Thursday, April 03, 2008

Purging Truth

Michael Sullivan is spinning Indonesian history, again. In his Thursday ATC piece about China's growing influence in South East Asia, Sullivan includes a short clip from Harry Tjan Silalahi of Jakarta's Center for Strategic and International Studies, and then states,

"He says a 1965 coup attempt by Indonesia's Communist Party helped convince the Indonesian military of China's expansionist impulses. The coup was brutally suppressed by Indonesia's US backed military. More than half a million people - many of them communists - were killed in the purge that followed."

This distortion and pro-Suharto/pro-CIA propaganda of Mr. Sullivan's is breathtaking, really. Notice that the blame for the bloodbath of up to a million humans is laid at the feet of Indonesia's Communist Party even though there is NOTHING in the historical record to definitively support the claim that it was a communist coup. In fact, as the Guardian noted, the coup generals were likely put up to their actions by the CIA. Sullivan also relegates the role of the US to a "backer" of the military, when in reality the US was elbow deep in blood - helping to plan and execute the Suharto counter-coup and holocaust that followed.

That Sullivan works so hard to cover the CIA's role in this horror of the 1960s has to make you wonder just who Sullivan really works for.


Porter Melmoth said...

Yes, Sullivan's proven himself to be yet another waste-of-time source of misinformation for a rather important region. His 'intelligent' sounding voice and steady demeanor have proven to be a bust, time and again.
He isn't even worthy to fit into the lower echelons of a Graham Greene novel, although he might just figure into a footnote of a Conrad novel, as a faceless failure. Someone like Sullivan could really have made a difference if he'd just been able to rise above the agenda of his cushy gig. Like many NPR reporters, he lets us down in the name of loyalty to his organization instead of loyalty to truth.

Anonymous said...

Thinking back to the Frontline show a week ago, it occurred to me: who would want the U.S. public to ignore the oil in Iraq, ignore the poppies in Afghanistan, and slam dick cheney? The CIA, of course. I've heard PBS will air a show on bush sr. Could it be more obvious? Well, with the target audience for public broadcasting's intersecting so well with the Ivy League make-up of the CIA, it's such a natural fit. One should wear a surgical mask over one's ears to prevent infection. And yes, Porter, even the lowest of Graham Greene characters have integrity and courage.