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.
He served in the Indonesian National Army Special Force Kopassus (as commander 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 thankless 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, immunized 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?
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.