President Obama heads to Laos

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I was reading up on Obama's attempts to broker a ceasefire in the Syrian war with Vladimir Putin, before heading off to Laos for the first visit by a US President since the Vietnam War. I read the following....

    Emphasis mine.

    I thought that was a typo. But no. It turns out we really did drop that many bombs on Laos during the undeclared air campaign. The problem:

    More than 30,000 people have been killed in Laos since the end of the war by these unexploded bomblets. There are still approximately 78 million pieces of unexploded ordinance littering the countryside. And they cause more than 400 casualties each year. Dozens of Laotian schoolkids are killed each year by American bombs.

    We need to do something about that.
     
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    That's 46 bombs for each civilian of the entire country. Bad aim?
     
  3. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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  4. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    A very large percentage of the cluster bombs were CBU-24 type. This weighed about 800 lbs, and was about eight feet long by 16" in diameter. Each one contained 665 BLU-26 type fragmentation bomblets, each about the size of a tennis ball. The cluster bomb casing was designed to detonate in the air, scattering the bomblets over a very wide area. Many of the cluster submunitions were designed with delayed action fuses, the idea being to deny an area to enemy forces. For various reasons, many of the fuses failed to go off.

    Laos today is filled with the debris from this bombing campaign. And, strangely enough, it has provided a steady - if highly dangerous - form of income to many people in that country. When scrap metal prices are high, finding a half casing from a CBU-24 could bring in as much as $40 to $50.

     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    They need to get hooked up with the guys in Africa who are dealing with the same sort of problem. They've managed to train rats to sniff out mines.
     
  6. samiwas macrumors 65816

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  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    It will be interesting to see what sort of reception Obama gets when he arrives. We know about Destarte, of course. Odds are the insults in China were too subtle for most to understand, since they were only harsh on members of his support group--rather than to his face. Sneaky message, neh?
     
  8. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    no we don't. time to put Americans first and put that $90M commitment towards our own dang people.
     
  9. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    he cancelled the meeting, Obama needed some safe space after finding out not everyone likes his rear end :D
     
  10. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    Emphasis mine.
    The war was on the Viets, not on Laos or Cambodia. Considering what N Vietnam did to Laos, it's not surprising that Laos, on the brink of collapse, was bombed so hard.
     
  11. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Yes, but the North Vietnamese, regardless of their faults, eventually packed up and went home. More than forty years ago now.

    US cluster bombs are still killing Laotian kids and farmers today. Which is the point I think I was trying to make.
     
  12. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    Well, they went home after they put the government they wanted and after they massacred a good bunch of the population.

    Absolutely. This is something that the international community with a little willpower can take care of.
     

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