By MANIFESTO JOE
Well, we can only hope so, per justice for the Indonesian people, and especially for the survivors of the East Timor victims. It's funny how being "anti-communist" could get you a pass for mass murder back in the '60s, '70s and '80s.
I won't even get into the Noam Chomsky accounts of Suharto's genocide against the Timorese, because the research would take long enough to make this an untimely post. I'll rely on the MSM. This is what The Associated Press had after the news broke:
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Former dictator Suharto, an army general who crushed Indonesia's communist movement and pushed aside the country's founding father to usher in 32 years of tough rule that saw up to a million political opponents killed, died Sunday. He was 86. ...
Suharto, who led a regime widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most brutal and corrupt, has lived a reclusive life in a comfortable villa in downtown Jakarta for the past decade. ...
Historians say up to 800,000 alleged communist sympathizers were killed during Suharto's rise to power from 1965 to 1968. His troops killed another 300,000 in military operations against independence movements in Papua, Aceh and East Timor.
Suharto's poor health had kept him from facing trial, and no one has been punished for the killings.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International has said Suharto and his family amassed billions of dollars in stolen state funds, allegations the family is fighting in court.
Suharto's successors as head of state — B.J. Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati Sukarnoputri and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — vowed to end corruption that took root under Suharto, yet it remains endemic at all levels of Indonesian society.
With the court system paralyzed by corruption, the country has not confronted its bloody past. Rather than put on trial those accused of mass murder and multibillion-dollar theft, some members of the political elite consistently called for charges against Suharto to be dropped on humanitarian grounds.
It's remarkable how humane the international community can become when it's a fascist dictator who's sick and can't go to trial. There are those among us who would be dusting off the electric chair not only for Castro, but also for Hugo Chavez and even Daniel Ortega if they could.
I remember some people getting all misty-eyed about the plight of Chile's Augusto Pinochet as a decrepit ruin. Nobody running Western governments after World War II seemed interested in pursuing crimes-against-humanity charges against the European fascist dictators Franco and Salazar.
There seems to be a residual double standard for the murderers and tyrants of the extreme right wing, a holdover from the Cold War. The reasoning seems to be something like: Since Vladimir Putin isn't a communist, we prefer him over Gorbachev, no?
Killers are killers, and despots are despots. Nearly 20 years after the Cold War ended, it's time to, pun intended, bury it.
Roast well, Suharto. But first, may the worms devour your liver, con gusto.
Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.