Specter of Revolution

The bloody confrontation between students and the military may augur more violence in Indonesia

In his 32 years as the undisputed ruler of Indonesia, Suharto did not suppress memory as much as wield it like a weapon. His "New Order," he declared, had brought stability to an archipelago that was less a nation than a factory for political chaos, full of secessionists, radical Muslims, communists and renegade soldiers fomenting catastrophe. But in a swirl of the very disorder he claimed to have dispelled, Suharto was forced last May to relinquish power to a trusted disciple, B.J. Habibie. Even that move could not stem the unrest, and after six months of political tension and economic hardship,...

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