BACKGROUND: Following the end of World War II President Harry S. Truman’s Administration was supporting North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh who was seeking a unified Vietnam
through a peaceful dissolvement of France’s Colonization of Vietnam. If not peaceful, Vietnam would turn to Communist bloc countries to wage war against France, the United States and a minimum of Southeast East Treaty Organizations (SEATO). France and England refused to invoke the SEATO Treaty to defend Cambodia, Laos and South Vietnam. Australia, New Zealand,
Philippines and Thailand did support the US war effort in compliance with the SEATO Treaty.
THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (SOUTH) was in fact a Civil War of Independence against the colonist rule by France and our country’s new President, Dwight David Eisenhower, with the non-ethical, my opinion, Dulles brothers, economic and political agenda did not support the people of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to end France’s colonization but instead supported Standard Oil of New Jersey and other domestic & international oil corporations in search of oil in Southeast Asia and, of course, to harass the leader of Communist China. The United States continues their
dispute with China over the Spartly Islands & South China Sea’s untapped gas and oil reserve. (In 2010, Henry Kissinger, an equally great war criminal to the Dulles brothers, admitted our
military and economic actions against China only made Mao Zedong stronger, whereby, the United States’ ended its military posture against China and opened the doors to China for
economic prosperity.) Without a doubt, the Eisenhower and Nixon Administration, lead by the Dulles brothers and Henry Kissinger, put the economic growth of the Military-Industrial
Complex(same as the owners of the US Federal Reserve) ahead of the death, wounds, toxin exposures, and mental health ailments to US military, Department of State, Central Intelligence & Defense Intelligence Agency, USAID Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, SEATO members, and, equally important, the acts against humanity to the people of Southeast Asia. US death count more than 74 thousand; no Missing in Action from the Vietnam Era -all deceased. More than one million Vietnamese were killed, and an unknown number of wounded, exposed to toxins,
and dislocated because of greed.
Sad note: The US people elected John F. Kennedy President to end the wars in Southeast Asia and return our governments to the provisions of the US Constitution that guaranteed that we,
the people, were one people regardless of race, creed, religion of point of origin plus, one of the most important and essential -the Right to Vote. President Kennedy was assassinated, thereby, ending the withdrawal from Southeast Asia. Vice President Johnson’s achievements in civil liberties for US citizens was outstanding but not permanent.
THE KINGDOM OF LAOS, TODAY, THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS was critical to the United States War in South Vietnam due to the movement of economic support and military logistics to the Viet Cong in South Vietnam -and to deny the Pathet Lao, Communist faction of the Three Faction Royal Laotian Government from assuming sovereignty over the Laotian Government. (The three factions were: Royalist, Neutralist and Communist). President Kennedy deployed US Marines to Laos but were recalled In Accordance with a Geneva Peace Accord. In response to agreement to remove all foreign troops from Laos; the North Vietnamese didn’t comply, the Untied States established covert military operations utilizing a Central Intelligence Agency contracted air resources, Thailand’s Army & Air Force volunteers, Thailand civilians trained as Forward Air Guides, US Department of Defense’s Project 404 Program, and temporary duty assignments of US military members from the Pacific Air Forces and US Army to support the covert war. From 1961-1973, the military and civilian assets identified denied Communist countries the ability to arm the Viet Cong and deploy North Vietnamese and other communist nations forces into South Vietnam. In 1973, In Accordance with the Geneva Accords, the Pathet Lao faction of the Tri-Faction Government assumed power in Laos. The US attempted to prevent implementation but failed, whereas, during February 1973, the US ceased air operations in Laos. In 1975, the Pathet Lao Government now the People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) of Laos removed the King of Laos from power, openly invited China and North Vietnam plus other communist nations to provide economic and other support for the PDR. Today, Laos is at peace and made amazing progress for their people, sadly, deeply indebted to China.
Sad note: I don’t know the true number of the deaths and injuries but from personal daily duties, 1969 -1973, I am aware of deaths and injuries incurred by the Royal Laotian Air Force, USAF and US Army Advisors, contracted air carriers, munitions expended, and alleged communist killed or wounded in our air war; they were unfortunate but minimal considering their successful actions that impeded the overthrow of the South Vietnamese Government. However, I am not knowledge from my daily duties to know the deaths of the Royal Laotian Army, the northern mountain tribesman and the combined forces from Thailand; however, from unclassified Thailand publications we learned tens of thousands of Thais were killed and wounded in Their support of the Vietnam War plus, of course denying the Communist safehaven in the Kingdom of Thailand. (There were strong pockets of Communists in Thailand and may be to date.) Recently, our government published “we departed from Thailand per our 1961 -1975 agreement.” In my opinion, the number of Thai deaths were a factor in the Thai public’s dissent.
Our government calls the Southeast Asia War the Vietnam Era I supposed because of the largest number of US deaths, wounds, and exposures but as I wrote previously, South Vietnam was a
Civil War, the covert war in Laos was the true war against an indigenous population that wanted to be free of foreign occupiers. From my conversations with Cambodians, Laotians, Thais and Vietnamese during my six years plus in Thailand and Laos;-each person declared they didn’t care the name of their government they just sought to be able to raise a family, work, remain healthy, and a free person. Isn’t there goal the same as citizens of the United States. The citizens I recognized always understood the right of equality – no racism.
Recently, the Department of Veterans announced to veterans in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia they were unable to receive a rating of service connected disability for Agent Orange (AO) exposure due to a court ruling that only that military members with “Boots on the Ground” and Blue Water Navy forces near the coast of Vietnam and Vietnam inland waterways were eligible for
service connection. There was a administrative stipulation for Thailand. Now for the record: the United States expended more ordnance over the Kingdom of Laos than we did over Europe
during World War II plus Laos was our country’s Spain was to pre-World War II Germany. I don’t have the tonnage of Agent Orange and other toxins expended over Laos and Thailand, but I
would bet it greatly exceed the tonnage over South Vietnam. The land area for bases in Thailand, Laos, and South Vietnam were cleared by barrels of toxins flown from Don Muang
Royal Thai Air Base, Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand. The barrels arrived in Thailand by ships and transported to Don Muang for trans-shipment by air and vehicular land resources. The
hardships endured by US and allied forces in South Vietnam were no greater than those endured by many in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
Hopefully, this blog entry will enlighten those citizens that love our country to the true reasons we went to war in Southeast Asia and may serve as a source of evidence for those that were
exposed to toxins and other hazards in the wars in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
With respect, I remain.
BILLY RAY WILSON