The Most Secret Place On Earth

2008 ,    » 87 Comments
Ratings: 8.50/10 from 30 users.

The Most Secret Place On EarthThe Most Secret Place on Earth is a 2008 film by German director Marc Eberle, dealing with the secret operation waged by the CIA throughout the sixties and early seventies against communist guerrillas in Laos, particularly in the city of Long Chen.

Marc Eberle talks to the protagonists of Laos civil war - on both sides. The film features interviews with State Department, CIA and Air America officials, as well as Hmong general Vang Pao and some of his critics - Fred Branfman and Professor Alfred McCoy.

Despite being the center of the covert operation and, at its peak, one of the world’s busiest airports with a population of 50,000 people, Long Chen’s location was never marked on any map.

Long Chen remains off limits to foreigners and most Lao due to clashes with remnants of the CIA’s Hmong army. Until recently it formed part of a special administrative zone under the direct control of the Lao army.

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87 Comments / User Reviews

  1. tomregit

    It is so sad to see the same story unfold over and over again. As the west's bastion of freedom has moved ever closer to becoming a police state it has taken the role of the world's bully. Personally, this tragedy is compounded by my admiration and respect of many ordinary Americans I meet, trapped in a system that resists change as strongly as any autocracy or theocracy. In the waning days of American Empire look back and ask "why?"

  2. Guest

    Lol! And they say secular states are way better than religious ones :D

  3. Gary V

    & they are right too. They are much better than Countries that are run on outdated ancient myths. Secular nations have got a far better standard of living for their citizens, people are far better educated & secular nations have got a far better record when it comes to Human rights. Religion has always been & always will be just a tool used to control how people think & live their lives. Religion has no place in a modern, civilised society.

  4. Daniel Chapman

    After watching this doc it helps me understand why most of the world calls the U.S.A. the Great Satan, the C.I.A. has distroyed to much life it needs to be disbanded.

  5. Aleks Ander

    how come i never heard about this when i studied vietnam war briefly in school

  6. Guest

    A week of secrets.
    The most secret place on earth
    Secrets of the Koran
    The secret life of your bodyclock
    The secret evidence we are not alone

  7. PavolvsBitch

    Because we never learn anything but obedience and useless information in school. Education begins when schooling stops. There's a whole heap of things which happened in Vietnam including weather warfare and UFO technology testings.

  8. PavolvsBitch

    Civilisation is a term based on the notion of enslavement. Yes, 'we' are certainly 'civilised' and as slaves we adopt the given term of citizen. The root word meaning of City is sewer. I'll take mine fresh 'n wild, thanks.

  9. StillRV

    You had me right up until your mind fell out Daft.

  10. Guest

    If we could have only given them our scrap Davy Crockett Variable yield weapons we would own that place now. Sad I must say so many dead and all we got was mot tram dong and Indonesia, to bad we could have not moved the communist guerrillas to East Timor "wink wink". Oh well guess you cant win them all or no one would step up to be next if we did.....Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

  11. Guest

    Well maybe we will get lucky Azilda and valtko will post the link to the documentry "The Models of Victoria's Secret behind the sceens" on sunday. If not Jake Thackray has a documentry im sure everyone would find 5 ***** hint hint!

  12. David Foster

    The "why" is easy: Because ours is "the right way".

    Wasn't my idea. Just repeating what I've been told my whole life.

  13. capriciouz

    The blind faith required by religion directly results in actions like this. The people guiding the sleeping public need not fear they will ask any questions. Think about it (if you can).

  14. Guest

    Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler.


  15. Guest

    No just a gambler tryin to plant my hedge seeds, Im all about the means to the future please check out youtube "korn-all my hate usaf bombing" and all u have to do is sell oil in dollars to get this war machine to fight for you we will eliminate any opposition from packistan to tunisia take no prisoner $hit you know "wink wink".... rOuLeR i dont know the meaning of the word.

