Fight for the pacific

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Fight for the Pacific


4. British and American aggression in Indonesia

Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia. Its population is almost half of the population of the entire group of countries under consideration.

Indonesia has long been a cause of disagreement between the major capitalist powers. The first Dutch sailboats appeared off the coast of Java in the second half of the 16th century. Having ousted the Portuguese by force of arms, the Dutch took their place in the trading posts of the "Spice Islands", as the Indonesian archipelago was then called. These islands were one of the coveted prizes in the wars of Holland and England in the 17th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, when Holland itself was under the protectorate of France, the French flag was raised over Java. England conquered this island from the French and in 1816, after the defeat of Napoleon, in a peace settlement, was forced to return the island to Holland. But from that time on, not only Dutch Indonesia, but Dutch capital as a whole, became heavily dependent on the City of London. Not surprising, that even in the last century, the bourgeois press often noted that in the Dutch colony of Indonesia, the Dutch themselves play the role of intermediaries or, at best, junior partners of the largest British financial and industrial companies. The challenging task of pacifying major popular uprisings in Java and conquering the still unconquered, independent principalities in Sumatra, Bali, Borneo and other islands fell to the lot of the Dutch.

The conquest of Indonesia by the Dutch dragged on until the beginning of the 20th century. The population of Indonesia suffered greatly under the yoke of the invaders. The disasters of the Indonesian people were described in the middle of the last century by the famous humanist Multatuli. This former official of the Dutch colonial administration (his real name was Eduard Dawes-Dekker) was better than anyone familiar with the life of the enslaved people of Indonesia, with its terrible reality.

Suffice it to say that in the XX century. under the Dutch, about 80% of all peasant households in Java owned only one third of the entire cultivated area; more than 60% of all peasants did not have draft animals. Any peasant plot (out of the indicated 80%) did not exceed three-quarters of a hectare and usually represented a completely insignificant parcel.

Java is one of the most densely populated areas of the globe: more than 50 million people live there. Along with the large crowding in Java, some other territories of Indonesia—Borneo, Dutch New Guinea—are among the least populated areas of the globe. The economic and social conditions under the colonial regime created obstacles to the more normal settlement of Indonesians there.

Indonesia occupied a significant place in the world extraction of several important minerals, as well as in the production of many agricultural crops. In 1939, 8 million g of oil was produced in this colony. It gave 35% of the total world production of natural rubber, 17% of tin. Indonesia's share in world exports was: cinchona bark - 90%, pepper - 85, kapok - 64, coconut palm products - 29, agave fiber - 25, palm oil - 24, tea - 17, sugar - 5, coffee - 4%. In addition, rice, tobacco, nutmeg, cloves and other spices, sago, tapioca, cocoa, and precious woods were exported. These data show what a "bonanza" Indonesia was for the English and Dutch big bourgeoisie. In 1939, Indonesia paid dividends and profits to foreign investors in the amount of 179 million guilders. In addition, the directorates of various enterprises, those outside Indonesia received 22 million guilders as payment; 40 million guilders were also paid in pensions to former Dutch officials who were abroad.

In 1940, the Dutch colonizers received 320 million guilders from investments and foreign trade with Indonesia. Before the Second World War, income from investments alone in Indonesia reached 14% of the total national income of Holland. How the Dutch exploiters profited from the sweat and blood of the Indonesians is shown by the following example. The East India Company has paid 36 times its entire share capital of 6.5 million guilders in dividends during its existence. On average, annual dividends reached 18.5% (1) .

Meanwhile, deposits of such minerals as bauxite, nickel, manganese, iron, copper, gold in Indonesia are still very little explored and exploited to a small extent.

American monopoly capital after the Second World War concentrated its attention primarily on Indonesia and also on Thailand. In these two countries, the British found it more difficult to resist American expansion than in Malaya or Burma. The American monopolies have set as their main task the formation of their own rubber production, as well as the development of tin mining by their own means, in order to get rid of the import of English rubber and tin as quickly as possible.

The American monopolies have restored their former enterprises and increased their investments. New American firms and corporations also began exploitative activities. Already in 1948, in addition to Standard Oil and Standard Vacuum, in addition to Goodir and United States Rubber, National Carbon, Procter and Gamble, General Motors and other monopolies and firms were operating in Indonesia.

