Southeast Asia’s second most infamous strongman, after Pol Pot, has died without getting crimes-against-humanity tribunal he so sorely deserved. Let’s go through his crimes:
Violently overthrew the government of Sukarno. Indiscriminately murdered Communists and Sukarno loyalists.
Once in power, banned the Communist party, instituted press censorship, eliminated labor unions, purged the government of Sukarno allies, and instituted a system of apartheid against ethnic Chinese, under the guise of the “New Order”. As many as one million are killed.
Consolidated power over his neighbors, organizing a sham vote in eastern New Guinea, ordering a genocidal invasion and occupation of East Timor (with American permission), and violently putting down a revolt in Aceh. Within five years of the invasion, 200,000 Timorese, one third of the East Timorese population, are killed.
He was finally deposed after the Asian financial crisis in 1998. His reign stands as one of the greatest American crimes of the Cold War, one of the most severe instances of our preference for brutal capitalist dictatorships over mildly democratic Communist regimes like Sukarno’s. Good riddance.