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Al Jazeera: Agent Orange still haunts Vietnam


The following video will likely infuriate you but is well worth watching.  I’m filled with sadness when I think of all the suffering and destruction our empire has left behind, and is currently leaving throughout the world i.e. depleted uranium.  The US Ambassador Michael Michalak is a perfect example of an amoral propagandist and apologist for massive state crimes–quite remarkable to see actually. Al Jazeera English continues to impress me with its journalism.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/101east/2009/09/20099107249452110.html

 

Chomsky adds more to the subject.  From his 1989 book Necessary Illusions, Chapter 2,

Journalists not subject to the same influences and requirements see a
somewhat different picture. In an Israeli mass-circulation daily, Amnon
Kapeliouk published a series of thoughtful and sympathetic articles on a
1988 visit to Vietnam. One is headlined "Thousands of Vietnamese still
die from the effects of American chemical warfare." He reports estimates
of one-quarter of a million victims in South Vietnam in addition to the
thousands killed by unexploded ordnance—3,700 since 1975 in the
Danang area alone. Kapeliouk describes the "terrifying" scenes in
hospitals in the south with children dying of cancer and hideous birth deformities; it was South Vietnam, of course, that was targeted for
chemical warfare, not the North, where these consequences are not
found, he reports. There is little hope for amelioration in the coming
years, Vietnamese doctors fear, as the effects linger on in the devastated
southern region of this "bereaved country," with its millions of dead and
millions more widows and orphans, and where one hears "hair-raising
stories that remind me of what we heard during the trials of Eichmann
and Demjanjuk" from victims who, remarkably, "express no hatred
against the American people." In this case, of course, the perpetrators
are not tried, but are honored fur their crimes in the civilized Western
world.

Here too, some have been concerned over the effects of the chemical
warfare that sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other
poisonous chemicals over an area the size of Massachusetts in South
Vietnam, more in Laos and Cambodia. Dr. Grace Ziem, a specialist on
chemical exposure and disease who teaches at the University of
Maryland Medical School, addressed the topic after a two-week visit to
Vietnam, where she had worked as a doctor in the 1960s. She too
described visits to hospitals in the south, where she inspected the sealed
transparent containers with hideously malformed babies and the many
patients from heavily sprayed areas, women with extremely rare
malignant tumors and children with deformities found far beyond the
norm. But her account appeared far from the mainstream, where the
story, when reported at all, has quite a different cast and focus. Thus, in
an article on how the Japanese are attempting to conceal their World
War II crimes, we read that one Japanese apologist referred to U.S.
troops who scattered poisons by helicopter; "presumably," the reporter
explains, he was referring to "Agent Orange, a defoliant suspected to
have caused birth defects among Vietnamese and the children of American servicemen." No further reflections are suggested, in this
context. And we can read about "the $180 million in chemical
companies’ compensation to Agent Orange victims"—U.S. soldiers, that
is, not the Vietnamese civilians whose suffering is vastly greater. And
somehow, these matters scarcely arose as indignation swelled in 1988
over alleged plans by Libya to develop chemical weapons.

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