Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Secret Wars, Deeper Truths

It's still being finalized, but I'm excited to be presenting on the subject of Secret Wars, Deeper Truths at the end of April in Wisconsin.  This is one of those topics that's always been close to my heart, focusing on not only the history but the long-range significance of the war for Laos (1954-1975) for Lao, Hmong and Americans and their societies, and for the world.

Of course, the war for Laos allows us to examine a distinctive era in history, one of the first known instances of the CIA using a proxy army while the US State Department works with the Royal Lao Government to advance US policy. During this war, we saw widespread use of paramilitary advisers and mercenaries and we can demonstrate the lessons and implications this had on US approaches to future issues of foreign policy around the world, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Africa. 

By the same stroke, as awful and terrible as armed conflict is, I would also assert there were moments and lessons learned that brought out the better parts of our humanity as well, and saw new communities step into the larger theater of world affairs. I'll try and share more thoughts on this over time as we get closer to the presentation.

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