Kopassus: Obama’s “Reformed” Indonesian Killers

March 26, 2010

General Suharto-fascist killer and enslaver of millions

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.

Kopassus Troops

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.

Lolo was a teddy bear.  Apparently, end of story.  But wait.  Wasn’t Obama writing about the period 1966-1971? Time Magazine says only that “The country was transitioning to the rule of General Suharto.” By “transitioning” the article must be euphemistically referring  to the aftermath of the overthrow of leftist General Sukharno and the massacre of perhaps a million communists and peasants by the army and militant Islamist jihadists. Bodies clogged the rivers and blood ran in the streets. Wasn’t Lolo Soetoro a colonel in the dictator Suharto’s genocidal military? Weren’t these the years that Kopassus, the Indonesian army’s brutal “Red Berets” invaded Papua on a mission to expropriate the vast wealth of the province and subjugate the indigenous population? Time Magazine describes Lolo Soetoro as “conscripted” into the Indonesian military.  I didn’t know colonels with important connections to the U.S. Embassy would be “conscripted”.
Obama’s drama alludes to his stepfather’s participation in the invasion of Papua this way:
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.
Obama, apparently, was aware that his stepfather was engaged in something dangerous.  From Human Rights Watch:

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.

“Yes.”

“Was it bloody?”

“Yes.”

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?)

East Timor Invasion

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.

Filep Karma Papuan activist serving 15 years for raising the Papuan flag

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.


Obama and Bush, Uhhh ObamBush

May 9, 2009

manchurian candidate The Manchurian Candidate. Remember him? The meta-zombie cum progressive Democrat, skillfully mind-controlled by North Korean operatives into a George Bush sleeper traitor?  The North Koreans didn’t need water boarding, did they?  But, you say, the Manchurian Candidate was just a movie; the fevered raving of a Hollywood screenwriter who feared a Barack ObamaBush might one day come to power.  Well, the uber-sleeperzoid is here, reading his teleprompter while taking twitter orders from corporate republicrat masters.

The cockeyed optimists

The cockeyed optimists

So let’s relax and take another sip of  Kool-Aid while we join Barack O’Bam-Bush, our South Pacific island boy, Nurse Nellie and deBecque for a chorus of A Cockeyed Optimist.

I went to bed on November 4, 2008 and when I woke up the human face of corruption was still in office.  Sure, he had a nice Hawaiian tan and a big pair of man titties but I recognized the beady eyes and arrogant sneer.  Was I dreaming?  Of course, it was Bush, it had to be.  Wasn’t old CIA hand, Robert Gates, still there managing yet another front in the war on terror? And how about General Michael Hayden, National Eavesdropper-in-Chief, who can’t recall where he put the “probable cause” provision of The Constitution. And, oh yeah, there was neither push-back nor comment on this interpretation emanating from Attorney General Eric Holder nor Obama.  Whoa! Did I see single-payer health care protesters arrested on Capitol Hill?   Hell, even before the election I saw Nancy Pelosi order security to remove Cindy Sheehan because she wanted to debate the merits of the war and bringing the Bush crooks to justice.

New Mantra.  Neither Bush cons nor Obama crooks will be brought to justice.

And FISA? How could we still have that after O’Bambi filibustered it (not)?  Best of all is the Patriot Act which laid around under Bush II because the liberals railed against it but will be dusted off and shined up now for faugressive  BushBama’s third term. The liberals are deafeningly silent and poisonously defensive about their choice of the freaky, spy loving, Chicago constitutional part-time professor. So why is it that the new ObamaBush fauxgressive president, who promised to bring the troops home, is imposing the stealthiest domestic spying campaign ever?  The prosecution of the “war on terror” is the biggest boondoggle, military-industrial gravy train, coup d’etat, and trumped up causus belli since Julius Caeser but it has its megawinners. It is a distraction from the destructive tsunami of globalization, international financial irresponsibility, and environmental collapse, so it will never end.  Only it’s parameters will change. The same people that armed the “bad guys” yesterday are the ones who would now incinerate them.

