to answer why, despite being the worst terrorist attack since the US-led invasion in 2003, media coverage of the ISIS Baghdad bombings earlier this month that left over 300 dead was largely absent but came up short, alluding toward the obvious but not really noting it with certainty.

The elephant in the room, and one the media doesn’t seem willing or able to address, is racism—sometimes gestured toward with the vague catch-all “shared cultures,” but more often simply ignored. While it’s possible that proximity and frequency, or a general lack of reader interest, is the culprit, it can’t account for such a wide gap. (It’s worth noting that there are more people in the US of Lebanese than Belgian descent—488,000 vs. 378,000, according to the US Census.)

Occam’s razor suggests that institutional white supremacy (often manifesting with orientalist assumptions about a “cycle of violence” in the Middle East) heavily influences the disparity of coverage. France isn’t any more the United States than Turkey or Lebanon are, but France and the US do share a majority white population. Without at least recognizing this factor,  how can newsmakers accurately assess their editorial priorities? Doing so doesn’t make one a hipster, it means one acknowledges reality — a trait that should be encouraged rather than glibly mocked.

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst for FAIR.org. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamJohnsonNYC.

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At a national youth educational forum, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed backstage the demands of US Secretary of State John Kerry in Syria.

During his recent visit to Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry voiced several preconditions for US-Russia cooperation in Syria.

According to Lavrov, Kerry called for the immediate resignation of Syrian President Assad without giving any explanation of his position.

« They say that we could join our efforts in the fight against terrorism […] but first we need to agree that we remove Assad from power, » Lavrov said, speaking at a national youth educational forum.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry

© Sputnik/ Ilya Pitalev

According to Lavrov, Kerry is convinced the vast majority of Syria’s population doesn’t support Assad. In response, Lavrov suggested that the new president in Syria should be elected in a democratic way.

Moreover, Lavrov negatively assessed Western policy in the Middle East and North Africa and referred to the West as « a bull in a china shop ».

« What is happening in the Middle East, in North Africa is a direct result of a very incompetent, unprofessional attitude to the situation. In an attempt to maintain their dominance, our Western partners have acted like a bull in a china shop, » Lavrov said.

 

Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft is prepared for departure at Khmeimim Air Base in Syria
© PHOTO: PRESS SERVICE OF THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups. The United States and their western allies have many times tried to accuse Assad of being responsible for the bloodshed and insisted on his resignation.Following Russia’s military success in Syria (Russia deployed forces in the country at Assad’s official request), many experts and media sources argued that Western countries gave up their demand to overthrow Assad and focused on the fight against terrorism. However, Kerry’s statement shows that the West is far from giving up its initial approach.

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BRICS Bank Board of Directors Meet in Shanghai

juillet 24th, 2016 by The Brics Post

Infrastructure financing needs of the five BRICS countries was discussed at the annual meet of the New Development Bank’s board of directors in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The NDB was launched by the BRICS nations last year and is seen by its members as an alternative to the World Bank.

On Wednesday, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the new lender needs to attract more capital into infrastructure and boost greater economic cooperation between the BRICS countries.

“The BRICS nations and developing countries will have a greater say in global economic governance,” he said.

BRICS members like India and South Africa are struggling with infrastructure deficit.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (C) poses for a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations before the opening ceremony of the First Annual Meeting of New Development Bank in Shanghai, east China, July 20, 2016 [Xinhua]

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (C) poses for a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations before the opening ceremony of the First Annual Meeting of New Development Bank in Shanghai, east China, July 20, 2016 [Xinhua]

India needs over $1.5 trillion in investment in the next 10 years to bridge infrastructure gap, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at the BRICS Bank Board of Governors meet last month.

The NDB Board of Directors on Wednesday approved funding for its first Russian project: the development of a small-scale energy project in Karelia.

The new lender is allocating $100 million for the project, President Kundapur Vaman Kamath told journalists.

“Today we have approved our project in Russia for $100 mln,” Kamath said. Kamath is a former executive of India’s largest private lender, ICICI Bank.

“In this one year, we have put in place all our major operational policies and procedures. The Board has approved the first set of projects with a total commitment of USD 911 mln, which covers all our five member countries. All of these projects are broadly in an area of renewable energy and through our first set of loans the Bank has begun the process of establishing its credentials as an institution that supports green and sustainable infrastructure,” Kamath added.

The bank also plans to extend finance to private sector.

“As a first step we are developing our own operational policies on that front (private sector) loans without sovereign guarantees; We have to build capacities in terms of people. It will take next six months to do that. Some time in the middle of the next year, I hope we will start looking at private sector projects in member countries. That will bring innovation,” the President of NDB Kamath said.

An emailed statement said NDB Director and Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak stressed that “the Bank has become a part of a big family of multilateral development banks, showing that emerging markets can agree quite quickly and effectively on such an initiative”.

Storchak expressed confidence that “with the establishment of the NDB its members have embarked on providing a new orientation to the global financial system”.

The BRICS Bank announced on Tuesday that it has successfully completed its first green financial bond issuance of 3 billion yuan ($448 million), with a five-year term and interest rate of 3.07 per cent.

Brazil, Russia, India and China officially grouped together in 2009, with South Africa joining later, to press for a bigger say in global financial matters.

The NDB, which is headquartered in Shanghai, started work last year.

 

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More than a dozen civilians are dead or injured after US warplanes launch fresh airstrikes in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo.

Local sources said warplanes hit targets in al-Nawajah village east of of Manbij on Saturday, leaving at least 15 people dead or injured.

Some of the wounded victims are said to be in a critical condition, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement from London.

This file photo shows a formation of US Navy F-18E Super Hornets over northern Iraq after carrying out a sortie in Syria.

This file photo shows a formation of US Navy F-18E Super Hornets over northern Iraq after carrying out a sortie in Syria.

The fresh attack comes shortly after at least 140 civilians were killed in French and US airstrikes in Manbij on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the Syrian Foreign Ministry, French warplanes struck the village of Tukhan al-Kubra north of Manbij, killing 120 civilians. The fatalities came a day after a US airstrike killed 20 civilians in Manbij.

Last month, at least 45 civilians were killed in two separate US-led airstrikes in the Syrian city, which is mostly populated by the Kurdish community.

On Thursday, opposition groups in Syria called on the US and allies to suspend airstrikes following the deaths of some 140 civilians in Aleppo until an investigation is completed into the deaths.

The Syrian government has written to the United Nations, asking the world body to condemn the airstrikes which are carried out without authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The US-led coalition has been backing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces, to capture Manbij since last May.

The coalition has also been conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014.

The Syrian government has criticized the unauthorized aerial campaign, saying it has damaged the country’s infrastructure instead of making a dent in the Takfiri group’s capabilities.

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“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prepared a list of targets for arrest even before the coup (sic) was launched”, European Commission official on Turkey (quoted in FT,  7/19/2016).

The coup in Turkey was made to order. A group of military officers and police officials were set-up to seize power by senior intelligence operatives in the Erdoğan regime. They were allowed to drop a few bombs, seize bridges and buildings before they were encircled, rounded-up and arrested using a list of targets for arrest prepared even before the so-called coup. In the midst of this fake coup, the ‘vacationing’ Erdoğan flies into Istanbul unharmed, of course, because his vacation resort was bombed after he had left. He seizes the mass media, denounces the coup, rouses the Muslim masses and sets about on a mass purge of Turkish society, concentrating on the civil service, teachers and administrators, the military, the courts and judges. Indeed every institution capable of independent action or reputedly critical of Erdoğan is closed. After a week over 60,000 people had been purged.

Why did Erdoğan resort to a coup?

Why did Erdoğan purge Turkish society?

What policies will follow Erdoğan’s power grab?

Prelude to the Coup

Over the past 5 years Erdoğan has suffered a series of political, economic and diplomatic failures and defeats, seriously undermining his dictatorial and territorial ambitions. His air force shot down a Russian military jet operating within Syrian territory. The images of Turkish jihadi mercenaries murdering a Russian pilot as he parachuted to safety, as well as a member of the Russian rescue party, caused the Russian government to halt the multi-billion-dollar Russian tourism industry in Turkey and cancel lucrative business deals. He broke relations with Israel, which undercut a lucrative gas and oil offshore contract. His support for ISIS and other violent Salafist mercenary groups operating in Iraq and Syria provoked a rupture with Syria and Iran. His subsequent effort to disavow Turkey’s links with ISIS led to a series of horrific terror bombings by jihadi cells implanted in the country. Turkey’s diplomatic position in Egypt deteriorated as Erdoğan sought to maintain his ties with the Muslim Brotherhood after it had been ousted from power by a US sponsored Egyptian military coup.

Domestically, Erdoğan alienated the secular Kemalist military and civilian political-economic elite via trumped up trials and media purges. Erdoğan’s heavy-handed assault on liberal and leftist protestors over environmental issues increased Western concern. His brutal handling of the labor protests following the 2014 Soma coalmine disaster, when over 300 workers were killed, further isolated him.

Erdoğan’s war on the Kurdish independence movements in Turkey, Iraq and especially in Syria, where they were allied with the US against the jihadi terrorist ISIS, added to domestic unrest and international isolation.

In order to consolidate his executive power, Erdoğan had first allied with the extensive Gulenist-Islamist networks in Turkey in order to undermine the Kemalists and then he turned around to purge his former allies .

Faced with enemies and adversaries at home and overseas, Erdoğan decided on a dual strategy of improving his ties abroad, especially his links with Russia and Israel while launching a total war on domestic critics.

Fabricated Coup and the Permanent Purge

Erdoğan’s intelligence operatives within the military command encouraged or even provoked his critics in the General Staff, who were fed up with his bungling and disastrous policies, to mount a coup. They gave the rebellious military sufficient space and resources to provide a semblance of authority while retaining strategic control over the air force and key ground troops. They may have feigned sympathy to the launching of a premature uprising …doomed to defeat. Once the heavily infiltrated rebel units moved, the entire Erdoğan operation struck. Hapless conscripts thought they had been called out for military exercises, only to find themselves encircled, arrested and even lynched. The dissidents were isolated, their advances paralyzed, their leaders incapacitated. Erdoğan’s loyalist within the Turkish Air Force flew the triumphant president into the ‘liberated’ Istambul International airport to the cheers of his adoring civilian supporters.

Erdoğan immediately decreed a massive purge – in the name of the fatherland. A real coup had indeed taken place – Erdoğan’s total power grab. The entire political, military, judicial and police system was stripped of personnel within hours. There were over 20,000 arrests, beatings and disappearances. There were calls to re-introduce the death penalty.

Erdoğan’s power grab eliminated key US assets among the Gulenist and eliminated independent Supreme Court officials and secular republican officials. The president was free to rebuild an entire civil, governmental and military apparatus with his own loyalists. His control over the media and the educational institutions was total.

Rule Under Erdoģan

Erdoğan’s pre-emptive coup, purge and power grab will result in a monolithic state which Erdoģan will shape into his long-sought version of an Islamist regime. The new regime announced a ‘State of Emergency’, which places all Turks under strict compliance with Erdoğan’s policies.

Erdoğan’s “New Order” will launch large-scale operations against the Kurds, with no respect for the Syrian or Iraqi national borders. Erdoğan will ensure compliance with Islamist decrees designed to enforce conformity. He will succeed in imposing a dictatorial ‘Presidential’ regime. And parliament, if necessary will be bypassed; his ‘electoral’ mandate will be ensured.

In the immediate aftermath, mass detentions will strengthen the state – and Erdoğan’s generals, allied religious authorities and street thugs will call the shots.

Unleashing force and violence against his domestic enemies, however, may lead to internal disputes among the new predators over the spoils of victory. The economic elite may accept the New Order, but only if and when Erdoğan tones down his rhetorical attacks on the US and the EU.

Erdoğan has yet to develop a strategy on replacing the purged (‘Gulenist’) professionals within the civilian economy and public bureaucracy – especially the schools and judiciary. The impetuous reversals of his reckless policy of confrontation with Russia, Syria, Israel, Iran, Iraq and the Kurds are likely to generate new layers of discontent, especially among his current military commanders.

Erdoğan’s New Order arises from the breakdown of civil society and long-term alliances. He may remain in power in Ankara but he will be viewed as more of a local political thug than a partner among the regional big powers.

Erdoğan’s external allies will exploit his isolation and radical bombast to forge lucrative alliances. Israel will push for favorable gas and oil deals; Russia will insist that Erdoğan abandons his ISIS allies. The US will demand he cease attacks on the Kurds. The EU will use the ongoing purge and re-institution of the death penalty to finally declare Turkey unfit to join the European Union. Bankers and foreign investors will wait for Erdoğan to stop his rampage over the financial sector and ‘get serious’ about the economy.

Erdoğan’s dream of lifetime rulership presiding over an Islamic Neo-Ottoman caliphate, buttressed by street mobs, praetorian guards and crony capitalists makes for an unstable and unruly Turkey. Erdoğan’s military loyalists have their own rivalries and ambitions. Now that Erdoğan has established his ‘military road to power’, he has set a clear precedent for other ‘Erdoğan’s’ to take the same route.

In the short-run Erdoğan needs to restart the economy, stabilize the political system and establish a semblance of international order.

Erdoğan cannot and probably will not prolong tensions with the US over the Gulen affair. Gulen will remain in Pennsylvania, in the CIA’s ‘regime change’ pocket. Meanwhile, he has eliminated most of the Gulenist agents capable of working with the US as a fifth-column. The question is whether he now moves back to his role as a ‘valued’ NATO junior partner, or if he will launch an intensified war against the US’s strategic Kurdish allies?

Erdoğan’s ties with Russia are precarious. There is no reason for the Russians to trust him. He has fallen somewhere between the need for reconciliation with Russia and the desire to continue his proxy war against the government of Syria.

In the end Erdoğan may have secured power and undertaken a vast domestic purge of his enemies, but he has lost the regional war while bearing the consequences of millions of war refugees and a deeply entrenched jihadi terrorist threat within Turkey.

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A plea signed by a great number of professors of international law and researchers entitled « A plea against the abusive invocation of self-defence as a response to terrorism » is circulating on the web since a few weeks.

Among the signatories, which are more than 220 professors and almost 50 assistants/researchers  (see the list available  here  at July 22, updated by the Centre de Droit International de l´Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB) , we find distinguished names of international law community as well as younger  researchers and assistants.  The objective of this collective initiative is to challenge the invocation of the legal argument of self-defense by several States in the context of the war against ISIL or ISIS.

As well known, the United Nations Charter is extremely clear on the unique exception to the prohibition of the use of force since 1945:  self-defense (and military operations authorized by Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter).  However, since 9/11, various interpretations made by United States and its allies have tried to legally support unilateral military operations in the territory of a State without previous consent of its authorities.  In a recent note published on the website of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL), we read that: “Particularly since 9/11, several States have supported a broad reading of the right to use force in self-defence, as allowing them to intervene militarily against terrorists whenever and wherever they may be. A consequence of that conception is that any State could be targeted irrespective of whether that State has ‘sent’ the irregular (in this case terrorist) group to carry out a military action or has been ‘substantially involved’ in such an action” (Note 1).

The use of force in self-defense must be exercised in conformity with the conditions laid down in the UN Charter and international law. On this very particular point, it must be recalled that France presented at the Security Council a quite surprising draft resolution  after Paris attacks of November 13, 2015  (see  full text  of the « blue version » circulated among delegations)  avoiding any reference  to the Charter in the operative paragraphs: it is possibly a great “première” of French diplomacy at the United Nations (Note 2).

The text of this plea (available here ) in French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic) considers, among others arguments, that:

«Thus, numerous military interventions have been conducted in the name of self-defence, including against Al Qaeda, ISIS or affiliated groups. While some have downplayed these precedents on account of their exceptional nature, there is a serious risk of self-defence becoming an alibi, used systematically to justify the unilateral launching of military operations around the world. Without opposing the use of force against terrorist groups as a matter of principle — particularly in the current context of the fight against ISIS — we, international law professors and scholars, consider this invocation of self-defence to be problematic. In fact, international law provides for a range of measures to fight terrorism. Priority should be given to these measures before invoking self-defence .

For the signatories of this plea,

 …. we consider that terrorism raises above all the challenge of prosecution and trial of individuals who commit acts of terrorism. A variety of legal tools are available in this respect. They relate first and foremost to police and judicial cooperation (chiefly through agencies such as INTERPOL or EUROPOL), aiming both at punishing those responsible for the crimes committed and preventing future occurrence of such crimes. Although there is certainly room for improvement, this cooperation has often proved effective in dismantling networks, thwarting attacks, and arresting the perpetrators of such attacks. By embracing from the outset the « war against terrorism » and « self-defence » paradigms and declaring a state of emergency, there is a serious risk of trivializing, neglecting, or ignoring ordinary peacetime legal processes”.

It must be noted that international law scholars and researchers around the world can sign this document until next July 31. The text recalls a certain number of very clear rules that diplomats in New York know better than anyone,  despite the ambiguous interpretations made by some of their colleagues, in particular since the beginning of airstrikes in Syria, without the consent of its authorities (Note 3).

This collective document refers also that:

 …, the maintenance of international peace and security rests first and foremost with the Security Council. The Council has qualified international terrorism as a threat to the peace on numerous occasions. Therefore, aside from cases of emergency leaving no time to seize the UN, it must remain the Security Council’s primary responsibility to decide, coordinate and supervise acts of collective security. Confining the task of the Council to adopting ambiguous resolutions of an essentially diplomatic nature, as was the case with the passing of resolution 2249 (2015) relating to the fight against ISIS, is an unfortunate practice. Instead, the role of the Council must be enhanced in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Charter, thereby ensuring a multilateral approach to security  /…/ 

However, the mere fact that, despite its efforts, a State is unable to put an end to terrorist activities on its territory is insufficient to justify bombing that State’s territory without its consent. Such an argument finds no support either in existing legal instruments or in the case law of the International Court of Justice. Accepting this argument entails a risk of grave abuse in that military action may henceforth be conducted against the will of a great number of States under the sole pretext that, in the intervening State’s view, they were not sufficiently effective in fighting terrorism.

It must be noted that, last February 2016, Canada new authorities decided to cease airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. We read on this  official note  produced by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)  that: “ In accordance with Government of Canada direction, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ceased airstrike operations in Iraq and Syria on 15 February 2016. From their first sortie on 30 October 2014 to 15 February 2016, the CF-188 Hornets conducted 1378 sorties resulting in 251 airstrikes (246 in Iraq and 5 in Syria), expended 606 munitions and achieved the following effects: 267 ISIL fighting positions, 102 ISIL equipment and vehicles, and, 30 ISIL Improvised Explosive Device (IED) factories and ISIL storage facilities”.

In 2015, a Canadian scholar concluded an extremely interesting article on Canadian airstrikes in Syria and Iraq in the following terms: “However, there is a further legal hurdle for Canada to overcome. Unless Canada can attribute ISIS´ attacks in Iraq to Syria, then the question becomes whether Canada may lawfully target ISIS, as a nonstate actor in Syria’s sovereign territory, using the ‘unwilling or unable’ doctrine to prevent ISIS’ extraterritoriality attacks against Iraq. This justification moves significantly away from the Nicaragua, Congo and Israeli Wall cases’ requirement for attribution. There appears to be a lack of consensus on whether opinion juris and state practice have accepted the “unwilling or unable” doctrine as customary international law. There is no escaping the conclusion that Canada’s air strikes on Syria are on shaky, or at least shifting, legal ground ” (Note 4).

The signatories of this collective plea, which number increase from day to day, including scholars from different continents and age, conclude reaffirming that:

 The international legal order may not be reduced to an interventionist logic similar to that prevailing before the adoption of the United Nations Charter. The purpose of the Charter was to substitute a multilateral system grounded in cooperation and the enhanced role of law and institutions for unilateral military action. It would be tragic if, acting on emotion in the face of terrorism (understandable as this emotion may be), that purpose were lost 

Notes

1. See CORTEN O., « A Plea Against the Abusive Invocation of Self-Defence as a Response to Terrorism”, European Journal of International Law (EJIL Talk), July 14, 2016, available here .

2. See ou modest note published in France,  BOEGLIN N., «Attentats à Paris : remarques à propos de la résolution 2249 », Actualités du Droit, December 6, 2015, available  here . See also, after parliamentary debate  in United Kingdom authorizing airstrikes in Syria, BOEGLIN N. «Arguments based on UN resolution 2249 in Prime Minister´s report on airstrikes in Syria: some clarifications needed », Global Research, December 3, 2015, available here  .

3. On the notion of « unwilling or unable » State, justifying, for some diplomats, military operations on its territory without its previous consent, see: CORTEN O., “The ‘Unwilling or Unable’ Test: Has it Been, and Could it be, Accepted?”, Leiden Journal of International Law, 2016. Full text of this article available  here .

4. See LESPERANCE R.J. , “Canada’s Military Operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the Law of Armed Conflict”, Canadian International Lawyer, Vol. 10 (2015), pp. 51-63, p. 61. Full text of the article available  here .

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This article was first published on May 31st, 2016 and on Global Research on June 2nd. Eric Draitser’s analysis is outstanding and incisive

Earlier this week, Bernie Sanders warned that Hillary Clinton’s eventual vice presidential pick must not be someone from the milieu of Wall Street and Corporate America. And while Sanders is still fighting to win the Democratic Party nomination in what many have argued is a rigged system with a foregone conclusion, it appears that Sanders is also intent on influencing the course of the Clinton campaign and the party itself.

In a thinly veiled demand that Clinton embrace the core principles of the Sanders campaign in order to secure the support of Sanders’s political base, the insurgent Democratic candidate hoped aloud “that the vice-presidential candidate will not be from Wall Street, will be somebody who has a history of standing up and fighting for working families, taking on the drug companies…taking on Wall Street, taking on corporate America, and fighting for a government that works for all of us, not just the 1%.”

And while that description may sound positive for its sheer idealism, it does not seem to account for the fact that banks and corporations effectively own both major parties, and that nearly every top Democrat is in various ways connected to the very same entities. In any event, it is useful still to examine a few of the potential Clinton running mates in order to assess just what sort of forces are going to be put in motion to help deliver a Clinton presidency.

hillary-clinton

The Actors on the Playbill

Beltway pundits are fond of remarking that Tim Kaine, the underwhelming centrist Democrat senator (and former Governor) from Virginia, is at the top of the list for Clinton. He’s safe. He’s experienced. He’s safe. He’s a Democratic Party loyalist with experience fundraising. Oh, and did I mention that he’s safe? Such is the general tenor of the conversation around Kaine, a politician with a long track record and a mostly forgettable personality known more to DC insiders than to the general voting public.

What could be better for Hillary Clinton, perhaps the least liked Democratic (presumptive) nominee in decades, than to have a party establishment insider who represents the status quo as her running mate in an election year that will undoubtedly be remembered for the ostensibly anti-establishment candidates and rhetoric on display throughout?

To be fair, Kaine does represent Virginia, a swing state that is crucial for Donald Trump, and which could spell victory for Clinton should she carry it.  And of course, Kaine can also posture as “tough on Wall Street” from his days as DNC Chairman and party mouthpiece during the passage of the so-called “Wall Street reform” bill.  Despite nothing substantive coming out of the bill, Kaine is still able to cash in the political currency derived from that bill, and perhaps meekly shield Clinton from continued attacks vis-à-vis her connections to Wall Street.

Of course Kaine also comes with his own baggage, including his anti-abortion stance which earned him the ire of many pro-choice activists in Virginia when he was Governor.  Considering the shameless droning from Clinton and her backers about being “the first woman president,” it would certainly raise serious questions – and open up an obvious angle of attack for Trump – were she to sport her feminism and focus on women’s reproductive rights by selecting a man with an anti-abortion record.

A look down the list of other potential choices reveals that Clinton truly has very little to choose from.  Both Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro, as well as Labor Secretary Tom Perez, have both had their names bandied around as Clinton seeks to solidify the Latino vote in an election where the Republican candidate has worked tirelessly to alienate that all-important demographic as much as possible.  But of course, the obvious question to be asked in response to either of these potential selections would be “Who?” Neither Castro nor Perez is well known nationally, nor have either of them won major elections or really done anything of note in their tenure in Obama’s cabinet.  Despite being Latinos, they are utterly forgettable, and unlikely to bring significant returns to Clinton.

While other names such as New Jersey junior senator Cory Booker, as well as Ohio senator Sherrod Brown, have been discussed, both men hail from states with Republican governors, meaning that were they to accept a VP slot, their senate vacancies would be likely filled by Republicans, a scenario that Senate Minority LeaderHarry Reid has already said “Hell no!” to, vowing to “yell and scream to stop that.”

Who Else Is “Ready for Hillary”?

So that then leaves the two most interesting potential running mates: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders himself. Warren, who conspicuously refused to endorse Clinton over Sanders, has tremendous upside for Clinton as she has been perhaps the Democratic Party’s most vehement opponent of Wall Street, having led many high profile attacks on the major banks in her tenure in the Senate.  From a public relations branding perspective, she is essentially the female Bernie Sanders, a progressive Democrat who presents herself as an ally of working people and an enemy of bankers. For Clinton, Warren would also round out the “First Woman…” card, allowing the Clinton campaign to quite literally become a campaign about breaking the glass ceiling in US politics. The stump speeches almost write themselves.

Finally, there’s Mr. #FeelTheBern himself. His latest comments (mentioned above) certainly do have a subtext that implies his willingness to accept a running mate slot.  Having fashioned himself as the champion of the middle class and threat to the Washington establishment, Bernie would provide much in the way of credibility to a lackluster Clinton campaign which has failed to excite even many ardent Democrats.  Sanders would also guarantee a unified Democratic Party ticket, and provide much needed defense of Clinton’s left flank.  In short, Sanders, like Warren, would give anti-Clinton progressives the pretext many of them need to justify their voting for the much-hated Clinton.

Never mind the fact that neither Sanders nor Warren would actually do anything to combat Wall Street finance capital as Vice President.  Never mind the fact that no one on Wall Street is particularly scared of either politician being given the ceremonial power that comes with the Vice Presidency.  These are just the kind of uncomfortable, but inescapable, facts that progressives must choose to ignore.

The difficulty for either Sanders or Warren is the marketing of their decision to left progressives, some of whom would see collaboration with Clinton and the Clinton political machine as a betrayal and a complete sell-out.  However, aside from driving a some relatively small number of progressives to vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party (or stay home entirely), it is unlikely that the negative impact in the progressive base would amount to anything more than some hurt feelings followed by the usual acquiescence to the Democratic Party line.

If such an analysis sounds cynical and jaded, that’s because it is. Perhaps a better descriptor would be disdainful.  Indeed, as someone who watched with bemused melancholy as progressives lined up to support Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, my position on support for ANY Democrat is the same as Harry Reid’s position on swing state senator VP picks: Hell no!

Indeed, the very notion of collaboration with a war criminal and Wall Street puppet such as Clinton is anathema to everything the left and “progressives” are supposed to stand for.

Of course, there is also the elephant (and donkey) in the room: both major parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of finance capital and the corporations that rule over us. This is the realization that millions of Americans have already made, and which millions more are making.  This is the realization that keeps Democratic and Republican apparatchiks up at night.  And this critical revelation is what Bernie, Liz, & Co. are there to suppress.

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Zionism is primarily a Christian Protestant enterprise that has little to do with Judaism. This explains why US Christians are the most ardent Zionists and the most powerful supporters of Israel. The largest opposition to Zionism came initially from the rabbinical elite, which viewed it as heretical and an aberration of the Jewish faith. Zionism represents a break with Jewish tradition and historical continuity. Israel has to be seen in terms of European nationalism, colonial expansion, and geopolitical interests rather than as the divine fulfillment of biblical prophecies or even a culmination of Jewish history.

The traditional Judaic yearning for « Return », which is a purely spiritual concept, was turned into a political cause by Christians in order to accelerate the coming of Christ and force the Jews to convert to Christianity. The influence of Christian Zionists plays a very important role up to the present day. These are only some of the most provocative conclusions of Yakov M. Rabkin’s excellent analysis of modern day Israel.

What was true of the 18th and 19th centuries, also held true for the 20th century. Many leading British politicians such as Lord Balfour were anti-Semantic. So there was a fertile ground for anti-Semitism in Britain among Protestants. Therefore, it should not surprise anyone, that the zeal of Protestant Christianity to settle the Jews of Britain in the so-called Holy Land, had little to do with Christians affection for Judaism, but rather with their latent anti-Semitism and pure self-interests.

Yakov M. Rabkin is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Montreal. He has been a visiting scholar at many universities around the world. He has written extensively on subjects such as science, technology, and ideology. His most acclaimed book, however, is  « A Threat from Within: a Century of Jewish opposition to Zionism », which has been nominated for Canada’s Governor-General Award, Israel’s Hecht Prize for Studies in Zionism and listed as one of the three best books of the year in Japan. This book has been translated into twelve languages.

In nine chapters, the author compares the Zionist claims to the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel) with rabbinical Jewish teachings. He shows that the Zionist narrative has little to do with Judaism. Leading representatives of Zionism have cherry-picked from Jewish tradition to incorporate it into Zionist mythology. John Rose calls in his book « The Myth of Zionism » David Ben-Gurion the « greatest myth-maker ». The « Land of Israel » claim, as made by the Zionists, has a totally different meaning in Judaism. « ‘Promised land’ means, in fact, that it belongs not to the to whom the promise was made, but to the one who made the promise. »

To understand modern-day Israel, one should put Judaism and Jewish tradition aside because such a connection is misleading; for « Zionism and the state that incarnates it are revolutionary phenomena ». Such provocative theses are very numerous scattered all over Rabkin’s book. It’s easier to understand the policies and the structure of the State of Israel by leaving aside references to Jewish history. As a consequence, Rabkin suggests that one should speak of the State of Israel as a « Zionist state » rather than a « Jewish state ». The same holds true for the Israel lobby, that should be designated as a « Zionist lobby » rather than a « Jewish lobby ». Instead of delving into the religious mythology of Jewish history, Rabkin urged readers to analyze Israel within the context of international politics, Western interests and the resources of the Middle East.

« The Jews came to Zionism long after the Christians », states the author. Even Zionist leader Theodor Herzl was influenced by Christian protestant thinking. Herzl’s wanted first to “solve the Jewish question” (Judenfrage) by having all Jews convert to Catholicism. The idea to gather all Jews in one location did not originate with Jews but in English and American Protestant circles. It was considered of « supreme importance to Christianity » writes Rabkin. Herzl got initially familiar with this idea through a Protestant clergyman from the British embassy in Vienna. Till today, Protestant support for Zionism continues to play a crucial role, which can be seen in the U. S. According to a Pew poll, 82 percent of WASPs (=White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) believe that God gave the State of Israel to the Jewish people, while only 42 percent of Jews share this belief, as Rabkin says.

For several decades, the Zionist national movement was associated in Western public opinion with leftist socialist ideas. For socialist internationalists, it was not natural to support a movement that the second pillar is nationalism, whose ideas rooted in Europe and were popularized by a « mere handful of assimilated Jews in Central Europe », said Rabkin.  Consequently, many Jews rejected Zionism as a reactionary movement, leave alone orthodox Jews all across Europe. They rejected the Zionist agenda of return to the « Land of Israel » by « political means » as incompatible with « the idea of salvation in Jewish tradition », writes Rabin.

The most active Zionists in Palestine were Russians, who strove to build a new society. They wanted to build a socialist society but without the native Arabs. The word they mostly used was « separation ». Along the socialist Zionists, the Jewish community in Palestine included political Zionists from France, Germany, and Austria, who brought with them a liberal-bourgeois world-view.

Rabkin stresses the importance of the Russian dimension within the Zionist movement and highlights the fact that modern day Israel can’t be properly understood without accounting for the Jewish Russian influence. Jews from the Russian Empire formed the backbone of the Zionist colonial settlement enterprise in Palestine. Although there hasn’t been any significant emigration from the Soviet Union to Palestine/Israel since the 1920s until the end the 20th Century, over 60 percent of Knesset members in the 1960s were of Russian origin or descent.

That’s why it’s no coincidence that the Netanyahu government gets along so well with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in particular, Moldova-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. It should be added that common interests, smart diplomacy, and the esteem of the role of the nation-state are shared values between Israel and Russia.

According to Rabkin, for the majority of Zionists, « the Nazi genocide stands as the ultimate proof of the dangers that threaten Jews around the world ». From the start, Zionism has been seen, inter alia, as a movement to make anti-Semitism absolute by creating a State of the Jews, especially the right-wing Israeli government presents Israel as a reaction to this kind of racism. According to Rabkin, the emphasis on anti-Semitism seems a response to liberalism that attracts many Jews to settle in Israel who would otherwise not dare to emigrate to Israel. Israeli nationalistic leaders regularly tell world Jewry that Israel is the only place where Jews can live in security. i. e. in an « ethnocracy called the State of Israel ».

To speak about contemporary Jewish history, one has to deal with the Nazi genocide, writes Rabkin. The Nazi genocide is a constitutive part of Israeli Zionist identity. Zionists and religious orthodox Jews have drawn opposite conclusions from this horrific crime against humanity. « This tragedy has been transformed into a vector for national unity in Israel, and for Zionist allegiance in the Diaspora. » This transformation has given rise to serious critique among Israeli intellectuals. Although Zionists and their detractors agree on the hostility encountered by the Jews over the centuries, they differ on the reasons. Zionists generally explain « this hostility by the political and military weakness of the Jews, pious Jews tend to see it as a punishment for the sins committed by the Jews themselves », so Rabkin.

Although only half of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel, the Israeli political establishment pretends to speak on behalf of, and represent, all the world’s Jews. They claim that their Zionist state belongs to all Jews, while the native Palestinians have no legitimate place in the country. This view has also been stressed by David Ben-Gurion and the erstwhile Zionist labor movement. Rabkin rejects the criticism of the liberal Zionist that the current government has betrayed original Zionist intentions. Instead, he stresses the continuity of the Zionist state from its inception till this day. All the legitimate criticism of Israel and its negative image among the population in Western states, « Western elites lend it increasingly unconditional support ». As an example of this uncritical support, Rabkin cites the acceptance of Israel into the OECD, shortly after the Israeli Terrorist Forces (ITF) massacred 1 400 people in the Gaza Strip at the turn of 2008/2009.

What is modern about Israel, is not easy to say. It’s not that clear-cut than a first impression might imply. Although the State of Israel represents a high-tech society with a powerful military, that wields atomic weapons, it’s legitimacy is still questioned in the region. On the one hand, some segments of orthodox Jewry still does not recognize the Zionist State of Israel because they reject the nationalistic concept of the Jews; on the other hand, Palestinians  – the victims of Zionist colonization –  refuse to recognize Israel as a « Jewish » State as demanded by the Zionist ruling class. Even the question “who is Jewish” is still contentious within Israel. Is Israel a Jewish or a Zionist state? The author has opted for the latter because the gap between Zionism and Jewish history continues to exist and could not be bridged until today. All in all, the existence of the State of Israel is still in limbo.

Yacov Rabkin’s book demonstrates that Zionism is not the sequel of Judaism. That Israel is a « Jewish and democratic state » seems pseudo-religious dogma, designed only by believers. Although presenting provoking views, the book is convincingly and boldly argued. After « A Threat from Within: a Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism », this is another must read from the pen of a true scholar.

Dr. Ludwig Watzal who works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog http://between-the-lines-ludwig-watzal.blogspot.de/

Yakov M. Rabkin, What is Modern Israel, Pluto Press, London 2016, 228 pp. $ 27.

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So a few Russian athletes have been accused of doping. In some cases this is undeniable, in others it is debatable. Nowhere, in any database, in any investigation or laboratory, is there evidence that all Russian sports persons are guilty of doping, so under the precept of international law that a person is innocent until being proven guilty…

It makes no sense to ban innocent athletes. However the Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a blanket ban imposed on the entire Russian field and track (athletics) team by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the talk of the town this weekend is whether the entire Russian Olympic team will be banned. This, after it is apparent that not all members of the field and track events were involved in any type of doping in any way, shape or form.

This, after the Russian Athletics Federation has done everything within its power to ensure that the Russian field and track team could compete at the Games.

This, when in the last six months, in January, in February, in March, in April, in May, in June, all, I repeat all Russian athletes underwent tests for doping following the recommendations of the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.

This, when all the so-called evidence is based on the testimony of one single person, Grigory Rodchenkov, whose own reputation is described as scandalous inside Russia, and against whom criminal accusations were levelled precisely for breaching anti-doping legislation. But guess who (Canadian) professor Richard McClaren believed, and made his accusations against all and sundry in his puerile report, even making accusations without presenting evidence, for instance against the FSB?

Rio Olympics: The credibility of International Sport is on the line, not Russia. 58467.jpeg

Western justice: War criminals and murderers walk around free

Conclusion: Western justice at its best. Does anyone remember the howls of derision when the Soviet Union boycotted the LA Olympics in 1984 and accused Russia of mixing politics and sport? Where were those voices in 1980 when the west boycotted the Moscow Games because the USSR sent forces to help the beleaguered Afghan government to fight western-sponsored terrorists? And where are those voices now?

Remembering that WADA is funded by the Executive Office of the US Presidency, let us then read through a collection of doping reports. Since Lord Coe is so vociferous in expressing his satisfaction at the banning of the Russian athletics team, maybe we can start with the UK?

Let’s see the United Kingdom’s doping processes

OK then here goes. I am going to leaf through a collection of anti-doping reports in alphabetical order picking and selecting some of the cases, not all, under letters A to D and will stop after five minutes.

Ali Adams (Boxing, Stanozolol); David Allen (Rugby League, Metabolite of cocaine); Ijah Anderson (Soccer, cocaine); Chris Armstrong (Soccer, cannabis); Michael Banbula (Boxing, Performance enhancers); Ryan Barrett (Boxing, Methylhexanamine); Alain Baxter (Alpine skiing, Methamphetamine); Terry Bridge, Rugby league, Steroids); Ian Brown (Rugby, Testosterone); Johnathan Bullough (Weightlifting, Methylhexaneamine); Ian Burnham (Water polo, Cocaine); Danny Cadamarteri (Soccer, Ephedrine); Neil Campbell (Cycling, hCG); James Comben (Rugby Union, Methylhexanamine); David Cookson (Rugby Union, Methylhexanamine); Kofi Danso (Basketball, test tampering); Ceri Davies (Rugby, Drostanolone); Tony Dodson (Boxing, Performance enhancers); John Donnelly (Boxing, Benzoylecgonine); Terry Dunstan (Boxing, Performance enhancers); Jamie Durbin (Rugby league, Stanozolol).

I repeat, five minutes of typing, letters A to D. So we have letters E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z to go. Er…Is there any speculation that the entire Team Great Britain could be banned? No of course not. After all, the UK took part in the war crimes in Iraq, interfered in Syria and sent Libya into total chaos after it reached the status of the African country with the highest Human Development Index under Gaddafy.

And now for the United States of America

Let us turn to the USA, again letters A to D.

Andre Agassi (Tennis, Methamphetamine); Darell Alderman (Drag racing, cocaine); Stephen Alfred (Cycling, Norandrosterone, Testosterone, hCG, refusal to submit to doping control); Sadam Ali (Boxing, Cathine) ; A. J. Allmendinger (Auto racing, amphetamines); Lyle Alzado (Football, anabolic steroids); Chris Andersen (Basketball), Frankie Andreu (Cycling, EPO), Abdallah Anwar (Boccia, Hydrochlorothiazide); Lance Armstrong (Cycling, EPO, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, Cortisone, Blood transfusions); Sarah Baham (Swimming, refusal to submit to a test); John Barnett (Mixed martial arts, Boldenone); Phil Baroni (Mixed martial arts, Boldenone, Stanozolol metabolites); Doug Barron (Golf, Performance enhancing drugs); Bryan Berard (Ice hockey, 19-norandrosterone); Adam Bergman (Cycling, EPO); Dale Berra (Baseball, Cocaine); Alan Bogomolov Junior (Tennis, Salbutamol); Barry Bonds (Baseball, amphetamines); Stephan Bonnar (Mixed martial arts, Boldenone); David Boston (Football, Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid); Ryan Braun (Baseball, human growth enhancer); Matt Bricker (Swimming, Ephedrine); Emily Brunneman (Swimming, Hydrochlorothiazide, Triamterene); Rebekkah Brunson (Basketball, Salmeterol); Rachael Burke (Swimming, Boldione); Enos Cabell (Baseball, Cocaine); Mike Cameron (Baseball, Stimulants); Ken Caminiti (Baseball, Steroids); Jose Canseco (Baseball, Steroids); Roger Clemens (Baseball, Anabolic steroids); Chris Cooper (Football, THG); Kit Cope (Mixed martial arts, Boldenone); Joey D’Antoni (Cycling, EPO); Lindsay Devaney (Swimming, refusal to submit to testing); Jerramie Domish (Ice hockey, performance enhancers)…

Whoops a daisy, a tad embarrassing, what? Now, er…is…is the USA Olympic team to be banned from the Rio Olympics?

Let us be honest about this. I myself had Olympic competing times in the 1970s (specifically between 1974 and 1979) in long distance running, including three consecutive 5-minute miles and a 5,000 meters in 13 minutes and 29 seconds, in 1976. Did we use doping? We used every means possible to enhance our performance, in my case glucose tablets and pasta before the race. Having kept in contact with sports as a hobby, as an observer and as a player, I have a wide range of contacts from various sports modalities and the general perception is that you compete clean but everyone knows someone who goes as near to the legal limit as possible, the bottom line being not getting caught.

This does not mean that everyone uses doping, so it does not mean that the entire Russian team uses doping. Agreed? So why impose a blanket ban on all Russians?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.

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Sélection d’articles

RIMPAC-2016

Le Canada participe à l’exercice militaire «Rim of Pacific (Rimpac)». La politique de défense du régime conservateur se poursuit. Par Jules Dufour, le 20 juillet 2016

La décision du Canada de participer à l’exercice militaire « Rim on Pacific (RIMPAC) » avec le déploiement de 1500 militaires organisé par les Étasuniens et tenu jusqu’au 29 juillet démontre encore une fois, à notre grande déception, l’attitude servile du pays vis-à-vis de l’impérialisme américain.

victime_bataclan

Attentat terroriste au Bataclan à Paris : six militaires français sur place avaient reçu l’ordre de ne pas intervenir… puis des gens sont morts, par Michel,Chossudovsky, le 21 juillet 2016

Ils ne sont pas intervenus car leurs règles d’engagement ne le prévoyaient pas. Ils n’ont donc pas accouru à la rescousse des gens à l’intérieur du Bataclan ou se trouvant dans la rue en face. Il y a eu 89 morts et plus de 100 blessés.

turkey-tank

Derrière la tentative désespérée de coup d’état de la CIA en Turquie, par F. W. Engdahl, le 21 juillet 2016

Dans la soirée du 15 juillet un groupe d’officiers de l’armée turque annonçait avoir accompli un coup d’Etat et pris le contrôle du pays. Ils prétendaient qu’Erdoğan était en fuite pour sauver sa vie et qu’ils étaient maintenant en train de rétablir l’ordre. Le seul problème de ces officiers et de leurs commanditaires…

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad © SANA / Reuters

Texte intégral de l’entrevue accordée par le Président Bachar al-Assad à la chaîne américaine NBC News, le 21 juillet 2016

En ce 14 juillet 2016, où le peuple français a eu à souffrir du même terrorisme qui déchire et bafoue quotidiennement la Syrie depuis plus de cinq ans, dans un contexte d’hypocrisie meurtrière d’une grande majorité de dirigeants régionaux et occidentaux, la chaîne américaine NBC News a publié un entretien accordé par le Président syrien à son journaliste Bill Neely.

hollande-prisoner

«François, tu es un criminel»: le président Hollande a ordonné le massacre de femmes et d’enfants syriens en représailles à l’attaque du 14 juillet, attribuée à Daech, par Michel Chossudovsky, le 22 juillet 2016.

Peu après l’attaque terroriste du 14 juillet à Nice, qui a fait 84 morts, le président de la France, François Hollande, a laissé entendre lors d’une allocution officielle que l’attaque était l’œuvre du groupe armé État islamique basé au nord de la Syrie (sans preuve). Il a aussitôt ordonné aux forces aériennes françaises d’intensifier la campagne de bombardement en cours prétendument contre Daech au nord de la Syrie. 

russie-jeux-olympiques

Washington politise de nouveau les Jeux olympiques, par Paul Craig Roberts, le 23 juillet 2016.

Washington et son vassal canadien tentent d’utiliser un scandale de dopage sportif russe créé par les médias occidentaux pour interdire aux Russes de participer aux Jeux olympiques au Brésil. Washington et le Canada font pression sur d’autres pays pour les inciter à participer à la vendetta de Washington contre la Russie. Cette vendetta est menée sous le prétexte de « préserver un athlétisme propre ».

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L’absence de preuves contre les sportifs russes, à l’exception des accusations l’ex-chef de l’Agence antidopage russe, une approche tendancieuse et l’aveu que la politique est mêlée au sport: voici quelques-unes des révélations choquantes obtenues par les « rois » du canular russe.

Les comiques russes spécialisés dans les canulars téléphoniques Vovan et Lexus ont téléphoné au président de l’Agence mondiale antidopage et membre du Comité international olympique Craig Reedie ainsi qu’au directeur de l’Agence américaine antidopage Travis Tygart, qui a initié l’enquête concernant la Russie. Lors du coup de fil, ils se sont fait passer pour le ministre ukrainien de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Igor Jdanov.Bien que l’appel ait eu lieu il y a deux mois, la chaîne télévisée russe NTV a décidé de publier cette conversation téléphonique afin de dévoiler finalement tous les secrets des coulisses d’une sale lutte politique.

« Les articles du New York Times avaient un caractère d’accusation concernant de nombreuses irrégularités survenues dans le laboratoire de Sotchi. Et l’accusation elle-même est représentée par les propos du docteur Rodtchenkov (l’ex-chef du laboratoire de Moscou, informateur de l’agence, ndlr.) Nous avons besoin de voir les preuves de Rodtchenkov », a déclaré le président de l’Agence mondiale antidopage et membre du Comité international olympique Craig Reedie.

« Ravisez-vous, les gens du CIO! » La Russie doit participer aux JO

Une déclaration qui en dit long. Autrement dit Craig Reedie a confirmé qu’il n’y avait pas la moindre preuve, tout s’appuyant sur les accusations présentées par l’ex-chef de l’Agence antidopage russe, qui a affirmé que les sportifs russes ayant participé aux Jeux olympiques de Sotchi étaient dopés.

Dans sa conversation avec Vovan et Lexus, le directeur de l’Agence américaine antidopage Travis Tygart a pour sa part avoué de vouloir « exclure l’équipe nationale russe d’athlétisme pour 12 mois, alors nous verrons ce qui changera ».En outre, à la demande d’ »Igor Jdanov » de réviser les résultats des Jeux olympiques de Sotchi en faveur des sportifs ukrainiens, Travis Tygart a dit être prêt à « faire tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir ».

Vovan et Lexus ont téléphoné au ministre ukrainien de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Igor Jdanov, afin de discuter de la situation liée au méldonium qui a également influencé le sort des sportifs ukrainiens. Pourtant le ministre a refusé toute coopération afin de discuter de la situation.

« Nous comprenons certainement toute la complexité du meldonium, et nos athlètes en ont également souffert, mais nous ne soutiendrons pas la Russie (…). Nous ne jouons pas à des jeux politiques avec la Russie », a déclaré M.Jdanov.

Rien de plus clair donc, le mot « politique » flotte au-dessus de chaque décision sportive, au-dessus de chaque sportif. Et qui osera encore dire qu’en privant les athlètes russes de Jeux olympiques à Rio, la politique n’y est pour rien?

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J’ai été avocat de la défense la plus grande partie de ma vie professionnelle et je n’ai pas l’habitude de recueillir des preuves pour engager des poursuites, mais les circonstances m’ont incité à ouvrir un dossier pour le procureur de la Cour pénale internationale, ou peut-être un futur tribunal citoyen. Ce dossier contient la preuve que les dirigeants de l’OTAN sont coupables du plus grave crime contre l’humanité, le crime d’agression. Je voudrais partager avec vous quelques brèves notes intéressantes provenant de ce fichier, que je soumets à votre réflexion.

L’Article 8bis du Statut de Rome, le statut régissant la Cour pénale internationale, stipule :

Aux fins du présent Statut, on entend par « crime d’agression » la planification, la préparation, le lancement ou l’exécution par une personne effectivement en mesure de contrôler ou de diriger l’action politique ou militaire d’un État, d’un acte d’agression qui, par sa nature, sa gravité et son ampleur, constitue une violation manifeste de la Charte des Nations Unies.

Le communiqué de l’OTAN publié à l’issue du congrès de Varsovie le 9 juillet est la preuve directe d’une telle planification et préparation et donc d’une conspiration par les dirigeants de l’OTAN pour commettre des actes d’agression contre la Russie. Cela ferait l’objet d’un acte d’accusation de la Cour pénale internationale contre les dirigeants de l’alliance militaire si la procureure de la CPI était effectivement indépendante, ce qu’elle n’est pas. Et bien sûr, si les articles relatifs aux crimes d’agression étaient en vigueur, ce qui ne se produira pas avant le 1er janvier 2017, le cas échéant, sous les articles du Statut de Rome.

Néanmoins, le problème technique de la juridiction qui empêche l’émission d’une inculpation contre les dirigeants de l’OTAN en ce moment, ne légitime pas la planification et la préparation d’actes d’agression contenus dans le communiqué de l’OTAN ni ne réduit le poids moral du crime d’agression défini dans le Statut et les principes de Nuremberg, parce que le crime d’agression est le crime de guerre suprême.

Selon leurs propres mots, imprimés en noir sur blanc dans leur communiqué du 9 juillet, les dirigeants de l’OTAN, chacun d’entre eux, et les états-majors entiers des forces armées de chacun des pays de l’OTAN, sont coupables du crime d’agression. Le fait qu’il n’y ait pas d’organe efficace devant lequel ils puissent être traduits en justice est sans rapport avec le fait du crime commis. Ils sont les ennemis de l’humanité et, inculpés ou non, ils sont des hors-la-loi internationaux qui doivent être identifiés en tant que tels et appelés à rendre des comptes à leurs propres peuples.

La preuve de leurs crimes est bien évidemment antérieure à ce communiqué et consiste en années d’actes commis par les puissances de l’OTAN depuis que l’Union soviétique s’est dissoute ainsi que le Pacte de Varsovie, en vertu de l’accord dit Acte fondateur OTAN–Russie de 1997, selon lequel l’OTAN ne s’étendrait dans aucun des pays formellement membres du Pacte de Varsovie ou de l’URSS, ni n’y installerait d’armes nucléaires. L’OTAN a continuellement brisé cet accord depuis lors et a commis, en tant qu’organisation ou par des groupes de ses États membres, des actes d’agression contre la Yougoslavie, l’Afghanistan, l’Irak, la Libye, la Russie (pendant l’attaque de la Géorgie contre l’Ossétie du Sud et en soutenant les groupes terroristes tchétchènes en Russie même), l’Ukraine et la Syrie, chaque acte d’agression étant appuyé par des campagnes de propagande massives pour tenter de justifier ces crimes en répandant cette propagande auprès des peuples qu’ils sont censés informer.

Ces mêmes puissances ont commis et commettent d’autres actes d’agression contre la République populaire démocratique de Corée, l’Iran et la Chine, et augmentent continuellement leur planification et leur préparation pour agresser ces pays. Ces plans sont aussi étalés dans le communiqué de l’OTAN, mais la plus grave menace pour l’humanité est la menace existentielle immédiate contre la Russie, contre laquelle la partie principale de ce communiqué est dirigée.

Le communiqué de l’OTAN est de fait une déclaration de guerre à la Russie. Il n’y a pas d’autre manière de l’interpréter.

Il y a plusieurs mois, j’ai déclaré que nous pouvions considérer l’accumulation des forces de l’OTAN en Europe de l’Est, le coup d’État de l’OTAN qui a renversé le gouvernement de Ianoukovitch en Ukraine, la tentative de s’emparer de la base navale russe à Sébastopol, les attaques immédiates contre les civils ukrainiens dans les provinces orientales qui refusaient d’accepter le coup d’État de l’OTAN, la propagande constante contre la Russie en tant qu’agresseur et la guerre économique menée contre la Russie sous couvert de sanctions est l’équivalent d’une seconde Opération Barbarossa, le nom donné à l’invasion de l’Union soviétique par le Troisième Reich en 1941. J’hésitais à le décrire ainsi, mais les faits étaient là et d’autres ont reconnu maintenant que l’analogie est correcte. Et exactement comme les dirigeants du Troisième Reich ont été finalement tenus pour responsables de leurs crimes à Nuremberg, les dirigeants du nouveau Reich que les Américains et leurs États vassaux projettent d’imposer au reste d’entre nous devraient l’être aussi.

Au paragraphe 5 du communiqué et après, ils commettent la première partie de leur crime en définissant de prétendus actes agressifs de la Russie, dans lesquels, dans tous les cas, ils sont les véritables agresseurs.

Au paragraphe 15, ils déclarent, après quelques sornettes à propos du partenariat entre l’OTAN et la Russie :

« Nous regrettons que malgré des appels répétés des Alliés et de la communauté internationale depuis 2014 pour que la Russie change de cap, les conditions à cette relations n’existent pas actuellement. La nature des relations de l’Alliance avec la Russie et les aspirations à un partenariat seront subordonnées à un changement clair et constructif des actions de la Russie, qui doit démontrer son respect du droit international et de ses obligations et responsabilités internationales. Jusque là, nous ne pouvons pas revenir au business as usual. »

Ce qu’ils veulent dire en parlant du changement de cap de la Russie est, bien sûr, qu’elle fasse ce qu’ils ordonnent, et le « respect du droit international » ne signifie rien d’autre que de se plier aux diktats de l’OTAN. Le monde a vu ce qui est arrivé à la Yougoslavie quand le président Milosevic a eu le courage de lui dire d’aller se faire voir, alors que Madelaine Albright lui présentait sa longue liste de revendications, y compris l’occupation de la Yougoslavie par les forces de l’OTAN et le démantèlement du socialisme, suivi par le choix d’obéir ou d’être bombardé. Le gouvernement yougoslave avait le droit et, en plus,  le courage, de la défier, et donc les dirigeants de l’OTAN ont activé les casseurs de jambes, les exécuteurs et les assassins qui servent dans leurs armées et ont commencé la destruction massive d’un membre fondateur du Mouvement des non-alignés.

Nous l’avons vu à nouveau en Afghanistan, envahi sous le prétexte juridique qu’il hébergeait un supposé criminel, Ben Laden, qui n’a jamais été accusé de crime [accusé, si. Reconnu coupable, jamais. NdT] et qui travaillait sous le commandement de l’armée étasunienne au Kosovo en 1998-1999, luttant contre le gouvernement yougoslave.

Nous l’avons vu avec l’Irak, sommé de remettre des armes qu’il n’a jamais eues, puis attaqué avec choc et effroi, une démonstration de puissance militaire conçue non seulement pour l’Irak mais pour le monde entier : voilà ce que nous vous ferons si vous ne jouez pas le jeu.

Nous l’avons vu avec le président Aristide à Haïti en 2004, lorsque des soldats américains et canadiens l’ont arrêté en pointant les fusils sur lui et l’ont exilé, l’enchaînant en Afrique, pendant que le monde regardait ailleurs. Nous l’avons vu en 2010, lorsque le président Laurent Gbagbo a été arrêté par les Français et jeté dans les marécages de la Cour pénale internationale. Nous l’avons vu en 2011, lorsque l’OTAN a détruit la Libye socialiste et nous voyons aujourd’hui comment ils tentent la même chose contre la Syrie et l’Irak, l’Iran, la Corée du Nord, la Chine et, le plus important, contre la Russie.

Le paragraphe 15 n’est rien d’autre qu’un diktat, « obéis-nous ou nous ne pourrons pas retourner au statu quo » ce qui signifie, en fin de compte, la guerre.

Suit alors une longue série de paragraphes pleins de mensonges et de distorsions sur des événements tous imputés à la Russie. Ils savent que ce sont des mensonges et des distorsions, bien sûr, mais le principe est que ces communiqués sont générés à Washington comme outils de propagande destinés à être cités encore et encore dans les médias occidentaux et mentionnés par leurs diplomates et leurs politiciens dans tous les discours.

Au paragraphe 15 et ensuite, ils se réfèrent à leurs plans pour leur nouvelle Opération Barbarossa, l’accumulation des forces de l’OTAN en Europe de l’Est. Ils l’appellent le Plan de préparation à l’action. En d’autres termes, tous ces paragraphes exposent leurs plans pour préparer leur capacité logistique et stratégique dans le but d’attaquer la Russie. Qu’ils aient l’intention de le faire est maintenant clair, avec le placement de systèmes anti-missiles en Pologne et en Roumanie et bientôt sur le flanc sud-est de la Russie en Corée, des missiles destinés à garantir le succès d’une première frappe atomique sur la Russie par les forces nucléaires de l’OTAN. Les systèmes anti-missiles sont conçus pour intercepter tous les missiles de représailles lancés par les survivants en Russie. Mais, comme le président Poutine l’a relevé, ils peuvent aussi être utilisés directement de manière offensive.

Ils soulignent ensuite que les armes nucléaires sont une partie importante de leur stratégie, et déclarent dans le paragraphe 53 :

« La position de l’OTAN en matière de dissuasion nucléaire repose aussi, en partie, sur les armes nucléaires déployées en avant par les États-Unis en Europe et sur les capacités et l’infrastructure fournies par les Alliés concernés. » La crainte est qu’avec les récents exercices en Pologne et dans l’Arctique − dans lesquels l’usage de frappes aériennes pour lancer des armes nucléaires telles que des missiles de croisière nucléaires pointés sur la Russie − a joué un rôle important − les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN projettent et préparent une attaque nucléaire sur la Russie. C’est la seule conclusion possible, puisqu’il est clair que la Russie n’a aucune intention d’attaquer aucun pays en Europe de l’Est ou ailleurs. Donc l’excuse donnée que la présence d’armes nucléaires en Europe est une dissuasion contre l’agressionrusse est clairement un mensonge et, par conséquent, leur présence ne peut avoir qu’un seul but : être utilisées pour une attaque.

La preuve est devant nous, le dossier est complet. Il est posé sur un bureau, il prend la poussière, il n’est d’aucune utilité pour personne, excepté le tribunal de l’opinion publique, et qu’est-ce que ça vaut, ces jours ci ? Mais peut-être que quelqu’un, là-bas, le prendra, le mettra au point et le donnera à un tribunal, peut-être quelqu’un du peuple, pour le peuple, mis en place par le peuple, pour juger ceux qui projettent de détruire le peuple, qui peut agir rapidement avant que le crime d’agression final soit commis contre la Russie ; contre nous tous.

Christopher Black

 Article original en anglais :

steag-nato

Conspiracy by NATO Leaders to Commit Acts of Aggression against Russia. Warsaw Communiqué

Traduit par Diane, vérifié par Wayan, relu par Catherine pour le Saker francophone

Christopher Black est un juriste pénaliste international basé à Toronto, il est membre du Barreau du Haut-Canada et il est connu pour un grand nombre de cas très médiatisés portant sur les droits humains et les crimes de guerre, en particulier pour le magazine en ligne New Eastern Outlook.

 

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Washington politise de nouveau les Jeux olympiques

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Washington et son vassal canadien tentent d’utiliser un scandale de dopage sportif russe créé par les médias occidentaux pour interdire aux Russes de participer aux Jeux olympiques au Brésil. Washington et le Canada font pression sur d’autres pays pour les inciter à participer à la vendetta de Washington contre la Russie. Cette vendetta est menée sous le prétexte de « préserver un athlétisme propre ».

Vous pouvez parier votre vie que Washington n’est pas motivé par le respect de la justice dans le sport. Washington est occupé à l’intérieur du pays à détruire la justice pour les pauvres, et Washington, qui ne tient pas compte de la souveraineté des pays ni du droit international contre l’agression nue, est occupé à l’étranger à détruire des millions de vies à des fins hégémoniques.

Nous pourrions conclure que Washington veut l’hégémonie dans le sport exactement comme il le fait dans les affaires étrangères et veut que les athlètes russes dégagent de son chemin pour que les Américains puissent gagner davantage de médailles. Mais cela manquerait le point véritable de la campagne de Washington contre la Russie. Le scandale du dopage fait partie de l’effort en cours de Washington pour isoler la Russie et construire une opposition à Poutine en Russie même.

Il y a une minorité connue comme les intégrationnistes atlantistes au sein du gouvernement russe et dans le secteur des affaires, qui croit qu’il est plus important pour la Russie d’être intégrée à l’Occident que d’être souveraine. Cette minorité de Russes veut troquer l’indépendance de la Russie contre l’acceptation occidentale. Fondamentalement, ce sont des traîtres que Poutine tolère.

Avec l’interdiction de la participation de la Russie aux Jeux olympiques, Washington tente de renforcer cette opposition à Poutine. Maintenant, l’opposition peut dire : « L’intransigeance de Poutine a mis la Russie à l’écart des Jeux olympiques. Poutine a isolé la Russie. Nous devons coopérer − un euphémisme pour céder − avec l’Occident ou devenir parias. »

C’est le jeu de Washington. L’interdiction des Jeux olympiques est destinée à saper la réputation de Poutine auprès des Russes. « Il nous a écartés des Jeux olympiques ! ».

Les intégrationnistes atlantistes sont prêts à trahir soit Assad soit la Crimée pour être acceptés par Washington. Donc Washington travaille à renforcer ses alliés russes.

Les Européens sont perturbés par la politisation des Jeux olympiques par Washington. Le président du Comité olympique européen Pat Hickey s’est opposé à la tentative de Washington d’imposer une punition « avant la présentation de toute preuve. Une telle interférence et des appels avant la publication du rapport McLaren vont totalement à l’encontre de la procédure légale équitable internationalement reconnue et pourrait avoir complétement compromis l’intégrité et donc la crédibilité de cet important rapport ».

Hickey a dit qu’il ressort clairement de l’effort de Washington et du Canada que « tant l’indépendance que la confidentialité du rapport ont été compromises ». Il poursuit :

« Il est clair que seuls des athlètes et des organisations connus pour soutenir une interdiction de l’équipe olympique russe ont été contactés. »

« Je dois demander en vertu de quelle autorité les agences anti-dopage étasuniennes et canadiennes ont préparé leur lettre et quel mandat elles ont pour lancer un appel international à l’interdiction d’un autre pays dans la famille olympique. »

« Alors que je comprends totalement et partage les préoccupations internationales quant aux récentes allégations de dopage, nous ne pouvons pas permettre à des individus ou à des groupes d’interférer ou de nuire à l’intégrité d’une procédure judiciaire équitable et régulière. »

Washington, évidemment, n’a aucun respect pour les procédures judiciaires régulières aux États-Unis eux-mêmes, ou en Afghanistan, en Irak, en Libye, en Somalie, au Yémen, au Pakistan, en Syrie, en Ukraine, au Honduras, au Venezuela, en Argentine, au Brésil, en Bolivie, en Équateur ou en Grande-Bretagne, un vassal dont Obama dit qu’il ne sera pas autorisé à quitter l’Union européenne. Pourquoi Washington serait-il concerné par le fait que la Russie puisse bénéficier d’une procédure régulière ?

Dans son article, le New York Times, la mère maquerelle du bordel des médias américains, n’a pas mentionné les préoccupations de Hicky.

Le rapport McLaren est censé être une enquête sur l’accusation que l’usage de drogues par les athlètes russes pour améliorer leurs performances est largement répandu et soutenu par le gouvernement russe. Washington a trop d’argent et trop de menaces à disposition pour que n’importe quel rapport utilisé pour discréditer la Russie puisse être honnête. Lisez mon article d’aujourd’hui sur le MH-17, ou souvenez-vous de la description par Washington d’un vote indépendant en Crimée, où les électeurs choisissent à la quasi unanimité de rejoindre la Russie dont la province fait partie depuis les années 1700, comme étant une « invasion et une annexion russe ».

Il faut une personne très courageuse, comme Pat Hickey, pour résister à Washington, et nous ne savons pas si Hickey succombera aux pressions de Washington qui seront très certainement exercées maintenant sur lui.

Washington continuera à diaboliser la Russie jusqu’à ce qu’une guerre soit provoquée ou jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement russe capitule et accepte une vassalité partielle, trahissant soit Assad soit la Crimée.

Peut-être la Russie et la Chine devraient-elles organiser les Jeux olympiques eurasiatiques et quitter les Jeux occidentaux. Comme Washington a relancé la Guerre froide et tente de la faire devenir chaude, la compétition peut porter sur comment les pays d’Amérique latine et d’Afrique s’alignent. S’ils sont libres de choisir, il est peu probable que les Africains et les Latino-américains rejoignent les jeux de l’homme blanc occidental raciste.

Nous devons nous demander quand viendra le moment où la Russie et la Chine cesseront de rester assises là à encaisser des affronts et des provocations sans fin, au nom de la paix. Lorsque ce moment arrivera, s’il arrive, l’Occident cessera d’être l’arbitre des affaires humaines.

Paul Craig Robert

Article orignal en anglais :

 

Olympic-logo

Washington Is Politicizing The Olympics: Ongoing Attempts to Ban Russia. Geopolitical Implications

Traduit par Diane, vérifié par Wayan, relu par Catherine pour le Saker francophone

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Le 26 janvier, l’un des jours les plus tristes de l’histoire de l’humanité, sera célébré en Australie. Il s’agira d’une « journée pour les familles », nous racontent les journaux que possède Rupert Murdoch. Des drapeaux seront distribués à tous les coins de rues et imprimés sur de drôles de chapeaux. Les gens n’auront de cesse de répéter à quel point ils sont fiers.

Pour beaucoup, il y a du soulagement et de la gratitude. Au cours de ma vie, l’Australie non-indigène est passée d’une société anglo-irlandaise à l’une des sociétés les plus ethniquement diverses de la Terre. Ceux que l’on appelait autrefois les « nouveaux Australiens » choisissent souvent le 26 janvier, « Australia Day » (le jour de l’Australie), pour prêter serment en tant que citoyens. Les cérémonies sont parfois émouvantes. Observez ces visages du Moyen-Orient et comprenez pourquoi ils s’accrochent à leur nouveau drapeau.

C’était à l’aube d’un 26 janvier, il y a de nombreuses années, que je suis allé, avec des australiens indigènes et des non-indigènes, déposer des gerbes dans le port de Sydney. Nous nous étions rendus dans l’une de ces baies sablonneuses paradisiaques où d’autres s’étaient rassemblés comme autant de silhouettes, pour observer les bateaux de la « première flotte » britannique tandis qu’ils jetaient l’ancre, le 26 janvier 1788. Ce fut le moment précis où la seule île continent du monde fut volée à ses habitants ; selon l’euphémisme consacré, il s’agissait de « peuplement ». Ce fut, comme l’a écrit Henry Reynolds, l’un des rares historiens australiens honnêtes, l’un des plus importants vols de terre de l’histoire du monde. Il décrit le massacre qui s’ensuivit comme « un murmure dans nos cœurs ».

