Agent Orange on Vietnam Like DU on Iraq

Comment by Larry Ross, February 12, 2007


The US dropped thousands of tons of Agent Orange on Vietnam during the war in the 1960's, contaminating the land and people - killing and deforming some 4 million of the Vietnamese population that continues today - some 40 years later. Thousands of US and allied veterans were also contaminated with exposure to agent orange sprays, causing disease, disabilities and early deaths for many vets, genetic mutation that goes into their children and generations to come.

Vietnam was another illegal, barbarous war based on lies and myths as is the Iraq war today, and the war on Iran that may soon follow.

Iraq has suffered bombardment with tons of depleted uranium weapons during Gulf war in the 90's and again during the US assault on Iraq starting in 2003.

D.U. weapons are particularly vicious because they cause a microscopic radioactive dust that contaminates the immediate area as well as eventually blowing around the world to contaminate distant countries. The half life of this radiation is 4.5 billion years. It will continue killing and maiming forever. Many veterans of the Iraq war, as well as the local population, have been killed, diseased or maimed by exposure to D.U. poisoning. Yet the US and UK continue to use DU munitions while lying that they cause no lasting harm.

What Does This Mean?

It means that the military are unconcerned about the endless damage and killing of civilians, children and their own soldiers and the long term effects to Iraq and the planet. A half-life of 4.5 billion years is of no consequence to them or to Tony Blair or George Bush, compared to the immediate military value of this type of weapon. Military victory at any cost, is the only consideration that matters to these military robots and their political masters - the Bush and Blair administrations.    ~~~~


US cash for Agent Orange study

BBC, February 9, 2007

The US has agreed for the first time to help towards cleaning up a site in Vietnam which stored Agent Orange and other chemicals during the Vietnam war.

Washington has pledged $400,000 (£205,000) towards a $1m study into the removal of the highly toxic chemical dioxin at a former US base at Da Nang. The move is an important step forward in a long-standing dispute between the former enemies, correspondents say. Vietnam says the chemicals are to blame for millions of cases of ill health. Dioxin is an ingredient in Agent Orange, a herbicide US forces sprayed to destroy vegetation and help them fight in forest areas during the war.

Its legacy continues to damage both the environment and relations between the two governments, the BBC's Bill Hayton in Hanoi says.

For several years they have been unable to agree how to resolve the issue.

'Meaningful action'
But now the US has agreed for the first time to contribute to a study to remove the chemical dioxin from the soil at the former base in Da Nang, which is now the city's international airport.

The Vietnamese government and the US non-profit Ford Foundation will make up the rest of the funding for the study.

US Ambassador Michael Marine said the two countries were "not in total agreement" on the issue of Agent Orange, but he said they were working on a resolution.

"What we want to do is have a success in Da Nang and then move forward from there," he said.

Le Ke Son, the official in charge of Vietnam's Agent Orange research programme, described the US grant as a "meaningful action", but he admitted: "We still have a long way ahead."

Vietnam - along with many veterans of the fighting in the US and other countries - believes four million cases of ill health and disability are linked to the spraying.

The US admits that dioxin is dangerous when it is taken into the body - for example by eating fish which live in contaminated lakes - but disputes the link between the spraying of the chemical from the air and ill health.

See more BBC articles on this topic


Vietnamese groups say thousands of children have been affected
Children born in areas sprayed have disproportionate rate of mental and physical problems

Herbicide used to clear vegetation, denying enemy forces coverName derives from orange markings on the drums the chemical was shipped in


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