In this episode, Bob had a conversation with Executive Director Sera Koulabdara (@SeraKoulabdara) of “Legacies of War” about the 50+ year crisis of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) in Laos. Scott was away on assignment.
At the same time as it was attacking Vietnam, the U.S. conducted a “secret war” against Laos through the air, dropping 2 million tons of bombs as part of its “sideshow” to the main war against the Vietnamese Revolution. Included in that massive campaign were 270,000,000 cluster bombs, smaller bombs–about baseball-sized–or “bomblets” that often did not detonate. So today, decades after the war ended, about 80,000,000 bombs remain in Laos.
Sera and Bob talked about the ferocious U.S. war in Laos, the aftermath, the daily risks faced by Laotians every day because of the millions of unexploded bombs, and the work of Legacies of War.
The mission of Legacies of War is to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs, to provide space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace.
The organization uses art, culture, education, community organizing and dialogue to bring people together and create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war.
This is a Green and Red Podcast production. Produced by Bob (@bobbuzzanco) and Scott (@sparki1969). “Green and Red Blues” by Moody. Editing by Issac. Video edit by Scott.