On this edition of Parallax Views, the ouster of Indonesia’s first President Sukarno in and Indonesia’s transition to his successor Suharto’s “New Order”, a regime that murdered millions in the name of anti-communism, in the 1960s remains mired in mystery and controversy. The events that transpired on October 1st, 1965, which involved the assassination of six Indonesian Army generals by the 30 September Movement, have proven murky and enigmatic. The Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66 that followed were a horror show.
Who were all the players involved in and beneficiaries what ultimately became a coup against President Sukarno that allowed Suharto to take control of Jakarta and exercise a reign of terror against millions of Indonesian? What exactly transpired in the early hours of October 1st, 1965? What to make of potential U.S., specifically CIA, support of Sukarno’s ouster?
Questions like these have fascinated previous guests that have appeared on Parallax Views. Specifically, Prof. Peter Dale Scott, author of the long-form poem Coming to Jakarta, and journalist Vincent Bevins, author of The Jakarta Method, have both appeared on the program to discuss this haunting story.
Now, Greg Poulgrain, Brisbane, Australia-based lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast, joins us to discuss this chilling case. Poulgrain has written a number of books related to this period in Indonesian history and U.S. foreign policy’s relation to it including The Genesis of Konfrontasi: Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia, 1945-1965 and The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles. Poulgrain has continued his exploration of this period with his latest book JFK vs. Allen Dulles: Battleground Indonesia. He joins us on this edition of the program to discuss this latest work and to illuminate the shadows that lurk within the story of Sukarno’s ouster and Indonesia’s transition to Suharto’s “New Order”. It’s a story that involves CIA spymaster Allen Dulles and President John F. Kennedy, the Rockefeller dynasty’s Standard Oil Company, the international intrigue of geopolitics, the Cold War and the Sino-Soviet split, Freeport mining and a discovery of gold that remained a secret to many for years, and much, much more.