1896: des prisonniers aborigènes enchainés, photographiés devant Roebourne Gaol (prison en Australie Occidentale).

Les Australiens originels sont la présence humaine la plus ancienne. Pour les envahisseurs européens, ils n’existaient pas dans la mesure où leur continent avait été déclaré Terra Nullius :« territoire sans maître ». Afin de justifier cette fiction, un massacre de masse fut ordonné. En 1838, le Sydney Monitor rapporta : « il fut décidé d’entièrement exterminer la race noire de cet endroit ». Cela faisait référence au peuple Darug, qui vivait le long du grand fleuve Hawkesbury, pas loin de Sydney. Avec une remarquable ingénuité, et sans armes, ils menèrent une résistance épique, qui demeure encore quasiment un secret national. Dans un pays jonché de cénotaphes en hommage aux colons australiens morts principalement lors des guerres impériales, personne ne prend parti pour ces guerriers qui luttèrent et tombèrent en défendant l’Australie.

Cette vérité n’a pas sa place dans la conscience australienne. Parmi les nations coloniales comptant des populations indigènes, et à l’exception d’une « excuse » simpliste en 2008, seule l’Australie a refusé d’assumer son passé colonial honteux. Un célèbre film d’Hollywood, Soldier Blue (soldat bleu), en 1970, a inversé les stéréotypes raciaux, offrant aux Etats-Uniens un aperçu de leur génocide au sein de leurs propres « colonies » mythiques. Près d’un demi-siècle plus tard, on peut dire qu’un film équivalent ne pourrait jamais être produit en Australie.

En 2014, alors que je cherchais un distributeur local pour mon propre film, Utopia, qui raconte l’histoire du génocide australien, un grand nom du business m’annonça : « Pas question que je distribue ça. Le public ne l’accepterait jamais ».

[Un extrait de l’excellent documentaire de John Pilger, dont il parle ici, « Utopia »:]

Il avait tort – jusqu’à un certain point. Lorsque Utopia est sorti à Sydney quelques jours avant le 26 janvier, sous les étoiles, sur une terre vacante, dans une zone indigène de la ville appelée The Block, plus de 4000 personnes se présentèrent, non-indigènes en majorité. Beaucoup avaient traversé le continent. Des leaders indigènes qui apparaissaient dans le film se tenaient devant l’écran et parlaient en « langue » : la leur. Rien de tel ne s’était jamais produit auparavant. Pourtant, la presse était absente. Pour la communauté générale, c’était comme si rien ne s’était produit. L’Australie est une murdochratie, dominée par l’ethos d’un homme ayant échangé sa nationalité contre le réseau de la Fox des États-Unis.

La star Indigène de football australien Adam Goodes a écrit de manière touchante au Sydney Morning Herald exigeant que « le silence soit brisé »« Imaginez-vous », a-t-il écrit, « en train de regarder un film qui raconterait la vérité sur les terribles injustices commises contre votre peuple, un film qui révèlerait comment les Européens, et les gouvernements qui ont dirigé ce pays, ont violé, tué et volé votre peuple pour leurs propres intérêts ».

« Et maintenant imaginez comment vous vous sentiriez si les gens ayant le plus bénéficié de ces viols, de ces meurtres et de ces vols – ceux qui ont ordonné et tiré profit de l’oppression – se détournaient, écœurés, devant quiconque cherchant à les révéler. »

Goodes lui-même avait déjà brisé le silence lorsqu’il a résisté aux insultes racistes dont lui, ainsi que d’autres personnalités sportives indigènes, ont été l’objet. Ce courageux et talentueux joueur a pris sa retraite l’an dernier, alors qu’il faisait l’objet d’un discrédit avec « la nation sportive divisée à son sujet », ainsi que l’a écrit un commentateur. En Australie, il est respectable d’être « divisé »quant à l’opposition au racisme.

Le « Jour de l’Australie » (Australia Day) 2016 — les indigènes préfèrent l’appeler le Jour de l’Invasion (Invasion Day) ou le Jour de la Survie (Survival Day) — on ne reconnaîtra pas que la singularité de l’Australie réside dans son peuple premier, ainsi que dans une mentalité coloniale enracinée qui devrait être un embarras constant pour une nation indépendante. Cette mentalité s’exprime de plusieurs façons, d’une politique soumise devant les voraces États-Unis à un mépris quasiment habituel des indigènes d’Australie, comme un écho du « kaffir » — ce terme raciste utilisé en Afrique du Sud.

australia

« D’abord nos enfants, maintenant nos maisons, le gouvernement australien déplace notre peuple depuis 1788 » / « Nous sommes toujours là »

L’apartheid est sous-jacent dans la société australienne. A une courte distance de vol de Sydney, les populations Indigènes vivent des vies parmi les plus courtes. Les hommes meurent souvent avant d’atteindre 45 ans. Ils meurent de maladies dignes d’un roman de Dickens, comme les rhumatismes cardiaques. Les enfants deviennent aveugles à la suite d’un trachome, et sourds à la suite d’une otite moyenne, des maladies liées à la pauvreté. Un médecin m’a dit, « j’ai voulu donner un anti-inflammatoire à une patiente, pour une infection qui aurait pu être évitée si les conditions de vie avaient été meilleures, mais je n’ai pas pu la traiter parce qu’elle n’avait pas assez de nourriture à manger, et qu’elle ne pouvait donc pas ingérer les comprimés. J’ai parfois l’impression d’avoir affaire aux mêmes conditions que celles de la classe ouvrière britannique du début de la révolution industrielle ».

Le racisme qui permet cela au cœur de l’une des sociétés les plus privilégiées de la Terre est profondément enraciné. Dans les années 1920, un « protecteur des aborigènes » a supervisé le vol d’enfants métis, en expliquant qu’il s’agissait « de les élever de manière à éliminer la couleur ». Aujourd’hui, des nombres records d’enfants Indigènes sont retirés de leurs foyers et beaucoup ne revoient jamais leurs familles. Le 11 février, un groupe exaltant appelé « Grands-mères contre les Enlèvements » (Grandmothers Against Removals) prendra la tête d’une marche sur le parlement fédéral à Canberra, exigeant le retour des enfants volés.

« 231 années de dépossession et de génocide, ça se fête? »

L’Australie suscite l’envie des gouvernements européens qui clôturent actuellement leurs frontières autrefois ouvertes, tout en invitant le fascisme, comme en Hongrie. Les réfugiés qui osent mettre le cap sur l’Australie à bord de bateaux surpeuplés sont depuis longtemps traités comme des criminels, ainsi que les « passeurs », que les médias australiens mettent en avant pour détourner l’attention de l’immoralité et de la criminalité de leur propre gouvernement. Les réfugiés sont confinés derrière des barbelés pendant une durée moyenne de plus d’un an, certains indéfiniment, dans des conditions barbares ayant entraîné des automutilations, des meurtres, des suicides et des maladies mentales. Les enfants ne sont pas épargnés. Un goulag australien dirigé par de sinistres firmes de sécurité privée comprend des camps de concentration sur les îles isolées de Manus et de Nauru dans le Pacifique. Les gens n’ont souvent aucune idée de la date de leur libération, si libération il y a.

L’armée australienne — dont les hauts-faits sont le sujet de gros volumes exempts de toute critique qui remplissent les étagères des kiosques d’aéroport — a joué un rôle important dans le « renvoi des bateaux » des réfugiés fuyant les guerres, comme celle d’Irak, déclenchée et prolongée par les états-uniens et leurs mercenaires australiens. Aucune ironie et aucune responsabilité ne transparaît à travers ce rôle lâche.

En ce Jour de l’Australie, la « fierté des services » sera mise en avant. Cette fierté s’étend au Ministère australien de l’Immigration, qui envoie des gens dans son Goulag pour « traitement extraterritorial », souvent arbitrairement, les laissant pourrir dans le deuil et le désespoir. La semaine dernière, il a été annoncé que les représentants du ministère de l’immigration avaient dépensé 400 000 dollars pour des médailles qu’ils allaient héroïquement s’auto-attribuer. Hissez les drapeaux.

John Pilger

Article original en anglais :

australian flag

Australia’s Day for Secrets, Flags and Cowards, publié le 21 janvier 2016

Traduction: Nicolas Casaux pour Le Partage

 

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L’Etat d’urgence déclaré en Turquie

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Jean Shaoul

Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a déclaré mercredi l’état d’urgence pour trois mois.

La mesure a été précédée d’une réunion de cinq heures du Conseil national de sécurité et d’une réunion du cabinet d’Erdogan. Le président, qui a promis de purger toutes les institutions de l’Etat du « virus » responsable du coup d’Etat manqué du 15 juillet, a dit: « Le but est de prendre rapidement et efficacement toutes les mesures nécessaires pour éliminer la menace contre la démocratie, la primauté du droit et les droits et libertés du peuple ».

En dépit de ces assurances, le président et ses ministres sont habilités par l’état d’urgence à contourner le Parlement pour adopter des lois. Le gouvernement peut aussi décider de restreindre les droits et les libertés civiles.

Le Parti de la justice et du développement (AKP) de droite a déjà mis en accusation, dans le cadre de la tentative de coup d’Etat de vendredi dernier, plus de 100 généraux et amiraux, près d’un tiers des 356 officiers supérieurs de la Turquie. Les accusations comprennent la trahison, la formation et l’adhésion à une organisation terroriste armée et la tentative d’un coup d’Etat.

Le gouvernement Erdogan effectue une purge à grande échelle parmi les fonctionnaires de l’État visant ceux qui sont accusés ou soupçonnés d’être liés au coup d’Etat manqué. Cela touche les forces de sécurité, la police, les juges et les procureurs militaires, les fonctionnaires civils et universitaires. Près de 60.000 personnes ont été arrêtées, limogées ou suspendues. Mercredi, le gouvernement a annoncé l’interdiction de sortie du territoire de tous les universitaires. Des centaines d’institutions de l’Etat ont été fermées.

Deux membres de la Cour constitutionnelle de la Turquie ont été arrêtés mercredi, parmi plus de 100 fonctionnaires judiciaires placés en détention. L’agence de presse de l’Etat a aussi rapporté que le ministère de l’éducation fermait 626 écoles privées.

La répression est susceptible de s’intensifier suite à l’annonce de l’état d’urgence.

Des rapports continuent d’émerger concernant les événements liés à la tentative de coup d’Etat, qui donnent l’image d’une opération majeure. Erdogan lui-même, en vacances dans la station de Marmaris au sud-ouest du pays, aurait évité de justesse d’être assassiné. Des troupes héliportées ont attaqué son hôtel peu après son départ pour Istanbul – pas la capitale Ankara – où un commandant supérieur de l’armée pouvait garantir sa sécurité. Les troupes envoyées pour éliminer Erdogan ont tué deux policiers et blessé sept autres. En route vers Istanbul, l’avion présidentiel aurait été dans le collimateur des pilotes rebelles de deux avions de combat F-16.

Les chiffres toujours plus élevés de personnalités haut placées accusées d’y avoir participé indiquent que le gouvernement craint une éventuelle deuxième tentative de coup d’Etat. Dans une interview télévisée mercredi avec Al Jazeera, Erdogan a dit: « Je ne pense pas que nous soyons encore arrivés à la fin de cette affaire ». Il a réitéré ses soupçons que des pays étrangers étaient impliqués dans la tentative du 15 juillet, bien qu’il n’ait pas nommé de gouvernement spécifique.

Cependant, au moins un fonctionnaire de premier plan du gouvernement a directement accusé Washington d’être impliqué et Erdogan a accusé son rival basé aux Etats-Unis, Fethullah Gülen, largement soupçonné d’être un agent de la CIA, d’avoir orchestré le coup d’Etat. Ankara envisage de déposer formellement auprès du gouvernement américain une demande d’extradition de Gülen.

Il existe de nombreuses indications selon lesquelles Washington et Berlin ont soutenu les conspirateurs. Au lendemain du putsch avorté, les responsables américains et européens et les principaux médias occidentaux ont presque universellement dirigé leur feu contre Erdogan plutôt que contre les auteurs du coup. Les gouvernements américain et allemand étaient tous deux évasifs au début des événements de vendredi, malgré le statut de membre de l’OTAN de la Turquie et les liens étroits entre l’armée turque et le reste des forces de l’OTAN. C’est seulement après qu’il était devenu évident que le coup avait échoué qu’ils ont publié des déclarations soutenant le gouvernement élu.

Il semble que le centre de l’opération du coup d’Etat était la base aérienne d’Incirlik où sont stockées des armes nucléaires américaines et d’où les Etats-Unis lancent des bombardements contre la Syrie et l’Irak.

Les tensions entre Erdogan et ses alliés officiels aux États-Unis et dans l’OTAN s’étaient intensifiées dans les semaines ayant précédé le coup d’Etat, alors que le président turc cherchait un rapprochement avec la Russie.

L’administration Obama et les dirigeants européens s’étaient heurtés à Erdogan à propos de son soutien de groupes islamistes comme l’Etat islamique et al-Nusra, la filiale d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie, que la coalition américaine prétend combattre en Syrie et en Irak. Erdogan a officieusement parrainé ces forces en tant que remparts contre les Kurdes syriens.

Depuis le coup d’Etat manqué, Washington a menacé la Turquie de perdre son adhésion à l’OTAN si elle n’atténuait pas la répression. Le directeur de la CIA John Brennan a été évasif lorsqu’on lui a demandé si les États-Unis étaient au courant de la possibilité d’un coup d’Etat, disant seulement qu’il était bien conscient de l’opposition intérieure importante au président Erdogan.

La vitesse et l’ampleur de la purge après le coup d’Etat indiquent les tensions politiques, économiques et sociales qui déchirent la Turquie suite à la crise financière mondiale de 2008, aux années de guerre américaine au Moyen-Orient, aux changements constants dans la politique des États-Unis qui ont mis Erdogan en conflit avec Washington et à la guerre d’Ankara contre le Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) dans le sud-est de la Turquie.

Pour l’instant, la loyauté comme l’endroit où se trouve la marine turque posent question. Mardi, le journal The Times de Londres, a rapporté que Veysel Kosele, l’amiral qui commande la marine turque, n’a pu être contacté depuis le début du coup d’Etat et on pense que 14 navires et deux hélicoptères avec 25 soldats des Forces spéciales manquent à l’appel. Le porte-parole présidentiel Ibrahim Kalin a déclaré que « rien ne manquait, » bien que « quelques soldats rebelles soient toujours en fuite. »

Ankara a fait décoller d’urgence des avions de combat F-16 mercredi pour vérifier les informations que des navires de garde-côtes manquants avaient été vus dans les eaux territoriales grecques de la mer Égée, selon des sources militaires turques.

Parmi les personnes arrêtées ou mise à pied se trouvent des centaines de personnels du bureau du premier ministre Binali Yildirim, du parlement et de divers ministères. Ali Yazici, l’aide de camp d’Erdogan en fait partie.

L’ancien commandant de la Force aérienne et membre du Conseil militaire suprême turc Akın Öztürk a été accusé d’avoir planifié le coup d’Etat. Son groupe aurait compris le principal conseiller militaire d’Erdogan, le commandant de la base aérienne d’Incirlik et le commandant de la puissante deuxième armée Öztürk, qu’on a vu avec des blessures au visage pendant son arrestation et a nié toute implication.

Si l’implication de ces personnalités est confirmée, cela signifie que la tentative de coup d’Etat a été organisée par des individus au centre de l’establishmentpolitique au pouvoir.

Erdogan a cherché ces derniers mois à écarter ses rivaux politiques, y compris l’ancien président et co-fondateur de l’AKP Abdullah Gül et Ahmet Davutoglu son ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères et premier ministre choisi par lui, qu’il a remplacé par le loyaliste Binali Yildirim. La démission forcée de Davutoglu, en particulier, avait provoqué la colère des États -Unis et des puissances européennes.

Il n’y a pas de doute qu’Erdogan utilise la possibilité offerte par le coup d’Etat avorté de régler de vieux comptes et de légitimer ses efforts de longue date pour mettre en place un régime dictatorial sous couvert d’une présidence exécutive. Les autorités turques ont déjà révoqué les licences d’un certain nombre de médias sur la base d’allégations d’implication dans le coup d’Etat, y compris plusieurs chaînes de télévision que le gouvernement avait déjà mises sous tutelle. Elles ont bloqué l’accès au site Web WikiLeaks après que ce dernier a divulgué 300.000 courriels de l’AKP datant de 2010 jusqu’au 6 juillet de cette année en réaction aux purges après le coup d’Etat.

Erdogan a jusqu’ici concentré son attention sur les partisans du mouvement d’opposition Güleniste. Le premier ministre Yildirim a déclaré au parlement mardi qu’Ankara avait envoyé quatre dossiers aux États-Unis pour soutenir sa demande d’extradition de Gülen.

Une des personnes arrêtées, le lieutenant-colonel Levent Turkkan, aide du chef d’état-major, le général Hulusi Akar, aurait avoué être un membre de l’organisation de Gülen, qui a été officiellement enregistrée par le Conseil national de sécurité turc en mai dernier comme l’Organisation de Terreur Fethullah (FETO). Il a avoué que lui et d’autres ont espionné de hauts commandants de l’armée et affirmé que « 60 à 70 pour cent de ces personnes intégrées dans les forces armées depuis les années 1990 sont des gens liés à Gülen. »

Turkkan a dit qu’il a été informé du coup d’Etat le 14 juillet par le colonel Orhan Yikilkan, qui a été conseiller du chef d’état-major. Yikilkan lui a dit que le président, le premier ministre, le chef d’état-major et les commandants-en-chef seraient arrêtés, le lancement du coup d’État ayant été prévu pour tôt le samedi 16 juillet.

Gülen a nié toute implication dans le coup d’Etat et il est loin d’être clair quel rôle il aurait, le cas échéant, joué. Il n’est pas clair non plus quelles sont les forces politiques derrière le complot visant à renverser le régime d’Erdogan, ou leurs motivations et leurs objectifs. Les trois partis de l’opposition – les kémalistes, les nationalistes de droite et le parti pro kurde – ont rejoint l’AKP pour dénoncer la tentative du coup d’Etat.

Selon l’agence de presse de l’Etat, Anadolu, un dossier a été trouvé dans le bureau du juge Mehmet Sel au palais de justice d’Istanbul. Il contenait apparemment un document devant être utilisé pour mettre Erdogan, l’ancien premier ministre Davutoglu, le ministre de l’Intérieur Efkan Ala et le chef du renseignement Hakan Fidan en accusation d’avoir aidé une organisation terroriste entre 2009 et 2015 – la période où le processus de paix avec les Kurdes se déroulait.

Des millions de personnes sont descendues dans les rues vendredi et samedi derniers en opposition au coup d’Etat. Mais Erdogan utilisera inévitablement tout le soutien populaire que cela engendre pour renforcer sa main contre la classe ouvrière. Pendant le coup d’Etat et dans sa foulée immédiate, il a mobilisé des milliers de membres des milices islamistes, principalement des Sociétés ottomanes pro AKP ainsi que des nationalistes, qui ont sévi contre les adversaires de l’AKP, en scandant des slogans djihadistes et religieux.

Jean Shaoul

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 21 juillet 2016

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Les habitants de Beaumont-sur-Oise près de Paris se sont affrontées avec les forces de sécurité mardi, mercredi et jeudi soir, après la montée de colère provoquée par la mort mardi d’Adama Traoré en garde à vue.

La famille de Traoré, à qui on avait toujours refusé de voir le corps jeudi, conteste fortement la version policière des événements qui ont conduit à sa mort. Il a été arrêté lors d’une opération par les gendarmes visant à arrêter son frère, Bagui, dans le cadre d’une enquête sur plusieurs personnes soupçonnées d’extorsion, quoique Bagui ait ensuite été libéré sans inculpation.

Selon différentes versions contradictoires des événements présentées par les autorités à sa famille, Adama Traoré a tenté de s’interposer durant l’arrestation de son frère et a été emmené en garde à vue, où il est mort d’une crise cardiaque ou d’une crise d’épilepsie.

Bagui Traoré, qui a été emmené au poste de police avec son frère, a donné une version totalement différente. Il a dit: « Lorsque les gendarmes sont arrivés, Adama est parti en courant parce qu’il n’avait pas ses papiers sur lui. Ils l’ont coursé et l’ont rattrapé alors qu’il tentait de se cacher dans le jardin d’un mec qu’on connaît. Adama a dit “je me rends”. Ils l’ont boxé. »

Il a ajouté, « Ils l’ont embarqué ensuite à la gendarmerie de Persan. Là-bas, je l’ai retrouvé entouré de cinq ou six gendarmes. Il était au sol, les mains menottées dans le dos. Il ne respirait plus, il était sans vie. Il avait du sang sur le visage. J’ai vu un gendarme qui faisait partie de ceux qui nous ont interpellés. Il avait un t-shirt blanc et je l’ai vu revenir après avec un t-shirt plein de sang, celui de mon frère. Ma compagne était là, elle l’a vu aussi. Adama n’a pas eu de crise cardiaque, ils l’ont tabassé. »

Un autre frère de Traoré, Youssef, a rejeté comme pas crédible l’affirmation policière que son frère était mort d’une crise cardiaque : « C’était un grand sportif. Il faisait du football, de la musculation, il était super costaud. Jamais il n’a eu de problème cardiaque. Hier, il était en train de faire du vélo quand les gendarmes l’ont interpellé, avec la chaleur qu’il faisait, vous pensez vraiment que s’il avait eu des problèmes cardiaques il aurait pu faire ça. C’était son anniversaire hier. On avait prévu de se rassembler avec la famille pour lui fêter. Maintenant il n’est plus là. »

Des affrontements ont éclaté entre la police et les habitants de plusieurs banlieues de Paris, y compris Beaumont-sur-Oise, Persan et Bruyères-sur-Oise, où des voitures et des magasins ont été incendiés. Les autorités policières ont indiqué que neuf personnes ont été arrêtées pour « attroupements armés, incendies volontaires et jets d’objets incendiaires sur les forces de l’ordre »

La Gazette du Val d’Oise a cité les amis et la famille de Traoré qui ont exprimé leur indignation à propos de la police, exigeant « que la justice fasse son travail. »

« Si la justice ne fait pas son travail, alors nous le ferons. Nous ne pouvons pas laisser passer cela. Les gendarmes sont des militaires, quand un de leurs hommes meurent au front, ils cherchent à savoir qui est le responsable et font en sorte de le retrouver. Pour nous c’est pareil. »

Sa mère, Oumou, a dit : « Je veux savoir la cause de sa mort. Je veux le voir pour pouvoir faire son deuil ». Elle a lancé un appel au calme: « La violence n’apporte rien. Je demande aux jeunes de se calmer et de prier pour Adama. Qu’ils cassent les voitures, les magasins, cela ne sert à rien. Ce n’est pas ça qui va faire revenir Adama ».

La sœur jumelle d’Adama, Hawa a dit, « Je veux savoir dans quelles circonstances il est mort. C’est mon combat depuis que j’ai appris son décès… les émeutes qu’il y a depuis, c’est parce que nous sommes sans réponse. On nous laisse dans le flou… »

La mort de Traoré et les affrontements qui ont éclatés par la suite entre la population et les gendarmes ont eu lieu dans un contexte politique explosif. La France reste sous l’état d’urgence, et les tensions sociales et la colère sont au point de rupture après que le gouvernement du Parti socialiste a violemment réprimé les protestations sociales contre sa législation du travail régressive, qui vise à détruire les droits sociaux fondamentaux de longue date des travailleurs.

Les banlieues des grandes villes françaises sont devenues des poudrières sociales, alors que que des dizaines de milliers de policiers, avec des pouvoirs extraordinaires pour fouiller et détenir des individus, sont déployés dans les rues. En même temps, la colère populaire contre l’austérité et les mesures d’état policier se développe dans toute l’Europe.

Deux fois dans le passé, en 2005 et 2007, les banlieues de Paris et d’autres villes françaises ont explosé en émeutes et en combats contre la police suite aux morts de jeunes interpellés par ces derniers. Aujourd’hui, le gouvernement PS est profondément discrédité et la colère monte contre la mort à répétition de personnes innocentes pendant leur garde à vue, non seulement en France, mais dans toute l’Europe et aux États-Unis. Toutes les conditions sont réunies pour une confrontation encore plus explosive.

Le Défenseur des droits Jacques Toubon a annoncé qu’il « lançait un appel solennel au calme, ajoutant : «Un seul objectif doit prévaloir, partagé par toutes les personnes impliquées: la recherche de la vérité..»

Mais hier, les responsables de la police ont publié le rapport d’autopsie d’Adama Traoré, maintenant leur version des événements et attaquant directement la version de la famille sur sa mort.

« Il avait une infection très grave… touchant plusieurs organes, » a déclaré le procureur de la République Yves Jannier, ajoutant que, « manifestement cette personne n’aurait pas subi des violences, comme certains membres de sa famille ont pu le dire ».

L’avocat de la famille Traoré, Karim Achoui, a déclaré à l’AFP que l’infection « dont pourrait souffrir Adama Traoré n’explique pas les causes de la mort. » Sa famille a l’intention de chercher l’opinion « d’un expert indépendant » avant l’enterrement d’Adama.

Des informations indiquaient le 21 juillet au soir que des manifestations et des émeutes avaient de nouveau lieu dans les communes autour de Beaumont- sur-Oise. Des affrontements se seraient produits près d’une station d’essence de Beaumont et six voitures auraient été incendiées sur les communes de L’Isle-Adam, Champagne-sur-Oise et Bernes-sur-Oise.

 

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 22 juillet 2016

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Des émeutes éclatent près de Paris après la mort d’AdamaTraoré en garde à vue

Donald Trump a officiellement accepté la nomination en tant que candidat du Parti républicain dans les élections présidentielles de 2016 jeudi soir avec une diatribe fascisante prononcée sous les acclamations des délégués dans la salle des congrès à Cleveland, en Ohio.

Contrairement à la plupart de ses discours, les propos de Trump jeudi ont suivi de près un texte préparé, évitant son radotage décousu habituel. Cependant, ce changement de forme n’a pas amélioré la cohérence logique de la pensée de Trump. Plutôt que de mettre en œuvre un programme politique cohérent, son discours était une série des non-sens, unis principalement par leur méchanceté et l’égocentrisme sans limites du candidat.

Trump décrit une Amérique en proie à la crise, dont la source ne réside pas dans l’inégalité, la guerre sans fin, et encore moins le système capitaliste, mais dans le terrorisme, l’immigration illégale, et les criminels qui errent dans les rues. Il a dit que sa «première tâche» serait «de libérer nos citoyens du crime, du terrorisme et de l’anarchie qui menacent leurs communautés».

«Dans cette course à la Maison-Blanche, je suis le candidat de la loi et de l’ordre», a déclaré Trump, promettant d’étendre les pouvoirs de la police.

Tous les problèmes qui affligent le pays, Trump a proclamé, seraient résolus par le don de sa propre personne – par son arrivée au pouvoir. Utilisant le langage de n’importe quel dictateur potentiel, Trump a déclaré: «À partir du 20 janvier 2017, la sécurité sera rétablie» aux États-Unis. S’il est élu, «les Américains vont enfin se réveiller dans un pays où les lois des États-Unis sont appliquées».

Tout au long de sa campagne, Trump, avec une grandiloquence informe, a cherché à diriger l’immense colère et les tensions sociales aux États-Unis derrière un nationalisme extrême. «Nous allons construire un grand mur frontalier pour stopper l’immigration clandestine», a-t-il dit jeudi, «afin d’arrêter les gangs et la violence, et afin d’empêcher les drogues de se répandre dans nos communautés».

Il a également réitéré son appel pour la suspension de l’immigration de «toute nation qui a été compromise par le terrorisme jusqu’à ce que des mécanismes éprouvés de vérification des antécédents aient été mis en place».

Après avoir rappelé la catastrophe au Moyen-Orient qui a été créée par quinze années de guerre, il a fait la transition à une demande pour une escalade massive de la violence militaire dans la région. Si je suis élu président, a-t-il dit: «Nous allons [détruire l’État islamique de l’Irak et la Syrie] maintenant, et nous allons le faire rapidement.»

Plus tard dans son discours, il a fait référence à la Chine, citant «son vol scandaleux de la propriété intellectuelle, ainsi que son “dumping” illégal de marchandises et sa manipulation dévastatrice de la monnaie». Trump a réitéré ses appels pour l’abolition des accords commerciaux existants et pour «une nouvelle politique commerciale équitable qui protège nos emplois et résiste aux pays qui trichent».

Selon la théorie politique proposée par Trump, les immenses contradictions économiques mondiales qui surgissent du déclin prolongé du capitalisme américain doivent être résolues par les méthodes décrites dans son livre, «The Art of the Deal». En fait, le corollaire logique de son nationalisme de «l’Amérique d’abord» est la guerre mondiale, où l’armée américaine est utilisée comme instrument pour faire respecter les intérêts des entreprises américaines partout dans le monde.

Trump a encore une fois cherché à se présenter de manière absurde comme le champion des travailleurs et des pauvres contre les entreprises et l’élite. Pour «les travailleurs d’usine mis à pied», les «hommes et femmes oubliés de notre pays», a-t-il déclaré, «Je suis votre voix.»

Dans la mesure où il a réussi à s’afficher comme un adversaire de l’establishment politique, c’est dû surtout à la haine généralisée envers le Parti démocrate et l’administration Obama. Son affirmation selon laquelle «les grandes entreprises, les médias d’élite et les principaux donateurs font la queue derrière la campagne de mon adversaire» était peut-être la seule déclaration exacte de son discours. Cependant, la tentative de ce milliardaire et magnat de l’immobilier de se présenter comme la «voix» des gens ordinaires est grotesque.

Son engagement à être la voix des sans-voix se résumait à des propositions visant à réduire les impôts, en particulier pour les sociétés, et éliminer les réglementations gouvernementales. En fin de compte, sa promesse de «rendre à l’Amérique sa grandeur» signifie l’élimination de toutes les restrictions sur l’accumulation de la richesse.

Le discours de Trump est l’aboutissement d’une Convention qui marque une nouvelle étape dans la crise de la démocratie américaine. Les conférenciers et les délégués ont lancé des appels à la violence et à la répression, y compris l’arrestation et même l’assassinat d’opposants politiques. Mais derrière l’emphase et des acclamations bruyantes des délégués, un sentiment de démoralisation et de désespoir a prévalu tout au long – l’expression d’une classe dirigeante terrifiée par les bouleversements sociaux à l’horizon.

Le long déclin de la culture politique du capitalisme américain a maintenant atteint le point où un individu comme Trump peut être désigné comme le candidat de l’un de ses principaux partis politiques. En effet, peut-être l’aspect le plus caractéristique du discours de Trump était qu’il tentait de défendre une maladie dont il est le principal symptôme.

Avec la conclusion de la nomination républicaine, le centre d’attention de la politique américaine va maintenant se tourner vers la Convention démocrate, qui commence à Philadelphie lundi. Les démocrates vont sans doute citer le spectacle d’horreur à Cleveland afin d’effrayer la population pour qu’elle soutienne Hillary Clinton.

Les démocrates n’ont cependant pas de solution plus viable à la crise politique et sociale aux États-Unis que l’ont les républicains. Leur convention sera centrée sur une tentative d’encadrer les élections comme un référendum sur la race, en fusionnant la politique identitaire avec la campagne la plus de droitière, proguerre et anti-ouvrière de l’histoire du parti.

Joseph Kishore

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS, le 22 juillet 2016

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Le rapport Chilcot, c’est à dire l’enquête de la commission sur l’engagement britannique dans la guerre d’Irak, a enfin été publié. Il ne fait que confirmer ce que les observateurs indépendants savaient de la situation dans ce pays depuis la Première guerre du Golfe, à savoir que la menace irakienne n’existait que pour ceux qui voulaient renverser Saddam Hussein à tous prix.

L’embargo, seule arme de destruction massive

En janvier 2003, je suis allé à Bagdad, Taji, Bassora et Oum Qasr avec l’écrivain gaulliste Philippe de Saint Robert, un groupe d’officiers français (CR) – spécialistes des armes NBC – des scientifiques, des journalistes et des membres des Amitiés franco-irakiennes. Nous nous sommes rendus sur des lieux mentionnés dans un rapport de Tony Blair comme étant des caches d’armes de destruction massive, notamment au complexe militaire de Zulficar, à Taji, pour constater que les tubes d’aluminium qui y étaient entreposés étaient impropres à quelque utilisation que ce soit en matière nucléaire…

En mars 2003, j’ai visité d’autres sites soi-disant sensibles dans les régions de Bagdad et de Mossoul, avec une autre délégation qui fit le même constat que Philippe de Saint Robert : le rapport Blair était un tissu de mensonges. En Irak «la seule arme de destruction massive, c’était l’embargo ». 

Le bilan du renversement du régime baasiste est effroyable : plus d’un million de civils tués, des destructions sans nombre, l’implosion de la société irakienne, la partition de facto du pays, des millions de déplacés et de réfugiés, le terrorisme, une guerre de religion… en un mot le chaos.

Crimes de guerre et crime contre l’humanité 

Il aura fallu 7 ans pour que l’enquête sur l’engagement britannique en Irak soit publiée, 13 ans pour que la Grande-Bretagne reconnaisse officiellement certains de ses crimes. George Galloway – député exclu du Parti travailliste parce qu’il s’opposait à la guerre– a remercié Sir John Chilcot d’avoir rendu à son pays un peu de son honneur. Un peu, seulement, car il reste à juger Tony Blair pour crimes de guerre. Rien moins. C’est ce que réclament Jeremy Corbyn, chef actuel du Parti travailliste, et plusieurs pétitions en ligne sur Internet. La Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI), accusée à raison de « tropisme africain », pourrait gagner en crédibilité en ordonnant la comparution de l’ancien Premier ministre britannique.

Si ce procès a lieu un jour – qui sait ? – Blair devra s’expliquer sur ses mensonges et leurs conséquences, sa relation de vassalité à l’égard de George W. Bush… et sur la mort plus que mystérieuse, en juillet 2003, de David Kelly, inspecteur de l’ONU expert en armes de destruction massive qui contredisait ses dires.

Gilles Munier

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Canadá: Escenario viejo, actor nuevo

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Mario R. Fernández

En Canadá, y en algunos otros países, la elección de Justin Trudeau como el nuevo Primer Ministro el pasado mes de octubre fue vista como una importante renovación. En parte esto se debe a la figura juvenil y comunicativa del nuevo Primer Ministro, todo lo contrario de su antecesor Stephen Harper quien estuvo 11 años en el poder siendo siempre no sólo un político de extrema derecha sino uno que no daba explicaciones a nadie de nada, violando incluso sus responsabilidades como político y administrador del estado. Harper no tuvo ningún empacho en cerrar el parlamento por dos meses en diciembre del 2008 simplemente para evitar un voto de no-confianza en contra de su gobierno. Sorprendentemente, podemos decir, en sus 11 años de “reinado” Harper recibió contadas críticas, ninguna de instituciones importantes o de medios de comunicación, ambos representante de las élites corporativas dominantes. Sin duda, Justin Trudeau capitalizó el descontento de una parte de los canadienses respecto a la figura despótica e indiferente de Harper; se podría decir que muchos votantes eligieron repudiar la persona de Harper más que a su conducción de gobierno o a las medidas que tomara. Así se impuso el viejo Partido Liberal con Justin Trudeau, un educador de 44 años de edad, que ejerció como profesor secundario antes de ser elegido representante político, y que sin duda también lo favoreció el ser hijo del más famoso político canadiense, Pierre Trudeau quien fuera Primer Ministro por 15 años en los años 70 y 80. Y si bien Justin Trudeau presenta una figura muy diferente a su antecesor Stephen Harper, no por eso Canadá emerge con un nuevo proyecto político de país con este nuevo gobierno, más bien el status quo continúa no sólo en la política canadiense interna sino también en la externa.

Justin Trudeau ha usado sus energías como Primer Ministro de Canadá para saludar a quien viera, sacarse fotos con quien se lo pidiera y sonreír al público acompañado muchas veces de su esposa, Sophie Gregoire, figura pública ella también de la televisión canadiense antes de ser primera dama. La pareja se presenta amable, sonriente, fotogénica y está acostumbrada a la vida pública. Son cualidades que facilitan las relaciones públicas y es posible que la popularidad de los Trudeau llegue a ser comparable con la de las más conocidas parejas del mundo de espectáculo, pero estas no son necesariamente cualidades para dirigir el país.  Sin duda los Trudeau forman una pareja atractiva, con niños pequeños y con una historia a la vez conocida y trágica, que emerge con un final casi feliz gracias a que la madre de Justin, Margaret Trudeau,  antaño problemática esposa de Pierre, se ha transformado en madura y crecida abuela con una misión en favor de la salud mental, ella misma superando la depresión bipolar. Pero esto no puede ser todo lo que hay.

Es que no existe labor política y administrativa para Justin Trudeau, esta queda en las manos de los encargados de siempre, los tecnócratas que no vemos necesariamente. En Canadá, como en cualquier país del  primer mundo y como muchos del tercero, los políticos del gobierno y de la oposición tienen como única tarea engañar a la gente al tiempo que defienden a los ricos y sus negocios, por eso necesitan hacer mucho show. Las promesas existen en los discursos, durante las elecciones; Justin Trudeau repetía constantemente el estribillo sobre su preocupación por la clase media canadiense, esto porque clase media se entiende como la mayoría de los canadienses.  Las promesas incluían un gran plan de gastos de infraestructura que habría de generar trabajos que no serían trabajos de servicios mal pagados, como son la mayoría de los trabajos que se crean. Se hablaba de democratizar el sistema de elecciones federales para que fuera proporcional y no como es actualmente en donde el ganador se lleva una proporción mayor de los asientos parlamentarios. De estas promesas y de otras menores nada se ha visto hasta ahora y seguramente nada se verá. Con la excepción  de haber aceptado 25000 refugiados sirios, asunto que está en proceso, y que significa un 10 por ciento de los inmigrantes que Canadá acepta cada año (no olvidemos que un 20 por ciento de la población nació fuera del país). Pero nadie exigirá al nuevo gobierno que cumpla con sus promesas, como nadie le exigió nada a Harper durante su gobierno, hay un marcado desinterés de parte de la población por los asuntos públicos de este país, el desinterés es endémico y los partidos de oposición no son sino organizaciones muertas que se focalizan en discutir asuntos irrelevantes en el Parlamento y comportarse como niños. La actividad política se reduce a los tiempos en que hay elecciones.

El partido NDP (Nueva Democracia) que es social demócrata ha dejado ya por muchos años de representar al centro izquierda en Canadá y trata hoy con mucho ahínco de ser lo más pro-corporación posible. En su seno se han discutido asuntos políticos de relevancia en el pasado pero las posiciones de derecha se impusieron y terminaron con todo cuestionamiento relevante. El cuarto partido aplica solamente a Quebec, no a todo el país. El quinto partido es el Partido Verde y tiene representación parlamentaria federal de un sólo parlamentario, se trata de su líder Elizabeth May, quizás el único miembro del parlamento que cuestiona y se comporta con decencia.

No es que no existan asuntos que solucionar en Canadá, que como país y en lo económico sufre un creciente endeudamiento público federal más las provincias que ya alcanza a 1,3 billones o sea a un 91,5 por ciento de su PIB, y que tiene un déficit comercial que en el 2015 llegó a casi 22 mil millones de dólares (Statistics Canada) y que además ha sido también duramente afectado por la caída del precio de las materias primas incluyendo al petróleo que junto al gas natural se exporta casi en un 98 por ciento a Estados Unidos y que significa un 23 por ciento del total de las exportaciones. Canadá ha sido gravemente  afectado por la globalización (o el dominio corporativo mundial) y por las políticas neoliberales de las últimas tres décadas, razón por la cual ha perdido más de un millón de puestos de trabajo en la industria, y en esta área el sector que más ha sobrevivido es el de procesamiento de alimentos aunque tampoco se ha escapado pues han cerrado más de 150 plantas en los últimos 10 años. Y esto no se ha detenido, pues Canadá está listo a firmar el próximo octubre un tratado de libre comercio con la Unión Europea  y más adelante el TPP (Tratado Trans-Pacífico), ambos afectarán negativamente la producción de productos lácteos, causando cierres de factorías y creciente desempleo.

Pero Justin Trudeau, el nuevo Primer Ministro,  igual que los anteriores, ha hecho un tremendo show cada vez que se reúne con los representantes de Estados Unidos y México con quienes se ha firmado el tratado de libre comercio desde 1994, como si los efectos de este tratado, y de los otros, hubiese sido positivo, recordándonos a alguien que celebrara cada cierto tiempo sus desgracias.  Los llamados “Tres Amigos,” como ridículamente se los llama en la prensa, hicieron su show en Ottawa el pasado mes de junio y parte de este circo incluyó al Presidente Obama y al Primer Ministro Trudeau, destacando con emoción  la gestión democrática  del señorito Presidente de México Enrique Peña Nieto. Siendo que México es uno de los países más represores y violentos del mundo. Y para que decir que cuando Obama fue invitado al Parlamento canadiense, después de su discurso hizo bromas típicas del “humor norteamericano” que para congraciarse con él los parlamentarios canadienses celebraron tanto que un periodista no pudo sino destacar la expresión ya no como exagerada sino como esquizofrénica. En Canadá la adulonería a Obama es aparatosa, quizás debido al pasado racista que este país ha tenido con sus afro-descendientes y aborígenes.

El comercio con China, segundo socio comercial después de Estados Unidos, se ha hecho más importante para Canadá porque sus exportaciones, principalmente de materias primas –minerales, papel y madera, han aumentado al doble en los últimos diez años cosa que no ha sucedido con las exportaciones canadienses hacia el resto del mundo que se han mantenido estáticas. Pero aún así, siendo China un socio tan importante para Canadá, Trudeau no pudo contenerse de hacer críticas públicas a este país hablando sobre los derechos humanos, todo esto basado en datos dudosos y como si Canadá fuera un paraíso en este tema y en el tema de acceso a la libre información.  Pero esta vez el embajador de China en Canadá se ofendió con la diatriba del gobierno canadiense y le expresó claramente que estas actitudes atrevidas tienen consecuencias y que es tiempo que el gobierno de Canadá se ocupe de sus propios asuntos de derechos humanos, lo que la prensa canadiense interpretó como un acto espontáneo del embajador chino que quería lucirse ante el gobierno de su país para poder trepar mejor. Vale decir, sólo los gobernantes canadienses son patriotas cuando defienden su país, los gobernantes de otros países si lo hacen son simplemente oportunistas.

En cuanto al tema de política exterior, Trudeau  repite la posición habitual de que Canadá es el más fiel aliado de los Estados Unidos y el más fiel miembro de la OTAN, por lo tanto está siempre presto a condenar, atacar y si es necesario destruir a cualquier país y gobierno que sea elegido como enemigo de turno. Tal es el caso de Siria donde este gobierno expresa por un lado su deseo de ser intervención y por otro trae un puñado de refugiados que él mismo ha ayudado a crear.  En el continente americano Canadá junto a Estados Unidos y algunos otros gobiernos latinoamericanos cooptados traman desde la OEA constantemente una intervención contra Venezuela, la última maniobra conspirativa no prosperó pero el deseo intervencionista continúa. Las críticas a Venezuela son también en base a los famosos derechos humanos, pero Canadá nunca ha criticado las violaciones criminales a los derechos de sus pueblos por parte de las autoridades de México y Colombia en este continente o de Arabia Saudí en el mundo. Los crímenes de las autoridades en México y Colombia sido ampliamente verificadas y son atroces y sin embargo con ambos y con Arabia Saudí Canadá tiene muy buenas relaciones y el tema de los derechos humanos no es tocado. Con Arabia Saudí ha firmado incluso hace algunos meses la venta de vehículos armados por un total de 11 mil millones de dólares que ha de entregar en un plazo extendido.  Trudeau también ha condenado las supuestas amenazas de Rusia en Europa, como lo expresara en la última cumbre de la OTAN en Varsovia el pasado 8 de julio y además se ha comprometido a enviar soldados canadiense a Letonia para supuestamente desafiar a los militares rusos, y luego, como si todo lo anterior fuera poco, Trudeau pasó a Ucrania para rendirle honores a los golpistas neo-nazis caídos durante el golpe de estado de febrero del 2014, golpe que derribó al gobierno legítimamente elegido por los ucranianos.

Si hablamos de política interna, tenemos en Canadá un desempleo significativo, que aunque es oficialmente del 7 por ciento sabemos que es mayor puesto que el desempleo en Canadá considera solamente a quienes califican para recibir el beneficio de desempleo y no al total de desempleados. Algo similar sucede con la inflación en Canadá, que se considera de un 3 por ciento anual pero en realidad es mucho mayor porque en las mismas estadísticas se incluye alimentos con vehículos, equipos electrónicos, viajes de placer, en fin. La realidad es que muchos alimentos han subido hasta el 50 por ciento en los últimos dos años, de la misma forma ha subido la renta de viviendas, incluso en lugares donde hay exceso de espacios, lo que iría contra la lógica misma del mercado. Entre  los muchos atrevimientos corporativos  en Canadá vale mencionar el de los grandes bancos canadienses que informan a la prensa, con supuestos análisis periódicos, en todo tipo de temas incluso en temas laborales y temas sociales y ridículamente la prensa le da más importancia a la información que recibe de ellos que a la que le puede brindar el gobierno federal mismo. Así está la prensa de coludida con la banca y la élite del poder para manipular la información en este país que teniendo una gran viga en su ojo anda sin embargo buscando la paja en el ojo ajeno.

Mientras, son los canadiense comunes y corrientes quienes acarrean el gran endeudamiento personal del país, por promedio de cada dólar ganado se debe 1, 65 de dólar, sumando un total de casi 2 billones (2.000.000.000.000) de dólares de deuda, de los que el 75 por ciento se debe en hipotecas, porque la construcción de viviendas y edificios comerciales ha pasado a ser el motor de la economía canadiense de los últimos 15 años y debido a que esta actividad es altamente especulativa ha aumentado también la corrupción en la administración de gobiernos locales y provinciales además de la incertidumbre porque es evidente que esta es una burbuja que crece y puede en cualquier momento reventar.

Afortunadamente, Canadá sigue todavía el modelo de estado de bienestar social, lo que quiere decir que hay leyes y políticas que amparan a la población. Aunque sin duda el modelo de estado de bienestar social canadiense se ha venido deteriorando en las últimas décadas (tendencia que parece ha de continuar) aún los gobiernos provinciales y federal mantienen beneficios fundamentales –como el de la salud pública gratuita, el de la educación primaria y secundaria que es más del 90 por ciento pública y gratuita, el de sus 43 universidades que otorgan doctorados y otras menores que son todas públicas, el de que medicamentos y alimentos no paguen impuestos agregados al valor. En este país el uso de las carreteras es gratuito, vale decir no se pagan en general peajes. El modelo de estado de bienestar social sin embargo no se ha expandido a áreas que son hoy fundamentales, como por ejemplo creando un sistema público de guarderías infantiles de calidad, una necesidad creciente en un país donde la mayoría de las mujeres trabaja, o en la creación de sistemas adecuados y efectivos de protección a los aborígenes que viven hoy en  reservas sumidas en una miseria similar a la de los países del tercer mundo o sufren abierta discriminación en las ciudades.

Canadá es una sociedad consumista y de clases, donde existen prejuicios y egoísmos, una sociedad donde el espacio entre los que tienen mucho y los que no tienen nada va en aumento. Canadá como país sufre arrogancias típicas de la civilización occidental, civilización hoy decadente. Además se ha hecho dominante la falta de conciencia política, el dejar hacer, el no cuestionar, con notables excepciones. Muchos en Canadá se niegan a ver lo obvio incluso cuando lo saben o intuyen, es simplemente más cómodo negarse a ver y focalizarse en pasarlo lo mejor posible cuando la situación no te toca personalmente. Pero, es peligroso dejar hacer a los privilegiados, y además impide que emerja un proyecto alternativo de país, uno que se focalice en el bien local, sanamente productivo, ecológico y en lo social igualitario. Es necesario que Canadá se aleje de las alianzas que favorecen su intervencionismo en otros países y apoye en cambio proyectos liberadores en casa y afuera.

A falta de una visión vale la pena que en la política interna Canadá expanda lo bueno que tiene, que extienda su estado de bienestar social a otra áreas para que este cumpla con su papel fundamental de protector de todos sus habitantes. Y en la política exterior, es fundamental que Canadá favorezca, respete y apoye, en lo posible, proyectos más distributivos del tercer mundo en vez de proteger opresores. De esta forma la perspectiva de gobierno canadiense cambiaría radicalmente ya que debería aliarse con los gobiernos del continente que trabajan a favor de sus pueblos y no en su contra. En el futuro, solamente la participación de todos los canadienses puede ayudar a decidir si la agenda de los más ricos, de sus corporaciones, sus administradores y políticos actores y bufones será la reinante o no.

Mario R. Fernández

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Canadá: Escenario viejo, actor nuevo

After two years of bombing, the U.S. recently marked a horrendous milestone in a war with no clear end in sight.

Vocativ reported that the American-led coalition in the Middle East has now dropped 50,000 bombs in the ongoing campaign against Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or ISIL in the West) that began in August 2014.

The analysis noted that bombing has increased with time, peaking in June when coalition forces dropped 3,167 bombs on Iraq and Syria.

“By comparison, U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan have dropped just over 16,000 bombs in the last six years, military data shows,” Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, a senior writer for Vocativ, wrote on Tuesday.

Although reports suggest Daesh is losing to ground forces in the region, the conflict still has no clear end in sight. And despite U.S. government denials, Kavanaugh reported it’s become increasingly clear that civilians are frequently killed by bombs dropped by the U.S. and coalition forces:

“Airwars estimates that at least 1,422 civilians have been killed by weapons deployed by coalition warplanes through July 18, a figure far greater than the 41 civilian deaths acknowledged by the Pentagon to-date.”

Antiwar.com reported Tuesday that hundreds of civilians may have been killed in coalition airstrikes on villages occupied by Daesh near the northern Syrian city of Manbij. Jason Ditz wrote:

“U.S. and coalition airstrikes against the northern Syrian villages of Tokhar and Hoshariyeh have killed at least 56 civilians, including 11 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Other groups claimed the civilian toll was as high as 200.”

“The Pentagon rarely accounts for civilians killed in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, occasionally issuing statements with dramatic undercounts of the number of civilians they’ve killed since the war began,” Ditz noted. “U.S. attacks in and around Manbij alone have killed over 150 people in the past two months.”

In addition to the loss of human lives, the ongoing war on Daesh has a high financial toll. On Tuesday, Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, wrote,

“With each bomb costing on average somewhere around $50,000, those bombs have cost U.S. (for the most part) taxpayers at least two and a half billion dollars.”

And in February, The Hill reported that the cost of the war had already surpassed $6 billion by the end of January.

“A defense spokesman says that, as of January 31, the total cost to U.S. taxpayers of anti-ISIS operations that began on Aug. 8, 2014, is $6.2 billion,” reported Kristina Wong, defense reporter for The Hill.

“That’s an average of $11.5 million per day, for 542 days of operations. The average daily cost of operations has gone up from $11.4 million per day, as of late December.”

Since the real goal for this war has more to do with controlling the region’s energy resources and overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad than actually defeating Daesh, McAdams noted that profits for the military-industrial complex will continue to roll in even after the bombing finally ceases.

“Imagine how much damage to infrastructure, environment, etc. will have been done by 50,000 bombs,” he wrote. “The U.S. taxpayers will pay once to blow the place up and then pay again to build it back up.”

So, more than 50,000 bombs later, are the U.S. and coalition forces any closer to eradicating Daesh? Official government sources under-report civilian death tolls, and the number of Daesh fighters killed so far is even harder to calculate, with the Pentagon and other official sources offering conflicting, biased reporting.

In October, The Atlantic’s Kathy Gilsinan reported that the U.S. military claimed it had killed 20,000 Daesh fighters in about a year. “Somehow, though, ISIS’s ‘overall force’ is the same size as it was when the U.S. air campaign expanded into Syria over a year ago,” she wrote.

Gilsinan argued that this inaccurate body count could help extend the war indefinitely, concluding:

“And if the United States can’t know when it has won—or lost—it can’t know when the killing will stop. Nor, apparently, exactly how much it has already done.”

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Russian warplanes  reportedly bombed a secret US military base in Syria last month.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Thursday that Russian warplanes bombed a secret military base in Syria used by US and British special forces last month. The WSJ argued that the Russian strike targeted the base located at the Syrian-Jordanian border on June 16 and at least four Western-backed militants (apparently belonged to the New Syrian Army) were killed in strikes. According to the Western media outlets, US and British special forces help the New Syrian Army to maintain a buffer zone and assist the militant group in its struggle against the Islamic State.

Citing U.S. military and intelligence officials, the  WSJ added that the Russian strike on the CIA-linked site was aimed to pressure the White House to agree to closer cooperation with Russia in the Syrian skies. The report added that nearly a day before the strike, over 20 British special forces pulled out of the base, avoding Russian air raids.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia is not aware of incidents reported by the US media.

“We have no knowledge [of the incident] and in this case I have nothing to comment on this newspaper article. Again, this is an issue that should be addressed to the Ministry of Defense,” Peskov said.

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France is still in shock over a horrible truck rampage in Nice this past week that left scores dead and many wounded.

The nation united to mourn the victims of the third terror attack in the country in less than two years.

The ISIL terror network [allegedly] has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the French people made it clear who should be held responsible for the vulnerable security situation in the country.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has been booed and jeered in Nice as he attended a memorial service for the victims of last week’s deadly terror attack in the city. He was also greeted with calls for resignation.

The administration of French President Francois Hollande is under mounting criticism for its inability to prevent three major terrorist attacks in the past 18 months. Hollande is facing what many believe is a growing lack of confidence by his own nation in his leadership abilities to protect them.

Interview with Michel Chossudovsky

 

 

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Trump, Trade and US Working Class Discontent

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Jack Rasmus

With the Republican and Democrat party conventions in progress or upcoming, it has now become clear that the 2016 USA presidential election is unlike preceding elections in recent decades. Large percentages of those who consider themselves members of either party do not approve of their presidential candidates, for one thing. That includes more than a third of both Republican and Democrat voters. For another, both candidates have assumed positions on issues that in previous elections would have been considered anathema to the dominant ruling economic and political elites. For example, both candidates have been highly critical of US trade and free trade policies—especially Trump.

Trump’s more vehement criticism of US trade policies in particular has US elites concerned, to put it lightly. Almost hysterical might more accurately express their emotional state when the subject of Trump and trade is raised.

US Elites Nervous About Trump & Trade

For example, the president of the biggest and most influential US business lobbying group, the Business Roundtable’s John Engler, a former governor of Michigan, in a recent interview stated “There’s a great sense of frustration here”. Trump’s views on trade are ”diametrically opposite” and a “cause for great concern” to the Roundtable, whose corporate members collectively represent more than $7 trillion in annual revenues and employ 16 million workers. “Everything has been upended”, according to Engler.

Chicago billionaire, Penny Pritzker, current US Commerce Secretary, has voiced similar concerns, as has Obama—i.e. Pritzker’s protégé since his early days in the Illinois state legislature. While Obama the candidate in 2008 promised to rewrite the NAFTA free trade treaty if elected, as soon as he was elected he morphed into the biggest presidential advocate of free trade in US history—thus coming around to the view of Pritzker’s Chicago corporate clan of free traders. Most politically well-connected economists, and media mouthpieces in and out of academia—like Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, and a host of others—all defend free trade and therefore have joined the growing army of pundits attacking Trump’s positions on the subject. Christine Lagarde, director of the Washington-based and US dominated International Monetary Fund, IMF, has chimed in recently as well, labeling Trump’s trade proposals “disastrous” for the world economy. The presidents of the NAFTA economies—the USA, Canada, and Mexico—recently met in their ‘three amigos’ NAFTA summit in Ottawa, Canada recently and jointly reaffirmed their elites’ view of the benefits of free trade, and the dangers of ‘Trump-like’ trade protectionism.

According to the academic theory of free trade all countries involved benefit from trade. But do they? Free trade theory says nothing of how the benefits get distributed and to whom—i.e. to corporations, investors, and shareholders or to wage earners. If corporations and investors benefit on both ends of the trade exchange, the same is not necessarily so their respective working classes. Free trade theory conveniently ignores income distribution effects. However, that doesn’t deter mainstream economists treating it like a ‘holy grail’ of neoliberal economics nonetheless.

Trade and Working Class Incomes

The record of US free trade policies for working and middle class America reveals devastation, not benefit. For example, total US employment since NAFTA and China trade the past two decades has witnessed a loss of more than 6 million US manufacturing jobs. Perhaps as many as two thirds of which have been due to free trade alone, according to studies. Additional millions of jobs have been lost in communications, professional services, and other non-manufacturing industries. For the jobs that remain, moreover, wages in US companies that export more have risen less than wages have fallen in companies harmed by the rise in imports. The net result is that both jobs and wages—and therefore median working class incomes—are both negative. And that’s due to direct export-import effects. There’s more.

Free trade is also about money and investment flows, as well as goods and services net export-import flows. Read the provisions of NAFTA. It’s as much about terms and conditions for US corporations ease of US money investing into Mexico as about goods and services. With free trade enabled money and investment outflows from the US have come US investment offshoring and consequent US job offshoring. Job offshoring is thus an indirect, and no less significant, consequence of free trade. In the past 15 years, US households’ median wages and incomes have declined by more than 10%–much of that due to the above free trade direct and indirect job and wage effects.

In the past two decades, and especially since 2009, US workers have become more informed and conscious of the negative impact of trade on their jobs, incomes, and living standards. They see the wealthiest 1% of household take 95% of all the net income gains since 2010, while their wages and incomes decline. They see high paying manufacturing jobs disappear to other countries, while more than half of the jobs that have been created in the US since 2010 have been low paying, part time, temp jobs averaging less than $36k a year. And they sense even less opportunity for their children. Recent reports project that more than 90% of new jobs created in the next decade will earn about the same $36k a year. Due to all this, they are, legitimately, pissed off.

Trump has identified and played to this discontent. That Trump is popular and leading in polls in states with a high concentration of white, middle age and up, male, non-college educated working class voters is not surprising, given his aggressive criticism of US trade policies and their devastating effects. Trump has embraced the trade issue in no uncertain terms, and his attack on US trade policies have resonated deeply with this working class segment—i.e. a voting bloc in key swing states and a group that cares little what Trump says on other non-economic issues, however outrageous, whether on race, ethnic, gender, foreign policy, or other subjects. Trump speaks to their ‘rage’ at being ignored by US political and economic elites now for decades, and especially since the 2008-09 recession, the recovery from which has mostly passed them by, as well as to their fears for future prospects for their children. The more that US economic elites, in whichever party, attack Trump the more this working class bloc is convinced he, Trump, must be for real because they’re attacking him.

Donald Trump: Populist or Panderer

The important question, however, is whether Trump is honestly serious about changing US free trade policies, or whether he is just cleverly pandering to the discontent of this bloc of working class voters. He has called for ‘tearing up’ the NAFTA treaty; imposing tariffs on imports from China and Mexico of 45% and 35% respectively; stopping China from manipulating its currency; and building a fence to stop immigration flows from central and Latin America.

But he won’t say what he means by ‘tearing up’, which therefore appears more a rhetorical appeal than a proposal. If he means it literally, treaties cannot be ‘torn up’ by Presidents in the US system. That’s potentially grounds for impeachment. Nor has any president legal authority to unilaterally raise tariffs, except temporarily for 150 days and no more than 15%, after which Congressional legislation is required, according to the 1974 trade act. Nor is Trump correct that China is a currency manipulator, since for more than a decade now China has pegged its currency, the Yuan to the dollar in a narrow trading band. Its Yuan has risen and fallen in synch with the US dollar. If any countries are currency manipulators, they are Japan and the Eurozone—both having made their currencies more competitive by 20%-30% to the dollar by monetary means in recent years in order to gain exports at US expense. But one hears nothing from Trump (or US elites) complaining about Japan or Europe currency manipulation. And Trump has said nothing about changing US tax policies that subsidize US multinational corporations offshore investing and therefore promote job offshoring. And he conveniently ignores the impact of hundreds thousands of high paying tech jobs being given every year to tech workers imported to the US on H1-B and L-1 visas, most of whom come from Asia and not Latin America. Asian tech workers take high paying jobs Americans want; Latin American immigrants mostly assume ultra-low pay service jobs that US workers generally don’t want. Does Trump maybe want to build a wall along California beaches and pacific coastline as well?

Certainly Trump and his advisers know all this. One can only conclude, therefore, that Trump is not really serious about attacking free trade. He is pandering to those with a legitimate and serious real concern who have been deeply harmed by US trade policies. Trump is in that great US presidential candidate tradition, promising voters what they want to hear and then, if elected, doing whatever the economic elites want them to do. US presidential candidates, of either wing—Republican and Democrat—of the Corporate Party of America, are habitual liars and cannot be trusted. We had our pseudo-populist from the ‘left’, Barack Obama, elected eight years ago promising to reform free trade treaties. And he became the biggest free trade advocate in US economic history. In Trump, we have our Obama analog, a pseudo-populist this time from the ‘right’, promising the same. And who then will do the same. To paraphrase an ancient saying, US voters now considering voting for Trump based on his anti-trade views would do well to ‘Beware of Billionaires Bearing Gifts’.

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Why Russia Revealed Coup Plans to Erdogan

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Nikolai Starikov

Let’s start with the history of coups in Turkey. Traditionally, they have been conducted by the military, which modern Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk designated as the guardians of secularism, stability and integrity. Since WWII, there were military coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997, and the US was behind EVERY one.

During the first coup in 1960, they tried to prevent a rapprochement with the USSR, turning off credit, and Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes planned to visit Moscow to set up an alternative source of crediting and economic assistance. The military took over, and the politicians who wanted to repair relations with Russia were removed.

The coup in 1971 was similar to the one in Chile that happened a little later in 1973, and which was also organized by the CIA. The goal was to stop the country from sliding « to the left » under politicians who held social values. The 1980 and 1997 coups were also conducted with US blessing.

Did Turkey’s foreign policy change after the military came to power? No, Turkey was a faithful vassal of the US and remained pro-American, with all attempts to change that policy severely punished.

It’s important to understand that the US has been behind all Turkish coups, in order to understand that country’s evolution.

The Turkish army is an experienced coup maker. They can teach anyone. The idea that it is they who guarantee stability and secularism is imbibed with their mother’s milk. Military men in Turkey have never failed in a coup – until now. Why did this happen?

Perhaps the military men did something wrong, forgetting the playbook? It’s important to see that actually, they did just as well as their predecessors.

So why did the coup fail? It failed because it was expected. Erdogan was ready to deflect it.

To understand what just happened in Turkey, we need to remember little-known pages of our own history: the USSR, 1927. Trotskyists attempted to take power on the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. The plan for this « coup » by « Lenin guards » was to occupy « telegraph and telephone » and arrest Stalin and his supporters, taking advantage of the festive demonstrations on November 7. Stalin was aware of the plan and ensured the coup would fail, leaving the Kremlin with his supporters for a safe place; the major buildings were occupied in advance by loyal chekists, who barricaded themselves in.

As a result, when on November 7, 1927 gunmen broke into the leader’s apartments, no one was home. When they tried to force other major buildings, they also failed. As a result, the putschists found themselves on the street where workers were marching to celebrate the red-letter day. Attempts to stir up a rebellion on Red Square and other places failed, and the coup with them.

Why did Stalin, being aware of the coup, let it happen, lancing the abscess?

To show the Bolshevik Party that there really was a threat and begin purging it. If there had not been an attempted coup, Trotsky’s expulsion from the Party would have been considered by the rank and file as tyranny, a settling of scores with those who disagreed with Stalin. They could have different points of view, so why did he need to arrest old Party members? Lev Davydovich Trotsky was Lenin’s closest associate, founder of the Red Army. Stalin played with fire, showed his face to the « opposition », and the whole party followed him. Trotsky was expelled from the party, and afterwards sent to Almaty, and then to…Turkey.

Something similar happened in July 2016 in Turkey. The coup failed because Erdogan knew beforehand what was being planned, and prevented it. Almost none of the buildings from which they could announce they had taken power (parliament etc.), were occupied, facing armed resistance. The response was so well prepared that they had to  bomb the parliament building. The resistance led to many casualties among the putschists. This had never happened in Turkey. The military had always successfully taken a defenseless power.

We must admit that Erdogan acted bravely. Aware of the coup, he let it happen, leaving Marmaris « just five minutes » before they came for him. If he had started arresting on today’s scale, his supporters would have overthrown him. Instead, they arrested people – not only military men but also judges. (By the way, it was the arrests of the judges that show that Erdogan knew about the coup in the making. Otherwise, why did he arrest thousands of judges during the first hours following the failure of the coup?)

The next question we need to ask ourselves is how the Turkish leader was informed about the the conspiracy in the making?

These are several possibilities:

1. Turkish special services. They would not warn anyone, and it’s unclear whose side they are on.

2. The US warned Erdogan. The United States is always behind the military who try to take power in Turkey. Turkey never tried to leave NATO, always remaining loyal to the US. To undertake a coup without Washington’s green light means failure.

Considering who else could help Erdogan, there are not too many intelligence services in the world – serious ones, that is. Mossad? It’s a branch of the CIA; besides, Israel does not pursue policies contrary to America’s. And why should Israel help the Islamist Erdogan? MI6? Again, it’s practically a branch of the CIA, given the common US-British foreign policy. France or Germany? The first cannot even defend itself. The second doesn’t really exist on a global scale. Who else? China? This is not its game at all and Erdogan is by no means “their type”.

Who is left? Who has the necessary power, and who is interested in a certain scenario in Turkey?

Only Russia. It was Russia that told Erdogan about the planned coup. We have many tourists who keep going there, afraid of nothing. We have been wiring Turkish land and space topography since Soviet times. The Crimea is also nearby.

The last question is why Russia decided to tell Erdogan about the coup. His behavior shows that he is grateful to Russia. He demands the US extradite Gulen (who isn’t involved at all), but has a peaceful attitude towards Russia.

Is Erdogan Russia’s friend? Of course not. He is our enemy. But today he is mad at the US. And « the enemy of my enemy is my friend ». For Russia, an Erdogan who is mad at the US is much preferable to a pro-American, unpredictable military in the Syrian war. At least now, Erdogan owes us, and the putschists owe the CIA. This opens a new window of possibilities for us in the complex game of international politics.

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As a “secular Muslim” (I use that term very loosely, as more of a cultural description because I do not practice organized religion) I am rather perplexed by the social fallout of the failed military coup in Turkey.