In 1947, Indonesia had a large trade deficit. With an import of 750 million guilders, its exports amounted to only 333 million guilders. Dutch-occupied Indonesia received a $100 million loan from the United States to cover the deficit. In addition, within the framework of the Marshall Plan, out of the total amount of $412 million allocated for Holland, the Dutch government was allowed to spend in Indonesia in 1948 (i.e., directly on waging war against the Indonesian Republic. - V. A .) 84 million dollars

Holland and the Dutch authorities of Indonesia for three years (from June 30, 1945 to July 1, 1948) spent 347 million dollars of American loans. In addition, Dutch Indonesia and Holland itself used a subsidy in 48 million am. dollars (2)In total, Holland received only until the summer of 1948 almost 400 million dollars, which was actually the financing of the war against the Indonesian Republic by the United States. Subsequently, under the Marshall Plan, Holland also received weapons from the United States: military aircraft for $78 million, tanks, artillery and ammunition for $32 million, warships for $15 million. In a treacherous attack in December 1948. American B-25 bombers, Mustang fighters, Sherman tanks, American artillery and other weapons of war provided to the Dutch by Washington participated in the Indonesian Republic.

US imperialism is preparing to use Indonesia as a military foothold and base for aggression against the peoples of Asia fighting for their independence. The United States considers Indonesia to be a very important strategic base even in the event of a clash with Britain, its main imperialist rival.

According to American press reports, special attention is being paid to the island of Borneo. American aviation was mapping the Dutch part of Borneo in preparation for the construction of airfields that could serve as bases for bombing raids on the Asian mainland (3) .

Since the Indonesian archipelago is of very great economic and strategic importance, the military-political penetration of the United States into this area seriously alarmed and irritated the British imperialists.

Indonesia, together with British Borneo, Portuguese Timor and the Australian part of New Guinea, is a kind of bridge thrown across the ocean between Asia and Australia. From the Asian side, the Indonesian archipelago can serve as an approach to Australia, from the Australian side, as an approach and springboard for military operations against South Asia. Forming a connecting link between the two continents and thereby facilitating the task of the side that holds the initiative and conducts the offensive, the Malay Archipelago at the same time also presents an obstacle to the penetration of the fleet and aviation from the west - from the Indian Ocean basin to the Pacific Ocean basin, and vice versa.

The Philippine Islands, also part of the Indonesian, or Malay, archipelago, lie somewhat apart in the northeast, while the islands of Dutch Indonesia are located just at the point where the Malay Peninsula, which has advanced far to the south, narrows the distance from South Asia to Northern Australia. A huge number of islands, bays and bays creates favorable conditions for the operations of the fleet and aviation of the side that owns Indonesia. With sufficient military forces, the country that dominates Indonesia can control the Malacca Strait between the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, the Sound Strait between Sumatra and Java, and the straits between the small islands, all the way to Timor. It can in the strongest way threaten the sea routes passing from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, in the seas and straits,

The state that dominates the Indonesian archipelago can, with sufficient naval and air forces, control all the straits and passages leading from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. England was such a state for a long time before the Second World War. But the change in the balance of power between Britain and the United States and the offensive of American imperialism in Indonesia and other countries have changed the position of Britain.

The economic introduction of American monopolies in Indonesia and Thailand was accompanied by incessant political intrigues and violence against the national liberation and democratic movement, as well as the struggle against British political influence, the gradual but rather rapid ousting of England.

