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.
by Bob Buzzanco
Tet was a pivot point of the Vietnam War, and it’s been misrepresented ever since……
At the end of January the media will commemorate one of the more important and decisive events of the Vietnam War, the Tet Offensive. On January 30th, 1968 the combined enemy forces of the Viet Cong, the People’s Liberation Armed Forces in the South, and the People’s Army of Vietnam from the North attacked virtually every center of military and political importance in the Republic of Vietnam, even invading the U.S. Embassy grounds. Within sixty days, President Lyndon Johnson would reject a request for a massive reinforcement of troops to Vietnam, begin to de-escalate the war, and withdraw from the 1968 presidential campaign. Tet was as determinative as any event in the Vietnam era and has maintained near-mythic status since.