February 02, 2008
If You Love Soeharto So Much...
... why don't you marry him? Now. In Hell.
What's peculiarly despicable about this apologia (I particularly liked the bit where Keating chooses as the apt phrase for the murder of at least half a million people "[Soeharto] displaced the Soekarno government and the massive PKI communist party". Contemporary accounts describe rivers running red from all the displacement going on. Keating also glibly refers to "political turmoil" under Soekarno while failing even a passing mention of the fact that such turmoil might have been at least partly due to the deliberate project of destabilisation engaged in by the Americans with our help.)... *cough* ... where was I?
Oh, yes... what's particularly despicable about Keating's whitewash - actually, glorification - of Soeharto's dictatorship is that it is not really intended as an exculpation of the corrupt butcher Keating once called "Father", but instead of Keating himself. If Soeharto was a great nation builder who stabilised what would otherwise have been a fractious defence headache to Australia's north (running rivers red with that kind-to-Aussies stabilisation) then everything Keating - and others, to be sure - did to help the bastard is all OK. It's his own record Keating is worried about, which is probably why he tries to pretend Soeharto retarded the growth of Islamic militancy in the archipelago rather than stimulating it.
And what's repulsive over all is that it's doubtful Keating will get in more trouble for this piece than he did for (accurately) calling the late Paddy McGuiness a liar and a fraud.