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There are still thousands of people dying every year in Laos, mostly children and farmers, from unexploded anti-personnel ordnance that the US simply saturated much of the land with, especially in the Plain of Jars. There actually is a British engineering team trying to remove some of these things, which are much worse than land-mines. Noam Chomsky
I tried very hard for a couple of years. I even appeared at editorial meetings with Time, Life, and the New York Times, spoke constantly at editors, wrote to them, tried to get somebody to cover the story. No couldn’t do it. Noam Chomsky, interview with Christopher Hitchens 1992, ‘Talk of the Nation, The American Political Spectrum’
Laos had enormous strategic importance in the fight for Vietnam. The Vietnamese communists from the north had been using a secret trail which ran through Laos to direct troops, weapons and supplies to fight the US troops in the south of Vietnam. The Americans couldn’t invade Laos, so the CIA was called in and ordered to take care of the problem. Secrets of the CIA
The Plain of Jars is a large area where thousands of jars have been lying there for more than two thousands years now. And no-one knows exactly who made them, why there were made; and there are a lot mysteries and things about these jars. Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy
There are more than two hundred and fifty jars in this site. The jars ... are made of sandstone, but in other sites they are made of quartz. But the interesting thing is that these rocks are not available around the sites. Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy
To the locals the jars are just part of the landscape. The jars are scattered over six hundred square miles. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious Universe
Their lives seem to be normal but they are not: ‘When I drive my car I often hear the voices of my dead friends.’ Little Dieter Needs to Fly, 1997
‘I was shot down over Laos in 1966 in the early phase of the Vietnam War. I never wanted to go to war. I only got into this because I had one burning desire and that was to fly.’ ibid. Dieter Dengler
Six months later after his rescue: he was down to 85 pounds. ibid.
It all looked strange like a distant barbaric dream. ibid.
From then on the torture began. ibid.
Some of the prisoners didn’t want to escape. ibid.
Laos – one of the poorest and least developed of the Mekon nations. It’s a country shaped by both Buddhism and Communism. The Mekong River with Sue Perkins III, BBC 2014
What about those upstream for whom fundamental and profound change is coming? ibid.
There are ten more dams planned for Laos alone and 140 either commissioned or under construction for the Mekon and its tributaries. ibid.
Laos is littered with around 80 million unexploded bombs dropped by the Americans during the Vietnam war over 40 years ago. Earth’s Natural Wonders III: Surviving Against the Odds, BBC 2018
5th September 2016: ‘Barack Obama became the first ever sitting president in US history to visit Laos. And he went there to pledge US support.’ Secret Wars Uncovered s1e6: Laos, Dr James Rogers, History 2020
‘Over 9 years, from 1964 to 1973, the United States dropped more than 2,000,000 tons of bombs here in Laos. More than we dropped on Germany and Japan combined in World War II.’ ibid. Barack Obama
‘The fact that the war extended into Laos in such a cruel way had a massive attack on civilians.’ ibid. Michael Clarke, military specialist
For decades there had been rumours of America’s actions in Laos. Amidst fighting a bloody and public war in Vietnam, stories emerged of a brutal bombing campaign, unprecedented in size and scale, but kept entirely secret. ibid.
Laos descended into a bitter civil war. Soldiers on both sides were trained by the CIA. It’s a secret war buried deep in the jungle. ibid.
So how did America secretly carpet-bomb a small south-east Asian nation that few had heard of? ibid.
Faced with a communist uprising, his [Kennedy] predecessor President Eisenhower had sanctioned the deployment of cover military trainers to wage a clandestine war. ibid.
The Soviet Union and China were also sending supplies to different groups in the Laos civil war. ibid.
President Kennedy sanctioned a secret bombing campaign in Laos: Operation Millpond. ibid.
CIA officers took steps to cover up their activities. ibid.
The Nixon White House were determined to keep it under wraps. ibid.
The CIA were implicated in this growing drugs trade. ibid.
The war in Laos turned the CIA into the world’s leading covert paramilitary organisation. ibid.