Reprinted from Truthdig
As President Obama toured an exhibition of prosthetics made for Laotians who lost limbs when bombs exploded years or even decades after the United States dropped them on Laos during the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. announced it would provide $90 million over the next three years to help Laos clear the remaining explosives.
The unexploded bombs are 30 percent of the total that the United States dropped on the country -- a total Obama described as "more bombs on Laos than [on] Germany and Japan during World War II." So far, such ordnance has killed or injured more than 20,000 people.
On Thursday, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer told The Real News Network that the sum the U.S. has offered Laos is "chump change."
Read a full transcript of Scheer's remarks provided by The Real News Network below.
--Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
DHARNA NOOR, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Dharna Noor joining you in Baltimore.
On Wednesday President Barack Obama became the first sitting president of the US to visit Laos. Obama visited a prosthetic center that works with victims of bombs that initially failed to detonate when dropped on the country during the Vietnam war. He also toured an exhibition of prosthetic limbs and met with those involved with clearing unexploded ordinance in the Laos countryside.
The US announced earlier this week that it would provide an additional 90 million dollars over the next three years to help Laos clear the remaining ordinance.
BARACK OBAMA [in video clip]: But for all those years in the 1960's and 70's America's intervention here in Laos was a secret to the American people who were separated by vast distances and the Pacific Ocean and there was no internet and information didn't flow as easily. For the people of Laos obviously this war was no secret. Over the course of roughly a decade the United States dropped more bombs on Laos than Germany and Japan during World War II. Some 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped on this country.