Thailand Forcibly Deporting 4,000 Hmong to Laos

Ignoring pleas of human rights activists, the U.N., and others, Thailand has begun the mass deportation of 4,000 ethnic Hmong back to communist Laos where they are likely to face persecution due their assistance to the U.S. during the CIA's war in Laos and the Vietnam war.

[T]he soldiers are unarmed although equipped with shields and batons. Col Thana said the Hmong were being taken to a nearby staging area where they would be put on buses which would take them to the Thai border town of Nong Khai and then across to Laos.

It is expected the Hmong will resist and violence will break out. The State Department has tried to intervene, to no avail. It sent "a senior official" to Bangkok last week, and 9 Senators wrote a letter.

Wrote a letter? That's it? The U.S., through the CIA, recruited and used the Hmong for more than a decade during their secret war in Laos and the Vietnam War. Some stats [More...]:

In 1969, at the time when Congress first learned of our secret war in Laos, about 18,000 Hmong soldiers had already been killed in battle died, and many women and children had died as well. The Hmong were taking a great risk in boldly fighting for the United States, trusting that we would stand by them. But in 1973, the U.S. began to pull out of Laos, leaving the Hmong on their own to fight thousands of North Vietnamese troops in Laos.

By 1975, Laos had fallen completely into Communist hands, and the lives of all Hmong people who helped fight the Communists were in jeopardy. More than 100,000 Hmong fled to Thai refugee camps. Many would be killed along the way, especially when crossing the Mekong River to get to Thailand. An estimated 30,000 Hmong would be killed by Communist forces while trying to reach Thailand. Over 100,000 Hmong people died as a result of the war, and today nearly every Hmong family in the US has terrible tales of loss and tragedy relating to the war.

More than 100,000 Hmong resettled in the United States, and the 2008 Census report shows 221,000 Hmong now live here. But thousands, like those in Thailand, got stuck in refugee camps.

Laos has threatened revenge on them since 1975.

After taking over Laos in 1975, the Pathet Lao Communists stated that they would wipe out the Hmong. A Vietnamese broadcast apparently called for genocide against them. From 1976 to 1979, there were credible reports of chemical warfare used against Hmong villages.

There have been subsequent reports of abuse and torture of the Hmong in Laos. How can anyone trust them now? The Washington Post had this editorial on Dec. 25th. Human Rights Watch has more.

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    Why not here? (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:50:03 AM EST
    Why are we not offering these hmong people safe passage to the USA? Do they not want to come? Or have we decided there are enough hmong people in the States?

    they should be offered the chance to (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:55:52 AM EST
    come here, it's the least we can do for them, considering how much they gave for us.

    NPR story last week (none / 0) (#3)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:27:35 AM EST
    talked about the resources for refugees here.  Even if they make it past all the red tape, there is only a make shift patchwork of government and private organizations to provide support for refugees.  It's not the promised land.

    I tm ay not be the promised land (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cawaltz on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:10:03 AM EST
    but it sounds like they would have better chances with us and our refugee orgs then in Laos.

    More ongoing fallout from (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:01:41 PM EST
    the Cold War and it's numberless smaller hot wars.

    Lets take some of that money from the CIA's "black", seeming unlimited expense account and take care of these folks. It's the least we can do.

    Then, as Kennedy suggested, splinter the Company in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds. We'd all be better off.