RANDY SHIELDS—The mass murder starts on October 7 on Sumatra with a fanatical anticommunist commander named Ishak Djuarsa who trained at Fort Leavenworth. The police and military arrest leftists and their sympathizers en masse. Trusting peasants and factory workers turn themselves in for what they think is routine questioning and are never heard from again. For mass murder to spread so quickly it’s necessary for ethnic and religious fault lines to be exploited and “ordinary” citizens to directly participate in the killings, often under the threat of being killed themselves.
Most of the killings were summary executions done with knives, swords, machetes, sickles and spears. The flow of small rivers and streams was disrupted by too many dead bodies. Rape, torture, gendered violence, castration and dismembering alive swept across the 17,000 island archipelago from Banda Aceh to Papua. The US provided arms, training, communication equipment and lists of thousands of real and alleged leftists to be killed. US-owned plantations furnished lists of “troublesome” employees.