  16. NAND Gate

    Excellent Vlatko. Fascinating, and truly disturbing. I HATE the US, and I always will, until they finally destroy themselves or plain fizzle out - not like terrorists hate the US, but in the way I hate drunken bullies on a Saturday night. Moronic, violent, mindless, deceitful bullies. I pity you, and feel utter revulsion at the same time. Your entire country and way of life is a lie, and documentaries like this prove it.


  17. NAND Gate

    Check title of documentary.

  18. NAND Gate

    BAHAHAHA and even BETTER is secular societies have a GINORMOUS military industrial complex with which they can bomb the s*** out of you if you don't agree!

  19. NAND Gate

    Spot on. They are both abominations!

  20. NAND Gate realise in this doco the perpetrators are the US - a secular state?

    Think about it (I know you could).

  21. NAND Gate

    Yeah like Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Hang on a min........?

  22. Yavanna

    The US cant be termed a secular state - its 80% Christian with a ragtag of other mumbo jumbo thrown in. 10% remainder is atheist. Those are the current numbers as I understand it.

    Gods don't kill people. People with Gods do.

  23. misterwong

    The US debacle in southeast Asia still unearths more lies,treachery and shame.Yet,Americans blind themselves in denial to the inhumanity of our governments culpability,notably the covert agendas of the CIA.Fifty years later,America still closes her eyes preferring not to know.Or care.The less we know,the better.Malheureusement,c'est la Guerre,le Jeu,la Honte.Rien va plus
    When the Allies liberated Birkenau in 1945,the villagers were forced to see the horror of the death camp their army had built.They were then made to help exhume mass graves of murdered prisoners.Today our public is kept dumb,distracted diverted from reality. Let the Goddamn Good Times Roll

  24. NAND Gate

    er - check Constitution

  25. NAND Gate

    well said

  26. misterwong

    You aren't supposed to know about a lot of things in school.Especially classified military skeletons in the closet..that's why they're CLASSIFIED.

  27. misterwong

    Sounds rather like a Harry Potter book Collection,eh?

  28. Chih Seng Simon Ho

    i did not know that there was such a history of laos. but i dont totally judge the americans. its not like the communist are innocent of killing. thats is why i hold my view that humans are inherently evil.

  29. misterwong

    @Psinet Well,THAT was certainly constructive..But honestly,How do you REALLY feel about us?

  30. misterwong

    For more on this .."Bomb Harvest" on this site

  31. Yavanna

    Er check reality.

  32. misterwong

    je comprend.Par exemple,"ROULER loin d'ici..." non?

  33. Earthwinger

    Wow, just say what you really mean, Psinet, don't sugar coat it! ;)

    I doubt you'll find many people here that would disagree that terrible acts have been committed in the name of the American people, but a lot of the accusations you could make, could equally be levelled at many other countries. All nations are built on myths, and it follows that for a nation to become established and thrive, most of the citizens must have bought into those myths to some degree or other. Do you really believe that makes an entire nation evil? Please tell me you don't! Surely, if blame is to be levelled to anyone, it should be levelled fairly and squarely at the makers of those myths.

    If your world view is one of polar opposites, ie. entire nations comprising of either good or evil citizens, then you're not really leaving much wiggle room for rational debate, and I think that's a real shame.

    As with most things in life, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. ;)


  34. Bambi L'Amour

    I used to say "I hate America", but now, what I say is that I hate those in power. Many Americans are now getting clued in to what their government is up to, though I'm not sure if it's a majority or a minority, if you group them all together I'm positive there's enough people now with the knowledge of what's going on and the power to change things.

    The problem we have is that the group that supports the government are united in their beliefs, but the group opposing government policy are split. Some may disbelieve the government due to the Gulf War Syndrome deception, others about 9/11, others after doing some research and learning about the "Economic Hit-Men" that the CIA use to obtain (steal) unsustainable resources from other countriest.