While it remains to be proven, Erdogan has officially blamed the coup attempt on the US-backed, self-exiled hard-line Islamist Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a former political ally of Erdogan and is just as radical—if not more so—an Islamist as Erdogan and his AKP party. If Gulen (with help from the US) was indeed behind the coup attempt, then it is a case of Islamist vs. Islamist and not secular factions within the state trying to take the country back from Erdogan and the Islamists (as many initially thought).

Even though it may be a case of Islamists vs. other Islamists, it appears that the social fallout will be felt most among the secular, moderate and or non-religious people of Turkey. These are the reports I am reading in some media outlets and receiving from Turkish friends in Istanbul and Ankara, most of them artists, writers and intellectuals. While the secular demographic are not “to blame” for the coup, the failed coup has emboldened the local Islamists against them in frightening ways. As Patrick Cockburn reports, one female journalist and photographer felt scared to walk through Taksim Sqaure—Istanbul’s tourism and cultural hub—recently because of her non-religious attire:

“I was so scared because all the women there looked at me as if I was a demon. The men said that ‘if you go on dressing like that you deserve to die’. Most people there were carrying red Turkish flags, but there were some black flags with Arabic writing on them like you see in Daesh (Isis) videos” [1] [2]

This is markedly different than my experiences in Taksim Square in 2013. Back then what I experienced was two parallel countries that existed—albeit with some tension—side-by-side.

On popular Istiklal Caddesi (street), it was common to see a woman in shorts walking not too far from a woman in hijab (the head veil). And in Antalya I saw women in nikab (the face covering) in the same spaces as women in shorts and tank tops. While there was a palpable tension, both “types” of women were free to publicly dress as they pleased, and the social landscape was one of seculars and Islamists co-existing peacefully, or at the very least, non-violently. I fear that this is about to change drastically in the aftermath the recent coup attempt. As I mention previously, while the secular populations are likely not behind the coup attempt, they are poised to suffer the fallout of the increasingly emboldened radical Islamist populations running amuck in Turkey following the thwarted coup.

Dr. Ghada Chehade is an independent analyst, writer and performance poet. She holds a PhD from McGill University. She blogs at: https://soapbox-blog.com/

Notes

[1] http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/fear-and-doubt-among-istanbuls-citizens-in-wake-of-attempted-coup/

[2] This atmosphere of fear and intimidation against non-religiously dressed woman is similar to what I experienced in Cairo shortly after the ouster of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. While I was not directly threatened, there were particular situations and neigbourhoods in which I chose to put on the head veil (hijab) in order to feel safe and not be targeted by ardent Islamists, which seemed to be out in droves at that time.

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Failed Turkish Coup: Sabotage, Incompetence or Deception?

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Federico Pieraccini

The Coup in Turkey remains yet to be understood but the first consequences are starting to reveal themselves

To understand the coup in Turkey, we have to analyze the reasons that led the plot to fail. A premise: was there really an intention to overthrow and shut down Erdogan’s government? And who are those behind the coup? Starting from these questions and exploring the possible answers, we get a reasonable and authentic framework for a story still very confusing.

Let’s start from here. Assuming the existence of a manual of the ‘Perfect Coup’, it is very likely it would thoroughly explain the importance of the first goals to pull off for the success of a government overthrow:

  1. The arrest of the head of State.
  2. The nomination of a representative for the coup, presented through a press conference on national media to reassure the population.
  3. Controlling all the information/communication sources.
  4. The support of at least a substantial part of the police.
  5. Control of ministries.
  6. Taking under civil and military airports.
  7. Controlling the parliament.
  8. Full control of the skies.
  9. Installing a Curfew.

The radar track of Erdogan in his Erdogan’s flight TK8456, the night of the coup

Failure to arrest Erdogan is a very important indication of the real intentions to overthrow the government. The president was on vacation in a resort on the Mediterranean, as soon as he learned about the coup, he immediately took off in his private jet and urgently released the famous message via FaceTime, echoed by CNN Turk where he called on people to take to the streets in order to defend democracy. While he continued to fly unobstructed in the Turkish skies, many mosques in Ankara and Istanbul began to convey similar messages calling on the population to take to the streets. A few minutes later around 1:00 AM, most of the Turkish people were receiving an SMS message that again urged the population to take to the streets and protest the ‘revolution’. Just when the situation seemed to be solved, around 3AM Erdogan landed in Istanbul.

Notably, more than four F-16s were flying over Ankara in the hands of rebel forces. It still remains incomprehensible, for the success of the coup, why the pilots did not try to at least intercept Erdogan’s flight (the transponder was on all the time, the plane was visible on Flightradar). It was precisely the vision of Erdogan on TV and the reassurance that he was still alive that triggered his supporters to pour into the streets. Moreover, the bombing of the presidential palace in Bodrum by rebel forces, while Erdogan was in an entirely different location, still makes no sense.

The failure to appoint a credible representative may be attributable to poor planning and experience, or something deeper, perhaps linked to a sabotage of the coup. Forces and political representatives probably withdrew at the last moment. We can continue speculating on this aspect, but for the meantime this decision remains simply a big mistake made by the military junta.

The third, fifth and sixth points are most likely related to a strong unwillingness of men and inexperience (only 3 generals and 29 colonels). The bulk of the troops, made up of simple soldiers and tanks were deployed around the parliament (the seventh point) and in the vicinity of two bridges very strategic in the city of Ankara. A lot of speculation still remains on the reasons regarding the enormous lack of availability in terms of resources. Probably this can be explained by withdrawal of some participants at the last moment. The same can be said about the statements of some soldiers arrested after the government overthrow who claimed in many cases to not know why they were there and claiming they had only obeyed the orders from above (it’s also a great excuse to put out during a failed coup). Another common excuse mentions soldiers believing to be part of an exercise.

Another decisive element is the one listed at fourth and ninth points. Erdogan, during the course of his years as a president, transformed the police into his personal guard thanks to impunity, wage increases and an American style of law enforcement militarization with the excuse of fighting terrorism (strictly Kurdish). The move paid off: it was the police who arrested and disarmed most of the military. Soldiers, defeated, simply laid down their arms without engaging in a shootout. The outcome is attributable to a lack of men and perhaps also to a lack of will in transforming a defeat into a civil war, with deaths on both sides. The more or less peaceful outcome of the failed coup is a strong argument against the hypothesis that Gülen and the CIA were behind it.

The eighth point is particularly interesting. Initially the NFZ was achieved by rebel forces but in the course of the evening a No-Fly-Zone was declared above Ankara by the loyalist forces, ending the government overthrow. The most spectacular aspect of the coup is 4 F-16 jets shown in numerous videos hitting the parliament, Erdogan’s presidential residence and shooting down of two police helicopters. Instead of using air power to neutralize the deposed president, they preferred to show a senseless use of force that did not help their cause at all.

The answer to one of the initial questions is therefore ‘Yes’, there was a real intention and will to overrun the government but many questions remain on how it was executed, prepared and the choices made during the coup. For these reasons and in light of all this information, it is important to state:

In all probability, someone pulled back at the last moment, sending out a small group, badly organized, unprepared and without adequate command structure or plan of action. It may have been a skillfully maneuvered tactic by Erdogan, starting the coup and then letting it fail, or even a disagreement inside the military. It is unlikely, however, that an external planner, such as NATO / CIA, after organizing the coup in a hurry would draw back. They would fight until the last Turk standing. However, the sensation remains that someone failed to appear at the crucial moment.

The plot was probably authentic in its intent and the words used by military in their press releases seem to confirm this impression. They attributed the coup to the lack of freedom in the country and a foreign policy conduct that has disintegrated the pillars on which Turkey relies. It’s a sensation and a feeling that has historically been very important within the Turkish military. This is not something that Erdogan discovered recently. It remains to be seen whether these impressions are correct. A good chance could present itself during the military trial of the coup leaders.

Bottom line is, there is no evidence that shows an external involvement of the United States as many speculate. Erdogan mentioned Gülen (his bitter rival) as the leader of the revolt demonstrating nothing, since everyone knows that the 75-year-old is linked to the CIA. His accusations do not automatically imply that he is right or is telling the truth.

Soldiers surrendering, beaten up by supporters of Erdogan

Combining the previous points with a simplistic explanation that Erdogan would have foiled a CIA coup organized by Gülen for his recent change of opinions on Syria and Putin is wrong, in my view, for the following reasons:

A. A coup organized by the CIA resembles what we have sadly seen in Ukraine: death and the incessant chaos until the collapse of the nation. Nothing comparable to what we saw in Istanbul or Ankara. The military in this case laid down their arms, they didn’t kill the population with snipers as seen in the Maidan square, wreaking havoc.

B. Erdogan’s plane was in the air for hours, undisturbed. If this had been organized by Gülen/CIA, with 4 F-16 available, it is incomprehensible why not to shoot down the plane or take Erdogan into custody.

C. A coup cannot be organized in two weeks. And it’s far-fetched to assume that Washington created this situation within a few days, to stop a rapprochement between Erdogan, Putin and Assad.

D. Erdogan has every incentive to get the best outcome from this situation. He immediately closed the American air base in Incirlik and asked Washington that Gülen be returned. He said that any country that hosts Gülen, directly mentioning Obama and the United States, is an enemy of Turkey.

E. As soon as he took back his office, he began to arrest thousands of judges and military, starting an internal purge that had to be in the preparations for months. This would explain the possible meddling of Erdogan in the coup. He could have allowed, ignored, or even encouraged the preparation of the coup in order to call out all the « traitors » and then act even harder and with impunity, arresting them all.

F. If the coup had been created overseas, the media and Western governments would have immediately sided with the military. Even Erdogan himself used with great effectiveness a FaceTime connection and Turkey CNN to talk to the population. CNN, a pillar of the US soft-power strategy. Something that Washington could have easily been prevented, if wanted.

So what is the most likely scenario, excluding an external intervention?

Erdogan’s political decisions have split Turkeys society in two parts. Although AKP is the first party and the president himself enjoys strong popularity among his followers, social tensions have only increased recently. The sense of dissatisfaction within the armed forces is something real, tangible and historically consistent with events in the country since the 60s’. Erdogan is aware that an Islamization of the country though Muslim Brothers (Qatar more than Saudi Arabia) has led the nation’s choices in terms of foreign policy to a dead end in both Syria and Iraq. Another big issue is the total impunity of many elements inside his government and security forces towards Daesh (if not complete complicity). All these elements have exacerbated rivalry with Syria, Iran, Russia and even with some Western and European partners.

The real balance of power shifted when the largely hostile policies kicked in against Damascus and Tehran initially, Moscow later (the shooting down of the SU-24 and the consequent sanctions imposed by Russia). These situations quickly escalated reaching a tipping point. It’s more than likely that a coup had been in preparation since long time ago and it’s safe to say, that Erdogan probably discovered the initiative and perhaps used it to his own advantage (in what manner and how remains pure speculation at this time). Another plausible explanation for his recent statements in favor of Moscow and Damascus could be a direct consequence of an impending coup and time running out for him.

Cause and effect of the failure coup

Regional and international repercussions are all to decipher. There are several testimonies of authoritative sources who indicate a quick escape of Turkish military instructors from Aleppo, under direct orders coming from Ankara. A major coincidence remains, while Turkey was in the midst of a coup, Friday night, in Moscow Kerry and Putin were discussing Syria. Curious fact. The Russian president was one of the first heads of state to call Erdogan to show his support, as reported by the Kremlin. A few minutes before this conversation, and almost simultaneously, the Arab Syrian Army sealed, apparently permanently, Aleppo, isolating it from external supplies in what could prove to be a decisive event in the beginning of the end of Syrian conflict.

Even with many uncertainties that remain uncovered, we can already conclude that the Turkish political aims on the region have changed significantly and realign now with more common interests with Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, rather than Riyadh, Doha and Washington.

The words of the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif have been supporting Erdogan since the beginning of the coup and blamed the petro monarchies, implicitly highlighting once again the absurdity of Ankara alliance with Riyadh and Doha. It’s likely that the Kurdish issue will become, with the domestic political sweep, Erdogan’s primary focus and that the unity of Syria will be the perfect expedient to prevent the unification of the Kurdish territory in the south of Turkey. A clear strategic commonality with Assad that would explain the renewed dialogue with Damascus. An attitude on a collision course with the United States that has always protected, armed and financed the Kurds.

Moscow is becoming more and more a leading partner in this situation. The Sultan can give the impression of living in a situation of apparent strength (the domestic sweep was inevitable), but the truth is that in terms of international relations he has the absolute need to cooperate with nations that until recently he considered his sworn enemies.

How regional tensions could have influenced or led up to the coup remain to be measured and undiscovered. The immediate certainty are the consequences that the coup will have on the future of the Middle East. That the coup in Turkey accelerated certain events in the region is yet to be understood, what is already clear though is the incoming victory of the Syrian-Iranian-Russian axle in Syria.

Erdogan got lucky this time, maybe he knew how to make the most out of the situation. This still does not change the price he will have to pay for protecting his power. News coming from Aleppo indicates that he is bargaining his strategic advantages to remain in charge of his country, whatever the cost be. What repercussions this will have on the relationship between MIT (secret service) and Daesh is to be seen. His promises to focus on preventing the rise of a Kurdish unified state is another core issue. Also in this case, we will see how this may influence a serious future dialogue with Damascus.

Ultimately, the coup failed and has left us with an Erdogan that to survive as president is obligated to decide on changing his policy towards Syria and the region. Unfortunately for him, the only way to do so is to say goodbye to his glorious dreams, shared with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Will the Sultan put aside his ego and obey the new rules?

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Neither wing of America’s duopoly system has acceptable choices for any public office.

Trump running mate Mike Pence is a neocon Tea Party hardliner, an imperial war cheerleader, an evangelical supporter of Israel.

Clinton’s VP choice, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, is cut from the same mold – pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate favoritism, pro-neoliberal harshness, pro-regressive trade deals like TPP, anti-labor rights, pro-serving wealth and power interests at the expense of most others.

A survey of Sanders’ delegates found him 88.5% unacceptable, less than 3% acceptable. Norman Solomon calls him “a loyal servant of oligarchy.”

Progressive Democrats of America executive director Donna Smith said “Kaine does not inspire those many millions of energetic voters…to work for a Clinton-Kaine ticket.”

According to economist William K. Black, “Kaine, like Clinton herself, is a quintessential ’New Democrat’ – meaning they are allies of Wall Street. They embrace a neoliberal, pro-corporate outlook that has done incredible damage to the vast majority of Americans.”

Announcing her choice, Clinton lied calling Kaine “a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.”

His voting record shows otherwise, revealing a right-wing party loyalist, an anti-populist establishment figure, a thumb in the eye to progressive issues.

Two anti-populist tickets give voters no choice in November, each for policies harming the interests of ordinary people.

One observer tweeted “(s)uggested Clinton/Kaine campaign slogan: ‘Status quo…with lots more wars.’ “

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

 

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Police Violence in Jamaica and Grassroots Resistance

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Dr. Ajamu Nangwaya

If the Jamaican poor feel like they are being hunted by the police, they are not exaggerating.

The Jamaican police are very brutal in their policing of the African working-class in Jamaica. However, oppressive conditions tend to give birth to resistance.

Jamaica’s working-class reggae artistes have used their music to share the people’s experience with police violence. The singer Barrington Levy accurately capture’s the behaviour of the cops in the song Murderer. Levy reveals a common experience in working-class communities:

Dem come inna my area want to kill off the youth
Nuh dress up inna jacket and dem dress up inna tie
Come a courthouse want to tell pure lies
Dem a murderer, aah

The singer is blasting the widespread practice of police extrajudicial killings. He is also criticizing the air of respectability that the cops project in wearing suits and ties to the courthouse, while shamelessly telling lies about their coldblooded killing of the poor.

Armed police question men on the street in the market area near Tivoli.

Armed police question men on the street in the market area near Tivoli. | Photo: Reuters

Jamaicans are currently observing the 6th anniversary of the tragic Tivoli Gardens Massacre, which was an act of class warfare on Tivoli Gardens, a working-class community. On May 24, 2010, at least 74 civilians were killed in the Tivoli Gardens Massacre by a combined force of about 800 soldiers and 370 police officers. They were on a mission to capture the reputed gang leader Christopher “Dudus” Coke who was barricaded in the community under the protection of his armed confederates. Coke was being sought for extradition to the United States for drugs trafficking and gunrunning.

The residents of Tivoli Gardens have accused the cops of the Mobile Reserve of carrying out extrajudicial killings and other acts of brutality. Based on the investigative work of the Office of the Public Defenderextrajudicial executions by the cops might have claimed the lives of 44 victims of the Tivoli Gardens Massacre. The recently released Report West Kingston Commission of Enquiry 2016 that documents the circumstances that led to the bloodbath also lends credibility to the community’s claim.

The report states that the behaviour of “some members of the security forces was disproportionate, unjustified and unjustifiable,” and recommends a parliamentary apology to the “people of West Kingston and Jamaica as a whole for the excesses of the security forces.” Furthermore, the report supports the payment of reparations and provision of trauma-related counselling to the people.

Levy’s framing of his dislike for the police might appear over-the-top: “’Cause dem a murderer, dem a vampire /They always suck out your blood.” The people of Tivoli Gardens probably felt like the prey of a bunch of bloodthirsty vampires during the atrocity.

If the Jamaican poor feel like they are being hunted by the police, they are not exaggerating. The human rights group Amnesty International states that Jamaica has one of the world’s highest rates of fatal shootings by the police. According to the document Human Rights Watch World Report 1989, between 1979 and 1989 the police killed a yearly average of 208.3 Jamaicans, which was quite startling when compared with the annual figure of 700 people murdered by the cops in the United States. During that period, America’s population was 100 times larger than Jamaica’s.

Jamaica now has a population of 2.8 million people. In 2015, 106 civilians were killed by the police, according to data from the Independent Commission of Investigations. In contrast, the United States with the highest rate of lethal police shootings among global North countries kills less per capita of its people than Jamaica. According to the police accountability website Killed By Police, in 2015, police officers killed 1208 civilians across the United States, which had a population of 321.8 million people in 2015. It should be noted that America’s population is now 115 times larger than Jamaica’s.

Interestingly, the reformist democratic socialist regime of the late Michael Manley escalated the murderous tendencies of the police on working-class communities. In April 1974, the government passed the human-rights compromising Suppression of Crime Act and the Gun Court Act that gave legal cover to the culture of impunity enjoyed by the police. This culture of police violence against civilians has also been supported by other administrations.

The shooting deaths are simply the most dramatic representation of police violence. However, physical assaults, arbitrary detention and arrests, torture, humiliation, sexual assaults, extortion, robbery, intimidation of witnesses and fabrication of evidence are acts of violence that are carried out against the people.

At the present time, the non-profit organization called Jamaicans For Justice is the island’s principal police accountability organization. It describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan, non-violent citizens’ rights action organisation that advocates for good governance and improvements in state accountability and transparency.”

The working-class communities that bear the weight of police violence need tocollectively and systematically organize in order to combat police violence. The following actions are among those needed to smash police violence.

Create community-based organizations: Organizations are indispensable toorganizing resistance to oppression and police violence in particular. Each working-class community needs a fighting, militant and locally controlled group to plan, direct and execute the activities that are needed to fight police brutality.

Class solidarity is weakened by the divided loyalty of the Jamaican working-class between the two bourgeois-led mass parties. It would be politically prudent for the community-based organizations to create a federation, while retaining local autonomy. The call for cooperation would be done on the basis of their common experience of police violence and living conditions. A federation would develop a common strategy, share resources and coordinate the national fight against the police who operate like an occupying army in poor neighbourhoods.

Create alternative community security structures: The police exist to serve and protect the wealth and power of the elite. A central goal of the local committees should be to educate the people on the need to abolish the police force.

In many working-class communities in the Kingston Metropolitan Region, there is already an alternative structure (the defence crew) that has taken over a number of policing functions. According to the report Youth Violence and Organized Crime in Jamaica: Causes and Counter-Measures, a defence crew is used as a means of collective self-protection against attacks from rival communities or groups. Defence crews are also used to exact “swift punishment of those who are found guilty of rape or robbery inside the community.”

Defence crews are embraced by communities as an armed and legitimate means of collective self-defence. Defence crews are not criminal entities or gangs. The function of the defence crew could be expanded to include protection against extrajudicial killings and other acts of police violence. The members of defence crews would need to undergo political education in order to transform them into partisans of liberation.

These working-class communities could create their own democratically-controlled judicial structures with a formalized, transparent and fair process. They would use them to deal with the violation of community norms. It is important for the process to be informed by the principles of restorative justice and transformative justice. The communities would not give up their freedom to impose punitive sanctions against people who have caused harm to others.

Provide practical forms of solidarity: This militant movement against police violence would need to create legal advice hotlines, provide know your rights workshops, undertake mass public education on the repressive function of policing, build class solidarity, create a roster of lawyers to act as first respondents when people are detained or arrested, assist victims of police violence to sue the government, and create support programmes for defence crew members who become political prisoners. These concrete activities might help in encouraging mass resistance to police violence.

In sum, Walter Rodney raised an important issue in The Groundings with My Brothers: « We were told that violence in itself is evil, and that, whatever the cause, it is unjustified morally. By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?” The organized response to police violence would be an essential part of the class struggle and self-organization of the Jamaican working-class.

Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is an educator, organizer and writer.

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GR Editor’s Note.

Included herewith are the main findings and sections of  the the IPT report.

To read the entire document click here

EDITORIAL NOTE

This is the Final Report of the Judges who participated in the hearings held in the Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague, Netherlands from 10 to13 November 2015.  Before the hearings, the judges received the Indictment and Prosecution Brief, as well as extensive background documentary material in the form of a Research Report of over six hundred pages.

During the four days of hearings, the judges heard the oral submissions of the prosecutors, as well as the testimony and responses to questions of more than 20 witnesses (some of whom testified with their identities protected under pseudonyms and/or behind screens). The judges also received several hundred pages of documents, tendered as evidence. The prosecution presented its case as nine counts, alleging the commission of the following crimes against humanity: (1) Murder, (2) Enslavement, (3) Imprisonment, (4) Torture, (5) Sexual Violence, (6) Persecution, (7) Enforced Disappearance, (8) Hate Propaganda and (9) Complicity of Other States.

Following the hearings, the judges examined the evidence and supporting material further, in their preparation of this Report. Helen Jarvis and John Gittings prepared and edited the Report, assisted by Shadi Sadr, Mireille Fanon-Mendes France and Zak Yacoob. Judge Yacoob provided a legal overview of the text. The Report amplifies and provides reasoned justification for the Judges’ Concluding Statement, delivered during the final session of the hearings on 13 November 2015 (see A3 below). It begins by addressing the overarching question of responsibility for the mass murders and other crimes; it then focuses on the counts presented by the Prosecution and in an amicus curiae Brief submitted to the Tribunal; and concludes with a series of findings and recommendations.

It is regrettable that the State of Indonesia did not accept the invitation to participate in the hearings or make submissions to the Tribunal. The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, also did not accept the invitation extended by the Tribunal. The judges welcomed the willingness of individual members of Indonesian National Human Rights Commission, Komnas HAM, and the National Commission on Violence Against Women, Komnas Perempuan, to brief the Tribunal.

It should be noted that some significant though partial steps towards addressing these issues have been taken in Indonesia since the Tribunal was held, as outlined in Appendix D2.

A. THE IPT HEARINGS

A1    Introduction to the International People’s Tribunal by the Organizing Committee

The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) 1965 was established to end the impunity for the crimes against humanity (CAH) committed in Indonesia in and after 1965. These CAH have mostly escaped international attention and are silenced in Indonesia itself. Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 film, The Act of Killing, helped to disrupt the international silence. In March 2013 this documentary was launched in The Hague, during the Movies That Matter Festival. After the screening of the film a discussion was held which was attended by 35 exiles, the film director himself, a former member of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission, and a few activists and researchers. How could the impunity around the CAH committed after 1 October 1965 in Indonesia be ended? The Indonesian government has still not followed up the impressive 2012 report of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission on the CAH in and after 1965. The failure of the state to try to reach an internal Indonesian solution for these serious crimes made participants decide that international pressure was needed to fight against the impunity the perpetrators continue to enjoy and to break through the silence and stigma surrounding this period in Indonesian history. They felt that the best form for such a campaign would be an International People’s Tribunal, and appointed the human rights lawyer Nursyahbani Katjasungkana to be the general coordinator.

In the first months after the March 2013 meeting a small working team was formed, a Concept Note was drafted, a research coordinator was appointed (Saskia Wieringa), and secretariats and media teams were set up, both in Jakarta and in the Netherlands (led by Lea Pamungkas). The IPT 1965 became a legal entity (foundation) on 18 March 2014. In 2015 prosecutors and prospective judges were approached, the indictment was prepared and the hearings were held.

The Foundation IPT 1965 aims to redress the historic tendency to trivialize, excuse, marginalize and obfuscate these CAH, particularly the rapes and other forms of sexual violence and tor­ture of women prisoners. Furthermore, the suffering of the thousands of Indonesians whose passports were arbitrarily revoked because they refused to support the “New Order” of President Soeharto must be acknowledged as a crime against humanity. The Foundation IPT 1965 has the following objectives:

  1. To ensure national and international recognition of the genocide and crimes against humanity committed in and after the “events of 1965” by the State of Indonesia, as well as the complicity of certain Western countries in the military campaign against alleged supporters of the 30 September Movement;
  2. To stimulate sustained national and international attention to the genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the State of Indonesia in and after the events of 1965, and to the continued inaction of the State to bring the per­pe­tra­tors to justice, by, for example, inviting the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Past Human Rights Violations to Indonesia;
  3. In the long term: (a) to contribute to the healing process of the victims and their families of the genocide and crimes against humanity in Indonesia in and after 1965; (b) to contribute to the creation of a political climate in Indo­nesia where human rights are recognized and respected; (c) to prevent the reoccurrence of violence against victims of the genocide and crimes against humanity in and after 1965 and to ensure the fair trial of perpetrators of such violence;
  4. To provide a public record of the genocide and crimes against humanity committed after 1 October 1965;
  5. To affirm the uncompromising hope that justice is still possible and that such atrocities will never be repeated, and to contribute to the creation of a political climate in Indonesia where human rights and the rule of law are recognized and respected.

Since 2013, preparatory activities, both in the Netherlands and more importantly in Indonesia, were conducted in preparation for holding the tribunal in The Hague, from 10–13 November 2015. The year 2015 marked 50 years of silence on these crimes.

More than 100 volunteers helped to organize the Tribunal: researchers from all over the world, the media teams in Jakarta and the Netherlands, and many Indonesian students from all over Europe who helped during the hearings. The formal organs of the Foundation IPT 1965 were the Board of the Foundation, the Organizing Committee and the International Steering Committee. Indispensable political and legal advice was provided by our Advisory Board.

A3    Concluding Statement of the Judges of the International People’s Tribunal on the 1965 Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia read at the Close of Evidence on 13 November 2015

The judges of this Tribunal were appointed by the Foundation of the International People’s Tribunal on the 1965 Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia to evaluate the upheaval and violence that plagued Indonesia during and after September-October 1965, to determine whether these events amounted to crimes against humanity, to express a conclusion on whether the state of Indonesia and/or any other state should assume responsibility for these crimes and to recommend what may be done in the interests of lasting and just peace and social progress in Indonesia.

The judges regret that neither the government of Indonesia, nor any other state to whom notice was given have made any submissions before this tribunal despite having been invited.

This Statement is made on the 13th day of November 2015, at the end of the hearing of oral testimony of the victims, and of expert witnesses, over four days, having taken into account the broad historical background, much research material, writing and opinion and, in particular:

  1. the 23 July 2012 Statement by Komnas HAM (National Commission for Human Rights) on the Results of its Investigations into Grave Violations of Human Rights During the Events of 1965-1966;
  2. the 2007 report, “Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965” by Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian Commission for Violence against Women); and
  3. the Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee in 2013 raising concerns about human rights violations in Indonesia in 1965 and after, the reiteration of those concerns in 2015, as well as the concerns expressed in 2012 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

The broad historical background includes material concerning the government in Indonesia before the events of 1965, accounts of these events and their impact, the years of the Suharto dictatorship until about the turn of the century, the new reformist constitutional era ushered in after the round rejection of the Suharto regime as well as events after that.

The judges have had particular regard to the fact that there is no credible material disputing the occurrence of these grave violations of human rights, the passage in Indonesia of truth and reconciliation legislation in an effort to come to terms with the fact that these events had indeed occurred, the absence of any denial by any government of Indonesia that these events had occurred and the promise made by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, to ensure that these violations will be redressed. All the material demonstrates beyond any doubt that the serious violation of human rights brought to the judges’ attention did occur.

The judges consider that allegations by the prosecution of cruel and unspeakable murders and mass murders of over tens of thousands of people, of unjustifiable imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people without trial and for unduly long periods in crowded conditions, and the subjection of many of the people in prison to inhumane and ruthless torture and to forced labour that might well have amounted to enslavement, are well founded. It has also been demonstrated that sexual violence, particularly against women, was systematic and routine, especially during the period 1965-1967, that many political opponents were persecuted and exiled, and that many thousands of people who, according to propagandist and hate discourse, were thought not to support the Suharto dictatorship with sufficient fervour, disappeared. All of this was justified and encouraged by propaganda aimed at establishing the false proposition that those opposed to the military regime were by definition grossly immoral and unspeakably depraved.

It has been established that the State of Indonesia during the relevant period through its military and police arms committed and encouraged the commission of these grave human rights violations on a systematic and widespread basis. The judges are also convinced that all this was done for political purposes: to annihilate the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) and those alleged to be its members or sympathizers, as well as a much broader number of people, including Sukarno loyalists, trade unionists and teachers. The design was also to prop up a dictatorial, violent regime, which the people of Indonesia have rightly consigned to history. It cannot be doubted that these acts, evaluated separately and cumulatively, constitute crimes against humanity, both in International Law and judged by the values and the legal framework of the new reformist era accepted by the people of Indonesia 17 years ago. This Tribunal has heard the detailed and moving evidence of victims and families as well as the evidence of established experts. It saw this evidence as no more than the mere tip of the iceberg—a few tangible, graphic and painful examples of the devastation of the human beings who appeared before them, as well as the wholesale destruction of the human fabric of a considerable sector of Indonesian society.

The prosecution made the case that other states have aided Suharto’s ruthless regime to achieve these results in the pursuit of the establishment of a particular international order in the context of the Cold War. We will consider this in our final judgment.

The material presented to the judges may amount to proof that other grave crimes have been committed. This issue is also left open for the final judgment.

The judges are sufficiently satisfied of their conclusions to make them public now with confidence. However we need more time to set out in detail the basis upon which we have come to these conclusions. We shall file a final judgment justifying, with reasons, every conclusion and opinion in this statement within the coming months.

The judges consider the state of Indonesia responsible in the commission of such crimes against humanity as the chain of command was organized from top to bottom of the institutional bodies.

Despite the important and positive changes that took place in Indonesia in 1998, emphasizing the importance of human rights in governance, this has not led to a situation in which the successive governments have genuinely addressed past grave and systematic human rights violations.

In addition to the above conclusions, the Tribunal is convinced, on the evidence presented, that material propaganda advanced in 1965, which motivated the dehumanization and thus the killing of thousands of people, included many lies. In particular, the repeated assertion that the generals were castrated has long been disproved by autopsy reports, and these reports have been known to successive governments of Indonesia. It is the duty of the president and government of Indonesia forthwith to acknowledge this falsity, to apologize unreservedly for the harm that these lies have done, and to institute investigations and prosecutions of those perpetrators who are still alive. The Tribunal would have thought that the President would, of course, do all this and be eager to keep his electoral promise. Furthermore, the archives should be opened and the real truth on these crimes against humanity should be established.

In this regard, the Members of this Tribunal note that Komnas HAM commenced investigations in 2008, and that the government of Indonesia has received the commission’s report and recommendations. The government has not implemented these recommendations and in our view should do so as a matter of urgency. These recommendations include appropriate reparation for victims.

We commend the Foundation and the many people who have invested time and energy as well as financial and other resources into this Tribunal. Without all that involvement and determination, such a tribunal would not have been possible. We trust that their efforts will be justified by an appropriate national and international response.

Mireille Fanon-Mendes France

Cees Flinterman

John Gittings

Helen Jarvis

Geoffrey Nice

Shadi Sadr

Zak Yacoob

B. REPORT OF THE JUDGES

B1. Legal framework

The role of the IPT and its panel of judges was clarified in the Public Statement issued in October 2015, before the Hearings, as follows:

As a people’s tribunal, the Tribunal derives its moral authority from the voices of victims, and of national and international civil societies. The Tribunal will have the format of a formal human rights court, but it is not a criminal court. It has the power of prosecution but no power of enforcement. The essential character of the Tribunal will be that of a Tribunal of Inquiry.

Individual members of the Tribunal have extensive knowledge of international and human rights law and of this period of Indonesian history. The judges of the Tribunal will examine the evidence presented by the prosecution, develop an accurate historical and scientific record and, applying principles of international customary law, public international law and Indonesian law to the facts as found, will deliver a reasoned judgment. They will seek to establish, without fear or favour, the truth about these historical events, in the hope that this will contribute to justice, peace and reconciliation.

In their Opening Statement read before the start of evidence the judges said:

There is no doubt that the events of 1965 in Indonesia remain extremely important for Indonesia and for the world.

We believe that the most probable and reliable account of the exact causes of what happened in 1965 and thereafter must be identified, and that this account is necessary if real, lasting and just peace, that includes reconciliation and reparation, is to be achieved in Indonesia.

The panel of judges of the IPT was asked to consider the probity of prosecution charges and submissions that crimes against humanity had been committed in Indonesia in 1965 and beyond, and the state of Indonesia is legally responsible for recognizing, investigating and punishing these crimes under codified international law, customary international law and/or Indonesian domestic law. The judges examined these submissions in the light of their opening statement which, properly interpreted, necessarily implies that serious human rights violations did indeed occur in Indonesia at the relevant time. Therefore, the issues are what were the causes of these violations, and do these occurrences amount to crimes against humanity, in respect of which the State of Indonesia is obliged to act.

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Crimes against humanity stand as a necessary ingredient and pillar of customary international law. They were tried for the first time in the Military Tribunals in Nuremberg[1]and Tokyo.[2] The existence of these crimes was later codified in the inspirational Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 and the Nuremberg Principles by the UN General Assembly in 1950.[3] They were also recognized and accepted as part of Indonesian domestic law, as is mentioned below. We start with customary international law.

As correctly pointed out by the Prosecution, crimes against humanity in customary international law are fundamentally:

  1. inhumane acts that are crimes in most national criminal law systems
  2. committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians.[4]

The Prosecution submitted that the inhumane acts are crimes against humanity in international law. It also urged that because under customary international law the prohibition of crimes against humanity is a jus cogens norm, derogation is not permitted under any circumstances.[5] Customary international law therefore obliges these States to prosecute those responsible for the commission of these crimes, or to extradite them to States committed to pursue prosecution.[6]

Two matters must be emphasized. For crimes against humanity in customary international law to be proven there must first be a widespread or systematic attack against civilians. The attack need not be against the entire civilian population but against part of it. Here, as will be shown, the widespread systematic attack targeted the substantial civilian population constituted by the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI), all its affiliate organisations, its leaders, members and supporters and their families (as well as those alleged to have been sympathetic to its aims).[7] Secondly, it is not necessary for the attack to be both wide-ranging and systematic. A wide-ranging attack that is not systematic, and a systematic attack that is not wide ranging, would each qualify separately as attacks which fall within the purview of crimes against humanity in customary international law.

It must also be emphasized that to prove crimes against humanity, the acts which were part of the attack must be deemed crimes in most countries, as demonstrated through state practice. Indeed, the Prosecution submitted that all of the acts to be considered by the IPT qualify as crimes across the world, including in Indonesia, whose domestic law in relation to crimes against humanity does not differ significantly from that of other countries around the world.

In 2000, the Indonesian People’s Representative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat, MPR) adopted Law No. 26/2000 (Law 26), establishing a Human Rights Court” in order to resolve gross violations of human rights”, defined by Article 7 as:

gross violations of human rights include both the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity

Article 9 of this law defines crimes against humanity as including any action perpetrated as a part of a broad or systematic direct attack on civilians, in the form of:

  1. killing (Article 9(a));
  2. extermination (Article 9(b));
  3. enslavement (Article 9(c));
  4. enforced eviction or movement of civilians (Article 9(d));
  5. arbitrary appropriation of the independence or other physical freedoms in contravention of international law (Article 9(e));
  6. torture (Article 9(f));
  7. rape, sexual enslavement, enforced prostitution, enforced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or other similar forms of sexual assault (Article 9(g));
  8. terrorization[8] of a particular group or association based on political views, race, nationality, ethnic origin, culture, religion, sex or any other basis, regarded universally as contravening international law (Article 9(h));
  9. enforced disappearance of a person (Article 9(i)); or

10. the crime of apartheid (Article 9(j)).[9]

These follow closely those set out in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of 2000, governing the International Criminal Court.

And Article 43 of Law No. 26/2000 specifically provides for gross violations of human rights that occurred in the past to be heard and ruled on by an ad hoc Human Rights Court. The Article uses the word “shall” and thus renders the formation of the court and adjudication of these offences peremptory.[10]

The definition of crimes against humanity is broadly similar in both customary international law and Indonesian law. The first difference is that the attack must be wide ranging and systematic in customary international law, while it needs to be broad, systematic and direct in Law No. 26/2000. Secondly, the Indonesian law sets out specific acts that must be part of an attack while customary international law requires inhumane acts that are crimes in most countries. These differences are immaterial.

Accordingly this Report sets out to show that:

  1. there was an attack against civilians: that is the PKI, and those alleged to be its leaders, members, supporters and sympathisers, as well as their families, that was broad or wide ranging, systematic and direct in contravention of customary international law and Indonesian domestic law;
  2. the ingredients of these attacks relied upon by the Prosecution, namely, mass killings, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, enforced disappearance, sexual violence and persecution through exile, which are crimes in most national jurisdictions and covered by Law No. 26/2000, were indeed committed.

The inquiry by Komnas HAM, the government’s own Indonesian National Human Rights Commission into the 1965–66 events , undertaken pursuant to Law No. 26/2000, and in the light of the definition of crimes against humanity as set out in its Article 9, concludes its report with the following statement:

After having carefully examined and analysed all the findings discovered in the field, the statements of the victims, witnesses, reports, relevant documents and other information, the Ad Hoc Team to Investigate the Committal of Grave Crimes Against Humanity During the 1965/1966 events has reached the following conclusions:

  1. There is adequate initial evidence to believe that the following crimes against humanity, which are serious crimes against basic human rights, occurred:
  2. Killings (Article 7, letter b jo[11] Article 9 letter a of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  3. Exterminations (Article 7, letter b, jo Article 9 letter b, of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  4. Enslavement (Article 7, letter b jo Article 9 letter c of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  5. Enforced evictions or the banishment of populations (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter d of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  6. Arbitrary deprivation of freedom or other physical freedoms (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter e of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  7. Torture (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  8. Rape or similar forms of sexual violence (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter g of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.
  9. Persecution (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter h of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.

10. Enforced disappearances (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter I, of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts.

The aforementioned actions were part of an attack aimed directly against the civilian population, namely, a series of actions against the civilian population as a consequence of the policy of the authorities in power. As these actions were widespread and systematic, these actions can be classified as crimes against humanity.[12]

The Prosecution Brief also argued strongly that the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) also imposes obligations and responsibility on the State of Indonesia for violations of crimes against humanity; it referred specifically to Article 40(2), which considers a serious breach to be constituted by gross and systematic failure by the responsible State to fulfil its obligations.

The Judges in their Concluding Statement emphasized that they had taken into particular account:

  1. the 23 July 2012 Statement by Komnas HAM (National Commission for Human Rights) on the Results of its Investigations into Grave Violations of Human Rights During the Events of 1965–1966;[13]
  2. the 2007 report, “Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965” by Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian Commission for Violence against Women);[14] and
  3. the Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee in 2013 raising concerns about human rights violations in Indonesia in 1965 and after, the reiteration of those concerns in 2015, as well as the concerns expressed in 2012 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.[15]

[1] 1945–1946.

[2] May 1946 to November 1958.

[3] Indonesia became a member of the United Nations on 12 June 1950. On 20 January 1965, during Konfrontasi (Indonesia’s military and political confrontation campaign against the formation of Malaysia), in response to the election of Malaysia as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Indonesia informed the United Nations by letter that it wished to withdraw. A second letter was sent on 19 September 1966 notifying the Secretary-General of its decision “to resume full cooperation with the United Nations and to resume participation in its activities”. However, the Charter makes no provision for withdrawal of membership from the United Nations, and it appears that Indonesia did not thereby derogate from any of its treaty obligations. (See Blum, Yehuda Zvi (1993), Eroding the United Nations Charter. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-2069-7, cited in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_United_Nations#cite_note-81.)

[4] Article 9 of Law No. 26, Year 2000, Establishing the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court; Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998); Article 5 of the Statute of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1993); Article 3 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1994).

[5] Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity: Historical Evolution and Contemporary Application (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 263.

[6] Article 9. Obligation to extradite or prosecute of International Law Commission, Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind with commentaries, 1996. New York: United Nations, 2005.

[7] Although, as discussed in B2, instructions were issued and attacks launched from as early as 1 October 1965, the PKI and its affiliates were officially banned in 1966 by the People’s Representative Assembly (MPRS). Ketetapan (Tap) No XXV/MPRS/1966 MPRS Resolution No. XXV/1966 adopted on July 5, 1966 by the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS), which outlawed the teachings of Marxism-Leninism.

Article 2 of this Resolution reads as follows: “All activities undertaken in Indonesia to spread or promote the beliefs or teachings of Communism/Marxism-Leninism in all its forms and manifestations, using whatever means including the media for the spread and promotion of these beliefs or teachings, shall be prohibited.”

Indonesia is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the provisions of which are binding upon Indonesia.

[8] In the Indonesian original penganiayaan is used. It is normally translated as “persecution,”as used in English texts on crimes against humanity.

[9] Republic of Indonesia, “Law No. 26 Year 2000 – Establishing the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court,”translation published by Asian Human Rights Commission, accessed through the website of the International Red Committee of the Red Cross https://www.icrc.org/.

Note: The numbering of Article 9 in this translation has been garbled, and is corrected here.

[10] Article 43 of Law 26 provides:

“1. Gross violations of human rights occurring prior to the coming into force of this Act shall be heard and ruled on by an ad hoc Human Rights Court.

  1. An ad hoc human rights court as referred to in clause (1) shall be formed on the recommendation of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia for particular incidents upon the issue of a presidential decree.
  2. An ad hoc human rights court as referred to in clause (1) is within the context of a Court of General Jurisdiction.”

[11] The translation of sentence 1a, h and i published by Tapol has been corrected here to conform to the Indonesian original text of Komnas HAM, Ringkasan Eksekutif: Laporan penylidikan pelanggaran HAM berat (Jakarta: KomnasHAM RI, 2012) p. 25. It uses the term “jo” throughout (abbreviation of Latin word juncto, meaning “in conjunction with”).

[12] Komnas HAM Report. This 470-page Executive Summary of the results of their investigation into ten cases, of which 40 pages relate to the 1965-66 events, was signed on 23 July 2012 by Nur Kholis, the Chair of Komnas HAM’s Ad Hoc Investigation Team into the 1965-66 Events, on the Results of its Investigations into Grave Violations of Human Rights During the Events of 1965-1966. http://www.tapol.org/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pdfs/Komnas%20HAM%201965%20TAPOL%20translation.pdf (see Appendix D1.f for its conclusions).

The full text of the Komnas HAM Report has never been officially published, although copies of what appears to be the authentic text are in circulation.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Komnas Perempuan, Komnas Perempuan, Kejahatan Terhadap Kemanusiaan Berbasis Jender: Mendengarkan Suara Perempuan Korban Peristiwa 1965.( Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan, 2007). Published in English as Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965, (Jakarta : Komnas Perempuan, 2007). Available at http://home.patwalsh.net/wp-content/uploads/Listening-to-the-Voices-of-Women-Survivors-of-1965.pdf. See Appendix D1.e for the recommendations in this Report.

[15] July 2013: UN HRC: “Concluding observations on the initial report of Indonesia” (see Appendix D1.g); UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, “Concluding Observations: Indonesia”, CEDAW/C/IDN/CO/6-7, 27 July 2012.

B2. Responsibility and Chain of Command

The Prosecution made a strong case that all these crimes:

were committed under the full responsibility of the State. General Suharto assumed immediately on 2 October 1965 de facto control of the capital and the armed forces. A new Operations Command for the Restoration of Security and Order (“Kopkamtib”) was established on 10 October to implement the liquidation of the PKI and alleged sympathisers. On 1 November General Suharto was appointed as the Chief Commander of the Kopkamtib. Consequently, this Command operated under the direct orders of General Suharto…

General Suharto and his associates immediately blamed the PKI as the masterminds of the G30S [Abbreviation of Gerakan September Tiga Puluh (30 September Movement)—added by Report editors]. A military propaganda campaign distributed pictures of the dead generals with claims that Communists, particularly Communist women, had tortured and butchered them before death. As a result, violence and demonstrations by the army and various youth groups, equipped and/or supported by the military and the government, targeting suspected Communists soon broke out in Aceh, Central and East Java, before spreading all over Indonesia. Civilians were killed, raped, tortured, enslaved or subjected to other crimes against humanity in their own homes or in public places.

On 21 December 1965, General Suharto issued an order (Kep-1/KOPKAM/12/1965) for military leaders around Indonesia to compile lists of members of PKI and PKI-affiliated organisations in their respective areas. Civilians whose names were included in these lists became the targets for gross human rights violations including murder, torture and other crimes, as has been reported by the Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

On the basis of the above, the following questions need to be asked relating to the issue of responsibility:

  1. Did the state of Indonesia acknowledge at the time, or has it since acknowledged, its responsibility for the mass killings and other crimes against humanity which occurred in 1965 and afterwards?
  2. What was the chain of command between the central state and the lower levels of authority alleged to have carried out the killings, and what was the relationship between state authorities and local militia or other groups which are alleged also to have carried out the killings?
    1. Acknowledgement

Since the restoration of democracy in Indonesia in 1998, two Presidents have made statements on the need for the government to address the mass killings of 1965.

In 2000, the then President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur, the first elected president after Suharto resigned in 1998) discussed at some length in a TV interview his concern for “the victims of G30S/PKI” and suggested that his government would welcome opening up the case to determine the truth of what happened. He also acknowledged that members of the Islamist mass organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) — of which he was formerly the chairman — had participated in the killings and said that he had already apologized for their actions.[1]

The interview as reported in Kompas included the following remarks:

Much earlier, when I was still General Chair of the Board of the NU, I already apologized to the victims of the G30S/PKI.

The government welcomes it if society wants to open up the case of G30S/PKI and the other cases of human rights violations.

Much earlier I already apologized. Not only now — ask the friends in the NGOs — I already apologized for all killings that happened to people who were called communists….

It is not at all sure that people who were accused of being communists were all wrong so that they were sentenced to death. Prove it to the courts, not just like what happened. Gus Dur went on to say that if the G30/PKI issue were opened up again, it would be good to have a debate among the people of Indonesia. “For many people think that the PKI members were wrong. There are also those who think they committed no mistakes. Well because of that we had better decide via a legal procedure which is right.”

The current President Joko Widodo, in a mission statement issued in May 2014 shortly before he was elected, pledged that:

We are committed to bring about a just solution to past human rights violations that still impose a socio-political burden on the Indonesian nation, such as the May disturbances, the 1st and 2nd Trisakti-Semanggi events, forced disappearances, the Talang Sari-Lampung and Tanjung Priok incidents and the 1965 tragedy.[2]

The official investigation body established by Komnas HAM concluded in its Statement of 23 July 2012 that, on the basis of its investigations:

  1. There is adequate initial evidence to believe that the following crimes against humanity, which are serious crimes against basic human rights occurred… a. Killings … b. Exterminations … c. Enslavement … d. Enforced evictions or the banishment of populations … e. Arbitrary deprivation of freedom or other physical freedoms …
  2. Torture … g. Rape or similar forms of sexual violence … h. Persecution …
  3. Enforced disappearances ….
  4. Based on the wide range of crimes which occurred and the picture of victims who have been identified and the mountain of evidence that is available, the names of those who implemented these crimes and were responsible for the events of 1965/1966 are the following, added to which there may be more.
  5. Individuals/military commanders who can be called to account:

a.1 The commander who decided on the policy:

  1. PANGKOPKAMTIB – the Commander of KOPKAMTIB from 1965 until 1969.

1970. PANGKOPKAMTIB – the Commander of KOPKAMTIB from 19 September 1969 at the least until the end of 1978.

a.2 The commanders who had effective control (duty of control) over their troops.

The PANGANDAs and/or PANGDAMs [regional and local Commanders] during the period from 1965 until 1969 and the period from 1969 until the end of 1978.

  1. Individuals/commanders/members of the units who can be held responsible for the actions of their troops in the field.

Contemporary documentary evidence of the killings is almost completely lacking and appears to have been suppressed by the military authorities. It has been noted that “under the New Order, little was heard of the killings” and that “official and semi-official accounts, such as the National History of Indonesia and the so-called ‘White Book’ on the 1965 coup, famously ignored the killings, and there was a widespread perception that they could not be discussed publicly.”[3]

In a rare exception, a document does exist—dated 8 November 1973—in which the Jaksa Agung (Attorney General) issued an instruction to local prosecutor offices in Indonesia to set aside (not to prosecute) the cases of killings against members of the PKI and/or of PKI-affiliated organizations, as they had “arisen from popular anger and spontaneity of the masses.” It was feared that pursuing these cases would “give rise to psychological effects among G30S/PKI remnants emboldening their struggle, could be used by international organisations affiliated with or under the influence of the international communist movement and would cause apathy in society towards helping the Government and state instruments in the future.” It also stipulated that they must consult with the Laksusda(Special Territorial Administrator) in order to provide evidence that would prove that those killed were indeed members of the PKI and/or PKI-affiliated organizations. Further, they were requested by the Attorney General to avoid exposing to third parties this “setting-aside process” (specifically the media).[4]

An admission of state responsibility may also be inferred from statements by government ministers and senior politicians seeking to justify what occurred. In a recent example, the former coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Djoko Suyanto, issued a public statement on 1 October 2012 rejecting the Komnas HAM Report, saying that the killings were justified to save the country from communism and that there should be no official apology. Suyanto stated that “this country would not be what it is today if it didn’t happen. Of course there were victims [during the purge], and we are investigating them.”[5] And, most recently, such a view was expressed by Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security, Luhut Pandjaitan, in his Opening Remarks to the National Symposium on the 1965 Tragedy, held in Jakarta, 18–19 April 2016, “We will not apologise. We are not that stupid. We know what we did, and it was the right thing to do for the nation.”[6]

It should be noted that this National Symposium was the first time that the Government of Indonesia has facilitated the public discussion of a wide range of views regarding the 1965 events, and that its outcomes are not yet clear, as is discussed below in Appendix D2, Attempts at Redress and Reconciliation.

  1. Chain of command

There is abundant evidence, set out in a number of academic studies of this period, that a vertical system of military control and repression was established on the direct authority of General Suharto and conveyed through a series of Orders from Jakarta to the lower levels. Although orders and operations began in some areas as early as 1 October 1965, the main vehicle for this operation was Kopkamtib, set up on 10 October 1965 with General Suharto as its Commander (Pangkopkamtib). Instructions to lower levels in the army were issued as numbered Orders from Kopkamtib or from other military institutions, such as the Ministry of Defence or Army Strategic Reserve Command (Komando Cadangan Strategis Angkatan Darat, Kostrad), which Suharto already commanded. These were replicated or amplified by army commanders at lower levels (see below in this section for material from Aceh).

Starting with an order issued by Suharto on 1 October, the central theme throughout was the need to “annihilate” (menumpas) the G30S Movement (which was often described as “counter-revolutionary”).[7] But the G30S Movement was simply a euphemism for the PKI and every person directly or indirectly connected with it. This order was quickly replicated by Lieutenant General A.J. Mokoginta, the commander for Sumatra of the Supreme Operations Command (Komando Operasi Tertinggi, Koti) who called on all members of the Armed Forces to “resolutely and completely annihilate this counter-revolution and all acts of treason to the roots.”[8]

While initially the object of such instructions might appear to be limited to the small number of alleged leaders of the 30 September Movement, it was always so and soon became clear that the target was much broader, and applied to anyone who might be identified as belonging to, supporting or sympathizing with the PKI, directly or indirectly. Many other people also suffered who did not regard themselves as having any connection or even sympathy with the PKI. As time went on, the target broadened further to clear the ground for a thorough restructuring of society in which both the bureaucracy and the army were cleansed of left-leaning people in general, including many supporters of President Sukarno and progressive members of the Nationalist Party of Indonesia, PNI, who in many cases also suffered persecution.

Furthermore, some of the orders explicitly authorized army commanders to take action outside the law. Those orders given in the first three months of the operation have been summarized, on the basis of research into the original texts, by Mathias Hammer as follows:

Suharto tasked the commanders at the district level with establishing investigation teams (TEPERDA, Team Pemeriksa Daerah, or regional investigation teams) which were to interrogate prisoners and collect information about them (Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), Decree Kep-069/10/1965, in: Kopkamtib 1970). He also wanted these teams to assist the commanders in “taking measures for a solution

of the prisoners” (“mengambil tindakan penjelesaian pada tawanan/tahanan”), a bureaucratic euphemism for mass murder that smacks of the “final solution” with which the Nazis tried to veil the Holocaust. These solutions were to be “either according to the law or according to the special discretion” of the commanders (Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), Decree Kep-069/10/1965, in: Kopkamtib 1970). The last word on life and death was thereby entrusted to the district or KODIM commanders (Komando Distrik Militer, District Military Command). Between late October and late December 1965, the organisational structure involving a variety of “investigation” and “prosecution” teams, with central bodies in Jakarta and various subcomponents of their own, became more and more elaborate – Kammen and Zakaria (2012 p. 447) offer more details on this point. “Screening teams”, as these bodies were often called, eventually existed all over Indonesia, spreading along with the persecution of the PKI. In assessing individual cases, Suharto’s orders mandated the teams to also gather testimonials from witnesses (Army Strategic Reserve Command, decree Kep-70/11/1965, in: Kopkamtib 1970). Not only direct involvement in the 30th September Movement, but also attitudes towards that movement became criteria for persecution.

Finally, it was clarified that attitudes and activism from the time before October 1965 –the so-called “prologue” to the 30th September Movement – would be criteria for persecution as well (Ministry of Defence decree Kep-1/Kopkam/12/1965, 21 December 1965, in: Kopkamtib 1970).

Suharto thereby widened the legal and practical scope of persecution from the relatively small cabal of army officers involved in plotting the kidnapping of the seven army officers who were killed in Jakarta to the socio-political behaviour of millions of ordinary citizens throughout the archipelago. Obtaining information from civilian informants about such behaviour became a valid part of the procedure which local commanders and their teams were to follow in identifying individual execution targets.”[9]

From November 1965 onwards, orders were also issued for a system of classification to be applied to PKI suspects, and as time went on this system was refined further. On 18 October 1968 the Commander of Kopkamtib issued a Decision detailing that,

Those involved in the treasonable G30S/PKI movement are classified as follows:

  1. Those who were clearly involved directly….
  2. Persons clearly involved indirectly….
  3. Persons of whom indications exist or who may reasonably be assumed to have been directly or indirectly involved.[10]

There is no official account of how these operations were conducted throughout Indonesia. The Indonesian press, which quickly fell under military control, almost uniformly refrained from reporting any information regarding the killings. One researcher, John Roosa, notes that “according to the press coverage, the ‘destruction’ of the PKI ‘down to the roots’ was an almost bloodless affair.” In a rare exception, three Jakarta newspapers ran stories in February-March 1969 about Army-organized killings in the Purwodadi District of Central Java.[11] We may speculate on the existence of records kept by the Indonesian army, but if they exist they are not yet in the public domain.

However, the US embassy in Jakarta was able at the time to obtain information from army sources, and information on the army’s role in carrying out or organizing killings is contained in numerous reports from the embassy and the CIA to Washington. Telegrams in November 1965 give a detailed account of the way in which the Army Para-Commando Regiment (RPKAD) in Central Java mobilized civilian militias to assist it in arresting suspected PKI members and in disposing of them. Two researchers who have used this material, Douglas Kammen and David Jenkins, summarize the procedure as follows:

The most common procedure was for civilian paramilitaries operating under the direction of a small RPKAD post to arrest suspected communists and then take them to designated detention centres. The detainees were interrogated, however briefly, to separate PKI cadres from ordinary Party members, sympathisers, and relatives. Cadres were taken to isolated locations and killed. But this left large numbers of detainees, whom the military was neither interested in nor capable of feeding and housing. The solution was for military personnel to ‘move’ detainees at night and en route hand them down to designated civilian death squads.[12]

A rare insight into the killings in the one region—Aceh in northern Sumatra—is provided by internal documents from the Aceh Military Command, obtained by another academic researcher, Jess Melvin, who has made her work available to the Tribunal. On the basis of these documents, Melvin describes the killing process as “occurring in four distinct phases in the province: these phases include an initiation phase; a phase of public–‐spectral–‐ killings; a phase of systematic mass killings; and a, final, consolidation phase.” Other documents obtained by Melvin in Aceh show in detail how “the military and civilian government supported the formation of death squads, which the military and civilian government pledged to provide with ‘assistance’.” [13]

On the few occasions when the mass killings were mentioned openly in official sources, these were ascribed to popular anger, while no reference was made to military involvement. One example is the speech by President Suharto on 11 March 1971, on the fifth anniversary of the “Supersemar” order supposedly signed by then President Soekarno, which led to Suharto’s assumption of full powers. [14] In this speech Suharto claimed that mass killings had occurred in the countryside in 1965–66 as a result of pre-existing political tensions.[15] An official narrative sponsored by the Army and published in English for foreign consumption in 1968 acknowledged that mass killings had occurred, but described them as supposedly spontaneous acts by ordinary people wishing to punish the PKI for its coup attempt. It claimed that the people, “seeing justice neglected… decided to act as judges themselves, which resulted in the mass killings in Central and East Java and other parts of Indonesia.”[16]

However, the latest research in various regions is bringing a new perspective, revealing considerably more information on the degree to which even those killings that were carried out by non-military actors were planned, armed and facilitated (in short, engineered) by the Army. Of particular significance is the research by Indonesian scholar Yosef Djakababa, published in 2013, and more recently by John Roosa, who in April 2016 concluded that it negates the widely accepted:

dualistic thesis … that the violence was committed by a combination of army personnel and civilian militias, with the role of each varying by region.

The dualistic thesis does not grasp the striking uniformity in these descriptions in such widely dispersed locales. For all the diversity in the anti-communist violence, one finds a remarkable consistency across the provinces in the practice of disappearing people who had already been taken captive. One finds army personnel organizing the civilians, administrating the detention camps, and arranging the trucks to transport the detainees to the execution sites. [17]

Legal considerations

The state is responsible in international law for illegal acts which are expressly committed by it or on its behalf without its repudiation and punishment. Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, it has also been a well-established principle that states and their superior or command-level military and civilian officers are responsible for the actions of their agents or servants, or by individuals under their effective command and control, or authority and control, even if these have not been explicitly authorized.

States also have a general responsibility under international law to take all possible measures to ensure that crimes against humanity are not committed by any persons within their jurisdiction, whether acting for the state or not, and to bring such acts to an end and take action against those responsible.

Furthermore, under the doctrine of superior responsibility, superior officers (both military and civilian) have responsibility for preventing or punishing illegal acts by those under their effective command and control, or authority and control. For example, Article 29 of the law of 2004 setting up the Cambodian Extraordinary Chambers to prosecute crimes committed in the period of Democratic Kampuchea provides that:

[the fact that illegal acts] were committed by a subordinate does not relieve the superior of personal criminal responsibility if the superior had effective command and control or authority and control over the subordinate, and the superior knew or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators.

The acts of mass killing and associated crimes in 1965 and subsequently, and the failure to prevent their occurrence or to take action against their perpetrators, occurred under the full responsibility of the State of Indonesia. Senior members of the Indonesian government have acknowledged that these crimes were committed, but few have expressed a desire to investigate them or apologize for them. Although contemporary reporting of them was mostly suppressed by the military Suharto regime, there were occasional admissions that they occurred. Subsequent investigation by Indonesian and other researchers has exposed the orders and directives which link that regime to the crimes committed in various regions of Indonesia, showing a coherent chain of command from Jakarta to the lower levels. To the extent that some crimes may have been committed independently of the authorities, by so-called “spontaneous” local action, this did not absolve the government at the time from the obligation to prevent their occurrence and to punish those responsible.

This Report will not repeatedly indicate in the text, but it needs to be borne in mind throughout, that all the crimes against humanity committed during this time, and described in detail below, were against a discrete and large part of Indonesian society: the communists in Indonesia and everyone connected with them however remotely.

Notes

[1] “Gus Dur: Sejak Dulu Sudah Minta Maaf”, Kompas, 15 March 2000, accessed at http://indoprogress.com/2014/04/masihkah-meragukan-maaf-gus-dur/. His remarks elicited a hostile reaction from many Muslim political and religious leaders, see further Goenawan Mohamad, “Remembering the Left”, in Grayson J Lloyd & Shannon L Smith, eds., Indonesia Today: Challenges of History (Rowan & Littlefield, 2001), pp. 131-32.

[2] Extract from Joko Widowo’s main electoral platform as appeared in English as “The road towards an Indonesia that is sovereign, independent and with its own distinctive identity: Vision, Mission and Action Program,” Kalla, Jakarta, May 2014, accessed at http://abbah.yolasite.com/resources/VISI%20MISI%20JOKOWI%20JK.pdf. The other violations mentioned include the May 1998 riots, the shootings at Trisakti University in Jakarta in the same month, the February 1989 army killings at Talang Sari, Lampung, and in Tanjung Priok in September 1984.

[3] Robert Cribb, “Unresolved problems of the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966, Asian Survey, XLII:4, July-August 2002, p. 559.

[4] Jaksa Agung Republik Indonesia, Nomor instr-007/J.A/11/1973 “Tentang penylesaian perkara pembunuhan oknum2 G.30.S/PKI” [Concerning resolution of cases of killing G.30.S/PKI operatives]. (A copy of the original document was supplied to the Tribunal).

[5] Accessed at http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/10/02/govt-denies-1965-rights-abuses-happened.html.

[6] Jess Melvin, “Symposium on Indonesia’s 1965 genocide opens Pandora’s box”, New Mandala, 9 May 2016. Accessed at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2016/05/09/symposium-on-indonesias-1965-genocide-opens-pandoras-box/.

[7] Alex Dinuth, Dokumen Terpilih sekitar G.30S/PKI. [Selected Documents on G.30S/PKI] (Jakarta: Intermasa, 1997), p.59.

[8] Mokoginta, Letdjen A.J., “Koleksi Pidato2 Kebidjaksanaan Panglima Daerah Sumatra” (Medan: Koanda Sumatera, 1966) p. 152.

[9] Hammer, Mathias “The Organisation of the Killings and the Interaction between State and Society in Central Java, 1965”, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 32, 3, 37–62 (2013). Used by permission.

[10] “The Decision of the Commander of the Kopkamtib no.kep-028/kopkam/10/68 (issued and operative from 18th October 1968) as amended by the Decision of the Commander of the Kopkamtib no.kep-010/kop /3/1969 (issued on 3rd March 1969 to operate retroactively for the period since 18th October 1968).” Amnesty International, Indonesia: An Amnesty International report (London: Amnesty International Publications, 1977), Appendix 1. (See Appendix D1.c for the full text of this Decision.) It should be noted that a further Decision by the President was made on 28 June 1975 concerning government employees who were still being detained as Category C prisoners. KepPres No. 28/1975.

[11] Sources cited by John Roosa in Contours, p. 45. n. 41. Two of these reports are translated in Robert Cribb ed., The Indonesian killings of 1965-6; Studies from Java and Bali. (Clayton, Victoria: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1990 (Monash papers on Southeast Asia no. 21).

[12] Jenkins and Kammen in Contours, p. 94, citing Airgram A-353, US Embassy Jakarta to State Department, 30 Nov. 1965.

[13] Jess Melvin, “Mechanics of Mass Murder: Military Coordination of the Indonesian Genocide”, paper presented at ‘“1965” Today: Living with the Indonesian massacres,’ Amsterdam, 2 October 2015 (Publication forthcoming).

[14] It is to be noted that the original of this document has never been released publicly, and there is considerable controversy regarding its contents and the circumstances under which President Sukarno signed, or did not sign, it.

[15] Suharto, “11 Maret Untuk Mengatasi Situasi Konflik Ketika Itu”, Kompas, 11 March 1971. Cited in Roosa, Contours, p. 45, n. 44.

[16] Notsusanto and Saleh, The Coup Attempts, p. 42.

[17] Yosef Djakababa, “The Initial Purging Policies after the 1965 Incident at Lubang Buaya,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 3/2013; John Roosa, “The State of Knowledge about an Open Secret: Indonesia’s Mass Disappearances of 1965–66.” The Journal of Asian Studies, published online 25 April 2016.

B3. Mass Killing, Imprisonment, Enslavement, Torture and Enforced disappearance

No one disputes that a very large number of Indonesians lost their lives in the mass killings of 1965 and after: nearly all estimates give a number of at least six figures. It is also a matter of record that tens of thousands were placed into prisons and camps over the following years without proper legal process: a significant number were subjected to forced labour and torture, were executed or died in captivity. There are also numerous reports, although harder to quantify, of people who were picked up or arrested (seldom through any formal process) and who then disappeared.

