Nick Turse
(via IRIN Asia | Little help for UXO victims in Laos | Laos | Conflict | Security)

Around 25 percent of villages in Laos are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXOs), mainly from US bombing missions between 1964 and 1973, according to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme, and while UXO casualties have fallen sharply in recent years there is little support for UXO victims.

(via IRIN Asia | Little help for UXO victims in Laos | Laos | Conflict | Security)

Around 25 percent of villages in Laos are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXOs), mainly from US bombing missions between 1964 and 1973, according to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme, and while UXO casualties have fallen sharply in recent years there is little support for UXO victims.

 “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does the Westerner,” [U.S. commander, General William] Westmoreland famously said. “Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient.”Having spoken to survivors of massacres by United States forces at Phi Phu, Trieu Ai, My Luoc and so many other hamlets, I can say with certainty that Westmoreland’s assessment was false.Decades after the conflict ended, villagers still mourn loved ones — spouses, parents, children — slain in horrific spasms of violence. They told me, too, about what it was like to live for years under American bombs, artillery shells and helicopter gunships; about what it was like to negotiate every aspect of their lives around the “American war,” as they call it; how the war transformed the most mundane tasks — getting water from a well or relieving oneself or working in the fields or gathering vegetables for a hungry family — into life-or-death decisions; about what it was like to live under United States policies that couldn’t have been more callous or contemptuous toward human life. 
Nick Turse, “For America, Life Was Cheap in Vietnam” - NYTimes.com

 “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does the Westerner,” [U.S. commander, General William] Westmoreland famously said. “Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient.”

Having spoken to survivors of massacres by United States forces at Phi Phu, Trieu Ai, My Luoc and so many other hamlets, I can say with certainty that Westmoreland’s assessment was false.

Decades after the conflict ended, villagers still mourn loved ones — spouses, parents, children — slain in horrific spasms of violence. They told me, too, about what it was like to live for years under American bombs, artillery shells and helicopter gunships; about what it was like to negotiate every aspect of their lives around the “American war,” as they call it; how the war transformed the most mundane tasks — getting water from a well or relieving oneself or working in the fields or gathering vegetables for a hungry family — into life-or-death decisions; about what it was like to live under United States policies that couldn’t have been more callous or contemptuous toward human life.

Nick Turse, “For America, Life Was Cheap in Vietnam” - NYTimes.com

with the U.S. Army.  For  more on this evolving turf war, see the latest from the always insightful Rajiv Chandrasekaran: “Army’s ‘Pacific Pathways’ initiative sets up turf battle with Marines” in The Washington Post

When he raped me, I wasn’t in a position where I could have cried for help. He would have killed me. Later, if I would have reported him, they [Khmer Rouge cadres] would have killed him, but they would have also killed me
Rys Yamlas, a villager who was raped 35 years ago by a Khmer Rouge soldier and recently came forward to give public testimony about the attack.  For the full story, courtesy of IRIN, see “Khmer Rouge sexual violence survivors break silence
 Girls still sent to Kashmir for forced weddings 
According to the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN, “hundreds of cases of forced marriage are thought to take place annually, involving British nationals married against their will in Kashmir, particularly in and around the industrial town of Mirpur.”

Girls still sent to Kashmir for forced weddings 

According to the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN, “hundreds of cases of forced marriage are thought to take place annually, involving British nationals married against their will in Kashmir, particularly in and around the industrial town of Mirpur.”

"The Saola, a long-horned ox, was photographed by a camera in a forest in central Vietnam in September, the WWF said in a statement Wednesday…
The animal was [first] discovered in the remote areas of high mountains near the border with Laos in 1992 when a joint team of WWF and Vietnam’s forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter’s home. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years, according to the WWF.
In Vietnam, the last sighting of a Saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of the Saola natural reserve in central province of Quang Nam.”
Thanks AP!
(via Rare mammal first sighted in Vietnam in years - Yahoo News)

"The Saola, a long-horned ox, was photographed by a camera in a forest in central Vietnam in September, the WWF said in a statement Wednesday…

The animal was [first] discovered in the remote areas of high mountains near the border with Laos in 1992 when a joint team of WWF and Vietnam’s forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter’s home. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years, according to the WWF.

In Vietnam, the last sighting of a Saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of the Saola natural reserve in central province of Quang Nam.”

Thanks AP!