In 1946, the British imperialists were still the masters in Indonesia. On the recommendation of the American-British imperialists, the Dutch entered into negotiations with the government of the Indonesian Republic, since the British imperialists did not have enough funds to wage a long struggle, and Holland itself also did not have the material resources to continue the war, which was opposed by broad sections of the Dutch population. The imperialists therefore had high hopes for politics, pursuing the transformation of the Indonesian landowner-bourgeois parties into their tool, with the help of which the Indonesian people could again be enslaved. These hopes were based on the fact that many leaders of these parties, even during the Japanese occupation, expressed their readiness to cooperate with the occupiers, if only they were provided with at least a small share of the surplus labor of the exploited masses. These hopes were justified already in February 1946, when the Indonesian landowner-bourgeois government, headed by the reformist Sutan Sharir, who was associated with the British imperialists, against the will of the people of Indonesia, refused to support the proposal submitted by the Ukrainian SSR to the Security Council to establish peace in Indonesia. Negotiations between the Dutch and the Indonesian government, which aimed to deceive and politically demobilize the people and in which the British played the role of "intermediaries", ended in November 1946 with the achievement of the so-called Cheribon Agreement, which was then signed by the parties in Lingajat on March 25, 1947 headed by the reformist Sutan Sharir, associated with the British imperialists, against the will of the people of Indonesia, refused to support the proposal submitted by the Ukrainian SSR to the Security Council to establish peace in Indonesia.

Under this agreement, the Dutch government recognized the de facto Indonesian Republic on the islands of Java, Madura and Sumatra. The agreement was due to the fact that the Indonesian Republic would be included in the “United States of Indonesia” by that time and will be formed by the Dutch-Indonesian Union, headed by the Queen of Holland.

This is an agreement under which the territory of more than 600 thousand square meters remained under the jurisdiction of the Indonesian Republic. km with 60 million people, as well as the richest oil and rubber areas, did not suit the Dutch, British and American bankers and entrepreneurs. American imperialism, which was greedily reaching for the resources of Java and Sumatra, decided to take advantage of the situation. He intervened already in the summer of 1947 in order to finally destroy the independence of Indonesia, turn the Dutch into his compradors and, along the way, push back the British.

In June 1947, Washington, through his consul General in Batavia, sent a note to the government of Indonesia, insisting that it adopt the Dutch demands put forward "in the development" of agreements from November - March 1946-1947. These new demands turned Indonesian independence into an empty form and fully restored the economic and political dominance of foreign capital in Indonesia. The Dutch demanded the liquidation of the armed forces of the republic, the transfer of the defense of the country into the hands of the Dutch army, the transfer of "observation of order" into the hands of the Dutch police, the inclusion in the "United States of Indonesia" and in the central government of these "states" also puppet regimes "East Indonesia", " West Borneo, etc. These puppet governments were created by the Dutch from among the national traitors and political crooks. The Dutch representatives handed over these demands to Indonesia, drawn up in an ultimatum form, as early as the end of May 1947.

In Indonesia, a new government was created, headed by Sharifuddin. In this government, a number of important ministries were in the hands of representatives of the left bloc.

Presenting their ultimatum, the Dutch imperialists simultaneously prepared to crush the Indonesian Republic by military force. By that time, they had concentrated more than 120 thousand of their troops in Indonesia, equipped with the latest weapons, and now hoped to quickly end the republic.

When American diplomatic pressure on Sharifuddin's representative government, which had been set up at that time, failed, the Dutch imperialists resumed their military offensive against the Indonesian Republic on July 20, 1947.

The International Bank for Reconstruction, i.e., American finance capital, which controls this bank, in pursuit of its imperialist goals, began to supply Holland with funds for the war even more abundantly. Loan in the amount of 195 million am. Dol. was provided to the Dutch government by the bank on August 7, 1947, that is, two weeks after the Holland resumption of the War against the Indonesian Republic.

While the Dutch army, armed by the American and British imperialists, was conducting an offensive in Indonesia, US representatives spoke in the Security Council in defense of this aggressive war. At the request of the Americans, a tripartite commission of "good offices" consisting of representatives of the United States, Australia and Belgium was formed to mediate in the Dutch-Indonesian war. Graham, the US representative, conducted this commission. Arriving in the Indonesian Republic, Graham began to intimidate the native bourgeoisie with an atomic bomb and bribe them with promises of "cooperation" with American capital.

By that time, i.e. by the end of 1947, Dutch troops had captured a significant territory and most of the major cities in Java and Sumatra, seized the railway lines and occupied the island of Madura. The Dutch fleet blocked the Indonesian Republic, preventing trade relations with other countries. Nevertheless, the authority of the republic still extended to most of the territory of Java and Sumatra with a population of approximately 40 million people (4) .