And the Patriot Act is even spookier than I imagined.  I thought it was for those stupid terrorists making reckless phone calls back and forth between terrorland and the hated US of A.  But it’s not just for those pesky terror calls.  The spies-in-chief also want to know everything YOU think and say, believe, read, watch on television, how much money you donate and to which candidate.  Google, Microsoft, and GE want your information.  As an even exchange they are committed to giving you nothing back.  You get NO information, no useful data, no news, no reasons. They also want your MEDICAL RECORDS.  They can get your medical records right now, no subpoena required, just a national security letter issued by THEM to an administrator who can’t tell anyone they requested the records.  Once O’Bush gets all of our medical records digitized and uploaded to a database NO ONE WILL KNOW what’s been done with them.  And you can’t ever take “them” to court to find out what they know or why you’re being charged with anything because of what they found. Once a medical record is triangulated with what personal data is readily available there is nothing about you that can’t be identified.Why should you care? Because maybe some of us may get to know what it’s like to disappear inside a secret prison. Because , as somebody once said, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

They’re not just watching the terrorists, they’re watching YOU!


It’s All About Oil. Part II … Venezuela

April 4, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

mapscaor

Venezuela.  This is an interesting tale of a Latin American coup that failed. It was a garden variety coup like the failed Indonesian coup of 1958;  certainly not as horrifying as the 1965-1999 massacres and land grabs in Indonesia and East Timor, but definitely instructive in its political architecture.

Moreover, the cast of characters and their methods never really change. Breathtakingly, American political operatives are able to set policies, carry them out and then step back into the comfort and riches of defense contracts and think tanks.

The more things change…

Will Obama, President Fauxgressive, be any different?  So far, I’m thinking: NAAH!

Perhaps the most important thing to know about Venezuela is that it is an oil exporting country, the fifth largest in the world, with the largest reserves of conventional oil (light and heavy crude) in the western hemisphere and the largest reserves of non-conventional oil (extra-heavy crude) in the world.

Thus begins Gregory Wilpert’s 2003 article concerning the politics of Venezuelan oil and the April 2002 coup that briefly ousted President Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela’s oil boom years encompassed 1912-1943. Standard Oil and Shell Oil were the first companies to drill on Venezuelan soil. Things changed in 1943 with Venezuela’s  Hydrocarbons Act which declared that no foreign oil interest could make more profit on Venezuelan oil than the Venezuelan state. Oil revenues increased.   However, as oil production rose, other parts of the economy suffered and the populous became more dependent upon state services provided by oil revenues rather than income taxes.

In the 1950’s large international surpluses of oil (especially in the Middle East) drove  prices to record lows, causing social instability in a nation economically dependent on one resource. So

In 1960, the world’s main oil exporting countries, largely due to the prodding of the Venezuelan government, decided to form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Also in 1960, Venezuela created the Venezuelan Oil Corporation, which later formed the basis for the nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry.

Political stability in a petro state necessitated a “pacted democracy” which guaranteed proportional access to state produced wealth by oligarchs of both parties regardless of which was in power.

Sound familiar?

The 1973 embargo of Middle East oil had a huge impact on Venezuela, quadrupling its oil revenues. By 1976 the country moved to fully nationalize its oil industry with the creation of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). PDVSA outsourced many of its general operations, including accounting and information technology.

The government promised to “sow the oil”, raising all boats in a nation coasting on oil. The article cited above also points out:

Critics of the nationalization process, such as Carlos Mendoza, say that the newly nationalized oil industry was nothing more than a Trojan Horse. Venezuela’s oil industry maintained an anti-statist and transnational corporatist management culture throughout its existence. The ties to the former owners of the nationalized Venezuelan companies were maintained primarily through technical assistance contracts with the former owners and through commercialization contracts, which heavily discounted the price of oil to their former owners.

By the 1990’s the world’s over-supply of oil had, once again, plunged Venezuela into the economic doldrums.

Hugo Chavez was elected by popular referendum in 1998. Almost immediately, Chavez pressured members of OPEC and the non-OPEC producers to hold the line on production quotas. When Chavez moved to replace the PDVSA board with other technical resources, PDVSA joined a work stoppage against the government. More from the article cited above –

Perhaps the most important instance of outsourcing, in terms of the management of PDVSA, is the joint venture it engaged in with the U.S.-based company SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) to create INTESA (Informática, Negocios, y Tecnología, S.A.) in 1996. INTESA was to manage all of PDVSA’s data processing needs.

