Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by Vincent Bevins, an award winning journalist who has covered Southeast Asia and Latin America extensively for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, and the author of a must-read history of US regime change operations during the Cold War, The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World.
Vincent begins by reacting to the breaking news that the far-right Brazilian government claims president Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus. As is customary, Vincent shares a bit about his political evolution and background as a journalist before sketching the basics of his argument in the book, which moves beyond its primary focus on the US-backed military coup in Indonesia to tell the story of the Cold War as colonialism by other means. Vincent outlines the peculiar ideological landscape of postwar Indonesia, including the blend of nationalist, communist and Islamist forces that rallied under the anti-imperialist banner of the country’s founding father Sukarno. Vincent charts the evolution of the CIA’s strategy from the early coups in Iran and Guatemala to the model, perfected in Indonesia and named after its capital, that would be exported around the world.
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