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The Killing SeasonA History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66$
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Geoffrey B. Robinson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196497

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196497.001.0001

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“A Gleam of Light in Asia”

“A Gleam of Light in Asia”

Chapter:
(p.177) Chapter Seven “A Gleam of Light in Asia”
Source:
The Killing Season
Author(s):

Geoffrey B. Robinson

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196497.003.0007

This chapter argues that in the crucial six months after the alleged coup of October 1, 1965, Western powers encouraged the army to move forcefully against the Left, facilitated widespread violence including mass killings, and helped to consolidate the political power of the army. In doing so, they helped to bring about the political and physical destruction of the PKI and its affiliates, the removal of Sukarno and his closest associates from political power, their replacement by an army elite led by General Suharto, and a seismic shift in Indonesia's foreign policy toward the West and the capitalist model it advocated. The concerted campaign by foreign powers had three principal elements. The first was a pattern of secret assurances to the army leadership of political support and noninterference in Indonesia's internal affairs. The second was a sophisticated psychological warfare campaign designed to tarnish the PKI and Sukarno, and stir up opposition to them both inside Indonesia and abroad. The third element of the campaign was a carefully calibrated program of material assistance to the army, thereby facilitating and effectively rewarding the army's campaign against the PKI and Sukarno.

Keywords:   foreign powers, Western powers, PKI, Sukarno, General Suharto, army, mass killings, foreign policy, psychological warfare

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