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Thread: Lao the secret war

  1. #1
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Lao the secret war

    Some things we should not ever forget......Many things have happened in Asia and still happen that are grossly unfair to completely disgraceful.

    What happened in Loa not so long ago dubbed the "Secret war"goes beyond disgraceful...criminal.

    What was done was done by the American government! NOT by ordinary Americans who today would mostly know nothing of what went on.

    This is not an Anti American thread but more a Anti big brother thread (World policeman)

    I would just love people to look remember and know what went on...

    What happened to a people most grievously and without remorse.....

    What was done by self righteous government in the name of democracy and keeping he world safe.

    Would one person who was killed have ever harmed anyone from anywhere????

    'Secret War' Still Killing Thousands

    Andre Vltchek
    Worldpress.org correspondent
    November 14, 2006
    Many areas in Plain of Jars, Laos are dotted with craters created by the U.S. carpet bombing during the "Secret War." This particular area around a Ban Khai village is scarred by old craters and unexploded ordnance. (Photo: Andre Vltchek)
    Andre Vltchek is a novelist, journalist, and filmmaker who has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia. This article is the first in a series to be published on Worldpress.org featuring his personal experiences while journeying in the region, and will be part of his up-coming book, "American Asia."
    Plain of Jars, Laos. "It is terrible when the bomb kills the cow," says my guide and translator, Mr. Van Lorn, as we are leaving Phonsavan in Plain of Jars, driving east, towards Vietnam. "Cows like to chew on stones. Very often they dig out some old bombie and then it goes off in their mouth, tearing off the entire head of the animal."
    Mr. Van Lorn belongs to the Hmong minority, and he is too young to remember the war. He seems to be indifferent to the fact that his tribe used to support the U.S. "Secret War" in this country. His allegiances lie entirely with Laos and he is talking with great compassion about those who lost their lives in the most savage bombing campaigns in the history of mankind.


    Laos: 'Secret War' Still Killing Thousands - Worldpress.org
    .

  2. #2
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    TO be fair we must look at it fom all angles.......CIA

    CIA Air Operations in Laos, 1955-1974

    Supporting the "Secret War"



    William M. Leary
    The largest paramilitary operations ever undertaken by the CIA took place in the small Southeast Asian Kingdom of Laos. For more than 13 years, the Agency directed native forces that fought major North Vietnamese units to a standstill. Although the country eventually fell to the Communists, the CIA remained proud of its accomplishments in Laos. As Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms later observed: "This was a major operation for the Agency. . . . It took manpower; it took specially qualified manpower; it was dangerous; it was difficult." The CIA, he contended, did "a superb job." [SIZE=2]1[/SIZE]
    Air America, an airline secretly owned by the CIA, was a vital component in the Agency's operations in Laos. By the summer of 1970, the airline had some two dozen twin-engine transports, another two dozen short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) aircraft, and some 30 helicopters dedicated to operations in Laos. There were more than 300 pilots, copilots, flight mechanics, and air-freight specialists flying out of Laos and Thailand. During 1970, Air America airdropped or landed 46 million pounds of foodstuffs--mainly rice--in Laos. Helicopter flight time reached more than 4,000 hours a month in the same year. Air America crews transported tens of thousands of troops and refugees, flew emergency medevac missions and rescued downed airmen throughout Laos, inserted and extracted road-watch teams, flew nighttime airdrop missions over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, monitored sensors along infiltration routes, conducted a highly successful photoreconnaissance program, and engaged in numerous clandestine missions using night-vision glasses and state-of-the-art electronic equipment. Without Air America's presence, the CIA's effort in Laos could not have been sustained.

    A Distorted View

    Air America's public image has fared poorly. The 1990 movie Air America is largely responsible for this. It featured a cynical CIA officer who arranged for the airline to fly opium to the administrative capital of Vientiane for a corrupt Asian general--loosely modeled on Vang Pao, a military leader of the mountain-region-based Hmong ethnic group. The film depicts the CIA man as having the opium processed into heroin in a factory just down the street from the favorite bar of Air America's pilots. The Asian general, in return, supplied men to fight the war, plus a financial kickback to the CIA. Ultimately, we learn that the Communist versus anti-Communist war in Laos was merely a facade for the real war, which was fought for control of the area's opium fields.
    Air America pilots in this film are portrayed as skilled at landing damaged airplanes, but basically as a wildly unprofessional menagerie of party animals, including a few borderline psychotics. These ill-disciplined airmen are not the villains of the story; they are merely pawns in a drug game that they either disdain or oppose outright.