    A current example of the latter is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC has 70% of the worlds Coltan and 30% of the worlds Diamond reserves, when the DRC refused a loan from the world bank in return for cheap Coltan and Diamond sales the UK sent operatives to Rwanda in order to start a war which drained the DRC's economy and left it unable to export and therefore profit from its own natural resources, finally in 2003 the DRC accepted a loan from the world bank of 1.3 Billion dollars, hostilities stopped, and when of course when they are unable to pay back the loan, they will be forced to sell off their resources to the various UK and US based companies already set up in the region (such as the London owned Katanga Mining Company).

    My point is, amyone who does not support the government for whatever reason, should come together to force change, various small factions will never be able to manage it but together it just might be a big enough force to change the world for the better.

  35. DeeJay Pickles

    by believing everything you have just heard you are no better.... the secret governments of the world rely on people believing what they are presented with, they have massive media propaganda machines and strive to bend the truth to there own ends but seriously you should question every piece of evidence objectively im British so im not really that offended by what you wrote but i must say my country isnt much different from the level of secretive control that we have over us. don't believe everything you are told. besides the problem is with the us gov not the people its not the peoples fault they are bred and raised to be sheep and ultimatley that is what the u.s is the people!!.

  36. NAND Gate

    Peace to you my friend. But I don't believe in evil. Or even duality for that matter.

    What I do believe in, is moronic, violent, mindless, deceitful bullies.

    Sometimes, I suffer from a very human problem that I even feel some shame about: I cannot decide who I hate more - the liars, or the people that bought the lie until it became a truth.

  37. NAND Gate

    To all the ppl living in the US:

    Sometimes, I suffer from a very human problem that I even feel some shame about: I cannot decide who I hate more - the liars, or the people that bought the lie until it became a truth.

    He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God - Aeschylus (525 BC - 456 BC).

  38. NAND Gate

    lols humans are inherently evil but you don't judge the Americans.

    It must be positively dreamy to be you.

  39. Guest

    What paradise country are you from?

  40. Earthwinger

    An interesting response to my post. :)

    I fear you've made a few assumptions about my position in these matters though, and you are effectively preaching to the converted. I rarely, if ever "believe everything that I've just heard" and I'm a firm believer in questioning everything in as balanced and as rational a manner as is humanly possible. I'm also all too aware of how the mainstream media has become the mouthpiece of the corporatocracy. So much so that I long since threw away my television set, and instead subscribe to alternative media sources.

    I'm also British by the way, and I feel a deep frustration and anger at the mess that we, as a nation have allowed ourselves to be led into.

    My original post in this thread was really just a plea to moderate and reasoned debate, which I believe we all gain from.

    To Vlatko, thank you for proving such a valuable resource, and giving us a space to debate all these issues. :)


  41. Guest

    that would be: Laissez les bons temps, roulez loin d'ici.

  42. StillRV

    Not sure what you are driving at there @Psinet. Elaborate a little so I know which one I am.

  43. NAND Gate

    I prefer to think beyond state and arbitrary geographical boundaries. I don't align myself with anyone beyond the people I love.

    Because none of us are as cruel as all of us.

  44. NAND Gate

    Well, if you don't understand what is fundamentally wrong with the US, then you have either bought the lie, or you are one of the few who sold it.

    Your mind is your own responsibility - indeed your only responsibility. When you fail at that responsibility, you take everyone down with you.

    Know Thyself. It is not my job to tell you who you are. It is your job to define it.

  45. Earthwinger

    I share your frustration, Psinet, and believe that we need to keep pointing the finger at those that lie and manipulate the masses. I can't find it in my heart to hate the masses who are deceived though, as I believe that in the main, there is a tendency for people to just want to fit in and feel that everything is taken care of for them. I should stress that I don't level that at any one country in particular, I believe it's more likely a part of the human condition. The problem is of course, that it leaves entire nations dangerously exposed to those that would (and do) corrupt for their own gain.

    For me, the beauty of sites like this is that it tends to attract people who have a deeper understanding of how the world really works, and are of a more questioning nature, or else, why would they be here?

