Over time an image of the marines standing on the gallows resolutely obedient to orders to the last has emerged but every time the story of MacDonald House is told the public mental image is of two young toughs standing over the dead bodies of two young women, ankle deep in the blood of their other victims.
Neither image is actually correct or fair.
Those marines broke the law and paid the price but people far more powerful than they set them on that course and they have never paid a price. Indonesia can't escape the basic facts of the story. They expose the memory of the deceased they buried as heroes of military virtue to public revulsion over their actual crime.
Once again lost in the controversy is the fact that the real war criminals held civilian titles and were never made to even acknowledge responsibility.