Will America apologise to the most bombed country in the world?

From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped 4 billion bombs on Laos. To this day, Laos is still the most bombed country in the world. Yet America still refuses to apologise for its crime.

My post about Cambodia and the looming danger there prompted me to take a look at its neighbour Laos. It is over 50 years since America committed a heinous war crime by illegally bombing Laos. The so-called ‘Secret War’ has not been a secret for decades. The unexploded bomb clean up is still going on while innocent civilians continue to risk their lives farming the land. An estimated seventy-five percent of injuries involve children. The tragic history of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia since America’s flawed intervention, has bothered me for years, particularly as it has never owned up to its crimes.

The secret war in Laos is not over yet.

The following article by Erin Blakemore is well worth watching, as is the video below it.

Why the U.S. is Pledging Millions to Clean Up Bombs in Laos.

Decades later, a once-secret war still threatens Laos, the most bombed country in the world.
the most bombed country in the world - Laos Unexploded Ordnance
A foundry in Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang province in Laos has processed over 85,000 live bombs to date. The country is still riddled with unexploded ordnance—a legacy of the United States’ nine-year illegal secret war. (Mines Advisory Group (Flickr/Creative Commons))

Trump endorses Cluster Bombs

The Trump administration scrapped a plan to eliminate cluster weapons by 2019, despite 103 nations signing an international treaty to ban production and use of such weapons in 2010.

Fifty years after the atrocities committed by America in South-East Asia, cluster bombs were still around. America supplied them to Israel in 2006 to use against Lebanon, while they were still maiming people in Laos.

What are Cluster Bombs, and why are they banned?

Cluster bombs are bombs that open in flight, releasing hundreds of explosive projectiles which on impact seriously injure or kill those within the area of the strike.

Cluster munitions are prohibited for two main reasons. First, they spread multiple bomblets or submunitions indiscriminately over a wide area, which can be devastating for civilians caught in a strike. Second, many submunitions fail to explode on initial impact, leaving dangerous duds that, like landmines, can kill and maim for years to come unless cleared and destroyed. The international treaty comprehensively bans cluster munitions and requires member countries to clear areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants within 10 years, destroy their cluster munition stocks within eight years, and provide assistance for victims.

Human Rights Watch

Bombing Laos

The most bombed country in the world – yet America and Laos were not at war.

The statistics are staggering: nine years, 2.5 million tons of bombs, 580,000 bombing missions. It all added up to one secret war—a clandestine, CIA-led attempt to cut off North Vietnamese communist forces by bombarding neighbouring Laos. The war may have been covert, but its scars run deep. Former US President Obama pledged $90 million to help clean up the physical legacy of that conflict. But no amount of money can ever compensate for the cruelty America inflicted on the innocent people of Laos.

America’s moral obligation

Citing a “moral obligation” to help Laos heal, Obama announced that the United States would double previous spending in Laos. It would continue to help clean up unexploded bombs in the landlocked country. An estimated 30 percent of the bombs dropped on Laos never exploded, and Laotians continue to die when they discover or accidentally run across the unexploded ordnance.