Given the accepted magnitude of killings and imprisonment, it is not strictly necessary for the purpose of reaching a conclusion in terms of international or human rights law to establish the precise, or even the approximate, figure. However, given the high degree of interest which this issue of numbers has always attracted, it was necessary to undertake an examination of several of the principal sources in order to give a summary of the estimates given over the past 50 years.[1]

a) Mass Killing

Statistical sources for the mass killings fall into three categories:

  1. a significant number of contemporary reports by foreign diplomats and journalists (no statistical information was published in the Indonesian press), who suggest an overall figure for killings up to that point. For example, the British ambassador in Jakarta, Andrew Gilchrist, informed the Foreign Office on 23 February 1966 that a previous estimate of 400,000 was considered by his colleague the Swedish ambassador, who had conducted some research in the field, to be an underestimate.[2] A few days later, the US journalist Joseph Craft reported in the Boston Globe that “Indonesia, the fifth most populous country in the world, has been the scene of a continuing massacre on the grand scale–some 300,000 persons killed since November but here the slaughter evokes no concern.”[3]
  2. a very small number of estimates from Indonesian government sources, for which we only have second-hand information. Two are often quoted: (a) an early estimate in November 1965 by a fact-finding commission appointed by President Sukarno which produced a figure of 78,000 to that date. (The figure was apparently derided as too low even by members of the commission); and (b) a later estimate by Kopkamtib in mid-1966, said to have been based upon a sample survey and circulated to foreign journalists, which gave a round figure of one million, of whom 800,000 were in Central and East Java, and 100,000 each in Bali and Sumatra.[4] The latter has been described by the Australian scholar Robert Cribb as being “a genuine attempt to obtain reliable figures, but its conclusions cannot be accepted with any certainty.”[5] Also often quoted is the statement by the Kostrad commander Sarwo Edhie who while on his death-bed allegedly told Permadi, a well-known diviner, that in this period some three million people were killed, and most of them on his orders.[6] There appears to be no corroboration of this statement.
  3. Accounts by participants, eyewitnesses and observers, typically confined to one area or one incident. The Komnas HAM Report of 2012, which confined its enquiry into the events of 1965-66 to only six separate areas, provides many examples such as this:

Killings in Flores Timor Kampung [region of Maumere]

The witnesses were people who had seen the killings in several places in the district of Maumere. People were brought there in trucks with their hands tied, taken down from the trucks and led to the edge of a trench. There were altogether 84 persons, of whom 36 had been taken from prison while others had been arrested in the mountains.[7]

Reports of this kind which come from many parts of the country indicate the widespread nature of the extermination campaign (the Komnas HAM enquiry, which had limited resources, noted that one of its main problems was “the huge geographical spread of the 1965-1966 Events”). Such reports also often illustrate in graphic detail the horrendous nature of the killings. However, they remain too scattered for any meaningful statistical aggregation.

The first systematic attempt to collate and analyse the varied and often not very satisfactory statistics from the above sources was made by Robert Cribb in his introductory chapter to the previously mentioned volume, published in 1990. This publication made a dramatic impact when it appeared and is still relied on today for its overview of the range of estimates, as well as its preliminary analysis of the difficulties in reaching any firm conclusions, and the reasons for both under-reporting as well as over-reporting. Cribb presented the available evidence in a table which showed estimates ranging from 78,000 to one million. However, he stated at the outset that:

We know surprisingly little about the massacres which followed the 1965 coup attempt. The broad outline of events is clear enough. The killings began a few weeks after the coup, swept through Central and East Java and later Bali, with smaller scale outbreaks in parts of other islands. In most regions, responsibility for the killings was shared between army units and civilian vigilante gangs. In some cases the army took direct part in the killings; often, however, they simply supplied weapons, rudimentary training and strong encouragement to the civilian gangs who carried out the bulk of the killings. The massacres were over for the most part by March 1966, but occasional flare-ups continued in various parts of the country until 1969. Detailed information on who was killed, where, when, why and by whom, however, is so patchy that most conclusions have to be strongly qualified as provisional….

The nature of the killing in 1965-66 – commonly dispersed, nocturnal and by small groups – was such that no-one could possibly have had first or even second hand involvement in more than a tiny proportion of the total number of deaths. Any estimate of the total number who perished must therefore be a composite of numerous reports, themselves probably also composites of reports.[8]

A 2013 review by Annie Pohlman gives continuing appreciation to Cribb’s 1990 overview, while providing several more recent estimates. Pohlman notes that the killings remain “a murky part of Indonesian history.” While a number of critical studies since Cribb’s work had “improved our knowledge about the who’s, the where’s and the why’s” there were “many factors, trends, actors and motivations which remain unclear….”[9]

In summary, then, Cribb’s assessment in 2001 still stands: “A scholarly consensus has settled on a figure of 400–500,000, but the correct figure could be half or twice as much,”[10] and “We are unlikely now to find empirical evidence to resolve this question.”[11]

Legal Considerations

Killing is named as a criminal act in almost all legal and moral codes, up to the specified crimes of murder and extermination as crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of 2000, and in Articles 138–140 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) and as Article 9 (a) and (b) of Law No. 26/2000. As legal scholars have observed:

The primacy of the right to life in the international order for the protection of human rights is self-evident; if it is not respected, those other rights already deemed to fall within the scope of contemporary customary international law-such as the right to equality and the prohibition against slavery and systematic racial discrimination, as exemplified by apartheid – would become meaningless.[12]

The deliberate taking of human life represents, of course, the quintessential crime against humanity. Lists of crimes against humanity, beginning with the IMT Charter and up through the ICTY and ICTR Statutes, the ILC’s 1966 Draft Code and the ICC Statute, begin with this crime.[13]

The acts documented above, in which it is widely understood that at least half a million people were killed in the aftermath of the G30S events, clearly constitute violations of crimes against humanity under international customary law of murder, appropriately the first count to be brought before the Tribunal by the Prosecution.

Considering the scale and scope of these killings, they may also be qualified as the crime against humanity of extermination, whose character is described as follows:

‘Extermination’ consists first and foremost of an act or combination of acts which contributes to the killing of a large number of individuals. Criminal responsibility for extermination therefore only attaches to those individuals responsible for a large number of deaths, even if their part therein was remote or indirect. By contrast responsibility for one or for a limited number of such killings is insufficient in principle to constitute an act of extermination. Acts of extermination must, therefore, be collective in nature rather than directed towards singled-out individuals…. any act or combination of acts could amount to extermination if contributed, whether immediately or eventually, directly or indirectly, to the unlawful physical elimination of a large number of individuals.[14]

b) Imprisonment

In the first months of the army-led campaign, many thousands accused of being PKI members or belonging to associated organisations were arrested and put into prison or into makeshift detention centres.

As early as 25 October 1965, General Abdul Haris Nasution (Army Chief of Staff, and the only targeted general who managed to escape the killings on the night of 30 September) described the process, although he refrained from naming the PKI:

It is clear who the enemies are within. It is clear because in every institution, including the SAB (Staf Angkatan Bersendjata or The Armed Forces Staff), the cleaning and regulating process are currently going on. The elements of these political adventurers or their supporters are being swept out, and people are now sweeping them out and hunting them down everywhere.[15]

Then on 12 November General A. H. Nasution issued Instruction INS-1015/1965 that spelled out three categories of individuals within the armed forces who were to be “secured” (those clearly involved, clearly involved in an indirect way, and those who can be presumed to be involved directly due to their involvement with the PKI). This was the precursor of the later ABC classification and the first purge instruction to name the PKI.[16] (See Appendix D1.c for a more detailed later version of this classification.)

Three days later, General Suharto, in his capacity as Commander of Kopkamtib, issued Directive, no. 22/KOTI/1965 widening the application of the three categories to be purged to the civilian bureaucracy.[17]

On 12 March 1966, as his first official act after gaining a handover of power to act in the name of President Sukarno, General Suharto signed Presidential Decree 1/3/1966 declaring the PKI to be a banned organisation throughout the territory of Indonesia, and declaring all its structures dissolved, from the centre to the regions, and including all its affiliated and related organisations.[18]

Another decree issued in May 1966 designated the mass organisations which were now proscribed. As well as the PKI structure down to the village committee level, the list comprised 22 mass organisations and 25 educational institutions. The all-Indonesia trade union federation, SOBSI (Sentral Organisasi Buruh Seluruh Indonesia), with a reported membership of over 3 million was included, with a sub-list naming 62 separate trade unions. Baperki, an organisation for Indonesian citizens of Chinese ethic origin, was also proscribed (together with three related institutions).[19]

Prisoners were said to be subject to a screening process to determine whether they belonged to one of other of the categories and/or the proscribed groups.[20]

As to how the authorities determined the appropriate classification for detainees, the Tribunal was presented with a written report and oral testimony by Dr. Saskia Wieringa regarding the procedures adopted for psychological testing of prisoners to determine classification, which “came to be a substitute for law.” Further, she documented collaboration in this process between Indonesian and Dutch psychologists.[21]

An overall figure for those detained (known as tapol, abbreviation for tahanan politik, political prisoners) is often given as one million. Official statistics began to be issued in the mid-1970s of the numbers in detention and of those who had been released (most of the latter were designated as ET (ex-tapol), and they and their families continued (and in some respects continue today) to suffer from loss of civil rights, denial of the right to free movement or to work in certain fields etc.). By 1975-6, a total variously stated as 500,000, 600,000, or 750,000 was officially stated to have been arrested and detained in the years immediately following 1965. In one such statement, Foreign Minister Adam Malik said in April 1975 that:

Immediately after the abortive coup in 1965, we began in 1966 to seize people for interrogation who had been connected with the coup. The number at that time was about 600,000. On the basis of our prevailing laws, our religious conscience and our humanitarian conscience, we immediately began to discover whether people were guilty or not. In that process, from a total of 600,000 there are now only about 20,000 left, and they fall into various categories. These people will be brought to trial. Those who already have been found not guilty have been released. As others are found not guilty, they too will be released.[22]

These figures were queried by Amnesty International and other critics, and Indonesian officials themselves admitted that the real total might be higher. In September 1971 the former Indonesian Prosecutor General, General Sugih Arto, told foreign journalists in Jakarta that “it is impossible to say exactly how many political prisoners there are. It is a floating rate, like the Japanese yen vis-a-vis the dollar.” He explained further that local commanders were empowered to arrest and interrogate suspects, and that “these people can be held for an unlimited period of time. It is not always compulsory to report such security arrests to the central command in Jakarta.[23] Very few of these detainees, who might be held for 10 years or longer, were ever subjected to any form of trial process. According to Amnesty International, “by early 1977, of the hundreds of thousands arrested in connection with the 1965 events, the government claimed to have tried about 800 prisoners in all, that is, an annual average of less than 100 cases.” Access to these trials was denied to foreign jurists.[24]

According the official account by the Armed Forces themselves, published in 1995, 1,887 prisoners were classified in Group A, of whom 1,009 were eventually tried by one of several types of court, and 878 were transferred into group B (none of whom was destined to be tried). Most of these former group A prisoners were sent to the forced labour camps of Buru Island.[25]

Legal Considerations

Considering the universal proscription of arbitrary and unlawful imprisonment under international customary law, the acts brought before the Tribunal, as documented above, support the Prosecution’s charge of violation of Article 9 (e) of Law No. 26/2000, as argued:

  1. …imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law is considered a crime against humanity….

…the State of Indonesia, acting individually or in concert with other organisations, arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned large numbers of members, followers

and sympathisers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and PKI-affiliated organisations without trial and the vast majority detained without warrant of arrest and in violation of international law. In this regard, the absence of a valid arrest warrant rendered the initial arrest unlawful, additionally detainees were never informed of the reasons for their detention, nor were they formally charged, or informed of any procedural rights.

  1. On the contrary, the approximately 1 million prisoners were detained on a categorisation administered by psychologists and based on an assessment of their apparent level of communist loyalty. The prisoners’ categorisation was usually an indication of whether they would survive and thus the psychologists in essence were performing the role of de facto judges.[26]

c) Enslavement

Considerable evidence was tendered by the Prosecution, charging that many of those who were detained were forced to work under conditions that amounted to enslavement, one of the oldest established crimes under international law and constituting a crime against humanity.

The Prosecution Indictment gave the following examples: Monconglowe (called Moncong Loe by Komnas HAM), South Sulawesi; Buru Island, Maluku; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; Nusa Kambangan and Plantungan, Central Java; and in several prisons in West Java.

The Komnas HAM Report in relation to prisoners confined to the island of Buru reached the following conclusion:

The island of Buru, in the Moluccas: Some 11,500 political prisoners were brought there. Slave labour also took place in the concentration camp in the island of Buru. Witnesses informed the Komnas team that they had to work without pay in a reservoir, a dam, the office of the camp commander, a cement factory, a housing complex, and they had to till the rice fields of the local population and of the officers without pay. They also testified that 90% of the wives of the prisoners were ordered to sexually service both military and civilian men. Komnas HAM concludes that slave labour took place on the island of Buru. This includes sexual slavery.[27]

Amnesty International reported in 1973 that in the women’s prisoners’ camp in Plantungan, Central Java,

…the women must work from morning until night in the fields to produce their own food stuffs. They are only provided with rice and vegetables and must rely on their relatives for other food, such as sugar, tea and coffee as well as soap and clothes. Relatives are not permitted to visit prisoners at Plantungan and although food parcels can be sent, communications are difficult and costs are high.[28]

Written evidence was submitted to the Tribunal describing this system as follows:

In many places of detention, political detainees were not only put to work within the confines of their camp. Here tapols were transported from their prisons to work for a pittance or no payment at all in infrastructure and building projects or plantations. This transportation took place under surveillance, either on daily basis or longer periods depending on the distance of the project area to the prison and on the type of project. In all cases there is speak of forced labour in captivity, whereby slavery conditions prevailed. Reports of such situations exist from Central Sulawesi (Palu, Donggala, Poso), North Sumatra (Asahan, Langkat, Deli Serdang), East- and Central Java as well as East and West Kalimantan.[29]

Two witnesses gave oral testimony during the Tribunal hearings, namely factual witness Mr. Basuki Bowo (pseudonym) and expert witness Dr. Asvi Warman Adam. Mr Basuki Bowo testified to his nine years’ imprisonment on Buru Island, during which time he was subject to intensive and extreme forced labour (without any remuneration) in the construction of infrastructure in the previously undeveloped jungle, and subsequently of cultivation of food crops, much of the produce of which was sold for the benefit of the guards and commanders.

Dr. Asvi Varman Adam, a historian from LIPI (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia, Indonesian Institute of Sciences) confirmed that, on the basis of his detailed 2003 research, at least 11,600 prisoners were sent to Buru and held in 23 forced labour camps of around 500 persons each. Dr. Asvi stated:

They were released 1978-79 through pressure by the international community, and they were the donors. This forced them to close. Buru island was a virgin jungle when they arrived in 1974, but they established 3 million hectares of rice paddy, and Buru Island became a bread basket for Indonesia due to of the results of the hard labour of the detainees.[30]

Legal considerations

Under international law, a distinction is made between “forced labour” and “enslavement,” on the basis of the extent of and conditions under which labour is performed and the degree to which the victim is under the control of the perpetrator.

Given the extreme work requirements and inhuman working conditions and the total control exercised by military and civilian officers of the state, it is clear that the prisoners or inmates of what may have been known as “labour camps” were subject to enslavement, a crime against humanity and a crime under Indonesian domestic Law No. 26/2000, Article 9 (c).

Furthermore, it constitutes violation of the 1930 Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour, ratified by Indonesia on 12 June 1950, which provides strict limitations on the amount of labour that may be required and the conditions under which it may be performed.

d) Torture

The Prosecution provided considerable evidence (both in written form and as oral testimony) of torture being inflicted on prisoners and detainees. Its Indictment charged:

In many cases, the torture carried out by Indonesia’s military forces led to death as a result of the torture itself and at other times death occurred due to wounds sustained during torture being left untreated.

The torture took place in a widespread and systematic manner. Data collected by IPT 1965 researchers records 235 victims of torture. … 173 of these torture victims were forced to continue reporting to authorities on a regular basis after they had been released.

The acts of torture which took place included:

  1. Burning parts of the body
  2. Application of electric shocks
  3. Various forms of water torture
  4. Sexual abuse
  5. Pulling out fingernails
  6. Forcing victims to drink soldiers’ urine
  7. Rubbing chili in the eyes of victims
  8. Tying victims inside a sack with a snake
  9. Cutting off victims’ ears and forcing them to consume them

Two witnesses, Mr. Muhammad Pakasi (pseudonym) and Mr. Martin Aleida, provided testimony during the IPT hearings regarding their own experience of being tortured, being threatened with torture, witnessing torture committed on others and/or hearing screams nearby and seeing the wounds of others following their torture.

The Komnas HAM Report also provides details of torture being carried out at many of the sample sites it investigated, including the Jalan Gandhi detention centre in Medan, North Sumatra, at various military posts, police stations, immigration offices, Chinese homes, and at prisons, military prisons and other and places of detention. (See Appendix D1.f for details.)

In addition, a Joint Submission was made to the IPT by Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), KontraS, SKP-HAM Palu, ELSAM, KIPPER, LAPPAN and JPIT, entitled “Widespread and Systematic Commission of Arbitrary Detention, Torture & Ill-Treatment During the Violence around the 1965 atrocities in Indonesia.” The Joint Submission reported that it had collected information on 296 victims of torture, of whom 240 were male and 56 female. The perpetrators were military personnel (on 240 victims), police (51), prosecutors (3) and other civilians (32).[31]

Legal considerations

While the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment was enacted only in 1984, and ratified by the Indonesian Government on 28 September 1998, torture is considered a crime against humanity under international customary law.

In addition to the absolute ban on torture under international law and international customary law, the following explicit prohibitions on torture are provided in Indonesian law: Indonesian Constitution Article 28G(2), “Every person shall have the right to be free from torture or inhumane and degrading treatment, and shall have the right to obtain political asylum from another country;” Law No. 39/1999 on Human Rights, Article 33(1), “everyone has the right to be free from torture, or cruel, or inhumane and degrading punishment or treatment.” Law No.26/2000 Article 9 (f) explicitly names torture among the crimes to be applied retroactively (according to Article 43) by the Human Rights Courts.

e) Enforced Disappearance

In addition to mass killings and imprisonment, as outlined above, many people were rounded up or arrested and then “disappeared” without legal basis and without detailed records being made as to the identity of the victims. Enquiries to the authorities as to their whereabouts typically met with no answer. Some subsequently emerged after having been imprisoned, while many others have never been seen again, and are presumed to have been killed, either directly or after some form of imprisonment.

Two factual witnesses gave testimony at the IPT hearings on the enforced disappearance of their relatives, Mr. Astaman Hasibuan and Ms. Intan Permatasari (pseudonym, testifying behind the screen).

Mr. Hasibuan’s testified that his father, Sumarno Hasibuan, a member of the North Sumatra Regional People’s Assembly (DPRD-GR Sumatera Utara) and a member of the Executive Council of the PKI’s North Sumatra Regional Committee (Dewan Harian-DH Comite Daerah Besar PKI Sumatera Utara), was called as a witness at one of the trials held by the Extraordinary Military Tribunal, Mahmilub, but then disappeared; he was seen in detention at Regional Military Command, Kodam, in Jalan Masdulhak, Medan.[32] The witness stated that he has repeatedly attempted to discover what happened to his father, but never received even a shred of information from the authorities. He has given testimony on this twice before, including to Komnas HAM.

Ms. Intan testified that seven of her close relatives were disappeared, including her father, a retired member of the People’s Representative Assembly, DPR, who had been in Surabaya for medical treatment from July 1965, and who was reportedly seen in police custody, and also her mother, brother, uncle and cousins.

The 2012 Komnas HAM Report gives several vivid examples of enforced disappearance. Sometimes these involved people who were seized from their homes and were never seen again, while in other cases people disappeared from prison camps or detention centres and were likewise never seen again. In one example from Medan, Sumatra, a witness testified that:

In the middle of 1967, in the middle of the night, the witness was also aware of the fact that sixty people were moved from TPU A to Suka Mulya Prison, while some others were transferred to Intelligence Task Force (Satgas Intel) ] in Jalan Gandhi. All these sixty people disappeared and nothing is known to this day about their whereabouts. They included some students from AISA (Ali Arkham Social Sciences Academy) which belonged to the PKI in Medan, as well as workers [and] leaders who had been arrested in a number of districts in Medan.[33]

On the basis of the sample investigations carried out by Komnas HAM, the report concluded that:

Civilians who were recorded as being the victims of enforced disappearances as a consequence of operations conducted by the state security forces amounted to roughly 32,774 people.

Clearly, the figure for the whole of Indonesia would be considerably higher than that indicated from the Komnas HAM sample investigation.

The IPT Research Report provided to the panel of judges also included a number of case studies, containing explicit details of locations and the names of a number of victims, focusing on North Sumatra, South Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara and Java.

The plantations in North Sumatra provide perhaps the most extreme case of wholesale mass disappearances of people alleged to be related to the PKI, as well as labour activists in general, in late 1965 and into early 1966, in which:

all leaders and secretaries of branch and sub-branch organisations (PKI, BTI, the People’s Youth Organisation and the labour union Sarbupri [Sarekat Buruh Perkebunan Republik Indonesia, the Republic of Indonesia’s Plantation Workers Union – IPT note] in the sub-districts and villages situated in plantations were arrested by the Buterpra [Bintara Urusan Teritorial Pertahanan Rakyat – Non-Commissioned Officers of the Territorial and People’s Defence – IPT ) and members of Komando Aksi (Action Command).[34]

It is to be noted that many different sources from across the country have reported the fact that almost all of those involved in the PKI, however remotely, disappeared at this time.

Legal considerations

This section of the IPT Research Report concluded:

These cases mentioned above do not represent all the cases of enforced disappearances but provide sufficient evidence of serious violations of a range of human rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set out in both International Covenants on Human Rights as well as other major international human rights instruments.[35]

While the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted by the General Assembly only in December 2006, the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992, bases the prohibition of enforced disappearance in international customary international law as expressed in arising from the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Clearly, the evidence brought before the Tribunal demonstrates the occurrence of Enforced Disappearance, as defined in the Preamble to the 1992 Declaration:

… enforced disappearances occur when persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.

[1] This section of the report covers Counts No. 1 (Murder and Extermination), 2 (Enslavement), 3 (Imprisonment), 4 (Torture) and 7 (Forced Disappearance) in the Prosecution case.

[2] Letter from British Embassy in Jakarta to Foreign Office, February 23, 1966, DH 1015/80, FO 371/186028, UKNA

[3] “No Political Gain in Indonesia Inter-Army Bloodbath”, The Boston Globe, 4 March 1966.

[4] Frank Palmos, “So Indonesia counts its dead,” The Sun, 5 August 1966. This story estimated one million dead, based on access to an Indonesian Army research report which appears never to have been publicly released. See also Seymour Topping, “Slaughter of Reds Gives Indonesia a Grim Legacy,” New York Times, 24 August 1966.

[5] Both estimates are discussed in Robert Cribb, The Indonesian killings of 1965-6,Introductory Chapter “Problems in the historiography of the killings in Indonesia,” pp. 7-8.

[6] Quoted in Benedict Anderson, “Petrus Djadi Ratu” [Petrus Becomes King], New Left Review, 3: May-June 2000.

[7] Komnas HAM Report, p. 2.

[8] The Indonesian Killings, p. xx

[9] Annie Pohlman, “The Massacres of 1965–1966: New Interpretations and the Current Debate in Indonesia”, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 3/2013 pp. 3–9.

[10] Robert Cribb, “Genocide in Indonesia, 1965–1966”, Journal of Genocide Research, 3, 2, 219–239.2001 p. 232.

[11] Ibid., p. 14.

[12] Hurst Hannum, “International Law and Cambodian Genocide: The Sounds of Silence,”Human Rights Quarterly 11 (1989) p. 122.

[13] Steven R. Ratner and Jason S. Abrams, Accountability for Human Rights Atroities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 70.

[14] Guénaël Mettraux, International Crimes and the ad hoc Tribunals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, p.176-177.

[15] Yosef Djakababa, “The Initial Purging Policies,” p.11.

[16] Ibid., p. 18-19.

[17] Ibid., p. 19.

[18] Keputusan Presiden/Panglima Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia/Mandataris MPRS/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi No. 1/3/1966 [Decision of the President/Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia/Mandate Holder of the MPRS/Great Leader of the Revolution No. 1/3/1966], “on behalf of the President… signed by Lt. Gen Soeharto, 12 March 1966, reproduced in Dinuth, Dokumen Terpilih, p.168-169 (see Appendix D1.h).

[19] Lampiran Keputusan Presiden/Panglima Tertinggi Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia/Panglima Besar Komando Ganyang Malaysia No. 85/KOGAM/1966 [Attachment to Decision of the President/Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia/Great Leader of the Crush Malaysia Command], “on behalf of the President… signed by Lt. Gen Soeharto,” 31 May 1966, reproduced in Dinuth,Dokumen Terpilih, p.190-194.

[20] Amnesty International, 1977 Report. This compilation of evidence remains until today the principal source for the number of people imprisoned. See also Eva-Lotta E Hedman ed., Conflict, Violence, and Displacement in Indonesia (Cornell University Press, 2008).

[21] Saskia Wieringa, “Testing of prisoners: collaboration between Indonesian and Dutch psychologists,”submitted to the IPT on 11 November 2015, p. 4.

[22] 22 April 1975, reply to questions in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Quoted in Amnesty International, 1977 Report , p.41

[23] Ibid., p. 42.

[24] Ibid., pp. 45 & 53.

[25] Bahaya Laten Komunisme di Indonesia , Jilid ke-5 “Penumpasan pemberontakan PKI dan sisa-sisanya”. [The Latent Danger of Communism in Indonesia. Vol.5: Elimination of the PKI Rebellion and its Remnants] (Jakarta: Markas Besar Angkatan Besar Republik Indonesia, Pusat Sejarah dan Tradisi ABRI, 1995), p. 119.

[26] International People’s Tribunal on 1965 Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia,Prosecution Brief Outlining the Relevant Legal Framework under International Law as Applicable to Crimes Against Humanity as Charged in the 23 October 2015 Indictment, 09 November 2015, p. 46.

[27] Komnas HAM Report, p. 8.

[28] Amnesty International Dutch Section, Indonesia Special, Special Report, March 1973, p. 24.

[29] IPT Research Report, delivered to the Tribunal, briefing on enslavement.

[30] Transcript, 10 November 2015. For further information on the dates and numbers of releases from Buru and elsewhere, see 1977 Amnesty International, 1977 Report, p. 31-40.

[31] IPT Research Report, delivered to the Tribunal, ch. 3.6.1.

[32] Another source provides more detail, stating that on 10 December 1965, Sumarno Hasibuan was taken from the place of detention in Jalan Masdulhak, together with two other prisoners, and they were executed at Sungai Ular (Snake River). “Penghilangan Paksa dan Kehancuran Organisasi Buruh Perkebunan Sumatera Utara, 1965-1967” (Enforced Disappearances and Annihilation of the North Sumatra Plantation Workers Organisation, 1965-1967), (Typed manuscript, No author, no date, 69p.), p.16.

[33] Komnas HAM Report, p.13.

[34] IPT Research Report, delivered to the Tribunal, ch. 2.7.2.

[35]Ibid., ch. 2.8.

B4. Sexual Violence

The Prosecution presented a full and detailed case to support its claim that “sexual violence was pervasive during both the massacres of 1965-1966 and the mass political detentions after 1 October 1965 in Indonesia.” This violence, the Prosecution stated, took many forms, including: “rape, sexual violence as torture, sexual enslavement, and other forms of sexual violence (including sexual assault).” The Judges were provided with a 200-page report, including more than 20 individual case studies, which alleged that:

The crimes detailed in this report occurred in a wide range of settings: in victims’ homes, in public, in prisons, police or military barracks, and in the many ad-hoc facilities used to hold people illegally detained following the 1965 coup. The time-frames for the crimes discussed in this report also vary considerably: from individual assaults, to repeated assaults over days and weeks, to conditions of sexual enslavement, enforced prostitution and forced marriage, lasting months or years. The range of sexual offences, and the many conditions in which they were perpetrated, are evidence [of] the widespread and systematic nature of sexual violence as crimes against humanity during the anti-Communist violence in Indonesia.[1]

The Tribunal also heard evidence from a factual witness, Ms. Kinkin Rahayu (pseudonym) and an expert witness, Dr. Saskia Wieringa. An excerpt from the testimony of Ms. Kinkin, a victim of sexual violence and who recounted her experiences in graphic detail, testifying for privacy behind a screen, is attached to this report as Appendix D1.d. The expert witness who testified on this subject and who is also Chair of the IPT Executive Board, Dr. Saskia Wieringa, has carried out extensive research, resulting in a number of significant publications.

A considerable body of the evidence available on this sensitive subject is contained in the report published in 2007 by Komnas Perempuan (the Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women).[2] Komnas Perempuan was established by presidential decree in 2005 with the task of working for “the elimination of violence against women and to promote understanding on all forms of violence against women.” The report which it produced was based upon academic research, archive materials, and an in-depth analysis of 122 testimonies of women survivors of 1965 and subsequently. (For an excerpt from this report, see Appendix D1.e). A number of substantial academic studies have been published on this subject, which have also been consulted by the judges.[3]

While working on its report, Komnas Perempuan received a powerful statement from women victims who had approached the Commission, which included the following:

We are women activists detained for years without trial, wives of political detainees, widows –we represent thousands of women victims of 1965… We have shared our stories of state violence, how we have survived, and our hopes. In 1965, we were veterans of the independence movement, supported government policy and campaigns… We were members of legal organisations, such as Lekra, Gerwani, CGMI, HIS, BTI, SOKGI. We organised literacy training, creches, we campaigned against feudalism, for equality. We were young wives with young children, we were students. But the murders of the Generals changed our lives. We did not know anything about what happened. But suddenly we become a-moral women. There were no letters of arrest. The paramilitary groups never explained why our husbands were taken away.

As wives of political prisoners, we became victims of sexual abuse when trying to visit our husbands in prison. Some of us were forced to “marry” military personnel to save our families. Our children were also detained, and our land, houses, jewellery confiscated. We were fired from work, we had no income. Then many of us were sent to labour camps…We endured interrogation and torture, and were made to watch the torture of others. We experienced rape, and pregnancy due to rape. The prison conditions where we were held were inhumane. Some detainees were executed.

The impact of our incarceration was not only felt during the time of detention. Our attempts to improve the situation of women were halted. After our release, we were made to report to the authorities –an opportunity for extortion. Our national identity cards were marked, and some of us have still not received life-long identity cards. We continue to feel discrimination from our families and community. Our families have been broken, forced to separate –our children raised by others. They blame us, and we have found difficulty in finding spouses. We still cannot find employment and are continuously discriminated against.[4]

In its report, Komnas Perempuan came to the conclusion that during the violence of 1965-1966, members of the communist women’s organisation Gerwani and other women suspected of being affiliated with PKI, “became the target of systematic killings, enforced disappearance, illegal detention, torture and sexual violence.” Komnas Perempuan believed that Gerwani was a target of “a smear campaign designed to bring about the total destruction of this political group.” (In the present IPT Report, this issue will be dealt with in more detail in section B6 below on The Propaganda Campaign).

Cases examined by Komnas Perempuan showed a pattern in which “the security forces were able to carry out sexual torture and rape against women from the moment they were arrested. There were no attempts from their superiors to prevent or punish the perpetrators of these crimes.” They also found instances of sexual slavery in which “women prisoners were treated as personal possessions who were repeatedly raped over long periods. In several cases, sexual slavery resulted in pregnancy.”[5]

The Tribunal also heard evidence from Mariana Amirrudin, a Komnas Perempuan commissioner who had received official permission from the President to attend. She testified that her organisation had concluded that there were:

strong indications that there was gender based persecution, and it was coordinated by the security apparatus of Indonesia, along with groups that were in power. Rapes and sexual torture, sexual enslavement. In this regard, there needs to be the responsibility of the state. Our recommendation is that at this time the most important issue is how the female victims who suffered the violence can recover, and their fate in terms of economic well-being and political rights. There is no attention in this area, no agency attending to this—that their position is very inhumane. The state must make immediate steps to find out how to take action to provide assistance in regard to these matters, accordingly so they may resume their lives until old age.

I would like to add, the elderly victims have only received money from small trades they opened up. But some can no longer be productive and they have difficulty getting food, can’t go to a doctor; they are alone and their homes are falling apart. When we meet with some victims in the field, it’s important to pay attention to their economic and social rights. The second issue is recovery and the responsibility of the state to create a sense of security for these victims. The state must remove the stigma put upon them.[6]

Legal Considerations

This aspect of the crimes committed in Indonesia in 1965 and beyond received very little attention until recently, consistent with what is now understood to be widespread under-reporting around the world, and under-prosecution of gender based violence in both domestic, international and internationalized courts.[7]

The evidence, both oral and written, presented to the Tribunal on the subject of sexual violence in Indonesia in 1965-66 and subsequently is compelling and conclusive. The numerous statements by witnesses from different areas of Indonesia provide specific and graphic information on a whole range of crimes under this heading. The details provided by individuals and the experiences which they relate are mutually corroborative and build a picture of sexual violence inflicted on a wide scale and over a long period of time upon large numbers of women who were alleged to have some connection or sympathy with the PKI.

These crimes included rape, sexual violence in the form of torture, sexual enslavement, and other forms of sexual violence constituting against humanity outlawed under international customary law and Indonesian domestic law.

More attention still needs to be focused upon this deeply disturbing aspect of the events of 1965–66 and after. The call of Komnas Perempuan for a full investigation by the government of Indonesia, and full compensation to the surviving victims of sexual violence and their families, is still outstanding nearly ten years after it was made.

B5. Exile

The Prosecution charged the Indonesian State with the crime of persecution[8] against hundreds of thousands of Indonesian nationals who were abroad by depriving them of the right of safe return to their country of origin.

The situation of the exiles was summarized by Australian academic, David Hill, as follows:

With the rise of New Order under General Suharto in Jakarta after 1 October 1965, thousands of Indonesians who were residing in socialist and communist countries, mainly as students, were affected by the acts of the Indonesian government. During 1965-1966, the Indonesian Embassies summoned Indonesian nationals for screening investigations. In these sessions the interviewees were asked detailed questions about their lives, as well as the details of their families in Indonesia, with the purpose of purging the migrant community from an entire faction of the perceived or actual ideological opposition. Those who refused to attend the meetings, as well as those who were considered members or sympathizers of the PKI received letters from the respective Embassies in which they were urged to immediately return to Indonesia. If they declined, fearing arrest or even execution at home, their passports were invalidated, revoked or confiscated. The migrant communities were also asked by their respective Embassies to refrain from any moral or material assistance to them.[9]

The Prosecution documented 56 cases of invalidation of passports in six countries (the Soviet Union, Albania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Cuba). However, the total number of those victimized by this governmental policy of invalidating passports surely exceeds this number. Though the exact number is currently unknown, it is evident that Indonesian embassies, especially those in communist countries, were instructed to call upon all Indonesian nationals in these countries to determine whether they were communist or Sukarno sympathisers or not. It is perfectly clear that only those people who claimed to be Suharto sympathisers would be able to return without pain, while others risked facing dire consequences if they returned.

The Tribunal heard two factual witnesses for this Count, Mr. Soerono Widojo (pseudonym) and Ms. Aminah (both of whom testified from behind the screen). According to these witnesses, the screening meetings and cancellation of their passports had a huge impact on their lives, not limited to the practical perspective. There was also a devastating psychological effect on the victims.

The witnesses who appeared before the tribunal were unable to reveal their identity because of continuing concerns for their own safety or those of their families even after 50 years of exile. While the witnesses have managed to live and work in other countries, the fact is that they felt they could not return to their own country with the prospect of persecution hanging over them.

Legal considerations

Although the witnesses and the Prosecution described them as “stateless,” this is not necessarily a definitive statement on their current status, technically speaking. Nevertheless, it is a vivid description of the reality they faced. Ultimately, they are neither nationals of the countries in which they live nor are they able to function as real citizens of Indonesia. However, due to the confiscation or invalidation of their passports, and in light of the fact that both of the witnesses who testified before the hearing have not felt safe to return to their home country, it is clear that they, and others in the same situation, have been deprived of their full and unconditional rights of citizenship and nationality.

On the question of the revocation of nationality, the 1958 Law on the Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia does not provide provisions to protect its citizens from revocation of their nationality due to political reasons. In considering this question, it is necessary to make a distinction between two different but interrelated concepts: deprivation of the right of safe return to home country; and deprivation of nationality rights. The Prosecution did not establish the claim that the act of invalidating the passports of Indonesian nationals who were abroad between 1965 to 1967 constituted, de jure, the revocation of nationality.

It may be argued that while such treatment of these involuntary exiles does not amount to persecution as a crime against humanity, particularly in terms of the numbers, severity and impact on the victims, it certainly formed part of a widespread and systematic state attack against a part of the civilian Indonesian population. However, another view is that this treatment of these involuntary exiles does amount to persecution as a crime against humanity, in itself, particularly because in terms of the numbers, severity and impact on the victims, the confiscation of passports was systematic and wide-ranging and had a severe impact on the victims. It certainly formed part of a widespread and systematic state attack against a part of the civilian Indonesian population.[10]

Upon consideration of the evidence presented before the Tribunal, the fact was established that many Indonesians were subjected to forcible exile, which constitutes deprivation of right to free passage, right to return and enjoyment of full citizenship rights (fundamental rights laid down in international customary or treaty law), and this may well reach the same level of gravity as other forms of persecution as a crime against humanity

[1] IPT Research Report, Part 3, Section 3.5. (Grammatical correction by Editors.)

[2] Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women) Report, Jakarta, 2007. See full source in Bibliography. Komnas Perempuan), Gender-based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965, 2007, English translation published by the International Center for Transitional Justice.

[3] These include Annie Pohlman, Women, Sexual Violence and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-66. (London and New York: Routledge, 2015); Mery Kolimon, Liliya Wetangterah, Karen Campbell-Nelson, (eds.), Jennifer Lindsay (Translator), Forbidden Memories: Women’s experiences of 1965 in Eastern Indonesia (Herb Feith Translation Series), (Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2015). See also Saskia Wieringa, Sexual Politics in Indonesia (Houndsmill, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), esp. ch. 8.

[4] Excerpt from statement prepared by victims, presented to Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women), 29 May 2006 [some grammatical changes have been made by the editors of this IPT report). The extract precedes the copy of the English translation of this report published online by the International Center for Transitional Justice, accessed on the web site http://home.patwalsh.net/wp-content/uploads/Listening-to-the-Voices-of-Women-Survivors-of-1965.pdf.

[5] Komnas Perempuan Report, English translation, p. 174.

[6] Evidence from Mariana Amirrudin, Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan, 12 November 2015 (edited from IPT transcript of the proceedings).

[7] Bangladesh was the first in the world to include sexual violence as an international crime, specifically mentioning rape as a category of crimes against humanity, (Article 3.2a) in the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, when it moved towards prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide that were committed as part of the Liberation War of 1971. However, due to political changes in the country, these proceedings were suspended until recommenced in 2009, when rape as a war crime was included among the charges brought forward. (See Waliur Rahman, “Background notes on adoption of the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act”, From genocide to justice: national and global perspective. (Journal of the 1st Winter School, Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice). Dhaka: Liberation War Museum, 2014, p. 105-109; Mofidul Hoque, “Bangladesh genocide: the long journey to justice”, ibid, p.130-139.1.)

In 1998 the first conviction for rape as a crime against humanity was recorded, when the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda considered rape to be an instrument of genocide and soon afterwards, in 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found rape and sexual enslavement to be crimes against humanity, also ruling that rape and other forms of sexual violence are elements of other international crimes such as torture, persecution and enslavement.

[8] As mentioned in n. 8 above, some sources have used the term “terrorization.”

[9] David T. Hill, “Indonesian Political Exiles in the USSR”, Critical Asian Studies, Routledge, 45:4 (2014), p. 632.

[10] To define “persecution” the tribunal relies on terms of existing codified human rights law. According to the ICC Statute Article 7(2)(g): “persecution” is defined as the “intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of a group or collectively.” Perceived identity as political party supporters constituted persecution on political grounds within the meaning of Article 7(1)(h) (Muthaura case, Pre-Trial Chamber: Decision on the Confirmation of Charges.(23 January 2012) at para. 283; Ruto case, Pre-Trial Chamber, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges (23 January 2012) at para. 273.)

In order to assess the gravity or seriousness of the crime, different factors, such as the scale of the crime, the numbers of the victims, the severity of the crime and the impact on victims would be taken into consideration.

With regard to persecution as a crime against humanity, the ICTY Trial Chamber judgement required a gross or blatant denial on discriminatory grounds. International law only considers a few elements for “persecution” to amount to a crime against humanity, including the gravity or seriousness of the crime. (Prosecuteor v. Kupreskic et al, No. IT-95-16-T, Judgement (14 January 2000), at para. 621) (These are the same factors the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC considers in order to decide whether or not an investigation should be initiated. (Susana Sacouto & Katherine Cleary, pp. 809-10, available at http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=auilr).)

It is evident that the legal gravity threshold for the purpose of this judgement cannot meet all the criteria that ICC or other past ad-hoc international courts have required and defined as causing grave concern to the international community for prosecutorial purposes. However, for the purpose of this Tribunal, the judges have decided to consider the gravity threshold as criterion to evaluate whether “persecution” as CAH had occurred in the form of involuntary exile in the aftermath of 1965-66 upheaval and afterwards, under the Suharto’s regime.

B6. The Propaganda Campaign

The Prosecution presented evidence to the Tribunal of what they described as a campaign of “propaganda and hate speeches as part of the widespread and/or systematic attack against the members and sympathisers of the PKI and PKI-affiliated organisations, and/or civilian population in Indonesia from 1965 onwards by spreading hate propaganda via various instruments”.[1]

It was argued that this was a sustained campaign, lasting for many years and even to the present day, based upon allegations which were known to be untrue, and that it was intended “to discriminate, as well as to dehumanise, the target group and laid down the basis for the mass atrocities committed against them.” The target group was said to be not only members and sympathisers of the PKI, but all those who were allegedly members of organisations affiliated to the PKI, and that this amounted to “a significant part of the civilian population [of Indonesia].”

This propaganda campaign was said by the Prosecution to focus on two central charges: a) that the PKI was the “mastermind” behind the failed coup of 30 September–1 October 1965; and b) that during the coup the young women present at Lubang Buaya (where the murders of the captured officers—six generals and one lieutenant—were said to have taken place) were encouraged by the PKI to engage in immoral behaviour, seeking to seduce the generals in “a lurid, naked dance”, and then “castrating the generals” and “killing them after gouging out their eyes.”

The Prosecution argued that this official version of events was entirely false, and to have been manufactured under the auspices of the military. It helped to legitimize the mass killings that took place in 1965–66 and was cited as justification by many of those who perpetrated such killings. It was later elaborated in various cultural forms, including film and literature, and became the main source for the historical narrative of events presented during the New Order of President Suharto, sustaining the continued persecution of, and discrimination against, those judged to be communists or communist sympathisers.

In order to consider this case, the following questions should be asked:

  1. Was this version of events substantially true or substantially false? If so, did those advancing it know that it was false?
  2. Did the dissemination of this version of events incite or encourage people who heard it to commit mass murder or other crimes, and could those who disagreed with this version argue against it:
    1. The official version of events and knowledge of the true story
    2. a) The role of the PKI in the 30 September events

It is well established among mainstream scholars of this period that several senior leaders of the PKI were involved in the 30 September events. As put by Robert Cribb of the Australian National University, recent research “has shown convincingly that the 30 September Movement was a joint conspiracy between the Untung group [of army officers] and a small group around [D. N.] Aidit as PKI leader.”[2]

The extent of knowledge among the PKI leadership of Aidit’s plan to participate in military action against the Council of Generals (which, it was alleged, was likely to launch its own coup before long against President Sukarno) is still unclear. It has been claimed that the Party’s Politburo was kept in the dark, while Aidit operated through a so-called “Secret Bureau” in the leadership. However, according to one first-hand account, the Politburo did agree at a meeting in August to provide “political support” for such action, which was regarded as pre-emptive in nature.[3] But this falls a long way short of justifying the allegation that the PKI, as an institution, was responsible for the whole action.

Whatever the extent of the PKI leadership’s knowledge, it is not disputed that “the hundreds of thousands of Indonesian communists who were subsequently slaughtered, however, knew nothing of these plans.”[4] The same applies a fortiori to all those members of affiliated organizations and other individuals who were also killed or persecuted. It has long been noted also that no attempt was made by the coup leaders to mobilize the PKI membership, which at the time was said to number some three million.

  1. b) The alleged castration of the captured generals, and the “immoral” behaviour towards them by Gerwani women

The bodies of all seven prisoners were retrieved on 4 October from the well-knownLubang Buaya (Crocodile Hole), into which they had been thrown three days earlier. A post-mortem was carried out the same day, on the orders of General Suharto, before their ceremonial procession through the streets of Jakarta and burial at the Heroes Cemetery, symbolically held on Armed Forces Day, 5 October.

Over the following week, increasingly explicit accounts were published in the press of alleged torture and mutilation, especially in two military newspapers and those civilian papers that were allowed to continue printing. By 11 October it was being reported that one or more of the officers had had their eyes gouged out and their genitals mutilated. In the absence of other evidence, it might be inferred that the newspapers had been briefed on the contents of the post-mortems.

However, two decades later the US scholar Benedict Anderson chanced upon copies of the post-mortems, which he found among papers from the trial proceedings against an air-force officer accused of participation in the original coup plot. The autopsy reports (which Anderson then published in 1987, and extracts from which are included as Appendix D1.a) tell a very different story, clearly showing that there was no evidential basis for the claims of torture, mutilation and castration.

In summary, the autopsies show that six of the seven officers died as a result of gunshot wounds, and the seventh as the result of a wound to the abdomen, perhaps caused by a bayonet. The non-gunshot wounds recorded on their bodies were consistent with being beaten by rifle butts or as a result of being thrown down a 36-foot well. None of the bodies bore the marks of torture or of mutilation. Most significantly, the doctors carrying out the post mortems did not record any damage to the officers’ genitals, which were apparently intact (they were able to observe in all seven cases whether or not the victim was circumcised).

It is therefore not surprising that, as noted by Anderson, “in his speech of 12 December 1965, to the Indonesian News Agency, Antara, President Sukarno chastised journalists for their exaggerations, insisting that the doctors who had inspected the bodies of the victims had stated there were no ghastly mutilations of eyes and genitals as had been reported in the press.”[5]

  1. c) Knowledge of the true story

The presence of the PKI leader D.N. Aidit at the Halim Airbase, adjacent to Lubang Buaya, in the immediate aftermath of the 30 September action and murder of the generals, and the active role of his “Special Bureau” colleagues in the affair, may have given grounds for an initial suspicion that this was an attempted “communist coup.” This was indeed the interpretation that was immediately announced and disseminated by the military (and continues until today)—that the PKI attempted to carry out a coup. However, additional evidence that the affair was more complex was very soon available. Colonel Untung and other military leaders of the action, whose identities were known at the time, were not PKI members, and testimony from some surviving PKI participants revealed that it had not been supported by the majority of PKI leadership. Many versions have been advanced as to the real perpetrators and their motives and intent (an overview of which was presented to the panel of judges in the IPT Research Report).

But, however the facts may be interpreted, they could not reasonably lead to a defensible conclusion that the majority of party officials and rank and file members of the PKI were involved in an attempted coup, or consequently presented a threat to the state or society—far less that members of affiliated or left-leaning organisations had anything to do with the action or themselves presented any sort of threat. It is reasonable to conclude that General Suharto and his colleagues in the military leadership were well informed on the details and capable of reaching a more balanced conclusion than the one that was presented through their propaganda outlets.

In relation to the particular claim that the prisoners at Lubang Buaya were tortured and mutilated with the active participation of female Gerwani members, the evidence of the official autopsy makes it clear that this claim was entirely false. Since the autopsy was commissioned by General Suharto, it is at least reasonable to suppose that he and his close associates were very soon made aware of its findings. President Sukarno was after all well aware of it within a week, when he criticized the press for publishing lurid stories not based upon fact. It is significant too that, as far as we know, the Government of Indonesia has never referred to the autopsy or published details of it, let alone the full text.

  1. Did the official version of events encourage mass murder, persecution and other crimes, and was it possible for those who did not accept this version to bring forward alternate scenarios?

Two expert witnesses testified in the IPT Hearings on the propaganda campaign: Dr. Saskia Wieringa and Dr. Herlambang Wijaya, whose PhD thesis was precisely on this topic, interpreted as a case of “cultural violence”.

The official line was first set out systematically in what became the master narrative, The Forty Day Failure of the 30 September Movement, written by the historian, General Nugroho Notosusanto, first published in December 1965 and revised on several occasions. During the period of mass killings, evidence shows that PKI suspects were often accused of being “killers” and told that they deserved death themselves, while women who had been arrested (sometimes haphazardly or on the basis of mistaken identity) were accused of being Gerwani “whores” and subjected to sexual violence.

For example, Witness Mr. Martono, testifying before the Tribunal under the Count of Imprisonment, reported that after he was arrested by soldiers in Solo, “they held both my hands, also my feet and threw me up until I hit the ceiling. Repeated it several times, face up face down. They did it three times, and after that questioned me. Are you from the PKI? No, and I don’t know what it is. How many people did you kill?”

Evidence was also presented that the charges against the Gerwani women of “immoral” behaviour and of mutilating the imprisoned officers at Lubang Buaya were invoked by officials and militia at local levels—when arresting women suspected of a PKI connection—and were used to justify the use of sexual violence against them. For example, the 2007 report of the Komnas Perempuan into sexual violence against women cites a case from October 1965 where the witness, aged 14 at the time, was seized with other women by soldiers who screamed at them: “You are prostitutes, aren’t you? You were trained by the PKI on how to mutilate bodies, weren’t you?” They were kept naked for two nights and on one occasion a soldier inserted the point of a rifle into her vagina.

The official version of events continued to be portrayed actively throughout the New Order period, and indeed persists today. In 1973 the monument complex at Lubang Buaya, which featured a mural depicting the alleged atrocities in vivid detail, was opened to the public. In 1983 the main points were embodied in a film which became required viewing, especially in schools, on every anniversary of the alleged coup: The Treachery of the 30 September Movement. This film provided a vivid depiction of the alleged torture of the officers, with wild dancing by women at Lubang Buaya and images of the bloodied face of a general and of bodies being dragged around. This was followed by gory scenes of torture, including eye-gouging and genital mutilation, before the generals were shot to the chant of “kill, kill” (bunuh, bunuh), and their bodies then thrown into a well. In 1991 the Armed Forces History Centre added an even more vivid diorama representation of the torture of the army heroes to the monument complex at Lubang Buaya.

Many millions of Indonesians were presented with this propaganda version of history over a period of more than three decades. Expert witness Dr. Herlambang Wijaya testified that the government commissioned or provided grants to support the continued production and publication of school and university textbooks as well as many other films, novels etc., while at the same time prohibiting or suppressing any alternative accounts, including sharp restrictions on press and publishing houses. Other witnesses testified to the fact that writers and journalists who had previously published in outlets considered to be pro-PKI found themselves black-listed. It is common knowledge that dissenting views were not allowed during the New Order, and that anyone voicing them would risk severe punishment. (We note that even today those who organize meetings or discussions on this subject may be refused permission to do so by local officials, or be harassed by local militia).

Legal Considerations

The Prosecution Indictment put before the panel of judges the count of “Persecution through propaganda as a crime against humanity,” charging that “the State of Indonesia is responsible for using propaganda and hate speeches as part of the widespread and/or systematic attack against members of the PKI and PKI-affiliated organisations, and/or civilian population in Indonesia from 1965 onwards by spreading hate propaganda via various instruments.”

The false propaganda campaign was essential to the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it. The false propaganda was the first significant step in the attack and is therefore a crime against humanity.

The propaganda version of the events of 30 September–1 October 1965 had a significant dehumanizing impact, helping to justify the extra-legal persecution, detention and killing of alleged suspects and particularly to legitimize the use of sexual violence against women. Unchallenged for more than three decades, this propaganda also contributed to the denial of civil rights of survivors, and the absence of any attempt to remedy injustices against them.

[1] Prosecution Brief, para.154.

[2] Robert Cribb, “Indonesia 1965: The attempted coup and the rise of Suharto,” The Strategist: (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), 30 Sept. 2015.

[3] This account was given by Aidit’s note-taker and Politburo archivist, Iskandar Subekti, both when on trial in 1972 and much later in a confidential memorandum written in 1986. For a full discussion of this difficult question, see John Roosa. Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’Etat in Indonesia, ch.5.

[4] Robert Cribb, “Indonesia 1965: The attempted coup and the rise of Suharto,” The Strategist: (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), 30 Sept. 2015.

[5] Ben Anderson, “How did the Generals Die,” Indonesia, Volume 43 (April 1987), 109–134. Accessed at http://cip.cornell.edu/seap.indo/1107009317

B7. Complicity of Other States

The Prosecution presented evidence for what it described as the complicit behaviour of other States, specifically the US, UK and Australia, in facilitating the wrongful acts of mass killings and other crimes against humanity by the Government of Indonesia in 1965–66, comprising a part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.

Two expert witnesses testified at the IPT Hearings: Dr. Bradley Simpson and Dr. Herlambang Wijaya. Their evidence, and supporting documents furnished to the panel of judges by the Prosecution, presented the case in the following terms: First, that the Indonesian army constructed a sustained and false narrative of acts of extreme brutality, and conspiracy against the state in order to create a pretext for the anti-communist purge and slaughter, which was quickly launched. Second, that the diplomatic and propaganda apparatuses of the US, Britain and Australia propagated this version of events with the purpose of manipulating international opinion in favour of the Indonesian army (and against President Sukarno), in the full knowledge that the army was preparing to, and later had already begun to, carry out or encourage such killings on a massive scale. Third, that the US provided material aid to the Indonesian army in at least two specific cases in the full knowledge that these would assist these acts: (a) the provision of small arms and communications equipment; and (b) the provision of a list of known communists; and that Britain eased pressure on the Indonesian army in the undeclared war (Konfrontasi —Confrontation) taking place on the border between Indonesia and the Borneo (Kalimantan) territory of the Federation of Malaysia, again to allow the army to pursue its anti-communist purge more easily.

Before examining these allegations in detail, it is necessary to consider the issue of “complicity” in broader terms. It might be argued that since the international community as a whole was largely indifferent to the mass killings in Indonesia at the time (for example, no official notice was taken of these events by the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations) many other states could be accused of complicity. However, this does not amount to complicity in terms of international law. If international protest or condemnation might have deterred the killings to some extent, then the failure to do so may be reprehensible. But we take the view that such acts of omission do not carry the same weight as acts of commission, and that the threshold for “complicity” is a high one.

The following questions need to be asked:

  1. Did the acts of which the three named outside states are accused materially assist the Indonesian army in carrying out crimes against humanity?
  2. Did those responsible for committing such acts know this to be the case?
  3. Role of other states
  4. a) The US
  5. i) The provision of lists of names of PKI members, when the US officials concerned must have been well aware that this would probably lead to their execution

The initial source for this was an article in 1990, published widely in the US media by the journalist Kathy Kadane,[1] based on an interview with Robert J. Martens, previously political officer at the US Embassy in Jakarta, and with other Embassy officials at the time. Martens was quoted as saying that several lists containing thousands of names were turned over piecemeal over a number of months. In a direct quote, Martens is reported as saying, “It really was a big help to the army. 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.”

In evidence to the Tribunal, the US scholar Dr. Bradley Simpson stated that Martens and CIA analysts at the Embassy created “detailed profiles of the PKI and its affiliate organizations from the national leadership down to regional, provincial and local cadres. “These were passed through Indonesian officials “to Suharto, who used them to track down PKI members for arrest and execution.”

Martens and other Embassy officials subsequently objected to the interpretation placed on the provision of these lists, although no one denied that these had been provided. Martens claimed that the names on the lists were widely available, that they only involved PKI leaders and not rank and file, and that he supplied the lists on his own initiative (Washington Post, 2 June 1990). However, a document later published by the US Department of State in its official compilation of material relating to these events, quoted the then US Ambassador, Marshall Green, as signing a telegram to the Department which stated that:

A sanitized [i.e. Embassy attribution removed,] version of the lists in A–398 [a previous telegram] has been made available to the Indonesian Government last December [1965] and is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time (lists of other officials in the PKI affiliates, Partindo [a left-wing group] and Baperki [an Indonesian-Chinese association] were also provided to GOI [Government of Indonesia] officials at their request).[2](brackets in original)

According to another official document, Ambassador Green, in a conversation with US Secretary of State Dean Rusk in February 1966, also stated that “The Army, as well as Moslem political groups who have a vested interest in preventing the resurgence of the Communists that have been decimated by wholesale massacre, will prevent a renaissance of the PKI.”[3] (IPT editors’ italics)

  1. ii) The provision of small arms, communications equipment etc. by the US to the Indonesian government

The general aim of US policy was clearly expressed by Secretary Rusk when on 13 October 1965 he said that, “If the army’s willingness to follow through against the PKI is in any way contingent on or subject to influence by the United States, we do not want to miss the opportunity to consider US action.”[4] The Prosecution provided evidence, based on US official sources, that at the end of October 1965 White House officials established an inter-agency working group on Indonesia, and that over the coming weeks US officials approved the provision of small arms, communications equipment and medical supplies, by covert means, to the Indonesian army or to volunteer Muslim and nationalist youth for use against the PKI.

Initially there was evidently some hesitation. A CIA memorandum of 9 November observed that supplying such materials to the Indonesian army “create[s] a definite risk for us of deliberate assistance to a group which cannot be considered a legal government nor yet a regime of proven reliability or longevity.” Those arguing in favour initially also appeared to believe that these were needed because of the danger of a “Communist insurgency.”[5]

However, as will be shown below, evidence soon reached Washington that the army was not dealing with a Communist insurgency (except for some limited resistance in Central Java) but that it was carrying out or instigating a large-scale anti-Communist purge and mass killing.

At this particular time US material aid to the Indonesian army was of a limited scale. In part this appears to be because US officials (a) were unsure of the army’s overall reliability and preparedness to acquire political power, and (b) because if this aid did become publicly known, the adverse popular reaction might strengthen the hand of President Sukarno. In February 1966 Ambassador Green personally assured President Johnson that “…all United States assistance to Indonesia, including assistance to the military, had been terminated.” Green recommended “that the United States not extend further assistance to Indonesia until it really begins to set its house in order.”[6]

However, although the volume of these supplies was not great and was limited in time, they were regarded as crucial in order to fill perceived deficiencies. More important, they could be seen as giving a “green light” to the Indonesian military that the US approved, at least tacitly, of its course of action against the PKI and would not object to any further action taken.

  1. b) The UK.

During the period 1963–65 in which Malaya/Malaysia assisted by Britain sought to counter Indonesian armed incursions into Borneo/Kalimantan under Sukarno’s policy of Konfrontasi, the UK developed a sophisticated propaganda apparatus mainly based in Singapore, using both black propaganda and informal links with Western media. (Indonesia also used various forms of propaganda which sought to discredit and undermine the Federation of Malaysia).

According to evidence provided by the Prosecution, the “failed 30 September coup” was seen by Britain as an opportunity to be exploited, using this propaganda apparatus, in the hope of ridding Indonesia of communist influence and weakening the political strength of President Sukarno. On 8 October, Foreign Office guidance was sent to Singapore advising British operatives there that:

Our objectives are to encourage anti-Communist Indonesians to more vigorous action in the hope of crushing Communism in Indonesia altogether, even if only temporarily, and, to this end and for its own sake, to spread alarm and despondency in Indonesia to prevent, or at any rate delay, re-emergence of Nasakom Government [government including the PKI – Note in source] under Sukarno.[7]

Over the next months, information culled largely from the Indonesian military press by the UK embassy in Jakarta was sent to Singapore where it was conveyed in briefings to selected foreign media including to the BBC. (This operation was conducted jointly with similar US and Australian efforts). Many of the stories focused on alleged communist atrocities, retailing the Indonesian army’s version of event at Lubang Buaya, or on alleged communist threats, and were picked up again by Indonesian media and re-circulated with some supposed authority as having come from foreign press sources. In addition, the Indonesian army was given a clear hint via the US that Britain would refrain from active operations in Borneo, thus allowing it to transfer troops from the area. This was conveyed in a message of 14 October, which included the assurance that “we have good reason to believe that none of our allies intend to initiate any offensive action against Indonesia.”[8]Indonesia ended its armed confrontation in May 1966 as General Suharto established his political ascendency.

  1. c) Australia

It is well established that Australia too ran a sophisticated propaganda operation, with information favourable to the Indonesian army being relayed by its Embassy in Jakarta to Canberra and disseminated through various media including Radio Australia. A recent study notes that the Australian Department of External Affairs had always taken a “keen interest” in the way in which Radio Australia reported events in Indonesia, and that after 30 September the Department “received and acted” upon advice from the Australian Ambassador in Jakarta, Keith Shann, who in turn “received advice from the Indonesian Army on how it wanted the situation in Indonesia reported.” The Department sought to direct Radio Australia in these matters and was also successful in “convincing [Australian] newspaper editors to report and editorialize in a manner sensitive to the Department’s concerns,” [9]

Another study relates in detail how Shann was approached on 9 November 1965 “by an unnamed colonel from the army’s Information Section, who told him that Radio Australia should ‘mention as often as possible youth groups and other organisations, both Moslem and Christian’ that were involved in anti-communist actions (thus clearly hoping to dilute the army’s culpability).” He also discussed a list of other internal and external issues to be reported that would favour the army. Shann concluded his report to Canberra “with the comment that he could ‘live with most of this, even if we must be a bit dishonest for a while’. Radio Australia was also told to avoid ‘giving information to the Indonesian people that would be withheld by the army-controlled internal media’, to avoid compromising the army’s position.” [10] It should be noted that Australian forces had also taken part in the operations in Borneo against Indonesian military incursions.

  1. Knowledge of these other states

There is abundant evidence, provided to the Tribunal, that within a few weeks after 30 September, the governments of the countries examined here were well aware through reports from their own diplomats in Jakarta, as well as from foreign media and some non-government observers, that communists and many others accused of association with them were being slaughtered on a large scale. By the beginning of 1966, the numbers which were reliably reported to Washington, London and Canberra ranged from a minimum of 100,000 to four times that amount. For example, a British Foreign Office memorandum in January 1966, summarizing the information received to that date, notes that:

The slaughter of Communists in Indonesia has been widespread. No reliable figures are available, but assaults by Muslim fanatics, Army security operations and reprisals in settlement of old vendettas have resulted in the deaths of large numbers of Indonesians (some estimates say as many as 100,000) during the past three months. President Sukarno’s own estimate was 87,000. Although this slaughter has dealt a crippling blow to the Indonesian Communist Party, it must have aroused widespread bitterness and resentment. [11] (parentheses in original)

A picture of killings on a vast scale was quickly built up through the exchange of information between Western embassies in Jakarta, much of it based upon first-hand observation in the field. One account, often quoted in secondary sources, came from the Swedish ambassador who, after a tour of Central and Eastern Java in early 1966, came to the conclusion that a suggested death total of 400,000 was “a very serious under-estimate.” (The estimate of 400,000 had been made by the British ambassador and shared with his US counterpart) The vivid and detailed observations of the Swedish ambassador, based on contacts with reliable witnesses on the ground, were relayed to London by the British ambassador in a report which we publish here in full (see Appendix D1.b (ii)). The ambassador added this laconic note to his report: “P.S. The Iranian Ambassador has recently seen three Iranian doctors working in Bali and other islands who report killings ‘by hundreds and thousands’; and the work, they say, proceeds.”

Abundant information also reached the US embassy from intelligence sources: in one example the CIA reported in November 1965 that “an Indonesian intelligence officer in East Java described several mass killings of PKI activists and supporters in Kediri (where 300 peasant farmers were killed, reportedly by mistake), Wates (1,200 killed), and Ponggok (about 300 killed), with ‘many of those being killed…followers who do not know much’” (see Appendix D1.b (i)). Similar information was also passed regularly to Canberra from the Australian embassy in what was described as “the methodical slaughter of PKI prisoners” (see Appendix D1.b (iii)). This was presumably the basis for a remark in July 1966 by the Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who when asked about events in Indonesia commented that “with 500,000 to a million communist sympathisers knocked off …I think it is safe to assume a reorientation [in Indonesia] has taken place.”[12]

Whatever the discrepancies in number, it is evident, as expert witness Dr. Bradley Simpson has commented, that “U.S. and British officials were certainly aware by early 1966 that hundreds of thousands had been killed.”[13] The mass killings were also described in a number of media reports, although these did not always receive prominence when published. Examples include a vivid report in The Age (Melbourne) in January 1966 by journalist Robert Macklin describing what he and his wife had witnessed in Bali, where “We saw four villages where every adult male had been killed….We saw mass graves in each of which up to 10 Communist men and women had been packed after being stabbed to death.”[14] On 4 March 1966, The Boston Globe published a commentary by the well-known journalist Joseph Kraft in which he posed the question: “Indonesia, the fifth most populous country in the world, has been the scene of a continuing massacre on the grand scale–some 300,000 persons killed since November but here the slaughter evokes no concern. Why?”[15]

In April 1966 the chief foreign correspondent of the New York Times, C. L. Sulzberger, described the Indonesian killings as “one of history’s most vicious massacres,” rivalling in scale and savagery “Turkey’s Armenian massacres, Stalin’s starvation of the Kulaks, Hitler’s Jewish genocide, the Moslem-Hindu killings following India’s partition, the enormous purges after China’s Communisation.”[16] In one of the fullest accounts, the experienced US journalist Seymour Topping reported his findings at length in the same newspaper in August 1966. He observed that “executions were usually carried out by the military in Central Java and that the people in East Java and in Bali were incited by the army and the police to kill. The military executed Communists by shooting, but the population was left to behead the victims or disembowel them with knives, swords and bamboo spears, often with ritual forms of extreme cruelty.”[17]

It is clear from the above evidence that knowledge of the mass killings in Indonesia was widespread among officials of Western governments, as well as being reported in their media. This appears to have been accepted with few qualms, but the rare dissenting voice of Senator Robert Kennedy in January 1966 is noteworthy. He declared that “we have spoken out against the inhuman slaughters perpetrated by the Nazis and the Communists. But will we speak out also against the inhuman slaughter in Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged Communists have not been perpetrators but victims?”[18]

We note that, in seeking to explain the widespread indifference to the human suffering in Indonesia, academic studies of this period place these events within the broader international context of cold war, heightened in Asia at the time by the war in Vietnam. Gabriel Kolko has observed that “Indonesia by late 1965 presented US strategy in Southeast Asia with a danger at least as great as Vietnam…,” because of the logic of the “domino theory” which saw communism as a threat to be opposed, even when as in Indonesia it took a peaceful form. Thus “the events of September 30 created a small challenge but also an enormous opportunity to resolve America’s dilemmas by directing the military’s wrath against the Communists.” Hence it was logical, Kolko continues, for US policy to encourage the Indonesian army and to convey the message early through US ambassador Marshall Green that “[the US] Embassy and USG [US Government] [are] generally sympathetic with and admiring of what [the] army [is] doing”. In return the Indonesian army, as Green also reported, saw the opportunity for a bargain, asking “how much is it worth to the US for the PKI to be “smashed.”[19] Similarly, the Southeast Asia specialists George and Audrey Kahin have noted that the US fully approved of a policy to “eliminate the PKI” and that as a result “for the United States the political landscape of Indonesia had become vastly simpler.”[20]

Legal Considerations

The Prosecution Brief made reference to the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA), reflecting customary rules, which reads as follows:

Article 16

A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if:

  1. a) That State does so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act; and

(b) The act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State.”

Article 41(2)

[N]o State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach (…), nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation.”

