Thursday, April 22, 2010

UXO, Legacies of War and Twin Cities Daily Planet

The Twin Cities Daily Planet just posted my op-ed regarding UXO: Our Legacies, Ourselves.

It opens with:
Growing up in the Midwest, I always heard “You break it, you bought it.”
35 years after the secret war for Laos, when America was the proverbial bull in the china shop, we’ve still got a lot of pieces to pick up. Technically, 78 million dangerous pieces called UXO, a catchy shorthand term for unexploded ordnance.

Over 9 years during the Vietnam War, America secretly transformed a neutral nation the size of Utah into the most heavily bombed spot on earth. Guided by covert CIA paramilitary advisors, we dropped 260 million bombs on Laos, more than on all of Europe in World War II, or in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. today, Channapha Khamvongsa of Legacies of War and others testified about cluster bomb clearance in Laos to the US Congressional Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment about this terrible legacy we’ve left behind. Here's hoping they were able to shed light and convince the powers that be to do more to secure funding for UXO removal in Laos.

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