Andre Vltchek


Pres. Jokowi

Pres. Jokowi

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ust a few days have passed since your inauguration, Mr. President, and the people; at least a great number of the people in your country, are now expecting, even demanding a change, an immediate metamorphosis of the nation. They think that because you have become the President of Indonesia, their lives will improve soon, their fears will diminish, and their sorrows will disappear.

For the first time in decades, the eyes of many poor Indonesian people are full of hope. They trust you, Mr. President. They feel optimism. Some of them now even dare to dream.

Hope…  I was once told by a great South American writer and thinker, Eduardo Galeano, that, “Hope is often all that poor people have. To give them hope, and then take it away, is worse than murdering them.”

Socialist governments were then beginning to emerge, all over South America – from Venezuela to Chile, from Argentina to Bolivia. This was Galeano’s massage to them: “Comrades, watch out! Keep your promises. Do not play with the hopes of your people!”

South American leaders listened, and prevailed. They turned hopes into reality. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work on behalf of their nations. They forgot all about false pride and they learned how to serve their people, how to put them first, how to defend those who were until then, abandoned and helpless.

Mr. President, the country, the state, is only great if it serves one single purpose: to improve the lives of its people, and to improve the lives of people all over the world.

Medarka Palace: Indonesia's presidential seat.

Medarka Palace: Indonesia’s presidential seat.

In the past I was extremely critical of you. I did not believe and frankly, I still do not believe that in Indonesia, people can get elected spontaneously, without pre-selection by the ‘elites’ – that corrupt bunch of collaborators who are actually the major problem that the country is facing.

All major political parties and mass media are owned by the elites, and they serve their interests.

But now I feel that I have to yield to the hopes of those who believe in sudden and great transformations.

I have no right to tell the people that their hopes are meaningless. I will not say anything, at least for some time. After this letter, I will not express my opinion on the subject of Indonesian ‘democracy’ for at least some substantial amount of time.

I will make sure to give you some breathing space, hoping that others will do the same.

Deep inside I wish, sincerely, that my spontaneous mistrust of Indonesian politics will prove, at least partially, unjustified or exaggerated. I want to be shown that your supporters are correct, and that a man like you can actually get through that incredibly brutal and corrupt ‘endorsement’ system; that he can survive, and then dramatically improve the country.

I know that you do not have blood on your hands. You are one of the few who doesn’t. I know that you know how deep the pain of your people is. I know that you care about them. That is enough for me, for now.

I disagree with you on many counts. Despite that, by this letter, I am endorsing you, Mr. President.


I am offering you my support, in case it is needed.

I am offering you my help, for as long as you are willing to stand tall and defend those who are powerless, and to fight for the wretched – that is, for the majority, of your tormented nation.

I will be on your side for as long as you do not betray the faith of your people.

Let me repeat: I want to be proven wrong. I want my previous analyses to be incorrect. I don’t think that they are, but I want them to be.

I urge you: Stand tall, Mr. President! And fight for your scarred and cheated nation.

President Sukarno: One of the pillars of the 1960s "non-aligned movement." His departure from power, initiated by the West, opened the floodgates to neocolonial tyranny.

President Sukarno: One of the pillars of the 1960s “non-aligned movement.” His departure from power, instigated by the West, opened the floodgates to neocolonial tyranny and vassalage, which endures to this day.

Do not listen to those who come from abroad with sweet but deceitful words on their lips. Their compliments are empty, compassionless, based only on self-interest. They have been robbing Indonesia for many decades, they broke her spine almost 50 years ago, and now they are telling her how beautiful, free, tolerant and democratic she is. Don’t listen; don’t trust them. Indonesia is still in chains, in shackles, in pain! It is confused, mad from the pain it received and has inflicted. It is completely intolerant, because her leaders, her best sons and daughters were murdered, imprisoned, silenced.

What those outsiders are doing is like visiting a patient who is suffering from an extremely serious set of diseases; a patient who has lost almost all her hair, whose color of skin has changed, who has become almost blind, and then tell her, ‘how beautiful, how lovely, how healthy, how desirable you are!’

To lie, to be ignorant, to disregard the pain of that lady named Indonesia, is not an act of love, Mr. President. The act of love would be the opposite: it would be to call an ambulance, immediately, and to carry her in your arms through the hospital doors. An act of love would be to force everyone inside the clinic to fight for her life: doctors, nurses, and technical staff. An act of love would be to stand by her when she is almost dying, when there seems to be almost no hope left; an act of love is to never surrender, to fight for her, for that lady called Indonesia; to fight for many long days and nights if needed, to fight with all your might, so she survives, and lives.

“I know that you do not have blood on your hands. You are one of the few who doesn’t. I know that you know how deep the pain of your people is. I know that you care about them. That is enough for me, for now.”

Love is never based on lies, Mr. President, never on deceptions. Love is based on truth and compassion, on sympathy, and determined decision to understand.

It is time to love Indonesia differently, by honest love, not by false tributes: “You are pale, you are scarred, your veins and your wounds are open, and they are refusing to heal. Dirt and puss covers your body. It is a terrible sight. But you will not be abandoned, because you are loved. You will be fought for. You are loved not because of some idiotic and empty nationalism; you are loved mainly because you consist of hundreds of millions of human lives. You cannot be allowed to fall, because if you do, those multitudes will fall with you.”

But to save Indonesia, action has to be taken immediately, because the damage is too great. The surgery or a series of them has to be performed. Terrible parasites must be expelled from her body. Those that have been poisoning her for many years, have to be pushed back. True enemies have to be defined and challenged.

You came in at a crucial time. You were selected to lead the struggle, or at least this is what those tens of millions of your followers, many of whom are poor, really believe.

No matter how you came to power, Mr. President, you are now here, in the spotlight. But that is not enough: now you have to lead. You are obliged to lead. You have no right to maneuver and play it ‘both ways’. You are only the third President of Indonesia who has the heart and decency to move this colossus forward. The first one was Ahmed Sukarno. The second was ‘Gus Dur’, my friend Abdurrahman Wahid.

Some time ago I wrote that you entered Jakarta as a governor, ‘riding on a wooden horse’. Things changed: this time you were given a great horse and impenetrable armor, as well as the sharpest and the best ever crafted kris that is now shining in your hand. You look good in the saddle, and people are cheering. There is no looking back. Now you are obliged to move forward, to charge, to rescue your country.


Have you ever noticed the sadness in the eyes of your people, Mr. President?

Have you seen that exhausted, helpless, humiliated look on the faces of those that live in the villages and the cities? That expression of people who have only worries but no bright future, who can count on nothing public, who have to buy, to purchase every little thing, because their state does not provide for them.

Have you seen those once stunning but now horrifying islands – Sumatra, Bangka, Kalimantan – logged out, covered by black toxic chemicals, with hardly anything natural left, with entire species that have disappeared, with people dying from cancer and running for their lives across the border to Malaysia. Have you, Mr. President? This is your land and those are your people. The corporate media may hide it, Western propaganda may hide it, but all of that is the truth. I could supply you with thousands of images that I have collected, and with hours of footage: from West Timor to Aceh, from Pontianak to River Musi, from Sumba to Batam.

Have you ever visited the urban slums, Mr. President? Have you visited the villages? Actually I know you have. I hope you are going to speak out about what you saw, instead of continuing with that outrageous lie of your predecessor, who claimed that only some 18% of the Indonesian people are actually poor, while it is clear even with unopened eyes, that the great majority of people in your country are living in misery. And even the rich, even those who are corrupting and stealing, with all their horrible kitschy mansions and European cars, are still living below the lowest basic standards of countries like Korea, Japan, or even South Africa – they are breathing terrible air, using toxic water, and are surrounded by polluted cities with almost no culture.

