And how many MORE would have died if Indonesia was under communist control? Those numbers pale with the 1/3 of the total population of Cambodia that was killed under Pol Pot's communist regime or under Stalin's iron control...
I’ve been asking myself a question since reading this article...
What is so horribly wrong with that was done? There is no peaceful coexistence with communists. They make the fight a true either/or.
The only real options available when confronted with an implacable enemy is to kill them or submit to them. Jailing them doesn’t do squat. You’ve got to release them sometime, and even if jailed for the rest of their lives, they end up as indoctrinators of their fellow inmates and inspiration to those still unjailed.
What other options are there when opposed by an openly hostile ideology that demands your culture’s obliteration and replacement?
That’s true. In 1968, Indonesia’s population was over a hundred million. A Pol Pot or Ho Chi Minh-style ‘remaking’ of the society would have cost-at an absolute minimum-ten times the figure of one million that is frequently cited.
And that figure, to me, is very suspect. Remember how for years the figure of 15,000 dead was given for Pinochet’s takeover? Only after his regime left power was the true figure available-around 3,300 for his entire 16 years of rule. Most were killed in the first three weeks, and many were hardly the starry-eyed idealists portrayed by the left. Chile’s army fought pitched battles against marxist militias in the streets of Santiago.
Hopefully, a full airing will one day be given for Indonesia’s dark year.
I think "up to a million" is pretty damned bad. If that's the best you can do.....
FWIW, I had a friend in college who is Indonesian of Chinese descent. He remembers being hidden under the floorboards of his house several times, when his parents thought Suharto's thugs were coming.
They were lucky enough to be quite wealthy, and survived because they lived in a walled compound, and had a well-armed private army to protect them.
A hell of a lot of other folks weren't so lucky. They weren't communists, but they were Chinese.