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The Secret War (Fall 2012)

            Everyone knows the history about the Vietnam War, the detail, the cause and the way it ended. However, they did not know that there was a hidden war during that time. It was a war that was kept as a secret for a certain time in history. The unknown war is known as the Secret War. It was a war that was involved with the North Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and the United States of American. It was a war that based on a country overruling another country and making it into a communism system. It started off with the North Vietnam overtaking South Vietnam and having an agenda to take over Laos. Half of the Laos people who were known as the Pathet Lao agreed with the ideas, because they were in the communist party. However, the other people who were known as the Royal Laotian disagreed because they were the one who had power in Laos and didn’t want that power to be taken over. With that problem, two countries came in and got involved, Thailand and the USA. They were supporting the Royal Laotian people because first, Thailand knew that if they didn’t support the Royal Laotian people, they would be the next target. Second, The USA didn’t like the ideas of communism spreading and decided to support so Laos can be a country of democracy. With that, they fought against North Vietnam to stop their spread of communism. During the war, the three countries had involved a tribe that lived in the high mountains and they were known as the Hmong. The Hmong were involved because they had helped many American soldiers escaped from the enemy when their airplanes had crashed. The United State trained, paid and even gave them weapon to fight. The war turned out to be a failure because they lost against the North Vietnam. As the United State soldiers return back home, they left the Hmong behind, where they got tortured and died from the North Vietnam soldiers. Even today, the Genocide still continues. It still leaves many concerns to the Hmong people. The two important factors that had made an impact in this event would be the role of specific individual and also, the government and politic systems. 

Force One: Role of Specific Individual
            During this time of the Secret War, there are people who have made an impact upon the war. One of the people would be from Laos; he was man who was knowledgeable and well known. He was a part of the Hmong Tribe and many people view him as a leader. This young man fought and had made the agreement to help the United State. His name was General Vang Pao. He was a person who many of the Hmong people looked up to and respected. His role as a general was to help the United State with the war and make sure his people and his team win the war. During the time when the war was over, the American had taken him to the United State where he lived the life of the American’s dream. In one of the interview video, He mentions his emotion of leaving his country behind. He directly said with tears, “When I look over Long Cheng, I cried because I knew I was leaving my country behind.” Tears rolled down his face as he struggle to speak. He eventually did come back and negotiate with the American to bring his people, the Hmong to the United State. The USA agreed with his decision and brought the Hmong to the United State. Relating back to the Secret War, General Vang Pao was an important man who many people view as a hero. Furthermore, without General Vang Pao helps, the United State wouldn’t be allow to help out the other countries. 

            Another person who had played an important role in the secret war was Bill Lair. He was an agent for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). During his time in the Secret war, he was given the duties to go to Thailand and trained the Hmong to help the American fight the war. He was actually the man who found General Vang Pao and recruited him to fight for the war. Even after the losing the war, he had supported and helped General Vang Pao to bring the Hmong people to the United State. During the war, He stood by and helps and supports the Hmong as much as he could by supplying them with weapons and giving them financial needs.

Force Two: Politic and Government
            Government and politics had plays an important role during the Secret War because if North Vietnam wasn’t going to convert other country into a communist systems, it would not have started the Secret War. It was all based on two countries, the North Vietnam, and Laos. North Vietnam wanted to turn Laos into a communist government system, one communist group called the Pathet Lao party agreed with the deal. However, another group called the Royal Laotian. With those two disagreements it has lead a dramatic war, leading Thailand and the United State to get involved. With the war going on, the three countries have affected a tribe that lived in the high mountain. Having the Hmong being involved with the war has greatly affected them in a negative and positive way. The government and politics of the United States have allowed the Hmong to gain knowledge of weapon and self-defensed. The United State has supported them through training and also, supplying them with weapons, food and medical assistance. They have helped the Hmong a lot until they departed to their homeland. However, the negative effect that the Hmong have received for supporting the American was facing the consequence of genocide from the North Vietnam. After North Vietnam won the war, they have taken over Laos. They started to killed all the Hmong men, women, children who had supported the American. It was a time of fear, death and sadness for the Hmong people. Many Hmong People died and some of the lucky families were able to flee safely to Thailand where they became refugee. In a book called, “Chao Fa” Panasuwan described the terrifying tragic that many Hmong faced during the genocide. He gives the reader detailed stories about woman getting raped, children beaten to death, men getting shoot in front of their love ones. Even today, the tragic still leaves pain of sadness to the Hmong. Government and Politic plays a huge role in the secret war because it have affected many Hmong People and the lives of their life now. 