Are you finally going to admit how many people really live in your country, Mr. President? We both know that it is not 238 million, not even 245 million, but well over 300 million. Writing my book “Indonesia – Archipelago of Fear”, I worked with several top international statisticians who claim that the Indonesian government hides, as the Pakistani one does, the true number of its citizens, which is already much higher than 300 million. Why? Because those ‘unaccounted for un-people’, do not have to be given any, even the most basic, services. They do not spoil that illusion about ‘a country that is growing, improving and becoming a normal nation’, to use the language of some individuals at ANU.

Have you ever noticed that Indonesia has already collapsed, Mr. President? That many of its indicators are now on the level of those of East and West African nations, far from most of the indicators of Pacific Asia? I have lived and worked for many years in both Africa and Asia, and I can testify that such analyses are absolutely correct.

The roads, the ports, airports, railways, and telecommunications/Internet – they are all in a grotesque state, Mr. President. Tens of millions of Indonesians have no access to electricity, while a great majority lives without access to basic sanitation. The quality of water is worse than in India, or even Bangladesh. All Indonesian cities are gone, offering nothing that urban centers worldwide are supposed to provide: cosmopolitan culture, modern, efficient and cheap public transportation, wide sidewalks, great public areas including parks, countless public libraries, and elegant architecture that is there to serve the people. Jakarta has been, on several occasions, voted the worst city in Asia Pacific, but the polls did not obviously include other urban horrors like Surabaya, Denpasar and Medan.

Have you ever thought about the fact that the fourth most populous country on earth does not have one single thinker or great artist that is recognizable all over the world? Not a single one, Mr. President; not since the former prisoner of conscience, and my dear friend Pramoedya Ananta Toer, passed away. And he passed away outraged and bitter, disgusted with what his Indonesia, his once beloved country, had become. “Indonesians have no culture”, he declared in his last book “Exile”, which he co-authored with me: “Now they only have a culture of thieves…  they do not create, they do not produce… The entire island of Java is just a marketplace – pasar. It is so shameful!”

Where are those great Indonesian scientists, writers, and philosophers? Why isn’t there even at least one of them standing tall in the middle of a country of more than 300 million? China has an entire army of them, and so do countries like India, Brazil, South Africa, and even poor Nigeria! Every major developing nation counts on a great number of exceptional personalities that are making their countries distinct, who are moving them forward; personalities who think about the welfare of their people, so why not Indonesia?

Mr. President, it is obvious, it is clear, that something has gone terribly wrong.

You are surely aware that when Indonesian people who at least have some money, get sick, they immediately cross to Malaysia or Singapore, where medical care is cheaper and incomparably better. People who can afford it go abroad to shop, because much poorer Indonesia bizarrely has much higher prices for everything, from material goods to food, than its neighbors – Malaysia and Singapore. Indonesians also go abroad when they want to learn, and to educate their children.

Which naturally, creates a great paradox. Can children and young people really learn how to save their country, by going through the indoctrination drill in Europe and in the United States; the parts of the world that have been plundering and derailing this archipelago for decades and centuries? Or will these young people return to Indonesia, after being conditioned to serve the neo-colonial masters, while grabbing in the process all they can from their impoverished and terribly-educated majority? And even those Indonesian professors that teach at the most prestigious Indonesian universities – they are themselves programmed by the neo-con and neo-liberal dogmas, and by the ridiculous perceptions that preach about the  superiority of Western concepts (like Western-style democracy) and culture.

“Have you seen those once stunning but now horrifying islands – Sumatra, Bangka, Kalimantan – logged out, covered by black toxic chemicals, with hardly anything natural left, with entire species that have disappeared, with people dying from cancer and running for their lives across the border to Malaysia.”


The horrible Indonesian corruption and heartlessness towards the poor majority, has its roots in the colonial era. Then and now, the so-called local ‘aristocracy’ and ‘elites’ served the colonial masters. They basically collaborated with the invaders, committing treason, while stuffing first their pockets, then their coffers and bank accounts, all with happy nods of approval emanating from the Netherlands. The roots of corruption are almost always in colonialism. Nothing has changed. Now Indonesian collaborators are ruining the country, plundering natural resources, all on behalf of foreign multi-nationals and the Western global regime.

Mining for tin in the beautiful Bangka islands. The metal is used in the production of smartphones.

Mining for tin in the beautiful Bangka islands. The metal is used in the production of smartphones. (Friends of the Earth/ Bangka Tin Mining Site. Photo source: ©© M. Kelley)


‘The biggest economy of Southeast Asia’, the Western mass media writes. Of course, with 300 million people it is the biggest, but how low is it on per capita basis? What does this country produce, Mr. President? It only assembles pathetic old models of cars dumped from abroad, and some electronics, as well as apparels. What else? The Indonesian economy is totally uncompetitive, and it is based on the absolute plunder of natural resources and on unnaturally high global commodity prices. In the near future, what is Indonesia going to eat; soon, there will be nothing more to cut and to extract? What is Java going to do, when it will not be able to live off its oil, trees and the mines in Aceh, Papua and Kalimantan, anymore?

But nobody seems to be thinking in advance. Naturally, there are no socialist five-year plans like those of China, no ‘central planning’, as those plans actually exist in order for the countries to develop and to move forwards, definitely not in order for a few members of the elite to steal from the nation. In Indonesia, it is a ‘grab all that you can, while you can’ economy. It is the most capitalist country I have ever seen, anywhere in the world, and in the long term, an absolute economic and social failure.

Mr. President, those who are stealing from the Indonesian nation are hiding behind Western propaganda, manufactured in order to sustain similar regimes all over the world. Naturally, the West supports the Indonesian system. It is clear why: it serves the corporations in Europe, US and Australia, while the great majority of Indonesian people do not benefit from the system at all, at the same time as the nation’s wealth is evaporating at an enormous speed.

Now there are also nationalistic slogans. Their outbursts are full of ‘love’. ‘Damn, I love Indonesia!’ reads a banner hanging from the balcony of a mall in the city of Surabaya.

Cheap nationalism is on the rise. What do the nationalists really love? Do they love those endless slums and the terrible quality of life? Or do they love the fact that almost all the natural resources are gone, that the cities are being ruined by corruption and therefore by the lack of urban planning; that in many villages children are running barefoot, while showing clear signs of malnutrition? Or do they love the fact that Indonesia has already drifted away from the rest of Southeast Asia, so now they can have her fully to themselves; they can violate her far away from inquisitive and outraged eyes?

Mr. President, the outrageous quality of the Indonesian mass media, all of it owned by business interests, is one of the reasons why almost all citizens of the country are living is absolute isolation and with no diversity of opinions. As if Chinese, Venezuelan, Cuban, Russian, South African, and Vietnamese concepts would not exist. As if the entire Latin America have not won, recently, great peaceful revolutions, turning from Western neo-colonies to proud nations that are feverishly building societies and states that have only one goal – to serve their people.

The Indonesian media does not educate. There is almost nothing public in the country, and the media is no exception. It exists to ‘entertain’, to brainwash, and to keep the intellectual bar at the lowest possible level.

The culture, the arts – some of the most powerful vehicles in the construction of new and better societies in such places like Latin America or China – are, in Indonesia, unable and unwilling to stand tall, lead and inspire the nation, intellectually. Instead they regurgitate never-ending cheap pop junk: from horror films to run of the mill pop tunes. It is obvious who is benefiting from this lobotomizing of the Indonesian public. Clearly, if art and culture were to teach citizens to think, they would not tolerate such an outrageously brutal and failed regime.

The Indonesian citizens, Mr. President, are constantly told that they live in a democracy. The proof of it, is in the great number of political parties, and the flow of quotes that is constantly supplied. ‘This or that businessman or politician from the United States, Australia or Europe said so…’ Of course they say so, repeatedly, because for them, Indonesia is the perfect country, which, through her own corrupt elites, is stealing from herself, and instead of feeding her own undernourished children, is supporting and feeding her rich colonial and neo-colonial masters!