    A Bum Rap

    The connection among Air America, the CIA, and the drug trade in Laos lingers in the public mind. The film, according to the credits, was based on Christopher Robbins's book about the airline, first published in 1979 under the title Air America. [SIZE=2]2[/SIZE] Although Robbins later claimed that the movie distorted his book, [SIZE=2]3[/SIZE] it closely followed the book's theme if not its details. Both movie and book contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client; both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade; and both portray the pilots sympathetically.
    Robbins provides factual details that the movie lacks. Citing Alfred W. McCoy's 1972 study, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, he relates how Air America helicopters collected the opium harvests of 1970 and 1971, then flew the crop to Vang Pao's base at Long Tieng in the mountains of northern Laos, where it was turned into heroin at the general's drug laboratory. [SIZE=2]4[/SIZE]
    My nearly two decades of research indicate that Air America was not involved in the drug trade. As Joseph Westermeyer, who spent the years 1965 to 1975 in Laos as a physician, public health worker, and researcher, wrote in Poppies, Pipes, and People: "American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet every plane in Laos undoubtedly carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors--just as had virtually every pedicab, every Mekong River sampan, and every missionary jeep between China and the Gulf of Siam."
    If the CIA was not involved in the drug trade, it did know about it. As former DCI William Colby acknowledged, the Agency did little about it during the 1960s, but later took action against the traders as drugs became a problem among American troops in Vietnam. The CIA's main focus in Laos remained on fighting the war, not on policing the drug trade.

    Read more......
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  3. #3
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Nice little summary here as well...

    Laotian Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Including a summary of the aftermath...

    Aftermath

    Twenty two years following the end of the Laotian War, on May 15, 1997, the U.S. officially acknowledged its role in the Secret War, erecting a memorial in honour of American and Hmong contributions to U.S. air and ground combat efforts during the conflict. The Laos Memorial is located on the grounds of the Arlington National Cemetery between the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    In 2004, following several years of pressure from a coalition of U.S. conservatives and liberal human rights activists,[83] the U.S. government reversed a policy of denying immigration to Hmong who had fled Laos for refugee camps in Thailand in the 1990s. In a major victory for the Hmong, fifteen thousand Hmong were later recognised as refugees and afforded expedited U.S. immigration rights by the U.S. government.

    A legacy of the civil war is continuing casualties from unexploded ordnance (UXO) dropped by the U.S. and Laotian Air Forces from 1964-1973. More than 2 million tons of bombs were dropped on Laos, 30 percent of which failed to explode immediately. However, UXO remains dangerous to persons coming in contact, purposefully or accidentally, with bombs. Casualties in Laos from UXO are estimated at 12,000 since 1973. In 2006, 33 years after the last bomb was dropped and after decades of UXO clearance programs, 59 people were known to have been killed or injured by UXO.[85] So abundant are the remnants of bombs on the Plain of Jars that the collection and sale of scrap metal from bombs has been a major industry since the Civil War.

    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  4. #4
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Last night I watched a doco called "Fortress Australia" which turned on how this country was serially screwed over by the US and the UK over nuclear technology and nuclear weapons after the second world war. Thank goodness it turned out that way it did because at the time we were seriously on the wrong road.

    During the Vietnam war, we did "Nuclear style" tests in north Qld using massive amounts of TNT to simulate the effect of exploding nukes in the jungles of SEA.



    Up until the 1970's we were so fearful of the indonesians getting nuclear weapons that we bought F-111 bombers from the US (To drop nukes on them if need be).

    Australia eventually ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1973.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

  5. #5
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Bacon's Avatar
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    From stanley kubrick's piece of bone to nuclear weapons. Not much else has changed. Technology, art and culture are particularly deceiving veils, hiding the obvious truth at every step.


  6. #6
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Time to open this up again....
    Why didn't the US just flank Vietnam by invading Cambodia and Laos from the south?
    It would have eliminated the whole Ho Chi Minh trail problem before it started.

  7. #7
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    Time to open this up again....
    Why didn't the US just flank Vietnam by invading Cambodia and Laos from the south?
    It would have eliminated the whole Ho Chi Minh trail problem before it started.
    Because they were both souvereign countries, no enemies by any standards and not supporting either side in the Vietnam war?

  8. #8
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    Time to open this up again....
    didn't the US just flank Vietnam by invading Cambodia and Laos from the south?
    It would have eliminated the whole Ho Chi Minh trail problem before it started.
    Rather than invade you have advisors and just drop bombs and say you didn,t do it...
    .

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Bacon's Avatar
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    It probably also had a lot to do with things like wanting to get rid of old stockpiles of bombs and ammunition, private contracts, wanting to start cycles of military production a new, etc etc..