Conflict between the Two Forces
            During the Secret War, there were many conflicts that had an impact on the two forces of the two individual, government and politics. One of conflict would be the small amount of solider the Laos had. Using the Hmong as soldiers, there were not a lot of men. Going through a war, the USA lost a lot of men because of the explosive of weapon and the condition of the environment. With the small amount of men, they gathered up young boys as solider. The boys were taught to fight and also, to died. As a mother, it was a hard decides because just seeing her husband go to war was already heartbreaking and now, they were taking her little boy. The conflict about that situation was that with the limited amount of people, the USA would not be able to help the Royal Lao win the war. So the only way to win was gathering all the people they could get to fight the war. The more people they had, the better chance of winning. 

            Another conflicts that both of these force faced would be having food and medical assistance. As the war was in action, people were injured, dehydrated and hungry. With those low supplies, many solider have lost their life because they were not able to get the need. Many of them have died from sickness because without food, they were not supported with good protein to give them the energy to work hard and remain focus. Even worst, many of the soldiers on both sides were shot and injured. With the low amount of medical supplies, the soldiers were able to recovers. Instead they were left to suffer and died. These two conflicts are important within the individual person and also, to the government and politics. During the time of the war, Vang Pao has lost one of his greatest friends. It has left him to scream and cry for the whole world to hear. Even today, they have a saying that in Laos, people are still able to hear his cry and scream of sadness.  With these conflicts, both of these forces struggled to remain stable and alive. At the end, they all end up losing soldiers and loved ones.

            Looking back at the information that I have found about the Secret War is a heartbreaking event. I honestly felt like it was an event just like the Holocaust where people were set to be tortured and died. I feel like the Secret War was an event that had a great impact on the Hmong because they did help and fight for the United State. They were the one who faced the consequence of being tortured by the North Vietnam. Honestly, in my own opinion I believe it is wrong that the United State would just leave the Hmong people after they had helped the American a lot. The Hmong should’ve made a negotiation with the American before they started to fight against North Vietnam. During my research, I have learned a lot about the war and just the overall cause of it. It’s heartbreaking to know that many people lost their life because of this war that was only against two countries. I honestly feel like they could’ve made a negotiation between each other instead of turning into violence, causing other countries to get involved and killing millions of innocent people. Its leaves me with disappointment knowing now that it took the United State at least 30 years to even transport the Hmong to the USA. If they could have done it earlier, this awful genocide wouldn’t have happened and the Hmong wouldn’t be upset about it.

            Overall, I thought it was a good topic to explore and to also gain great knowledge. I wished people would know how the Hmong people felt when they lost their love ones. Even today, many people are suffering. As of now, there have been rumors that the awful tragic is still happening. There are still many Hmong people who are still in the process of escaping from the North Vietnam and are struggling every day to survive. Its breaks my heart to pieces every day to know the hardship the Hmong have gone through in order to reach a land of peace, freedom and happiness. 

            The Secret War is a tragic war that had caused many death, fear and sorrow to many Hmong people. It was an event where two countries fought over the control of communist. It was a time where other countries became involved, fearing that they were be overtaken and also, to avoid the spread of communist. Countries fought each other, killing many soldiers and children. As a result, the country of the communist won, leading the other countries to lose. After that conquer, supported countries left and people became recognize as great leader as the people who are left behind are left to die. General Vang Pao and Bill Lair were able to have the chance to save the lives of the Hmong by migrating them to the United State where they lived the life of peace and freedom. Even through the two countries have affect other people and tribe, it will always be known as war where life was taken, communist was overtaken and view as a part of history. Even through these two factors of specific individual had made a great impact upon the secret war; they are now view as a hero or so, a leader. As for the government and politic during that time, it had caused many chaos and disagreement. With the ideal of communism, not many countries agreed with the expansion of other countries. It all caused the war to start because other didn’t like the idea and also, it was the start of the war. The effects that the two forces have caused were the death of many lives and the start of genocide. Furthermore, the two forces of individual people, government and politics has caused the conflict of losing more Hmong soldiers and using younger children to take their father’s place. With that conflict, it has led many young boy to sacrificed their live to fight against communism. The Secret War was a war of violence, tortured, sadness and pain. Many people fought for what they believe in and as of now, they, the Hmong are still left with pain of sadness and sorrow. 

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  2. Saub, Yawm, dir. General Vang Pao Memorial:CIA Agents Bill Lair. 2011. Film. 5 Dec 2012. 
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