But what is democracy, Mr. President? The definition of it, its translation from Greek is, ‘the rule of the people’. It does not say ‘a multi-party Western-style political system’.

Are Indonesian people really ruling in their own land?

They aren’t and they don’t think they are, Mr. President. I asked them on Dieng Plateau and in Alor, in Aceh and Bali, in the slums of Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya, in Kupang, Ende, Pontianak, and in the remote villages on the river Musi.

The people are not ruling in Indonesia, and they know they are not, and they are not even expecting to rule. But they believe that they are living in a true ‘democracy’, because they are being told that they are, although they have never tried to figure out what that ‘democracy’ really is, what does it mean. And as their mass media and education system are there to just mainly keep them as far as possible from knowledge, the majority of them have no clue that a different world is possible, and that there are many new and better systems: Venezuela, Cuba, China, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, even Malaysia.

I kept asking all over the country, whether the votes of the people, makes any difference, and most of the votes replied resolutely: ‘no’. Women spoke about their husbands or fathers ordering them how to vote. Villagers informed me about vote-buying, a common practice perpetrated by all major and minor political parties. People have become cynical: they know that this entire ‘democratic charade’ has nothing to do with their lives. Politicians are not competing on their ideals and ideas of how to improve society and the lives of the citizens. They are simply looking for a rubberstamp, to legitimize what has already decided by the elites in some backrooms in Jakarta.

For the Empire, for the West, this is of course the best type of ‘democracy’, as the system is fully controlled by local corrupt officials and elites, who, in turn, are subservient to the economic and geopolitical goals of Washington, London or Canberra. Pepe Escobar recently wrote: “As ace economist Theotonio dos Santos stressed, the decadence of the West is still exerting substantial influence over the Global South via their extensive network of collaborators.”

The extensive network of collaborators… Those grotesquely overpriced fashion-chain boutiques at mass-produced shopping malls, those slightly outdated luxury models of European cars at triple the price of what they’d go for in the United States, those pathetic Disneyland-style wedding cake mansions, those packed wide-body jets bringing vulgarly behaved moneyed families from Jakarta and Surabaya to Singapore and Hong Kong, where they own their condominiums built from the sweat and blood of Indonesian people – all of this only serves that group of modern-day collaborators. And the collaborators are insecure, edgy, arrogant, and ready to commit any crime in order to maintain their ‘privileges’ and control over, as we determined, the defenseless and miserably poor majority of the country.

These people would be facing a firing squad in China or lengthy prison sentences in Chile or Brazil. In Indonesia, they are facing doubled backs and servile smiles.

That is wrong, Mr. President; that is very, very wrong!

As long as respect is shown to brigands and thieves, there can be absolutely no positive change; there can be no end to corruption.

With such a state of things, everything is twisted and perverted: logic and morals, even things like culture and family values.

Indonesia’s past is perverted and twisted as well, Mr. President. And it is a well known fact that without facing the past, bravely and determinedly, there can be no decent future for any country. The horrible hidden past will never go away and the crimes against humanity will come back to haunt a nation that has committed them and then refused to repent, and to put those individuals responsible, on trial.

Mr. President, there was no ‘Communist putsch’ in 1965, no ‘PKI coup’. That is a well known fact, by now, all over the world. Anyone who wants to know the truth can easily find it online, from the declassified files of the US Department of State and the CIA. The coup was conducted against the progressive President Sukarno, and the intellectual-progressive forces of Indonesia, including the PKI, teachers, and artists – basically against all thinking people. It was perpetrated by the Indonesian armed forces that had committed treason, and sided with Western imperialist nations. Religious cadres joined the slaughter – an orgy of terror, rape and mass murder. According to your predecessor’s father-in-law, Mr. President, the military proudly murdered 3 million people, in a country that had barely 100 million inhabitants in 1965.

Indonesian culture was also murdered. Traditional art forms were humiliated, film studios closed down, thinkers and writers and teachers hunted down, killed, tortured, raped, sent to prisons or to the Buru concentration camp.

That was the first genocide Mr. President. What followed was the second one, also endorsed and admired by the West – that in East Timor. There, around 30% of the people lost their lives, when TNI went on a murderous rampage. 30% of the people, Mr. President, and nobody has really been punished. And you and your opponent have people, who served in occupied East Timor, in your teams.

And the third genocide, the ongoing one – that in Papua! The same tactics are being used, same rapes, same intimidation, and the same mass murder. At least 150,000 people have been exterminated, and this is a gross under-estimation.

There are no protests, and no mass movement in your country, to stop the slaughter. The issue is not discussed in the Indonesian mass media. It is taboo. In that ‘vibrant democracy’, nobody dares, or nobody cares, which is just simply shocking.

Do you think, Mr. President, that this is a healthy state of affairs; this silence, this mass ignorance, denial, indifference and lack of compassion?

This is also corruption, Mr. President. This is moral corruption. If someone can tolerate, even overlook some 3.5 million people that were slaughtered in cold blood in his or her country, don’t you think that it is only logical that he would also ‘forgive’ the almost total deforestation, the plunder of natural resources, the disappearance of the species, ruined rivers and coastline, the massive theft by the elites?

When I recently wrote about the ‘horror zoo of Surabaya’ where more than 50% of the animals have vanished, I was not shocked at all. I simply saw it as a logical continuation of the culture of impunity and a chronic lack of compassion. When a priest in Surabaya told me that local prostitutes are forced into sex at the age of 6 or 7, and at 11 they are thrown onto the street because they are ‘too old’, I immediately saw a direct link to the horrors of 1965 and East Timor.

It will never go away, Mr. President: 1965, Aceh, East Timor, and Papua… Have you read what happened in all those places? I experienced East Timor, Aceh and Papua.

In committing those crimes, Mr. President, Indonesia proved that it is unwell. If you love her, try to cure her. Denying what has been happening will lead to an even more terrible future.


As stated earlier, I don’t believe that you were elected ‘democratically’, Mr. President. To get where you are now, both you and your adversary, had to be checked, and re-checked by the elites. You had to be ‘approved’ by the true rulers of the Indonesian nation, which is definitely not an elected body, nothing that has climbed up through any sort of ‘democratic processes’. These individuals had to be convinced that no matter who was be elected, he or she would never dare to go against their interests, and he would not ‘rock the boat’ and challenge the main direction in which the country is moving.

Of course the same system, the same regime, exists in the United States and in several other countries that have control over Indonesia and her elites, ever since 1965. The same system exists in some other poor and not so poor countries, where treasonous elites sold their men, women and children to foreign interests: Uganda and Kenya, Honduras and Paraguay, Bahrain and the Philippines.


In the history of our planet, it has been proven again and again that even a small group of brave and honest people, even one powerful and courageous man or woman, can change the course of their country.

Before Chavez, Venezuela, rich in natural resources, was also a virtual colony of the West. Chavez stood against the regime and against the entire Western empire. He fought and he transformed his nation. He battled and he won. He had fallen or they cut him down from abroad, but he managed to transform Venezuela, South America and the world. He never surrendered. He never betrayed his people. It is because he loved Venezuela, and he loved Latin America!

A true patriot is also an internationalist. He loves humanity as much as he loves his people. By fighting for and defending his men, women and children, he also struggles for the oppressed people all over the world. Chavez fought in Venezuela, but his battle was also for those living in misery in Asuncion, Kampala, Manila, or Jakarta.

Do you know how our South American revolutions began, Mr. President? When poor people, like those in Bolivia, said ‘enough!’: ‘do not dare to privatize water, electricity and other essentials! This is our country. We are not going to be slaves of business people and foreign corporations!’

And it is not only the men who have been fighting. Look at Brazil and Argentina, look at Chile. Great nations governed by great women: former guerilla fighters, women who were during their own, ‘Suharto-style dictatorships’, imprisoned, tortured, and, or exiled.

