Hmong Genocide (Fall 2012)
Thirty seven years passed since a war that was never mentioned had ended. To this day, not everyone knows about the Secret War. This war was between the United States and Laos during the Vietnam War. In helping the U.S., Hmong, known as Miao allied and helped the U.S. fight the secret war against Laos. With conflicts of helping the U.S. fight Laos, a lot of Hmong people are left behind and persecuted.
In 1961, the Secret War started in Laos. Debating which side of political parties to be on, Laos decides to become a Communist allying with North Vietnam. In fear that Laos will become a Communist and that will force Thailand to also become a Communist. This will then lead them to be the top Communist leaders in the Southeast Asia. Most of Laos then chooses to become Communists. Laos helped supported North Vietnam by attacking the U.S. border lines, provided militia for North Vietnam, and most of all destroyed homes and villages of Laos who opposes of becoming communist. United States in need of help, recruited the Hmong to help fight against Laos.
Vang Pao, a general for the Hmong people was recruited by the United States forces to help secure the U.S. troops. General Vang Pao was a cleaver and smart officer that made the U.S. recruited him to become the leader of the Secret Army. He went right to work and started recruiting his Hmong people to prepare for the Secret War. The Hmong were trained to use weapons, generate ambush attacks, and fight with planes. Soon, all the Hmong troops learned and started to support the United States.
The Hmong were used to basically help but borderlines so the Laotians would not be able to go in into North Vietnam and help fight against the U.S. Also, the Hmong helped rescued U.S. soldiers whose planes were shot down. As time goes by, Hmong soldiers were risking their lives to save American soldiers and soon, Hmong soldiers were running short. General Vang Pao then goes and recruited young and teenage Hmong boys as little as 10 years old to help and fight against the Laos.
1975, when the United States withdrew from South Vietnam, they were not leaving just Vietnam. They also took military weapons, U.S. armies out of Laos, and left behind the Hmong people. Leaving the Hmong people in Laos, the communists endorsed an attack against the Hmong people for helping their allies, the U.S. Stranded, U.S. came back and helped evacuated as much Hmong people as they can to new homes. The ones left behind had to flee across the Mekong River into Thailand and some run off into the forest of Laos.
As the evacuated Hmong people are living safely in the United States, France, Australia, and Thailand now, the ones left behind are still trying to stay alive to this day. Deep in the forests and mountains of Laos, Hmong people fearfully lives in there day by day. Every day, they are always starving and stay alive hoping that the Laos soldier will not find them. Hmong people in the Laos are slowly dying from Laos’s attacks and starvation. There is absolutely no way out of as Laos put troops around the borders of every forest. It is just saddening as how much these Hmong people left behind are in need of help. As mentioned in an article I read, an elderly young woman cries out, “We have no food, every day we have to run, we are being hunted like animals.” (Lloyd-George, 2011, 1) This is the start of the genocide for the Hmong people stuck in Laos.
For 15 or more years now, this genocide still occurs. Never getting to see the clear sky again, never getting to sleep peacefully and never getting help is something all these Hmong people in Laos are enduring. If Laos’s armies find Hmong villages in the forests of Laos, Hmong men are force to fight back while the women and children flee. If the Hmong escapes, they live to die another day. If the Hmong loses, Laos kills every living human in the village. Men will get shoot and killed, women will be rape and brutally get beaten to death, and children will also be brutally beaten to death.
Like my Grandma, Soua Moua said to me, “Living in the life of hide and seek, she would rather take her own life than letting a soulless Laotian kill her.” (Moua interview) I am convinced that my grandma is right. To live a life of no escape and nothing but death from enemies, I would rather die. These Hmong people are not getting to live the life they wanted or once had. They are just living a life of hiding.
In my sense, I believe that the politics and government was more organized and more thoughtful, this genocide would have never occurred. If Europe never went on a quest to find land, conquer lands, or start fights with other countries, wars and genocides would have never occurred. Everyone wants power and to get power, we need land and politicians. If we would have found just one politic for every country to use, none of these horrid events would have never happened. A similar event is the Holocaust. Nazis wanted more power therefore they become Communists and turn blames on the Jews.
Every Communist country seems to have something in common. Having to persecute other race that lives in the same country and start genocide. Whether it is to have the power of living more independent, it is losing the power of controlling violence. This politic made wars between communist and anti-communist countries and this is the reason how it lead genocides to the Hmong people also.
Along with politics and government, another force I believe affected this event is interaction and exchange. If Miao, known as the Hmong now have never been forced to flee China, the Hmong would have never been in this situation. Moving into a neighbor country has to learn a new life. Hmong becomes more independent, culture changes, and traits of being from China soon vanish.
Lastly, a history force that gave big impact to that led to the genocide is the science and technology force. Military weapons have increased dramatically and nuclear weapons just give every nation the temptation to damage other countries. Being worried that North Vietnam might attack South Vietnam with heavy weapons, United States steps in. Being top ranked with military forces; United States confidently thought everything will be under their control when the Vietnam War ends. By doing so, it involved other countries to join the war and developed unsure theories. Therefore, the United States concerns rises and led to recruiting allies within the same country as the enemies. From there, it was a doubtful war and when the United States withdrew, Hmong people are left with nothing but genocide.
As you can see, events can have an effect on anyone to this day. So many years have passed since the Vietnam War ended and yet, grudges in Laos still want to get back at the Hmong. The history forces of politics, exchange, and technology changed our insights of the way we should have treated one another in this world.
- Davis, E. (1999, March 17). Angelfire. Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/in/Laos/
- Geroge, W. L. (2011, FEBR 25). The cia. Retrieved from http://thediplomat.com/2011/02/25/the-cia’s-secret-war/
- Secret war. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://library.thinkquest.org/trio/TR0110763/secretWar.html
- Leary, W. M. (2008, June 27). Cia air operations in laos, 1955-1974. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/winter99-00/art7.html
- Al Burke (n.d.). www.nnn.se. Retrieved from http://www.nnn.se/n-model/foreign/hmong.htm
- Moua, S. (12, 12 06). Interview by FY Yang [Personal Interview]. Hmong Genocide., Saint Paul, MN.