August 10, 2013

Indonesia, 1965


The silence in the West was in many ways far more oppressive. The failure of liberals, humanists, traditional defenders of human rights and their friends to respond to the terror of the Suharto regime was an unmistakeable manifestation of the double standards that prevail on such issues. Chiang Kai-shek’s bloodbath of communists in Shanghai in 1927 had produced one of Malraux’s most powerful pieces of writing in the shape of a novel, Man’s Estate. The news from the killing fields in Sumatra and Java revealed the scale of butchery was on a much larger scale than Shanghai in 1927, but nothing moved in the capital cities of the West.
– Tariq Ali, from Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties (1987).

Still from The Act of Killing (2012), directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.