In Latin America, those who committed crimes similar to those committed in Indonesia (although on much smaller scale) are now in jail. Monuments and enormous museums are, in Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires, commemorating those who died in the hands of fascist regimes.

That is why, our countries are moving forward at an incredible pace. That is why corruption rates are falling. Now there are thousands of Europeans trying to migrate to South America, again, searching for jobs and better lives!

One man can change history, Mr. President. But he has to be brave, compassionate and he has to love his people. He has to be ready to fight and die for them, if necessary. No riches, no privileges could bring such joy as the joy of working on behalf of the people, by being their true servant.

You were given a tremendous historic chance, Mr. President! You can now change, improve the destiny of the fourth most populous nation on earth. Nothing else matters now, and nothing else should: you do not have and should not have anything else on your mind: no personal interests, and not even your family.

Your interest should be only this: improving your country and the world. Your family is those 300 million men, women and children, who could fall or rise, depending on the actions that you will take in the next few years. Those 300 millions human lives are your family – and they should all be equal in your eyes!

It is a tremendous responsibility, but you wanted it, and it was given to you.

Would you choose to fight, I will always be near you, even as I continue physically to fight in many other parts of our planet.

It is one struggle only, right now: for a better world, for its people, and for the survival of our planet.

Forward, ‘President Jokowi!’ Or as we say: ‘Victoria o muerte!’, ‘Victory or death!’


About the author

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”.  ‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.


Watch Indonesian forest devastation at the hands of various extractive industries, a fact that spells death and extinction for some precious remaining species, including tigers, orangutans, and a variety of reptiles and flora. The problem, as Andre Vltchek reminds us, is that the plunder of Indonesia is extensive and acute throughout the archipelago.


History revisited: A Briton remembers Operation DJakarta

Our bloody coup in Indonesia

Britain colluded in one of the worst massacres of the century

[A]s Megawati Sukarnoputri struggles to hang on to control of Indonesia in the latest round of political upheaval, news has been published of how the British government covered up one of the worst massacres of the 20th century. The slaughter in 1965 – of up to a million alleged communist sympathisers – was carried out by General Suharto, who ousted Megawati’s father, President Sukarno, to become Indonesia’s military dictator. What is still less well known is that the British and American governments did not just cover up the massacre: they had a direct hand in bringing it about.

In the era of decolonisation and the cold war, ex-colonial powers were intent on preserving their economic interests in former colonies while setting up nominally independent governments. But the natives, inconveniently, did not always see their interests as consonant with those of their former colonial masters. Patrice Lumumba in the former Belgian Congo, Sukarno in Indonesia – both argued for economic as well as political self-determination.

Lumumba was assassinated with the connivance of Belgium, the US and the United Nations. In Indonesia, the British and American governments succeeded not only in engineering the result they wanted (the replacement of Sukarno with General Suharto), but in selling a false version of events that persists to this day.


JFK with Sukarno.

Roland Challis, a former BBC south Asia correspondent, has described how British diplomats planted misleading stories in British newspapers at the time. But there is also evidence that the British and US responsibility for the fall of Sukarno goes back to the event that triggered it – an alleged left-wing coup attempt in 1965. The British were keen to get rid of Sukarno because he was pursuing a policy of confrontation with Malaysia. The US was convinced that Sukarno would drift towards communism – a far bigger potential headache for US interests than Vietnam.

Sukarno was hugely popular and an assassination would have unpredictable consequences: at worst, it might benefit the Indonesian Communist party, the PKI. The army was divided on the merits of a move against him. There was one man, though, who was willing to help – the commander of the strategic reserve, General Suharto. The challenge was to engineer Sukarno’s downfall and, simultaneously, the elimination of the PKI.

Suharto in retirement. Washington's henchman in Jakarta, he drowned the nation in blood and corruption and religiosity.

Suharto in retirement. Washington’s henchman in Jakarta, he drowned the nation in blood, corruption and religiosity.

In October 1965, a group of what are still described as “progressive army officers” kidnapped and brutally murdered six army generals, apparently in preparation for a coup. The motives of the group remain a matter of dis pute. At the time, they were alleged to be in sympathy with the PKI. They have subsequently been described as pro-Sukarno nationalists in revolt against their rightwing superiors. But a study carried out at Cornell University in 1966 discovered that what most of the officers had in common was not any association with the PKI, but a connection with General Suharto.

Lt Col Untung, the alleged leader, was a successful military officer who was a known anti-communist. Some of his colleagues had been trained in the US where it is unlikely that any communist sympathies would have escaped notice. Suharto subsequently dismantled the unit and the group’s alleged links with the PKI became the pretext for the massacre of up to 1m people. After a series of closed show trials and staged confessions, the leaders were said to have been executed, but there is no independent evidence that the executions took place.

It has been known for more than 10 years that the CIA supplied lists of names for Suharto’s assassination squads. What is less widely known is that the supposed pro-communist coup that triggered the crisis was almost certainly also the work of the CIA. Sukarno was finally removed from power in 1967. Suharto, meanwhile, was offered economic aid and the British lifted their embargo on sales of military aircraft. Suharto’s massacres were whitewashed in a campaign of disinformation in which the British government willingly participated. The operation to “save” Indonesia, according to enthusiastic reports in, amongst others, the Atlantic Monthly, was a resounding success. “Suharto,” Atlantic Monthly assured its readers, “is regarded by Indonesians who know him well as incorruptible … In attacking the communists, he was not acting as a western puppet; he was doing simply what he believed to be best for Indonesia.”

Best for Indonesia, in Suharto’s view, was the granting of lucrative concessions to western mining and oil companies. It was the beginning of a post-independence economic order that continues today. After 32 years, Suharto was finally overthrown. By then, even the US government had to admit that he was one of the most corrupt dictators of the 20th century.



Chilean Socialism 1: Indonesian Fascism 0



What happens to a poor country hit by a brutal military coup, then thrown to religious zealots, and forced to live under the heel of extreme capitalism and fascism?

Magnificent Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago

Magnificent Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago (Vltchek)

FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS, heavily insulated from the truth about world realities, September 11 means only one thing: the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon and the commandeering of planes by supposedly Arab extremists outside our control. The tragedy collected a little under 3,000 lives and scarred the consciousness of the nation, inaugurating a period of constant fear mongering by the American establishment that has resulted in a serious erosion of American constitutional liberties.

For the rest of the world September 11 has an additional, older and even more dramatic connotation: the 1973 US-sponsored military coup against Chile’s legally elected socialist president, Dr. Salvador Allende, at the hands of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, by now a well-known figure in the sordid stable of CIA-henchmen. Below, reflexions by the author on these two anti-democracy, American-engineered coups d’etat which, despite their brutality and cynicism, produced dramatically different outcomes.—Eds

Photoreportage by Andre Vltchek
(Revised 7.15.14. Originally published on 24 November, 2013)

[W]hat happens to a poor country that is hit by a brutal military coup, then thrown to religious zealots, and forced to live under the heel of extreme capitalism and fascism?

Several years ago, I spoke to two members of Allende’s government. Two who managed to survive. One of them recalled: “They used to threaten us, before the coup, before that terrible September 11, 1973: ‘Watch out, comrades, Jakarta is coming!’”

“We did not know much about Jakarta then,” he confessed. “Only that it was the capital of a far-away country called Indonesia… But very soon we found out…”

‘Jakarta’ is not just the capital of the fourth most populous country on earth; it is also the ‘least habitable major city in Asia Pacific’. Jakarta is also a concept, an enormous experiment on human beings, which was quickly turned into a blueprint that has later been implemented by the West all over the developing world.

The experiment was about trying to figure this out: What happens to a poor country that is hit by a brutal military coup, then thrown to religious zealots, and forced to live under the heel of extreme capitalism and fascism? And what happens if almost its entire culture gets destroyed, and instead of education, some brainwashing mechanism perfected abroad, gets implemented?

