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5 Most Popular Recent Articles

Laos: Clusters of Death PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mennonite Central Committee   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 16:48

Link to source: http://clusterbombs.mcc.org/clusterbombs/resources/research/death/laos_appendix.html

The Air War

Bounpheng and familyFrom 1964 to 1973, Laos endured one of the most intensive bombing campaigns in history, as the US attempted to destroy the social and economic infrastructure of the Pathet Lao communist forces. Part of the larger war in Indochina, the US bombing attempted to block the flow of supplies over the Ho chi Minh trail which went through southern Laos. In addition, the US bombed northern Laos in support of Royal Lao Government military campaigns.

During the war, the US dropped over 6 million conventional bombs and likely well over a 100 million cluster bomblets.[1] The 580,000 bombing missions flown over Laos equaled one bombing mission every eight minutes ‘round the clock, for nine full years. In Xieng Khouang Province, one of the most heavily bombed areas, an estimated 300,000 tons of bombs were dropped, equaling more than two tons per inhabitant. A 1971 US Information Service refugee survey found that at least 80% of the victims were civilians.[2]

Because of the air war, many Lao villagers fled to the larger cities where they lived in refugee camps. A significant number, however, stayed near their villages, living in caves and forests in order to escape the bombing. Many of these villagers lived in caves for years, doing their field work under cover of darkness, and hiding their cooking fires so they would not be seen by the bombers. Villagers in Xieng Khouang repeatedly assert that the air war did not distinguish between military and civilian targets, and that any sign of life or activity risked an attack by the bombers.[3]

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Book Excerpt from The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism PDF Print E-mail
Written by AK Press   
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 00:37

Link to source:http://www.revolutionbythebook.akpress.org/book-excerpt-from-the-green-zone-the-environmental-costs-of-militarism/

 

Our most recent book back from the printer is Barry Sanders’s The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. It’s a detailed examination of the environmental impact of US military practices—which identifies those practices, from fuel emissions to radioactive waste to defoliation campaigns, as the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis. We think it’s a powerful book, especially considering the fact that the Obama regime’s efforts to save capitalism through new, “ecological” modes of production—disingenuous and doomed as they are—won’t even begin to address the environmental and climactic havoc wreaked by the planet’s most destructive enemy: the US military.

Below is a short excerpt from Barry’s Introduction…

* * *

Over the years, my family has bought three or four little books on how to lead the greenest life possible. We’ve all seen those well-intentioned pamphlets at the checkout counters of bookstores and grocery stores: Fifty Ways to Save the Planet; Going Totally Green; Making a Difference; and so on. While they may pale these days considering the enormity of the environmental crisis, we nonetheless still take the advice to heart, choosing low-energy light bulbs, installing low-flush toilets, turning down the thermostat, refusing to warm up the car’s engine for extended periods, and on and on. Every little bit helps, as the experts tell us, and, besides, we need to feel that we are doing something. But no list in any of those books addresses the largest single source of pollution in this country and in the world: the United States military—in particular, the military in its most ferocious and stepped-up mode—namely, the military at war.

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