Suharto of Indonesia, whose 32-year dictatorship was one of the most brutal and corrupt of the 20th century, dies yesterday in Jakarta. He was 86.
He was the world's most successful kleptocrat and, some say, a mass murderer, who ruled Indonesia with strong-arm techniques he learned at the knee of the Kempeitai, Japan's equvalent of the Gestapo during the Second World War. [My italics.]
With the except of the phrase, some say, that was one of the most accurate openings to an obituary I can remember seeing in the mainstream press in a long time - and maybe ever. Which might explain why the online version is a little weaker, shorn of the editorial words, "brutal" and "corrupt". But still, if you're unaware of this monster, who ruled Indonesia for 32 years and who, as a great friend did indeed oversee the murder of millions, the above-noted piece will come as quite an eye-opener, especially for any of you Canucks who like to think our international politics are ever so much cleaner than those of our American cousins.
Good riddance to bad rubbish, but as others have pointed out (see lopukhov's impassioned diatribe as an example), there is something dis-heartening in the fact that he died without ever have had to face justice for his crimes.