What if you kill 2-3 million people, and then you ban entire languages and cultures, theatres, art films, atheism, everything that is to the left of center?

And what if you use thugs, paramilitaries, archaic family and religious structures and a ridiculously toothless media, to maintain ‘the new order’?

The answer is this: You get your Indonesian model! Which means – almost no production, a ruined environment, collapsed infrastructure, endemic corruption, not even one sound intellectual of international caliber, and frankly speaking, a ‘functionally illiterate’ population, ignorant about the world, about its own history, and about its own position in the world.

Botero—Guantanamo, water torture (vltchek)

But the most important conclusion of this ‘research’ is that after the orgy of terror in 1965 and 1966, after the millions that were killed, millions that were raped, tens of millions beaten and tortured, the result is an entire archipelago that is wholly silenced and unable to organize any resistance. You get an archipelago that is unable to think, and which constantly repeats religious, pop and television slogans, instead of thinking about the past, the present and the future.

If you are a corrupt and treasonous local ruler, or if you are the puppeteer that controls such a country from abroad, what you get is easy access to all its natural resources, a population unable to organize itself and fight for its rights, and voters indifferent to reality and unfamiliar with concepts such as dignity, and therefore ready to cast their ballot simply for a fee.

You get all this and more, and all you have to do is to make sure you butcher some 2-3% of the population, 40% of teachers, and that you rape millions of women and children, then terrify and silence all the minorities.

Indonesian fascist art. (Vltchek)

The West hailed this as a splendid success! It congratulated “Our Man – Suharto” (In 1995, a senior Clinton administration official, commenting on the Indonesian President, Suharto, then on a state visit to Washington, referred to him as “our kind of guy.”). Murdering millions of ‘Communists’, was after all, the best way of gaining the admiration and respect of the US White House and Congress. And “selling” the country to Western companies was the most honorable and sensible path to gaining political and financial rewards from the ‘free world’.

To terrify the country, to paralyze it by fear… To strip it of all real opposition, that was exactly what was needed! Suharto and his military cronies, his generals (one of them is presently the President of Indonesia), his thugs that murdered intellectuals, teachers, writers and union leaders, all became our ‘buddies’, our ‘mates’, our ‘jolly good fellows’.

Indonesian modern art – that will really save the country (Vltchek)

Like those guys, who dutifully cut people to pieces, raped 14-year old girls and terrorized those people who were still willing to think and to speak, everything was shown in detail in the award winning film by Joshua Oppenheimer: “The Act of Killing”.

And what did the Indonesian viewers and TV hosts do when the thugs confessed to kill hundreds? They laughed, and cheered, and applauded!

In 1998, Suharto fell, but the ‘model’ survived, and it is still being promoted, and pushed down the throats of many countries all over the world. It is marketed as ‘tolerant and democratic’ by European and US government officials and certain NGO’s. This I was told, recently, by members of the diplomatic community in Cairo, Egypt, the place where the revolution was successfully derailed and destroyed, mainly from abroad.

And why should it not be promoted? This is the masterpiece of Western domination: an enormous country, fully screwed and thoroughly ruined, plundered, abandoned to the market, robbed of everything… And the people here are so conditioned, so badly educated, so uninformed, that they are thoroughly unaware of how grotesque the state of their subsistence is.

In Indonesia, for years and decades, I have been interviewing hundreds of poor men and women who are living in a gutter, then shitting into filthy canals in cities like Surabaya, Medan and Jakarta, using the same water to wash their dishes and themselves… People who barely survive on a less than $1 a day, were proudly declaring on camera that they are not poor, that they are doing well, and that their country is just fine.

The brainwashed exist everywhere. Indonesians praying in front of Suharto tomb. Indoctrinated ignorance is a form of functional social imbecility. It also exists in Orwellian “democracies” in the advanced West.  (Vltchek)

A few streets away, the newly rich, sit in their luxury SUVs in epic traffic jams, watching television, going nowhere, but proud that they have moved up the rungs on their class ladder.

What a success! What an absolute success of fascist, neo-colonial demagogy and the ‘market economy’!

This ‘success’ was, of course, studied and analyzed in Washington, Canberra, London and elsewhere. It has been implemented all over the world, in different forms and variations, but with the same essence: strike and murder every thinking being, shock and brainwash… then rob the poor and reward a few criminals… from Chile to Argentina, Central America, Yeltsin’s Russia and Rwanda, now again in Egypt.

It has worked almost everywhere. “Jakarta was coming”, and it has been spreading its filth, its ignorance, brutality and compassionless way of ‘thinking’ all over the planet!

The Santiago Metro – As in the Paris metro, a huge public art gallery. (Vltchek)

It seemed to be the most perfect ‘treatment’ for dissent and the dreams of freedom, all over the world. And the US has been busy administering it all over the Western hemisphere, but also in Asia, Africa, and everywhere. Death squads were trained in the North American military facilities, and then sent back to operate in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic and in many other unfortunate places.

Of course they could not fully compete with the insane sadism of the Indonesian butchers, but they did their best; they worked quite well, really… Blowing the brains out of rebellious priests during their sermons, raping teenage daughters in front of their parents, cutting people to pieces… slightly watered-down versions of the Jakarta scenario, but with some local ‘cultural’ flavors.

In Chile, in one of the oldest democracies on earth, the 9-11-1973 military takeover, brought new innovations to the established routine of horrors: women prisoners raped by dogs, prisoners with their hands tied, thrown alive into the sea from helicopters (their bellies ripped open), while some were delivered to those old German Nazis inhabiting the so called “Colonia Dignidad” in the south of the country, for medical experiments.

It appeared that Western terror; its colonial tactics perfected and refined over centuries, would finally triumph, globally. It looked almost certain that no antidote would work: An antidote to the sadism and fear that has been paralyzing most of the subjects in the client states.

The Chilean military junta began with the same zeal as its Indonesian counterpart of eight years earlier. In Jakarta, religious Muslim cadres almost immediately joined the killing and torture, while in Santiago; it was conservative Christendom, particularly Opus Dei, which threw its support behind the murderers and rapists of General Pinochet. In both places ‘conservative family values’ were evoked to justify the most appalling atrocities.

The streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities fell silent. Horror was omnipresent. Doors were kicked open by military boots and people dragged to dungeons, tortured, raped, murdered.

The National Stadium was filled with men and women. Like in Jakarta, noble, educated people were tortured and beaten, even killed with absolutely no scruples.

At one point, the soldiers came and arrested a bard; one of the most beloved singers of Latin America, Victor Jara. They broke his hands. Then they threw his guitar at him and shouted: “Now you can sing!”

Student protest – demanding free education all the way to university level. (Vltchek)

This was the most significant moment – I would insist, the crucial moment. The moment when Santiago and Jakarta parted! The moment when in South America, an extremely long and difficult process began: the process, which could be described as the fight for freedom, for true freedom, not for that empty fake slogan that has been repeated over and over again by Western propaganda.

Because at that moment, Victor Jara stood up, in terrible pain but undefeated, full of spite, and sang to his tormentors, straight at their filthy muzzles, “Venceremos!”  He sang loud, and after a while, they were overwhelmed by his voice and the lyrics, they aimed at him and shot him dead.

But he did not die, instead he became the symbol of resistance, of the struggle against fascism and imperialism. He became the symbol of the struggle that is still continuing and gaining momentum in so many parts of the world!

In 1965, in Jakarta, there was no struggle. The victims allowed themselves to be slaughtered. They were begging for mercy as they were strangled, stabbed, shot to death. They called their tormentors, their murderers, their rapists, ‘pak’ and ‘mas’ (respectful form of addressing a man). They cried and begged for mercy.

In 1973, in Santiago de Chile, young men and women went to the mountains, or hid in urban areas, to fight fascism, under the banner of MIR; some 10,000 of them. It was a clean and proud fight, if a very uneven fight given the enormous forces arrayed against them, as MIR decisively rejected all forms of terrorism, and concentrated on military targets.