    Lets hope that resources such as this continue to thrive, as I firmly believe that the sharing of knowledge, wisdom and insights, is humanity's best hope for the future. ;)

  46. David Foster

    "Generals sat, and the lines on the map moved from side to side." ~ Mr. Floyd

    What is wrong with the U.S. is that we won the battle for top-dog. But we were ALL playing by the same rule book. Now the U.S. exercises impunity purely by the terrible size of her arsenals. I don't see that as being something that any other nation would have done differently, given the opportunity. Britain did the same before us; and Rome did the same before them; and so on; and so on, into antiquity. We are the "New and Improved" Colonialists. And there ain't a whole lot I can do about it, except to refuse to join the ranks.

  47. David Foster

    Viva La Revolucion!

  48. David Foster

    But, don't you see Chih? Before We can bomb You, WE have to declare YOU the evil which must be eliminated. All it takes to avoid that situation is to simply NOT make that judgement call.

    I tend to believe that humans inherently wish to be left alone to lead a happy existence. The problem comes when people get a taste of luxury, and are determined to hold on to it.

    "And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware, Beware!
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For He on honey dew hath fed,
    And drunk the milk of Paradise."

    ~ from the poem: Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  49. David Foster

    Here in America, we are forever being told that: "We should all be eternally thankful for all of the freedom, wealth, and prosperity which our our soldiers and our forefathers had so diligently fought for."

    Literally translated, this means: "Shut the F@&# up, and don't ask what we do with our bombs; or we'll take away all of your toys, and make you eat $hit for the rest of your miserable, pathetic life!"

  50. Guest

    Still you won't say where you are from, are you protecting your wrongs? You are a masked soldier hiding in the bush with a big gun on US. Now i don't like US politics or Canadian politics although i am Canadian, actually i don't like the politics of any country, and as David says: "given the opportunity" any country has switched from the caboose to the locomotive with guns and ammunitions.

  51. antiloops

    I can´t understand why all of you are trying to reach some points expressing your states of mind when the problem is us... Human race is a disgrace our feelings are no longer belong to us...

  52. Timothy Williams

    Cite your sources.

  53. siralou

    wow this is terrible to send kids in the war wtf is the CIA thinking

  54. Edward P Campbell

    "Oh, by the way... which one's Pink"?

  55. StillRV

    @Az; I could have sworn I mentioned it before. Im from upstate NY, USA.
    @Psinet; I was just larking on you. I am neither apologist not patriot for the US as is. I would love to see the US go back to it's roots but don't believe it will happen without civil war. Our electorate is broken, Only the uber rich lawyers can run for office and they are all crooked no matter which party. And since a new American civil war would have a death toll to surpass all others in history, I cannot support that.

  56. misterwong

    I have concluded that you simply view Amerika as a land of oafish,monstrous,overly priviliged,mindless thugs and can't shut up about it.Invoking the ghost of Aeschylus to show how wracked with torment you are over the atrocities of the Evil Juggernaut.Well I for one find your prejudice tiresome and vapid.As Americans,we are in a quandry on how to reclaim our Nation and be a symbol of equality and benevolent might.We're up against some powerful opponents-corrupt government,insatiable souless banks and corporations,ignorance,apathy,and yes,our own deluded Hubris.
    That's a pretty dark picture and an enormous challenge.
    But we are Americans,Goddammit,and we will fight as a people to take back our country from those who have corrupted and shamed it and restore our honor.Wish us luck

  57. Guest

    @Stillrv...not sure why my comment came under yours, it was addressed at Psinet.

  58. dadc

    Gentlemen, All your base are belong to us.

  59. misterwong

    I fear you are somewhat innocent,my friend.CIA is the most fearsome ruthless security agency on Earth.they operate often outside the parameters of morals ,human value or what we regard as common decency.To expose the practices of the Agency would apall the people and humiliate the government.But that's business

  60. SaintNarcissus

    While I don't like your arrogance I, as an American, tend to agree. We are doomed indeed. I personally think the demise will be a long painful fizzle - economically and otherwise. I think the current recession is the beginning of a long slide into decay. I don't think we'll be the "most powerful country in the world" in five years. Let's just hope that whichever empire inevitably takes that mantle won't be even worse...I'm not hopeful. Also, I think repent is the perfect and appropriate word for what is in order. Repent, biblically, means to "turn" to turn away from ways which are wrong and turn toward a new way.

