The current Indonesian government has proposed
that former dictator Suharto be added to the country's official pantheon of heroes. This proposal has been endorsed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)
, a party that is explicitly Islamic, despite the fact that Suharto's government by and large suppressed religiosity in the political sphere. Aubrey Belford writes in the NYT
about the controversy over this proposal; although Suharto is widely credited with Indonesia's increased prosperity in the decades prior to the Asian economic crisis, he was famously corrupt
, violent in his suppression of political components and he led Indonesia during its bloody occupation of East Timor
, which some have called a genocide
Indonesia's former President Mohammed Suharto
, who towered over Indonesian politics for 32 years, has died in hospital aged 86
. Accused of amassing billions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth for himself, his family and friends, Indonesian officials were never able to find any evidence of this ill-gotten wealth
. The BBC remembers him in pictures
Former President Suharto is ill.
This story is being carried on CNN
and the BBC
, but good luck trying to find any references to genocide or 200'000 dead. MSNBC
buries this fact in a flash animation. Remember, according to Western media, not all genocide is bad.
Meanwhile in Indonesia
, where speculating about Florida ballots isn't an issue, Tommy Suharto is on the run, and his murderous
father is going on trial
. Indonesia has a massive Muslim population, a violent (and touchy) army, and a troubled history of ethnic violence; I'm continually worried that it's going to erupt into flames (again).