Suharto kicks the bucket / nil nisi bonum de mortuis / Friendly Dictators trading cards
* DENNIS BERNSTEIN is the Executive Producer of "Undercurrents," heard daily on WBAI in New York, and nationally on the Pacifica Radio Network. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Newsday, Spin Magazine, In These Times, Extra!, and others.
* LAURA SYDELL has a law degree and is a phi betta kappa graduate of William Smith College. She has reported for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," "Crossroads," and for the Pacifica Radio Network.
* BILL SIENKIEWICZ's work in Brought to Light has garnered rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly, The American Library Association Booklist, and The Village Voice. His award-winning artwork can be seen in such comics as Moon Knight, Elektra Assassin, Stray Toasters, and Real War Stories.
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24 GENERAL SUHARTO
President of Indonesia
Indonesia is a totalitarian state and its uncontested ruler for over 20 years, General Suharto, is one of the most brutal dictators in history. After a CIA organized coup brought him to power in 1965, Suharto, who had already collaborated with Dutch colonialists and Japanese occupiers, decided to purge every last "Communist subversive from Indonesian soil". General Nasution, a former close associate of Suharto, called for the extermination of three million Indonesian communist party members.
CIA point man Colonel Sarwo Eddie personally supervised the murderous purge. Paratroopers would arrive in a region with a list of "subversives" and provide it to local vigilante groups. Using machetes and other crude weapons, the vigilantes would hack the alleged subversives to death. Entire populations of towns and villages were herded to central locations and massacred. Children would be asked to identify "communists" who would then be executed on the spot. In addition to the half million people who were killed outright after the coup, another 750,000 were arrested and tortured. Ultimately, one million people died in one of the most savage mass slaughters of modem political history.
Ironically, the New York Times reported in December 1965, two months after the purge began, that "from an American viewpoint" Suharto's new government in Indonesia "represents a positive achievement." Apparently so, for the U.S. continues to this day to train and arm the Indonesian military with the latest high-tech equipment.