  61. Sieben Stern

    completely true - but what pains me the most, as an american, is that there is nothing I can do to stop what's going on in secret. no matter who i vote for, none of them will stop the atrocities and the lying that happened in Vietnam, and are happening in Iraq.

  62. Andreea Bordea

    best of luck! let's hope this will happen!

  63. elbabell

    Dear misterwong, we must strive to keep our hearts open to the realization that we humans beings in any part of the globe are striving por Peaced

  64. elbabell

    Me must learn now more than ever, not to be judgemental, and always remember that we can help even with our thoughts. What we think what we do comes to us. Is a law. Cause and effect. Our thoughts of peace, harmony , comprehension goes all over the planet and beyond. .

  65. elbabell

    These moment is extremelly important. People are questioning themselves and others. We are bombarded by information. Now more than ever vital changes are happening, we need to collaborate with peaceful thoughts. We must avoid negativity. It is hard work, but it is the beginning.

  66. Fake Name

    Right and Wrong are weapons as deadly as bombs and bullets, right is the love you carry in your heart for everything living,wrong is anything that tries to come between you and that love.-Truang Phen

  67. Fake Name

    you can never "force change". people must want to change. When you try to force or enforce any policy, you push people into a corner. and when you do that,they come out of the corner... fighting.

  68. Fake Name

    It must great to sit on taht high perch and know all and see all, how I envy you. You know nothing of America or Americans, but the propaganda fed to you by whatever agency you call a government. In America, when a film like this is made, it can be shown anywhere to anyone at anytime. Can you say atleast the same for your "Peoples Paradise"? I highly doubt it. Regardless, we make mistakes and no one is ever proud of their mistakes. But we dont shoot people that expose the mistakes, can you say the same for your Peoples Paradise? I highly doubt it. My point is, its not perfect, but its never been perfect anywhere, not in my land of Freedom, or your Peoples Paradise.

  69. Fake Name

    Right and wrong are weapons as deadly as bombs and bullets. Right is the love you carry in your heart for living things. Wrong is anything that tries to come between you and that love.-Truang Phen

  70. Fake Name

    thank you!

  71. SaintNarcissus

    Good quote. I agree. When I mentioned turning from wrong to right I think your definition applied to those terms would work well.

  72. Imightberiding

    Aren't those who have "corrupted & shamed it" Americans too?

  73. misterwong

    Precisely so.However,when huge amounts of money and power are at stake,their
    nationalities and loyalties dissolve.They now serve a new Master.Not the
    People.Not their Faith.Yes I feel BETRAYED by the weakness of my own leaders
    who have sold their souls and their own people to those who feed on them.We
    know who they are.They smugly dare us to stand up and fight..That time has

  74. misterwong

    Dear Elbabell,my grandpa would say,"People will treat you how you ALLOW them to treat you", and this is true of our own people who wail and wring their hands and complain and hope and pray.No cause.No effect.The sun rises.People die needlessly.The sun sets.There is a time for restraint and a time for decisive action and the wise know which is called for.Nature's rules,not mine. But I will suggest a doc I feel is appropriate for your particular sensitivities.On this site ,"The Secret" under the Psychology heading.I think you will like it

  75. zerotrade

    Funny thing is, America sends other ppls children to war, kill thousands of innocent ppl, feed hatred and insanity. The remaining survivors, son of a murdered wife, father of murdered sons, etc finds a idiot faction that gives 'em the opportunity of "payback" against America, we call'em "terrorists".
    When they kill 1 (one) of us it's a tragedy but when we kill thousands of 'em, it's all good.
    I can't accept the crap of "nothing we can do to stop government" because the government represents every single American (you like it or not).
    Just one word to describe Laos: - GENOCIDE.

