United States, Indonesia, Political Repression discussed on Fortress On A Hill (FOH) Podcast
I really liked paintings and partitions in does you know as as just kind of let a gospel tools and I used to show them a lot of Soviet propaganda from the era that you're riding in. You know in its lynching propaganda, it's police brutality against African Americans it's usually racial is. An showing some of the flaws right in the American model and I used to ask them. You know about this what do they think and of course, most of the students you know these are freshman than well, how dare the Soviets say that they were murdering all kinds of people? Correct. You know and I would say, well, you know they may be hypocrites but they strictly wrong on of course that would raise a whole bunch of questions. So that leads me to. Sort of the lack of or what appears to be correct me if I'm wrong, the lack of sufficient union rights preconditions for caveats with the many of the fifty two regimes right or governments that we're talking about and. One thinks of Central America course probably parts of Africa especially, Asia. And You know what I guess what are the? Unintended consequences short and long-term. Or. Maybe intended of. Supporting the police, right supporting the military's the paramilitary in these countries you know and and then, and of course, we'll talk about ethics aside perhaps you know. Try if it's possible to sort of answer, the cynics. The. Whole doesn't matter right. It's all about strategy really politics. Don't really no one really cares about ethics anyway. So that's kind of a broad John but. I think it's an important question because it's thrown. So often at us. To dismiss this as three of working with you know terrible regimes. Yeah I think it's really important what you say I mean certainly. you know on the ethical level, we can look at Indonesia. And know So there's there's a new book called The Jakarta method by Vincent. Bevan's which review of in the Boston. Review. In this book does does really fantastic job of kind of synthesizing some of the latest scholarly knowledge about the genocide of Indonesia and pinpointing the the US role. In one thing I wrote about in my in my review was to extend some of the analysis that Bevan's does based on my knowledge of police assistance, of course, ultimately. And the genocide that occurred in Indonesia beginning in nineteen, sixty five. was led by the military. And paramilitaries took took part in it. Least Assistance Program also played an important role. And The US since the program insofar as it. Created a you know very, highly capable police force that was focused on. Politics. You know in in. Really that was that was the purpose of it and. And the the the skills that the US cultivated among this police force were about keeping track of of targets intelligence targets. And so when we only Kinda step back and think about. Even situations that don't ultimately culminate in a genocide the way that. the the. Aftermath of the coup in Indonesian eighteen sixty, five did. At other countries what we see is that the enhance the enhancement that the police program allowed of the the counterintelligence programs in in various countries. It enabled political crackdowns on people who? In some cases may have been outright subversive. They may have been trying to overthrow the government but in many cases they weren't they were just merely political dissidents because I think the logic of counterintelligence is to. Make Associations that might not be political associations between people, but just might be personal interpersonal are so full associations make them into political associations and so the web of kind of suspicions is always growing. Everybody, who's caught in that web is is is treated as potentially subversive goes in. In. Grows and grows and grows and grows wider and wider erections. Certainly, this was the case with with anticommunist counterintelligence within the United States during the Cold War and it's true in all these places. So the United States builds up the capabilities of police around Globe to an investigate and ultimately neutralize various ways. People who are communists webs of suspicion, which are ultimately always growing in size always growing reach. The result then is, of course on the one hand you mentioned is it is an ethical problem. which leads to massive amounts of violence by the state. But on the other hand, I would also argue that it was ultimately politically ineffective for the objective it was trying to achieve if the objective it was trying to achieve was lessening political dissidents lessening political subversion. Weakening the appeal in in public support for for left wing political movements, it didn't affect. It had the opposite effect. It increased the sympathy people had for the left as as they saw people who were you know trade union leaders or or leaders who were never engaged in violence you ended up getting disappeared by security forces that increased the sympathy. So ultimately, I think you know even if if the if if somebody wants to take ethics. An refer only to the strategic geopolitical goals. It is absolutely true that during the Cold War United States. Shot itself in the foot repeatedly over and over and over again in in terms of actually achieving in schools because what it did was incite or provoke the very political movements that it was afraid of in the first place I mean I've been looking lately at at the ORG like case or you know in the early part of the nineteen sixties was considered quote unquote Switzerland of Latin. America or something very peaceful, relatively prosperous place. Nearby countries were engaging in greater and greater amounts of political repression including Brazil in Uruguay was open to political refugees from other countries coming in. but at the same time. Or Guay started to see some some political protest growing because there started to be economic stagnation. The police respond to these political protests Pacific. And ultimately, the Office of Public Safety, starts at Police Assistance Program or why And they are able to clamp down on demonstrations and when once a kind of authorized. Typical demonstrations that we might expect to see in any democratic country are vented from occurring will what does the left do the left goes underground and it starts to try to find other routes to manifest it's. All dissidents and ultimately that that leads toward you know Brazen Acts Bank robberies, and then ultimately kidnappings and some other forms of political violence I think that we can pretty clearly argue looking at the history of the public safety interventions in Uruguay and based on the evidence from from what the leftist militants themselves said is that the repression created the resistance right and so you can find this in in a number of countries across the globe in in in the Cold War period and interest to me is a really strong indicator that. If somebody is willing to set the ethical questions aside which I don't think they should. But if they are and they wanted to focus on on the Jewish strategic goals, the United States was unsuccessful in ended it really am. Provoked a lot of what it was trying to prevent an interested. You know bring it up to the president in twenty twenty. That's absolutely what's what's been happening with a lot of these protests is that the in the guise of controlling the protests? Police have have. To, put it charitably have overreacted and they protested more widespread, more intense and more resolute. So I think it's I think the history provides a. Cautionary lessons even for people who might think of themselves as kind of cold-blooded in sober in their minds are unclouded by ethical considerations. I think if you if you do that you, you find that I'm actually the history is one of a repeated failure. I WANNA. Thank you for that answer I mean. It was it's a leading question that sort of build on frustration with a bank. What we've kind of wealth agree is a tendency to..