40-Year-Old American Bombs from the Laotian Secret War Still Cause Two Casualties a Week
Every day, Manixia Thor and her team of 20 women wake up knowing the jobs they have to go to could get them blown to smithereens. Unexploded American cluster bombs could detonate at any moment as they excavate dangerous areas of Laos with their metal detectors. Since the Laotian “Secret War” ended some 40 years ago, millions of these unexploded bombs lay dormant across the country, regularly maiming children and ruining or ending the lives of the thousands who accidentally set them off.
Due to Western involvement in foreign coup d’états, alleged third-party funding of rebel uprisings, and diplomatic meetings behind closed doors, history has seen many wars fought in a way that could be considered secret. Few secret wars, however, laid and continue to lay siege to a native population like the Secret War in Laos—an undeclared state of conflict so brutal that it gave Laos the official title of being history’s most bombed country.
For nine years, from 1964 to 1973, the US government dropped over two million tons of cluster bombs and other heavy artillery on Laos. They did all this to help the Royal Lao Government (RLG) combat the far-left communist rebel group Pathet Lao, whose members were trying to, and eventually succeeded in, overthrowing them and taking control of the country.
Is the Russian Mormon Church an FBI Front?
The Young Guard is the youth wing of President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia Party. They’ve tended to exist as a less intense, less Hitler Youth-like version of Nashi, a similar Kremlin-backed, pro-Putin youth movement that intimidates people who oppose Putin’s policies, go to rallies dressed as Star Wars storm troopers to distract from anti-government protesters, and, allegedly, beat up critical journalists to within an inch of their lives.
Since part of the Young Guard’s role is to prepare young people to discharge their civic duties as stoogesof the Putinist junta, they need to maintain an air of respectability. Not that this has stopped them propagating Putin’s cult of personality by making a video reenacting his most famous publicity stunts with sexy young women in the role of Vlad.
However, being respectable isn’t the same as being sane. Responding to Putin’s recent statement on the need to “confront totalitarian sects” operating in Russia, instead of looking in a mirror and repeatedly slapping themselves, the Young Guard turned up to Mormon meeting houses last week in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities and picketed them, accusing Mormons of being “foreign agents” paid by the USA to brainwash young Russians. They also claimed that many young Mormon missionaries return to America to become members of the FBI and CIA.
When I heard that a group of brainwashed idiots were picking on another group of brainwashed idiots, I felt confused and sad at how stupid the whole world is. So I decided to talk to Elena Nechiporova, the Russian press contact for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Young Guard presented the Mormon missionaries with a “one way plane ticket back to Washington,” complete with CIA logo.
VICE: Hi Elena, how are you?
Elena Nechiporova: I’m doing great, thanks.
Great. So you’re not lying in a pool of your own blood after the Young Guard brutalized you, or anything?
No. They just picketed our meeting houses, but nothing was happening there on that day anyway. The picket was peaceful.
I see. Why do you think they are targeting the Mormons?
That question should be addressed to the Young Guard. We’ve never had contact with them before this. I don’t think they know anything about who we are or what we believe. We’re happy to start a dialog with them, though. We have a lot of smart and worthy young people in the church who are the same age as Young Guard members. They’d have a lot of things in common to discuss.
Mind Thoughts… with Michael Ian Black - I Will Kill You
The New York Times published an article a couple weeks ago detailing a government “kill list,” which is a list of enemies targeted for assassination, personally approved by President Obama. Some people will want to debate the morality and legality of such a list. Not me. Instead, I’d like to offer my services as an assassin.
To be clear: I have no fighting skills, have never served in the military, am opposed to violence, don’t exercise, have no knowledge or skills related to weaponry, require comfortable accommodations when I travel, and am 40 years old. Which means I am such an unlikely candidate to be a top-secret government assassin that I am actually A PERFECT CANDIDATE. Nobody would ever suspect an out-of-shape, C-List basic cable comedian with limited organizational skills to be a world class killer.
President Obama, please let me kill our enemies, foreign or domestic. I am available to kill terrorists, militants, communists, anybody who might stand in our way of winning Olympic gold, vendors of bad sandwiches, and any contestants in the popular Eurovision song contest. I will NOT kill women or children, although this is negotiable if it’s REALLY important or if I get a bonus (I will leave the amount to your discretion).
Lest you think I am just some goofball with visions of assassination grandeur, let me outline my methods for killing, say, a top-level al-Qaeda operative/Eurovision song contestant. It would go down like this: first I would gain his trust. Second, I would kill him. Finally, I would make my escape by running across rooftops and then jumping to catch a dangling ladder hanging from a dirigible.