Don’t preach about chemical weapons
John Kerry is calling for an attack on Syria because they used chemical weapons. However, as a Vietnam veteran, Kerry is fully aware that the U.S. used Agent Orange, a chemical weapon that caused terrible illness for both Vietnamese people and U.S. troops. The suffering caused by Agent Orange continues and will continue for generations.
Remember Agent Orange: The U.S.' Own Chemical Weapons History
Even after the war had ended, however, the use of Agent Orange and other defoliants in Vietnam drew even more controversy in the 1970s when Vietnam veterans increasingly claimed serious health and genetic damage, when inconclusive medical studies were made and when numerous lawsuits were brought against the government (these were dismissed on procedural grounds) and then against the product manufacturers, who agreed in an out-of-court settlement to establish a $180 million indemnification fund, without any admission of liability.
Results of Agent Orange’s defoliation in South Vietnam appear long lasting in contrast to the sarin chemical the U.S. claims Syria has used; sarin dissipates in the air within six days.
A timeline of chemical warfare
1915: Germany introduces lethal chemical warfare to the World War I battlefield, letting breezes carry chlorine to opposing trenches. French adapt artillery shells to deadlier phosgene.
U.S. used chemical warfare in Vietnam
Those exposed to Agent Orange have suffered from miscarriages, cancer, blindness, mental illnesses, birth defects and much more.
Even now, five decades later, the toxic dioxin-laden Agent Orange chemical is still killing and maiming the Vietnamese. How can our leaders wag a morality finger at any other nation over chemical warfare use?
Letter: How quickly Kerry forgets
Has Vietnam war veteran Kerry forgotten about the heinous crimes against humanity that the Pentagon carried out against innocent people with Agent Orange during the Vietnam war? According to the Vietnam Red Cross our government’s chemical warfare in Vietnam killed 400,000 people and caused birth defects in 500,000 children. Many died from starvation since crops were targeted. Those exposed to Agent Orange have suffered from miscarriages, cancer, blindness, mental illnesses, birth deformities, and much more. Even now, five decades later, the toxic dioxin-laden Agent Orange chemical is still killing and maiming Vietnamese.
Cancer Concerns of Vietnam Veterans
"We warned NZ soldiers that if they fought with the Americans they would get sprayed on a daily basis with Agent Orange and the other poisonous chemicals being sprayed wholesale by the Americans. NZ soldiers were sprayed often on a daily basis. They were warned of the risks. They ignored the warnings," said Taylor.
"Many of our soldiers didn't avoid the sprays when they penetrated the forest and didn't even bother wipe off the spray from their face, heads and bodies when it penetrated their uniform."
"It is unfortunate that a high cancer rate is now occurring among returned NZ soldiers. But they were warned. Vietnam was an ugly war and the Americans employed napalm, jellied petrol and wholesale spraying of poisonous chemicals against the local population, and other chemicals as bad as they are now accusing the Syrian government of using. They also used cluster bombs and explosives which many countries have now banned, but the Americans continue using them, including nuclear-tipped weapons."
Nearly 30 years after the Vietnam war, a chemical weapon used by US troops is still exacting a hideous toll on each new generation.
There are an estimated 650,000 like Hong Hanh in Vietnam, suffering from an array of baffling chronic conditions. Another 500,000 have already died. The thread that weaves through all their case histories is defoliants deployed by the US military during the war. Some of the victims are veterans who were doused in these chemicals during the war, others are farmers who lived off land that was sprayed. The second generation are the sons and daughters of war veterans, or children born to parents who lived on contaminated land. Now there is a third generation, the grandchildren of the war and its victims.