Do the Indonesians count? In March 2022 the Dutch researchers presented their findings to the Dutch government. What is striking from this conversation is that they do not mention the victims of the reoccupation period (1945-1949). Both researchers and politicians seem to care more about the feelings of the occupiers and those who chose the side of the oppressor. As this study is based on the colonial principle of ‘extreme violence’ (suggesting there is something as ‘normal violence’) they do not consider the reoccupation as illegal. That is why they distinguish ‘good occupiers’ from ‘bad occupiers’. In their eyes not all Dutch veterans were war criminals. From this view it’s not the Dutch presence alone, but rather each individual engagement in violent escalations that determines whether a Dutch veteran was a war criminal or not. From decolonial perspective, however, the whole occupation was illegal.
Link to original video recording of the meeting (in Dutch only): https://debatgemist.tweedekamer.nl/debatten/uitkomsten-onderzoeksprogramma-%E2%80%98onafhankelijkheid-dekolonisatie-geweld-en-oorlog-indonesi%C3%AB