  76. libertyforall000

    In my time in laos, I found the people to be extremely laid back and forgiving. When meeting loatian people, I was often asked where I was from. When I responed, "USA", I was suprised by the congenial manner with which I was treated, often by someone who was missing a limb thanks to our illegal war and left-over land mines. Most Americans do not even know about this secret/illegal war. We signed a treaty in the U.N. declaring several nations off limits to war, Laos was on the list. This is yet another instance of U.S. hypocracy. If you wonder why we are hated by many, educate yourself and stop wondering!

  77. kamakaze

    I'm sorry but I must reply to you. I have looked at your comments on numerous things and you simply baffle me. I am American also but I offer no weak apologies for our countries destruction of other countries, killings of millions of innocent people, etc. However, I must say this to you stillrv, I watched a doc. about circumcision last night (yeah, you're real lucky my comment didn't print to you on that doc) but you actually brought up genocide in darfur as barbaric and that circumcision was therefore not barbaric (real sound logical way of thinking btw). How can you cry genocide in darfur (when it had absolutely nothing to do with the circumcision subject btw) but do not seem at all to mind genocide we commit upon others. Only good thing any of your comments have done is made me sign up and start commenting. I'm going to watch what i watch and hope you watched it also, then hope your feeble mind comments on every doc. I watch, so I can watch a doc. then put another uninformed American (yes, I'm American too) in their place.

  78. StillRV

    @kamakaze; I will only ever acknowledge you this one time.
    First and foremost, to consider me lucky that your response post to me on another doc. did not post is At best moronic at worst the ramblings of an over confident internet bully dullard. Your response would not have phased me in the slightest. I don't know you nor do I particularly care to, and as a nonentity in my life you have absolutely no power to do me any harm or to trouble me in the slightest.
    Now I have made I believe well over 500 comments on this site I believe and even having read all of them you would have no clue as to my nature, my character, nor my ideals. Some of all of that is spelled out clearly in some of my posts, however I doubt you could make sense of them.
    As to my comments on circumcision; (and this is why I doubt your ability to decipher context and meaning) I mentioned the killings in Darfur as an exemplar of what barbaric means. Unlike the removal of a tiny scrap of skin which in no way causes undue harm to the patient in any but the most extreme cases. My pint being If people want to concert their efforts to put an end to something barbaric they may try focusing their efforts on the endless acts of violence around the globe than on someone else s penis.
    As to me being apologist for the actions of the US; I am not. You see me as such because you are a media and scholastic puppet with an inability to conceive or understand independent thought. I am an isolationist. I believe the US is wrong to invade foreign lands for any reason at all short of say a new Reich threatening the entire globe. On the flip side of that coin I feel that the US should not send forth billions of dollars in aid to foreign nations for any reason what so ever, especially when we have people who starve and suffer right here at home. My comments, which you take as nationalistic defense and weak apology are neither. I simply reiterate the old saying of let those without sin cast the first stone. All nations connive and plot and war and strangle each other in one form or another. And frankly there is but one answer leave the world to it s self or join the party. Frequently we get Americans on here who feed at the trough of the college professors and media toadies, the political hacks and the pseudo intellectuals. Those people (often college educated) a simply parrots. They have been trained to spit back whatever their professor spouts to them for 16 years or more and even once freed from their cage can only pick a new master from which to collect their ideas and words. Those misguided and unoriginal fools (fools like yourself I hazard to guess) Embody everything the detractors of the US and it s people dislike, all while thinking themselves some sort of revitalizing force for change. You are arrogant, overconfident, and you attempt to marginalize and preach to those who disagree with you. You toss about idle flaccid threats to people you don't even understand to protect an idea you didn't even come up with.
    In summation Kamekaze you are below my notice as is essentially anything and anyone who do not directly connect to myself, my loved ones, or my community. You are a gnat on the rump of the democratic ass, one of millions. I bid you good day and to enjoy the pile of shit it feeds you.
    All further comments from you to me will be disregarded as the rantings of a stoned adolescent parrot.