A recent investigation into INTESA, and especially into its majority owner SAIC (60%), revealed some information that ought to be quite disturbing to the government of Hugo Chávez. That is, INTESA, which controlled all of PDVSA’s information, is in turn controlled by SAIC, a Fortune 500 company … that is deeply involved in the U.S. defense industry, particularly as it relates to nuclear technology, defense intelligence, and computing technology. Its managers included two former U.S. Secretaries of Defense (William Perry and Melvin Laird) and two former CIA directors (John Deutch and Robert Gates). Its current Board of Directors includes the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces (Wayne Downing), a former coordinator of the National Security Council (Jasper Welch), and the former director of the National Security Agency (Bobby Ray Inman)           (italics mine).

Recall that Robert Gates served in the Reagan and Bush II administrations. He now serves President Barack Obama’s as Defense Department chief.

The government moved from taxing oil industry profits to charging royalties, making oil extraction more expensive. Chavez also re-directed Venezuelan oil supplies to non-U.S. buyers.

Then in 2002 came the attempted coup.

2002 Venezuelan coup d’état attempt

The Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 was a failed coup d’état on April 11, 2002 that lasted only 47 hours, whereby the head of state President Hugo Chávez was illegally detained, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court dissolved, and the country’s Constitution declared void.

Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras) president Pedro Carmona was installed as interim president. In Caracas, the coup led to a pro-Chávez uprising that the Metropolitan Police attempted to suppress. Key sectors of the military and parts of the anti-Chávez movement refused to back Carmona. The pro-Chávez Presidential Guard eventually retook the Miraflores presidential palace without firing a shot, leading to the collapse of the Carmona government and the re-installation of Chávez as president.

The coup was publicly condemned by Latin American nations (the Rio Group presidents were gathered together in San José, Costa Rica, at the time, and were able to issue a joint communiqué) and international organizations. The United States and Chile quickly acknowledged the de facto pro-US Carmona government, but ended up condemning the coup after it had been defeated.

And more from Gregory Wilpert in his 2003 article:

Matters reached a boiling point in April 2002 with the coup d’etat against Chavez Frias which surprisingly lasted only two days as millions of Venezuelan poor came to his defense. The 48-hour usurper, Carmona, moved almost instantaneously to turn around ChavezFrias’ Bolivarian policies and consolidate what amounts to an “oiligarchy.” Within 48 hours, he dissolved the parliament and the supreme court, dismissed all mayors and governors, stopped the shipment of oil to Cuba, and started a massive wave of repression across the country. But there is more…

According to the British paper The Observer

… one of those giving the nod to the attempted coup was Elliot Abrams, a member of the Reagan team involved in the dirty wars in Central America convicted over actions during the Iran-Contra Affair. He was later pardoned by George Bush, Sr. Another coup advocate was Cuban, Otto Reich, assistant administrator for USAID 1981-1983 and named ambassador to Caracas in 1986.

There it is again, USAID. For those of you who doubted USAID, a benevolent agency of the U.S. government, might be converted to covert uses, enjoy the view.  My previous post noted that Ann Dunham Soetoro was engaged in “microfinance” with USAID in Indonesia in the 1970’s and 1980’s  — during one of the worst human rights atrocities of the century — and perhaps Pakistan in the 1980’s.

Next step:  let’s see what the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and East-West Center, University of Hawaii, were up to.


It’s All About Oil.

March 29, 2009

To quote the French:  The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Change you can believe in.

On January 28, 2009, Obama appointee, retired 4 star Admiral Dennis Blair was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Director of National Intelligence.  The DNI chief reports directly to the president and defense department chief and co-ordinates all other national intelligence agencies. It prepares the National Defense Estimate annual report to congress.  The office of DNI was created by the Bush administration in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Admiral Blair has an impressive resume: Rhodes Scholar, Russian speaker, attended East-West Center at the University of  Hawaii in 1968, former Commander-in -Chief of U.S. Pacific Command:

PACOM area of responsibility

PACOM area of responsibility

From 2003 to 2007, Blair was president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit corporation that manages federally funded national security research and development centers. He stepped down in the face of concerns that his positions on the boards of major defense contractors presented a conflict of interest.

Excerpt from article by

Author:
Joanna Klonsky, Associate Editor

updated: February 9, 2009

Dennis Blair

Retired four-star Admiral Dennis C. Blair is President Obama’s director of national intelligence (DNI)–confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 28, 2009. Blair, a thirty-four-year Navy veteran, is the former commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command.

He also served as associate director of central intelligence for military support, coordinating intelligence and military operations under the Clinton administration. He was director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and commanded the Kitty Hawk Strike Group aircraft carrier and the destroyer Cochrane.

