The USA’s ‘Gift’ to Laos from the Vietnam War: Unexploded Ordnance.
I was recently amused to see the above signs juxtaposed on the side of a UXO Lao vehicle.
Is it meant ironically? That Laos’ unexploded ordnance is a gift of the government of the United States?
Of course it means the US donated the vehicle, but it could be read the other way, given the ongoing trouble caused by UXO to people in Asia and to the US government in dealing with it. It also plays a significant role in my Backpackers-meet-the-Vietnam-War novel BACK.
This is something I recently commented on in a post (see below), my comments made even more valid now that the US is also picking up the tab for defectively manufactured munitions dropped on Vietnam. Surely the US government should be looking for a clean-up contribution from negligent manufacturer of its ordnance, 30% of which failed to explode.
Surely: “It must explode on impact with the ground and not lie around for years killing innocent civilians for generations” was or should have been high up in the specifications when the US ordered and took delivery of these weapons?
A 30% dud rate is not acceptable.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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