Hundreds of thousands of Chilean people left the country, scattering to all corners of the globe, from Mexico to Sweden, Canada to New Zealand. Wherever they went, they relentlessly worked on bringing down Pinochet and his US-backed junta. They wrote theatre and radio plays, made powerful films, wrote novels, arranged meetings and demonstrations in literally every major capital of the world. They never gave up. They dedicated their lives to the struggle. The millions at home and the hundreds of thousands of those forced to live abroad.

Eventually, Augusto Pinochet became a symbol of degenerate military power, of treason, of colonialism, of modern fascism.

In Indonesia, the victims accepted their ‘fate’ and with it, they accepted the most disgusting type of market fundamentalism. They accepted the fascist political system that stripped the poor (really the great majority) of all their rights. They accepted the thuggish, mafia-style arrangement for their country. They accepted a system where women are treated as the property of their fathers and later as the property of their husbands, while those who work and hold important positions are treated like whores, by their bosses, co-workers and even by their fellow Parliamentarians.

In Chile, nothing was really ‘accepted’. Nothing was forgotten and nothing was forgiven. Instead of looking at the ruling ‘elites’ as heroes, the majority of Chileans saw them as a bunch of bandits. Instead of looking at their parents with servile submissiveness ‘Indonesian-style’, a great number of Chilean youth held them responsible for creating or at least tolerating this monstrous system.

While Indonesia became the second (after Nigeria) most religious country on Earth (despite the fact that Muslim and Hindu cadres were directly responsible for some of the most appalling atrocities, while Christians are lately professing the outrageous belief that God loves the rich, and hates the poor, participating in the segregation of society, and even in open racism), Chile reformed its laws, modernized its education, and sent Christianity where it belongs – to its churches and very far away from public eyes.

In Indonesia, Suharto stepped down, but the system survived; it even hardened itself. One of Suharto’s generals is now serving as President of the country. And decades ago he was one of the leading military figures in occupied East Timor, during the most horrible massacres, during the genocide, in which some 30% of the local population lost their lives. The father of his wife was another general, who boasted that during the 1965 coup, they, the military, managed to kill around 3 million people.

In Chile, as in Argentina, most of those military leaders who committed crimes against humanity are now imprisoned, disgraced and despised.

Both armies, Indonesian and Chilean, of course, committed high treason, by selling their services to foreign powers, and instead of defending their citizens, fought for a fee, against their own defenseless women and children.

In Indonesia, many consider one of the worst butchers of the 20th century, and the most corrupt ruler of all times, General Suharto, a national hero! In Chile, General Augusto Pinochet is now clearly identified as a criminal, by a great majority of the people.

In Indonesia, between 2 and 3 million died in 1965/66. In Chile, the number was 3 to 4 thousand. Even adjusted to the dissimilar size of the population, the difference is overwhelming. Still, in Chile, there are hundreds of books written on the topic, dozens of powerful films made, and the topic is constantly addressed in newspapers, magazines and television programs – it is an essential part of the national memory. Without it, there seems to be a consensus – there is no way forward.

In Indonesia, there is an absolute blackout and silence.

The Indonesian population is fully loyal to the propaganda it has been fed for many decades. It is telling that at a recent attempt to resurrect the topic, at a screening of the documentary (unfortunately quite mediocre) called “15 Years After” (referring to numbers of years since Suharto’s stepped down), there were only 5 people in one of the major cinemas in Jakarta… And it was a Saturday afternoon.

Bandung – City of Learning. (Vltchek)

Saturday afternoon in Santiago de Chile and the entire city is getting ready for an extremely long night. Dozens of theatres offer everything from classical performances to avant-garde plays. Nightclubs are preparing for the latest bands that come from all over Latin America. The music ranges from opera and symphonies, to ballads, salsa and cumbia. Cinemas in all corners of the city are showing the latest releases, as well as Asian, Latin American and European art films.

There is some ‘art for art’, but plenty of it is deeply political; it is shaping the nation, addressing every important issue, including the past.

The same obsession with culture and knowledge is the norm in other cities of the ‘Southern Cone’, including Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Montevideo. To know is to exist. To understand the world is to be free, independent, and to be alive. Knowledge is valued; it is deeply respected.

Some 15 thousand kilometers West of Chile, in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta, Surabaya or Medan, there is close to nothing one can do on Saturday nights. There are restaurants, of course, and several cinemas showing the lowest grade of Hollywood films. But there are no art cinemas, no theatres (only maybe one theatre performance a month, in a city like Jakarta, with 12 million inhabitants). The only random concerts are those organized by the European cultural centers, and those very few ones for the ‘elites’ in some hard to get into private hall.

Life is extremely boring in Indonesia, with no variety and no intellectual inspiration. And that’s how it was intended.

To get to the theaters, many citizens of Santiago opt for the metro system, one of the best and most efficient on earth. Each station is dedicated to local artists, many are equipped with public libraries, and one even has a free art cinema, where one can sit for the entire day for the price of one metro token, watching the greatest world classics.

In Jakarta, there is no metro at all, and almost no sidewalks, and there are only very few public parks. To cross the street, one often has to take a taxi. The city is approaching, and some people say it has already reached, a permanent gridlock.

Chile is embracing knowledge and everything that is ‘public’. Indonesia is stuck in uncool, totally cheap pop, buried in depressing individualism, forced to admire all in ‘private’.

The countries of South America that suffered from brutal dictatorships imposed by the West are now free and run by Socialist governments.

Indonesia is run by thugs, old generals and by a gloomy, degenerate, capitalist clique.

Women govern Brazil, Argentina and Chile, while a man who was in charge of a military unit in East Timor, during the genocide, runs Indonesia.

Michelle Bachelet who won the second round and returned as the President of Chile (after being a head of UNIFEM) is a doctor, pediatrician, single mother of 3 and an atheist. Her father, an army general during Allende’s administration, was murdered by Pinochet’s regime, and Ms Bachelet herself was brutally tortured in detention. She left the country and was trained as a doctor in East Germany, before returning back home.

While Camila Vallejo (25 years old), and her fellow student leaders are ready to become MP’s in Chile (Camila was indeed elected), many for the Communist Party. Indonesian women MP’s face sexual harassment from their fellow People’s Representatives, right on the floor of Parliament. And the Communist Party is flatly banned in Indonesia, just to make sure that nobody pushes for land reforms and social justice, anymore.

Chileans are now fighting for free education and for free medical care, and it is expected that their demands will be satisfied during the Presidency of Ms. Bachelet.

Indonesia is living with fully collapsed medical care and education systems, and everyone who can afford it, is leaving for hospitals in Singapore or Malaysia, and as far as possible for education.

There are countless private schools all over Indonesia, most of them religious. They specialize, it appears, in producing masses of young people unable to excel in anything at all, except in serving capitalist and religious dogmas, and in stealing for the sake of their family clans.

While Chile is fighting against poverty on all fronts, including by building high quality social housing, Indonesia has some of the most appalling inequalities on earth, and it even lies about the number of its inhabitants (it has over 300 million citizens, but only around 247 million are accounted for), just in case someone may demand, one day, that the poorest of the poor be housed, educated and healed.

Chile is one of the least corrupt nations on earth, while corruption in Indonesia is one of the highest on earth, with the former ‘our kind of guy’ Suharto entering the record books as the most corrupt ruler of all times.

Indonesia and Chile are two countries that went through a fascist hell; but there are two totally different stories, at the end of that hell.

One country – Indonesia – submitted itself, collaborated and in the end failed, collapsed, became much like some of those unfortunate nations of sub-Saharan Africa.

The other fought, proudly, consistently, and won, becoming one of the most habitable nations on earth, with a quality of life comparable to that of the European Union.