Admiral Blair advised congress in 1999 that U.S.-Indonesian  military co-ordination should be resumed. The above article does not mention that Admiral Blair’s 1999 advice came  just one day after the outbreak of an Indonesian Army massacre of civilians in Dili, East Timor.  Blair has contended that he was not aware of the Indonesian army’s  massacre, although evidence has been produced indicating that he did.  The army killings in Dili increased after the congressional approval of the new pact.  What is clear is that for some time the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have had a cordial relationship with Indonesia’s murderous dictators.

The massacre in Dili was about oil.

USPACCOM unified command

The top U.S. officer in the Pacific (unidentified, not Blair) met with Indonesia's president to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the region and applaud Indonesia’s role in security initiatives.

Blair Senate Appearance.

In a 2007 appearance before the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation,  retired admiral Dennis Blair urged the U.S. to pursue increased automobile mileage efficiency among the major auto makers in order to relieve stress on the military in the security of oil supplies.

Blair clearly emphasizes, throughout his senate testimony, that a large part of U.S. military commitment in the Pacific theater and Central Asia and the Middle East is the protection and preservation of energy (oil, natural gas) supplies.  In my post of March 1, 2009 I noted that the U.S. interest in Afghanistan and support of the Taliban throughout Afghanistan’s war with the invading Soviet Union  (which began in 1979-1980), included  an interest in extending an oil pipeline connecting the Middle East and Asia.  An effort to build the pipeline with the aid of trained Taliban workers was discontinued due to pressure from American feminist groups over the Taliban’s treatment of women.  Unocal attempted to take over the pipeline project from the U.S. Government but dropped the proposal.

It’s about oil.

Here’s an excerpt from Dennis Blair’s committee presentation:

In the late 1970s two serious threats to Persian Gulf oil were identified by the Carter Administration, which became seized by the issue. The first was a potential Soviet invasion from the north into the oil regions around the Gulf, a concern heightened by the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The second was an aggressive and fundamentalist Iran, which was led by a regime that had permitted and then exploited the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. In response, the department of defense created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, the RDJTF, a planning headquarters and contingency force that could quickly deploy to the Gulf to defeat a major land invasion.  In 1983 as part of its general military build up against the Soviet Union, the Reagan administration upgraded this task force to a regional command like the European Command and the Pacific Command, where I served and where I ultimately commanded. So this Central Command had full time responsibility for U.S. interests in the region.

U.S. interests in the region – does that mean oil?

This article has an interesting timeline of events for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.  I can’t vouch for all the facts but it is tantalizing.

Obama plans to send 17,000 additional troops into Afghanistan to beef up the “war on terror”.  Along with this change comes an offer by his administration to “negotiate” with the “moderate” factions of the Taliban.  Thus Obama can argue that he will have two options for bringing peace to Afghanistan, a carrot and stick approach, if you will:  more troops and more bombing, or a settlement of differences.  In addition to bringing peace, the carrot and stick will also help build a new pipeline.  I doubt that feminist groups  this time will be able to stand in the way of the pipeline — not under a “progressive, feminist friendly” president.

Recall Ann Dunham Soetoro’s resume of helping poor women:  with microloans in Pakistan and Indonesia, cataloging various native crafts during major massacres in Indonesia under the auspices of the Ford Foundation (working for Peter Geithner, the Treasury Secretary’s father), USAID, and the World Bank (all of which are widely believed to have CIA associations).  Ann Dunham Soetero’s connection to these mineral rich regions is Barack Obama’s connection to these mineral rich regions.

Here’s a little bit of history about past DNI chiefs:

George W. Bush’s first DNI chief was John Negroponte, who previously held a position under Condaleeza Rice when she was NSA chief.  Negroponte served under Ronald Reagan as ambassador to El Salvador during Reagan’s dirty wars in Central America in the 1980’s, and was implicated in the training of death squads and the cover-up to congress of their barbarous activities.  A staunch anti-communist, he was appointed ambassador to Mexico during the populist Chiapas uprising, and suspected of using ruthless countermeasures against them. George Bush’s second DNI chief was Mike McConnell, a member of the controversial and influential quasi-governmental body, the Carlyle Group. Recall that the Carlyle Group is a conglomerate of American defense department chiefs, the two Bush presidents, and Saudi oil interests, among others.

Dennis Blair is Obama’s new DNI chief –another man with a strong resume protecting oil.

The more things change … the more it’s still about oil.