Wednesday, June 25, 2014

U.S. bombing Buddhist Laos (video)

Laotian Theravada Buddhist devotion, Luang Prabang, Laos (William Day/
Fifty years ago this month, the United States began raining down bombs on Laos [a landlocked Theravada Buddhist nation in Southeast Asia near Vietnam, China, Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia], in what would become the largest bombing campaign in history.

From June 1964 to March 1973, the United States dropped at least two million tons of bombs on the small, landlocked southeast Asian country. That is the equivalent of one planeload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years -- more than was dropped on Germany and Japan during World War II.
40 years after secret U.S. war in Laos, millions of bomblets (seen here) keep killing
This part of the deadly legacy of the U.S. War on Vietnam lives on: In a sense the bombing continues today because of unexploded cluster bombs (scattering bomblets), which had about a 30 percent failure rate when they were thrown from American planes over large swaths of Laos.

Experts estimate that Laos today is littered with as many as 80 million "bombies" or bomblets -- baseball-sized bombs designed into cluster bombs to scatter on impact to kill long after the initial bombing.

Since the initial bombing stopped four decades ago, tens of thousands of people have been injured, maimed, and killed as a result. Democracy Now! is joined by Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern, co-authors of Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos (
The full Democracy Now! episode, June 25, 2014

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