Interview with Sia Lo a Survivor of the Secret War
Can you tell us just briefly for our audience about yourself and what motivated you to run for Congress?
My name is Shia lo, I am a Hmong Laotian, immigrant from Laos. We left Laos, back in 1975 and I was only 10 years old when came to the United States. We were allowed to immigrate to the U.S during Vietnam because the Mung fought for the Americans and freedom in Laos. The Mung paid a very heavy price, losing approximately 30% of our population in the War. Because of that sacrifice, the Mung were allowed to immigrate to the U.S as refugees.
I graduated from law school and have practiced law for the last 20 years. During my career, I worked in all levels of government up to the federal level. I married the love of my life and have four beautiful children. In the last 20 years that I’ve been an attorney, and I’ve helped a lot of people run for office. I helped them with their campaign, with their ideas, with their fundraising.
Today, I decided that it is my turn to contribute to America. I want to contribute what I can to America because America has done a lot for me. It allowed me to come to this country as a refugee, and now I’ve achieved the American dream. I feel like this is time for me to do my part, to give back to America what she’s already given to me.
Could you tell them a little more about the secret war against the mung after Vietnam?
During the Vietnam war, the United States entered into an agreement with Russia, China, Noth Vietnam, and Southeast Asian countries that the United States would not introduce any forces inside of Laos for the war. Laos remained neutral during the conflict when the United States signed the agreement during the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese sent military supplies from the North to South Vietnam to the U.S forces in the South.
The objective of the United States was to stop the military flow from the North Vietnamese into the south by using the whole Truman trail that crosses over into Laos. However, the agreement prevented them from sending in U.S forces, so they recruited the mung to hold the line. The Mung are a minority group within Laos. The Mung rescued American Pilots during the chiming trail and attack the North Vietnamese occupying forces. The Mung fought alongside the American forces for 15-years without losing ground. If they had not allied with the U.S thousands of North Vietnamese forces would have attacked Americans in Vietnam.
In Washington, the Vietnam Memorial will be doubled in number and size. The Mung will finally get credit for their contribution during the war. The Mung paid a very heavy price during Vietnam. Approximately 30 of the total Mung population died fighting in the Vietnam war.
You were just a kid when this happened?
Yes. Now Michael and I had been talking a while back and he told me a little bit about the secret war. They told me that there are war elements in the DNC that have stopped legislation. They stopped adding the Secret war into the Vietnam war curriculum in California. The Laotion community tried very hard to pass legislation that would require children to be educated about the war inside of Laos during Vietnam.
How does it make you feel that there are legislators who are trying to suppress your people’s history?
It makes me very sad that we are leaving out huge history lessons of our children’s education. If we do not learn the mistakes that we made, we will repeat them. I’m seeing that right now with people are desecrating our monuments throughout the U.S. They are trying to erase history. Whether hidden history, whether good or bad our history serves as lessons to educate us about where we came from, the things we did, and the mistakes we made. We must educate our children about that. I’m disappointed, that, the governor does not understand the contribution the mung to the U S joined that time.
What do you think about the defund the police movement?
It’s a terrible idea. The message is that we’re going to defund the police here in Minnesota, in Minneapolis alone lead to a spike in shootings and crimes, like never before. That is even before they actually defund the police. They are just talking about defunding the police and see what it is leading to. In a country, without law and order, you cannot have freedom. You cannot have justice. Who is going to maintain law and order without the police?
I’m a believer that in this country when something breaks down, we don’t throw it away. We continue to fix it until we get a right. I use an example of an automobile that the United States built. We continue to fix it until we get Lexus. Mercedes these days, right? Or Chevy, Chevy, or Chevy Corvette. We continue to fix it until it becomes better.
In the same way, I view law enforcement. There’s a lot of stuff that law enforcement, needs to fix. We must encourage them to fix it. I just found out today, here in Minnesota and especially in the twin cities is that the FBI, now has joined forces with local police and they created the twin cities, violent crime task force.
Now you have federal agents working with local police to solve crimes in the city. That is the approach. It has not been tried before. Let’s give that a chance before we start talking about it, Hey, let’s just take the funding out of the police altogether. I’m very happy to hear that news today, from the FA from the FBI, actually that they’ve created that task force.
Now, if you compare our law enforcement to the FBI you would agree that FBI agents are better. Why are they better? They are better trained, right? They are better recruited. We can have very good FBI agents because they’re properly trained, equipped, and probably have higher education. We can do the same for the police by raising the level of their training and using new technologies to hold them accountable. This is the thing that I will be pushing for and the idea of defunding the police is out of the question.
What is the Alertivative to the police force?
Correct. We know, I mean, it’s the Democrats who are already blaming the president for tapping into the military for assistance. They should not because here in Minneapolis and St. Paul the police were outnumbered. That’s why he call in the national guard. When the national guard is outnumbered then you only have the military to call. That is just the sequence that you need to follow to maintain law and order.
Whether law enforcement or military people we have to stop the lawlessness. If you get rid of the police and do something different you go into prevention mode. I do not know how you can attack that problem using the prevention mode without having proper law enforcement in the first place.
How important is it for Law Enforcement Agencies to coordinate?
I agree. That’s why I believe that we need to form more coordination. Like what I just took place here in Minneapolis with the announcement twin cities violent crime task force.
Bringing a federal agent to join forces with the police, because if the police are not doing certain things then the federal agents would assist in that and they could monitor each other better to make sure that maintaining law and order, yet not use the power given to law enforcement excessively.