US aware of Indonesia killing more than 500,000 civilians: Reveal declassified files

Declassified documents reveal that the United States was aware of the mass slaughter during a political purge in Indonesia during the 1960s.

Police secure the scene at a police station following an attack in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia
Representational picture Reuters

Newly released declassified files have revealed the indirect support rendered by the United States Government to Indonesia to kill several hundred thousand civilians during a political purge in the country during the 1960s when the Cold War polemics gripped the world. More than 500,000 people were killed in Indonesia during the anti-communist hysteria in the mid-1960s, and Washington purposefully maintained silence during this period of bloodbath.

A revelation which shook the entire human community

The new revelation was made on Tuesday when the US embassy in Jakarta released thousands of files covering 1963-66, following a declassification review initiated under the Obama administration.

According to the released files, more than 500,000 people were brutally massacred when the Indonesian army and the local Muslim militia went on a blood hunting spree. Washington's silence during those time was observed critically by the political experts all over the world, as it was one of the most brutal massacres ever witnessed by the entire humankind in its history.

The documents featured US staff describing the killings as 'slaughter', which indicate that Washington was well aware of the massacre which was aimed to clean up the communist supporters and leftist groups in Indonesia.

The massacre which is still one of the worst nightmares for Indonesian people was triggered when six army generals were killed by Communist supporters on September 1965. During those times of Cold War, the clashes between Communists, military groups, and Islamists were in full swing, and this is considered to be the reason behind Washington's silence.

Indonesia: Once an influential communist nation

Indonesia was once the third largest communist nation in the world, after China and the Soviet Union. During those times, the Indonesian Communist Party had several million members. Sukarno, the daring communist leader was the President of Indonesia at that time, and he was a strong critic of the United States and right-wing thoughts.

As per the files, the US government was pretty happy to see military taking over the power from Sukarno, killing unending numbers of Communists in the country. The US believed that the new military leadership will change the existing policies of Indonesian government and will open its huge market to American companies.

The newly released declassified files reveal that the US government has done nothing to stop the killings in Indonesia, as they are pretty happy to see the fall of communist leadership in the country. Earlier, many historians have claimed that the US has handed over a list which contained the names of Communist leaders whom the army should kill during the massacre.

The documents clearly mentioned that the US government was well aware of mass killings ordered by Suharto, who ruled the country for three decades, after forcefully obtaining the supreme leadership from Sukarno.