9/6/16

Speaking of Laos ...

The 11th East Asian Summit begins today, tying in with those Seasonal Flashbacks of a few days ago.

Tying in further with the Seasonal Flashbacks, we have this:

Laos: Legacy of 80 million unexploded US bombs

We were busy little beavers back in the day, Keeping the World Safe from the Commie Hordes™.

I first became aware of the number of bombs we were dropping, not only on Laos, but Cambodia as well, while we were actually dropping them. As Elmer Keith once famously said ... "Hell, I was there!"  Vietnam was obviously a given. But not many people know about Laos and Cambodia.

You can dump a lot of cluster bombs from a B-52. From F-4's and A-6's, too.

A lot of those dumps were not against specific targets. A lot of them were 'area denial.'

The long term damage, however, came to the surface later, with the Yale University study on the Cambodian genocide, and the American role in that. See also William Shawcross' "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia."

The data on Laos filtered in afterwards.

So when the national anthem sounds, or To the Colors, or whatever triggers the patriotic response, I stand there and I salute like a good retired MSgt should, and I remember all the sacrifices our servicemen and servicewomen have made. And there are many, of course, countless, even.

But I also remember what we did in Laos, and Cambodia, and the mess we left there.