Having spent a lot of time in Laos, I never had the pleasure of meeting the General but I met hundreds of Hmong who knew and loved him. The comment about him leading the Hmong to go with the “wrong side” in Laos is ridiculous. The Hmong are as anti-communist as any people that I have ever met. He followed the Hmongs natural tendency to fight communism. They are also “scary” brilliant warriors who have absolutely no fear on the battle field. I have also met several SF guys who pretty much became Hmong when helping them fight the North Vietnamese Communists. The Pathet Lao did not really exist, the Hmong were fighting the North Vietnamese invaders with the help of American forces.
He should be given full honors when buried with his fellow American warriors against the communist invaders.
Thank you for your insight.
How do you pronounce Hmong? With a silent H?
The year 1965 marked the beginning of major military activity in what became known as the secret war in Laos. Although the full extent of the conflict was not revealed to the American people until 1969-70, the war was not all that secret. News of the fighting frequently found its way into the pages of The Bangkok Post, The New York Times, and other newspapers.
The CIA was largely responsible for conducting military operations in Laos, but the US Ambassador (William Sullivan) was the man in charge. Sullivan imposed two conditions upon his subordinates. First, the thin fiction of the Geneva accords had to be maintained to avoid possible embarrassment to the Lao and Soviet Governments; military operations, therefore, had to be carried out in relative secrecy. Second, no regular US ground troops were to become involved.