    They dropped stupendous amount of bombs on Laos and I don't believe for a second that money, factory jobs and markets back home had nothing to do with it.
    Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.


  10. #10
    Platinum Mick's Avatar
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    There were quite a few Thai people involved in the Secret War. A guy I knew up in Issan was a mercenary in the pay of Air America. He saw a bit of action, and was involved in clearing villages of petrified locals. He said that rather than using a gun he would often put some stones in a billy to rattle, which would send the kids flying.

    In the end he was injured. It was not a major, but he was left with limited motion in his right wrist. It was enough to get him a disability pension from Uncle Sam; not a lot, but a handy supplement to his income back on the farm.

  11. #11
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Zablive's Avatar
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    Thanks for this Wabbits.

    I had no idea how early the US was involved in "Indochina".
    I was in high school, Uni and then in Canada for most of this story (although I am sure it is not the whole story).
    When the CIA is involved - Truth is the first casualty and remains today (Benghazi?).
    All we knew really was when the "Television War" in Vietnam was broadcast causing mass protests and civil disobedience.
    A great excuse for free love and smoking Mary Jane (who isn't a LB BTW 555!)

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    Neil Sheehan's book certainly gave an insight into what was happening
    Truth really is the first casualty of war
    Well woth the read.

    A Bright Shining Lie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  13. #13
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Dupree's Avatar
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    We're a bad country...

    But don't you think it would have been Russia if the US stayed out of it?
    I just girl in bar. Buy me one dink?....

  14. #14
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    We're a bad country...

    But don't you think it would have been Russia if the US stayed out of it?
    Maybe.. Or maybe China... Or.. Maybe not...
    Please say you were joking.. Please..

    What if.. can never be a justification...
    Would Pol Pot have come to power if it was not of the forced US "advisors"?

  15. #15
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Was it simply a fear of direct Russian or defacto Chinese involvement in the Vietnam war that stopped the US from simply closing the Chinese superhighway into Vietnam while simultaneously using most of Thailand as a staging post for their own operations in Vietnam?

  16. #16
    Cadet Gold dlew's Avatar
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    A tidbit for you of no real relevance, I don't want to derail the thread with this.
    When I was in Chang Mai in 1989 they were filming Air America with Mel and Robert Downey Junior. A bunch of us who'd just been on a hilltribe trek together went and had a look at the set which is mentioned in the second post as 'the Americans favorite bar'. We then split up to do different things and one of the guys, Geoff, went to have a beer at a bar and Mel Gibson was there. Geoff wandered over to say g'day and Mel kinda looked down his nose at him, Geoff said "Good to catch up with another Aussie whilst oversea's", the numbers weren't quite as large as they are these days bare in mind, Mel looked at him and answered, "I'm not an Aussie" and turned his back on him. 555 In those days we didn't even know Mel was a Yank.

  17. #17
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Dupree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RakThai View Post
    Maybe.. Or maybe China... Or.. Maybe not...
    Please say you were joking.. Please..

    What if.. can never be a justification...
    Would Pol Pot have come to power if it was not of the forced US "advisors"?
    What if is the only justification for anything....

    Please share with us how the US advised Po Po...
    I just girl in bar. Buy me one dink?....

  18. #18
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Dupree's Avatar
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    DEATH OF POL POT - THE DIPLOMACY - Pol Pot's End Won't Stop U.S. Pursuit of His Circle - NYTimes.com

    In one of the cold war's proxy battles, the United States took China's side against the Soviet Union, which meant accepting the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate Government of Cambodia in opposition to the Vietnamese-imposed regime in Phnom Penh. Previously, the United States had sided with China to punish the Soviet Union for its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
    Is this what you're talking about Rak?
    I just girl in bar. Buy me one dink?....

  19. #19
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Zablive's Avatar
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    The USA stopping "the spread of communism" went well in Vietnam (and Laos) eh?

    The carpet bombing of Laos was a cold-blooded,inexcusable, inhumane act on an innocent people.
    Despite any "we were good guys" CIA Bullshyte.
    Last edited by Zablive; 22nd September 2013 at 13:39.

  20. #20
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Bacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zablive View Post
    The USA stopping "the spread of communism" went well in Vietnam (and Laos) eh?

    The carpet bombing of Laos was a cold-blooded,inexcusable, inhumane act on an innocent people.
    Despite any "we were good guys" CIA Bullshyte.
    That.

    There are no grey areas in this at all. No arguments. This was pure and simple genocide.

    All major empires have engaged in the same types of bloodshed, and they can because they have a bigger club than everyone else. And any talk with the words "good", "right", or "freedom" in it should invoke immediate suspicion. Cuz it's all horse****.
    Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.


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