Indonesian Independence and the United Nations

Indonesian Independence and the United Nations

Indonesian Independence and the United Nations

Indonesian Independence and the United Nations

Excerpt

A distinguished English historian has pointed out that in issues involving conflict, it is the function of what he terms the "higher historiography to strip away the surface passions in order to reveal the underlying human predicaments." This I have sought, within my limitations, to do in the present study--despite the virtual impossibility of achieving that level of historical analysis which Sir Herbert Butterfield has in mind, for the years ahead are certain to provide new evidence and with it a sharper focus. Nor do I in fact wish to give the impression of having minimized the importance of the passions which this particular conflict aroused, since they were not the least dynamic element in an issue for which the United Nations was called upon to find a solution acceptable both to the protagonists themselves and to the international community at large. In its search for that solution, the Security Council had quite enough to do without burdening itself with what would have been construed as a gratuitous concern for the motives of the parties directly involved. Yet if we are to adhere to Sir Herbert's thesis, we must at least attempt to search out the motivations not only of the protagonists but indeed of all those who acted at the horseshoe table of the Security Council. For together they comprised the personae of a drama sufficiently complex and protracted to reveal what Sir Herbert has in mind--those fundamental predicaments from which neither governments nor individuals can escape, since they are inherent in all human decisions.

As the title suggests, this study concerns itself with the struggle for Indonesian independence, but from a particular point of view-- namely, the involvement of the United Nations. It does not attempt to review the history of Indonesian nationalism. Its analysis of immediate post-war Indonesian-Netherlands relations, culminating in military operations in July 1947, is designed merely to clarify the basic issues involved at the time the struggle was propelled into the international arena. The following three years were to prove crucial to the movement for Indonesian independence, and they have been both chronicled and analysed in detail in this work. The domestic and external affairs of the two protagonists figure prominently in . . .

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