This study examines the role played by the West in the destruction of the Indonesian communist party, the PKI, and the removal of the radical Indonesian president, Sukarno, in 1965-66. After the murder of six generals in October 1965 the Indonesian army massacred thousands of communists and seized power from Sukarno. The United States secretly helped the army in this period by providing intelligence, arms, medicines and radios and by giving assurances that Britain would not attack Indonesia while the army was suppressing the PKI. The US, Britain, Australia and Malaysia also used propaganda to encourage hostility in Indonesia towards the PKI. The article assesses the impact of Western covert intervention and concludes that Western propaganda may have encouraged the mass killings of the communists
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