At the insistence of the bourgeois parties, frightened by American threats and the Dutch offensive, who also believed American promises and were afraid of a mass movement, the government of Indonesia signed on January 17, 1948 on the American warship Renville an agreement accepting the Dutch-American demands. According to these requirements, important oil and rubber areas on the islands of Java and Sumatra, which were already partly occupied by the Dutch, passed under the control of the Dutch troops. The island of Madura also remained under their control. Holland pledged not to oppose the holding of a plebiscite throughout Indonesia on the question of the future state structure of the country.

But even this agreement turned out to be just another maneuver of the imperialists, after which they immediately embarked on new intrigues, political attacks and military pressure. Through political intrigues, by attracting to their side the treacherous part of the bourgeoisie, who were afraid of a mass revolutionary upsurge, by bribing individual bourgeois politicians, they achieved the overthrow of the Sharifuddin government (6 days after the signing of the Ranville Agreement). A new government was formed in Indonesia, headed by Hatta, one of the leaders of the Nationalist Party, who at one time collaborated with the Japanese invaders. This government included representatives of compromising elements; for a while it tried to pursue a dual policy, but soon sank into a swamp of open betrayal of the Indonesian national interests.

On March 9, 1948, the Dutch colonialists formed the “Provisional Government of the United States of Indonesia” from their puppets and demanded that representatives of the Republic of Indonesia participate in this “government”. The Hatta government, under pressure from the broad masses of the people, evaded participation in this "pan-Indonesian government." Then the Dutch occupiers again resorted to military pressure, attacking the positions of the republican troops and transferring additional troops to Indonesia.

At the same time, representatives of US imperialism stepped up political pressure on the Hatt government. In June 1948, the new American representative in the Good Offices Commission, Dubois, with the support of the Australian representative Critchley, presented Indonesia with new demands: the republic transfers to Holland all the prerogatives of sovereignty - relations with other countries, foreign trade, control of money circulation, control of the armed forces; The Dutch governor-general gains the right to veto the decisions of the Indonesian government.

The Hatt government, increasingly openly turning into a puppet of American imperialism, agreed to refuse to hold a plebiscite, which was what the Dutch wanted, it did not object to the reduction of the Republican army from 460 thousand to 60 thousand people, as well as to the transfer of the armed forces of the Republic under Dutch command; in addition, it agreed to a number of other demands of the imperialists. The position taken by Hatta led to the complete liquidation of the Indonesian Republic and its transformation into an American-Dutch colony, as Wall Street wanted.

But the appetites of the Dutch colonialists now inflamed, and they decided to force the complete subjugation of the republic. Having created in the occupied regions of Indonesia a number of puppet governments from among national traitors - the governments of "West Java", "East Java", Madura, etc., they decided to form the same government in the unoccupied part of Indonesia in order to completely crush the national liberation and the democratic movement. They also feared that American capital, acting through the Hatt government or a government similar to it, would quickly gain a foothold in Indonesia without resorting to Dutch mediation, and then completely oust the Dutch themselves from Indonesia.

Therefore, preparing to crush the republic with armed forces, the Dutch made it clear that they were dissatisfied with the proposals made by the American representative Dubois. They believed that now it would not be difficult to finally defeat the republic, since after Hatta came to power, the government of the Indonesian Republic consisted of vacillating or obviously treacherous elements. The Dutch and English financiers and English financiers encouraged the Hutt government, who watched with greater anger how Wall Street agents advance to leading positions in the Indonesian Republic.

Indonesian people confused the maps of Dutch, English and American imperialists. After discovering the deceit behind the Ranville Accord, the Democratic parties reconsidered their position. Sharifuddin denounced this agreement as an imperialist maneuver. Democratic parties, led by the Communist Party of Indonesia, formed a national democratic front, which had about half of all votes in parliament. The National Democratic Front scheduled for October 1948 the convening of the All-Indonesian People's Conference, which was to be the beginning of a new decisive action by the Indonesian people against the imperialist enslavers. The growth of the national movement alarmed the imperialists and Indonesian bourgeois-landing circles. (5).

