The Boston Phoenix has republished a fascinating article that first appeared in January, 1972. It extensively quotes a Lao Army captain.

Among other things, he says:

“Do I hate the Pathet Lao? Why should I? They are Lao people, like me. You know, when I was at Mam Bac back in 1968 I used to meet with them secretly at night out in the forest. We would talk together and eat together. We have nothing to fight about. My soldiers respect and admire the Pathet Lao. Their soldiers don’t make any money, you know, but they really fight, and they’re not afraid to die.

What is our life like? Miserable! My soldiers are just posted to an outpost on a mountain, far from their villages. Then they just sit there, for months and years. Almost none of them have ever come to Vientiane.”

Kudos to The Phoenix for dredging up this artifact of the war in Laos. In my view, much can be learned when our attention is drawn to such snippets of history. Reprinting old material is one of the great public services provided by those rare publications that stand the test of time.