(via Rare mammal first sighted in Vietnam in years - Yahoo News)

It still hurts, but letting the world know about my story makes me feel better.
Rys Yamlas, a villager who was raped 35 years ago by a Khmer Rouge soldier and recently came forward to give public testimony about the attack.  For the full story, courtesy of IRIN, see “Khmer Rouge sexual violence survivors break silence
Khmer Rouge trial nears end, with tarnished legacy - CSMonitor.com
Youk Chhang, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge who now heads the Documentation Center of Cambodia, housing thousands of archival materials, said regardless of its problems, the court served the purpose of moving Cambodia out of the shadow of the Killing Fields.   
“I would not conclude based on the verdicts of Case 002 or 001. We have to go all the way. It’s a long walk for Cambodia since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. We walked back to the village, we walked back to the some of the towns. We have to walk until the end,” he says.
Youk Chhang, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge who now heads the Documentation Center of Cambodia, housing thousands of archival materials, said regardless of its problems, the court served the purpose of moving Cambodia out of the shadow of the Killing Fields.   
“I would not conclude based on the verdicts of Case 002 or 001. We have to go all the way. It’s a long walk for Cambodia since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. We walked back to the village, we walked back to the some of the towns. We have to walk until the end,” he says.

Khmer Rouge trial nears end, with tarnished legacy - CSMonitor.com

Youk Chhang, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge who now heads the Documentation Center of Cambodia, housing thousands of archival materials, said regardless of its problems, the court served the purpose of moving Cambodia out of the shadow of the Killing Fields.   

“I would not conclude based on the verdicts of Case 002 or 001. We have to go all the way. It’s a long walk for Cambodia since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. We walked back to the village, we walked back to the some of the towns. We have to walk until the end,” he says.

Youk Chhang, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge who now heads the Documentation Center of Cambodia, housing thousands of archival materials, said regardless of its problems, the court served the purpose of moving Cambodia out of the shadow of the Killing Fields.   

“I would not conclude based on the verdicts of Case 002 or 001. We have to go all the way. It’s a long walk for Cambodia since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. We walked back to the village, we walked back to the some of the towns. We have to walk until the end,” he says.

'The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does the Westerner,' [U.S. commander, General William] Westmoreland famously said. 'Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient.'

Having spoken to survivors of massacres by United States forces at Phi Phu, Trieu Ai, My Luoc and so many other hamlets, I can say with certainty that Westmoreland’s assessment was false.

Decades after the conflict ended, villagers still mourn loved ones — spouses, parents, children — slain in horrific spasms of violence. They told me, too, about what it was like to live for years under American bombs, artillery shells and helicopter gunships; about what it was like to negotiate every aspect of their lives around the “American war,” as they call it; how the war transformed the most mundane tasks — getting water from a well or relieving oneself or working in the fields or gathering vegetables for a hungry family — into life-or-death decisions; about what it was like to live under United States policies that couldn’t have been more callous or contemptuous toward human life.

"Captured Viet Cong. A Viet Cong prisoner captured during Operation Double Eagle, 20 miles south of Quang Ngai, Vietnam is brought into the collection area by Marines. Prisoners are blindfolded and tied to prevent escape attempts. The card on the prisoner’s black pajama shirt relates to circumstances of his capture.: 02/01/1966"
Over the course of the war, tens if not hundreds of thousands ofVietnamese were detained by U.S. and allied South Vietnamese forces. For some it was only a minor inconvenience: they were held for a few hours, questioned, and then released.  Some were forced to spend a day baking in the sun, often with a burlap sack over their heads, but still escaped relatively unscathed. For many other Vietnamese, though, being detained would quickly turn into a nightmare ordeal of slaps, punches, kicks, sexual assaults, electric shocks, and the “water-rag” treatment or water torture — known today as waterboarding.

"Captured Viet Cong. A Viet Cong prisoner captured during Operation Double Eagle, 20 miles south of Quang Ngai, Vietnam is brought into the collection area by Marines. Prisoners are blindfolded and tied to prevent escape attempts. The card on the prisoner’s black pajama shirt relates to circumstances of his capture.: 02/01/1966"


Over the course of the war, tens if not hundreds of thousands of
Vietnamese were detained by U.S. and allied South Vietnamese forces. For some it was only a minor inconvenience: they were held for a few hours, questioned, and then released.  Some were forced to spend a day baking in the sun, often with a burlap sack over their heads, but still escaped relatively unscathed. For many other Vietnamese, though, being detained would quickly turn into a nightmare ordeal of slaps, punches, kicks, sexual assaults, electric shocks, and the “water-rag” treatment or water torture — known today as waterboarding.