The Hatta government's persecution of democratic parties and organizations, begun in the summer of 1948, intensified sharply in September, on the eve of the All-Indonesian People's Conference. Three weeks before the conference, one of the divisions of the Indonesian army (Siliwangi), under the influence of treacherous Trotskyist elements, kidnapped 60 army officers belonging to the national democratic front. The mass demonstration of the National Democratic Front, scheduled for September 18 in the city of Madiun, was declared by the government of Hatt as a communist uprising. Under the pretext of "suppressing the uprising", the government unleashed bloody repressions against leaders and supporters of the national democratic front. In a short time, up to 40 thousand people were killed, including many prominent figures of people's democratic parties and organizations (6) .

Under such conditions, the national democratic front was forced to take up arms against the national traitors. The leaders of Indonesian democracy, leaders of the communist and socialist parties and trade unions Musso, Sharifuddin, Sarjono, Maruto, Darusman, Suripno, Haryono and others were killed at the end of 1948 by a reactionary clique at the direct instigation of American "advisers" and intriguers, vile organizers of the murders under the flag of the members of the United Nations Commission.

An armed internal struggle began in the Indonesian Republic. In this situation, the Hatt government did not consider it possible to immediately fully and openly capitulate to the Dutch, although at the request of the US representative in the Cochrane "good offices" commission, Prime Minister Hatt on December 13, 1948, through the same Cochran, sent a letter to the Dutch in which consent was expressed. to accept most of the requirements of the Dutch government. Even the commission of "good offices" admitted that the republic made maximum concessions.

Having become an American political agent, the Hatt government entered into a servile agreement with Fox's American firm, according to which this firm received various monopoly rights in Indonesia.

Hatta also agreed to receive an American loan secured by Indonesia's mineral resources.

Fox promised to provide the government of Sukarno-Hatta on credit with cotton fabrics to the sum of six million ammo. dollars, and this loan was to be paid by Indonesian raw materials. Fox subsequently stated that this deal was prepared with the assistance of the American government, since the State Department wanted to help the government of the Indonesian Republic as a reward for decisive action against the masses. In total, the clique of Indonesian reactionaries received 65 million US dollars from the USA through Fox. 

But the Dutch government believed that as a result of the activities of the “good offices” commission, the forces of the republic were seriously undermined, and its population was disoriented. It decided that the time had come for the complete crushing of the Indonesian Republic. It also sought to oust the Indonesian ruling classes from the position of political compradors of US imperialism in Indonesia in order to dominate that country as a monopoly.

Having interrupted negotiations with the Indonesian government on December 5, 1948 and preparing a surprise attack, the Dutch government ordered its troops to launch a decisive offensive against the Indonesian Republic on December 19. The reactionary government was not going to resist. The capital of the republic, Yogyakarta, was occupied by Dutch airborne assault, President Sukarno and six members of the government were captured by Dutch troops.

When discussing the Security Council on December 22-27, the issue of Dutch aggression against Indonesia, US representatives, as well as other colonial powers, were in words bursting out about the unacceptable actions of Holland. But these same representatives of the imperialist countries, under the leadership of the United States, opposed the resolution proposed by the Soviet representative condemning the Dutch aggression and demanding the withdrawal of the Dutch troops to the positions they had occupied prior to the offensive launched by them on December 19th.

Defending the cause of peace and speaking out in defense of the Indonesian people, the representative of the USSR suggested that the Security Council decide on the immediate cessation of hostilities in Indonesia, on the withdrawal of Dutch troops to the positions they occupied before the attack, on the release by the Dutch government of the president and other political figures of the Indonesian Republic and on the establishment of a commission of representatives of all member states of the Security Council to oversee the implementation of the decision of the Council,

These proposals were rejected at the command of the American-British imperialists. The second proposal of the USSR, made on December 27 and insisting that the Netherlands cease hostilities against Indonesia within 24 hours, was not accepted either. The United States, England, and the majority of the Security Council, obedient to them, clearly encouraged the Dutch aggression against the Indonesian people.

By dragging out the discussion of the question of the aggression of the Dutch imperialists in Indonesia in order to give them time to crack down on the Indonesian people, rejecting Soviet proposals and adopting short decisions, which were also violated with impunity by the aggressor, the United States, Britain and their echoes assisted in every possible way the Dutch military aggression in Indonesia, undertaken in violation of all previous agreements with the Indonesian Republic.