  1. Role of other states
  2. a) US The evidence above indicates that the US gave sufficient support to the Indonesian military, knowing well that they were embarked upon a programme of mass killings, for the charge of complicity to be justified. The clearest evidence for this was the supply of lists of names when there was a strong presumption that these would be used for execution. The supply of small arms, communications equipment etc. was on a small scale and limited in time, and it was unlikely to have made any significant difference to the outcome. Less tangible but more significant were the assurances given to the Indonesian military which allowed them to infer that the US would approve of any measures they took to destroy communists and communist/left-wing influence in Indonesia
  3. b) & c) UK and Australia The position is less clear-cut with regard to the UK and Australia. Both countries were engaged in conflict with Indonesia, in an undeclared war started by Indonesia on territory which did not belong to it. The UK and Australian propaganda operations already in existence were part of that undeclared war. Both governments shared the US aim of seeking to bring about the overthrow of President Sukarno, but the charge here is not one of complicity in “regime change” (which however objectionable is not a crime against humanity). However, in extending their propaganda operations to legitimize the false propaganda of the Indonesian army after 30 September (and in the UK’s willingness not to take military advantage of the situation), both governments evidently hoped that this would assist the army to eliminate the PKI as well as remove Sukarno. They continued with this policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis. On balance, this appears to justify the charge of complicity.

(It was brought to the judges’ attention that the same charge could be brought against other states, including the Soviet Union which continued to supply arms to Indonesia during this period. However, the panel of judges did not have sufficient evidence presented nor time to go into such additional charges.)

  1. Knowledge of other states

The claim that the events in Indonesia were too obscure or confusing to be understood at the time has no merit. The countries referred to above were fully aware of what was taking place through their diplomatic reports, from contacts in the field and accounts in Western media. Nor were the mass killings a secret to the international community in general, even if they were only reported intermittently. Yet there is no record that any of the governments considered above made the slightest attempt to urge restraint upon the Indonesian government or army.

[1] “U.S. Officials’ Lists Aided Indonesia Bloodbath in 60’s,” The Washington Post, 21 May 1990.

[2] “Editorial Note,” Document 185 in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume XXVI, Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines, ed. Edward C. Keefer (Washington DC: USGPO, 2000). (Short title: FRUS 1964-1968)

[3] “Memorandum of Conversation.”, Document 191 in FRUS 1964-1968.

[4] Quoted in H. W. Brands, The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 174.

[5] Documents 164 and 172 in FRUS 1964-68.

[6] “Memorandum of a conversation,” 15 February 1966, Document 194 in FRUS 1964-1968.

[7] Foreign Office telegram no. 1863, quoted in David Easter, “British Intelligence and Propaganda during the ‘Confrontation’, 1963-1966,” (available online via King’s College London Research Portal), p. 20.

[8] Mark Curtis, “US and British complicity in the 1965 slaughters in Indonesia,” Third World Resurgence, Issue 137, 2002.

[9] Karim Najjarine and Drew Cottle, “The Department of External Affairs, the ABC & Reporting of the Indonesian Crisis 1965–1969”, Australian Journal of Politics & History,Volume 49, Issue 1 , March 2003, pp. 48–60.

[10] Marlene Millott, “Accomplice to Atrocity?,” Inside Indonesia 124: Apr-Jun 2016.

[11] Foreign and Commonwealth |Office (FCO), Guidance No 26,” sent to certain British missions, 16 January 1966,

[12] New York Times, 6 July 1966, quoted by Adam Hughes Henry, “Polluting the Waters: A Brief History of Anti-Communist Propaganda during the Indonesian Massacres,” Genocide Issues International, 2014. 8:2, pp. 153-175, n. 35.

[13] Written evidence to the Tribunal by Bradley Simpson, University of Connecticut, Director, Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, based on his book Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968(Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2008).

[14] Robert Macklin, “The Killings Go On….Troubled Times in Indonesia”, The Age, 20 January 1966 [quoted in Tanter, Witness Denied, where he notes that Macklin’s report was “buried in the later parts of the paper’s finance section, next to the prices from the cattle yards.”]

[15] Joseph Craft, “No Political Gain in Indonesia Inter-Army Bloodbath”, The Boston Globe, 4 March 1966. [quoted in Henry, “Polluting the Waters” Chronology].

[16] C. L. Sulzberger, “Foreign Affairs: When a Nation Runs Amok,” New York Times, 13 April 1966.

[17] Seymour Topping, “Slaughter of Reds Gives Indonesia a Grim Legacy,” New York Times, 24 August 1966.

[18] Quoted in Alex J. Bellamy, Massacres and Morality: Mass Atrocities in an Age of Civilian Immunity (Oxford: OUP, 2012), p. 211.

[19] Gabriel Kolko, Confronting the Third World: United States Foreign Policy 1945-1980(New York: Pantheon, 1988), pp. 178-85.

[20] Audrey R Kahin & George McT Kahin, Subversion as Foreign Policy The secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia (New York: New Press, 1995), pp. 229-30.

B8.  Genocide

Qualification as Genocide

The IPT Research Report presented to the Tribunal made the case “for the applicability of the concept of ‘genocide’ for the massacres following the ‘events of 1965’” and also raised the possibility that the killing of ethnic Chinese Indonesians “would plausibly amount to genocide under the Genocide Convention.”[1]

Furthermore, an amicus curiae (friend of the court) Brief was submitted to the Tribunal on 11 November 2015 by Dr. Daniel Feierstein and Ms. Irene Victoria Massimino of the Unversidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina making the following Petition:

In light of the case under consideration and the evidence presented, we respectfully ask the Honourable Judges of the International People’s Tribunal to analyse such evidence to determine that the events of the case at issue constitute genocide as the partial destruction of the Indonesian national group.

However, as the Prosecution did not include this charge in the Indictment presented to the Tribunal, and neither did the agenda for the four days of hearings in November allocate time for presenting evidence on this question, the judges decided that they were not in a position to consider this issue during their deliberations at that time, but that they would do so in their Final Report.

Some may argue that it is superfluous to qualify acts as genocide if they have already been found to constitute crimes against humanity. Such a position fails not only to take account of the importance of calling things by their correct name, but in so doing fails to provide a framework to comprehend the true nature of what took place in Indonesia in 1965-66 and beyond. As Daniel Feierstein argues elsewhere:

The big difference between genocide and crimes against humanity is that the victims are not seen as part of a “national group” but as individuals whose individual rights have been violated. This is the most important legal difference between the concept of crimes against humanity (which refers to indiscriminate actions against members of a civilian population) and the concept of genocide (which refers to the deliberate targeting of specific population groups for complete or partial destruction).[2]

In considering this matter, the following questions need to be addressed:

  1. Do the facts brought before the Tribunal by the Prosecution include acts that fall within the provisions of the Genocide Convention?
  2. Were these acts committed against a protected group as enumerated in the Genocide Convention?
  3. Were these acts against a protected group committed with the specific intent to destroy that group in whole or in part?
  4. Is the state of Indonesia bound by the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention?
  5. Do the facts brought before the Tribunal by the Prosecution include acts that fall within the provisions of the Genocide Convention?

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 (Genocide Convention), states:

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.

Article IV

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

In its above consideration of the acts brought by the Prosecution, it has been established that a number of these acts were committed against alleged leaders of the PKI and those alleged to be its members or sympathisers, as well as a much broader number of people including Sukarno loyalists, trade unionists and teachers, and specifically against people of ethnic Chinese or mixed descent.

These include the commission of a number of the acts proscribed by the Genocide Convention. It therefore now needs to be determined:

  • whether these acts were committed against a protected group as enumerated in the Genocide Convention; and
  • whether these acts were committed with the specific intent to destroy that group in whole or in part.
  1. Were these acts committed against a protected group as enumerated in the Genocide Convention?
    1. i) “Indonesian national group”

Both the amicus curiae Brief and the IPT Research Report argued that the “Indonesian national group” was a target of the above acts.

The Genocide Convention’s definition of the crime of genocide as consisting of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such” says nothing about the need for the perpetrator to come from outside the victim group. However, it has generally been interpreted as applying to acts committed on one such group by another. Nor does the list of protected groups include political groups. Therefore, it has been argued, that the Genocide Convention does not apply to the majority of crimes committed in the case of Indonesia or indeed Cambodia, which some have termed “politicide” or even “auto-genocide.”[3]

However, this conservative approach stands in stark contrast to the original concept of genocide developed by Raphael Lemkin that genocide, in essence, is “the destruction of the national identity of the oppressed group [and] the imposition of the national identity of the oppressor.”[4]

Such an interpretation of the Genocide Convention was proposed for Cambodia in the mid-1980s by Hurst Hannum and David Hawk, although never pursued in the courts.[5]

However, in recent years a similar approach has indeed been adopted, notably in prosecutions and convictions in Spain and in Argentina, where crimes committed by the Argentine military dictatorships during the 1970s and 80s were found to constitute genocide in 25 cases heard in 11 different tribunals up until the time of the IPT’s hearings in November 2015.

Of particular relevance are the judgements issued in 2006 by the Federal Tribunal 1 of the city of La Plata (Case 2251/06), in 2013 by the Federal Tribunal 1 of the city of Rosario (Case 95/2010, ruling on 20/12/2013) and most recently in 2015 again by the Federal Tribunal 1 of the city of La Plata (Case Nº 17/2012, ruling on 19/10/2015), which includes the following:

… it is clear that the Argentine national group has been wiped out ‘in part’ and in a part substantial enough to alter the social relations within the nation itself…. The annihilation in Argentina was not spontaneous, it was not casual, it was not irrational: it was the systematic destruction of a ‘substantial part’ of the Argentine national group, destined to transform it, to redefine its way of being, its social relationships, its destiny, its future.[6]

The Concluding Statement issued by the Judges at the end of the hearings on 13 November 2015 stated:

It has been established that the State of Indonesia during the relevant period through its military and police arms committed and encouraged the commission of these grave human rights violations on a systematic and widespread basis. The judges are also convinced that all this was done for political purposes: to annihilate the PKI and those alleged to be its members or sympathizers, as well as a much broader number of people including Sukarno loyalists, trade unionists and teachers.

The considerations on the acts submitted to it by the Prosecution (discussed above in Sections B3-B7), demonstrate the extent to which Indonesian society was completely and intentionally reorganized through terror and the destruction of a significant part of the “Indonesian national group.”

  1. ii) the Chinese ethnic group

The IPT Research Report asserts:

In Indonesia most Chinese were murdered because they belonged to Baperki, an association of Chinese Indonesian[s] associated with the PKI, but ethnic motives played a role in mass killings of Chinese-Indonesian citizens as well, particularly in Medan, Makassar and Lombok…. To the extent that they were killed because of their Chinese identity, their murders would plausibly amount to genocide under the Genocide Convention. (Part 1, p.53)

A more detailed examination was brought before the Tribunal as Part 3.1.2 of the IPT Research Report, “Mass killings of Chinese people” by Jemma Purdey. In addition to this, Jess Melvin’s research in Aceh has uncovered events of mass killings of Chinese in that province, which indicates that members of the Chinese community were targeted through three distinct wave of violence. Melvin has proposed that the violence that occurred against the Chinese community in Aceh at this time can and should be classified as genocide.[7]

Further investigation is required to determine whether this qualification can be made.

  1. Were these acts against a protected group committed with the specific intent to destroy that group in whole or in part?

Robert Cribb has recently reflected on the fact that denial of intent, in particular the lack of a specifically outlined plan, has been used in what he calls “hyper-scepticism,” as a means to deny attributing the label of genocide to situations such as Armenia and Indonesia. Cribb argues that the qualification of acts must be analysed through contextualisation. In the case of Armenia, the context of a supposed civil war has been used to deny the qualification of genocide to the acts; while similarly in Indonesia the context was crafted of a “malicious fantasy” that the PKI had embarked on planned massacres and a seizure of state power, a scenario bolstered by revival of the memory of the alleged role of the PKI in Madiun in 1948.[8]

As demonstrated clearly above, there is no basis in fact for the assertion that the acts were committed in a context of the need to “kill or be killed.” To the contrary, the very small-scale rebellions had mostly collapsed within several days, and only sporadic resistance was mounted in several places against the continuing persecution by army and militia.

  1. Is the state of Indonesia bound by the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention?

Since its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, the Genocide Convention has been open for ratification. It entered into force on 12 January 1951 and, as of the time of the IPT hearings, the Convention had been ratified by 147 states, and signed by 47 states.

It is essential to note that Indonesia has to date (and therefore at the time of the commission of the crimes considered by this Tribunal) neither signed nor ratified the Genocide Convention. It is therefore necessary to consider whether Indonesia is nevertheless bound to apply its provisions. The Genocide Convention encoded what was already part of jus cogens, which all states are bound to respect and enforce as international customary law, whether or not they have specifically signed or ratified the Genocide Convention.

[1] IPT Research Report, Part 1, pp. 50, 53.

[2] Daniel Feierstein, “The Concept of Genocide and the Partial Destruction of the National Group,” Logos: a journal of modern society & culture. Winter, 2012 accessed at http://logosjournal.com/2012/winter_feierstein/ p.4-5.

[3] Those opposing the use of the term genocide in such cases include William Schabas, who argues that “confusing mass killing of the members of the perpetrators’ own ethnic group with genocide is inconsistent with the purpose of the Convention, which was to protect national minorities from crimes based on racial hatred.” (William A. Schabas, “Problems of International Codification – Were the Atrocities in Cambodia and Kosovo Genocide?” (New England Law Review, Vol. 35:2. 2001 pp. 287-302).

This position has been criticised by Gregory Stanton as “definitionalist denial,” with specific reference to the case of Cambodia (Gregory H. Stanton, “The Khmer Rouge Did Commit Genocide,” Searching for the Truth. Number 23. November 2001 – Khmer version. reproduced at Engliah version available at http://www.d.dccam.org/Tribunal/Analysis/Debate_Genocide.htm.

[4] Raphael Lemkin, Axis rule in occupied Europe, Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944, p.79.

[5] See Hurst Hannum, “The Sounds of Silence,” pp. 82-138, n.19.

[6] Cited in the Judgement from Daniel Feierstein and Guillermo Levy, [translation from the Spanish text] Hasta que la muerte nos separe [Till Death do Us Part]. Genocidal social practices in Latin America, La Plata: Ediciones al Margen, 2004, p. 76.]

[7] (Melvin, Mechanics, p. 247. See also, Jess Melvin, “Why Not Genocide? Anti-Chinese Violence in Aceh, 1965- 1966,” in Journal of Southeast Asian Affairs (GIGA), 3/ 2013.) p. 35.

[8] Notes by Robert Cribb for his oral presentation “Modes of Denial: Indonesia and genocide in comparative perspective” at International Conference, ‘“1965” Today: Living with the Indonesian massacres,’ Amsterdam, 2 October 2015. Used with permission.

C.   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Findings

  1. The State of Indonesia is responsible for and guilty of crimes against humanity consequent upon the commission and perpetration, particularly by the military of that state through its chain of command, of the inhumane acts detailed below. All these acts were an integral part of a broad widespread systematic attack against the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI), its affiliate organizations, its leaders, members and supporters and their families (as well as those alleged to have been sympathetic to its aims), and more broadly against many people having no connection at all with the PKI, in what became a widespread purge, which included many supporters of President Sukarno and progressive members of the Nationalist Party of Indonesia, PNI. Each inhumane act was, in addition, a crime in Indonesia and in most civilized countries of the world. The attacks began with the false propaganda discussed below and consisted of the following inhumane actions that were part of the broader attack.

The State of Indonesia also failed to prevent the perpetration of these inhumane acts or to punish those responsible for their commission. To the extent that some crimes were committed independently of the authorities, by so-called “spontaneous” local action, this did not absolve the State from the obligation to prevent their occurrence and to punish those responsible.
These acts are now summarized below:

  1. Killings -The most likely number of people killed is in the region of 400–500,000 although, in view of official secrecy maintained to this day, the figure may be much higher or possibly lower. These brutal murders were sufficiently widespread to constitute the crimes against humanity of mass murder and/or extermination as well as violations of Indonesian domestic law, including the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) Article 138 and Article 140, and especially Law No. 26/2000.These murders were also part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
  2. Imprisonment – Statistics are also lacking for the number of people detained in various forms of imprisonment, including forced labour and virtual enslavement, but was at least as many as 600,000, and probably much higher. The unjustified imprisonment was a crime in Indonesia and in most parts of the world at the relevant time and was sufficiently widespread and systematic to also constitute a serious crime against humanity as well as a violation of Law No. 26/2000. These acts of imprisonment were also part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
  3. Enslavement – There is considerable evidence that many of the people who were detained were forced to work under conditions which amounted to the crimes against humanity of enslavement as well as violation of the 1930 Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour and was again a violation of Indonesian domestic law, especially Law No. 26/2000. These acts of enslavement were also part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
    1. Torture – Considerable evidence is available of the wide-scale use of torture having been inflicted upon prisoners and detainees in the period of the mass killings and imprisonment. Many instances are recorded in the Reports of Komnas HAM and Komnas Perempuan, and other individual cases are described in witness statements and written evidence. There are explicit provisions against torture in Indonesian law, and there is an absolute ban on torture in international customary law. These acts of torture were part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
    2. Enforced Disappearance – Considerable evidence is available of wide-scale enforced disappearances, sometimes as a prelude to imprisonment or execution, while in other cases the victim’s fate has never been determined. Evidence of these was provided in the Komnas HAM Report and by witnesses and case studies presented to the Tribunal. Enforced disappearance is prohibited by international customary law. These acts of enforced disappearance were part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
    3. Sexual Violence – Evidence of sexual violence, recorded in the Komnas Perempuan Report and submitted in oral and written forms is compelling and conclusive. The details provided to the Tribunal are mutually corroborative and present a picture of widespread systematic acts of sexual violence aimed against women alleged to be associated with the PKI in any way. These acts included rape, sexual torture, sexual enslavement, and other forms of sexual violence. These acts were and are crimes in Indonesia, especially Law No. 26/2000 and also constitute crimes against humanity as part of the widespread systematic attack on the PKI and all those deemed to be connected with it.
    4. Exile – Those Indonesians whose passports were confiscated abroad were deprived of their full and unconditional rights of citizenship. The policy of involuntary or forcible exile, apart from being inhumane conduct, formed part of a widespread systematic state attack against a substantial and significant targeted sector of the civilian population, and may well be a crime against humanity in the form of persecution.
    5. Propaganda – The official version of what happened to the prisoners at Lubang Buaya was totally false. The true facts were known to the military leadership under General Suharto from early on but were deliberately distorted for propaganda purposes. The sustained propaganda campaign against those accused of being linked to the PKI helped to justify the extra-legal persecution, detention and killing of alleged suspects, and to legitimize sexual violence and all the inhumane conduct already described. Unchallenged for more than three decades, this propaganda contributed not only to the denial of civil rights of survivors but also to their continued persecution. Spreading false propaganda for the purpose of preparing the ground for violence is integral to the commission of that violence. The act of preparing for the crime cannot be said to be separate from the crime itself. This preparation paved the way and was the beginning and part of the overall, broad attack.
    6. Complicity – The United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia were all complicit to different degrees in the commission of these crimes against humanity.

The US gave sufficient support to the Indonesian military, knowing well that they were embarked upon a programme of mass killings and other, criminal conduct for the charge of complicity in crimes against humanity to be justified. The clearest evidence of this was the supply of lists of names of PKI officials when there was a strong presumption that these would facilitate the arrest and/or execution of those named.

The UK and Australia conducted a sustained campaign repeating false propaganda from the Indonesian army, and that they continued with this policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings and other crimes against humanity were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis. On balance this justifies the charge of complicity in the above crimes against humanity.

The governments of the countries referred to above were fully aware of what was taking place in Indonesia through their diplomatic reports, from contacts in the field and accounts in Western media.

  1. Genocide – The facts brought before the Tribunal by the Prosecution include acts that fall within those enumerated in the Genocide Convention. These acts were committed against a significant and substantial section of the Indonesian nation or “Indonesian national group,” a protected group as enumerated in the Genocide Convention, and were committed with the specific intent to annihilate or destroy that section in whole or in part. This possibly applies also to crimes committed against the Chinese ethnic minority group. The State of Indonesia is bound by the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention under international customary law.

2. Recommendations

This Report calls upon the Indonesian government urgently and without qualification to:

  1. apologize to all victims, survivors and their families for the commission by the State of all the crimes against humanity and other crimes committed in Indonesia in relation to the 1965 events;
  2. investigate and prosecute all crimes against humanity;
  3. ensure appropriate compensation and reparation to victims and survivors.

This Report fully supports and urges all relevant authorities to heed and comply with:

  1. the call of Komnas Perempuan for a full investigation by the government of Indonesia, and full compensation to the surviving victims of sexual violence and their families;
  2. the call of Komnas HAM that the Attorney General should act on the basis of its 2012 report to conduct investigations into what are deemed to have been grave violations of human rights that occurred during the events of 1965-1966 and afterwards;
  3. the call made by victims and other individuals as well as Indonesian human rights groups for the government and all sectors of Indonesian society to:
  4. Fight impunity, agreeing that impunity for past serious crimes against humanity poisons a society and breeds new violence;
  5. Rehabilitate the victims and remove any still outstanding persecution by the authorities or restrictions on their full enjoyment of all human rights guaranteed under international and Indonesian law;
  6. Establish the truth about what happened so future generations can learn from the past.

D. APPENDICES

D1.  Key Documents

          D1.a Autopsy of the Generals

Ben Anderson, “How Did the Generals Die?”, Indonesia, Volume 43 (April 1987), 109–134.

The original Indonesian text of the autopsy report (but not Ben Anderson’s introduction) can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/indoleaks/visum-02.

     Introduction:

Surprises often come to light when one rummages through dusty, crowded attics. In the course of casually rummaging through the hundreds of photocopied pages of the stenographic record of Air Force Lieutenant–Colonel Heru Atmodjo’s trial before the judges of the Extraordinary Military Tribunal, Mahmilub, I came across the documents translated below, which in their original form were included as appendices to the trial record. They consist of the reports composed by the team of five experts in forensic medicine who examined the bodies of the six generals (Yani, Suprapto, Parman, Sutojo, Harjono, and Pandjaitan) and one, young lieutenant (Tendean) killed on the early morning of October 1, 1965. Their sober accounts offer the most exact, objective description of how these seven died that we will ever have. In view of the long-standing controversy on the matter, and the widely differing reports offered to the public in news­ papers and magazines, it seemed to me worth translating them in full for the scholarly community.

The heading to each visum et repartum (autopsy) shows that the team was assembled on Monday, October 4, as a result of written orders from the then Major General Suharto, as KOSTRAD Commander, to the head of the Central Army Hospital (RSPAD). The team was composed of two army doctors (including the well-known Brig. Gen. Dr. Roebiono Kertopati), and three civilian specialists in forensic medicine at the Medical Faculty of the Uni versity of Indonesia. The most senior of these civilians, Dr. Sutomo Tjokronegoro, was then the foremost expert in forensic medicine in the country. The team worked for 8 hours, i.e., from 4:30 p .m ., October 4, to 12:30 a.m., October 5, in the Dissection Room of the Central Army Hospital.

They clearly had to work fast, since we know from many press accounts that the bodies were only removed from the well at Lubang Buaja (into which they had been thrown by the killers) in the late morning of October 4, over 75 hours after the murders . By then, as was to be expected in a tropical climate, the corpses were already in an advanced state of putrefaction. And after daylight on Tuesday, October 5, the remains were ceremonially interred in the Garden of Heroes (Taman Pahlawan) at Kalibata. One final point is worth noting. Given the fact that the autopsies were ordered personally by Maj.Gen. Suharto, it is unlikely that the doctors’ reports were not immediately communicated to him upon their completion.

Each of the seven reports follows the same format: 1) a statement of Maj. Gen. Suharto ‘s instruction to the five experts; 2) identification of the corpse; 3) description of the body, including any clothing or body-ornaments; 4) a detailing of the wounds detected; 5) a conclusion with regard to time and cause of death; and 6) a statement by all five experts, on oath, that the examination had been fully and properly performed.

For public accounts of the seven deaths, we today, like Indonesian readers in 1965, must rely largely on the reporting of two military newspapers, Angkatan Bersendjata (The Armed Forces) and Berita Yudha (War News), and the ABRI information service that supplied them. Although several civilian newspapers continued to publish,, the left-wing press had been suppressed by the evening of October 1, and the state-run radio and television were fully in military hands before October 1 was out. It is therefore instructive to compare the accounts provided by the military newspapers with the contents of the army-appointed medical experts’ reports, completed, we may infer from the appended documents, some time on Tuesday, October 5.

Given the fact that the two newspapers were morning newspapers, and thus their October 5 editions were probably “put to bed” while the doctors were still completng their examinations, it is not surprising that their reporting that day was perhaps hasty, without the benefit of detailed information. Angkata Bersendjata, which featured some blurred photos of the decomposing bodies, described the deaths as “barbarous deeds in the form of tortures executed beyond the bounds of human feeling.[1] Berita Yudha, always more vivid, noted that the corpses were “covered with indications of torture. Traces of wounds all over the bodies, the results of tortures inflicted before they were shot, still covered our heroes’ remains.[2] Maj. Gen. Suharto himself was quoted as saying that “it was obvious for those of us who saw [the bodies] with our own eyes what savage tortures had been inflicted by the barbarous adventurers calling themselves ‘The September 30th Movement.”‘[3] The newspaper went on to describe the last moments of General Yani’s life, saying that after being gunned down in his own home, he had been thrown still alive into a truck, and was tortured from that moment until the “final torture at Lubang Buaja”.[4]Proof of this torture was provided by wounds on his neck and face, and the fact that “his members were no longer complete.”.[5] What this somewhat obscure phrase meant became clearer in the following days. On Thursday, October 7, Angkatan Bersendjataobserved that Yani’s “eyes had been gouged out,[6] a finding confirmed two days later byBerita Yudha, which added that the face of the corpse had been found wrapped in a piece of black cloth.

That same October 7 Angkatan Bersendjata went on to describe how Generals Harjono and Pandjaitan had died in hails of gunfire in their own homes, with the corpses tossed onto a truck which vanished into the night with “its engine roaring like a tiger thirsting for blood.”[7] Berita Yudha, however, noted torture scars on Harjono’s hands.

On October 9, Berita Yudha reported that, although General Suprapto’s face and skull had been smashed by savage terrorists (penterror2 biadah), his features were still recognizable. Lieutenant Tendean had knife wounds on his left chest and stomach, his neck had been mutilated, and both eyes had been gouged out (ditjungkil). The following day it quoted eyewitnesses of the October disinterment as saying that some of the victims had had their eyes torn out, while others had “had their genitals cut off as well as many other inhuman horrors.”[8] On October 11, Angkatan Bersendjata elaborated on Tendean’s death by saying that he had undergone severe tortures at Lubang Buaja where he was handed over to members of the Indonesian Women’s Movement, Gerwani (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia–the Communist Party’s women’s affiliate). He was made a “vile plaything (permainan djahat),” by these women, who used him for target practice.[9]

Where the army newspapers led, others quickly followed. On October 20, for example, Api Pantjasila, organ of the army-affiliatedIPKI party, announced that the eye-gouges (alat pentjungkil) used on the generals had been discovered by anticommunist youths ransacking Communist Party buildings in the village of Harupanggang, outside Garut, without suggesting, however, why the Party had thought fit to preserve them there. On October 25, the same paper carried the confession of one Djamin, a member of the Communist Party’s youth organization Pemuda Rakjat, who said he had witnessed General Suprapto being tortured “obscenely [diluan batas kesusilaan]” by Gerwani members. Similar confessions followed, culminating in the remarkable story of Mrs. Djamilah, issued on November 6 to the whole press by the ABRI information service. Mrs.Djamilah, described as a three-month pregnant, fifteen-year-old Gerwani leader from Patjitan, revealed that she and her associates at Lobang Buaja had been issued penknives and razors by armed members of the September 30th Movement. They then, all one hundred of them, following orders from the same men, proceeded to slash and slice the genitals of the captured generals.[10] Evidently this was not all. For the Army-controlled Antana of November 30 described how Gerwani women had given themselves indiscriminately to Air Force personnel involved in the September 30th Movement; whileAngkatan Bersendjata, on December 13, described them as dancing “The Dance of the Fragrant Flowers” naked under the direction of Communist Party leader D. N. Aidit, before plunging into mass orgies with members of the Pemuda Rakjat.

In these accounts, which filled the newspapers during October, November, and December, while the massacres of those associated with the Communist Party were going on, two features are of particular interest here. The first is the insistence that the seven men were subjected to horrifying tortures–notably eye-gouging and castration; the second is an emphasis on civilians in organizations of Communist affiliation as the perpetrators.

*     *     *

What do the forensic experts’ reports of October 5 tell us? First, and most important, that none of the victims’ eyes had been gouged out, and that all of their penises were intact: we are even told that four of the latter were circumcized, and three uncircumcized.

Beyond that, it may be useful to divide the victims into two groups: those whom most of the nonforensic evidence indicates were killed by being shot dead in their own homes by their kidnappers, namely Generals Yani, Pandjaitan, and Harjono; and those who were k111ed after being taken to Lubang Buaja, namely Generals Parman, Soeprapto, and Sutojo, as well as Lieutenant Tendean.

Group 1. The fullest accounts of their deaths appeared long after they occurred: in the case of Yani in Berita Yudha Minggu , December 5; of Pandjaitan, in Kompas, October 25,Berita Yudha Minggu, November 21, and Berita Yudha, December 13; and of Harjono inBerita Yudha Minggu, November 28. All indicate that the generals were abruptly and immediately killed at home by heavy gunfire delivered by members of the Tjakrabirawa Presidential Guard Regiment under the operational command of First Lieutenant Doel Arief. The forensic reports confirm this picture only in part. The experts observed that the only wounds on Yani’s body were ten entering and three exiting gunshot wounds. Pandjaitan suffered three gunshot wounds to the head, as well as a small slit-wound in the hand. On the other hand, the wounds suffered by Harjono are puzzling, since no mention is made of gunshots. The cause of death was apparently a long deep incision in the abdomen, of a type much more likely to be caused by a bayonet than a penknife or a razor. A similar, nonfatal wound appeared on the victim’s back. The only other damage was described as “on the left hand and wrist, wounds caused by a dull trauma.” There is no obvious way to interpret these wounds except to say that they seem unlikely to be the result of torture-­ torturers rarely pick left wrists to do their work–and may have been the result of the dead body being thrown down the 36-foot well at Lubang Buaja.

Group II. The fullest accounts of the deaths of these victims appeared in the following newspaper reports: Parman, Berita Yudha, October 17, and both Berita Yudha andAngkatan Bersendjata, December 12; Soeprapto, Berita Yudha Minggu, December 5; Sutojo, Berita Yudha Minggu , November 21; and Tendean, Berita Yudha Minggu , October 24. It was these four men that most reports of savage and sexual torture concerned. What the forensic reports reveal is as follows: 1) S.Parman suffered five gunshot wounds, including two fatal ones to the head; and, in addition, “lacerations and bone-fractures to the head, the jaw, and the lower left leg, each the result of a heavy dull trauma.” We have no way of knowing what caused these dull traumas–rifle butts or the walls and floor of the well–but they are clearly not “torture” wounds, nor could they have been inflicted by razors or penknives. 2) Soeprapto died of eleven gunshot wounds in various parts of his body. Other wounds consisted of six lacerations and fractured bones caused by dull traumas around the head and face; one caused by a dull trauma on the right calf; wounds and fractured bones “resulting from a very severe, dull trauma in the lumbar region and on the upper right thigh”; and three cuts, which, to judge from their size and depth, may have been caused by bayonets. Again “dull trauma” indicates collision with large, irregularly shaped hard objects (rifle butts or well-stones) rather than razors or knives. 3) Sutojo suffered three gunshot wounds (including a fatal one to the head), while “the right hand and the cranium were crushed as a result of a heavy dull trauma.” Once again, the odd combination of right hand, cranium, and heavy dull trauma suggests rifle butts or well stones. 4) Tendean died of four gunshot wounds. In addition, the experts found graze wounds on the forehead and left hand, as well as “three gaping wounds resulting from dull traumas to the head.”

Nowhere in these reports is there any unmistakable sign of torture, and any trace of razors and penknives is absent. Not only are almost all the non­gunshot wounds described as the result of heavy, dull traumas, but their physical distribution—ankles, shins, wrists, thighs, temples, and so on — seem generally random. It is particularly striking that the usual targets of torturers, i.e., the testicles, the anus, the eyes, the fingernails, the ears, and the tongue, are not mentioned. It can thus be said with reasonable certainty that six of the victims died by gunfire (the case of Harjono, who died in his own home, remains puzzling), and that if their bodies suffered other violence, it was the result of clubbing with the butts of the guns that fired the fatal bullets,[11] or of the damage likely to occur from a 36-foot–i.e., roughly three-story-­ fall down a stone-lined well.

It only remains to be said that in his speech of December 12, 1965, to the Indonesian News Agency, Antara, President Sukarno chastised journalists for their exaggerations, insisting that the doctors who had inspected the bodies of the victims had stated there were no ghastly mutilations of eyes and genitals as had been reported in the press[12]

AUTOPSY OF GENERAL YANI

[The editors are including in this appendix the first of the seven autopsies analyzed in the Introduction above by Ben Anderson]

Department of the Army Directorate of Health Central Hospital

          Copy of copy

Visum et Repertum Number: H. 103

On the orders of the KOSTRAD COMMANDER as COMMANDER OF THE OPERATION FOR THE RESTORATION OF SECURITY AND ORDER to the HEAD OF THE CENTRAL ARMY HOSPITAL i n Jakarta, by written instruction per October 4, 1965 number PRIN-03/10/65, signed by Major-General TNI SOEHARTO, transmitted by the HEAD OF THE CENTRAL ARMY HOSPITAL to us the undersigned:

  1. ROEBIONO KERTOPATI, doctor, Brigad ier-General TNI, senior officer seconded to the Central Army Hospital.
  2. FRANS PATTIASI NA, doctor, Colonel, Army Medical Corps Nrp . 14253, Health Officer of the Central Army Hospital.
  3. SUTOMO TJ OKRONEGORO, doctor, Professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Indonesia, expert in Pathology and Forensic Medicine.
  4. LIAUW YAN STANG, doctor, Lecturer in Forensic Medicine, University o1 Indonesia.
  5. LIM J OE THAY, doctor, Lecturer in Forensic Medicine, University of Indonesia.

We from 4:30 p.m. October 4, 1965 to 12:30 a.m.October 5, 1965, in the Dissection Room of the Central Army Hospital, Jakarta, have carried out an external examination of a corpse [ dzenazah]  which, according to the above-mentioned written order, is the corpse of:

Name: ACHMAD YANI.

Age/ Birth Date: 43.

Born: 19 – 6 – 1922.

Sex: Male.

Nationality: Indonesian.

Religion: Islam.

Rank: Lieutenant-General TNI.

Office: Minister/Commander of the Army/Chief of Staff of Koti.

Address: Taman Suropati 10, Jakarta

victim of shooting and/or violent assault on October 1, 1965, during what is called the affair of the “September 30th Movement .”

The corpse [majat] was identified by Major SOEDARTO of the Military Police Corps, adjutant to the Minister/Commander of the Army, and by Colonel ABDULLAH HASSAN of the Army Medical Corps, personal physician to the Minister/Commander of the Army, as the corpse of Lieutenant-General ACHMAD YANI by the scar on the back of the left hand and by the clothes, as well as by an extra, conical tooth in the middle of the upper front row (mesiodens).

The results of the external examination are as follows:

  1. The corpse was clothed as follows:
  2. blueish pyjama bottoms with a dark blue vertical seam . On the left front of these pyjama bottoms, 15 cm below the upper hem and 6 cm from the outside seam, there was a hole one and a half centimeters square. Around it were a number of smaller holes scattered across an area measuring 19 cm by 11 cm. On the left front also, 2 cm below the upper hem and 12 cm from the outside seam, was a hole measuring 8 mm by 9 mm. On the right front of the pyjama bottoms, 6 cm from the upper hem and 5 cm from the outside seam, was a curving tear one and a half cm long.
  3. a pair of Standard Master 32 underpants. At the upper front hem, exactly by the buttons, was a tear measuring one and a half by one and a half centimeters. The brand-mark was pierced. On the l eft front, 3 cm bel ow the upper hem, 8 1/2 cm from the buttons, was a hole measuring 1 1/2 by 1 cm. On the left front, 17 cm from the upper hem and 15 cm from the row of buttons, was a hole measuring one and a half by one centimeter. Around it were smaller holes scattered across an area nine by nine and a half cm square with a large hole below the center of the scatter; at the rear center of the underpants, 17 cm from the upper hem, was a hole measuring 8 mm by 9 mm.
  4. The corpse was that of an Indonesian male, about 40 years old; skin-color undeterminable as putrefaction far advanced; epidermis no longer in existence. Nutritional condition hard to establish. Penis circumcized. Height of the corpse was 175 cm high, weight 45 kilograms.
  5. Rigor mortis was no longer present. Subcutaneous discoloration was indeter­ minable because of putrefaction.
  6. Most of the hair on the temples was gone; color black, growth fairly thick. Eyebrows and eyelids gone. So also the whole moustache, except for a few hairs on the upper lip. Black beard-growth about two and a half mm long. Of hair on the limbs only a little remained, on the lower portion of the legs.
  7. Both eyes were open, with the eyeballs liquescent, protruding outwards.
  8. The dental condition was as follows:

An extra tooth (mesiodens) between the two first-series teeth of the middle upper jaw.

On the upper left jaw, the eighth tooth missing.

On the upper right jaw, the eighth tooth missing.

On the lower left jaw, the fifth tooth missing.

On the lower right jaw, the eighth tooth missing.

  1. No emissions from bodily orifices
  2. On the back of the index finger of the left hand there was a blackish scar

1cm long, running from the first joint towards the lateral.

  1. The following wounds [vulnera] were found on the body:
    1. On the left chest, 3 1/2 cm from the midsternal line, 2 cm below the medial end of the clavicle, an entering gunshot wound measuring 8 mm by 8 mm.
    2. On the left chest, 5 cm from the midsternal line, 3 cm below the medial end of the clavicle, an entering gunshot wound, spherical in form, measuring 3 cm by 3 cm; at the base muscle tissue; within the wound, palpation indicated fracture of the first rib at its lower edge. Around this wound were a number of small, shallow wounds; from one of these an opaque crystal was extracted.
    3. On the lower right chest, 2 cm from the midsternal line, at the height of the seventh rib, an entering gunshot wound measuring 3 1/2 cm by 2 1/2 cm; at the base muscle tissue.
    4. Seven cm below and to the right of wound c. (above)an exiting gunshot wound. Wounds c. and d. connected to each other.
    5. On the inner side of the upper right arm, 3 cm above the elbow fold, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 2 cm by 2 cm.
    6. On the rear right arm, 6 cm above the elbow, an exiting gunshot wound, measuring 1 1/2 cm by 1 cm.
    7. On the mid-abdominal line, 15 cm below the navel, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 3 cm by 2 cm.
    8. Six cm below and to the right of wound g. (above), palpation detected a solid object beneath the skin; on removal it turned out to be a divided metal button, yellowish-white in color, evidently originating from the corpse’s underpants . Wound g. (above) was probably caused by this button being hit by a bullet. The bullet itself, tipless, and about 13 mm long, was located 5 cm away from the site of the button.
    9. On the lower left abdomen, 10 cm from the mid-abdominal line, 7 cm above the inguinal fold, an entering gunshot wound measuring 2 cm by 1 1/2 cm.
    10. On the lower right abdomen, precisely at the crest of the pelvic (sacroiliac) bone, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 2 1/2 cm by 1 1/2 cm.
    11. On the outer side of the upper left thigh, 8 cm below the crest of the sacroiliac bone, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 2 cm by 2 cm. Around this wound were a number of smaller shallow wounds; from some of these opaque crystals were removed.
    12. On the left back, 10 cm from the mid-dorsal line, 5 cm below the shoulder, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 3 1/2 cm by 2 cm
    13. Three centimeters inwards (medial) of wound 1. (above), an exiting gunshot wound, measuring 2 cm by 1 1/2 cm.
    14. On the right back, 11 cm from the mid-dorsal line, at the height of the eighth rib, palpation detected a bullet beneath the skin.
    15. In the lumbar (gluteal) region, 4 cm above the coccyx, an entering gunshot wound, measuring 8 mm by 8 mm.

CONCLUSION:

  1. The corpse was already putrescent; death had occurred approximately four days previously.
  2. On the corpse were discovered eight entering gunshot wounds on the front., and two to the rear.
  3. On the abdomen were discovered two exiting gunshot wounds, and one on the back.

Carried out fully in accord with the oath of office,

sealed/signed SUTOMO TJOKRONEGORO

signed LIAUW YAN SIANG

signed LIM JOE THAY

sealed/signed ROEBIONO KERTOPATI

signed FRANS PATTIASINA

Copied faithfully to the original

Copyist

SECRETARY

signed HAMZIL RUSLI Be.Hk.

Captain CKH – Nrp .303840

Copied faithfully to the copy

SECRETARY IN THE CASE OF EX-AIR FORCE LIEUT.-COL. HERU ATMODJO

(SOEDARJO Be. Hk.)

Air Force First Lieutenant/ 473726

     D1.b Diplomatic Reports

[1] The Indonesian original words and phrases were sometimes included in the source, either in the text or as footnotes, as followed here. Perbuatan biadab berupa penganiajaan jang dilakukan diluar batas perikemanusiaan.

[2] Bekas2 luka disekudjur tubuh akibat siksaan sebelum ditembak masih membalut tubuh2 pahlawan kita.

[3] Djelaslah bagi kita jang menjaksikan dengan mata kepala betapa kedjamnja aniaja jang telah dilakukan oleh petualang2 biadab dari apa jang dinamakan ‘Gerakan 30 September’.

[4] Penjiksaan terachirnja di Lubang Buaja.

[5] Anggota2 tubuhnja jang tidak sempurna 1agi.

[6] Matanja ditjongkel.

[7] Deru mesinnja jang seperti harimau haus darah.

[8] Ada jang dipotong tanda kelaminnja dan banjak hal 2 lain Jang sama sekalai mengerikan dan diluar perikemanusiaan.

[9] Bulan2an sasaran latihan menembak sukwati Gerwani.

[10] Dibagi2kan pisau ketjil dan pisau silet…. menusuk2 pisau pada kemaluan orang2 itu(Api Pantjasila, November 6, 1965).

[11] It is interesting that on November 16, Angkatan Bersendjata featured the confession of a certain Suparno, who stated that five of the seven victims were simply shot; the remaining two — Suprapto and Tendean–were tortured only to the extent of receiving blows from rifle butts. Compare the forensic reports on the bodies of these two men.

[12] See Suara Ilam, December 13, 1965; and FBIS (No.239), December 13, 1965.

D1.b Diplomatic Reports

(i) US embassy reports, November 1965

[Note: This extract from a paper by Dr. Bradley Simpson details the information on mass killings reported by the US Embassy in Jakarta to the State Department in Washington DC during the single month of November 1965][1]

The day before the 303 Committee approved the shipment of medicines to the army, the embassy cabled the State Department that RPKAD forces in Central Java under Edhie’s command were “providing Muslim youth with training and arms and ‘will keep them out in front’ against PKI.” While army leaders arrested higher-level PKI leaders for interrogation, “smaller fry” were “being systematically arrested and jailed or executed.” 1 In North Sumatra and Aceh a few days later, “IP-KI [sic] Youth Organization [the Ikatan Pendukung Kemerdekaan Indonesia, or League of Upholders of Indonesian Independence, was an army-affiliated party], and other anti-Com elements” were engaged in a “systematic drive to destroy [the] PKI…with wholesale killings reported”; the “specific message” from the army “is that it is seeking to ‘finish off’ the PKI.”2 On November 13 police information chief Colonel Budi Juwono reported that “from 50–100 PKI members are being killed every night in east and central Java by civilian anti-Communist groups with blessing of [the] Army.” Three days later “bloodthirsty” Pemuda Pantjasila members informed the consulate in Medan that the organization “intends to kill every PKI member they can get their hands on.” Other sources told the consulate that “much indiscriminate killing is taking place.” Consular officials concluded that, even accounting for exaggerations, a “real reign of terror” was taking place.3 The CIA reported late in the month that former PKI members in Central Java were being “shot on sight by [the] Army.” Missionaries in East Java told the consulate in Surabaya that 15,000 Communists had reportedly been killed in the East Javanese city of Tulungagung alone. Again, even discounting for exaggerations, the consulate reported that a “widespread slaughter” was taking place.4 An Indonesian intelligence officer in East Java described several mass killings of PKI activists and supporters in Kediri (where 300 peasant farmers were killed, apparently by mistake), Wates (1,200 killed), and Ponggok (about 300 killed), with “many of those being killed…followers who do not know much.”5

(Note: brackets and parentheses and following footnotes are taken from the source)

  1. Telegram 1326 from Jakarta to State, November 4, 1965, RG 59, Central Files, 1964–1966, POL 23-9, Indonesia, NA.
  2. Telegram 1374 from Jakarta to State, November S, 1965, NSF, CO Files, Indonesia, v. 5, LBJL; Telegram 1401 from Jakarta to State, November 10, 1965, RG 59, Central Files, 1964–1966, POL 23-9, Indonesia, NA.
  3. Telegram 1438 from Jakarta to State, November 13, 1965; and Telegram 65 from Consulate in Medan to State, November 16, 1965, both in RG 59, Central Files, 1964–1966, POL 23-9, Indonesia, NA.
  4. CIA Intel Memo, OCI 2943/65, “Indonesian Army Attitudes Toward Communism,” November 22, 1965, NSF, CO Files, Indonesia, v. 6, LBJL; Telegram 41 from Surabaya to State, November 27, 1965, RG 59, Central Files, 1964–1966, POL 23-8, Indonesia, NA; Telegram 32 from Surabaya to State, November 14, 1965, NSF, CO Files, Indonesia, v. 5, LBJL.
  5. “Report from East Java,”Indonesia41 (April 1966), 145–46; see also Hermanawan Sulistyo, “The Forgotten Years: The Missing History of Indonesia’s Mass Slaughter (Jombang-Kediri 1965–1966),” (PhD diss., Arizona State University, 1997), 188–214.

[1] Bradley Simpson, “The United States and the 1965–1966 Mass Murders in Indonesia,”Monthly Review, 2015, Volume 67, Number 7 (December).

(ii) British embassy report, February 1966

Telegram from the British ambassador in Jakarta, Andrew Gilchrist,

to A.J. de la Mare, Head of Far Eastern Department at the Foreign Office London, 23 February 1966

Dear Arthur,

In my telegram No. 281, I referred to the Swedish Ambassador’s estimate of the recent mass slaughters.

  1. Travel is not easy in Java at present, in the sense that diplomats are restricted in their movements by the Department of Foreign Affairs on security grounds. This applies particularly to air journeys: for road travel, the Indonesians tend to shrug their shoulders and say: “Well, it’s your own responsibility”.
    1. The Swedish Ambassador is young and vigorous; he found an opportunity to tour Central and East Java in the company of a Swedish telephone expert who was inspecting exchanges installed by Ericsson.
    2. The main roads, he found, were all in relatively good order for normal passenger cars. Check points were few, except near Surabaya, where they were frequent and the guards more suspicious.
    3. The Ambassador and I had discussed the killings before he left and he had found my suggested figure 400,000 dead quite incredible. His enquiries have led him o consider it a very serious under-estimate.
    4. He points out that his contacts – thanks to his companion (whose wife is Indonesian). – were not with senior government officials remote from actual events but with small men in charge of local telephone exchanges. It is from their stories that he has made his estimates – formed, of course, by projecting over a huge population proportions roughly authenticated in small towns, and areas; but the supposition that similar events did take place over wide areas is one which is on the surface not unreasonable, though it requires to be tested.
    5. Leaving aside his telephone contacts, he came upon a Swedish girl student living in an up-country kampong. She said that 25 or 30 men out of about 100 had been taken away one night and killed. (The cant phrase is “tranquillized.”)
    6. A bank manager in Surabaya with 20 employees said that four had been removed one night and (to his certain knowledge) beheaded.
    7. The British expert, employed in setting up a spinning factory near Surabaya said that about a third of the factory technicians, being members of a Communist union, had been killed.

10. Four workers temporarily employed in the garden of the British Consul in Surabaya asked the Consul to withhold a certain holiday, since they were scheduled to take part in a Communist-killing that day and did not like the thought.

11. The killings in Bali, according to what the Ambassador could pick up, had been particularly monstrous.

12. In certain areas, it was felt that not enough people had been killed. Near Surabaya, a battalion of troops just back from Borneo were occupying s temporary camp; this led to the comment in the neighbouring telephone exchange: “These are reliable people – they have come to help us to kill more Communists”.

13. I had also asked the Ambassador to see whether there was any sign of famine. The Swedish girl told him that in her kampongno-one had eaten meat for over a year, and there had been a switch from rice to maize, bananas and jungle fruit. But no starvation – that was the general impression – a lowering of living standards but nothing in the nature of a famine.

14. Surabaya, according to the Ambassador, made a deplorable impression, so crowded with beggars that it was embarrassing to walk through the streets.

15. He also reports seeing a large number of temporary camps holding Communist suspects. These are mostly installed in disused factories, with a small number of guards, and a large number of women outside who cook for the inmates. His impression of the prisoners was that they were determined, strong-minded men, not in the least cowed by their treatment, determined to turn the tables when opportunity offered.

16. In Djakarta of course there have been no mass killings. A large number – possibly thousands – were rounded up in the early days and thrown into prison or, when the prisons were full, taken to one of the small islands offshore. It seems likely that some of these people have been killed if only because (as in Medan) the problems of feeding them were so burdensome; but we have no hard evidence for this. The important point however, and a fair deduction, is that is West Java and Djakarta, where the killings and arrests have been comparatively light, there are probably more Communists lying low and ready to reassemble than in other parts of the country. The President’s present policy seems obviously designed to favour their survival.[1]

17. An interesting point brought out in recent months has been the high penetration of technical workers by the PKI. Construction work on the three large Embassies now being built has been much slowed down by the disappearance of many qualified workers. The airport union, SERBAUD, a notorious haunt of Communists, was very inadequately purged in October last because the airport authorities warned the Army that if the PKI members were removed, particularly those in the radio branches, the result would be that foreign airlines would cease to call at Djakarta.

18. I am copying this letter to Singapore and to Kuala Lumpur.

[signed]. Andrew Gilchrist (A. G. Gilchrist)

P.S. The Iranian Ambassador has recently seen three Iranian doctors working in Bali and other islands who report killings “by hundreds and thousands”; and the work, they say, proceeds.

(iii) Australian Embassy Report, February 1966

Australian Embassy, Djakarta, 25 February 1966, “Weekly Political Savingram”, to the Department of External Affairs. (extract)[2]

Physical Measures Against the PKI

  1. While political manoeuvring proceeds at a quickening pace in Djakarta, it can be safely assumed that in other areas of Indonesia, particularly outside Java, the effective authorities (i.e. the Army and the Police), are at present quite unable to follow the intricacies of a situation which baffles most people living in Djakarta itself. Such news as does filter through from Sumatra, Kalimantan, etc. points to a continuing campaign to break up, by decree and physical force, the local influence of the PKI.
  2. It is probably fairly safe to generalize from the first-hand experience of a member of the Embassy staff who last week visited East Nusa Tenggara on an inspection of our Colombo Plan Roads Project. He found that in Bali, Lombok, Flores and Timor, not only had a brutal anti-PKI campaign been in progress for several months, but was continuing unabated and showing no signs of easing up. In all of these places, the Army was taking the lead, with apparent widespread popular support, in the methodical slaughter of PKI prisoners. The pattern was one of nightly mass executions (by beheading) of PKI people, ranging from groups of two or three to as many as 40 or 50. Arriving in Ende, Flores, for example, the Embassy officer happened across the spectacle of two severed heads on public display in the main park. Everywhere he went the story was the same – it was necessary, people said, to exterminate the PKI thoroughly (thoroughly meaning wives and children as well), as some sort of guarantee against future reprisals. As of last week, the prisons in the area still contained adequate numbers of PKI detainees (including women) for the grisly process to continue for weeks, if not months, to come.
  3. While no doubt in Java, much of the PKI underground organization remains intact, it is not unreasonable to postulate that the party has probably been dealt a smashing blow in most of the regions, especially in the smaller islands and communities. PKI people in these areas would probably be better known to the military authorities, and less able to fade away into the anonymity of the mass (a possibility always at hand in over-crowded Java). True, we would imagine that whatever the outcome of Sukarno’s recent efforts to whitewash the PKI, there will be for a considerable time pressing reasons (not the least self-preservation) why the authorities and communities of Indonesia outside Java will seek to guard against any resurgence of PKI or neo-PKI influence in their area.

[1] President Sukarno at this time had not yet been compelled to cede power completely to the army, and he was still attempting to maintain a balance of forces. In this and the subsequent paragraph, Ambassador Gilchrist implies his own disapproval of Sukarno, and his support for the purge of the PKI [Report editors’ note].

[2] Reproduced in National Archives of Australia, Indonesia – Political – Coup D’Etat of 30th September 1965, (A1838, 3034/2/1/8 PART 10). This extract from p.12. Accessed at http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=583616&S=1

D1.c The ABC classification system

[Source: Amnesty International 1977 report, Appendix 1]

THE DECISION OF THE COMMANDER OF THE Kopkamtib No.KEP-028/KOPKAM/10/68 (ISSUED AND OPERATIVE FROM 18th OCTOBER 1968) AS AMENDED BY THE DECISION OF THE COMMANDER OF THE Kopkamtib No.KEP-010/KOP /3/1969 (ISSUED ON 3rd MARCH 1969 TO OPERATE RETROACTIVELY FOR THE PERIOD SINCE 18th OCTOBER 1968)

The Commander of the Operational Command for the Restoration of Security and Order…

Herewith Decides

To improve the policy of screening of civil military personnel in Government service in the following ways:

CHAPTER 1

Article 1

This decision is an improved guide to activities concerned with purging of the civil and military personnel of Government Departments, Bodies and Institutions of persons and elements belonging to the treasonable G-30-S/PKI movement, including previous and subsequent activities covert and overt, so that the optimum results are achieved, with a balanced matching of efforts and goals.

Article 2

The principles of policy contained in this decision shall provide guidelines for acting according to the same norms in all matters of similar character in so far as this is possible…

[No Article 3 is shown in the Amnesty text. Note by Report Editors.]

CHAPTER 2

Article 4

Those involved in the treasonable G-30-S/PKI movement are classified as follows:

  1. Those who were clearly involved directly, that is
  2. those who planned, took part in planning or helped in the planning of the treasonable movement, or had foreknowledge of its planning and failed to report it to the authorities;
  3. those who, conscious of the aims of the movement, engaged in the execution of activities of that movement, i.e.

(a) Principal Protagonists, that is persons who co-ordinated the operation and other activities;

(b) Protagonists, that is persons who implemented the actual operation or the activities mentioned in 2(a);

(c) Participants, that is persons who took part in implementing the operation and activities mentioned in 2(a).

  1. Persons clearly involved indirectly, are
  2. those who, knowing of the treasonable movement, and/or its subsequent activities, have assumed an attitude, whether by deed or word demonstrated support for this movement or opposed or hindered efforts to suppress it;
  3. committee members, leaders and members of the banned PKI and/or those who had taken an oath or made promises before the PKI or before committee members or leaders of mass organizations based on the same principles as this party or operating under its aegis, together with all their activists.
  4. Persons of whom indications exist or who may reasonably be assumed to have been directly or indirectly involved, are:
  5. those who according to the existing antecedents were involved in the Madiun Affair [A major clash between the PKI and the Army in September 1948. Amnesty Editors note.] and after the September 1965 attempted coup did not clearly oppose it in any way open to them, bearing in mind their respective situations and abilities, or whose actions have always tended to support the PKI;
  6. those who were members of mass organizations based on the same principles as the banned PKI or operating under its aegis;
  7. those who have shown sympathy for the PKI in their attitudes and actions.

Article 5

  1. Measures taken against personnel involved may be classified thus:

— Repressive actions, comprising:

  1. prosecution under criminal law;
  2. b) administrative prosecution, i.e.

(1) dishonourable dismissal;

(2) restriction of opportunities in relation to certain offices and positions, due regard being paid to all regulations existing in this respect;

— Preventive actions, comprising:

  • indoctrination;
  • observation of mentality.

Article 6

The application of the several kinds of prosecutive measures shall be as follows:

  1. Those classified under Article 4, letter A, shall be prosecuted under criminal law and subjected to administrative action in the form of dishonourable dismissal. While action against them is in progress they shall be kept in custody. Alternatively the Commander of the Kopkamtib or the Deputy Commander of the Kopkamtib may assign them in the interests of public order to reside in a particular place.

2.Those classified under Article 4, letter B, shall be subjected to administrative measures in the form of dishonourable dismissal. The Commander of the Kopkamtib or Deputy Commander of the Kopkamtib may assign them in the interests of security to reside in a particular place.

  1. Those classified under Article 4, letter C, shall be subject to the following measures:
    1. a) those classified under Article 4, letter Cl , shall be dismissed and placed under the supervision of the appropriate Government agencies;
    2. b) those classified under Article 4, letter C2, shall be subjected to restrictions in relation to particular offices and positions and shall undergo indoctrination;
    3. c) those classified under Article 4, letter C3, shall be placed under supervision and shall undergo indoctrination.

D1.d TESTIMONY ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Kinkin Rahayu (pseudonym)

11 November 1965.

Testimony to the IPT Tribunal (edited extracts)

Witness: In 1965, I experienced something very dark and a frightening experience particularly for my family, which felt the immediate impact of this event. I was blacklisted, I was arrested for the first time… I was living a normal life and was active as a young student, but I was arrested suddenly. And even this arrest didn’t only happen to me, but two months before my father had been arrested. ….

Every day there was an interrogation. The men were continuously tortured, we heard screaming from those being interrogated. And we, the female detainees were interrogated asked where is the mark of the Gerwani. Mark? I said I wasn’t [Gerwani] and said I was IPPI [Ikatan Pemuda Pelajar Indonesia, Indonesian Students’ Youth Association) …. Even so, I was told to remove my clothing up to the waist. … I was examined to see if there was a mark of the Gerwani.

After they were convinced there were no marks I was asked all sort of questions, including, “have you ever been to the Crocodile Hole, Lubang Buaya?”

I asked “What is that and where is it? I am from Jakarta.”

Finally, [I was asked] who in your family is involved in the aborted communist coup?

[I replied] “My mother and father are farmers. We don’t know anything about the PKI. My parents know only about the village arts.”

In our house we often had shadow puppet and dance activities. In our village there was a famous puppeteer he was often invited to play the shadow puppets. Our village had developed a culture of art. Our house was used for shadow puppet training and instrument playing. But my instrument was confiscated by the soldiers, it was considered to belong to the [communist] party….

After the interrogation was finished, I was told to sign that I was only a member of the IPPI [and was given a letter of release]. ….

After I was released I got my documents and finished studies and was a teacher. And I started a business, because of the economy, with my father in jail and three younger brother and sisters.

Unknowingly, one night at 2am, my house was raided — I had not long gone to sleep [after preparing my teaching materials]. [There was a] loud noise and knocking. I came to the door shocked. I opened. After I saw six people carrying weapons and two without them. I was shocked and extremely frightened [and asked] “What is going on?”

And they asked [about another] person.

“Are you this name?

“No [I replied], my name is so and so”.

They didn’t believe me and searched my home. When they found the letter of release from the camp they were angry [and asked]

“Are you a Communist Party member?

“No. That is my letter of release! I’m not part of the PKI.”

I was slapped on the ear.

“You have carried out women guerrilla politics.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, what is that? I don’t have time for that. In the morning and afternoon I study and I teach and prepare.”

And then I was hit again. Every time, I could not answer it right away. So I was stripped naked and told to get on the table.

“If you do not confess of being a political women guerrilla fighter….

“I cannot confess to that.”

They burned my body with cigarettes. And I said no.

Finally, my vagina and my pubic hair were burned. I just cried the name “Jesus, Jesus help me.”

They thought I was lying and cheating them and that I was not a religious person, that I was an atheist.

“Don’t call out to Jesus! What are you doing?”

While extinguishing their cigarettes on my body I cried out to Jesus. They didn’t believe me. The table I was on was turned over and I fell to the floor. After that, they asked me again:

“Are you going to confess or not?”

“I cannot do anything, sir!”

Finally I was dragged to a wall and beaten with a bicycle. Then everything was dark, everything went black.

Suddenly, I was in the military police office when I woke up. I was introduced to a man and was asked:

“Do you know this person?

“I don’t know him.”

So we were handcuffed together and thrown into a cell. The man had wounds because of beating and being burned by cigarettes and fire. …

After three days, I was taken out of the cell with the man and taken into the interrogation room of the police. Same questions again.

“Do you know this man or not?”

“I do not know him, sir, I do not know him.” I could not answer differently. And the man was questioned.

We were told to choose: to confess to be involved in political guerrilla warfare or be stripped naked. I said that wasn’t a choice: I could not choose. But finally, I was stripped naked. And while naked I was asked again,

“Admit that you confess that you carried out guerrilla politics!”

And I could only cry, because they would never listen to my answer. It was like they never heard me. We were beaten again until they said:

“We’re waiting for your confession.”

And I could only pray: “God, God look at me!”

In the end, after a very long time my body was lifted and … [witness pauses]

….

I was ill, I could not recover my health and therefore they transferred me to Wirogunan prison [in Jogjakarta].

My body was filled with wounds. There were some ladies that attended my wounds. I couldn’t answer their questions — I was so ashamed I couldn’t even talk. Finally, these ladies advised me that if you don’t start eating you will die. Think of your family, think how much stress you will cause them. Remember don’t punish yourself like that by not eating….

After I was better, I was again summoned and I met another man who asked me if I knew some person. I was amazed and surprised. Why do they always ask the same question. How long must I suffer like this?

“Sir, I was never involved in guerrilla politics. I have a position as a student and teacher. My siblings need me, my mother needs me.”

They hit me on the head and stripped me naked. I was naked and touched by two men and I had to kiss the genitals of the men who was questioning me. [witness pauses]

Judge Yacoob: We will stop for a moment. [pause]

Witness: After that all the men that were present asked me once again about the same thing. The same subject I could not answer. They became very angry with me. They scolded at me and then I had to lie on my belly and they stamped over me. And they cut my hair. I don’t remember what else they did, once again everything became dark. When I woke up I was in the room of the [prison] again. The women carried me in since my body was covered in wounds and I could not walk any more. After that, I refused to talk and eat. I felt that this would be the end of my life…. As a result I didn’t menstruate for about eight months. According to the doctors I had to calm down and have peace of mind in order to menstruate again. How was that possible? My life had no value for me anymore….

Prosecutor: Do you know who detained you?

Witness: The persons who detained me were military personnel and military police who tortured me. One was the most brutal of all. Can I mention his name?

Prosecutor: Yes

[Witness mentions a name]

D1.e Recommendations of the Komnas Perempuan, 2007[1]

Based on these findings, Komnas Perempuan recommends that the state immediately implement a national program of reparation, as follows:

Right to satisfaction

Immediately:

  • · The President of the Republic of Indonesia shall admit that these violations occurred, make an official apology, and provide a guarantee that all types of violations committed against victims of the 1965 Tragedy will immediately cease, and shall revoke all legal instruments that discriminate against victims, and shall issue a declaration in accordance with the law the restores the dignity of victims.
  • ·The government, after consultation with victims and civil society, shall establish a mechanism to reveal the facts about violations that occurred during the New Order, including violations committed against women, and efforts to search for the whereabouts of the disappeared, including the exhumation of mass graves.
  • · The Government shall provide support to Komnas Perempuan, in conjunction with its stakeholders, to construct a memorial, and/or a documentation centre that pays respect to the victims as a symbolic pledge that such crimes will not be repeated. This memorial and/or documentation centre shall collect and protect archives that can be accessed by the public and used as historical references about gender based crimes committed by the New Order.
  • · The Government, especially the Department of Education, shall safeguard and support education on history, both formally and informally, which reflects the truth and reveals the experiences of women and children who were victims of the 1965 Tragedy. This education should be directed at the younger generation who need to know the truth about the violations that were committed and the impact on the victims. This education should encompass history about women’s movements.
  • · The Peoples Representative Assembly, based on investigations led by the National Human Rights Comission’s inquiry [KPP-HAM] on 1965 shall recommend the establishment of an Ad Hoc tribunal to handle cases relating to the 1965 Tragedy.
  • · The Peoples Representative Assembly and the Government shall prepare a mechanism, based on the law, to guarantee that the public can gain access to confidential information held by state institutions, after a period of 25 years.

The National Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Attorney Generalshall follow-up investigations into cases from Buru Island that were started by the National Commission on Human Rights, and shall investigate other serious crimes related to the 1965 Tragedy, with standards of inquiry and examination that adhere to the interests of justice, that do not ignore violations committed against women and children, to bring the perpetrators most responsible before an Ad Hoc Human Rights Court.

If the judiciary in Indonesia is neither willing nor able to conduct judicial hearings into these serious crimes, then the Government shall immediately ratify the Rome Statute and refer cases of enforced disappearance relating to the 1965 Tragedy to an International Criminal Court. Pursuant to international law, enforced disappearance is a continuing crime as long as the circumstances remain unclarified.

The right to restitution (to restore the victim to the original situation, as much as possible, before the violation occurred).

The Government shall immediately:

  • · Provide restoration of liberty, enjoyment of human rights, identity, family life and citizenship (issue of ID Cards), return to one’s place of residence, restoration of employment and return of property rights
  • · Revoke Minister of Interior Directive No. 32/1981 on the Enlightenment and Supervision of Former Prisoners and Convicts related to the 30 September Movement/PKI, Minister of Interior Document dated 17 November 1981, No. 200/4652 (Further clarification about Directive Guidelines for the Implementation of Minister of Interior Directive No. 32/1981) and Minister of Interior Document dated 26 April 1982, No. 200/1550 (Instructions on the use of administrative forms for former prisoners and convicts related to the 30 September Movement/PKI).
  • · Eradicate all discriminatory practices which have been directed at former prisoners from the 1965 tragedy.
  • · Engage in a process to guarantee the settlement of issues relating to the looting/destruction/confiscation of land and property.
  • · Guarantee the pension rights of victims, civil servants and members of the army etc who are supposed to receive pensions from the state.
  • · Provide social security for those victims who are not entitled to a pension.
  • · Restore the rights of victims, their families and descendants to engage in any type of work that they choose.

Right to compensation

The Government shall immediately:

  • · Work together with civil society and through consultation with victims, to establish a specific mechanism to deal with the economic difficulties faced by former women prisoners, the wives of former prisoners, and the most vulnerable group: widows (and the children of widows) whose husbands were murdered or disappeared.

