Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia

Audrey R. Kahin, Author, George McT Kahin, With
Audrey R. Kahin, Author, George McT Kahin, With New Press $27.5 (328p) ISBN 978-1-56584-244-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-295-97618-1
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In 1957, President Eisenhower, his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, and the CIA--unbeknownst to Congress or to the American public--launched a massive covert military operation in Indonesia. Its aims were to topple or weaken Indonesia's populist President Sukarno, viewed as too friendly toward Indonesia's Communist Party, and to cripple the Indonesian army. The CIA, run by Allen Dulles, the brother of the secretary of state, funneled financial support and weapons to rebel colonels on the islands outside Java, seat of the government. In the ensuing civil war, thousands of civilians were killed; the Indonesian army put down the rebellion and crushed noncommunist political parties; Sukarno's centralized regime became more authoritarian and jettisoned parliamentary government. Historian Audrey Kahin, editor of the journal Indonesia, and Cornell professor of international studies George Kahin have written a disturbing, scholarly expose of a major covert operation that paved the way for the Indonesian army's massacre of half a million people in 1965-66 with Washington's support. The authors maintain that Indonesia's communist party was essentially a homegrown nationalist movement and that the Eisenhower administration's fears were misguided. (May)
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