The U.S. supported, backed and armed takeover of Indonesia in the mid 1960’s by the fascist regime of General Suharto was always about the vast resources in the region including, petroleum, natural gas, copper, zinc, bauxite, etc, even gold. Here’s what The New Statesman reports about Papua (New Guinea’s) gold reserves:
Hidden at 4,000 metres in the blue-black ranges of its interior, West Papua possesses the largest reserve of gold on the planet. In the 1998 annual report of the British mining company Rio Tinto plc, gold stocks in New Guinea are given as just over 19 million ounces. Rio Tinto has a 12.5 per cent shareholding in Papua’s Grasberg mine, plus a further 40 per cent share in its expansion. The mine is owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, based in New Orleans, whose gold reserves at Grasberg stand at 85 million ounces. Grasberg’s gold is worth $21.5bn. The mine is also the third-largest source of copper, with reserves of 32 million tonnes.
To this wilderness came Freeport-McMoRan in 1967, with the blessing of the Indonesian government. No mine on earth moves as much rock each day as Grasberg.
Freeport’s first contract was signed with Indonesia in April 1967. Lolo Soetoro returned to Indonesia in 1966. The massacres of communists in Java began in earnest in 1966 continuing into 1967.
From Human Rights Watch’s facts about Indonesia:
Fact No. 3: Indonesia’s (current) president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, also has a close connection to Papua. Indonesia’s military commander in Papua in the late 1960s was Brig. Gen. Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, who had previously led a bloody military campaign against Indonesian communists in Java (See “Building An Elite For Indonesia”). He would later become the father-in-law of a young Army captain named Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Obama, in his first of two autobiographies, Dreams from My Father, didn’t have much truth to tell about his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro. He never put Lolo or his mother, Ann Dunham, in context in fascist Indonesia. There was a reason for that.
Here, via the political editor of the Chicago Sun Times, the glossy but nebulous snapshot of Lolo that Obama wants us to believe:
Lolo Soetoro’s first name meant “crazy” in Hawaiian.
“But the meaning didn’t suit the man, for Lolo possessed the good manners and easy grace of his people,” Barack Obama wrote of his Indonesian stepfather in Dreams From My Father.
Obama wrote that Soetoro’s “tennis game was good, his smile uncommonly even, and his temperament imperturbable.”
Hmmm. Aren”t these important details? The same lovely things might be said of Obama himself. This sounds like a fairy tale. It Continues….
But Obama’s mother’s second husband did have his exotic side, which he shared with the young Obama during the years they lived in Indonesia.
“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy),” Obama wrote. “LIke many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”
Sheesh! Tell me more, especially the part about the tiger meat. I suppose a political editor for the Chicago Sun Times wasn’t interested in digging any deeper, either. There is little useful information in Obama’s accounts.
Soetoro worked for the Indonesian government and later a U.S. oil company before he and Obama’s mother divorced in the late 1970s. Soetoro died of a liver ailment in 1987 at age 51.
Is that it? Time magazine also “covered” Lolo Soetoro and offered these tidbits in “The Story Of Barack Obama”:
He was easygoing, happily devoting hours to playing chess with Ann’s father and wrestling with her young son. Lolo proposed in 1967.
In Jakarta in the late 1960s, a young Barack Obama noticed his stepfather’s great unease and silence about his one-year military service (how do we know this?) in New Guinea.
In his book “Dreams From My Father,” Obama asked Lolo, “Have you ever seen a man killed?”
Lolo was surprised by the question.
“Have you?” Obama asked again.
“Was it bloody?”
Obama thought for a moment. “Why was the man killed?”
Lolo answered, “Because he was weak. That’s usually enough. Men take advantage of weakness in other men. They’re just like countries in that way. The strong man takes the weak man’s land. He makes the weak man work in his field. If the weak man’s woman is pretty, the strong man will take her.” Lolo paused, then asked his young stepson, “Which would you rather be?”
Obama didn’t answer the question.
Lolo finally remarked, “Better to be strong.”
(Why do people accept this drivel from Obama? Wouldn’t a child ask if he (Lolo) had killed someone? What were the circumstances of this conversation?)
Obama, in his anticipated June trip to Indonesia, will attempt to re-establish military cooperation, arms shipments and training to Kopassus. This upgrade in relations will certainly please both the Indonesian generals and the American Military Industrial Complex.This resumption of relations is based on the assumption that Indonesia’s military has not committed any recent atrocities, has changed its ways over the last few years. Obama claims the Kopassus tiger has changed its spots. Kopassus has not changed its spots. Democracy Now! has spoken to journalist Allen Nain who has been under imminent threat of arrest for reporting on Kopassus’ latest acts of violence.
I’ve just come out with a piece that shows that the Indonesian army and Kopassus have been involved in a series of recent assassinations of civilian political activists. The piece names the names of the officers involved, including a Kopassus general named Sunarko. These assassinations were carried out in the region of Aceh in late 2009.
Obama has given enough intriguing hints in his biographies and comments that we should realize Obama knows better than most, perhaps even more than Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Security, Dennis Blair, (accused of covering up a massacre at Dili, East Timor, to further a military training schedule) that the regimes in Indonesia are vicious, genocidal, corrupt.
Obama is a neo-liberal globalist with fascist tendencies. At this point he parades in sheep’s clothing. Therefore, he has characterized the transfer of war material and training for Kopassus as U.S. assistance in the war against “worldwide Islamic terrorism” and a bulwark against Indonesia’s enemies in the region.. America’s Right Wing elements will cheer this decision. But don’t be fooled. Indonesia has no enemies in the region. The “terrorists” are the military elite enlisting the aid of Islamic anti-communists to crush peasants, indigenous peoples so they can help themselves to the vast resources of the islands.