Sunday, May 02, 2010
Anti-American Art: Samson v. Goliath
Colorfully-dressed female insurgents stand on the wing of a downed US Air Force plane in remote Laos. This stamp was issued in 1973 by the Pathet Lao insurgents for areas of Laos under their control. Often forgotten as an adjunct to the Vietnam war, Laos was bombed by US forces both to defeat the local insurgency and to prevent North Vietnam from moving troops and supplies through Laos to the war in the south. CIA troops made mercenaries of many of the local minority tribes, resulting in a mass exodus of Hmong tribe refugees to the US in the late 1970s after the victory of Pathet Lao forces.
According to Defense Department records, 520,000 bombing runs were made over Laos, dropping 2 million tons of bombs. "According to UNESCO, unexploded military ordinance (UXO) still contaminates 25 percent of the area of Xieng Khouang province," according to the Asia Pacific Journal.