One is not able to produce one single decent novel after its great Communist writer – Pramoedya Ananta Toer (a former prisoner of conscience, whose books and manuscripts were burned by Suharto’s clique) – passed away. It produces nothing of intellectual value: no quality music or films, no scientific research, no ground-breaking educational concepts.

The other one – Chile – gave birth to some of the greatest modern writers, poets, filmmakers and architects. And some of the best wine!

The Indonesian model is frightening, but it can be defeated. It succeeds only when the people refuse to fight, when they submit to terror.

In Indonesia individuals are expected to surrender to brutal family and religious control. From birth, people here are conditioned: they live with fear, which is confused with ‘love’. First it is the potent fear of father, then of the priest, of the teacher. And then it progresses to fear of the military and capitalist dictatorship. In the end it becomes a paralyzing fear of ‘everything’, which stops every rebellion at the embryonic stage.

It is pathetic and depressing. It is working. But definitely not everywhere!  Rebelliousness works better. It has been working all over Latin America, including Chile. ‘Jakarta came’, but was fought, and thrown to the dogs.

But, as a result of the joint efforts of local and Western propaganda, the success of Latin America is absolutely unknown in Indonesia. And there is no one screaming in Jakarta at those brutal faces of the elites: “Watch out, bandits, Santiago is coming!”

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

© 2014 TGP News alliance. Reproduction with full attribution permitted. 

Indonesia, A Proudly Nazi Nation?

Mass Murderers are Ruling


Subianto—one more corrupt murderer in a long line of corrupt killers doing the West’s bidding.


[I]ndonesians have voted and what votes they have cast! Either they have chosen an outright Nazi, or a populist supported by a bunch of Nazis!

The results are actually too close; it appears that almost half of the active Indonesian voters have endorsed either the Mayor of Jakarta – a former furniture salesman and populist known as ‘Jokowi’ – or a former general of the National Special Forces – Prabowo Subianto.

Incompetent according to some, populist, if you listen to others, or fierce ‘reformer’ for quite a substantial group of his supporters, not long ago Mr. Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo appeared to be running almost unopposed. But then the state, intelligence and corporate apparatuses went into gear and the gap ‘miraculously’ closed.

The ‘military camp’ deployed nationalist speeches, insults, and flag waving…

And now it is almost even…

Both candidates have declared victory.

Propaganda and ‘manipulations’ cannot be blamed for everything. There could hardly be any excuse for the great part of the nation being poisoned by racism, a nation submissive to anybody who wears a uniform, who has some power; a nation submissive to market fundamentalism.

Without any doubt, Prabowo Subianto is all that the Indonesian public that desires the continuation of fascist rule can dream of. He is a perfect 21st century Nazi.

Great Marxist Indonesian painter Djokopekik and his crocodile representing elites plundering their country

He served in the Indonesian National Army Special Force Kopassus (ascommander of Group 1 Komando Pasukan Sandhi Yudha (Kopassandha)) during the brutal 1976 occupation, and the genocide that Indonesia committed in East Timor. In that ruthless sadistic orgy of killing and rape, a third of the local population of the tiny nation vanished.

As a reward from his handlers, Mr. Prabowo was later trained (in the 80’s) at Fort Benning, in the United States, the country that he is really serving.

And to show his zeal, he was then involved in yet another (and ongoing) genocide, that in Papua.

But even that did not wear him out. In 1998, according to Adam Schwartz, (A Nation in Waiting) in a private conversation with Sofyan Wanandi, Prabowo said he was willing “to drive all the Chinese out of the country even if that sets the economy back twenty or thirty years.” That’s the spirit of a good Indonesian racist!

In the same year – 1998 – troops under his command were busy kidnapping and torturing opposition figures. Countless Chinese women were publicly gang raped.

Prabowo never went to jail.

Those that yearn for fascist continuity in this confused nation can now truly rejoice, by studying their candidate’s biography. Prabowo’s clan is all about that ‘continuity’.

His grandfather was a founder of Bank Negara Indonesia, his father was a cabinet minister in Suharto’s government, and as an exemplary son of a… dictatorship, Prabowo himself managed to wed one of Suharto’s daughters.

Not that his history is all that different from the biography of the present President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), who was also a general under the Suharto regime, got his ‘education’ in Fort Benning, USA, in 1976 became a platoon commander in ravaged East Timor, and married the eldest daughter of retired General Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, the very same Indonesian ‘hero’ who was unable to stop bragging that his military managed to butcher 3 million people during the massacres (or call it again, a genocide) of 1965/66.

Mr. Prabowo and the present Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, also studied at the same military academy, in the city of Magelang, as have many other Indonesian leaders. They, most likely, studied the same things, at home and abroad.


Many Indonesians are fond of acts of murder and mass murder in general (the homicide rate in Indonesia is twice that of the United States, per capita) and those committed in the 1965/66 in particular, as was clearly shown in the recent documentary film “Act of killing”, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.

After these 2014 elections, Anwar Congo, jagal (“Butcher”), one of the main protagonists of the Act of Killing, is most likely rejoicing.

In the film, he admitted, looking straight at the television cameras in one of the major Indonesian television studios, that he murdered 1,000 people with his own hands.

As a reward, he received loud applause from the audience, and an admiring grin from the lady moderator.

For sure, Kopassus murdered many more people and managed to gain even greater respect…

War criminals and mass murderers are, of course, all over the place, in all national and local Indonesian elections.

To make it ‘diverse’ (‘Unity in Diversity’, is a national motto, after all), for instance, General Wiranto is one of the strongest backers of ‘Jokowi’; and Wiranto is the same general who on February 24, 2003 was indicted for Crimes against Humanity by a joint UN-East Timorese court.

According to John M. Miller from the “East Timor and Indonesia Action Network”:

Others in the ‘Jokowi’ campaign team are also accused of serious violations of human rights. General AM Hendropriyono has been implicated in the 1989 massacre of civilians of Central Lampung, in the assassination of human rights lawyer Munir while head of Indonesia’s intelligence agency (BIN), and in the forced deportation of over 250,000 people from East to West Timor in 1999. Former BIN deputy chief retired Major General Muchdi Purwoprandjono also stands accused of the murder of Munir. A U.S. Department of State cable described Muchdi, a career Kopassus officer, as “one of Indonesia’s most vindictive public figures to justice” and placed him “at the heart of one of the nation’s human rights tragedies–the 1998-99 abductions of student and pro-democracy activists.

Former Jakarta Military Commander Lieutenant General Sutiyoso is accused of torture in Timor-Leste. In 2007, an attempt by Australian investigators to question him about the October 1975 murder of five Australia-based journalists in Balibo, Timor-Leste, caused a diplomatic incident. Sutiyoso was Jakarta’s military commander when thugs backed by troops and police attacked the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party in 1996. Retired General Ryamizard Ryacudu is a hardliner known for his xenophobic remarks and criticism of rights activists. As Army Chief of Staff, he oversaw the implementation of Martial Law in Aceh beginning in May 2003.”


And at this point, I have to ask one simple if maybe a rhetorical question:

Would many of my readers consider going on vacation, or for work, to Germany, in 1961, just 16 years after ‘Adolf Hitler was made to step down’? Would they go there if half of the German folks would have cheerfully cast their ballots in favor of a Nazi candidate, who had been, on top of it, married to a daughter of Hitler (if Hitler had one)? And if that candidate had been a general, or a Sturmbannführer of the SS or SA forces, responsible for murdering, torturing and raping civilians somewhere in Ukraine or the former Yugoslavia, or “disappearing” the opposition in his own city, Berlin?

Would that be even thinkable?

Would they close their eyes and ears to the fact that anyone who did not look German and dared to just walk down the street, would be called names (at least in the capital city’s suburbs and in all major cities even in the center), had fingers pointed at them… blacks, Chinese, Papuans, even whites?