Right to Rehabilitation

The Government shall immediately:

  • · Mobilize health and social institutions, including the provision of services to elderly victims free of charge.
  • · Provide psychological and medical care, legal and social services in accordance with the needs of victims as well as the provision of any other services deemed necessary, in collaboration with civil society agencies which it funds.
  • · Guarantee education, including scholarships and vocational training for the descendents of victims.
  • · Guarantee that victims are given access to nursing homes and ensure the availability of other residential facilities.
  • · Establish a mechanism within the relevant state department or agency to involve NGOs to ensure the transparency of the rehabilitation process.

[1] Komnas Perempuan, Laporan Pemantauan Ham Perempuan: Kejahatan Terhadap Kemanusiaan Berbasis Jender — Mendengarkan Suara Perempuan Korban Peristiwa 1965. Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan, 2007. English translation Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965, Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan, 2007. Accessed at http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session13/ID/Komnas_Perempuan_UPR_IDN_S13_2012_KomnasPerempuan_Annex8_E.pdf

D1.f Statement by Komnas HAM (National Commission for Human Rights) on The Results of its Investigations into Grave Violation of Human Rights During the Events of 1965 – 1966[1]

  1. INTRODUCTION

The events of 1965-1966 were a human tragedy, a black page in the history of the Indonesian people. These events occurred as the result of state policy to exterminate members and sympathisers of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) which was deemed to have conducted resistance against the state.

This state policy was accompanied by acts of violence against citizens who were accused of being members of the PKI or sympathisers of the PKI on a truly massive scale which took the form of inhuman acts resulting in loss of life and injuries.

According to reports from the victims as well as the families of victims, the events of 1965-1966 involved grave human rights violations, including killings, extermination, slavery, evictions or forced removals, arbitrarily destroying people’s rights to freedom or other physical violations such as torture, rape, persecution and enforced disappearances.

In addition, the victims as well as the families of the victims and their descendants have suffered continuing mental distress because of discrimination perpetrated against them with regard to their civil and political rights as well as in economic, social and cultural affairs.

Because of all this, the victims as well as the families of the victims of the 1965-1966 events have made numerous efforts to struggle for their basic human rights in pursuit of justice and the restoration of their basic rights (redress). One of the actions they took was to present their complaints to Komnas HAM, the National Human Rights Commission.

In response to the many complaints submitted by the victims, the families of victims and the public, Komnas HAM, in accordance with its function and tasks as laid down in Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights, set up an Investigation Team to investigate these events. Komnas HAM followed this up by setting up an Ad Hoc Team to Investigate Grave Violation of Human Rights during the Events of 1965-1966.

…………..

  1. Facts about the Event

The events of 1965-1966 occurred in a number of places throughout Indonesia. In view of the limited availability of human resources and the lack of funding, while bearing in mind the fact that the events occurred in a number of places, Komnas HAM decided to focus on a certain number of places.

Furthermore, in order to analyse in depth and explain the nature of these crimes, certain districts were selected in order to focus on incidents in greater detail. The districts chosen were Maumere, the Denpasar Gerobokan Prison in South Sumatera, South Moncong Loe, South Sulawesi, the Island of Buru, Maluku, and the Jalan Gandhi Detention Centre in Medan, North Sumatera.

These four districts are considered to be representative of other places where investigations have been undertaken and where similar events also occurred

…………………

CONCLUSIONS

After having carefully examined and analysed all the findings discovered in the field, the statements of the victims, witnesses, reports, relevant documents and other information, the Ad Hoc Team to Investigate the Committal of Grave Crimes Against Humanity During the 1965/1966 events has reached the following conclusions:

.

  1. There is adequate initial evidence to believe that the following crimes against humanity, which are serious crimes against basic human rights occurred:
  2. Killings (Article 7 jo Article 9 letter a of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  3. Exterminations (Article 7, letter b jo Article 9 letter b, of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  4. Enslavement (Article 7, letter b jo Article 9 letter c of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  5. Enforced evictions or the banishment of populations (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter d of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  6. Arbitrary deprivation of freedom or other physical freedoms (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter e of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  7. Torture (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  8. Rape or similar forms of sexual violence (Article 7 letter b jo Article 9 letter g of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  9. Persecution (Article 7 letter b and Article 9 letter h of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).
  10. Enforced disappearances (Article 7 letter b and Article 9 letter i, of Law 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts).

The afore-mentioned actions were part of an attack aimed directly against the civilian population, namely a series of actions against the civilian population as a consequence of the policy of the authorities in power. As these actions were widespread and systematic, these actions can be classified as crimes against humanity.

  1. The types of acts and the pattern of the crimes against humanity that occurred during the events in 1965/1966 were as follows:
    1. Killings

Civilians who fell victim to killings as a result of operations conducted by the state apparatus which occurred in a number of

INREHAB [Instalasi Rehabilitasi, Rehabilitation Installation]: the island of Buru, Sumber Rejo, Argosari, the island of Balang, the island of Kemarau, Tanjung Kasu, Nanga-Nanga, Moncong Loe, Ameroro, Nusakambangan, the office of the mayor of Tomohon, Plantungan, Sasono Mulyo, Municipal buildings in Solo, Nirbaya, Ranomut, Manado.

Prisons: Salemba, Rice Factory in Lamongan, the building owned by the Chinese Association in Jalan Liloyor, Manado, Wirogunan Prison, Yogyakarta, Solo prison Kediri, Denpasar.

Places where torture [is suspected to have been] committed: Kalong (Jalan Gunung Sahari), Gang Buntu (Kebayoran), building in Jalan Latuharhari, Chinese house in Jalan Melati, Denpasar, school in Japan Sawahan, Malang, Manchung Schoolm Jalan Nusakambangan, Malang;

Military prisons: TPU Gandhi, Budi Utomo, Budi Kamulyaan.

  1. Exterminations

Civilian populations who were victims of extermination as a result of operations committed by the security forces in a number of places, among others: Sragen 300 people, Sikka-Maumere, 1,000 people, Kali Sosok prison, Surabaya, 600 people.

  1. Enslavement

Civilian populations who fell victim to enslavement as a result operations by the state authorities were recorded as the following places: about 11,500 people in the island of Buru (which consisted of 18 units plus three RSTs each of which held 500 prisoners) and also in Moncong Loe, Makassar.

  1. Evictions or enforced removal of the population

Civilian populations who fell victim to eviction or forced removal as a result of the operations committed by the state apparatus were recorded as being more or less 41,000 people.

  1. Arbitrary deprivation of freedom or other types of deprivation of physical freedoms:

The number of civilians who were victims of the arbitrary deprivation of their freedom or other physical freedoms as a consequence of operations conducted by the state apparatus were roughly 41,000 people

  1. Torture

The torture of civilians as a consequence of operations conducted by the state apparatus in a number of

INREHABs (prisons): island of Buru, Sumber Rejo, Argosari, island of Balang, island of Keramau, Tanjung Kasu, Nanga-Nanga, [Moncong Loe, Ameroro, Nusakambangan] office of the mayor of Tomohon, Plantungan, Sasono Mulyo, municipal buildings in Solo, Nirbaya, Ranomut, Manado. Prisons: Salemba, Rice Factory in Lamongan, the Chinese-owned building in Jalan Liloyor, Manado, Wirogunan, Yogyakarta, Prisons in Solo, Kediri, Denpasar. Places where torture [is suspected as having] occurred: Kalong HQ, (Jalan Gunung Sahari), Gang Buntu (Kebayoran) a building in Jalan Latuharhari, the Chinese house in Jalan Melati, Denpasar, a school in Jalan, Malang, the school in Jalan Sawahan, Malang, Manchung School in Jalan Sawahan, Malang, Jalan Nusakambangan, Malang, Military prisons: TPU Gandhi, Guntur, Budi Utomo, Budi Kemulyaan.

  1. Rape or similar forms of sexual violence

Civilians who were the victims of rape or similar forms of sexual violence as a consequence of acts during operations which were committed by the state apparatus, altogether about 35 people.

  1. Persecution
  2. Civilian populations were victims of persecution as a result of operations conducted by the state security forces in a number of places:

INREHABs: Island of Buru, Sumber Rejo, Argosari, island of Balang, island of Kemarau, Tanjung Kasu, Nanga-Nanga, Moncong Loe, Ameroro, Nusakambangan, Office of the mayor of Tomohon, Plantungan, Sasono Mulyo, mayoral offices in Solo, Nirbaya, Ranomut, Manado.

Places of detention: Salemba, Rice factory in Lamongan, building owned by the Chinese Association in Jalan Liloyor, Manado, Wirogunan Prison, Yogyakarta, prisons in Solo, Kediri, and Denpasar.

Places where torture occurred: Kalong HQ (Jalan Gunung Sahari), Gang Buntu, (Kebayoran), building in Jalan Latuhahrhari, Chinese house in Jalan Melati, Denpasar, school in Jalan Sawahan, Malang, Manchung school, Jalan Nusakambangan, Malang.

Military prisons – Gandhi, Guntur, Budi Utomo, and Budi Kemulyaan.

  1. Enforced disappearances

Civilians who were recorded as being the victims of enforced disappearances as a consequence of operations conducted by the state security forces amounted to roughly 32,774 people.

  1. Based on the wide range of crimes which occurred and the picture of victims who have been identified and the mountain of evidence that is available, the names of those who implemented these crimes and were responsible for the events of 1965/1966 are the following added to which there may be more.
    1. Individuals/military commanders who can be called to account:

a.1 The commander who decided on the policy:

  1. PANGKOPKAMTIB – the Commander of KOPKAMTIB from 1965 until 1969.

1970. PANGKOPKAMTIB – the Commander of KOPKAMTIB from 19 September 1969 at the least until the end of 1978.

a.2 The commanders who had effective control (duty of control) over their troops.

The PENGANDAs and/or PANGDAMs during the period from 1965 until 1969 and the period from 1969 until the end of 1978.

  1. Individuals/commanders/members of the units who can be held responsible for the actions of their troops in the field.

Individuals/commanders/members of units who can be called to account as those who implemented the series of crimes that occurred in the field, as well as the pictures of the victims who have been identified in the mass of the available evidence along with the names of those thought to have been involved on the ground in the events of 1965-1966, particularly, but not only confined to these names, as follows:

  1. Names that have been mentioned by the witnesses, in connection with the six regions that were analysed by the Team.
  2. The commanders and the functionaries at the INREHABs: the island of Buru, Sumber Rejo, Argosari, island of Balang, the island of Kemarau, Tanjung Kasu, Nanga-Nanga, Moncong Loe, Ameroro, Nusakambangan, the office of the Mayor of Tomohon, Plantungan, Sasano Mulyo, municipal offices in Solo, Nirbaya, Ranomut, Manado.
  3. The commanders and their apparatus in the following prisons: Salemba, the Rice Factory in Lamongan, the building of the Chinese association in Jalan Liloyor, Manado, Wirogunan Prison, Yogyakarta, the Solo, Kediri and Denpasar prisons.
  4. The apparatus in the places of torture: Kalong HQ (Jalan Gunung Sahari), Gang Buntu (Kebayoran), the building in Jalan Latuharhari, the Chinese house in Jalan Melati, Denpasar, the school in Jalan Sawahan, Malang, Manchung school in Jalan Nusakambangan, Malang.
  5. The commanders and functionaries in military prisons (RTM): TPU Gandhi, Guntur, Budi Utom, Budi Kemulyaan.

RECOMMENDATIONS

On the basis of the above conclusions, the Ad Hoc Team to Investigate the Events of 1965-1966 makes the following recommendations:

  1. In accordance with the provisions of Article 1, paragraph 5, and Article 20, para (1) of Law No 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts, the Attorney General is requested to take forward the above investigations with further investigations,
  2. In accordance with the provisions of Article 47, para (1) and (2) of Law No 26, 2000 on Human Rights Courts, the results of these investigations may also be resolved through non- judicial mechanisms in fulfilment of the sense of justice of the victims and their families.

This statement has been made in fulfilment of the mandate that was given to the National Human Rights Commission, in order to conduct investigations into what are deemed to have been grave violations of human rights that occurred during the events of 1965-1966.

Jakarta, 23 July, 2012

AD HOC TEAM TO INVESTIGATE GRAVE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DURING THE EVENTS OF 1965/1966

CHAIRMAN, NUR KHOLIS, S.H., M.A.

[1] Unofficial translation of Chapter One Ringkasan Eksekutif: laporan penylidikan pelanggaran HAM berat [Executive summary: report of its Investigations into Grave Violation of Human Rights], Komnas HAM Report (Jakarta: Komnas HAM RI, 2012) by Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL, 16 August 2012. [Note: The IPT Report editors have inserted several words from the Indonesian original text that were omitted in this translation.]

D1.g UN HRC — Indonesia dialogue.

  1. July 2013: UN HRC: “Concluding observations on the initial report of Indonesia”[1]

………….

  1. The Committee regrets the failure by the State party to implement article 43 of Law 26/2000 in order to establish a Court to investigate cases of enforced disappearance committed between 1997 and 1998 as also recommended by Komnas HAM and the Indonesian Parliament (DPR). The Committee particularly regrets the impasse between the Attorney General and Komnas HAM with regard to the threshold of evidence that should be satisfied by Komnas HAM before the Attorney General can take action. The Committee further regrets the prevailing climate of impunity and lack of redress for victims of past human rights violations particularly those involving the military (art. 2)

The State party should, as a matter of urgency, address the impasse between Komnas HAM and the Attorney General. It should expedite the establishment such a Court to investigate cases of enforced disappearance committed between 1997 and 1998 as recommended by Komnas HAM and the Indonesian Parliament (DPR). Furthermore, the State party should effectively prosecute cases involving past human rights violations such as the murder of prominent human rights defender Munir Said Thalib on 7 September 2004, and provide adequate redress to victims or members of their families.

……………….

  1. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 5, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party should provide, within one year, relevant information on its implementation of the Committee’s recommendations made in paragraphs 8, 10, 12 and 25 above.
  2. January 2015: “UN presses Indonesia on human rights progress report”[2]

The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHR Committee) has demanded that the Indonesian government fulfill its promise of submitting a long-overdue report on the state of the country’s human rights.
Indonesia should have submitted the report before a July 2014 deadline.
UNHR Committee member and special rapporteur for Indonesia, Cornelis Flinterman, said on Friday that Indonesia must submit the report as a follow-up to a UN review session in Geneva in July 2013.
During the review session, members of the UNHR Committee questioned Indonesia’s commitment to resolving human rights abuses, protecting religious minorities and curbing the use of excessive force, after which the UNHR Committee issued a list of recommendations for the government to act upon.
“We adopted 26 concerns and identify four which require immediate attention from the government. Then the government was required to submit a follow-up report [on the four recommendations] by July 2014. Regrettably, the committee has not received any report,’€ Flinterman told a press conference in Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday.
As the Indonesian government had not made any follow-up report on the recommendations, two UNHR Committee members flew to Jakarta earlier this week to talk with members of President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo’s administration.
……………..

  1. March 2015: Information received from the Indonesian Government.[3]

…..

Recommendation 8:

  1. In his speech at the commemoration of International Human Rights Day in December 2014, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to further promote and protect human rights. This includes formulating appropriate means and way to address past human rights issues, through, inter alia, comprehensive reconciliation process and the possibility of establishing ad hoc human rights tribunal/court. The Government is also commited to preventing human rights violations through, inter alia, legal reform aimed at strong, reliable, consistent, and indiscriminative enforcement.
  2. With regard to efforts to address past human rights issues, Indonesian National Human Rights Institution (Komnas HAM) and Attorney General’s Office have agreed to convene series of meetings to share views in order to resolve the issue of data which was previously considered insufficient by the latter.
  3. At the same time, the Government has also undertaken parallel measures, including finalising the revision of Law No. 27 Year 2004 on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which was annulled by the Constitutional Court. Currently, the revised bill is the process of harmonization coordinated by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. When this process is completed, the revised bill will be transmitted by the Government to the Parliament for deliberation and endorsement. In order the Bill can be directly implemented when it is adopted, the Government, i.e. the Directorate General of Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, is also preparing the implementing mechanism for (future) TRC law, including, inter alia, preparing for the establishment of TRC Secretariat and informally beginning the selection process of TRC Commissioners.
  4. On the issue of rehabilitationandcompensationmechanismforthe victimsortheir family members, Indonesiahas enactedLawNo.31 of2014on the Amendment of Law No. 13 of 2006 on Protection of WitnessesandVictims. Article 6specificallyemphasizesthat(1) Victims of gross human rights violation, terrorist act, human trafficking, torture, sexual violence, and grave persecution, in addition of being entitled to what is referred in Article 5 of Law No 13 n of 2006, is also entitled to receive: medical assistance and psychosocial and psychological rehabilitation assistance; (2) Assistance as referred to in paragraph (1) is provided based on Victim and Witness Protection Board’s decision. Article 5 of Law No. 13 of 2006 itself stipulates the rights and entitlements of victim and witness.
  5. A notable progress is achieved at the end of 2013 when the Government submitted a bill to ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to the Parliament. At this stage, the Bill is expected to be discussed by the parliament at its earliest.

[1] UN HRC, 108th session 8–26 July 2013, “Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant”, Agenda item 6. The para nos. in this and the third document below are the actual numbers in the (unexcerpted) text.

[2] Jakarta Post, 17 January 2015

[3] UN HRC, “Addendum: Information received from Indonesia on follow-up to the Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee on the initial report of Indonesia”, date received: 4 March 2015.

D1.h Decision of the President/ Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia/ Mandate Holder of the MPRS/ Great Leader of the Revolution No. 1/3/1966[1]

In view of the fact:

  1. That in recent times there have been dark actions carried out by remnants of the “30 September Movement” of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) counter-revolutionary forces;
  2. That these dark actions take the form of spreading slanders, incitement, rumours and scape-goating as well as the setting up of armed forces that are once again disturbing the peace and security of the people;
  3. That these dark actions are clearly endangering the course of the revolution in general, and interfering with the completion of the current phase of the revolution, especially countering economic difficulties and crushing the Nekolim[2] “Malaysia” project;
  4. That for the sake of the firm consolidation of the unity of all progressive forces of the Indonesian people, and for the sake of the security of the course of the anti-feudal, anti-capitalist and anti-Nekolim revolution heading towards a just and prosperous society based on the Pancasila, and on a Socialist Society for Indonesia, it is necessary to take swift, firm and determined action against the PKI.

Bearing in mind:

The results of the investigations and decisions of the Extraordinary Military Tribunals, Mahmilub, against leading figures of the “30 September Movement”/PKI.

Considering:

The Order of the President/ Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia/ Mandate Holder of the MPRS/ Great Leader of the Revolution dated 11 March 1966[3]

Decides

To determine:

Holding fast to the five Principles of the Indonesian Revolution

First:

To dissolve the PKI, including all its structures, from the centre to the regions, as well as all organisations that hold to the same principles or are affiliated or nurtured by it.

Second:

To declare the PKI to be a banned organisation throughout the territory of Indonesia.

Third:

This Decision is effective from the date of its determination.

Determined in: Jakarta

Date: 12 March 1966

President/ Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia/ Mandate Holder of the MPRS/ Great Leader of the Revolution

In the name of his honour

Signed

Soeharto

Lt-Gen, TNI [Indonesian Army]

D2. Attempts at Redress and Reconciliation

by Saskia E. Wieringa, Chair Foundation IPT 1965 and Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, General Coordinator IPT 1965

The Foundation IPT 1965 was established in 2014 to end the impunity for the crimes against humanity committed in Indonesia in and after 1965 and to foster efforts at reconciliation. Impunity involves a “failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those respected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried, and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations.’[4]To fight impunity for past serious crimes against humanity is imperative as impunity poisons a society and breeds new violence. A crucial first step is to establish the truth about what happened so future generations can learn from their society’s violent past. Reconciliation is not possible without truth finding. Victims must be rehabilitated, and the stigma and restrictions under which they live must be lifted; they must be compensated and receive health care and social services. The goal of reconciliation is to build a society that is more peaceful, tolerant and democratic in which human rights and the rule of law are guiding principles. However, 50 years after the genocide and other crimes against humanity were committed in Indonesia very few steps on the path towards reconciliation have been set. Even in the more liberal reformasi era (after the fall of Suharto in 1998), the Indonesian State has done virtually nothing to heal society from its violent past.

Post-conflict resolution and reconciliation takes time, has many dimensions and takes place at all levels of the society. In the process of establishing a more democratic and peaceful post- conflict society, the concept of transitional justice plays a major role. Two concepts are relevant: retribution and reparation or restoration.[5]

The IPT 1965 advocates a mix of retributive and restorative ways for the redress and reconciliation of the post 30 September 1965 crimes against humanity. This mix includes but is not limited to the following elements: truth finding, retribution or access to justice, restoration and reparation, and guarantees for non-recurrence. These elements are interlinked. A full process of redress and reconciliation should address all elements in combination.

Truth finding

In 2004 a Law on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was drafted, which was expected to open up past cases of human rights violations. However, after being passed in Parliament, this was revoked after a judicial review by the Constitutional Court.

The National Human Rights Commission appointed an ad hoc investigation team to report on seven different situations. The team conducted an investigation from 2008 to 2012 into past human rights violations. Its 400-page report, issued in 2012, was the first national effort at truth finding. Its Chapter One contained 40 pages on the events related to the events of 1965 and 1966.

The major recommendation was that the Attorney General´s Office (AGO) should 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.” It also advocated that perpetrators be brought to court. However the AGO has not yet acted on this recommendation, and has made no effort to assess the truth about the crimes against humanity committed in the aftermath of 30 September 1966.

The President, Mr. Joko Widodo (in office since 20 October 2014), promised to deal with past human rights violations including those related to 1965 during his election campaign. This was explicitly mentioned in his programme, called the Nawacita (nine aspirations). However, this issue was subsequently dropped from his list of priorities. The Attorney General, H.M. Prasetyo, declared that a “permanent solution” should be sought for old human rights violations including the “1965 tragedy,”[6] but he insisted that this solution would be sought solely in reconciliation only. The Government of Indonesia has so far ignored the phase of truth finding without which reconciliation has little value. The dignity of the victims and their families can only be restored, and other efforts to correct the historical memory can only be undertaken once truth finding is taken seriously. This will strengthen the rule of law in Indonesia and help ensure that those atrocities will not recur. The Government of Indonesia has not only thwarted or prohibited all efforts to find out the extent of the mass crimes against humanity committed after 30 September 1965, it has also effectively banned all discussions on socialist themes. The study of Marxism, Leninism and Communism was prohibited and history textbooks for school children were rewritten by the military and they have still not been revised. The Indonesian Communist Party and all its affiliated organisations were banned in 1966 and, during the New Order regime (1966-1998), this ban extended to all pro-democratic movements and mass organizations. The ban has not yet been revised or abolished.

At the local level several efforts at truth finding have been undertaken. The most extensive research was done in East Indonesia. In Kupang a women’s study group called Jaringan Perempuan Indonesia Timur untuk Studi Perempuan, Agama dan Budaya (JPIT — Eastern Indonesia Women’s Network for the Study of Women, Religion, and Culture) collected oral testimonies of women survivors from various ethnic and religious backgrounds from 2010. The goal was the reconciliation of victims with church members who have been among the perpetrators of the human rights violations. The researchers were related to the two main Protestant churches, and they were all female ministers or ministers in training. The book based on their research was published in 2012 and led to a formal apology by church leaders.[7]

Some victims´ organisations have also carried out their own investigations. Their data are not yet public. But the coordinator of YPLP 1965, Mr Bedjo Untung, has provided a list of 122 mass graves to the Komnas HAM, in the wake of the national symposium (held 18-19 April 2016) in which doubt was cast on the existence of mass graves. President Joko Widowo then ordered an investigation of these mass graves.[8]

However, there is still a serious gap in knowledge and documentation of what went on after 30 September 1965. The following are suggestions of what must be done immediately to further the process of truth finding.

– the number of victims of the massacres must be determined – a nationwide effort is required to investigate and document the members of those murdered or disappeared;

– the voices of the victims must be heard and their memories preserved. Individual researchers have carried out some oral history projects. The NGOs ISSI (Institut Sejarah Sosial Indonesia, Indonesian Institute for Social History) and ELSAM (Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat, Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy) have limited but important collections. These initial efforts must be taken up nationwide;

– the archives of Kopkamtib and other institutions, both civil and army-related, involved in the mass crimes against humanity must be opened and made available for researchers;

– not only the CIA archives but archives from other countries, especially those which supported the Suharto regime must be opened;

– universities all over the country must be encouraged to teach and research the history of the post 30 September 1965 massacres and/or set up departments of genocide studies.

Retribution and Right to Justice

The National Human Rights Commission’s report submitted to the Attorney-General in 2012 was sent back to the Commission by the At­tor­ney General, with the argument that its findings were not legally proper and insufficient. Since then the Report has gone back and forth a few times and the process appears to be stalled at the moment of writing.

The govern­ment, at the time represented by the Coordinating Minister of Political, Le­gal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, rejected the evidence presented as well, adding that the 1965 mass killings were justified as they were aimed at “saving the country.”[9]Likewise, 23 civil society groups, including Ansor, the youth wing of the largest Muslim mass organisation, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which played a key role in the killings, also rejected the re­port, affirming their continuing determination to protect Indo­ne­sians from a “Communist atheist threat.” [10]

Some limited progress, however, has been made since reformasi in 1998. In the following year the last political prisoners were released and the anti-Subversion Law was abolished. The Election Law of 1999 restored the right of ex-tapol (former political prisoners) to elect candidates, though they themselves could not yet be elected. Since 2003 ex-tapol can also be candidates in elections. In 2011 the Supreme Court abolished all restrictions on the citizenship rights of ex-tapol.[11] However, the Criminal Code was changed in 1999, and a number of clauses were added which made the spread of communist teachings a crime.[12] These clauses have again been invoked after the 2016 national symposium. President Abdurrahman Wahid lifted the Presidential Decree on the screening and registration of tapol. However he was not able to lift the MPRS/1966/XXV decree in which communism was banned. In 2003, under the presidency of Megawati, parliament decided to uphold that decree.

Rehabilitation and Reparation

At the national level no president has made a formal apology so far. As discussed in this Report (B2. Responsibility and Chain of Command), in 2000, Abdurrahman Wahid, the country´s fourth, and first elected President (from 1999 – 2001) came closest to an apology during a TV programme saying he had previously apologised to the victims, and he advocated a judicial process. However, he did not follow this up with a formal apology nor with initiating a judicial process, after a storm of protest arose.

But his words and his progressive stance have made an impact. Another progressive NU leader, Imam Aziz, established the organisation Syarikat in 2000 with the goal to help NU members and victims of the human rights violation reconcile.[13] Imam Aziz promoted a restorative justice process of community level reconciliation. It has been investigating the massacres, helping the victims with small-scale projects, for instance in Blitar, Salatiga, Semarang and Yogyakarta. However, getting the issues recognised within the NU was very difficult, due to strong opposition from powerful conservative religious leaders, kyai. Some younger progressive santri, students studying at Islamic religious schools orpesantren, primarily from East Java have set up the group Gus Durian, which regularly holds discussions with victims and organizes seminars both within and outside of NU to promote the idea that human rights and Islam are compatible.

When the National Human Rights Commission submitted its report in 2012, hopes were raised that the then President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, would make a formal apology. However, this did not happen, again due to strong opposition from both NU leaders and conservative army generals. During his presidential election campaign, Joko Widodo promised to redress the country’s past human rights violations. However, so far he too has not yet issued a formal apology to the victims.

A civil case concerning 1965 was brought forward by the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation, through a 2005 class action civil suit against five former presidents. The action primarily sought compensation and rehabilitation for victims of the mass killings of 1965 and also sought an order compelling the government to issue a written apology, erect monuments to the 1965 victims, include an accurate history of events in the national curriculum, and repeal discriminatory legislation. One of the goals of this action was to redress the continuing discrimination victims still face with respect to their civil and political rights, property ownership, access to employment, and political freedom. The Central Jakarta District Court rejected the claim in September 2005, citing a lack of jurisdictional authority.[14]

Following the November 2015 hearings of the IPT 1965, in April 2016, a 2-day symposium was held in Jakarta, instigated by the Coordinating Minister of Security, Political and Legal Affairs, General (Ret.) Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. General Agus Widjojo was the chair of the organizing committee. He was advised by amongst others a member of the Presidential advisory council, Sidarto Danusubroto. This was the first time these abuses were discussed nationally. Both supporters of the New Order and victims as well as researchers and activists spoke out. This symposium triggered a flood of reactions both in the mainstream and on social media.[15] Minister Luhut Panjaitan made it clear in his opening speech that the president was not going to issue a formal apology but that the government was at the same time committed to resolving past human rights abuses. He ruled out that a criminal investigation would be held. In reaction to this national symposium a counter symposium was organised by retired generals (supposedly to uphold the Pancasila), 1-2 June 2016. This was accompanied by a strong backlash against anything and anybody deemed communist. Activists wearing red T-shirts with the letters “PKI” were arrested,[16]and a few raids on bookshops were held.[17]

At the local level several efforts at reconciliation have been and are being made. The best known example is that of Palu.[18] Mayor Rusdi Mastura, himself as a boy scout tasked with guarding prisoners in the late 1960s, and later a member of the Pancasila Youth and the Golkar party, has formally apologised and since then led efforts bringing survivors and victimisers together. This followed in the wake of pressure from activists and victims. A day of public reconciliation was held on 24 March 2012, sites of human rights abuse were marked, and a program of reparation and restitution was set up: free healthcare was announced for survivors and family members, and education scholarships and government grants for economic cooperatives as well as start-up funding for descendants of victims.

Perhaps due to the fact that relatively few people were killed or disappeared in Palu, there was less resistance to these efforts at reconciliation than elsewhere. So far, the program has identified 485 local victims of the 1965-66 anti-Communist actions. In 2013 Palu declared itself as a ‘City of Human Rights Consciousness’ with a broad mandate to help victims.[19]

In various places memorialisation efforts have been made, especially around mass graves. The first mass grave to be opened was in 2000 in Wonosobo, Java. Reburial of the victims was prevented by anti-communist militias. Near Semarang, in the community of Plumbon, a mass grave was marked, with the participation of community members. In Solo, memorial rituals have been held on the Jembatan Bacem bridge, from which many victims were thrown into the river Brantas. In Jembrana, Bali, a mass grave has been opened and the bodies have been given the last rites. Hundreds of mass graves still await exhumation, but this can only be done when the security of the participants is guaranteed and when adequate forensic expertise is available.

In relation to compensation to the victims very limited progress has been made. The enactment of the Law on Witness and Victims Protection (Law No. 13/2006) was a positive sign. The Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), which was subsequently established, provides limited medical assistance, rehabilitation and housing to victims, including those of the 1965 massacres and human rights violations. A few local authorities (such as in Palu and Solo), as well as the church in Kupang, have recognised this provision But the process is very bureaucratic. So far less than 2,000 victims of gross human rights violations cases in 1965 have submitted requests to the LPSK. Victims’ organisations such as YPKP 1965 have organised various meetings to inform their members on the procedure; these meetings were often disturbed by members of anti-communist groups.

On a limited scale, memorialisation activities have been instigated by individuals and non-governmental organisations. These include the production of some documentary films such as Jembatan Bacem (2014, ELSAM), The Act of Killing (2012) and its sequel The Look of Silence (2014, both by Joshua Oppenheimer), The Women and the Generals (2012, by Maj Wechselmann) and others. Certain mass graves have become sites of memory, such as in Semarang (Plumbon). Several authors have written novels, such asAmba by Lakshmi Pamuntjak, Return by Leila Chudori and The Crocodile Hole by Saskia Wieringa. There were other artistic productions related to the theme in various forms, such as prose, poem, theatre and song.

Non-recurrence

Very limited steps have been set on the path towards non-recurrence. These include the inclusion of a Human Rights section in the 1945 Constitution (2000) and the ratification of key international human rights treaties. In December 2006 Indonesia’s Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a law establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Indonesia. The law empowered the TRC to award amnesties to perpetrators of past crimes and barred victims from taking any future legal action against them. Reparations to victims were made contingent upon victims signing formal statements exonerating the perpetrators. The Court declared that provisions of the TRC law violated Indonesia’s international obligations and domestic laws. The decision came after two years of legal challenges by Indonesian human rights groups.

Some oversight agencies have been established (Ombudsman, Judicial Commission, Police Oversight Commission, Prosecutor Oversight Commission). Limited efforts at the needed reform of the security sector are underway. The military are prohibited to involve themselves in politics and the police force has been separated from the military. This however does not prevent the military from claiming a leading role in politics, particularly on the issues of the rights of the victims of the Events of 1965. The subject of human rights has been included in the curriculum of training courses and internal regulations of the police and the military. But the Rome Statute has still not been signed and ratified. Moreover, overall implementation of progressive legal and institutional changes has been poor.

In conclusion, the Indonesian state is still reluctant to accept its obligations to hear the voices of the victims, to carry out effective redress and reconciliation, and to provide overdue justice for them. Much work remains to be done to overcome 50 years of impunity.

D3.  Judges’ Biographies

Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, served as a judge in several people’s tribunals; Chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Director of Association Frantz Fanon.

Cees Flinterman, former member of the UN Human Rights Committee for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), former member of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Honorary Professor of International Human Rights Law, Maastricht University, Netherlands.

John Gittings, well known for his work on modern China and the Cold War as well as peace studies; former chief foreign leader-writer and journalist with the Guardian (1983-2003), research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) China Institute.

Helen Jarvis, Vice-President of the Permanent People’s Tribunal and member of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Memory of the World program; former Chief of the Victims Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC, Former Lead Prosecution Counsel in the Slobodan Milosevic case at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and prosecutor of other ICTY cases.

Shadi Sadr, Founder and Director of Justice for Iran, award-winning and leading human rights lawyer on Iran, co-author of Crime and Impunity, Sexual Torture of Women in Islamic Republic Prisons

Zak Yacoob, (Retired) Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Former Chancellor of the University of Durban-Westville, involved in several institutions that represent the Blind.

D4.  Select Bibliography[20] 

Amnesty International, Indonesia: An Amnesty International report (London: Amnesty International Publications, 1977)

Amnesty International, Power and Impunity: Human Rights Under the New Order (London: Amnesty International, 1994)
Anderson, Ben & Ruth McVey, A preliminary analysis of the October 1, 1965 coup in Indonesia. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1971)

Bassiouni, Cherif, Crimes Against Humanity: Historical Evolution and Contemporary Application (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Cribb, Robert ed., The Indonesian killings of 1965-6; Studies from Java and Bali. (Clayton, Victoria: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1990 (Monash papers on Southeast Asia no. 21)

Crouch, Harold, The Army and Politics in Indonesia, rev. ed. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988)

Dinuth, Alex, Dokumen Terpilih sekitar G.30S/PKI [Selected Documents on G.30S/PKI]. (Jakarta: Intermasa, 1997)

Djakababa, Yosef, “The Initial Purging Policies after the 1965 Incident at Lubang Buaya,”Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 3/2013

Hannum, Hurst, “International Law and Cambodian Genocide: The Sounds of Silence,”Human Rights Quarterly 11 (1989) p. 82-138

Heryanto, Ariel. State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (New York: Routledge, 2006)

International People’s Tribunal on 1965 Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia, various documents presented to the panel of judges, including the Prosecution Indictment; Prosecution Brief; IPT Research Report (3 parts); and Transcripts (some of which are available on the IPT web site http: www.tribunal1965.org)
Kammen, Douglas and Katharine McGregor, eds., The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965-68 (Singapore, NUS Press, 2012)

Kolimon, Mery, Liliya Wetangterah, Karen Campbell-Nelson, eds., translated by Jennifer Lindsay, Forbidden memories: women’s experiences of 1965 in eastern Indonesia(Melbourne: Monash University, 2015)

Komnas HAM, Ringkasan Eksekutif: Laporan penylidikan pelanggaran HAM berat[Executive summary: report of its Investigations into Grave Violation of Human Rights], Short title: Komnas HAM Report, (Jakarta: Komnas HAM RI, 2012). Chapter One of this Executive Summary was published in English as “Statement by Komnas HAM (National Commission for Human Rights) on The Results of its Investigations into Grave Violation of Human Rights During the Events of 1965 – 1966”. Unofficial English translation by TAPOL at http://www.tapol.org/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pdfs/Komnas%20HAM%201965%20TAPOL%20translation.pdf

Komnas Perempuan, Laporan Pemantauan Ham Perempuan: Kejahatan Terhadap Kemanusiaan Berbasis Jender — Mendengarkan Suara Perempuan Korban Peristiwa 1965. Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan, 2007. English translation Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity: Listening to the Voices of Women Survivors of 1965, Short title:Komnas Perempuan Report (Jakarta: Komnas Perempuan, 2007). Accessed at http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session13/ID/Komnas_Perempuan_UPR_IDN_S13_2012_KomnasPerempuan_Annex8_E.pdf

McGregor, Katharine. “The Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966,” in Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence: SciencePo, 2009)

Melvin, Jess, “Mechanics of Mass Murder: Military Coordination of the Indonesian Genocide,” paper presented at ‘“1965” Today: Living with the Indonesian massacres,’ Amsterdam, 2 October 2015. (Publication forthcoming)

Mortimer, Rex, Indonesian Communism under Sukarno: Ideology and Politics, 1959-1965, (Singapore: Equinox, 2006 [orig 1974])
Notosusanto, Nugroho & Saleh, Ismail, ‘The Coup Attempt of the “September 30 Movement,”‘ in Indonesia (Jakarta: Pembimbing Masa, 1968)

Robinson, Geoffrey, The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995)

Roosa, John, Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th movement and Suharto’s coup d état in Indonesia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006)

Simpson, Bradley, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2008)

Tanter, Richard. Witness denied: the Australian response to the Indonesian holocaust, 1965-66. Nautilus Institute. http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Witness-Denied.pdf

Tempo, Requiem for a Massacre, Jakarta, No. 1306, 1-7 October 2011. English translation at http://thelookofsilence.com/wp-content/uploads/TEMPO_Magazine_ACT_OF_KILLING_Edition.pdf

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta, The Mute’s Soliloquy (translated by Willem Samuels) (New York: Hyperion, 1999)
Wieringa, Saskia Eleonora, Sexual Politics in Indonesia (Houndmills, New York: Palgrave/ Macmillan, 2002)

GLOSSARY AND ABBREVIATIONS

30 September Movement: On the night of 30 September 1965, a small group of pro-Sukarno army officers with support of the PKI leader launched an action against anti-Sukarno officers—six generals and one lieutenant were killed.

amicus curiae: Latin for “friend of the court”

Baperki: Badan Permusjawaratan Kewarganegaraan Indonesia (Indonesian Citizenship Consultative Body for Indonesian citizens of Chinese ethic origin)

BTI: Barisan Tani Indonesia (Indonesian Farmers’ Union)

Buterpra: Bintara Urusan Teritorial Pertahanan Rakyat (Non-commissioned officers in Territorial and People’s Defence)

CAH: crimes against humanity

DPR: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (People’s Representative Council)

ET: ex-Tapol (former political prisoners)

Events of 1965-66: Translation of Peristiwa 65-66; it is the term generally used to refer to the killing of the generals on the night of 30 September 1965, and the killings which followed during 1965-66.

G30S: Abbreviation of Gerakan September Tiga Puluh (30 September Movement)
Gestapu: Acronym reduced from Gerakan September Tiga Puluh (30 September Movement)

GerwaniGerakan Wanita Indonesia (Indonesian Women’s Movement)
InrehabInstalasi Rehabilitasi (Rehabilitation Installation)

Intel: Abbreviation of Intelligence

IPPI: Ikatan Pemuda Pelajar Indonesia (Indonesian Students’ Youth Association)

Jaksa Agung: Attorney General

jo: Abbreviation of Latin word juncto (in conjunction with)

jus cogens: Latin for “compelling law”, peremptory law with no derogation permitted

KODAM: Komando Daerah Militer (Regional Military Command)

KODIM: Komando Distrik Militer (District Military Command)

Komando Aksi: (Action Command)

Komnas HAMKomisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia (Indonesian National Human Rights Commission), often referred to as the Commission

Komnas Perempuan: Komisi Nasional Anti Kekerasan Terhadap Perempuan (Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women)

KopkamtibKomando Operasi Pemulihan Keamanan dan Ketertiban (Operational Command for the Restoration of Security and Order)

KostradKomando Cadangan Strategis Angkatan Darat (Army Strategic Reserve Command)

KotiKomando Operasi Tertinggi (Supreme Operations Command)

LaksusdaPelaksana Khusus Daerah (Special Territorial Administrator)

Lubang Buaya: Crocodile Hole, the well at Halim Airforce Base on the outskirts of Jakarta into which the bodies of the murdered army officers were thrown on 30 September/1 October 1965

Mahmilub: Mahkamah Militer Luar Biasa (Extraordinary Military Tribunal)

MPR: Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (People’s Representative Assembly)

MPRS: Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Sementara (Temporary People’s Consultative Assembly)

New Order: The name President Suharto gave to his new regime after displacing Sukarno in 1966

Pancasila: The state ideology under President Sukarno. The five principles are: Belief in one God; Nationalism; Humanitarianism; Democracy and Social Justice.

Panglima: Military Commander

PKI: Partai Komunis Indonesia (Communist Party of Indonesia)
RPKADResimen Para Komando Angkatan Darat (Army Para Military Regiment)

SH: Sarjana Hukum (title for lawyer)

Tapol: Acronym reduced from tahanan politik (political prisoner); also name of human rights organisation based in London, which focuses on human rights violations after 1965

Notes

[1] Keputusan Presiden/ Panglima Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia/ Mandataris MPRS/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi No. 1/3/1966, translated from the copy reproduced in Alex Dinuth, Dokumen Terpilih, p.168-169.

[2] Acronym formed from “Neo-Colonial Imperialist”.

[3] Known as Supersemar.

[4] Diane Orentlicher, Report of the independent expert to update the Set of Principles to Combat Impunity, 2005. UN Commission on Human Rights E/CN.4/2005.102. add.1.p.7.

[5] See for instance Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice. New York: Good Books, 2014.

[6] Jakarta Post, 22 May 2015

[7] Memori-Memori Terlarang: Kisah Perempuan Penyintas Tragedi ’65 di NTT ). English edition: Forbidden Memories: Women’s Experiences of 1965 in Eastern Indonesia.

[8] “Looking into the massacres of Indonesia’s past,” accessed at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36431837.

[9] Jakarta Post, October 1, 2012

[10] Jakarta Post, 15 and 16 August 2012

[11] Adriaan Bedner, “Citizenship restored”, Inside Indonesia 122: Oct-Dec 2015.

[12] KUHP, Articles 107 a) to f).

[13] The name is an acronym of Masyarakat Santri untuk Advokasi Rakyat- -Santri Society for People’s Advocacy). Santri are (former) students at a pesantren, an Islamic bBoarding school. These are led by a kyai. The kyai and their pesantren constitute the core of the NU. Some of them were also targeted during the unilateral one-sided actions between 1963-1965 to enforce the Land Reform laws of led by the PKI-oriented Farmers’s Union between 1963-1965, to enforce the Land Reform laws.

[14] Transitional Justice in Indonesia Since the Fall of Soeharto; A joint report by ICTJ and KontraS. New York : ICTJ –KontraS , 2011. Box 5, p55

[15] See for instance http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/04/19/1965-symposium-indonesias-way-to-face-its-dark-past.html

[16] Even though the shirts state clearly that this stands for “Pecinta Kopi Indonesia” — Indonesian Coffee Lovers, the cup and spoon image depicted resembles the hammer and sickle emblem.

[17] See for instance http://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2016/05/20/from-red-bogey-to-anti-intellectualism.html

[18] Nurlela Lamasitudju, Rekonsiliasi dan Permintaan Maaf Walikota, in Wardaya, Baskara (ed), Luka Bangsa Luka Kita: Pelanggaran HAM Masa Lalu dan Tawaran Rekonsiliasi, Galangpress, 2014, pp. 371-383.

[19] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/world/asia/a-city-turns-to-face-indonesias-murderous-past.html?_r=0

[20] A selection of significant works in this field: some but not all are cited in the text.

 

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The Unites States, once more, under false pretenses is attempting – and possibly succeeding – in punishing, or in Washington’s jargon, ‘sanctioning’ Russia for allegedly having systematized doping during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They know no scruples, these masters of lies and manipulations in Washington. Fortunately, they are becoming more and more careless and flagrant in what they are doing – so that increasingly people will become aware of the criminal nature of the Washington government and its European vassals which support whatever atrocities the US is inflicting – or attempting to inflict – on the world.

In this case Washington already enlisted their vassal Canada to write to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, requesting exclusion of Russia from the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They are doing the same with European vassals – asking them to put pressure on the IOC.

In the meantime, they – the criminals of Washington – bought already the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to exclude Russia’s 68 track and field athletes, without any evidence that they were ever involved in doping. There exists literally no international organization on this globe that is not bought or blackmailed or simply prostituted into following the dictate of the evil empire.

What a shame for the world, for Us, the People, that we allow this aberration of all morals and ethics – and let it become the new norms, the new normal – same as state assassinations, falls flags – in the name of the empire, to further its objectives of Full Spectrum World Dominance – and in this case, being as usual The Greatest, also in sports, with a widely reduced competition.

Washington has falsely and without evidence accused the Russian Minister of Sports, Vitali Mutkó, of having been the orchestrator of the ‘Russian drug scandal’ (sic) in Sochi. Mr. Mutkó rightly reacted calling the allegation a farce, ‘a civil commission is accusing a nation’.

Of course, nobody dares talking about the US doping scandals, the real scandals. For example, Lance Armstrong won the French cycling contest, La Tour de France, seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. He also won the bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. In 2012 the US Anti-Doping Agency (ADA) found that he had taken performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. The ADA named him the ringleader of « the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.

Furthermore, Internet offers an incomplete list of 235 US sports people, who have been involved in ‘drug cases’

Has this been a reason for Russia to start a sports war of aggression against the US? – Of course not. The aggressor is always the same – the emperor, limping on his last leg. Well, why doesn’t the world leave the entire Olympics to the Masters of the Universe, the United States of America?

Please allow me to call on the entire world, or at least on those who dare to call themselves free and unaligned countries, to boycott the coming Rio Olympics in solidarity with Russia.

Sorry for Brazil, but in fact, even Brazil may join, as an unaligned nation – as the current ultra-corrupt interim government of Michel Kemer – put there in an illegal coup – guess by whom? – is not a legitimate representative of Brazil.

Russia, China and the Eurasian countries really don’t need to compete against the constantly treacherous west. They may at any time organize and invite to the New Eastern Olympics, with anybody being welcome to participate and perform – even the Masters of the Universe.

This is in any case the new direction he world is about to take. Looking East. That’s where the future lays. A dawning future, as the sunrise indicates, a future of peace and prosperity, sports included.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, Chinese 4th Media, TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. 

 

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The Western pubic doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany.

This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.

Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.

Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. (see Video Below)

As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war.

Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”

The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.

Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.

I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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Gaza Lives: Story by Anonymous

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Palestine Solidarity Campaign

I am a mother of eight children.

Their father died a year before the assault of 2014. I had barely recovered from mourning my husband when the war came to destroy what was left of my sanity.

When the war erupted, we thought it would last one or two weeks, but it continued for 51 days. The war targeted the entire Gaza Strip leaving no single safe place.

For the eastern parts of Gaza, the situation was the worst.

After tanks and planes shelled everything in sight, including houses, trees, streets and entire families, Gaza’s infrastructure, of water, sewage and electricity, was destroyed.

After a week of war, my children had a brush with death… It was the middle of Ramadan, and we couldn’t sleep because of the overwhelming noise of missiles and tanks.

 

Around midnight, most of the residents of Shuja’iyya decided to evacuate the area as they expected a very tough night. They ran, barefoot, in their night gowns, carrying nothing other than their children.

At exactly 1am, the air and land shelling intensified to the extent that I and the other families who had stayed in the area had to escape.

My children were terrified. I cannot describe the horrors I saw as people were crawling to escape and the shelling was chasing us, hitting some who were killed.

If you were slow to run, death would be your certain destiny.

The only thing we saw were the ambulances, and some private cars, carrying the scattered corpses, piled on top of each other.

To this day I cannot forget that moment when I saw around 8 dismembered corpses, faces disfigured, blood dripping from their bodies.

We walked aimlessly to nowhere. Some people found shelter in schools; others went to their relatives. Some ended up sheltering in hospitals.

My family and I made our way from the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, moving westward. We turned to look at the place behind us. The scene was horrifying, full of houses collapsing one after the other and widespread damage everywhere. Not as single soul remained.

All the residents fled, often leaving behind the corpses of their beloved ones.

We decided to go to our relatives in Shiek Ijleen. We had walked a long distance from east to west. To our surprise, there were hundreds of other people in that house.

We had no choice but to stay. My father and siblings lived also in Shuja’iyya, but they had fled with others to dispersed areas. I could not find them or even learn their fate.

One of my children was almost killed several times as he tried to get us basic supplies. Because of the overcrowding, we always lacked water and bread.

On the last day of the war, my father was killed. This was a great loss for me.

I decided to go back to Shuja’iyya, but could not get there because of the heavy shelling.

I returned to my relatives’ house. We waited for the war to end, but it never did.

Staying in a house with 200 people and no water or food was very difficult. The children were screaming. There was no electricity. The elders amongst us were terrified.

I decided to go back with my children as soon as a ceasefire was declared. And so I did.

I returned to Shuja’iyya and could not recognize it.

I saw blood and ruins and the smell of rotten corpses. Our house was partially demolished, still standing, but without windows or doors. Water and electricity networks were damaged.

I stayed and I will not leave after the ceasefire ends. I will never leave.

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How Brexit Changes Everything

juillet 23rd, 2016 by Michael Welch

The Global Research News Hour will be presenting special broadcasts over the summer months. 

Affiliate radio stations are encouraged to air this content as appropriate. 

Past programs are also available for download and rebroadcast.

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This week’s Global Research News Hour features a discussion on the recent decision of UK residents to pull out of the European Union. This discussion took place on July 13, 2016 at the Millennium Library in Downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

This event was organized and sponsored by Canadian Dimension Magazine.

Video footage courtesy of Paul Graham

Panelists addressed questions of what the Brexit decision means not only for the UK but for the EU and international politics broadly.

Professor Radhika Desai is Professor at the Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba. She is author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013), and co-director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group.

Alan Freeman is a transplanted Brit and was a principal economist with the Greater London Authority from 2000 to 2011. He is now retired and lives in Winnipeg where he is co-director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group.

Professor Henry Heller is a Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. He is author of the book, The Capitalist University: The Transformations of Higher Education in the United States, 1945-2016. »

John Ryan is a retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar of Geography at the University of Winnipeg. He is also a long-time socialist.

The moderator of the discussion was Canadian Dimension Founder and publisher Cy Gonnick.

 

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

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Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

 

 

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The Hague-based International People’s Tribunal has ruled that the Indonesian regime that replaced Indonesian President Sukarno committed crimes against humanity in 1965. The governments of Australia, Britain, and the United States have also been pronounced guilty as complicit partners in the massacre of 500,000 to 1000,000 people or more in Indonesia. People were murdered in Indonesia due to their principles, political ideology, ethnic backgrounds, and opposition to foreign influence. Albeit the ruling is an important historical acknowledgment, the assistance that the Australian, British, and US governments provided to the coup and played in the massacres is not a secret.

Asia-Pacific Research presents these excerpts from the Australian journalist John Pilger’s book The New Rulers of the World, which was published by Verso in 2002, in the interest of providing the historical background about the massacres that took place in Indonesia. Reading them will educate one on the despicable and criminal roles that Australia, Britain, and the US played. « There were bodies being washed up on the lawns of the British consulate in Surabaya, and British warships escorted a ship full of Indonesian troops down the Malacca Straits so that they could take part in this terrible holocaust, » for example Pilger writes. In his work John Pilger also notes that the US was directly involved in the operations of the death squads and helped compile the lists of people to be murdered while the Australian, British, and US media were used as propaganda tools to whitewash the coup and bloodbaths in Indonesia. A key point, however, that is emphasized is that the underlying economic motivations and plunder hidden behind the ideological discourse of the Cold War that really motivated the massacres in Indonesia.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 22 July 2016.

 Indonesians preparing to die in a mass grave.


Excerpts from The New Rulers of the World (Verso)

John Pilger, 2002

… according to a CIA memorandum, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John Kennedy had agreed to ‘liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities’. The CIA author added, ‘It is not clear to me whether murder or overthrow is intended by the word liquidate.’

Sukarno was a populist, the founder of modern Indonesia and of the non-aligned movement of developing countries, which he hoped would forge a genuine ‘third way’ between the spheres of the two superpowers. In 1955, he convened the ‘Asia-Africa Conference’ in the Javanese hill city of Bandung. It was the first time the leaders of the developing world, the majority of humanity, had met to forge common interests: a prospect that alarmed the western powers, especially as the vision and idealism of nonalignment represented a potentially popular force that might seriously challenge neo-colonialism. The hopes invested in such an unprecedented meeting are glimpsed in the faded tableaux and black-and-white photographs in the museum at Bandung and in the forecourt of the splendid art deco Savoy Hotel, where the following Bandung Principles are displayed:

I – Respect for fundamental human rights and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

2 – Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.

3 – The recognition of the equality of all peoples.

4 – The settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

Sukarno could be a democrat and a demagogue. For a time, Indonesia was a parliamentary democracy, then became what he called a ‘guided democracy’. He encouraged mass trade unions and peasant, women’s and cultural movements. Between 1959 and 1965, more than 15 million people joined political parties or affiliated mass organisations that were encouraged to challenge British and American influence in the region. With 3 million members, the PKI was the largest communist party in the world outside the Soviet Union and China. According to the Australian historian Harold Crouch, ‘the PKI had won widespread support not as a revolutionary party but as an organisation defending the interests of ‘the poor within the existing system’. It was this popularity, rather than any armed insurgency, that alarmed the Americans. Like Vietnam to the north, Indonesia might ‘go communist’ .

In 1990, the American investigative journalist Kathy Kadane revealed the extent of secret American collaboration in the massacres of 1965-66 which allowed Suharto to seize the presidency. Following a series of interviews with former US officials, she wrote, ‘They systematically compiled comprehensive lists of communist operatives. As many as 5,000 names were furnished to the Indonesian army, and the Americans later checked off the names of those who had been killed or captured.’ One of those interviewed was Robert J Martens, a political officer in the US embassy in Jakarta. ‘It was a big help to the army,’ he said. ‘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.’ Joseph Lazarsky, the deputy CIA station chief in Jakarta, said that confirmation of the killings came straight from Suharto’s headquarters. ‘We were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being picked up,’ he said. ‘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 [of the PKI] was zapped almost immediately. We knew what they were doing . . . Suharto and his advisers said, if you keep them alive you have to feed them.’

Having already armed and equipped much of the army, Washington secretly supplied Suharto’s troops with a field communications network as the killings got under way. Flown in at night by US air force planes based in the Philippines, this was state-of-the-art equipment, whose high frequencies were known to the CIA and the National Security Agency advising President Johnson. Not only did this allow Suharto’s generals to co-ordinate the killings, it meant that the highest echelons of the US administration were listening in and that Suharto could seal off large areas of the country. Although there is archive film of people being herded into trucks and driven away, a single fuzzy photograph of a massacre is, to my knowledge, the only pictorial record of what was Asia’s holocaust.

The American Ambassador in Jakarta was Marshall Green, known in the State Department as ‘the coupmaster’. Green had arrived in Jakarta only months earlier, bringing with him a reputation for having masterminded the overthrow of the Korean leader Syngman Rhee, who had fallen out with the Americans. When the killings got under way in Indonesia, manuals on student organising, written in Korean and English, were distributed by the US embassy to the Indonesian Student Action Command (KAMI), whose leaders were sponsored by the CIA.

On October 5, 1965, Green cabled Washington on how the United States could ‘shape developments to our advantage’. The plan was to blacken the name of the PKI and its ‘protector’, Sukarno. The propaganda should be based on ‘[spreading] the story of the PKI’s guilt, treachery and brutality’. At the height of the bloodbath, Green assured General Suharto: ‘The US is generally sympathetic with and admiring of what the army is doing. » As for the numbers killed, Howard Federspiel, the Indonesia expert at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research in 1965, said, ‘No one cared, as long as they were communists, that they were being butchered. No one was getting very worked up about it.’

The Americans worked closely with the British, the reputed masters and inventors of the ‘black’ propaganda admired and adapted by Joseph Goebbels in the 1930s. Sir Andrew Gilchrist, the Ambassador in Jakarta, made his position clear in a cable to the Foreign Office: ‘I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.’ With more than ‘a little shooting’ under way, and with no evidence of the PKI’s guilt, the embassy advised British intelligence headquarters in Singapore on the line to be taken, with the aim of ‘weakening the PKI permanently’ .

Suitable propaganda themes might be: PKI brutality in murdering Generals and [Foreign Minister] Nasution’s daughter . . . PKI subverting Indonesia as agents of foreign Communists . . . But treatment will need to be subtle, e.g. (a) all activities should be strictly unattributable, (b) British participation or co-operation should be carefully concealed.

Within two weeks, an office of the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD) had opened in Singapore. The IRD was a top-secret, cold war propaganda unit headed by Norman Reddaway, one of Her Majesty’s most experienced liars. It would be salutary for journalists these days to study the critical role western propaganda played then, as it does now, in shaping the news. Indeed, Reddaway and his colleagues manipulated the press so expertly that he boasted to Gilchrist in a letter marked ‘secret and personal’ that the story he had promoted – that Sukarno’s continued rule would lead to a communist takeover – ‘went all over the world and back again’ . He described how an experienced Fleet Street journalist agreed ‘to give exactly your angle on events in his article … . i.e. that this was a kid glove coup without butchery.’

Roland Challis, the BBC’s South-East Asia correspondent, was a particular target of Reddaway, who claimed that the official version of events could be ‘put almost instantly back to Indonesia via the BBC’. Prevented from entering Indonesia along with other foreign journalists, Challis was unaware of the extent of the slaughter. ‘It was a triumph for western propaganda,’ he told me. ‘My British sources purported not to know what was going on, but they knew what the American plan was. There were bodies being washed up on the lawns of the British consulate in Surabaya, and British warships escorted a ship full of Indonesian troops down the Malacca Straits so that they could take part in this terrible holocaust. It was only much later that we learned the American embassy was supplying names and ticking them off as they were killed. There was a deal, you see. In establishing the Suharto regime, the involvement of the IMF and the World Bank was part of it. Sukarno had kicked them out; now Suharto would bring them back. That was the deal.’

With Sukarno now virtually powerless and ill, and Suharto about to appoint himself acting president, the American press reported the Washington-backed coup not as a great human catastrophe, but in terms of the new economic advantages. The massacres were described by Time as ‘The West’s Best News in Asia’. A headline in US News and World Report read: ‘Indonesia: Hope . . . where there was once none’. The renowned New York Times columnist James Reston celebrated ‘A gleam of light in Asia’ and wrote a kid-glove version that he had clearly been given. The Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, who was visiting the US, offered a striking example of his sense of humour: ‘With 500,000 to a million communist sympathisers knocked off,’ he said approvingly, ‘I think it’s safe to assume a reorientation has taken place.’

Holt’s remark was an accurate reflection of the complicity of the Australian foreign affairs and political establishment in the agony of its closest neighbour. The Australian embassy in Jakarta described the massacres as a ‘cleansing operation’. The Australian Ambassador, KCO Shann, enthused to Canberra that the Indonesian army was ‘refreshingly determined to do over the PKI’, adding that the generals had spoken approvingly of the reporting on Radio Australia, which he described as ‘a bit dishonest’.’ In the Prime Minister’s Department, officials considered supporting ‘any measures to assist the Indonesian army … cope with the internal situation’.

In February 1966, [British] Ambassador Gilchrist wrote a report on the scale of the massacres based on the findings of the Swedish Ambassador, who had toured central and eastern Java with his Indonesian wife and had been able to speak to people out of earshot of government officials. Gilchrist wrote to the Foreign Office: ‘The Ambassador and I had discussed the killings before he left [on the tour] and he had found my suggested figure of 400,000 quite incredible. His enquiries have led him to reconsider it a very serious under-estimate. A bank manager in Surabaya with twenty employees said that four had been removed one night and beheaded . . . A third of a spinning factory’s technicians, being members of a Communist union, had been killed … The killings in Bali had been particularly monstrous. In certain areas, it was felt that not enough people [emphasis in the original] had been killed.’

On the island of Bali, the ‘reorientation’ described by Prime Minister Holt meant the violent deaths of at least 80,000 people, although this is generally regarded as a conservative figure. The many western, mostly Australian, tourists who have since taken advantage of cheap package holidays to the island might reflect that beneath the car parks of several of the major tourist hotels are buried countless bodies.

The distinguished campaigner and author Carmel Budiardjo, an Englishwoman married to a tapol and herself a former political prisoner, returned to Indonesia in 2000 and found ‘the trauma left by the killings thirty-five years ago still gripping many communities on the island’. She described meeting, in Denpasar, fifty people who had never spoken about their experiences before in public. ‘One witness,’ she wrote, ‘who was 20 years old at the time calmly told us how he had been arrested and held in a large cell by the military, 52 people in all, mostly members of mass organisations from nearby villages. Every few days, a batch of men was taken out, their hands tied behind their backs and driven off to be shot. Only two of the prisoners survived . . . Another witness, an ethnic Chinese Indonesian, gave testimony about the killing of 103 people, some as young as 15. In this case, the people were not arrested but simply taken from their homes and killed, as their names were ticked off a list.’

[…]

‘In the early sixties,’ he said, ‘the pressure on Indonesia to do what the Americans wanted was intense. Sukarno wanted good relations with them, but he didn’t want their economic system. With America, that is never possible. So he became an enemy. All of us who wanted an independent country, free to make our own mistakes, were made the enemy. They didn’t call it globalisation then; but it was the same thing. If you accepted it, you were America’s friend. If you chose another way, you were given warnings, and if you didn’t comply, hell was visited on you. But I am back; I am well; I have my family. They didn’t win.’

Ralph McGehee, a senior CIA operations officer in the 1960s, described the terror in Indonesia from 1965 – 66 as a ‘model operation’ for the American-run coup that got rid of Salvador Allende in Chile seven years later. ‘The CIA forged a document purporting to reveal a leftist plot to murder Chilean military leaders,’ he wrote, ‘[just like] what happened in Indonesia in 1965.’ He says Indonesia was also the model for Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, where American-directed death squads assassinated up to 50,000 people. ‘You can trace back all the major, bloody events run from Washington to the way Suharto came to power,’ he told me. ‘The success of that meant that it would be repeated, again and again.’

[…]

Indonesia, once owing nothing but having been plundered of its gold, precious stones, wood, spices and other natural riches by its colonial masters, the Dutch, today has a total indebtedness estimated at $262 billion, which is 170 per cent of its gross domestic product. There is no debt like it on earth. It can never be repaid. It is a bottomless hole.

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Carmel Budiardjo shares her personal experience in the aftermath of 1965 and comments on the influences that led her to create TAPOL.

One year ago today, Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights, Komnas HAM, published a landmark report on its investigation into the mass killings that took place across Indonesia nearly fifty years ago in 1965/66. The Indonesian army, with the support of civilian mobs, gangsters and para-military groups, unleashed a campaign of terror against alleged members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and associated groups, killing up to one million people and imprisoning many more.

Komnas HAM found evidence of systematic and widespread crimes against humanity, but none of its recommendations concerning a follow-up criminal investigation by the Attorney General, the establishment of a human rights court and truth and reconciliation process, and an official apology have yet been acted upon.

The remarkable multi award-winning film, THE ACT OF KILLING by Joshua Oppenheimer has recently been drawing international attention to the killings. This was one of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century, but is hardly known about when compared to the atrocities committed in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia. In the past few weeks THE ACT OF KILLING has been playing to packed audiences in London and across the country.

The film is not intended for the faint-hearted. Local gangsters in Medan, North Sumatra re-enact their roles in the killings. The film shows in graphic detail how people were murdered. Men were repeatedly stabbed, leaving trails of blood and headless bodies, or strangled with wire round the neck with their bodies thrown into rivers. The latter was often the preferred option as it was ‘bloodless’ and left no evidence of the killing.

The killers describe quite calmly how they killed ‘communists’ on instructions from the Indonesian military in Jakarta.  It was led by General Suharto who commanded the army and went on to rule the country with an iron fist for more than thirty years, from 1965 – 1998.

What the film does not explain is why communists or alleged communists were disposed of so comprehensively throughout the country. By late 1965, the PKI, with around 3 million members, had become one of the largest political parties in Indonesia, with widespread support from peasants and workers.

In the mid-50s, the Party leadership declared that it would not engage in armed struggle but would try to win political influence through the ballot box and by means of pro-people policies such as supporting land reform and promoting the rights of workers and of women.

On the night of 30 September/1 October 1965, six army generals were kidnapped and killed. While to this day, no one has been able to identify who gave the order to kill, General Suharto, who was then commander of the special elite forces called KOSTRAD, blamed the PKI and issued a call for vengeance against the PKI and its many associated mass organisations and groups. These included leftwing activists, peasant groups, labour unions, artists, intellectuals and ethnic Chinese.

In the following months, large numbers of people with leftist leanings were regarded as being ‘terlibat’ or ‘involved’ in the killing of the generals and hence subject not merely to arrest but to extermination. I was living in Indonesia at the time and a member of the HSI – Association of Indonesian Academics – which was regarded as one of the organisations associated with the PKI. Many of my colleagues were killed or arrested and I too was arrested. My husband, Suwondo Budiardjo spent nearly ten years in prison.

Like all the other political prisoners, I was held in detention without charge or trial, for three years. We were among the tens of thousands of tapols – tahanan politik (political prisoner) – who were held across the country, none of whom would ever be tried. We had not committed any crimes but we were incarcerated simply for being members of the PKI or organisations regarded as being closely associated with the PKI.

We were detained by a special unit of the Indonesian military called KOPKAMTIB – Command for the Restoration of Security and Order. There were no formal charges against us, apart from our alleged ‘involvement’ in the killing of the six generals. When I was interrogated by soldiers, all they wanted me to do was to identify other Indonesians who were members of the HSI who had not yet been arrested or other people I knew who may have been ‘involved’. Had I given any names, the troops would have immediately rushed out to look for these people and treated them even more harshly than me.  I often felt that as a foreigner I was being treated less harshly because the soldiers were warned that my treatment could lead to an international outcry.

The aim of this nationwide clampdown and the killings and arrests was to destroy the PKI ‘down to its roots’ – ditumpas keakar-akarnya – along with all its associated organisations so as to make way for the Indonesian army to rule the country.

