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Warlord (from Harvesting Pa Chay's Wheat: The Hmong and America's Secret War in Laos)

Author(s): Keith Quincy

Journal: Hmong Studies Journal
ISSN 1091-1774

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2000;
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Keywords: Hmong History | Hmong in Asia | Vietnam War

This is Chapter Eight (Warlord) of Harvesting Pa Chay's Wheat:The Hmong and America's Secret War in Laos, scheduled forpublication in March 2000. The chapter chronicles the eventsthat led to Vang Pao's rise to commander, and warlord, of thesecond military region. It also describes the politicalmachine he created, a vast system of patronage and graftdesigned to co-opt clan notables (many of them potentialpolitical rivals) and, if this failed, a program ofassassination for trouble-makers. Vang Pao also acquired wivesfrom various clans to forge ties to clan leaders. To induceordinary Hmong to support the war effort he spawned, with CIAmoney and sponsorship, a massive system of welfare that wouldeventually make more than a hundred thousand Hmong dependenton him for their survival.

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