‘My friends were afraid of me’: What 80 million unexploded US bombs did to Laos.
Yang was just 22 and burning rubbish near his village in the province of Xieng Khoung in north-eastern Laos, when a bomb blast tore off one of his eyelids, his top lip and an ear, mutilated one of his arms, and left him with severe scarring from the waist up. “I remembered I burned the garbage, but after the explosion I was unconscious for two weeks,” Yang says. “I felt extreme pain…all over my body. I still feel pain always.”
His wounds were not caused by a modern day conflict, but by the remnants of a war that was waged more than 40 years ago, and is still destroying lives in this small Southeast Asian nation.
Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country—the deadly legacy of what became known as America’s “secret war” in Laos—a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War.
At this site, scroll down to see animation of U.S. bombing raids in Laos.
It’s all relative.
The US will again be no.1 when the rest of the world is a smoking crater.
Perhaps, but No. 1 of a decimated planet? What’s left will not be much of a prize.
The US is probably no. 1 of late for the number of elective wars and the resultant number of deaths around the world. Quite a legacy.
And let’s not forget that here at home we can claim the no. 1 spot in the western world for obesity and incarceration. So we have that going for us. Not to mention an ailing infrastructure and income inequality, which if we haven’t yet claimed the #1 spot for industrialized nations, we’re well on our way.
Has Trump ever mentioned what the U.S. left behind in Laos? Imagine an agricultural state like Iowa with 80,000,000 unexploded bombs scattered over it.
More photos: http://vault.sierraclub.org/sierra/201101/laos.aspx