The US committed “massive war crimes” during the Vietnam War and President Barack Obama’s recent acknowledgment of America’s brutal bombing campaign in that conflict is only a “drop in the bucket,” says a journalist and political commentator in Virginia.
“What President Obama acknowledged was really only a small part of what the United States did back in that time,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com.
“He hasn’t acknowledged the much larger war crimes that were committed such as the coup that was organized against the government of [Laos],” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.
Laos, along with neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam, “were subject to endless bombing by the United States during the war in Vietnam,” he added. “More bombs were dropped in that war than the United States dropped in World War ll.”
“The war crimes committed by the United States in the war in Vietnam were massive,” he noted.
Between 1964 and 1973, US warplanes engaged in a secret bombing campaign, dropping over two million tons of bombs on villages across Laos, in a bid to cut off the supply trail of the Vietnamese army.
The US bombing raids left this long-isolated nation with the unfortunate distinction of being the "most heavily bombed country on earth."
American bombers dropped an average of one bomb-load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, totaling more bombs than were dropped during all of World War II.
Tens of millions of those bombs, mostly cluster munitions, did not explode immediately and continue to harm unsuspecting civilians.
Obama, who became the first sitting US president to visit Laos, admitted during a speech on Tuesday that America’s secret bombing campaign against Laos obliterated the country and killed thousands of people.
"Villages and entire valleys were obliterated," during US bombardments, Obama told a group of Lao people at the capital city of Vientiane. “Ancient plains were devastated. Countless civilians were killed. That conflict was another reminder whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts a terrible toll, especially on innocent men, women and children.”
The US president said Washington would spend 90 million dollars to clear millions of unexploded American bombs under a joint three-year contract with the Laotian government. Washington's 'goodwill' gesture, however, could be too little too late for thousands of people who lost their lives or limbs due to the leftover ordnance.