30 September 2008

The Indonesian Armed Forces and Communism

Today is 30 September 2008 and it is 43 years since the G30S or the 30 September movement that launched an attempted coup in 1965. This coup has been attributed to the Indonesian Communist Party and sympathizers to the cause. In the violent and bloody purge that followed and then culminated with Soeharto coming to power it is estimated more than a million people lost their lives.

Today at a prayer service commemorating the deaths of six generals (and a lieutenant) the current Chief of the Army, Gen. Agustadi Sasongko Purnomo, has stated that the army is concerned that the threat of communism is real and that it is making a comeback in Indonesia. He points to systematic efforts to re-establish the ideology and cites the primary tactic as being one designed to shake the foundations of the Republic by highlighting and magnifying differences. The other evidence that the army has relates to the placement of stickers and posters that are obviously driven by the ideology of communism.

The general despite insisting on vigilance and the need to remain alert to the re-emergence of communism was unequivocal in stating that unlike the old days communism must be defeated by a greater reliance on Pancasila.

The fact that the armed forces are still playing the PKI card is a concern, particularly in 2008.


jaka said...

I doubt what the general said, however. We see no communism threat in Indonesia. Yes, there are some socialist movements, but that doesn't translate to communism, like some member of the army may think. Wonder why they still play communism card. Make me think these guys are actually behind the FPI-thingies (right extremistas).

Haree geneee masih takut komunis .... (that is what I can only say).

Rob Baiton said...


I don't doubt that the general said what he said. I am also not that surprised that the army still sees itself as the protector of the nation from the evils of communism.

I agree that social movements are not communism. However, the army remembers how effective the slur has been in the past. You label something communist then people are automatically suspicious of it and do not want to be associated with it.

They play the communist card because fear is a powerful tool.

Who is behind the FPI depends on who you ask. I have heard people trying to explain the FPI away as a Mossad funded organization. So, if someone was to say that ABRI was behind the FPI then this is not as big a stretch as trying to believe that it is Mossad!