Apart from the hundreds of thousands of killings, tens of thousands of people were held in labour camps across the country, the best known of which was the labour camp on the Island of Buru. The men on Buru were used as forced and unpaid labour, to clear the difficult terrain, uproot stinging and poisonous vegetation in the area and plant crops for their own sustenance. They had to dig the soil and plant crops with their bare hands. No medication was available for the many prisoners who fell dangerously ill from working under the blazing sun or who sustained serious injuries because of the work they were forced to do.

I was released in November 1971 following clarification of my status as a British subject and I was able to return to London. As I left the prison, the dozens of women prisoners said ‘Farewell’ from their cells and urged me: ‘Please help us!’

Living in Jakarta at the time, we had no idea what was happening across the country. In Central Java and East Java where the PKI had won a huge amount of support, tens of thousands of communists or alleged communists were killed in the six months from October 1965. It was only when friends came to Jakarta after visiting their home towns that they told us what they had discovered. This is how I found out the terrible truth about the extent of the massacres.

Throughout the more than thirty years that Suharto ruled the country, the massacres were a forbidden subject, never mentioned in the tightly controlled media. It was not until 2008 that Komnas HAM started its investigation into the killings.

The investigating team interviewed people in four specific areas and saw for itself the places that had been used to incarcerate people, not only regular prisons but also places converted for use as prisons such as schools or church halls.  These were places where people were beaten and tortured, beaten on the head with blocks of wood, punched in the face and whipped and where women were sexually assaulted.

No foreign government has condemned the Indonesian authorities for perpetrating these crimes and many Western governments have continued their steadfast support for the Indonesian military. Suharto himself died in January 2008 without ever facing justice. Other senior officers who were responsible for the killings still have not been held to account for their crimes.

President Yudhoyono should now respond to the KOMNAS HAM recommendations, apologise to the victims and end the impunity which has prevailed in Indonesia for so long.

Click here to find out about TAPOL’s Say Sorry for 65 campaign

TAPOL was established in 1973 by Carmel Budiardjo, a political prisoner in Indonesia following former President Suharto’s rise to power in 1965. An Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Carmel was released after three years’ imprisonment without trial and returned to the UK. She founded TAPOL (which means ‘political prisoner’ in Indonesian) to campaign for release of the tens of thousands of political prisoners remaining in Indonesia following the 1965 atrocities, and in support of the relatives of the hundreds of thousands who were killed. While the campaign has since broadened, TAPOL continues to advocate for the victims of one of the twentieth century’s worst massacres and best-kept secrets.

 

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The election of Linda Burney is welcome, but the real celebrations can only begin when Labor and the Coalition make significant changes to their Indigenous Affairs policies. Until there is support for a strong and independent First Nations representative body, that’s unlikely to happen, writes Amy McQuire.

In the midst of so much uncertainty, and the re-election of Pauline Hanson, it was understandable that media and pundits alike wanted to celebrate something, anything, on Saturday night. That celebration came in the form of a historic moment, the type that begs for back slapping and warm fuzzy feelings, early on in the marathon election coverage.

Voters may have given a seat (or two possibly) to One Nation, but at least the citizens of the inner-Sydney seat of Barton had provided the night a sorely needed highlight in the form of Wiradjuri woman Linda Burney, the first Indigenous woman to be elected to the federal lower house.

Ms Burney’s election comes following Bill Shorten’s much-publicised promise to get more Aboriginal faces into Parliament. The ALP, at least, was trying to stick to that promise, with the selection of Pat Dodson for the outgoing Joe Bullock’s senate seat, and the likely election of Malarndirri McCarthy in the Northern Territory following the resignation of Nova Peris.

The party was also running First Nations candidates in the Western Australian seats of Durack and Swan (contested by Carol Martin and Tammy Solonec).

At least the ALP tried. The Greens, for example, have never selected an Aboriginal candidate to a winnable seat, and although they have by far the most progressive policies in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they ran no First Nations candidates this election.

But despite this, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed by these moments in history.  ‘Firsts’ are not notable in my book, because they could likely be an aberration, an exception to the rule. It’s always more important to celebrate those who come ‘second’, because it means maybe the ceiling has been completely shattered, rather than cracked and re-sealed.

The election of Linda Burney was celebrated across the country, by blackfellas and whitefellas alike, and while it’s great to see more black faces in Parliament, especially in the form of a politician who has honed her skills for years in state parliament, it shouldn’t let the ALP off the hook in relation to Aboriginal affairs.

Having an Aboriginal member in Parliament, and likely two in the Senate, doesn’t mean the ALP have the best wishes of mob at heart. It means that whenever they try and pass legislation to the detriment of mob, they can do it with first prefacing that they were the first party to have an Aboriginal woman in the lower house and the senate. It gives them a false legitimacy on Aboriginal affairs, a badge they can wear that they haven’t earned.

This is what the Liberals did repeatedly with Ken Wyatt, and the ALP to an extent with Nova Peris. But the ALP are still the party that first recommended the abolition of the last robust Aboriginal representative structure ATSIC, the party that continued the NT intervention, the party that continued the destruction of CDEP jobs program and replaced it with the horrendous RJCP, the party that apologised for the Stolen Generations but then saw an exponential rise in the number of Aboriginal children being taken from their families, the party that completely bungled the intervention’s $1 billion housing programme SIHIP with disastrous consequences, the party that made Aboriginal people sign over their land in exchange for government funds that are the right of any other Australian citizen, and the party that set up the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples to falter in the first place. The party that committed to the Close the Gap targets and then lost office as that gap continued to widen.

Of course, the Coalition is not much better. In fact, you could argue they have been catastrophically worse under current Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion. The dangerous bipartisanship on Aboriginal affairs from both major parties has not helped blackfellas, regardless of how many of us you put in Parliament.

It’s nice to have something to celebrate for once, and having more blackfellas in Parliament is of course, better than nothing. But even that comes with caveats.

The great thing with having a politician with experience, is that you can also judge them by their record, rather than their Aboriginality. In Aboriginal communities today, one of the most pressing issues is the spiralling rates of child removal – the rates of Aboriginal children being ripped from their families has risen every year since the apology.

Linda Burney was NSW Minister for Community Services from 2008-2011. In that time, the rates of Aboriginal child removal continued at growing rates in the state. As University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning researcher Paddy Gibson puts it:

“During her time as Minister the number of Aboriginal children in ‘out of home care’ in NSW increased from approximately 4,300 – 5,800. Over the same period, the proportion of Aboriginal children placed with Aboriginal relatives or kin declined from 58 per cent to 50 per cent,” Mr Gibson says.

This is important, because you can’t solve the crisis in Aboriginal communities while continuing the breakdown of the Aboriginal family – this breakdown is the reason there are so many seemingly intractable problems today. Children who are placed in out-of-home care are more likely to end up in juvenile detention, and then jail, who continue the cycle because parents who are in jail are more likely to have their children taken by ‘child protection’.

Of course, Linda Burney wasn’t elected to represent Aboriginal Australia, she was elected to represent Barton. It’s not a win for Aboriginal representation in Parliament. What would be a win, would be for both major parties to support a robust, democratically elected national Aboriginal body that cannot be dismantled based on the political whims of the day.

Given the sorry history both parties have in this arena, we may be waiting a long time for that to eventuate.

Here’s a snapshot of what a coalition of Philippines human rights groups describe as a “surge of extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and drug offenders ».

2.50am July 14: Unidentified drug suspect #43 | San Juan City, Metro Manila | Found dead, hogtied, face wrapped with packaging tape and with eight sachets of suspected shabu [crystal meth] strapped to the body

5.00am July 13: Evangeline Tan, suspected drug user but not on the city’s drug watch list | Dasmariñas City, Cavite | Found dead, body full of stab wounds and hands tied with an electric cord; found on the body was a paper saying, “Wag tularan, tulak ako (Do not imitate, I’m a drug pusher).”

Those fatality reports are from the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s twice-weekly “Kill List”, which tallies the killings of suspected drug dealers and users by police and unidentified vigilantes.

The “Kill List” records a “marked and unmistakable” rise in such killings amounting to 265 deaths between June 30, the day President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, and July 18.

Official statistics support assertions of an alarming increase in police killings of drug-related criminal suspects. Philippines National Police data indicate that police killed at least 192 such criminal suspects between May 10 and July 10.

That death toll in the two months following Duterte’s electoral victory dwarfs the 68 killings of suspects that police recorded during “anti-drug operations” between January 1 and June 15, 2016.

Police have attributed the killings to suspects who “resisted arrest and shot at police officers”, but have not provided further evidence that they acted in self-defence.

Duterte’s rhetoric

The Duterte administration has not put forward any policy proposals on criminal justice or crime control. He has been in office less than one month.

But the government’s rhetorical stance on the upsurge in police killings of criminal suspects shows that the disregard Duterte showed for Philippine law and international human rights standards during his campaign has become the presidential reality.

He had told his supporters on the election trail:

If I make it to the presidential palace … you drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better get out because I’ll kill you.

At a pre-election campaign rally he promised a supportive crowd the mass killings of tens of thousands of “criminals”, whose bodies he would dump in Manila Bay.

At his inauguration, Duterte identified illegal drugs as one of the country’s top problems and vowed his government’s anti-drug battle “will be relentless and it will be sustained ».

Now in office, Duterte has praised the killings as proof of the “success” of the anti-drug campaign and urged police to “seize the momentum“.

Against check and balances

After calls for a Senate probe of those killings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, on July 11 slammed these as “legal harassment” and said it “dampens the morale” of PNP officers.

That same day, Duterte’s top judicial official, Solicitor-General Jose Calida, defended the legality of the killings and opined that the number of such deaths was “not enough ».

The PNP will soon make it easier for Calida to track the number of those killings. On July 18 it announced plans to erect outside the PNP’s Manila headquarters a large electronic billboard that will provide an updated tally of drug suspects either arrested or “neutralised” by police.

Complicit in serious crimes

Official statements calling for what is effectively the extrajudicial killing of criminal suspects could make the officials responsible complicit in serious crimes. And an unwillingness to investigate alleged unlawful killings would be dereliction of duty.

There are already indications that some local politicians have taken inspiration from some of Duterte’s rhetoric during his election and enacted potentially abusive “anti-crime” measures.

Days after Duterte’s May 10 electoral victory, the mayor-elect of Cebu City in the central Philippines, Tomas Osmeña, announced he would pay a 50,000 peso (US$1,080) bounty for each “criminal” killed by his police force. Osmeña didn’t specify how police would determine the legality of such killings or the identity of the suspects.

The most sinister articulation of this approach has been the rise of “death squads” in cities in the southern Philippines linked to local police and government officials.

Human Rights Watch exposed in a 2009 report the operations of a death squad that operated in Davao City with the support of city officials and police. Hundreds of people deemed to be “undesirables” – petty criminals, drug dealers and street children as young as 14 – were killed.

Duterte, who served as Davao City’s mayor for 22 years, publicly applauded such killings.

There have been no prosecutions related to the Davao death squad operations and a federal inquiry was called off. There is evidence that the Davao death squad inspired a similar operation in the nearby municipality of Tagum City. This was linked to hundreds of killings and operated as a salaried arm of the municipal government.

Eroding the rule of law

In his inauguration speech, Duterte pledged that his “adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising”. The gruesome daily toll of police killings of criminal suspects demands that he deliver on that promise.

Duterte needs to demonstrate his commitment to due process and rule of law. He should urgently order a credible and independent inquiry into those deaths.

The government needs to make clear that the human rights protections embodied in the constitution apply to all the people of the Philippines — even those that police may consider “criminals”.

Phelim Kine is an adjunct professor at the Roosevelt Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York.

In May, the ABC’s first female managing director Michelle Guthrie was introduced by the ABC Board as bringing “business expertise, international contacts, a record in content-making across an array of platforms, a deep understanding of audience needs and corporate responsibility for promoting issues like diversity”.

If the ABC fact-checking unit, which Guthrie expurgated, were still in operation they might have this to say: Guthrie, former managing director for Fox, Murdoch and Google agencies, has never worked for a public broadcaster, lacks media or journalism qualifications and has never produced content.

Guthrie’s first order of business was: monetize the ABC, cancel the ABC’s fact-checking unit, cancel the Drum and begin a culling season at the ABC.

So who is Guthrie? And, how was the appointment of a former Murdoch player made to the $5 million, five-year managing director position?

Michelle Guthrie’s CV shows a corporate work history lacking experience in public service, journalism, current affairs or media content creation. Guthrie is best known for the billion-dollar commercial disaster when Murdoch’s Star News, which she headed, collapsed in China. There is no further public record of Guthrie’s commercial successes or failures.

After Mark Scott announced his retirement last year, global talent firm Ego Zehnder began a $400,000 transnational search for the next ABC head. As well as local candidates from SBS, ABC, News Corp and Radio National, candidates from the global talent pool were approached.

After the CV and selection criteria were met, candidates were tested for IQ, emotional intelligence and personality. Two News Limited candidates were shortlisted: Guthrie and Ken Williams.

According to former ABC journalist Quentin Dempster, the process was flawed and preordained. Letters of complaint were lodged, with one applicant saying: “I was told ‘You don’t scale’ — meaning I hadn’t run a billion-dollar operation employing at least 5000 employees. This wasn’t in the advertised criteria.”

For Dempster and the applicants, this was a captain’s pick, intimately politicised by the Prime Minister’s office. The prime minister, under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act (1983), has the right to author the selection criteria. The other candidates claimed that in this case the criteria were made to fit the “Google lady”.

Turnbull intervened to list media qualifications as the least important criterion. (It is interesting to note that close Turnbull friend, Bruce McWilliams of Channel Seven, worked with Guthrie at a Sydney law firm.)

The criteria and process were so suspect that even Murdoch’s own Australian newspaper thundered: “It almost defies belief that a background in news and journalism was listed as the least important of 15 selection criteria the corporation used in choosing its new managing director/editor-in-chief.

“The specifications made as much sense as a major bank downplaying the value of financial experience in selecting a chief executive or the CSIRO regarding scientific expertise as an optional extra.”

Controversy from the selection process shadowed Guthrie in the Senate when Labor and the Greens questioned the ABC boss about advertising, cost cutting and local content.

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari raised the question of ABC board member Kirsten Ferguson, being investigated by ASIC for allegedly forcing out the whistleblower of a multimillion-dollar bribery scandal at Leightons. Ferguson, like Guthrie, was seen as a Turnbull political appointee.

Dastyari asked why the board had not taken action or discussed the issue. Guthrie’s responses tellingly broke the Senate rules: “We don’t discuss [in public] board matters”. Guthrie refused to claim public immunity in the Senate and headed off for a meeting with Dastyari behind closed doors.

In public, Guthrie prefers to enthusiastically discuss other in-house policies. Guthrie has talked of the aim of monetising the ABC digital platform and allowing advertisements to be screened on the ABC’s website. She spoke of the need to curtail spending and live within the confines of the budget. In one of her first acts as managing director, Guthrie would swing the axe on one of the most acclaimed hard news digital platforms of recent times: the ABC fact-checking unit.

Three days after the election, Guthrie axed The Drum opinion pages as a budget saving measure. Director of News Gaven Morris announced the decision saying there would be no redundancies and “ending The Drum as our online brand in no way reflects on its quality. The excellence of its work is shown in its strong audience numbers and its loyal following.”

In early July, a Catalyst reporter was suspended and rumours flew that Catalyst would suffer the same fate as The Drum website. Classic FM is also facing severe cuts. The ABC audience went ballistic and complaints flooded in.

Senior ABC sources revealed that News Limited and Crikey complained that The Drum was monopolising audiences and taking them away from traditional print sources. The Australian wrote: “At the start of Michelle Guthrie’s term it is smart to end this farcical market distortion [The Drum]. But it is merely a beginning.”

That the announcement of the axing of The Drum came from Morris — and not from Guthrie — was significant. Outgoing director Scott had thrust Morris into editorial responsibility for the purpose of blocking criticism and shielding Guthrie.

Guthrie has been appointed with many safeguards and sweeping powers to implement “diversity” and “transitional change” at the ABC. She has openly criticised the ABC for being colour blind and ageist.

Friends of the ABC suggest this is a red herring for implementing a neoliberal agenda of cost cutting and a purge of alternative opinion. The diversity pledge is seen as a signal that a merger between the ABC and SBS is likely and that there will be a tactical reformation of its governing legislation — bringing in advertising and ultimately privatisation.

For now, Friends of the ABC and other critics foresee an ABC future where Kerry O’Brien has a “reality” TV show, News Limited presenters host the News and Andrew Bolt fronts 7.30.

The “culling season” subplots will be known on July 28, when Guthrie delivers her maiden speech — not on ABC TV or at the Press Club, but at Creative Country, a News Limited conference. At $500 a head, critics will not be there and will struggle to find excerpts of the speech under Murdoch’s paywall.

Meanwhile, the plot thickens. Former ABC managing director Mark Scott has imitated Guthrie — effortlessly and seemingly without any educational qualifications or experience, Scott secured the plumb role of head of the NSW Department of Education.

La Cour permanente d’arbitrage de La Haye, soutenue par l’ONU, a essentiellement jugé qu’il n’y a pas de base juridique à la revendication de droits historiques de la Chine sur de vastes parties de la mer de Chine méridionale incluses dans la «ligne des neuf tirets» (voir ci-contre).

Voilà l’arrêt, en jargon d’origine : «Les allégations de la Chine concernant ses droits historiques, ou d’autres droits souverains sous sa juridiction, sur les zones maritimes de la mer de Chine méridionale englobées dans la partie appropriée de la ligne des neuf tirets sont contraires à la Convention et sans effet légal, dans la mesure où elles dépassent les limites géographiques et substantielles des droits maritimes de la Chine en vertu de la Convention.»

Ligne des neuf tirets
 

D’accord, rien n’est noir et blanc dans un cas extrêmement complexe. Les Philippines ont été informées par une turbo-équipe juridique anglo-américaine. La Chine n’avait pas d’agents ou de représentants au procès.

Pékin fait valoir que tout le contentieux autour de la mer de Chine méridionale tourne autour de revendications souveraines contradictoires sur des délimitations maritimes d’îles, de rochers, et autres récifs, pour lesquelles la Cour n’a aucune compétence. L’attribution de la souveraineté territoriale à partir de caractéristiques maritimes [île, rocher, récif, haut-fond, etc. NdT] dans la mer de Chine méridionale va au-delà de la Convention de 1982 des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer (UNCLOS).

Pékin s’en tient à l’article 298 de la Convention – qui exclut un arbitrage imposé sur les frontières maritimes. Ceci est un résumé fidèle de la situation chinoise, fourni par le chef de la mission chinoise auprès de l’UE, Yang Yanyi. Et de fait, le tribunal n’a pas alloué d’îles, de rochers, de récifs ou d’affleurements aux nations en conflit. Il a seulement pointé les caractéristiques maritimes capables − en vertu du droit international − de générer des droits territoriaux sur les mers environnantes.

Ce qui a transpiré de La Haye ne va certainement pas résoudre l’énigme, comme c’est argumenté ici. Pékin avait déjà été très clair, avant même la décision, il rejetterait farouchement toutes les conclusions.

Mais maintenant le récit est calibré. Pékin est ouvert pour des discussions, tant que Manille oublie la décision de la Cour de La Haye. Jay Batongbacal, de l’Université des Philippines, va au cœur de la question : «Déclarer publiquement que s’asseoir sur l’arbitrage est une condition pour la reprise des négociations ne donne pas de place pour sauver la face, ni d’un côté ni de l’autre.»

Et sauver la face − à la façon asiatique − sera maintenant le nom du jeu. Le nouveau président philippin Rodrigo Duterte − alias Le Justicier, en raison de son passage en tant que maire pourchassant le crime à Davao City − a un ordre du jour qui est d’améliorer les infrastructures déplorables de son pays. Et devinez d’où l’investissement essentiel devrait provenir.

Donc, l’ordre du jour domestique de Duterte pour les réformes conduit à la coopération économique avec la Chine, et non à la confrontation. Il a déjà donné des signes − contradictoires −  qu’il serait prêt à se rendre à Pékin et à trouver un accord. Sans aucun doute, il aura du mal à convaincre Pékin d’arrêter la construction d’installations militaires dans la mer de Chine du Sud, ainsi que de ne pas imposer une zone d’identification de défense aérienne.

Mais il pourrait avoir une chance de proposer le partage des ressources naturelles dans les riches gisements inexplorés de pétrole et de gaz de la mer de Chine du Sud. Oui, car une fois de plus, tout concerne de l’énergie − beaucoup plus que les quelque $4 500 milliards de commerce maritime qui la traversent chaque année. La Liberté de navigation a toujours été plus qu’assurée pour tous. Pour Pékin, la mer de Chine méridionale est un atout dont la possession garantirait tout dans le domaine de l’énergie, car elle constituerait, à long terme, un autre facteur majeur dans le plan directeur d’échapper à Malacca, en diversifiant les sources d’énergie, loin du goulot d’étranglement qui peut être facilement bloqué par l’US Navy.

Maintenant, avec l’US Navy faisant déjà des intrusions et des survols en mer de Chine du Sud, les enjeux ne peuvent pas faire autrement que d’escalader.

C’est… un rocher !

La majorité absolue des îles / rochers / îlots rocheux / récifs / hauts-fonds réclamés par la Chine, Brunei, la Malaisie, les Philippines, le Vietnam et Taïwan dans la mer de Chine méridionale sont inhabités − avec certains d’entre eux sous l’eau à marée basse. Ils peuvent couvrir un total de seulement quelques kilomètres carrés − mais sont répartis sur un immense 2 millions de kilomètres carrés de mer, et inclus dans la «ligne des neuf tirets» de la Chine, qui revendique la souveraineté sur la majorité des chaînes d’îles et les eaux avoisinantes.

Donc, dans ce domaine clé qui concerne la question : «Qui est le légitime propriétaire de certaines îles de la mer de Chine du Sud, la décision a été un coup majeur contre Beijing. La justification avait toujours été basée sur des textes historiques, allant du IVe siècle avant J.-C. aux dynasties Tang et Qin. Durant la courte période de la République de Chine, 291 îles et récifs ont été cartographiés en 1947 et qualifiés dans le cadre de la ‘ligne des neuf tirets’.»

Donc, La Chine Rouge a, de fait, hérité en 1949, d’une réclamation faite par la République de Chine rivale. Plus tard, en 1958, la Chine de Mao a publié une déclaration encadrant ses eaux territoriales englobées par la «ligne de neuf tirets» − incluant les îles Spratleys. Ajoutant à l’ironie historique, le premier ministre du Nord-Vietnam à l’époque, Pham Van Dong, était d’accord avec le Premier ministre chinois Zhou en lai.

Maintenant, c’est une histoire complètement différente. Même si Pékin et Taipei continuent à se mettre d’accord, la Chine et le Vietnam s’opposent. La Haye a jugé : «Il n’y a pas de base juridique pour les revendications de la Chine sur des droits historiques aux ressources dans les zones maritimes relevant de la ‘ligne des neuf tirets’ Le problème supplémentaire est que Pékin n’a jamais vraiment expliqué ce que la ligne signifiait, légalement.

La Haye a également rétrogradé ce qui pourrait être considéré comme des îles au statut de tas de rochers. Ainsi, ils ne sont plus des territoires générant des droits. La plus grande part de la mer de Chine méridionale, en fait, est déclarée en eaux internationales neutres.

Donc si on parle de rochers, la mer territoriale qui les entoure s’arrête à seulement 12 miles nautiques. Et il est évident qu’ils ne sont pas admissibles au statut de zone économique exclusive (ZEE), avec un rayon de 200 miles nautiques.

Si aucune ZEE ne s’applique aux Spratleys, ce qui risque de se produire dans un proche avenir, c’est que les Philippines, la Malaisie, Brunei et le Vietnam, chacun pour son compte, tire sa propre ligne de ZEE à partir de ses îles ou côtes principales dans cette partie de la mer de Chine du Sud − avec la réclamation des droits afférents.

La décision sème le trouble pour les récifs Mischief et Subi − les deux plus grandes formations de terres dans la mer de Chine du Sud après les revendications massives de la Chine. Maintenant, ils ont été rétrogradés au statut de hauts-fonds − ils sont seulement émergés à marée basse. Cela signifie que ces deux grandes bases chinoises dans les Spratleys n’auraient pas de mer territoriale, ni de ZEE, rien, en dehors d’une zone de sécurité de 500 mètres autour d’elles.

À la rencontre les Rochers Spratleys

Et puis, il y a le cas extraordinaire de Taiping − la plus grande île dans les Spratleys, avec une superficie d’environ un demi-kilomètre carré. Taiping est occupée par la République de Chine, qui comme chacun sait n’est pas reconnue comme une nation souveraine par l’ONU, par le tribunal de La Haye, ou par toute autre nation d’Asie du Sud sur cette question.

Pékin n’a jamais contesté l’affirmation de Taipei sur Taiping. Mais comme Taïwan fait partie de la Chine, même sans occuper physiquement Taiping, Pékin pouvait encore revendiquer le droit d’établir une ZEE.

Les Philippines, pour leur part, font valoir que Taiping n’a ni habitation civile, ni vie économique durable, parce qu’il s’agit d’une garnison militaire. La Haye a accepté. Donc l’île de Taiping a également été rétrogradée au statut de rocher. Donc pas de 200 miles nautiques d’une ZEE qui serait très proche de la province de Palawan aux Philippines.

Donc, en résumé, il semble qu’il ne reste plus aucune île parmi les plus de cent rochers dans les Spratleys. Alors, c’est le moment de les appeler les Rochers Spratleyset plus les Îles Spratleys, non ?

Selon la cour, rien dans les Spratleys n’était capable de générer des zones maritimes prolongées … [et] ayant constaté qu’aucun des caractéristiques revendiquées par la Chine n’était capable de générer une zone économique exclusive, le tribunal a conclu qu’il pouvait − sans délimiter de frontière − déclarer que certaines zones maritimes sont dans la zone économique exclusive des Philippines, parce que ces zones ne sont pas recouvertes par un quelconque droit de la Chine.

Bigre. Comme si cela ne suffisait pas, La Haye a également condamné la revendication chinoise sur les terres − toutes − et la construction d’îles artificielles sur sept rochers dans les Spratleys, déclarant que cela avait causé un «préjudice grave à l’environnement des récifs coralliens et a violé son obligation de préserver et de protéger les écosystèmes fragiles et l’habitat des espèces décimées, menacées ou en voie de disparition».

Depuis 2012, toutes les îles Paracel sont sous contrôle chinois. En ce qui concerne les Spratleys, elles sont partagées : le Vietnam occupe 21 caractéristiques, les Philippines 9, la Chine 7, et la Malaisie 5. La chanson, cependant, reste la même, les questions de souveraineté ne peuvent être réglées en vertu du droit international, car elles ne relèvent pas de la compétence de La Haye.

Alors qu’est-ce qui se passe ensuite − en dehors des marchandages sans fin sur les conclusions ? Pékin et Manille doivent parler − de telle façon que Pékin sauve la face ; l’Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est (ASEAN) devrait renforcer son jeu et agir en tant que médiateur. Cela ne signifie pas que la Chine va cesser de créer des faits accomplis sur la mer − comme presque partout dans la mer de Chine méridionale. Après tout, elle a le pouvoir − militaire. Avec ou sans une «ligne des neuf tirets», que ce soit sur des îles, des récifs, des hauts-fonds ou des tas de rochers.

 

Article original en anglais : Between a rock and a hard place (South China)d, Russia Today, 12 juillet 2016

Traduction : Le Saker francophone

Pepe Escobar est l’auteur de Globalistan : How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues : a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009), Empire of Chaos (Nimble Books) et le petit dernier, 2030, traduit en français.

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Mer de Chine du sud : entre îles, récifs, rochers, hauts-fonds, querelle de mots

Mentre l’attenzione politico-mediatica è concentrata sulla Brexit e su possibili altri scollamenti della Ue, la Nato, nella generale disattenzione, accresce la sua presenza e influenza in Europa. Il segretario generale Stoltenberg, preso atto che «il popolo britannico ha deciso di lasciare l’Unione europea», assicura che «il Regno Unito continuerà a svolgere il suo ruolo dirigente nella Nato». Sottolinea quindi che, di fronte alla crescente instabilità e incertezza, «la Nato è più importante che mai quale base della cooperazione tra gli alleati europei e tra l’Europa e il Nordamerica».

  • Posted in Italiano
  • Commentaires fermés sur VIDEO. La Notizia di Manlio Dinucci – Il patto d’acciaio Nato-Ue

Mentre l’attenzione politico-mediatica è concentrata sulla Brexit e su possibili altri scollamenti della Ue, la Nato, nella generale disattenzione, accresce la sua presenza e influenza in Europa. Il segretario generale Stoltenberg, preso atto che «il popolo britannico ha deciso di lasciare l’Unione europea», assicura che «il Regno Unito continuerà a svolgere il suo ruolo dirigente nella Nato». Sottolinea quindi che, di fronte alla crescente instabilità e incertezza, «la Nato è più importante che mai quale base della cooperazione tra gli alleati europei e tra l’Europa e il Nordamerica».

  • Posted in Italiano
  • Commentaires fermés sur VIDEO. La Notizia di Manlio Dinucci – Nato/Exit, obiettivo vitale

Le ministère syrien des Affaires étrangères a demandé mardi à l’ONU de condamner les frappes aériennes françaises, qui ont pris pour cible un village du nord de la Syrie et tué 120 civils, a rapporté l’agence de presse officielle syrienne SANA.

Le ministère a indiqué que les avions de combats français, qui font partie de la coalition anti-terroriste dirigée par les Etats-Unis, ont bombardé mardi matin le village de Tukhan al-Kubra, au nord de la ville de Manbej, dans la province d’Alep, commettant un « massacre sanglant » contre les civils.

Des familles entières ont perdu la vie dans les bombardements « intenses » des forces aériennes françaises, a précisé le ministère dans un communiqué adressé à l’ONU et à des organisations affiliées.

« L’agression française a tué 120 civils, dont la plupart étaient des enfants, des femmes et des personnes âgées », précise le communiqué, qui ajoute que le sort de dizaines d’autres civils restait inconnu.

Mardi, des informations sur des frappes aériennes à Manbej avaient d’abord été publiées par l’Observatoire syrien des droits de l’Homme.

Le ministère syrien a par ailleurs indiqué que les frappes aériennes conduites par les Etats-Unis en Syrie étaient « illégales », accusant la coalition de prendre pour cible « des civils innocents et des infrastructures au lieu des groupes terroristes ».

« La Syrie souligne que ceux qui souhaitent combattre les terroristes doivent coordonner leur action avec le gouvernement syrien », indique le communiqué, qui ajoute que les affirmations des pays occidentaux selon lesquelles il existe une opposition modérée en Syrie sont « honteuses et inacceptables ».

« Les Etats-Unis, le Qatar, la France, l’Arabie saoudite et le Royaume-Uni continuent à soutenir les groupes terroristes en Syrie, ce qui est un signe clair de la connivence de ces pays avec les groupes terroristes », a déclaré le ministère.

Le ministère a ajouté que ces crimes ne dissuaderaient pas l’armée syrienne d’accomplir son devoir dans la lutte contre les groupes terroristes.

La coalition dirigée par les Etats-Unis appuie depuis le mois de mai l’offensive des Forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS) visant à reprendre le contrôle de la ville de Manbej. Celle-ci revêt une importance stratégique pour les rebelles soutenus par les Etats-Unis en raison de sa situation géographique près de la Turquie. La prise de Manbej priverait l’EI de l’un de ses bastions clés à proximité de la Turquie.

Xinhua, 20 juillet 2016

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  • Commentaires fermés sur La Syrie condamne les frappes aériennes françaises dans la province d’Alep

La Russie, sous Poutine, a montré qu’elle ne craint personne… Alors pourquoi cette déférence envers les banksters qui tiennent la Banque centrale de la Russie sous leur l’emprise ?

« …Ce qui est clairement ressorti cette fois, de mes entretiens à Saint-Pétersbourg, c’est que les événements se rapprochent d’un tournant décisif Marche ou crève, suite auquel soit la politique économique est officiellement mise entre les mains des cercles compétents de l’économie nationale telles que celui de Boris Titov, Andrey Klepach et Sergey Glazyev, soit elle succombera au poison insidieux du Consensus de Washington et au mythe libéral du marché libre. »F.William Engdhal

Pendant trois jours, en juin, du 16 au 18, j’ai eu l’occasion de participer en tant que panéliste au Forum économique international annuel de Saint-Pétersbourg, en Russie.

Je suis allé en Russie à plusieurs reprises depuis le coup d’État de février 2014 en Ukraine, organisé par les États-Unis, et les escalades délibérées des militaires de l’OTAN entraînant des tensions économiques et des sanctions contre la Fédération de Russie. Le forum de cette année, mon deuxième en tant que participant, m’a donné une occasion rare de parler avec les principaux représentants de tous les secteurs de l’économie – depuis les PDG du secteur russe de l’énergie, de la Compagnie des chemins de fer russes, du fournisseur national d’électricité RAO EES Rossia, jusqu’au nombreuses petites et moyennes entreprises, pour finir avec un large éventail d’économistes. Cela a aiguisé ma perception de la précarité de la situation de la Russie aujourd’hui.

Ce qui est devenu plus clair pour moi, au cours des trois jours de discussions à Saint-Pétersbourg, est précisément la vulnérabilité de la Russie. Son talon d’Achille est l’idéologie dominante qui contrôle tous les postes clé de l’économie du gouvernement de la Fédération de Russie, sous le premier ministre Dmitri Medvedev. Aux termes de la Constitution russe adoptée dans le chaos des années Eltsine et énormément influencée, sinon littéralement rédigée, par des conseillers du FMI étrangers à la Russie, la politique économique est sous la responsabilité du Premier ministre et de ses divers ministres de l’Économie, des Finances et ainsi de suite. Le président russe, Vladimir Poutine aujourd’hui, est responsable de la défense et de la politique étrangère.

C’est la Banque centrale de Russie qui rend pratiquement impossible la fourniture du flux de crédit pour investir véritablement de toute urgence dans les infrastructures nécessaires sur la vaste étendue du territoire de la Russie. La Banque centrale de Russie a reçu deux tâches, constitutionnellement mandatées quand elle a été créée comme entité indépendante du gouvernement russe dans les premiers mois de la Fédération de Russie, suite à l’éclatement de l’Union soviétique. Elle doit contrôler l’inflation intérieure russe et la stabilité du rouble par rapport aux principales monnaies étrangères. Comme les banques centrales occidentales, son rôle est presque purement monétaire, et non économique.

En juin 2015, lorsque j’ai participé pour la première fois au forum de Saint-Pétersbourg, le taux de base de la Banque centrale russe était de 11%. Au summum de la soi-disant crise du rouble en janvier 2015, il avait atteint 17%. L’été dernier, on s’attendait à ce que Elvira Nabiullina, la gouverneure de la Banque centrale depuis 2013, commence à ramener, assez rapidement, les taux centraux à des niveaux gérables, surtout à un moment où les taux de base des banques centrales comme la Banque centrale européenne, la Réserve fédérale américaine et la Banque du Japon étaient les plus faibles depuis 500 ans, à zéro ou même négatifs. En outre, depuis janvier 2016, le prix du pétrole, un facteur important dans la force de rouble car la Russie est le plus grand exportateur de pétrole au monde, a augmenté de plus de 60% par rapport au creux de $30 le baril qu’il connaissait alors, il est proche de $50 six mois plus tard.

Cette baisse des taux par la Banque centrale russe n’a pas eu lieu. Au contraire, cela tue lentement l’économie. Après un an d’attente, au début de juin 2016, la Banque centrale de Russie sous le gouvernorat de Nabiullina a effectué sa première baisse des taux… le ramenant au niveau toujours mortel de 10,5%. Peut-être devrait-on noter que la monétariste Nabiullina a été nommée, par le magazine londonien Euromoney, meilleur gouverneur de Banque centrale de l’année 2015. Cela devrait être considéré comme un mauvais présage pour la Russie. Tout aussi inquiétant était la louange adressée par la direction du FMI à Washington pour la gestion monétariste de Nabiullina lors de la crise du rouble du début 2015.

Opération réussie… le patient est mort

Ce que j’ai vécu dans mes discussions, lors de la conférence cette année – qui a connu une participation record de plus de 12 000 hommes d’affaires et autres à travers le monde – c’est le sentiment que coexistent deux gouvernements russes opposés. Tous les postes économiques et financiers importants sont fermement occupés actuellement par des économistes libéraux monétaristes, accros au libre-marché, qui pourraient être dénommés Le Jardin d’enfants de Gaïdar. Egor Gaïdar a été l’architecte, avec Jeffrey Sachs – un économiste de Harvard soutenu par Soros – du choc radical thérapeutique à l’origine des difficultés économiques qui ont frappé le pays dans les années 1990, plongeant la population dans une pauvreté massive et le pays dans l’hyperinflation.

Aujourd’hui, Le Jardin d’enfants de Gaïdar abrite l’ancien ministre des Finances, Alexeï Koudrine, un autre favori du magazine Euromoney, qui lui a attribué le titre de ministre des finances internationales de l’année 2010. Il abrite aussi le ministre de l’Économie, Alexey Ulyukaev, et le vice-Premier ministre de Medvedev, Arkady Dvorkovic. Dvorkovic, diplômé de l’Université Duke en Caroline du Nord, est un protégé qui a directement servi au cours de ses premières années sous Egor Gaïdar. Puis, en 2010, sous le président russe Medvedev, Dvorkovic a proposé un schéma fou pour faire de Moscou un centre financier mondial, avec l’aide de Goldman Sachs et des grandes banques de Wall Street pour s’occuper de tout. On pourrait appeler ça inviter le renard dans le poulailler. Le credo économique de Dvorkovic est « Moins d’État ! ». Il était le lobbyiste en chef de la campagne d’adhésion à l’OMC de la Russie, et a essayé de faire adopter la privatisation rapide des actifs qui restaient encore la propriété de l’État.

C’est aujourd’hui le groupe de base autour du Premier ministre Dmitri Medvedev qui étrangle toute véritable reprise économique russe. Ils suivent le script occidental écrit à Washington par le Fonds monétaire international et le Trésor américain. Qu’ils le fassent, à ce stade, avec l’honnête conviction que c’est le mieux pour leur nation ou, à contrario, par haine psychologique profonde pour leur pays, je ne suis pas en mesure de dire. Les effets de leurs politiques, comme je l’ai appris dans mes nombreuses discussions ce mois-ci à Saint-Pétersbourg, sont dévastateurs. En effet, ils imposent eux-mêmes des sanctions économiques à la Russie, bien pires que celles des États-Unis ou de l’UE. Si le parti Russie unie de Vladimir Poutine perd les élections du 18 septembre, ce ne sera pas dû à ses initiatives de politique étrangère, pour lesquelles il jouit encore de sondages de popularité supérieurs à 80%. Ce sera parce que la Russie n’a pas nettoyé les écuries d’Augias du Jardin d’enfants de Gaïdar.

Obéir au Consensus de Washington

Suite à diverses discussions, j’ai été choqué d’apprendre que la politique officielle de l’équipe économique de Medvedev et de la Banque centrale est aujourd’hui de suivre les politiques d’austérité budgétaire standards du Consensus de Washington, mises en œuvre par le FMI. Et ceci en dépit du fait que la Russie, il y a des années, a remboursé les prêts du FMI et n’est plus sous ses conditionnalités, comme c’était le cas pendant la crise du rouble en 1998.

Non seulement cela, la Russie a un des plus faibles ratios de dette d’État par rapport au PIB de tous les grands pays dans le monde, seulement 17%, tandis que les États-Unis bénéficient d’un ratio de 104%, et les pays de la zone euro d’un niveau d’endettement moyen de plus de 90% du PIB, loin des 60% exigés par le Traité de Maastricht. Au Japon, ce ratio atteint la valeur astronomique de 229%.

La politique économique officielle de la Banque centrale de Russie aujourd’hui, avec ses taux absurdement élevés, est de ramener le taux d’inflation actuel, de seulement 8%, à son objectif de 4%, par une politique explicite d’austérité budgétaire et de réduction de la consommation. Au cours de l’histoire, aucune économie n’a réussi une politique économique par une réduction forcée de la consommation, et certainement pas la Grèce ni aucune nation africaine. Pourtant, la Banque centrale de Russie, en pilotage automatique, chante religieusement les chants de la mort grégoriens du FMI, comme s’ils étaient une formule magique. Si la Russie continue sa politique dans cette voie monétariste, il se pourrait bien que l’expression cynique « L’opération a été un succès, mais le patient est mort » s’accomplisse.

Le Club Stolypine

Il y a, autour de Medvedev, une opposition cohérente, expérimentée et de plus en plus importante contre cette cabale libérale occidentale. Ils sont actuellement représentés par ce qu’on appelle le Club Stolypine, créé par un groupe d’économistes nationaux russes en 2012, afin d’élaborer des stratégies alternatives globales pour réduire la dépendance de la Russie au dollar et stimuler la croissance de l’économie réelle.

J’ai eu l’honneur de me trouver dans un groupe rassemblant plusieurs membres et fondateurs de ce groupe. Il comprenait un co-fondateur du Club Stolypine, Boris Titov, un homme d’affaires russe ouvertement adversaire idéologique de Koudrine, qui est président de l’organisation russe Business Russia. Il insiste sur la nécessité d’augmenter la production nationale de biens, de stimuler la demande, d’attirer des investissements, de réduire les impôts et les taux de refinancement de la Banque centrale. Titov est aujourd’hui une figure centrale des dernières initiatives de la Russie en Chine. Il a servi en tant que président de la partie russe du Conseil d’affaires russo-chinois, et il est membre du Présidium du Conseil national pour la gouvernance d’entreprise.

Mon groupe comprenait également des membres éminents du Club Stolypine : Sergeï Glaziev, conseiller du président de la Fédération de Russie, et Andrey Klepach, vice-président de la Banque VEB pour le développement. Klepach, un co-fondateur du Club Stolypine, était auparavant sous-ministre de l’Économie de la Russie et directeur du département de prévision macroéconomique du ministère du Développement économique et du Commerce. Mon impression est que ce sont des gens sérieux et dévoués, qui comprennent que le cœur de la vraie politique économique nationale est le capital humain et le bien-être de la population, pas l’inflation ou d’autres données économétriques.

Les obligations Stolypine

À ce stade, pour étendre mes remarques à l’audience de Saint-Pétersbourg, je voudrais vous faire part d’une proposition pour mettre la vaste et riche économie de la Russie et de sa population sur une trajectoire de croissance positive, malgré les sanctions et les taux d’intérêt élevés de la Banque centrale.

Tous les éléments nécessaires sont là. Le pays a la plus grande étendue de terres de toutes les nations du monde. Il a sans doute les plus riches ressources minérales inexploitées et de métaux précieux. Il a quelques-uns des meilleurs esprits scientifiques et ingénieurs dans le monde, une main-d’œuvre qualifiée, des gens agréables et très intelligents.

Ce qui manque est la coordination de tous ces instruments pour faire une symphonie économique nationale harmonique. Bien sûr, il y a une crainte d’être accusé de retourner au Gosplan soviétique, la planification centrale par trop de gens dans des positions de gouvernement. Les cicatrices du traumatisme national soviétique ne sont que partiellement guéries par les années de règne de Poutine, qui ont permis aux Russes de se sentir à nouveau respectés dans le monde.

Les cicatrices ne sont pas seulement les conséquences des vicissitudes du communisme. Elles viennent aussi de la manière dont les États-Unis, sous le président George H.W. Bush, au début des années 1990 et ensuite sous chaque président depuis, ont humilié et méprisé la Russie et tout ce qui est russe. Malheureusement, ces cicatrices, consciemment ou inconsciemment, entravent encore beaucoup de titulaires des postes de responsabilité à travers le pays.

Du côté positif, il y a beaucoup de modèles réussis de développement économique sans dette. L’un d’entre eux est l’Allemagne après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, menée dans les années 1950 par l’autorité de crédit spéciale de l’État – Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – qui a restauré l’Allemagne à partir des cendres de la guerre avec des taux d’intérêt subventionnés. Il a également été utilisé pour reconstruire l’ancienne République démocratique allemande après la réunification en 1990.

Il y a le modèle de réussite dans les années 1960 sous le président français Charles De Gaulle, appelé Planification, où chaque région, avec des représentants de tous les grands groupes sociaux, paysans, petites et moyennes entreprises, syndicats, grandes entreprises, a discuté des priorités régionales et a envoyé la conclusion des débats à un organisme central pour rédiger le plan quinquennal. Cinq ans, non pas à cause de l’imitation soviétique, mais parce que les grandes infrastructures exigent un minimum de cinq ans et que la correction possible des plans inefficaces ou obsolètes a besoin d’une période courte de cinq ans.

Je proposerais l’établissement d’une autorité unique de l’État pour le développement national des infrastructures, indépendant de la Banque centrale de Russie et du ministère des Finances. Idéalement, il y aurait un Conseil impartial de supervision, composé des ressortissants russes les plus respectés et expérimentés en matière économique de chaque région. Il serait peut-être judicieux de placer ce Conseil directement sous la responsabilité du Président. Il pourrait adopter les meilleures pratiques des deux modèles décrits ci-dessus, ainsi que d’autres succès au cours des dernières années, comme la Corée du Sud après les années 1950.

Le modèle développé par Piotr Arkadievitch Stolypine, du club éponyme d’économistes nationaux d’aujourd’hui, est approprié. En tant que président du Conseil des ministres, désigné par le tsar Nicolas II, Stolypine a servi à la fois comme Premier ministre et ministre de l’Intérieur de 1906 à 1911. Il a introduit des réformes agraires réussies pour créer une classe de propriétaires terriens de métairies axées sur le marché, et la construction d’une seconde partie du monumental Transsibérien de Sergeï Witte, le long du fleuve Amour, frontière avec la Chine. Il a commencé à transformer l’économie de la Russie de façon spectaculaire.

Je proposerais que cette autorité de l’État, suggérée pour le développement national des infrastructures, soit aussi habilitée à émettre des Obligations Stolypine spéciales pour financer une grande variété des projets d’infrastructure nationaux convenus, qui permettraient d’accélérer l’intégration économique eurasienne et la création de vastes nouveaux marchés avec la Chine, le Kazakhstan, le Belarus, jusqu’à l’Inde et l’Iran.

Les Obligations Stolypine seraient délivrées aux seuls ressortissants russes, fourniraient un taux d’intérêt attrayant et équitable, et ne seraient pas transférables aux détenteurs d’obligations étrangères. En raison de ce financement interne, elles ne seraient pas vulnérables aux guerres financières hybrides occidentales. La dette contractée ne serait pas un problème, en raison de la qualité de l’investissement et en raison du niveau actuel extraordinairement bas de l’endettement de l’État russe. L’urgence des situations exige des solutions extraordinaires.

La vente des obligations spéciales serait effectuée directement par la nouvelle autorité d’État ainsi constituée, et non par l’intermédiaire des banques, augmentant ainsi la possibilité de taux d’intérêt attractifs pour la population russe. Les obligations pourraient être distribuées au public par l’intermédiaire du réseau national de bureaux de poste, ce qui réduit les coûts de distribution. Comme l’ont fait l’Allemagne et d’autres pays déjà avec beaucoup de succès, les obligations pourraient être garanties par quelque chose que la Russie possède en quantité, ses terres.

Parce que les obligations iront exclusivement aux projets d’infrastructure jugés priorité nationale, ils seraient anti-inflationnistes. Ceci est dû à la potion magique des investissements d’infrastructure du gouvernement. En permettant une circulation plus efficace des personnes et des marchandises à travers toute la Russie, l’économie nationale pourra atteindre des zones où, par manque d’infrastructures modernes, rien n’existe aujourd’hui. De nouveaux marchés s’ouvriront et les coûts de transport seront nettement plus bas.

Les nouvelles entreprises et emplois créés par la construction des infrastructures fourniront au budget de l’État des recettes fiscales élevées issues d’une économie prospère. C’est l’opposé du modèle courant anti-inflation de la Banque centrale – réduction de la consommation –, qui a échoué. Ces investissements en expansion saperont à leur tour la puissance actuelle de la Banque centrale sur l’économie nationale, jusqu’à ce que les membres de la Douma – le Parlement russe – se rendent compte qu’il est temps de se débarrasser de la loi de 1991 régissant la Banque centrale et de rétablir l’État dans son rôle souverain sur la monnaie, ce qui est l’un des attributs essentiels de la souveraineté.

Objectivement aujourd’hui, la Russie possède tout ce dont elle a besoin pour devenir un géant économique mondial prospère et un leader technologique, en plus de la décision déjà prise de devenir chef de file mondial de l’exportation de produits agricoles naturels sans OGM.

Ce qui est clairement ressorti cette fois de mes entretiens à Saint-Pétersbourg, c’est que les événements se rapprochent d’un tournant décisif Marche ou crève, suite auquel soit la politique économique est officiellement mise entre les mains des cercles compétents de l’économie nationales telles que celui de Boris Titov, Andrey Klepach et Sergeï Glazyev, soit elle va succomber au poison insidieux du Consensus de Washington et au mythe libéral du marché libre. Après mes entretiens privés récents, je suis dans une perspective optimiste pour ce qui concerne un changement positif.

F. William Engdahl 

Russia’s Achilles Heel – Reflections from St. PetersburgNew Eastern Outlook, le 2 juillet 2016

Traduit par jj, relu par nadine pour le Saker francophone

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En février dernier, Mondialisation.ca a publié la lettre d’Oscar Fortin au Premier ministre du Canada, Justin Trudeau, et à son Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Stéphane Dion.

Nous publions maintenant la réponse de Monsieur Stéphane Dion, député libéral et ministre des Affaires étrangères du Canada. 

 

Monsieur Oscar Fortin
[email protected]

Monsieur,

Je vous remercie de votre courriel du 17 février 2016 auquel vous avez joint une lettre exprimant vos inquiétudes au sujet de la situation en Ukraine, en Syrie et la lutte contre le soi-disant État islamique en Iraq et au Levant (EIIL). Je vous prie d’excuser ce retard à vous répondre.

Le Canada est très inquiet de la crise qui perdure en Ukraine et souscrit toujours à une solution diplomatique au conflit. Le Canada appuie le peuple ukrainien et s’attend à ce que la Russie participe pleinement au processus de paix de Minsk, notamment en cessant d’approvisionner et de soutenir les insurgés dans l’est de l’Ukraine ainsi qu’en respectant totalement la souveraineté et l’intégrité territoriale de l’Ukraine. J’ai réitéré ce message au cours de ma visite fructueuse à Kiev le 1er février 2016 à l’occasion de laquelle j’ai rencontré mon homologue, le ministre des Affaires étrangères Pavlo Klimkine, ainsi que le premier ministre de l’époque Arseni Iatseniouk. J’ai aussi souligné l’importance d’appliquer de façon exhaustive les accords de Minsk, en particulier par la Russie, afin d’instaurer une paix durable en Ukraine.

En ce qui concerne la Crimée, le Canada s’est joint à d’autres dirigeants du G‑7 le 27 mars 2014 afin d’émettre la Déclaration de La Haye, qui stipule que : « Le droit international interdit l’acquisition par la coercition ou la force d’une partie ou de l’ensemble du territoire d’un autre État. Cet acte va à l’encontre des principes sur lesquels le système international est fondé. Nous condamnons le référendum illégal tenu en Crimée, contraire à la constitution de l’Ukraine. Nous condamnons également fermement la tentative de la Russie d’annexer la Crimée d’une façon qui contrevient au droit international et à des obligations internationales spécifiques. Nous ne reconnaissons ni l’un, ni l’autre ».

Le Canada continuera de surveiller attentivement la situation et réagira en conséquence, de concert avec ses partenaires et ses alliés. Vous trouverez plus de renseignements au sujet de la réponse du Canada à la situation en Ukraine à http://www.international.gc.ca/international/ukraine.aspx?lang=fra.

En ce qui concerne la Syrie, depuis le début de 2011, plusieurs manifestations visant à encourager des réformes démocratiques ont eu lieu dans diverses villes partout en Syrie. La violente répression du régime Assad à l’encontre des manifestants pacifiques en mars 2011 a fait de nombreux morts et blessés parmi les civils. Des milliers de civils ont été détenus de façon arbitraire et certains rapports crédibles ont fait état de tortures et d’exécutions sommaires. Les actions du régime Assad, y compris son utilisation présumée d’armes chimiques, ont incité des milliers de Syriens à fuir vers les pays voisins, provoquant ainsi une grave crise humanitaire dans la région.

Le Canada a appelé la communauté internationale à se mobiliser et à défendre le droit du peuple syrien à décider de son avenir. Le 19 décembre 2015, j’ai accueilli favorablement l’adoption de la résolution 2254 du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, qui entérine les négociations visant à assurer une transition politique pacifique, inclusive et dirigée par les Syriens, conformément au Communiqué de Genève de 2012. De plus, le Canada salue et appuie les efforts incessants des Nations Unies et du Groupe international de soutien à la Syrie en vue d’un règlement du conflit syrien. J’ai réitéré cette position dans une déclaration que j’ai faite le 31 janvier 2016. Dans le but de créer un contexte plus favorable aux pourparlers de paix, j’ai également réclamé la fin des bombardements aveugles et du recours à la privation de nourriture comme arme de guerre.

Le Canada est convaincu qu’un règlement politique négocié est la seule façon de mettre fin à la crise syrienne. Le maintien au pouvoir d’Assad ne peut faire partie de quelque solution réaliste que ce soit.

Le gouvernement du Canada est vivement préoccupé par la détérioration de la situation humanitaire provoquée par la crise en Syrie et par les répercussions de la crise sur ceux et celles qui sont restés au pays ou qui se sont réfugiés dans les pays voisins. À ce jour, le Canada a fourni plus de 978 millions de dollars en réponse à la crise syrienne. Depuis janvier 2012, le Canada a engagé plus de 653,5 millions de dollars en aide humanitaire, 242 millions de dollars en aide au développement à la Jordanie et à la région et 82,91 millions de dollars en aide liée à la sécurité à la région. Vous trouverez plus de renseignements sur l’aide canadienne à http://www.international.gc.ca/development-developpement/humanitarian_response-situations_crises/syria-syrie.aspx?lang=fra.

Le conflit syrien est une situation d’urgence complexe qui perdure. Les partenaires humanitaires n’ont pas accès à l’ensemble du territoire syrien en raison de l’insécurité liée aux combats et du refus des parties au conflit de permettre aux organismes humanitaires d’intervenir dans les territoires qu’elles contrôlent. Les conditions relatives à la prestation de l’aide humanitaire ont toutefois changé en février 2014 lorsque le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies a adopté à l’unanimité la résolution 2139, laquelle demande notamment un meilleur accès humanitaire en Syrie. Puis, le 14 juillet 2014, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies a adopté la résolution 2165 qui autorise les organismes onusiens à traverser la frontière pour apporter une aide à la population après en avoir préalablement informé le régime Assad, sans toutefois solliciter son consentement. Le 22 décembre 2014, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies a adopté la résolution 2258, qui prolonge ce mandat pour la deuxième fois, jusqu’en janvier 2017.

Les actions du régime Assad ont créé un environnement propice à la croissance de l’EIIL. Depuis 2013, l’EIIL mène des campagnes d’une violence inouïe contre des civils et tous ceux et celles qui s’opposent à lui dans les zones qu’il contrôle. Le Canada est un membre actif de la Coalition mondiale de lutte contre l’EIIL. À la suite de consultations menées auprès de ses partenaires et de ses alliés de la Coalition, y compris le gouvernement iraquien, le gouvernement du Canada réoriente son rôle au sein de la Coalition. Le 8 février 2016, le premier ministre Justin Trudeau a annoncé la nouvelle stratégie du Canada pour faire face aux crises en Iraq et en Syrie et atténuer les répercussions sur la Jordanie, le Liban et l’ensemble de la région. Dans le cadre de la nouvelle stratégie, le Canada investira environ 1,6 milliard de dollars sur trois ans dans la région. Ceci comprend 840 millions de dollars en aide humanitaire, et 270 millions de dollars en aide au développement à long terme (dont 130 millions de dollars sont déjà affectés à des engagements à l’égard de projets en cours). Le reste comprend 145 millions de dollars d’aide pour la stabilisation et la sécurité et 305 millions de dollars en aide militaire.<

Le Canada est en train de réorienter sa mission militaire de façon à mettre fin aux frappes aériennes, tout en continuant à apporter un appui sous la forme de ravitaillement des aéronefs et d’avions de surveillance. Le Canada fournira plus d’équipement militaire et il participera plus activement à la formation des forces locales en Iraq afin qu’elles assument pleinement la responsabilité de la sécurité de leur pays.

Parallèlement à cette contribution militaire, le Canada continuera à participer aux efforts de stabilisation et aux mesures de lutte contre le terrorisme, notamment en aidant à couper l’accès de l’EIIL à ses sources de financement, en luttant contre la propagande de l’EIIL et en endiguant le flux de combattants terroristes étrangers. La contribution du Canada prendra appui sur les succès de la Coalition et apportera un complément aux efforts de nos partenaires. Dorénavant, le Canada apportera une contribution globale, intégrée et durable et mettra à nouveau l’accent sur le renforcement des capacités locales par la formation, la fourniture d’une aide humanitaire efficace et le travail avec les collectivités locales pour répondre aux besoins de développement à long terme de la région. Cette approche pangouvernementale contribuera à renforcer la sécurité et la stabilité, à fournir une aide humanitaire et à aider les partenaires à offrir des services sociaux, à reconstruire les infrastructures et à assurer une bonne gouvernance.

Vous trouverez plus de renseignements sur les efforts du Canada pour contrer l’EIIL à http://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/security-securite/middle_east-moyen_orient/index.aspx?lang=fra.

Le gouvernement du Canada continue de suivre de près l’évolution de la situation en Syrie et de soulever ses inquiétudes, le cas échéant. Vous trouverez plus de renseignements au sujet de la position et des actions récentes du Canada à http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/syria-syrie/index.aspx?lang=fra.

Je vous remercie d’avoir écrit et vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Le ministre des Affaires étrangères,

L’honorable Stéphane Dion, C.P., député

 

Vous pouvez réagir et envoyer vos commentaires sur le site d’Oscar Fortin ou sur la page Facebook de Mondialisation.ca.

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Selected Articles: Nice Attacks, Destroying Evidence at Crime Scene

juillet 22nd, 2016 by Global Research News

Nice attack2

Nice Attacks, Destroying Evidence at Crime Scene: French Government Orders Destruction of CCTV Video Footage

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin, July 22 2016

A report in 21st of July edition of Le Figaro newspaper states that France’s anti-terrorist executive ( sous-direction anti-terroriste- SDAT) has ordered Nice’s urban surveillance authorities to destroy all CCTV footage of the Nice Attacks on Bastille Day that rocked the city on the 14th of July 2016.

Nice attack2

Nice – 14th July – Lie Propaganda in Overdrive – Murder Is the New Normal

By Peter Koenig, July 22 2016

Now that the French Secret Services and their foreign associates have read the accounts of ‘false flag’ suspicion in the non-mainstream media, the French Government had to resort immediately to all sorts of doubt deviating maneuvers.

usa-flag

Polarization and the Powder Keg: Corruption, Deception and Betrayal. America’s Crisis of Legitimacy

By Prof. James Petras, July 22 2016

The constitutional order of the US, such as it exists, faces a profound crisis of legitimacy, rooted in the multi polarity of US society. The US is divided among (1) a deeply entrenched police – judicial – presidential state against civil society organized in community based Afro-American, Hispanic and disinherited workers; (2) a corrupt Federal police, Justice , State Department and Presidential Office against a constitutional legal system upheld by the vast majority of citizens; and (3) a rigged Presidential electoral system against the consent and approval of the majority of the electorate.

Cia-lobby-seal

The CIA’s Involvement in Indonesia and the Assassinations of JFK and Dag Hammarskjold

By Greg Pulgrain and Edward Curtin, July 22 2016

The truth about Indonesian history and the United States involvement in its ongoing tragedy is little known in the West.  Australian historian, Greg Pulgrain, has been trying for decades to open people’s eyes to the realities of that history and to force a cleansing confrontation with the ugly truth.  It is a story of savage intrigue that involves the CIA and American governments in the support of regime change and the massive slaughter of people deemed expendable.

French navy

The Encirclement of China is Well Underway: France Prepares to Lead EU Missions in the South China Sea

By Asia-Pacific Research, July 22 2016

The naval encirclement of China is well underway. It was started over a decade ago by the United States with the re-militarization of Japan and the tightening of Washington’s military partnerships with countries like Australia and South Korea. The same is true about the missile shield being erected in South Korea, which targets China, Russia, and North Korea.

turkish soldiers turkey

In the Wake of the Failed Coup: Turkey’s Human Rights Crisis and the Spectre of Torture

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, July 22 2016

With the failed military coup in Turkey against the Erdoğan regime, the state is facing the gravest human rights crisis in decades. Infamously bad in terms of treating journalists, suspicious of various perspectives of history, and ever hostage to flashpoints of authoritarianism, the current Republic is now underdoing the next grave challenge.

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INFO LE FIGARO – Une réquisition judiciaire urgente a été envoyée au centre de supervision urbain de Nice mercredi 20 juillet. Le parquet de Paris évoque un souci «d’éviter la diffusion non contrôlée de ces images».

Panique et incompréhension à la mairie de Nice. Mercredi à 11 heures, la sous-direction antiterroriste (SDAT) a envoyé aux agents qui gèrent la vidéosurveillance de la ville une réquisition citant les articles 53 et L706-24 du code de procédure pénale et de l’article R642-1 du Code pénal leur demandant l’effacement «complet» de 24 heures d’images provenant de six caméras nommées et numérotées, mais aussi de toutes les scènes depuis le début de l’attentat ayant eu lieu sur la promenade des Anglais, dans la nuit du 14 juillet.

 

 

 

De quoi mettre en état de sidération les agents du centre de supervision urbain de Nice. «C’est la première fois que l’on nous demande de détruire des preuves, précise une source proche du dossier. Le centre de vidéosurveillance et la ville de Nice pourraient être poursuivis pour cela et d’ailleurs les agents en charge du dispositif n’ont pas compétence pour se livrer à de telles opérations».

La demande paraît d’autant plus étonnante que la SDAT a envoyé depuis vendredi dernier des serveurs afin de récupérer les 30.000 heures de vidéosurveillance liées aux événements. Une opération de sauvegarde qui va s’étendre encore sur plusieurs jours. «Nous ne savons pas si donner un ordre de destruction alors que nous sommes en pleine sauvegarde ne va pas mettre en rideau tout le système», s’inquiète-t-on dans l’entourage du dossier.

Contacté par Le Figaro, le parquet de Paris a confirmé l’information et précisé: «cela a été fait dans ce cas précis pour éviter la diffusion non contrôlée et non maîtrisée de ces images». Du côté de la police nationale, on rappelle que «sur les mille caméras installées à Nice, 140 présentaient des éléments d’enquête intéressants. La police judiciaire a récupéré 100% des vidéos de ces dernières. La PJ et le parquet ont donc demandé d’effacer les images de ces 140 caméras afin d’éviter l’utilisation malveillante de ces dernières par souci de la dignité des victimes et pour éviter la reprise de ces images par les sites internet djihadistes à des fins de propagande». Enfin, à la chancellerie, on précise que la demande d’un effacement «complet» s’explique par l’impossibilité de procéder à des destructions partielles sur ce type de matériel.

Images partagées par plusieurs services

Le lendemain du drame tragique de la promenade des Anglais, des officiers de police judiciaire étaient venus faire une première recension des caméras en prise directe avec l’événement. Cela a donné lieu à un premier rapport envoyé au ministère de l’Intérieur. Étrangement, ce serait ces mêmes caméras qui sont visées par la réquisition de la SDAT.

Dès samedi, l’Élysée avait demandé copie des images de l’attentat. Une autorisation accordée par le parquet de Paris. «Ce n’est pas choquant que le président de la République ait voulu visionner l’attentat. Faudra-t-il demander à l’Élysée de restituer le CD qui lui est parvenu?», s’interroge un bon connaisseur du dossier. En tout état de cause, ces vidéos sont partagées par plusieurs services concomitamment à savoir ceux de la Police et de la gendarmerie nationales, de la police judiciaire et des pompiers.

Eugénie Bastié et Paule Gonzales pour Le Figaro

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Peu après l’attaque terroriste du 14 juillet à Nice, qui a fait 84 morts, le président de la France, François Hollande, a laissé entendre lors d’une allocution officielle que l’attaque était l’œuvre du groupe armé État islamique basé au nord de la Syrie (sans preuve). Il a aussitôt ordonné aux forces aériennes françaises d’intensifier la campagne de bombardement en cours prétendument contre Daech au nord de la Syrie. 

« Nous allons renforcer nos actions en Syrie et en Irak. Nous allons continuer à frapper ceux qui nous attaquent dans leur repaire », a dit Hollande lors de son allocution nationale, en laissant entendre que la France a été attaquée par une puissance étrangère.

Dans une déclaration ultérieure, François Hollande a dit ceci :

« La France est affligée par cette nouvelle tragédie (…). C’est toute la France qui est sous la menace du terrorisme islamiste. Alors nous devons faire la démonstration d’une vigilance absolue et d’une détermination sans faille.

À 22 heures le 14 juillet, il a écrit sur son compte Twitter que la France est « éplorée, affligée, » mais plus forte que « les fanatiques [Daech] qui veulent aujourd’hui la frapper. »

Il a réitéré ses propos lors de son allocution télévisée à la nation :

Le plus ironique, c’est que le ministre de l’Intérieur de la France, qui encadre les opérations policières à la grandeur du pays, a confirmé que Daech n’était pas derrière l’attaque terroriste du 14 juillet :

Le ministre de l’Intérieur de la France Bernard Cazeneuve a dit qu’il n’y avait aucune preuve liant Daech à l’attaque du 14 juillet à Nice, malgré le fait que le groupe terroriste en a revendiqué la responsabilité. (…) M. Cazeneuve a indiqué que les enquêteurs n’avaient jusqu’à maintenant établi aucun lien entre Bouhlel et un réseau terroriste particulier. (The Independent, 18 juillet 2016)

Mais cela n’a pas empêché François Hollande de lancer des raids aériens prétendument contre le groupe armé État islamique (Daech).

François, tu es un criminel

François Hollande, en ignorant du revers de la main le conseil de son propre gouvernement, est allé de l’avant et a ordonné une intensification de la campagne de bombardement, qui s’est soldée par le massacre de plus de 140 Syriens innocents, surtout des femmes et des enfants.

Mais ces bombes n’ont jamais visé Daech.

POURQUOI? Parce que la France fournit de l’argent et des armes à Daesh, tout comme les autres partenaires de la coalition.

Ces bombes étaient dirigées contre le peuple syrien, l’attaque terroriste du 14 juillet servant de prétexte et de justification pour tuer des femmes et des enfants syriens.

