Laos: 80 million unexploded bombs

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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/80-million-unexploded-bombs-obama-acknowledges-scars-of-america-pledges-money-for-laos-clean-up-20160907-graj9d.html?google_editors_picks=true

US President Barack Obama, declaring that it was time to pull America’s secret war in Laos from the shadows, has committed to spending $US90 million ($117 million) to remove 80 million unexploded bombs the US dropped on the country a generation ago.

Obama, the first sitting US president to visit Laos, recalled that the United States had dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on this country during the height of the Vietnam War, more than it dropped on Germany and Japan during World War II. That made Laos, per capita, the most heavily bombed country in human history.

“Villages and entire valleys were obliterated,” Obama said. “Countless civilians were killed. That conflict was another reminder that, whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts a wrenching toll, especially on innocent men, women and children.”

At the time, the United States did not publicly acknowledge its combat operations in Laos, a CIA-directed expansion of the war against the communist North Vietnamese. Even now, the president said, many Americans were unaware of their country’s deadly legacy here.

“It is important that we remember today,” Obama told an audience of 1075, including a scattering of Buddhist monks in saffron robes. Those gathered listened politely and applauded occasionally.

The president did not formally apologise for the bombing. But in a “spirit of reconciliation”, he said the United States would double to $US30 million a year for three years its aid to Laos to help find and dismantle unexploded ordinance (UXO).

From 1964 to 1973, American warplanes dropped more than 270 million cluster munitions on the communist country, one-third of which did not explode, the Lao National Regulatory Authority for UXO said. These explosives lie buried under fields and forests, killing and maiming thousands of children, farmers and others who stumble on them.

The total package is close to the $US100 million the United States has spent in the past 20 years on clearing its UXO in Laos.

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” the United States had dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on this country during the height of the Vietnam War, more than it dropped on Germany and Japan during World War II.”

clean it up..

“At the time, the United States did not publicly acknowledge its combat operations in Laos, a CIA-directed expansion of the war against the communist North Vietnamese. Even now, the president said, many Americans were unaware of their country’s deadly legacy here.”

See Eye A..

401

~ by seeker401 on September 8, 2016.

One Response to “Laos: 80 million unexploded bombs”

  1. Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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