  79. Fake Name

    I agree that our mind is our greatest responsibility, but to say if I fail at that responsibility , brings you down as well just excuses you from the responsibility of your own mind. Make up your mind "wink". @StillRV we all learn from someone. You didn't wake up one morning reading and writing on your own. So it would be fair to say that since you didn't invent the english language or the written or spoken word, you are just as much a "parrot". It's often far easier to find others faults than our own. But what good is it to know how stupid everyone else is, if they know you are just as stupid? I have a GED I got a fourteen a perfect example of how ridiculous "academic standards" are in the USA, but have learned everything else I know about the world from other people. Admittedly I don't take everything I'm told as definitive fact, it also doesn't take a genius to figure out, unless you plan on fitting the 100,000 years of discovery humans have been embarked on into the 100 years of a (long) life, you are going to have to assume that at least a few people through that 100,000 years knows wtf they are talking about.

  80. TerrenceR

    I remember putting together that the US was bombing northern Laos in 1968 from reading a single issue of The New York Times. In two articles in two separate parts of the newspaper you could read that (a) the US was offloading so many bombs and other ordnance from ships every day it had run out of warehouse space and (b) it was sending off fleet after fleet of B-52 bombers on "surveillance" or "reconnaisance missions" towards northern Cambodia and Laos. Living 8 miles from the biggest B-52 base in the world, I knew you didn't send an 8-engine bomber on that kind of mission. But by that time I had already been too smartass about my other deductions and predictions and my professor -- now head of a major insitute on international affairs here in Canada -- asked me to leave her seminar. Shame. I had a lot of other things to tell her, including some that STILL haven't come out. (Saying that LBJ would probably not run for president again, five days before LBJ himself knew that proved to be the last straw.)

  81. NAND Gate

    My country has far greater freedoms than yours ;)

  82. NAND Gate

    Arrogance is turbo for cool. Second only to typing in CAPS

  83. Anthony Mustacich

    This is perhaps the greatest act of terrorism in history.

  84. Tom g

    Though this documentary has some great footage and interviews I find it somewhat sensationalist & one-sided. Some examples:

    The narrator notes that the US officially supported Lao royalist/neutralist armed forces while the CIA supported the Hmong forces and "the result was civil war" - as though the two were battling each other. In fact they fought together (with US air support) to counter the invading North Vietnamese (NV) and the NV-backed Pathet Lao.

    Similarly, very little attention is given to the role played by NV during this time. The US and NV both signed the Geneva Convention saying foreign powers would stay out of Laos - it was once NV showed no signs of withdrawing its troops from (the north east of) Laos that the US was forced to disobey the convention and act covertly.

    No mention is made of the Hmong's historical battles with NV invading forces. These two had battled long before the arrival of the CIA and in fact in much the same manner. When the French were in Laos they also supported the Hmong as a military force (around the 1950's - correct me if I'm wrong). Thus as the documentary suggests, the US were not the first to 'manipulate' the Hmong into fighting their battles.

    This impact of war after war goes some way towards explaining why some Hmong children as young as 14 were soldiers - it was necessity. Gen Vang Pao himself first experienced battle at age 13 & was trained in France. I'm not saying they didn't demand child soldiers from villages in exchange for resources but providing the full story would be better.

    Lastly, it was only with assent from the Lao royalist government that the US could perform bombing operations in Laos. Admittedly, the strength of the US may have ensured this assent but still, I feel like the documentary suggests the US was so arrogant they just walked in and started bombing willy-nilly.

    I am not American and though this rant sounds like I'm defending their actions that is not my intention. Rather, as someone who currently lives in Lao and is interested in this subject I am reading a book on this subject. It provides much more factual detail than this documentary and so I felt compelled to point out some shortcomings. The book is called Ravens by Christopher Robbins.

  85. Norm

    Ravens by Christopher Robbins, wow! What a scholarly masterpiece you are engaging with. Obviously, the documentary cannot compete with a book endorsed by Tom Clancy. Robbins work inspired the movie Air America. As for factual shortcomings I can assure that the only person splitting hairs and suffering from factual shortcomings is your self and Robbins.

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