In Indonesia, everything is being tolerated, because Indonesia is just a myth – a grotesque product of the Western media, while the local media is trained to repeat exactly the same lies, only on a much more primitive level.

‘A democracy, a tolerant nation.’

In mythological Indonesian ‘democracy’, the mainly uneducated population (the Indonesian education system is a disaster) votes for parties that do not represent the majority and belong to the same corporate, feudal and military clique.

Its economic growth is a myth, too. What has grown is the plunder of raw materials, while the country produces close to nothing. Now it even imports rice from abroad. And its official poverty rate is one grand myth – if international norms were to apply, well over 80% of population would be defined as poor.

In this fictional country, in 1965/66, the top Indonesian military brass is true hero! In reality, it committed treason and triggered the killing of 2-3 million of its own people, mainly Left-wing intellectuals, the Chinese minority and atheists, on the explicit orders of the West. Suharto and the others around him were always just the lackeys.

Of course, the religious cadres, Muslim, Hindu and even Christian, had settled their scores with the moderate and constitutional Communists (PKI), simply because they were advocating for social justice and land reforms (religious cadres in Indonesia double as latifundistas, historically).

How do I know? I was told by my friend; the former Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), who also happened to be a progressive Muslim cleric, and the head of the biggest Muslim organization in the country (NU). Gus Dur was not a ‘fictional figure’ for a change; he was real! He was also a closet socialist and the only person with great vision, although he was almost blind. Therefore, the elites and the military got rid of him, in a well orchestrated coup.


I have covered Indonesia for 15 years. I have written books about this country including “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”). A book about this nation, with sub-Sahara African social indicators, but with the inflated pride of a well fed and protected lion. I have made films. I have written countless reports, essays and studies. I also co-authored the last book written by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the greatest Southeast Asian novelist of all times, “The Exile”; the book in which Ananta Toer openly calls Indonesia a fascist state, a collapsed and immoral nation, and a shame.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer was the only Indonesian who ever came close to receiving the Nobel Prize… for anything. Year after year, this former “prisoner of conscience” in the Buru concentration camp was nominated, but the academy would never give the prize to this ‘Indonesian Solzhenitsyn’, who rotted for years in a horrid pro-Western gulag. When he died, his family gave him a Muslim funeral, although he was an atheist. His comrades sang, like beggars, the International, at the curb. Make-believe place!


For 15 years I have listened to farmers in dozens of god-forsaken villages, and even to a bunch of Indonesian businessmen.

One tycoon told me, in Sumatra:

“We need Adolf Hitler! In order to fully restore law and order.” He loved Adolf… Many in Indonesia do.

For all those years I could not stop writing and researching! Despite all those trolls deployed by the Indonesian regime and the West, to discredit me and anybody who dares to shout that the ‘emperor has no clothes.’

To write about Indonesia is a totally ungrateful job. They spit at you there and abroad, if you dare to write the truth. That is why almost nobody does.

But I kept writing, as a warning to the world (an example of what happens to a country fully abandoned to a perverse bunch of looters, and to Western neo-colonialism; a concept of extreme brutality) because what I have seen, witnessed and heard, was bordering on the ‘impossible’. I kept thinking: “a country like this cannot really exist on this planet. And if it does, it cannot really get away with it, can it?”

But it really exists and it gets away with everything. Especially the elites do! Local elites – that perfect Nazi, racist (now all ethnicities belonging to that gang have become hopelessly racist), brainwashed gang, consisting of angry serfs, full of arrogance but also of inferiority complexes. More insecure, more brutal and murderous…

This gang kills people, poisons rivers, conducts full deforestation, poisons the air, robs cities of parks and sidewalks, as well as of any cultural institutions… It privatizes all public assets and throws the nation to an absolute dark nihilism, insecurity, ignorance and indefinable fear.

And it rules the country. And it gets elected!

And for the poor, the great majority of Indonesians, what is left? It is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) slammed onto the extreme of Southeast Asia. Similar, but with luxury hotels and malls, and with corrupt leaders, with the local and foreign media (and the Australian National University next door, with its ‘Indonesian lobby’ and shameful lies that Indonesia is a ‘normal country’, like Brazil…) covering the entire insanity of it all, presenting it as a ‘normal country’ to its own people and to the world.

My Ugandan colleague who proofreads my essays, always comments: “It is like Uganda; damn, exactly, exactly like home!”

Uganda is, of course, yet another horrid and Fascist client state of the West, which is devouring its own people, and alongside Rwanda, murdering millions in the neighboring DRC.

It is all so similar. It is exactly the same. Indonesia devoured between 1 and 3 million of its own citizens in the 1965/66 cleansing period, and then committed two monstrous genocides in the neighboring countries that it shamelessly occupied – East Timor and Papua. Papua is an on-going genocide, committed in full view of the world, and totally under-reported, for obvious reasons…

Any sanctions against Indonesia, for the genocide? …For the third genocide in just half of century? No?

As I was writing this, my friend, a leading Australian historian and Professor Emeritus at Nagasaki University, told me over a coffee:

The question is; what is the United States doing right now, in Jakarta? What is it doing, inside those 300 rooms they have inside the embassy – the CIA, the Pentagon, the economists? There are huge interests at stake there, right now! What protagonist would fit the best to their interests? Is Washington favoring old military elites dating to Suharto, or an unknown populist? All we know is that Washington and Canberra revoked visa restrictions on Prabowo. They prepared for his Presidency, in case it happens… We all know how closely he is linked to the US, through Kopassus…”

Identically, like the Rwandan leadership and the ongoing genocide in DRC it is committing, the Indonesian military is covered, given immunity by the West, because it is killing and plundering (Papuans and others, now and in the past) on behalf of Washington, London and Canberra.

You cannot touch the Indonesian elites, and you cannot touch the Rwandan ones. You cannot touch them; and you cannot cover them or expose them, fully, in the mainstream.

Therefore, mass murderers are ruling with no fear in Jakarta, Kigali and Kampala.

So back to the original question: would my readers consider going on vacation to a country where half of the people had just expressed their support for the Nazis?

Special Correspondent Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. ‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.


American PR War Against Russia and China Accelerating in Asia

A VOICE OF RUSSIA (VOR)  Interview with André Vltchek,
TGP Special Correspondent
us edition


Hong Kong. Photo credit: © Commons
By David Kerans
WASHINGTON (VR)As heavily anti-Russian as U.S. mass media have been so far this year, observers in Asia are noticing even more lopsided treatment of Russia, and also of China, bordering on demonization of those countries. For discussion and explanation of the PR war against Russia and China across the eastern Pacific and Southeast Asian regions, Radio VR’s David Kerans spoke at length with intellectual, novelist, and propaganda filmmaker Andre Vltchek, currently in Indonesia. Vltchek has just published an article on the theme.




Vltchek detailed how virulently anti-Russian and anti-Chinese the Asian media have become, and traced the attitude to a combination of the Asian elites’ close ties to the U.S. and to pressure from the U.S. to pursue a PR offensive against Russia and China. The context of the PR war is at least partly military in nature, says Vltchek. Thus, the Phillipines just signed an EDCA (Economic Defense Cooperation Agreement) with the U.S. that gives America open access to all of its military bases, in violation of the Phillipines’ Constitution.

Further, Vltchek described the success with which the U.S. has managed to whitewash the brutality of its colonial and imperial past in the Philippines and Vietnam, to the point that both of those countries are much more anti-Chinese than anti-American.

Vltchek sees elites in the region (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, etc.) as irrevocably committed to alliance with the U.S., and he fears that their subservience to U.S. interests increases the threat of U.S. military adventurism against China. He is, however, thankful that Russia and China are cooperating more fruitfully now than ever before, and hopes that multilateral initiatives like the Eurasian Economic Union will eventually help to pull the region out of the U.S. orbit.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/us/news/2014_06_10/American-PR-War-Against-Russia-and-China-Accelerating-in-Asia-4962/