Le président Hollande a beau être « affligé par cette nouvelle tragédie » [l’attaque de Nice], elle ne justifie pas pour autant un acte de représailles contre la Syrie qui a tué plus de 140 civils. Cet ordre de tuer, il venait du palais de l’Élysée.

« Œil pour œil » : la loi du talion et le Code d’Hammurabi.   

Réponse du gouvernement syrien en réaction à l’opération criminelle du président Hollande

Damas a soumis l’affaire au secrétaire général de l’ONU Ban Ki-moon et au président du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, l’ambassadeur du Japon Koro Bessho.

Il a souligné le fait que les avions de combat français, qui font partie de la soi-disant « coalition internationale » conduite par les États-Unis, ont commis un massacre injuste au‑dessus des territoires de la Syrie à proximité de la frontière syro-turque, en bombardant le village de Toukhan al-Kubra au nord de la ville de Manbij. Ce faisant, ils ont tué un grand nombre de familles et détruit leurs maisons. 

Cette agression française injuste a tué plus de 120 civils, dont la plupart étaient des femmes, des enfants et des personnes âgées, en plus d’en blesser des dizaines d’autres. Selon des rapports sur place, le sort de civils qui se trouvent sous les décombres est encore inconnu.

Le ministère a ajouté que l’agression française intervient un jour après une autre agression commise le 18 juillet 2016 par les avions de combat américains contre la ville de Manbij et qui a fait plus de 20 martyrs parmi les civils et des dizaines de blessés.

Le gouvernement de la République arabe syrienne condamne avec les termes les plus sévères les deux massacres sanglants perpétrés par les avions de combat français et étasuniens qui appartiennent à la soi-disant coalition internationale qui lance ses missiles et ses bombes sur des civils au lieu de prendre pour cible les gangs terroristes (…). La Syrie affirme aussi que ceux qui veulent sérieusement combattre le terrorisme devraient le faire en coordination avec le gouvernement syrien et son armée, a indiqué le ministre.

Il a ajouté que la poursuite du soutien qu’apportent les États-Unis, la France, la Turquie, l’Arabie saoudite, la Grande-Bretagne et le Qatar aux réseaux terroristes qu’ils dénomment « modérés », comme le Front al-Nosra, Jaish al‑Fatah, Jaish al‑Islam, Liwa al‑Tawhid et d’autres organisations terroristes affiliées à Daech et à Al‑Qaïda, est une preuve flagrante de la complicité de ces pays avec les groupes terroristes et de leur manque de sérieux dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. (SANA, 19 juillet 2016)

Le ministère des Affaires étrangères de la Syrie a demandé à l’ONU et à la communauté internationale de « condamner ce massacre perpétré par la France ». Le gouvernement syrien appelle le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU :

d’envisager des mesures punitives contre les États et les régimes qui soutiennent et financent le terrorisme, notamment les régimes en place à Riyad, Doha, Ankara et Paris, de leur interdire de soutenir le terrorisme et de les obliger à respecter et à faire respecter les résolutions de l’ONU pertinentes (2170, 2178, 2199 et 2253). (ibid)

Faites passer le message haut et fort :

François tu es un criminel,  Obama tu es un criminel… 

Michel  Chossudovsky 

Article original en anglais :

Syria_UN

“François, Tu es un criminel”: President Hollande Ordered the Massacre of Syrian Women and Children In Retaliation for the “Alleged” ISIS Bastille Day Attack, public le 22 juillet 2016.

Traduction : Daniel pour Mondialisation.ca

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A non-binding international tribunal at The Hague has ruled that Australia, the UK and the United States were complicit in 1965 mass killings and human rights atrocities in Indonesia.

During that period, some 500,000 to one million people died in one of the bloodiest massacres of the 20th century. What began as a purge of communists after a failed coup attempt, went on to encompass ethnic Chinese and alleged leftists, which led to the massacre being referred to as « politicide. »

According to the ruling by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) at The Hague, the 1965 government of Indonesia committed crimes against humanity, but the finding is non-binding and carries no punitive consequences.

The judges found that allegations of « cruel and unspeakable murders » and the « unjustifiable imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people without trial » were well founded.

« It has also been demonstrated that sexual violence, particularly against women, was systematic and routine, especially during the period 1965 to 1967, » the Tribunal report says.

The Tribunal demanded an apology from the present-day Indonesian government and demanded investigations and prosecutions into those perpetrators still alive. The Tribunal also demanded a public opening of archives and an unveiling of truth about the events.

Moreover, three countries — the UK, the US and Australia — were found complicit in facilitating the massacre by using propaganda to manipulate international opinion in favor of the Indonesian army.

According to the report, Australia and the UK, « … shared the US aim of seeking to bring about the overthrow of President Sukarno. »

« They continued with this policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis. On balance, this appears to justify the charge of complicity, » the report says.

The details of the crimes committed by the Indonesian army, which include brutal murder, imprisonment under inhumane conditions, enslavement, torture, forced disappearance, and sexual violence, can be found in the full text of the report.

The Indonesian government recently refused to apologize, and reaffirmed its stance regarding the victims and survivors of the 1965 atrocities.

« Our country is a great nation. We acknowledge and we will resolve this problem [the 1965 massacre] in our way and through universal values, » Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister of Indonesia Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.

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Now that the French Secret Services and their foreign associates have read the accounts of ‘false flag’ suspicion in the non-mainstream media, the French Government had to resort immediately to all sorts of doubt deviating maneuvers.

– The truck driven through the Bastille Day celebrating masses on Boulevard des Anglais, suddenly did not break through the barricade protecting the strip as a pedestrian area for the celebration, but it entered through an unprotected side-street. The ‘drive’ was allegedly prepared days in advance, even with dry runs, according to street cameras and telephone conversations between Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel (MLB), the driver of the truck, and a bunch of friends, whom he also asked to supply him with weapons. Strangely, the videos and telephone conversations emerged just days later.

– Judging from the bullet holes in the truck’s cabin, it doesn’t look like the police was actually shooting at the driver. Has anybody seen him dead?

– About five or six of MLB’s sudden associates where in the meantime apprehended for questioning. The number of associates varies depending on the mainstream media you read or listen to.

– Mr. MLB’s psychiatrist in Tunisia has revealed that his patient had indeed a violent and unstable personality – hello! – did you know that MLB, a destitute man, the alleged perpetrator of the crime, had a psychiatrist in Tunisia? – Well, we can’t ask him anymore. He is dead – or is he?

– TeleSur reported that MLB’s brother in Tunisia was surprised having received a sudden transfer of € 100,000 from his brother, as compared to the former small transfers corresponding to MLB’s previously reported poverty and debt. Is this a hint to make us believe that he got paid a lot of money to carry out this mass-murder on behalf of Daesh?

France as a country and through NATO is supporting ISIS-Daesh with training, weapons and money, along with Washington and Washington’s other European and Mid-Eastern vassals. Why would Daesh attack France?

May this be a dual complot, Daesh cells  in connivance with the highest French authorities, is ordered to attack France yet again, so as to incite France and other US vassals to keep funding more bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Libya, knowing quite well that to the contrary of what the mainstream media (msm) wants us to believe, the bombs are not meant to subdue and eliminate Daesh, but rather to conquer Syria, Iraq, Libya and more to come – of course, on behalf of the empire. Daesh-IS-ISIS are in fact NATO’s foot soldiers.

After all, Mr. Hollande and his Minister of Defense have in the past boasted of supporting Al-Nusra on behalf of Washington, of course, since Washington declared them as ‘moderate rebels’ who have to be helped to oust the legitimate President Al Assad, no matter that Pentagon observers concluded that Al-Nusra was identical with the Islamic State.

In the meantime, even the illustrious, neoliberal mouth piece of Washington, the New York Times, pits some doubts against the official story. In an article on 18 July, the paper concludes

“governments also see a benefit in linking the Islamic State to what are sometimes random and unconnected acts of violence. It is a way to project order amid chaos, and to try to assure jittery citizens that there is a strategy to end the violence. For example, in the days since the Nice attack, French officials have pledged to increase the resources that the country is devoting to the bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.”

The NYT continues,

“after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel slaughtered dozens of people when he drove a 19-ton refrigerated truck through a Bastille Day celebration on Thursday in Nice, France, the authorities did not hesitate to call it an act of Islamic terrorism. The attacker had a record of petty crime but no obvious ties to a terrorist group, yet the French prime minister swiftly said Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel was “a terrorist probably linked to radical Islam one way or another.”

Quoting Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department coordinator for counterterrorism and a professor at Dartmouth College, the NYT article concludes, “If there is a mass killing and there is a Muslim involved, all of a sudden it is by definition terrorism.”

This definition of terrorism serves the purpose. It allows building up more hatred against Muslims, more public support to go to war against them, more profit for the war industry – and, foremost, allows the elite and real perpetrators of such crimes and wars moving ever a step closer to Full Spectrum Dominance. And, We, the People, remain oblivious to this Bigger Picture.

This, like the previous two French massacres – and also the one in Brussels earlier this year – are botched cases of the security agencies in charge of organizing them. As in the previous cases, the media will now be told to shut up. The case will be forgotten fast; until the next massacre, when innocent people are being murdered to steadily advance the cause of a small elite to whom our western governments are enslaved.

Since the ascent of neoliberalism in the 1980s, our western world’s leaders have gradually turned to criminals and associates of an industry of legalized thieves, killers, drug-traffickers and liars. Hard to believe? Just look at the FED (Federal Reserve), ECB (European Central Bank), BIS (Bank for International Settlement), Wall Street; the war industry, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), and the six giant Anglo-Zionist media corporations that control 90% of the western news.

Take Obama, he prides himself to personally approve every drone killing, extra-judiciary killings are assassinations. We, the People, have become numb to these events.

The president of the United States of America, the head of the self-proclaimed empire, is effectively a murderer, has become the new normal. The fact that Hollande, Cameron, Merkel and many other peons of his empire are also murderers cumleaders (sic) of western countries around the globe – of billions of people – is swallowed without a whimper by the masses.

Where have we gone? What have we become?

Where is our self-esteem, our respect for the life of our fellow human-beings – our deep-rooted original sense of ethics and solidarity?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, Chinese 4th Media, TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author ofImplosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance

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On prior visits to Damascus, staying in the Old City, the sound of mortars being fired from terrorist-held districts outside of the city was a constant. In recent months, the mortars on Damascus have stopped. Previously, Jebhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria), Jaysh al-Islam and the Free Syrian Army, among other terrorist factions, rained mortars daily on residential areas of Damascus, hitting schools, homes, vehicles and pedestrians, killing and maiming indiscriminately, leaving civilians, including children, with critical injuries and amputations.

With the recent absence of mortars, Damascenes have opened outdoor establishments where before it was formerly too dangerous. Sidewalks cafes and outdoor eateries open at night were unthinkable less than half a year ago, let alone rooftop cafes and lounges. Although Syrians suffer immensely from an economy devastated by war and western sanctions, in Damascus there is a renewed sense of defiance, a refusal to give in, or as a young man in his twenties visiting from Aleppo said: “They have their own war against death by living.”

The croissant stand in Aamarie district of Thomas Gate is known not only to Damascenes but visitors from other areas of Syria. While prices for most goods have risen all across Syria, the stand keeps its prices low: 125 Syrian pounds per sumptuous croissant. On the first day of 'Eid celebrations the stand is packed.

The croissant stand in Aamarie district of Thomas Gate is known not only to Damascenes but visitors from other areas of Syria. While prices for most goods have risen all across Syria, the stand keeps its prices low: 125 Syrian pounds per sumptuous croissant. On the first day of ‘Eid celebrations the stand is packed.

Wedding procession in the Old City of Damascus. Love and life continue. A newcomer to Syria might be surprised by the vibrancy of life among Damascus residents, who have lived under al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam mortars for years, as well as cruel sanctions. “Tawadna” is a phrase that is heard often in Syria: “We got used to it.” Even when mortars rained down, Syrians celebrated their weddings and festivals. Now, in Damascus at least, it is safer to do so outside.

Wedding procession in the Old City of Damascus. Love and life continue. A newcomer to Syria might be surprised by the vibrancy of life among Damascus residents, who have lived under al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam mortars for years, as well as cruel sanctions. “Tawadna” is a phrase that is heard often in Syria: “We got used to it.” Even when mortars rained down, Syrians celebrated their weddings and festivals. Now, in Damascus at least, it is safer to do so outside.

The book market near the President's Bridge and Damascus Univeristy is an institution in Damascus, known to book lovers who can't afford bookstores. It is one Damascus venue which refused to shut down over the years, mortars or not. In addition to its Arabic books, one can find English language books and cookbooks, English literature, popular English-language thrillers and taudry romance novels.

The book market near the President’s Bridge and Damascus Univeristy is an institution in Damascus, known to book lovers who can’t afford bookstores. It is one Damascus venue which refused to shut down over the years, mortars or not. In addition to its Arabic books, one can find English language books and cookbooks, English literature, popular English-language thrillers and taudry romance novels.

In the narrow lanes of Old Damascus, a wooden mosaic artisan explains the techniques of his trade. The tediously-crafted and beautiful woodwork is a favourite for tourists. In spite of the dearth of customers in the past five and a half years, craftsmen and women continue to practise their skills in hopes that when peace returns to Syria, so too will tourists.

In the narrow lanes of Old Damascus, a wooden mosaic artisan explains the techniques of his trade. The tediously-crafted and beautiful woodwork is a favourite for tourists. In spite of the dearth of customers in the past five and a half years, craftsmen and women continue to practise their skills in hopes that when peace returns to Syria, so too will tourists.

The Abu Zolouf bar is one among many bars and lounges opened in the East Gate quarter of the Old City in recent months. Two years ago, I sat with the adjacent restaurant owner, Nabil, outside his then-vacant restaurant discussing the frequent mortars that Jebhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army were firing on Damascus, from Jobar, less than 1 km to the northeast. As mortars fell in nearby districts of the Old City, Nabil narrated close-calls he had had with such mortars hitting outside his restaurant. He also lamented the loss of customers in recent years. Since their May 30, 2016, opening, the Abu Zolouf bar has nightly from 70 to 150 patrons looking to relax outdoors.

The Abu Zolouf bar is one among many bars and lounges opened in the East Gate quarter of the Old City in recent months. Two years ago, I sat with the adjacent restaurant owner, Nabil, outside his then-vacant restaurant discussing the frequent mortars that Jebhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army were firing on Damascus, from Jobar, less than 1 km to the northeast. As mortars fell in nearby districts of the Old City, Nabil narrated close-calls he had had with such mortars hitting outside his restaurant. He also lamented the loss of customers in recent years. Since their May 30, 2016, opening, the Abu Zolouf bar has nightly from 70 to 150 patrons looking to relax outdoors.

 Le Visage, also in the East Gate quarter, was among the first outdoor establishment to open after the mortars stopped some months ago. From its rooftop position, one can look down on the historic Straight Street leading up to East Gate, as well as see life on balconies opposite, where months prior they were empty. A display of lighted alcohol bottles gleam in the dark, with Jobar less than 1 km beyond. A Damascus youth noted: “Imagine, ISIS are about 4 km away and we are opening new bars. This is the Syrian people.”

Le Visage, also in the East Gate quarter, was among the first outdoor establishment to open after the mortars stopped some months ago. From its rooftop position, one can look down on the historic Straight Street leading up to East Gate, as well as see life on balconies opposite, where months prior they were empty. A display of lighted alcohol bottles gleam in the dark, with Jobar less than 1 km beyond. A Damascus youth noted: “Imagine, ISIS are about 4 km away and we are opening new bars. This is the Syrian people.”

In an artsy restaurant along the Straight Street, stone walls are adorned with the owner's brighly-coloured paintings and a solitary board with the words “Cup of Coffee Pending” at the top. Hekmat Daoud, an artist and prominent costume designer, also the eccentric hospitable owner of Kasida Dimashqia restaurant, employs a tradition he says is common in Naples, Italy. “When paying for their bill, people can pay extra towards free drinks for students or those too poor to afford one.” After a thirsty weekend, only a few promises of coffee remain. “There were more before, but students came and wanted arak and beer,” Daoud laughed.

In an artsy restaurant along the Straight Street, stone walls are adorned with the owner’s brighly-coloured paintings and a solitary board with the words “Cup of Coffee Pending” at the top. Hekmat Daoud, an artist and prominent costume designer, also the eccentric hospitable owner of Kasida Dimashqia restaurant, employs a tradition he says is common in Naples, Italy. “When paying for their bill, people can pay extra towards free drinks for students or those too poor to afford one.” After a thirsty weekend, only a few promises of coffee remain. “There were more before, but students came and wanted arak and beer,” Daoud laughed.

A shared meal with local family in the Old City. After over five years of the war on Syria, prices for all basic goods have risen dramatically, while incomes remain the same or shattered. The Western sanctions on the Syria worsen the situation, hurting the Syrian people and social services the most.

A shared meal with local family in the Old City. After over five years of the war on Syria, prices for all basic goods have risen dramatically, while incomes remain the same or shattered. The Western sanctions on the Syria worsen the situation, hurting the Syrian people and social services the most.

 Behind the Umayyad Mosque in Old Damascus, one of tens of volunteers daily helps prepare the Iftar (fast-breaking) meals that the Saaed Association was serving to impoverished Damascus residents, even delivering to those unable to pick up meals themselves. Starting with 3,000 recipients, by the end of Ramadan, the volunteers were providing 10,000 meals daily in Damascus alone, with another combined 7,000 meals prepared in Hama and Homs.

Behind the Umayyad Mosque in Old Damascus, one of tens of volunteers daily helps prepare the Iftar (fast-breaking) meals that the Saaed Association was serving to impoverished Damascus residents, even delivering to those unable to pick up meals themselves. Starting with 3,000 recipients, by the end of Ramadan, the volunteers were providing 10,000 meals daily in Damascus alone, with another combined 7,000 meals prepared in Hama and Homs.

 Volunteers from the Saaed Association relax after the second day of 'Eid activities for children. Instead of clothes or money, “we gave children hope and joy,” one volunteer said. In contrast to the sectarianism imposed on Syria by Gulf States and Turkey, Syrians maintain their unity and secularism, emphasized by such volunteers whose allegiance is to humanitarism and helping the less fortunate.Volunteers from the Saaed Association relax after the second day of ‘Eid activities for children. Instead of clothes or money, “we gave children hope and joy,” one volunteer said. In contrast to the sectarianism imposed on Syria by Gulf States and Turkey, Syrians maintain their unity and secularism, emphasized by such volunteers whose allegiance is to humanitarism and helping the less fortunate.

 The phenomenon of children begging in the streets was not common in Syria prior to 2011. While some children work to help surpport their families who have been rendered destitute due to various effects of the war on Syria, according to Damascus locals, the majority of these children work in a sort of forced labour for ring-leaders coming from the eastern Ghouta region. Many associations work to provide basic services to these children. One such volunteer organization provides education and meals, teaching children not only the basics of reading and writing, but also works to instill moral values and give opportunities, however briefly in their work-day, for children to be children.The phenomenon of children begging in the streets was not common in Syria prior to 2011. While some children work to help surpport their families who have been rendered destitute due to various effects of the war on Syria, according to Damascus locals, the majority of these children work in a sort of forced labour for ring-leaders coming from the eastern Ghouta region. Many associations work to provide basic services to these children. One such volunteer organization provides education and meals, teaching children not only the basics of reading and writing, but also works to instill moral values and give opportunities, however briefly in their work-day, for children to be children.

 Statistics from the Syrian Ministry of Information (November 2015) cite as many as 50 “members of Syrian mass media establishments” killed while at work or reporting. Thaer Al-Ajlani, top left, was killed on July 27, 2015 when hit with shrapnel from a mortar fired by Jebhat al-Nusra, then occupying much of Jobar. Other martyred journalists have been killed by terrorists' sniper attacks, point-blank assassinations, shellings and gunfire while reporting. Corporate media and international associations to protect journalists have largely ignored the deaths of Syrian journalists killed by western-backed terrorist factions.Statistics from the Syrian Ministry of Information (November 2015) cite as many as 50 “members of Syrian mass media establishments” killed while at work or reporting. Thaer Al-Ajlani, top left, was killed on July 27, 2015 when hit with shrapnel from a mortar fired by Jebhat al-Nusra, then occupying much of Jobar. Other martyred journalists have been killed by terrorists’ sniper attacks, point-blank assassinations, shellings and gunfire while reporting. Corporate media and international associations to protect journalists have largely ignored the deaths of Syrian journalists killed by western-backed terrorist factions.

 

Stopping to buy water in an Old City shop, the owner's only issue with me taking a photograph of his fridge is that he wants to dust off the photos of President Assad a bit first, apologizing that they are old, from well-before the current crisis.Stopping to buy water in an Old City shop, the owner’s only issue with me taking a photograph of his fridge is that he wants to dust off the photos of President Assad a bit first, apologizing that they are old, from well-before the current crisis.

 “We are here and will stay here. Our leader and our army is our hope.” The sign speaks the sentiment of Syrians I have met in Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Sweida, Ma'loula, and Damascus. The popularity of President al-Assad has even been admitted by western sources in recent years as at least 70%, although popular sentiment on the streets would put the figure even higher.

“We are here and will stay here. Our leader and our army is our hope.” The sign speaks the sentiment of Syrians I have met in Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Sweida, Ma’loula, and Damascus. The popularity of President al-Assad has even been admitted by western sources in recent years as at least 70%, although popular sentiment on the streets would put the figure even higher.

Children on the second day of 'Eid. Although Damascus is largely secure and safe, many living in the city are directly affected by the war on Syria, with many having lost a family member, been rendered financially-insecure, or been displaced from areas of the country. Children on the second day of ‘Eid. Although Damascus is largely secure and safe, many living in the city are directly affected by the war on Syria, with many having lost a family member, been rendered financially-insecure, or been displaced from areas of the country.

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The truth about Indonesian history and the United States involvement in its ongoing tragedy is little known in the West.  Australian historian, Greg Poulgrain, has been trying for decades to open people’s eyes to the realities of that history and to force a cleansing confrontation with the ugly truth.  It is a story of savage intrigue that involves the CIA and American governments in the support of regime change and the massive slaughter of people deemed expendable.  In his latest book, The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles, Poulgrain shows how President John Kennedy tried to change American policy in Indonesia but was opposed by Allen Dulles and the CIA, resulting in JFK’s murder.  Kennedy’s death, preceded by that of UN Secretary- General Dag Hammarskjold, then led to the US backed murder of millions of Indonesians, Papuans, and East Timorese. 

While an academic historian with meticulous credentials, Poulgrain is also a rare bird: a truth teller.

In this interview, he greatly expands on many issues in his books, including Allen Dulles’s and Kennedy’s conflicting strategies regarding Indonesia, Dulles’s involvement in the assassinations of JFK and Dag Hammarskjold, CIA involvement in the ouster of Indonesian President Sukarno, and the subsequent slaughters throughout Indonesia and West Papua.

For people of conscience, his is a voice worth heeding.

In the introduction to The Incubus of Intervention you ask the question: « Would Allen Dulles have resorted to assassinating the President of the United States to ensure his ‘Indonesian strategy’ rather than Kennedy’s was achieved? »  You say it is up to the reader to decide and that is why you have written the book.  There is a bit of ambiguity in that second statement.  What have you concluded?

Slowly, slowly… I came to understand the role of Indonesia in the differences that emerged between Allen Dulles and John F Kennedy. My lecturing/research on Indonesian history and politics, which I’ve now been doing for several decades, kept me on track. A memorable interview with Indonesian former vice-president, Adam Malik, less than a year before he died, left me puzzled as to why he wanted to impress on me the importance of Indonesia in relation to the Sino-Soviet rift. I did not realize until much later that, once the rift was detected, Indonesia was used by Allen Dulles as a wedge to split them further apart.

Visiting Indonesia from Brisbane is much less of an expedition than travelling from the USA so, over the years, I’ve spoken with many people there about Sukarno and the politics of the ‘60s. Although I include 19th and 20th century history as part of the history I teach, my focus remains the 1950s and 60s, when Indonesia was struggling to find its feet as an independent country. The Dutch had remained for more than three centuries because they were presiding over the world’s richest colony.

Before the war in Vietnam reached full pitch, Washington’s attention was on Laos. Allen Dulles had long been keeping an eye on Indonesia but in government policy or official announcements Indonesia rarely received any mention at all, despite its political volatility, its immense wealth of natural resources and the sheer size of the country. It is many times larger in population than most countries in Southeast Asia – the 4th largest in the world – and as the world’s longest archipelago it is slung across the equator for a distance equivalent to that between Los Angeles and Newfoundland.

The Indonesian populace in 1963 considered JFK a hero, during and after his presidency; so the fact that his strategy to bring Indonesia ‘on side’ in the Cold War is not well known outside Indonesia really highlights our lack of awareness of Indonesia. And how many readers are aware of Allen Dulles’ covert operations in Indonesia? – such as in 1958, which was the largest CIA operation outside Vietnam according to Colonel Fletch Prouty who once worked alongside Dulles.  I am assuming the reader is not familiar with Indonesia of the 1960s and even less familiar with the respective strategies of Kennedy and Dulles, so I really have to throw some light on these to enable the reader to see there is startling evidence linking the two, centered on Indonesia. It was an extraordinary political duel, and the triumph of Dulles led not just to the death of Kennedy but to the death of millions. It is on-going…

Could you share with us this background and their respective strategies?

The potential wealth of the archipelago, particularly oil and minerals, caught the attention of Allen Dulles as a lawyer in the 1920s. He was representing Rockefeller Oil interests against Henri Deterding, the legendary oil mogul of the Netherlands East Indies. Having first started in Intelligence at the time of the First World War, Allen Dulles was still closely linked with Rockefeller oil interests when he became DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) in the 1950s. His expertise was regime change and this was his ultimate aim in Indonesia. His anti-Sukarno strategy had begun more than three years before John F. Kennedy was elected president, and it came into conflict with Kennedy’s pro-Sukarno stance. Kennedy’s Indonesia strategy involved befriending Indonesia as a Cold War ally as this was a prerequisite for Kennedy’s Southeast Asian policy dealing with Laos and the burgeoning problem of North and South Vietnam. In 1961, Dulles did not reveal to Kennedy the depth and intricacy of subterfuge he’d initiated with Indonesia as the focus, nor was Kennedy aware of the extent and elaborate nature of Dulles’ strategy.

Was Allen Dulles’s Indonesian strategy just about Indonesian oil and mineral wealth?  

The Cold War was raging in the early 1960s with Washington pitted against the Sino-Soviet bloc. Driving a wedge between Moscow and Beijing was one of the resolutions of the Rockefeller Brothers panel when it met in 1958 – the panel which included persons such as DCI Dulles and his former associate from postwar Berlin, Henry Kissinger, whose concept of ‘limited nuclear war’ was attracting attention. When an ideological split between Moscow and Beijing was confirmed in the early 1960s, Dulles regarded this intelligence as so vitally important that he informed neither the ailing incumbent president, Eisenhower, nor the Secretary of State who took over in 1959 from John Foster Dulles (Before dying of cancer, John Foster refused his younger brother Allen the privilege of stepping into his shoes as Secretary of State, Allen’s lifelong ambition.)

Nor did Allen Dulles inform the new president, John F Kennedy, that the Sino-Soviet split was real. During his first year in office in 1961, Kennedy all too soon became Dulles’ nemesis. During the second year, with Dulles still as powerful as ever but no longer DCI, the Cold War reached its apogee with the Cuban missile crisis. In the third year of Kennedy’s presidency he intended to implement his Indonesia strategy so as to justify his intervention in the New Guinea sovereignty dispute. In essence, this involved pouring in US aid in order to turn Indonesia towards the West. Kennedy had intended using the same Indonesian army officers which Dulles had been training at US bases since 1958, training in readiness to assume power. Kennedy’s intention to utilize these same troops for massive civic aid programs was the very opposite of Dulles’ intention. But most of all, Kennedy intended to keep Sukarno as president whereas in Dulles strategy Sukarno was the arch-enemy. Under the aegis of Sukarno’s radical nationalism, the Indonesian communist party had been gathering millions of members, driven by poverty and the attraction of owning a small patch of land to grow rice.

 I am reminded of how Dulles, who was so treacherous, also didn’t inform Kennedy that the CIA had learned that the Soviets knew of the date of the Bay of Pigs invasion more than a week in advance and had informed Castro. So Dulles knew the invasion would fail but went ahead with it anyway.  He then blamed Kennedy.  He was devious beyond belief.

A former head of British intelligence once described Allen Dulles as the “greatest intelligence officer who ever lived” and while this comment referred to his activities in the 1940s his Indonesia strategy certainly supports the accolade. Dulles became aware of the bonanza of minerals and oil in Netherlands New Guinea before the Japanese wartime occupation of Indonesia. In the mountains of New Guinea one of the Rockefeller companies discovered the world’s largest primary deposit of gold. In addition to this, the oil that was discovered in record quantity was free of sulphur (so oil-refining was not required).

However, to gain control over these natural resources, first the Dutch colonial administration had to be removed. When Dutch colonial rule in the Netherlands East Indies ended in 1949, the Dutch retained New Guinea and stayed another twelve years. Dulles helped Kennedy to choose in 1962 between Dutch or Indonesian rule over the Papuan people – he chose the latter- by ensuring the UN option would not occur.  The UN option involved secret discussions in 1961 between Kennedy and the UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold. Kennedy favoured intervention by the UN because it meant he would not have to choose between Indonesia (whom he needed as a Cold War ally in Southeast Asia) and the Dutch (who were NATO allies). Hammarskjold was going to deny both Dutch and Indonesian claims to sovereignty and instead grant the Papuan people independence.

The thought of Papuan independence must have incensed Dulles.

‘The Incubus of Intervention’ shows how and why Allen Dulles prevented Dag Hammarskjold from using the United Nations to bring the New Guinea sovereignty dispute to an end. Dulles’ intervention and the death of Hammarskjold is a ghastly precedent for the tragedy that occurred when JFK’s proposed visit to Jakarta was stopped in Dallas.  Kennedy’s visit – as Dean Rusk explained to me in a hand-written letter – was to bring Malaysian Confrontation to a halt and this would only have reinforced Sukarno’s position as ‘president for life’. Kennedy’s proposed visit meant the death of Dulles’ Indonesia strategy.

Had the vast gold and copper deposits in the mountains of West New Guinea (West Papua) remained under the control of President Sukarno, they would have been used primarily to benefit the Indonesian people. The opposite occurred once Indonesia was under the control of General Suharto – indeed, outside the building in Jakarta when the contract was signed with the Rockefeller company, Freeport Indonesia, army tanks were heard patrolling the streets. Vast oil deposits in Sumatra, and oil in other parts of Indonesia, were also exploited. Two of Dulles’ close associates later benefited from the bonanza of natural resources – Admiral Arleigh Burke of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Kissinger joined the Freeport board of directors. When the price of gold was at its height several years ago, the size of the Freeport mining operation could be gauged by the annual turnover which was almost $20 billion.

Do you think Kennedy’s Indonesian strategy would have worked?

Kennedy’s Indonesia strategy would have worked: that was the problem facing Allen Dulles. Stopping Malaysian Confrontation quite possibly may have landed him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Had he not attempted to secure his Indonesia strategy – that is, had he not been prepared to go to Jakarta to stop Confrontation in order to get Congress to resume US aid to Indonesia, winning the 1964 presidential elections would have been next to impossible. His major foreign policy move in Southeast Asia would have been deemed a failure, so he had no option.

It was easy for Kennedy’s detractors to depict his Indonesia strategy as driven by personal political ambition, because the key factor was that he was supporting President Sukarno; and because Sukarno had received such bad press in the USA, such a move by Kennedy seemed fraught with political danger. Sukarno throughout his entire political career back to the 1920s had promoted nationalism but still he was branded by some as a communist, or communist sympathizer; even Kennedy, for that matter, was labelled by some extremist media as a communist. For Dulles’ Indonesia strategy to receive sufficient support from persons in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kennedy’s personal ambition was seen as cutting across the national interest, disrupting the strategy of using the Indonesian army as a political vehicle against the Indonesian communist party, the PKI.  Both Moscow and Beijing were endeavouring to gain influence on the PKI, the latter by promoting the PKI role in Malaysian Confrontation, and the former by discouraging the PKI from participating; instead, Moscow preferred elections to be held so the numerical advantage of the PKI could be brought to bear. The rivalry between the two was intense, and ideological disputes were increasingly evident. Kennedy’s visit would have closed down the opportunity to use the PKI as a wedge to drive the Sino-Soviet dispute into open hostility.

After the PKI was decimated in late 1965-66, under orders from General Suharto’s military cohorts, open hostility flared in the form of tank battles along the Sino-Soviet border. Had Kennedy proceeded with his visit to Jakarta and his Indonesia strategy succeeded, we can only surmise whether or not the Sino-Soviet dispute would have turned into such open conflict or whether the tragic turn of events in Indonesia, 1965, would ever have occurred. Or would General Suharto like a toadstool have found another way to surface.

You do not say if you have concluded that Dulles had JFK assassinated because of the Indonesia issue.  What is your position on that?

Have you seen that 50-minute interview on Youtube by Colonel Fletcher Prouty where he says his former CIA boss, Allen Dulles, in his last few year as Director, was organizing assassinations so regularly and so ruthlessly that Prouty called it “Murder Incorporated” ?

 Yes. Prouty’s insights are invaluable.

For example, take the plane crash which killed UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in the Congo in 1961. Last year, 2015, a UN investigation finally decided his death was political assassination. Playing a crucial role in this investigation were documents (ten letters by a South African intelligence agency) unearthed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the late 1990s. The name of Allen Dulles was directly linked with the plane crash.

The interview I conducted with Hammarskjold’s right-hand man, George Ivan Smith, which is included in ‘The Incubus of Intervention’ introduced another motive – Indonesia rather than the Congo –  for the involvement of Allen Dulles in the tragic death of Hammarskjold.

Can you talk about that interview?  What you write about the Hammarskjold assassination, JFK, and Indonesia is new and very important.

George Ivan Smith explained that Hammarskjold was planning to make an historic announcement in the General Assembly when he returned from the Congo – which he never did.  The announcement he had intended was for the United Nations to intervene in the long-running dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands over sovereignty of West New Guinea. Had Hammarskjold done this, he would have totally disrupted the ‘Indonesia strategy’ of Allen Dulles. The CIA had already assassinated the first president of the Congo after being granted independence: this is what the US Senate investigated in 1975 and found Allen Dulles was directly involved in instigating this assassination.

What George Ivan Smith told me – combined with the evidence from Bishop Tutu – provided a motive for Allen Dulles’ involvement in the death of Hammarskjold that was centred on Indonesia rather than the Congo.

What I am saying is that in 1961 Hammarskjold unwittingly threatened Dulles strategy and that in 1963 Kennedy also threatened Dulles strategy without being fully aware of what Dulles was planning or the years of covert scheming that had gone into that planning. This is what I have labelled the ‘Indonesia strategy’ of Allen Dulles.  By 1963, with Netherlands New Guinea and its unannounced bonanza of natural resources now a part of Sukarno’s Indonesia, Dulles’ strategy was on several levels which I’d like to restate:

1) It involved using Indonesia, or the Indonesian communist party (PKI ) as the ‘wedge’ to widen the rift between ‘Moscow and Peking’ (Beijing)

2) Dulles’ intervention in Indonesia in 1958 led to full-scale training in the USA of two-thirds of all Indonesian army officers, in readiness for regime change (which came in 1965)

3) Exploitation of the world’s largest primary deposit of gold (and copper) in West New Guinea, and the world’s purest oil, with no sulphur, was a boost for Rockefeller companies (linked with Dulles since the 1920s.)

So the answer to your question is ‘yes’ – Indonesia offered immense benefits in terms of the Cold War struggle, and (when regime-change took place in Indonesia) immense benefits in terms of gold, copper and oil. (West New Guinea also has one of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas.)

Neither Hammarskjold nor Kennedy was aware of how high the stakes were and neither had more than an inkling of how ruthless Dulles could be. The Indonesia context, firstly in 1961 and then again in 1963, provided a motive for murder – first Hammarskjold and then Kennedy.

 I have often thought of Kennedy and Hammarskjold as linked by a certain astute intelligence and a spiritual dimension.  So Dulles had them both killed?

Official records show DCI Dulles often used gambling metaphors when weighing up the chance of success for correctly predicting what some foreign leader would do, or predicting the outcome of one of Dulles’ own projects.  For instance, he’d say there was a “better than even” chance of success. After Hammarskjold’s plane crash in 1961 prevented the UN Secretary-General from interfering in the Indonesia strategy which Dulles had set in motion five years earlier, inexorably moving towards regime change, by 1963 the cumulative evidence confirming the rift in the Sino-Soviet bloc made a successful outcome of this strategy even more critical. In 1963 Kennedy’s proposed visit to Jakarta, while threatening to undo years of intelligence work on the massive amount of natural resources in Indonesia that would be accessible after regime change, also threatened Dulles’ Cold War machinations. Had Kennedy proceeded, the current Dulles’ strategy of using Indonesia as a wedge in the Sino-Soviet split would be undermined.  Malaysian Confrontation, by sending the Indonesian economy into screaming inflation, was working in two ways for Dulles: while it set the scene for the exit of Sukarno, at the same time, it added to the rift and rivalry between Moscow and Beijing.  As such, Kennedy’s visit to Jakarta could be seen as contrary to the national interest, and for the Joint Chiefs of Staff this carried far more weight.  Stopping Kennedy became an imperative for Dulles.  Having removed Hammarskjold, Dulles’ options now – to use his own inimitably callous metaphor – were “double or nothing.”

Could we jump ahead to the 1965-6 period when regime change took place and the slaughter commenced? What can you tell us about the killing of the generals, where the blame lay, Suharto’s links to the CIA, etc.? I know you have delved deeply into that.

Killing the army generals (rather than kidnapping and taking them to Sukarno to explain rumours of a coup) was not on the agenda of the 30th Sept Movement, according to one of the key persons in the Movement, Colonel Abdul Latief.  Killing them changed everything – changed Indonesian history, led to General Suharto taking power and wreaking mayhem, one of the largest mass-murders in the 20th century. The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) under DN Aidit was the largest communist party outside the Sino-Soviet bloc, and its decimation was a turning point in the Cold War. The serious discord between Moscow and Beijing, identified six years earlier and closely monitored by the CIA, was made far worse by the fate of the PKI. What had once been described as a monolithic communist bloc now had Moscow and Beijing hurling blame and abuse at each other and this soon led to open hostility (eg. tank battles on the Ussuri River.) The continued war in Vietnam, despite US losses, served this same end. In the early 1970s, the population of Beijing was even subjected to trial-runs in the event of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union involving mass-evacuation of the streets into underground shelters.

I know you spoke to Latief.  What did he tell you? 

My interview with Colonel Latief was in Cipinang prison a few days after Suharto resigned. I’d arrived in Jakarta in May 1998, just after the rioting and burning had started – the last person through the airport before it was closed –  and became involved in the supply-chain delivering food to the 60,000 Indonesian students who were occupying the parliament building. Student protest did much of the work (up to the final thumbs-down by US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright) which forced the resignation of Suharto. One of the students who also delivered food to persons in prison – such as Latief, who had been in prison for 30 years – helped me into Cipinang.

The three main army persons in the 30th Sept Movement were Latief, Untung and Supardjo. Latief was commander of the Jakarta military command. It was essential to have him on side for the plan to kidnap half a dozen generals. “There was no plan to kill the generals, no plan to kill anybody,” Latief repeated to me several times. The person described as head of the Movement was Lt. Colonel Untung, commander of the palace guard; but the highest ranking officer was Brig-General Supardjo, based in Pontianak, Kalimantan, as part of the on-going confrontation with Malaysia. He’d been asked over to Jakarta by General Suharto (who was running the Confrontation campaign) but the first person he visited when he arrived was Sjam (full name Kamaruzaman) who was the actual leader of the Movement. This visit by Supardjo was only two days before the kidnapping began. His higher rank as general added respectability to the Movement and he acquiesced in the plan to move against the ‘Council of Generals’ accused of planning a coup against President Sukarno. He could see the Movement lacked any coherent strategy or military planning, but as such an urgent threat needed immediate response he was willing to let it proceed. It cost him his life.

John Roosa’s book, Pretext for Mass Murder, confirms Sjam was the leader of the Movement. Roosa explains Sjam’s role in relation to the Special Bureau, a covert group within the PKI which Aidit started in late 1964 to befriend persons in the armed forces who might have been supportive of the PKI. Since the early 1950s, Aidit had known of Sjam’s skill in becoming involved in an issue from both sides of the political fence and obviously thought he was the man for the job, even though he had no formal military training.  Apparently what Aidit did not know was that Sjam’s military experience during the 1945-49 struggle for Indonesian independence against the Dutch involved close contact with Suharto. Nor did Aidit realize the implications of this military bond which predated his own link-up with Sjam: indeed, it should raise serious questions about Aidit’s control over Sjam in the Special Bureau when Sjam’s ultimate allegiance was to Suharto.

Did Suharto support this group?

Among the members of the 30th Sept Movement, there was no question that Suharto discretely supported the group but it did not dawn on them that Suharto and Sjam may have been operating together as one unit.

So why did they trust Suharto?

When I asked Latief why the Movement trusted Suharto so much before the fateful night when the generals were kidnapped, he answered as follows:  “He was one of us”…..  Latief and Suharto were close friends. They had family links and military ties that went back to the 45-49 independence struggle, where Latief briefly met Sjam for the first time, but the Suharto-Sjam link during the 1950s leading up to Sjam’s role in the Movement remained unknown to Latief – until it was too late and the killings had occurred. Latief said when he was thrown into prison, the bullet shot into his knee was left untreated, and he was also stabbed with a bayonet.  At first he was left without food in prison; he told me he was so hungry he caught a rat and ate it.

In retrospect Latief’s evidence makes a mockery of the court proceedings: after all, he had visited the house of Suharto a few days before the kidnapping to explain to Suharto the plan to kidnap the generals. Any such operation would have been stomped on immediately by Indonesia’s strategic command, Kostrad, but this did not happen because the commander of this elite unit was Suharto himself. If it could be argued that Suharto kept this information to himself for the ultimate benefit of Indonesia, then he must also accept responsibility for the death of the generals – which opened the path to the presidency for none other than the ultimate benefit of Suharto. On the morning of 1st October when troops from the Movement occupied Merdeka Square, a central location in Jakarta, the fact that Suharto’s Kostrad headquarters remained untouched even after the first radio announcement was tantamount to a statement of alliance between him and the 30th September Movement. On one side of the square was the US Embassy, on another side was Kostrad headquarters, and opposite was the Radio station from where the Movement made its first announcement at 7.15am that a number of generals had been arrested and that an Indonesian Revolutionary Council would be established in Jakarta. The ten-minute broadcast gave the name of Untung as leader of the Movement.

According to another person I interviewed, Indonesian Air Force intelligence officer Lt. Colonel Heru Atmodjo, who was accused of involvement in the Movement and spent 17 years in prison, the first radio announcement was written by Sjam but perused and approved by Untung, whereas the second radio announcement just after midday was entirely the work of Sjam.  The second radio announcement was attempting a dramatic restructuring of rank and power – while all the time holding Sukarno as the supreme commander – and as a result of this announcement the Movement has subsequently been labelled as attempting a ‘coup’. Only in hindsight did Latief realize the Movement which he had supported was actually politically motivated or – one might say – infected by the presence of Sjam.

In his defence statement, Latief told the court not only that he visited the house of Suharto a few days before 30th Sept and outlined the plan, but also that they spoke again on the night of 30th September when Suharto was visiting his son in hospital. The court dismissed Latief’s remarkable information as irrelevant. Nor was the court told that, after hearing from Latief that the kidnapping operation would take place that very night in the early morning hours of 1st October, Suharto then paid a secret visit to the official residence of Brig-General Supardjo at Cempaka Putih, in Jakarta. (He also had a family home in Bandung.) The late-night secret visit was witnessed by a Lt. Colonel who took note but did not mention it, of course, during the subsequent years of terror under Suharto. More than two years before Suharto’s resignation, a very high-ranking Indonesian officer, together with a prominent politician, informed me of this visit by Suharto to the residence of Supardjo. Suharto not only knew of the plan to kidnap the generals but was accepted as one of the group.

How and when did Suharto manipulate the kidnapping and murder of the generals as a pretext for the slaughter of the PKI?

A remarkable PhD thesis completed in June 2014 by J. Melvin, ‘The Mechanics of Mass Murder’, shows how Suharto, on the morning of the 1st October 1965, had issued orders to begin arresting and culling the PKI in faraway northern Sumatra.  Before the PKI had even been named as possible culprits – indeed, even before it was known that the fate of the generals was not kidnapping but murder – Suharto was blaming the PKI for the deaths of the generals. He issued orders for retaliation against the PKI. When this gruesome preparatory work of Suharto becomes better known (and I think John Roosa will soon publish another book incorporating this vital information) the role of Suharto in the death of the generals will be seen as his ‘crossing the Rubicon’ – but in this case it was a river of blood.

Suharto’s intelligence aide, Ali Murtopo, later tracked down two of the drivers of the trucks which had transported the troops involved in the kidnapping and murder. Murtopo killed both drivers a week or so later, perhaps because they had information which, in some way, might have linked Suharto to Sjam, or information relating more directly to the death of the generals.

Sjam admitted in court his responsibility for the death of the generals – during the kidnapping the last-minute orders were ‘dead or alive’ and those who survived the kidnapping were later executed with a bullet in the head – but Sjam claimed all this was on instructions from Aidit, bolstering the case that the PKI was responsible.

Taomo Zhou has shown in her article ‘China and the Thirtieth of September Movement,’ (‘Indonesia’ 98,October 2014) that the transcript of a discussion between Chairman Mao and Aidit bears remarkable resemblance to what took place in Jakarta on the fateful night when the six generals were killed – the event which Indonesian terminology refers to as G30S.  However, the transcript is historically contaminated by the murderous events that took place on the night of 30th September. With G30S in hindsight, Aidit’s complicity can be read into the transcript to such an extent that kidnapping is all too readily replaced by murder. Taomo Zhou states that “The Chinese leaders were aware of the PKI’s plan to prevent the anti-Communist army generals from making a move to seize power “- but murder (as Latief explained) was not on the agenda, so to attribute any more than kidnapping into Aidit’s intention would seem to be reading into the transcript more than intended in the original meaning.  Because of the way the term G30S is used in the summing up, Taomo Zhou implies murder was on the agenda: “Recent research indicates that a clandestine group within the PKI, which included Aidit but excluded other members of the politburo and the rank and file of the party, planned G30S.” And again: ”A clandestine group within the PKI independently made the plan, which was then shared by Aidit with the top Chinese leaders in advance.”

If Aidit is to be held responsible for the events which took place that night – and by this I mean the killing rather than the kidnapping of the generals – and that Sjam was acting on Aidit’s orders, then it would have been on Aidit’s instructions that G30S troops did not occupy Kostrad headquarters because Suharto was considered as one who was supporting the Movement.

Although Aidit did not mention any name, it may well have been the highest ranking officer (ie. Suharto rather than Supardjo) whom he was referring to when he told Chairman Mao “we plan to establish a military committee… The head of this military committee would be an underground member of our party.”   The duplicity of Suharto, like Sjam, went a long way back into Indonesia history. In 1948, Suharto was the emissary sent by General Nasution to investigate the military strength and political unity of the movement in Madiun who, apparently under communist leadership, were steadfastly unwilling to conduct negotiations with the Dutch. “Do you negotiate with a burglar in your house?” was one of the rhetorical questions asked at this time.  Suharto supported the intransigence of the left-wing groups in Madiun and, according to the military commander of Madiun, Soemarsono, (now 96 years of age and living in Sydney, where I spoke with him three months ago) Suharto was accepted by the PKI when he was in Madiun because of his strongly pro-left stance.  Perhaps this was why Aidit, who in the postwar days was a young left-wing figure and only became head of the PKI in the early 1950s, was willing to accept the purported hand of friendship Suharto offered as Kostrad commander in Jakarta in 1965.

Suharto’s deviousness is breathtaking.

General Nasution knew Suharto over a period of two decades, from the days of the struggle for independence to 1965, and then for another three decades when Suharto was president. (Nasution 1918-2000 passed away two years after Suharto resigned.) Over a period from 1983 up to 1996, I visited Nasution many times to talk over aspects of Indonesia history.  Hanging on the wall next to where we talked was a painting of his young daughter who was accidentally shot on the night of 30th Sept 65 when troops came to kidnap him, but failed. He escaped by climbing over the fence into an Embassy which was next to his house, but in the fracas his daughter was killed and so too was his adjutant, Lt Tendean.  Nasution told me – without putting it in so many words – that his wife always blamed Suharto for the death of their daughter: for the rest of her life – that is, three decades of living in Jakarta – she never again spoke to Suharto.

Suharto has always claimed he had no prior knowledge of what the 30th Sept Movement was intending to do. Indeed, according to the three-tiered system he himself introduced to apportion blame, anything less than complete denial would have seen Suharto himself in Category One which was ‘prior knowledge’ and punishable by death.

 What was Suharto’s link to the CIA and the 30th September movement?

When I asked Nasution about the role of the CIA, if any, in G30S, he told me that Sjam and Suharto had been observed in Bandung (where the Indonesian army has an officer training school, referred to as SESKOAD) visiting the commander of that school. The name of the commander was Colonel Suwarto and he was closely allied with the CIA, a detail Nasution stressed and one that is generally known by Indonesian scholars of this period. For me, Suwarto was an interesting character – quite apart from the fact that he had a wooden leg – because his American friend was Guy Pauker, well known as a close associate of Allen Dulles. When I asked Pauker if he’d met Suharto before he was president, he denied that he had. However, Pauker commented that Allen S. Whiting (his former friend in RAND and later State Dept Counselor) was the first person to point to the incipient split between Moscow and Beijing as a definite schism. Even in 1963 there were still relatively few who interpreted this split as genuine, but among those who did was Ambassador Marshall Green. [see: footnote 65 in Harold P. Ford’s article ‘Calling the Sino-Soviet Split’ published by CSI, Winter ‘98-99].  Having arrived in Jakarta in 1965 only months before the 30th Sept Movement, Green arranged for the Indonesia army to receive top-level communication gear to coordinate the widespread massacre of the PKI. Also supplying thousands of names, Green’s macabre contribution to the Cold War was, in effect, the decapitation the PKI.

Nasution’s own intelligence cohorts would have been the source of the reported sighting of Suharto and Sjam in Bandung. Assuming this is correct and Pauker’s denial also correct, then Suharto and Sjam might have been talking with Suwarto in one room, with Pauker in the adjacent room: a highly improbable situation, of course. Suwarto was the former instructor of Suharto when he attended SESKOAD, shortly before being appointed commander of the campaign to oust the Dutch from Netherlands New Guinea. (Today this Indonesian province, West Papua, has been controlled by the Indonesian army virtually since the signing of the New York Agreement in 1962, arranged by Allen Dulles’ long-term friend, Ellsworth Bunker.)

I’d like to point out something that emerged as a result of the interview with Colonel Latief. When going through the court testimonial of Sjam, some details he provided deserve closer attention as they are contradicted by Latief’s statement – and he was very adamant when he made the statement to me in Cipinang – that he had never seen Sjam before 30th Sept 1965.  Yet in Sjam’s court evidence, he states that when Aidit and he set up the Special Bureau to ascertain or pinpoint persons in the army who might be sympathetic to the PKI position, this process involved a few meetings.  Sjam claimed he held several meetings with Latief and Untung, and that the purpose of the meetings was to plan a counter-move to the so-called Council of Generals who were planning to move against President Sukarno.  This is clearly incorrect if Latief had never met Sjam before 30th Sept.  Rather than simply say, ‘Well, perhaps Latief is not correct,” another way to view this is to ask, ‘How was it that Suharto was a close friend of the four main persons in the Movement, Supardjo, Sjam, Untung and Latief?’ (Untung had served in the New Guinea campaign to oust the Dutch in 1962, with Suharto as his commanding officer.) Is there not also a possibility that Suharto, using his long-standing friendship with Untung and Latief and his inside-knowledge of where their political sympathies lay, actually suggested to Sjam (as part of his Special Bureau work) to approach Untung. And then for Untung to approach Latief. If this were the case, then we have a situation where Latief would have visited the house of Suharto in the days prior to G30S, to tell him of the action the Movement intended to take, when Suharto actually knew already. This may have reinforced Latief’s perception that Suharto’s role was supportive only, with no link between Sjam and Suharto, and so may have been a reason why Suharto did not have Latief executed, as he did the others in the Movement.

So you have concluded that Suharto was, together with the CIA, the puppeteer behind it all?

Increasingly, as further evidence is compiled years after the event, Suharto is taking on the appearance of the Kostrad commander at the centre of a web. He had made plans – even before the event occurred – to strike at the PKI for the events which occurred on the night of 30th Sept. And through Sjam he was able to ensure the kidnapping event (as planned by Latief, Untung and Supardjo) was turned into the murder of the generals; and through Sjam’s position with Aidit, Suharto ensured the event was turned into a tragedy of epic proportions, from which Indonesia has yet to recover.

So Suharto comes to power, the massacres ensue, and West Papua is exploited by American mining giant Freeport McMoRan.  After all these years, do you see any hope for West Papuan independence?

The main issues facing the Papuan people in the western half of New Guinea, now two Indonesian provinces called Papua and West Papua, all stem from the continuing presence of the Indonesian army. Although there are Papuan regional representatives and a Papuan governor of each province, the Indonesian army rules everyday life, as it has since it first arrived in the territory in December 1962.

Ousting the Dutch colonial power in 1962, the Indonesian rule arrived in the form of an army of occupation and – although it is not as obvious to the casual observer now as it was during the Suharto era – the mentality of occupation, exploitation and annihilation has continued to the present day.

I am not using the word ‘annihilation’ as a simple descriptive term. The word ‘genocide’, of course, is abhorrent, and people visiting Papua/West Papua today would see Papuans in urban areas apparently living freely, and in the more remote regions Papuans still live in villages much as they did during and before the brief Dutch period. Yes, there have been some positive changes but in terms of infant mortality and other important life-indices, the statistics for the quality of life lived by some indigenous Papuans are worse than the worst in Africa. This is precisely what angers the Papuan people. They are 20 times the national average of HIV-Aids and the usual response from Jakarta is that the Papuans are primitive and their sexual practices have led to the shocking statistics. But the reality is – and here I can speak from personal experience having interviewed a medical officer who had investigated the problem – the Indonesian army has been responsible for bringing prostitutes to Papua (as part of the varied business interests of the army in Papua) and ensuring all the prostitutes – they came from Surabaya – were HIV-infected. The medical officer actually interviewed the prostitutes and they said they were picked to go to Papua because they were infected.

I am reminded of methods used to exterminate the native peoples of North America, smallpox, alcohol, etc.

The army even manufactures its own brand of raw alcohol notorious for its methanol toxicity. One morning in Nabire I remember walking along the street and coming across a dead Papuan, dead from drinking the cheap alcohol, I was told. It has been sold everywhere for many years, but now the Papuan governor has introduced a total ban on alcohol. This move might have been inspired by good intentions but will create a thriving black-market dominated by smuggling which will be controlled by the military. Selling logs to China and other places, despite repeated moratoriums on logging, is a business that reaps hundreds of millions of dollars for the army in both provinces, Papua/West Papua. But this is more ecological annihilation.

What did you mean when you used the word genocide?

Let me return to the question of genocide. US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega once asked me to find out more about the killing that took place in the highlands in 1977 – mass killing. The Indonesian army used four Bronco OV10 fighter/bomber planes, ex Vietnam, strafing and bombing non-stop for four months in the highlands. Valley after valley of people working in the gardens tending their sweet-potato crops, villages that had been there for generations – suddenly attacked by the new boss from Jakarta. A Dutch doctor in the highland town of Wamena took note of the number of widows visiting the hospital there the following year and calculated the death toll was above 20,000 people. I have also met Christian missionaries who were in the area when this massive killing spree took place. For one woman, so bad was the horror she was traumatized for the rest of her life. During my first visit to Jayapura in 1978, I recall one night a young boy about 12 years of age came out from under a building, pleading with me: “They kill my mother, they kill my father, and now they kill me.” I had no idea what he was talking about: only later I found out what had happened in the highlands, from where the child had fled, walking for weeks.

The Dutch doctor also noted that four plain-clothed Americans were acting as advisers for the Indonesian pilots involved in this non-stop bombing and strafing. They were providing advice to the pilots on how best to attain better angles and approaches as they searched for new targets beyond the main Baliem valley. The surrounding region which took only minutes to reach by plane took many hours to reach by road transport. This fertile region was the most densely populated of all areas in the entire territory and Papuan communities had lived there for centuries. This was where Richard Archbold (a former CEO from Standard Oil in pre-war days) landed in his giant flying-boat. He dubbed the place “Shangri-La” because the Papuans were so peaceful – men, women and children working in the fields until 2pm, then the men washing the children in the river before conducting school lessons while the women retired to the village to prepare the evening meal.

Do you have figures on how many people in “Shangri-La” were slaughtered in this genocide?

In a land such as Papua, because of the rugged terrain and remoteness, there is always great difficulty in obtaining accuracy of demographic information. The figure of 100,000 Papuans used to be bandied about as the death toll resulting from Indonesian army repression, over the years; but this was chosen only because the Human Rights group which promoted the figure had that number of names and addresses of people, missing or dead. This included persons who were known to have been dropped by helicopter over the sea, or persons forced into a latrine only to have their head pushed under and held there until death. Two decades ago, I discussed this very issue with prominent Papuan activists and realised, while they knew the figure was much higher, the purpose in claiming the figure of 100,000 was because it was indisputable. To gain a better idea of the total number, however, I checked the population figures available from the last census held before the Dutch departed, and with it I compared the statistics available from eastern New Guinea, populated by Papuans with similar culture but under the former colonial control of Australia. The dividing line between east and West Papua is simply a meridian, 141 degrees East, which was agreed upon by the Dutch in the western half, and in the eastern half British and German (before Australia took control after the First World war.) in places, this dividing line which became a colonial border ran straight through the middle of some villages.

So in Netherlands New Guinea in 1960 there was a census, and in the eastern half called Papua New Guinea (PNG) the Australian administration also conducted a census in 1960. PNG always had more inhabitants than the western half but it was the rate of growth that was crucial because it gave a basis of comparison with the similar Papuan culture in the western half. The rate of growth of the PNG Papuan population from 1960 to 2002 was then calculated. This rate I then applied to the census statistics compiled by the Dutch in 1960, to calculate an estimation of what the population in the western half might be in 2002, or might have been expected to be.

Under Indonesian army rule for four decades, there was a remarkable discrepancy showing a population deficit of 1.3 million Papuans. Of course, we must also include in this rough calculation the exodus of Papuans from west to east once the terror of Indonesian army rule became apparent, but it shows without doubt that a vast number of Papuans went missing. This population deficit in the territory of Indonesian-controlled West New Guinea was calculated when the differentiation between Papuan and non-Papuan was still a feature of the census questions. Nowadays this deficit has been more than filled by people coming to Papua from other Indonesian islands, mainly Java and Sulawesi. These people from outside Papua are referred to as transmigrants and, because the flow has not been restricted, Papuans are now a minority in their own land. The figure of 1.3 million Papuans missing over 40 years of army occupation is comparable to the figure often cited for the Armenian genocide that occurred in Turkey around the time of the First World War, an occurrence that has never been acknowledged by the government of Turkey. The estimate of 1.3 Papuans, and the method used for reaching this number, was in an article I wrote for the Encyclopedia of Genocide published by Macmillan in 2005. Papua, most of these people would have died from disease but this still implicates the role of Indonesia in the population loss. Even today, in some remote areas, Papuans living in isolated regions rarely, if at all, ever see a medical doctor.

Have you traveled to these areas to confirm this?

In 1983, I was sent to visit the territory by the London-based Anti-Slavery International to report on figures released by an American bishop operating in the Asmat region along the southern coastline of West New Guinea (then called Irian Jaya.) The bishop claimed 600 out of 1000 Papuan children under five years of age were dying in that region. I went to check out whether this was true or not: it was true.

The unspoken tragedy here comes from medical reports compiled in Dutch times which described this area as a medical phenomenon because of the absence of disease. A few persons had infections in their feet but otherwise the entire area was free of disease.

Access to the Papuan people started with the New York Agreement in August 1962. Freeport gained access to rich mineral deposits almost immediately and then in 1977 the Indonesian army gained access to the indigenous Papuan highlanders. In cultural terms these two were the complete antithesis of each other and the consequences of this has been devastating: the Papuan population suffered an immense depletion in numbers during the Suharto era and conditions two decades later still have Papuans living in appalling conditions. Access for foreigners into the territory has become less of a problem but still some journalists find themselves on the restricted list. But in Papua the digital age has dawned and Papuans are determined to tell the world their plight. In the same way that Indonesian nationalists informed the world to release themselves from Dutch colonial power, Papuans are doing likewise in the hope that the iron grip of the Indonesian army will be released.

What’s the position of the Jakarta government?

The Jakarta government is faced with a stupendous task of negotiating with the Papuan people – perhaps a process similar to the South African ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ – before any progress can be made. The main problem, from the perspective of one who has observed Papuan-Jakarta relations over the decades, is that Jakarta seems reluctant to admit what the army has done, not just during the Suharto era but also in Papua/West Papua today. There does seem to be an administrative gap between what Jakarta says and what actually happens in terms of army brutality in Papua. Whether or not this gap is diminishing, as it seems to be, remains debatable. During the Suharto era, the army was utterly ruthless but in the post-Suharto era we are told things have changed. This change can be gauged by the discrepancy that now appears between Jakarta announcements and the reality in Papua of life under the army, and the police. The post-Suharto era has police in a more prominent role, of course, but this has often led to full-on gun battles between the army and police, fighting over their business interests in this remote corner of Indonesia.

In the first half of 2016, thousands of Papuans have been arrested for peacefully demonstrating in the street, attempting to voice their concern about their human rights, their culture, their lives.

Army and police- with a few exceptions – enjoy impunity from the Indonesian judicial process. For example, six months ago I heard how two young boys in a remote region in the Papuans highlands had their pig killed by a passing car. Pigs are a valuable commodity, and a fully grown one is worth two or three times the price it would fetch in Australia because the pig is so integrated into the culture… many forms of celebrations, weddings for example, would involve roasting a pig or several pigs for the community, not only for the vital nutrients but as a system of cultural bonding. So the two young boys were stopping cars on the road and asking drivers to pay some money as compensation for the pig they had lost. Rp50,000 (rupiahs) would be the same as $5. Two policeman drove to investigate. As the windows were winding down and the boys were about to ask for some money, the police simply shot both boys. Life in Papua – if you are a Papuan – is precarious.

Thank you, Prof. Poulgrain for this disturbing history lesson on Indonesian and American relations. 

Interviewed by Edward Curtin

 

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Never doubt the ballistic factor of Laura Ingraham.  Ingraham is never into facts, which tend to be the unwanted gate crashers of her party.  What matters in that particular world view is sentiment, often tinged by viciousness.  In so far as it matters, she is the great weapon that someone like Trump needs: intangible, but feeling; vicious but at heart sincere about her prejudices.  In truth, the most prejudiced are as sincere as the great idealists.

“To all my friends up there in the press,” she called out at the GOP convention on Wednesday, “you all know why in your heart Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. You know it.”  Not letting the rhetorical question bask in the Convention atmos, Ingraham decided to push on: “You know why he won it?  Because he dared call out the phonies, the frauds and the corruption that has gone unexposed and uncovered for too long.”

Her effort to congeal the forces of disunity within GOP ranks says much about what Trump has become. Forget those “wounded feelings and bruised egos” (man up, as it were!) – they had to pledge support for their not so dear leader.  She then finished up her bluster with what had the suspicious appearance of a Nazi salute.  “She quickly corrected it,” noted Jezebel, “and bent her arm, but the optics were not great.”[1]

Fascinating as it is to use such terms as phony and corruption for a man who made bankruptcy an art, and reality television a supreme art, Ingraham plays the tune that will prove dangerous to Hillary.  This mocked convention, filled with indignant ennui, suggests that Trumpism is thumping, a fist of history that intends to make a mark. But he has lacked a spokesperson for his movement, thinking himself the best one for the job.

Hence the performance by Ingraham, who “out-Trumped Trump” (Vox, Jul 21). On Wednesday, a convention that seemed to be whirring rather than raging received the radio host’s fire.  The burning themes have become matters of a more global nature: the fear of the ever uncontrollable without (refugees); the fear about the terrifying within (terrorists and radicalisation); and notions of dispossession (the country needing to be taken back).

The larger than life target was always going to be Hillary Clinton.  As the GOP Chairman Reince Priebus suggested to attendees on Thursday, “Americans have had enough of corrupt deals.”  Clinton was prone to read ethics manuals as closely as Americans perused their junk mail.  She had perfected politics as an exercise of self-enrichment.

This is a wave that has been declared by various scribblers as Trumpism – or some such.  Dominic Tierney is convinced that Trump is riding one.  (What came first?  Wave?  Trump?)  The issue is hardly that relevant, pointing out to a figure who has managed to raid the warehouses of discontent.  Globally, estranged voting publics are turning the tables on the smug and complacent, the decision makers perceived as coolly distant and self-interested.

A populist machinery has been developed to plough the fields of dissatisfaction.  One of the members of that machinery was an important figure behind Brexit, Nigel Farage.  To make a point, he made his way to Cleveland to witness the GOP convention.  He had little reason not do, having done his dash with a successful campaign, yet refusing to serve in any capacity on deal with the aftermath.

For Farage, an emotional and symbolic reclamation was taking place in a more international sense.  As he explained to his US audience, “June 23 is our Independence Day.”  It was the day that the country was retaken, pride regained.[2]  As for Trump, it was “irrelevant that [he] was rich, if he is able to go into these communities and to have conversations with those people so that they feel he actually gets it.”  The establishments across Europe and the United States did not.

A fine illustration of the point came from The Economist, whose editorial on Trump (Jul 16-22) did not see a US in crisis. This was the great example of establishment chat: the rage was misguided, the angst misplaced.  There was the “gloomy rhetoric” amidst positive economic performance (“the fourth-longest” recovery on record); there had been “huge progress” in the field of race relations.  It was Trump who had “done most to stoke the national rage”.

As Tierney would observe: “The Brexit vote and the emergence of the Finns Party are both examples of the rise of Trumpism, a brew of nationalist, populist, anti-establishment, anti-‘expert,’ anti-globalist, protectionist, ‘us versus them’, and most of all, anti-immigrant sentiment.”[3]

It may be going one analytical step too far to suggest that Ingraham had given inchoate Trumpism form.  Sentiments do not have any, and pure anger without concerted meaning is simply a feeling in search of action.  But the movement that has come to bear his name will continue.  Beyond the personality cult, which Trump can only do so much to control, is a firestorm that has every prospect of becoming incendiary.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: [email protected]

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