The CIA-backed Hmong villagers still on the run in the jungles
In a clearing deep inside the Laotian jungle, a group of Hmong fall to the ground and beg me for help. Chor Her, a skinny man wearing torn camouflage, salutes before joining the others on the muddy ground. "We have no food, every day we have to run, we are being hunted like animals," explains one elderly woman, weeping. The young children surrounding her are also crying. These people have been cut off from the world since the United States abandoned them after using them as a secret fighters in a 15-year covert operation backed by the CIA.
Hmong soldier Wa Seng Ly recounts Vietnam War, friendly fire incident
The sky over Long Chiang, Laos showed the first daylight as Hmong army Captain Wa Seng Ly walked to an U.S. Air Force Cessna aircraft with an American pilot at the controls. Unfortunately, high above, the pilot of a U.S. fighter jet saw movement, and dove firing a rocket armed with an anti-personnel cluster bomb: 670 tennis ball-sized bomblets, each filled with 300 metal fragments. Ly never heard the jet before the bombs exploded. A shrapnel sliced into his head - and through his brain - but he holds no grudge toward the pilot who dropped the bomb: "It was a mistake."
Hmong Vietnam War veterans fight for equal burial rights in the US
A leader in the Hmong community delivered a strong message to his soldiers in Fresno. General Vang Pao was chosen by the CIA back in the 1960's and 1970's to recruit and lead tens of thousands of Hmong soldiers into battle against the communists. Currently Hmong veterans who fought along with the U.S. in the Vietnam War do not have the same burial benefits as American GIs. Dozens of Hmong veterans were dressed in their camouflage military uniforms, with their medals, to show the sacrifices they made on the United States' behalf in the Vietnam War, in which 35,000 Hmong soldiers perished.
A desperate life for survivors of the Secret War in Laos
They call themselves America's forgotten soldiers. 40 years after the CIA hired thousands of jungle warriors to fight communists. Men who are veterans of that covert operation are detached, hungry and hunted by a Laotian Communist government still suspicious of the men who sided with America. "If I surrender, I will be punished. They will never forgive me. I cannot live outside the jungle because I am a former American soldier," said Xang Yang. His group has been attacked by govt troops twice this year: In September soldiers killed a 5yo boy, Mee Xiong. And in May a pre-dawn raid killed a woman and her 2yo child.
Hmong Secret War - The Secret War in Laos (Article no longer available from the original source)
When the U.S. entered the Vietnam War, the role of the U.S. in Laos grew. The Hmong were recruited to become special allies of the US. Ho Chi Minh Trail ran through the Hmongs countryside, and it was the key supply route of the Communists. The Hmong, excellent soldiers, were recruited to form a 'Secret Army.' The American military personnel trained them and paid them; in return, the Hmong were to make the regular transport of supplies impossible. The Hmong were convinced that a war between the US and the Communists would be won by the superpower Americans. They were not prepared for the American decision to back out of the conflict.
General Vang Pao: former CIA-backed covert war warlord
A member of the Hmong, General Pao ran an irregular army in the 1960s and 1970s, commanding fighters in the US-funded covert war against Vietnamese and Lao communist forces. When the Washington-backed Lao royal government fell in 1975, General Pao was airlifted to Thailand and resettled in the US. From exile, the fervent anti-communist remained a leader of the Hmong community. Pao was arrested in California along with 8 others, charged with plotting to overthrow the Lao government using explosives, AK-47 assault rifles and Stinger surface-to-air missiles.
Report spotlights desperate plight of Hmong in Laos (Article no longer available from the original source)
Amnesty International is calling for attention to the plight of thousands of Hmong tribespeople it says are being hunted down by the communist government of Laos. The Lao govt angrily denies the allegation. The Hmong are the last ragtag remnants of a group allied to the U-S during the Vietnam War. A 25-page report says attacks by the military on the Hmong encampments have led to numerous deaths, injuries and continual displacement. Thousands of Hmong have immigrated to the Midwest. St. Paul has seen the largest group of Hmong settlers.
Hmongs want respect for role in Vietnam (Article no longer available from the original source)
Democrat lawmakers are reintroducing the Hmong Migration Education Act. Principle author Donna Seidel says she wants Wisconsin school districts to be required to teach our kids about how and why the Hmong population came here. ChaSong Yang says Hmong children in the US often question their parents about whether the Hmong really helped the US during the Vietnam War, because it's not mentioned in the US History books. it's estimated that more than 20,000 Hmong solders were killed in the Vietnam War, and many more died trying to escape the country in 1975.
Laos: Still a Secret War -- Battered army uniforms and AK-47's
Suddenly they appeared like ghosts from the forest and snatched me from my exposed position, pulling me up into the jungle. They were soldiers, dressed in battered army uniforms and carrying antique AK-47's. I was in the company of the Lao government's most wanted men: the Hmong rebel resistance. The ragtag Hmong guerrillas are one of many small groups estimated to number 2,000-12,000 still hiding. For the last 30 years, their only contact with the outside world is with the communist soldiers who are hunting them. The Hmong jungle people are the remnants of a "secret war," a counterinsurgency by the C.I.A. during the Vietnam War.
Closing the Book on the Secret War - CIA-backed secret army
A sad little coda to the Vietnam War is taking place in Southeast Asia. Small ragged bands of Hmong, the descendants of a CIA-backed secret army, are trickling out of the jungles of Laos to surrender to the Communist government. The CIA formed the Hmong Secret Army in 1960 and it raided North Vietnamese supply lines and fought Communist guerrillas until 1975 when we abandoned them with the fall of South Vietnam and their country fell to the Communist Pathet Lao. The US, in its rush to forget that the Vietnam War had ever happened, did not treat the Hmong as generously as they deserved.
405 Hmong guerillas From Vietnam War Era Surrender in Laos
A legacy of the Vietnam War emerged from the jungles of Laos, as hundreds of members of the Hmong hill tribe surrendered to the Communist government after decades on the run. The group is the remnants of a guerrilla army that served the pro-American government until it fell in 1975. The surrendering group`s chieftain, Moua Tua Ter, accompanied the 405 people to Ban Ha village in Phoukout District before returning to the jungle with a few of his guerrillas, according to the Fact Finding Commission, an organization that lobbies in the US for recognition of the Hmong`s wartime service.