Only the Soviet Union and the people's democracies have consistently acted as steadfast defenders of peace and the interests of the attacked Indonesian people.

Just at the same time that the representatives of the American government were hypocritically condemning the Dutch attack on the Indonesian Republic in the Security Council, the breakdown of the proposed new appropriations for the "Marshall Plan" was published. Holland was again provided with 547 million dollars. This, in fact, was a continuation of the financing of the aggressive colonial war of Holland against the Indonesian people. Subsequent events showed that Wall Street made it its task to use any means and methods - both through the mediation of Holland and through the government of Hatta-Sukarno - in order to take over Indonesia and turn it into its colony.

An agreement between Holland and the representative of reaction Hatta, according to which Hatta recognized his puppet position and undertook to fulfill all the conditions of the imperialists, was signed on May 7, 1949. This agreement was drawn up under the leadership of representatives of the American monopolies. Hatta gave an obligation to stop fighting against the Dutch colonialists, include the Indonesian Republic in the "United States of Indonesia" and cooperate with Holland. In early August, Hatta ordered the Indonesian troops to stop the armed struggle against the Dutch occupiers. At the same time, Holland formally ordered the cessation of hostilities. In August, Hatta created a government of reactionary elements, which included representatives of the bourgeois-landowner parties - nationalists, Muslim and Catholic.

The democratic forces of Indonesia stubbornly and resolutely continued the struggle against imperialism, for national independence and for peace. Under the influence of this struggle, even in the ranks of the bourgeois parties, significant sections wavered and often protested against the anti-national policy of a number of their leaders. As a result of the newly rising and intensifying liberation struggle of the masses, the leaders of the bourgeois parties failed to create a stable government.

In September 1950, instead of Hatt, Natsyr, a leader of the Muslim Masi-umi party, became the head of the Indonesian cabinet, and created a government from members of this party. Hatta retained, however, the post of Vice President of Indonesia. The Natsyr government remained at the head of the Indonesian Republic only until March 4, 1951. In April 1951, a new cabinet of ministers was formed from representatives of Masiumi, the nationalist party and other bourgeois parties, headed by Sukiman, the leader of Masiumi, very obediently carried out the will of the American imperialists.

In 1950-1951. The American monopolies entangled the Indonesian Republic with their tentacles even more tightly, more and more turning not only the anti-national elements of the Indonesian bourgeoisie, but also the Dutch colonialists into their compradors.

Although the enslaving trade treaty that the Hatt government concluded with Fox in 1948 was formally denounced by Indonesia in March 1950 under pressure from the people, in fact, various additional conditions and overt and tacit obligations of the Indonesian government further strengthened the enslavement of Indonesia by American imperialism. So, in early 1950, the Indonesian government entered into an agreement with the United States on the supply of tin. Not less than 40% of tin concentrates were exported directly to the USA, which was a blow to the British tin monopolies and caused great discontent among the British monopolists. Most of the bauxite mined in Indonesia is taken by the American aluminum monopolies and exported to the US and Japan.

The predatory American financial group Rockefeller is trying to become the actual owner of Indonesia. The domestic and foreign policy of the government was determined for a number of years by US Ambassador Cochran, who became famous for his fascist and racist statements, as well as by Fox, the representative of Rockefeller.

Hundreds of representatives of the American monopolies set up their headquarters in the cities of Indonesia. They are negotiating for more and more extensive concessions, for more and more contracts and agreements, finally enslaving Indonesia and its people. And at the same time, they tremble before tomorrow, because the growing discontent of the masses of the people is already now continually breaking through in mass demonstrations, strikes and in a number of areas in guerrilla warfare.

(1) Jacoby, Agrarian Unrest in South-East Asia, New York 1949, p - 41.

(2) Survey of Current Business, June, November, 1948.

(3) Nation, July 10, 1948, p . 40.

(4) The population of Sumatra, Java and Madura taken together is almost 63 million, i.e. more than 80% of the total population of Indonesia; these islands produced 90% of all Indonesian rubber and 75% of oil.

(5) See Pravda, December 25, 1948.

(6) Political Affairs, March, 1949, p. 46-57.