Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Hmong Cause

For the most part, this blog is about the American political scene. I am also very interested in issues outside of our borders. Recently, I came across a news article about Hmong refugees in Thailand. Not knowing very much about the Hmong people, other than what you see and hear in the recent Clint Eastwood movie, "Gran Torino", I read the article and was disgusted.

First, some history of the Hmong and how they came into the American eye. The Hmong are an indigenous people in Southeast Asia. They live in and around Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. During the Vietnam Civil War, the US was invited by the fragile democratic government of South Vietnam to provide military assistance and later, full military involvement in the internal conflict. Laos, a small Asian nation, was neutral. The Ho Chi Minh Trail ran through parts of Laos. Due to their neutrality, the US and South Vietnam could not base troops there. The Laotian king was invited to Washington so the US President, John F Kennedy, could meet with him and ask for his help. The Laotian King agreed and the indigenous Hmong were put into action. Fast forward and the current, communist government of Laos, a key ally to the current communist government of Vietnam, is now punishing the Hmong people for their assistance to the US military and CIA. Thousands of Hmong, traditionally Christian, are murdered, raped and persecuted. One of the most atrocious and recent attacks involved a two month old Hmong baby. Her murdered body was used for target practiced. Her head was separated from her body by the Laotian soldiers from being shot so much. Their indifference to this innocent life is shocking. Their aggression is no surprise to people who have known the communist creed of kill all who oppose.
In Thailand, there are communities of Hmong refugees that escaped this horror. The Laotian government, wanting to silence the Hmong, made a deal with the Thai government to deport the Hmong back to Laos. One group of 30, with one adult, 5 boys and the rest girls, were returned. The adult and 5 boys have never been heard from or seen again. Some of the girls escaped back to Thailand and recounted a horrific experience back in Laos. More rape, torture and threats of genocide occurred.

Some relief workers, NGO's and activists have petitioned the UN for intervention. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General, failed to act due to a lack of evidence.
Rebecca Sommer, a freelance documentary filmmaker, went to Thailand and made a documentary. I warn you, it is graphic. It needs to be in order to demonstrate the urgency of the situation. Visit her web site, www.rebeccasommer.org and view segments of the documentary, "Hunted Like Animals."

America, what is going on in Laos is nothing less than genocide. An entire race of people are being systematically killed. If this were happening in our backyard, there would be an uproar of proportions unknown to society. But because this is somewhere else, the national media has not covered this story. Join me in a letter writing campaign to our national leaders to expose this. Write Fox News, CNN and other national media outlets and express your interest in this and your anger in not finding out about it through them.
We needed the Hmong then, they need us now. They served with honor and distinction, will we?



Disclaimer: Rebecca Sommer in no way sponsored this blog. I visited her site, following a link from an independent news organization and viewed the segments and decided to blog about this on my own. DVD's of the documentary are available by emailing her at sommerfilms@gmail.com. Copies of the DVD have been distributed to NGO's, The United Nations and other agencies. I would encourage you to buy her DVD and show it to your friends, your Sunday School groups and anyone else you can think of. Beware:Do not show this video to children. Do not show it to anyone without warning them it is graphic.

2 comments:

Nicki said...

Wow, I am glad you are aware of the Hmong "cause." I am going to copy and paste your thoughts on my Hmong blog

Chue said...

Write more please. Your blog is has caught my full attention.