Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:36 PM
SHRED (11,614 posts)
Agent Orange use by the USA
I consider it's use to be an act of terror. A WMD.
An Unfinished Debt: Agent Orange
During the ten years (1961-1971) of aerial chemical warfare in Vietnam, US warplanes sprayed more than 20 million gallons of herbicide defoliants in an operation code-named Ranch Hand to destroy enemy plant cover and crops, and to clear vegetation around US bases. Agent Orange, the dioxin-contaminated and exceedingly toxic herbicide manufactured by seven chemical companies for the US Department of Defense, constituted about 61 percent of the total herbicides sprayed in the war.
By the end of the war, nearly five million Vietnamese had been exposed to Agent Orange, an exposure that has resulted in "400,000 deaths and disabilities and a half-million children born with birth defects," according to the 2008-2009 President's Cancer Panel Report. Agent Orange was so extensively sprayed that all of the two million Americans who served in Vietnam are presumed exposed. The Veterans Administration now associates a multitude of cancers, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and birth defects - including spina bifida - suffered by veterans and their children with Agent Orange exposure.
However, it took veterans' advocates, their lawyers and concerned scientists decades of confronting inept and corrupt government health studies to overcome expedient myths and achieve this governmental acknowledgment of the human health harm of Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans continue to eke out needed health services from a reluctant government, which still contends it used the deadly chemicals to protect the soldiers and refuses to accept any responsibility for multi-generations of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam.
The war persists in the dioxin residues accumulated in the Vietnamese environment and food chain and in the pollution of millions of human bodies, by now transmitted to three generations of Vietnamese. Despite compelling science on the harm of dioxin exposure, the Vietnamese victims have received nothing by way of compensation, cleanup or services from the US government or Agent Orange manufacturers. That is, until 2007 when the US Congress appropriated $9 million for cleanup of contaminated sites and health-related activities. In 2011, US AID joined the Vietnamese government in the first phase of a $32 million dioxin-contaminated soil removal program at a former US air base in Da Nang. "It's a big step," said Ngo Quang Xuan, a former Vietnamese ambassador to the United Nations. "But in the eyes of those who suffered the consequences, it's not enough."
Not nearly enough, given more than three million victims of chemical poisoning and more than two dozen contaminated sites in need of remediation.
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