Monday, January 28, 2008

Suharto: The Silence of the NeoCons

Well, the old butcher (above) has been dead a day and half now. And what has been the response of our dear friends, the neocons- you know that group of principled and passionate exporters of democracy who love to 'liberate' people from tyrannical governments the world over? The answer: Nothing. I've been trawling neocon and liberal hawk websites and blogs in Britain and the US and none of them it seems feel that the death of a genocidal dictator like Suharto is worthy of comment.

How very different it was in March 2006, when Slobodan Milosevic died. Then, the neocons and liberal hawks couldn't wait to put the boot in, cheering on the fact that a 'mass murderer'/'war criminal' had died- even though after four years of trial at The Hague no compelling evidence had been produced that the democratically elected Milosevic was either a 'mass murderer', or a 'war criminal'.

Yet as regards Suharto, a man whose crimes are proven, there is silence. One wonders whether the fact that Paul Wolfowitz, ideological guru of the neocon movement (and the man regarded by many as the architect of the Iraq War), has been described as 'the primary architect of US policy' towards Indonesia in the 1980s has anything to do with it?

In the comments section to John Pilger's excellent Guardian piece on the Butcher of Jakarta, commenter 'timetomoveon' writes:

"If Holbrooke is to believed, he and Wolfowitz tried to keep the long, sordid history of American involvement with Suharto hidden from the American ..."

"Prior to that, Wolfowitz served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 1982 to 1986, and as ambassador to Indonesia during the Reagan administration's final three years. He thus was the primary architect of U.S. policy toward the resource-rich country in the 1980s. During his tenure, U.S. support for the TNI peaked despite, among many crimes, the military's illegal occupation of East Timor, which resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people."

So come on you neocons and liberal hawks. Stop hiding and answer a simple question. Do you, like your movement's leading intellectual 'heavyweight', defend the Suharto regime and its genocidal policies? Or do you join me in condemning, unequivocally, Wolfowitz and co's support for one of the 20th century's most evil despots?

UPDATE: Well, its getting on for 48 hours since the news of Suharto's death was announced. And still not a word from Planet NeoCon.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, Neil. It's the sheer shameless double standards of these Neocon bastards that always gets me!

Q: When is a racist murdering swine NOT a racist murdering swine?

A: If he or she is working for the American, British, or (best of all) Israeli government.

Well, stupid assholes like Oliver Kamm might try to sell us that. (Sadly, they are too steeped in their own pompous arrogance to understand that the rest of the world still has eyes wide open!)

Roland Hulme said...

I think that's an entirely accurate observation, Neil. Good, albiet uncomfortable, stuff!

Anonymous said...

Neil, it probably hasn't merited much comment by anyone, including so-called "neo-cons", because it's not really of much significance. The man had been out of power for some time, and Indonesia is a far away country of which we know little. The situation with Milosevic is different -- he was on trial and "escaped justice" by dying, according to some. But prior to SM's death, he was attracting very little comment from anyone, either.