The Meaningful Life of Manophet

Manophet Lonebuffalo was an amiable, kind-hearted man who lived in the small town of Phonsavanh in northeastern Laos. His primary job entailed working for the Japanese Mine Action Service, a nonprofit organization that helps to clear unexploded ordnance in Laos, among other places. But that was only one of many activities that occupied his time. […]

2011 Review

Below is a quick look at the most-read posts in 2011. I’m listing some of the top ones with a brief summary, in case you’re interested. Thanks very much to everyone for visiting, and to the kind people who have shared these writings and commented on them. … Lessons from the Christmas Truce of 1914. […]

Reconciliation, Biology, and the Second Indochina War

Of all the things I’ve written on this site, this remains one of the most meaningful to me. (May 29, 2017) “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” …………………………………………………………………………– Mohandas K. Gandhi On my desk sits a spoon I bought in a restaurant in northern Laos. It’s lightweight, bigger than […]

Meeting to Ban Cluster Munitions, Vientiane Laos

Today marks the beginning of the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, held in Vientiane, Laos. The meeting’s purpose is to determine how to effectively implement the objectives laid out by the original Convention, which took place in Dublin in May 2008 and became binding to ratifying states in August […]

Lingering Effects of the War in Laos

The Lao National Regulatory Authority (LNRA) recently released an impressive, 106-page report on the victims of unexploded ordnance (UXO) over the last few decades. The authors, Mike Boddington and Bountao Chanthavongsa, and all of the associated researchers should be commended for this invaluable contribution, which documents in a systematic fashion the damage done by the […]