Craters Bomb craters in Laos, in 2016. 80 million unexploded bombs continue to kill and maim here, mainly children. Music excerpt from .At Rest.
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By Dave Lindorff
For as long as I've been alive, my country has been a rogue state.
Actually, the US became a rogue state four years before my birth in 1949 when, in 1945, Washington decided to bomb two militarily insignificant cities in Japan with its new super weapon, the atomic bomb, instantly incinerating several hundred thousand Japanese civilians, including many, many children, and condemning at least that many more to slow agonizing deaths from resulting cancers and birth defects.
From that war crime we went on to the Korean War where the US used the tactic of saturation bombing on the north bombing that was so extensive that eventually the waves of B-29 bombers were unable to find any more targets to hit and were having to drop their ordnance loads in the ocean before returning to airports in Japan, where landing planes full of high explosives was considered too risky. The death toll of civilians in the North alone is estimated, over three years of bombing, at 1.5 million, or about 15% of the country's population. Many more civilians were killed by US forces during fighting in the south.
US military and CIA-backed forces engaged in subversion and secret support of civil conflicts in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia over the subsequent decade of the '50s, including the overthrow of the elected secular government of Iran in 1953, an action motivated by Washington's desire to control Iran's oil. That overthrow has had long-lasting consequences, as Iranians, chafing at the reign of the US-installed monarchy of the Shah, eventually overthrew it, and brought in a theocracy that was, understandably, virulently anti-US a situation that continues to inspire endless US violence and war in the region even today.
The '60s, of course, is the era of the Indochina War. President Eisenhower set the stage by backing efforts by the French to reclaim their colonial grip over the region after WWII. When the French were finally defeated by the Viet Minh, despite US aid for French forces, it fell to President John F. Kennedy to pick up the rogue-country mantel, sending upward of 20,000 military "advisors" (actually special forces trained in dirty war techniques) to prop up a corrupt neo-colonial regime in the south of Vietnam. Thus began a decade-long war that, under Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, eventually had half a million US troops in country fighting at one time, battling a national liberation army composed of North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong irregular guerrillas in the south, as well as Pathet Lao forces fighting for freedom in Laos, and Khmer Rouge fighters in Cambodia.
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