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New Left Review I/36, March-April 1966

Lucien Rey

Dossier of the Indonesian Drama

For all but six months the world has awaited news of the fall of President Sukarno, his position gravely threatened by the ascendancy of the army and the attempted physical obliteration of the Communist Party. Yet throughout this period Sukarno refused to surrender, deploying his persuasive diplomatic skills to baffle and brake the army commanders and permit once again hopes of the impending re-entry of the Communist Party into civic life. He even proved adroit enough to dismiss the Minister of Defence, Abdul Haris Nasution, unquestionably the most powerful of the generals, at a time when the army was loudly celebrating its grasp over power and massacre of its political opponents. Certainly the story is not yet finished. The vacuums which have been formed may be filled by still unsuspected forces; new contradictions may crystallize; new relations between fire-power and diplomacy emerge. But the time has already come when it is possible to look back on the events which triggered off the political oscillations of the last six months with some degree of detachment, the first shock past.

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Lucien Rey, ‘Dossier of the Indonesian Drama’, NLR I/36: £3

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