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Air America

May 09, 2016 | 0 comments


We will now throw caution to the wind and talk specifically about Air America as the final chapter of the current My Friend Fred trilogy. It was certainly the airline of which Fred and I had the greatest level of knowledge in Laos in the old days, if not frequent flier miles, but no one was seeking free trips for their destinations. Just to be clear, Air America was formed by the U.S. as a phantom corporation for the Central Intelligence Agency. As a civilian airline, it could go places that otherwise would have violated the Geneva Treaty Accords. At...

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Mercenaries or Ethnic Minority Armies in Southeast Asia

May 02, 2016 | 0 comments


The recent My Friend Fred blog opened a new chapter of Elephant Story blogs by not talking as much about Asian elephants as to define the war-torn years that impacted the elephant population and culture more than anyone might have imagined. Many of the people who suffered the greatest were ethnic minorities who fought against the alleged bad guys not as mercenaries but as disenfranchised ethnic groups that happened to live in someone else's country. In writing about Fred being evacuated from Chad, I recalled a photo he took of a single French Legionnaire with hands on hips standing down...

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My Friend Fred

Apr 25, 2016 | 0 comments


You may ask what the subject has to do with elephants? Joey says I can take any subject and tie it back to elephants. In actual fact, Fred saw my picture in the Bangkok Post after our final match in The King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament and sent me an email message. In reality, the author can write whatever he chooses but Fred actually had an impact on me in my formative youth that enables me to do what I do today-no fear of war zones like Laos in the old days, no fear of dodgy airlines and crashes, no...

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