The death of Suharto, Indonesia's ferociously anti-communist dictator for more than 30 years, leaves islanders ambivalent: On the one hand, he created economic prosperity; on the other, he enriched himself and his cronies, and brutally suppressed opponents, leaving hundreds of thousands imprisoned or dead. "He was 50% good and 50% bad," a historian tells the Christian Science Monitor.
"Rice was cheap, streets were peaceful, but people were scared," a clerk said. Having evaded criminal charges for siphoning off $600 million in state funds because of poor health, Suharto has been forgiven even by many Indonesians who were victims. "As a man, I forgive him," said a Muslim leader imprisoned by Suharto, "but not his system of power."