All Gen. Vang Pao and others were doing, she maintains, is what we asked them to do during the Vietnam War -- overthrow the communist government of Laos.
So, she writes:
Wasn’t overthrowing communist governments once our foreign policy? As California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher put it: "I don’t think that’s anything that should worry Americans, that some people who believe in democracy are trying to overthrow a dictatorship in their homeland."...As we said in an earlier post, here are a couple of reasons:
After all, the plotters’ cause was ours once, until we moved on to the Islamic fascist terrorism front. Dishonorably, we left the Hmong behind in Laos, where they were slaughtered by the communists for their support of democracy. We brought some of them to America as political refugees. I guess we expect them to drop the cause because we have. We must have sounded really convincing at the time, just like we sounded to Iraqis once. I guess it’s OK to defend democracy only when it’s the Bush administration doing it.
So the real question is why the United States government is indicting a freedom-fighting general, Vang Pao, for trying to overthrow a communist government when the U.S. government once recruited that same freedom-fighting general, Vang Pao, to overthrow a communist government.
The arrest came as Vang and others were allegedly preparing to send hundreds of machine guns, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets, Stinger shoulder-fired missiles, mines and C-4 explosives to be used against the Laotian government...Supposedly, the United States is a country that would not condone such activity. Even most communist-hating, flag-waving conservatives can see there is something wrong with that picture, which may answer McBride's question about where the right-wing outrage is over Vang's arrest.
"We are looking at conspiracy to murder thousands and thousands of people at one time," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Twiss said in court.
The US government normalized trade relations with Laos in 1995. We are hardly at war with the Laotian government.
To condone what Gen. Vang and others were doing is tantamount to harboring terrorists.
Let's try a parallel example and see if that helps. Nguyen Cao Ky, former premier and vice-president of South Vietnam during the US war there, was a swashbuckling anti-communist ally of the US. A refugee at war's end, he wound up running a grocery/liquor store in California. He has since made his peace, it appears, with the communist government of Vietnam. But suppose, instead, he had been raising money to buy weapons to invade Hanoi and overthrow the government. Does McBride think the US should help him, or at least ignore him? (Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes.)
McBride's wingnut brigade blasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi for even talking to the Syrian government. They're ready to invade Iran for allegedly supporting and supplying terrorism in Iraq.
Given that, how could they possibly condone the plot against the Laotian government or turn a blind eye once the US knew of it? Again, that may explain why McBride appears to be in the vanguard, rather than following the party line, on this issue.
McBride misses the days of Oliver North and Iran-Contra, fighting to rid the world of communism no matter what the laws or the constitution say. You can almost hear her humming, "Those were the days, my friend; we thought they'd never end..."
Afterthought: Here's an insightful Boston Globe column on the subject.
And a quote: "We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." -- President George W. Bush, September 20, 2001