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Friday, 16 January 2009

The terrible legacy of Agent Orange. Memories of Vietnam


Agent Orange devastates generations of Vietnamese
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped millions of gallons of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant, on Vietnam in an attempt to remove the jungle used for cover by communist forces.
Decades later, civilians still suffer the consequences. Dioxin still lurks in Vietnam’s soil, causing deformities which are passed on from generation to generation.
Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke and producer Ara Ayer travel to Vietnam and witness the devastating effects the toxin has left behind.
For more information on efforts to aid the victims of Agent Orange, visit the Vietnam Friendship Village.


There are memories of Vietnam, both good and bad. In life I try to put the good into the photo album and the bad into the trash can.

There are also legacies of Vietnam which cannot be disposed of so easily. It is true that when I was there I paid no particular interest to the so called Agent Orange. It was just a defoliant. There were pictures on the TV of GIs spraying it on the undergrowth from hoses, they themselves soaked with the spray.

Flying over the tree less land pockmarked with bomb craters from the B52s one just noted the desolate look of the landscape with possible mental comparison to World War 1.
I never noticed nor realized the terrible after effects it would leave. What is now called the collateral damage. The fact that the military high command had to protect American lives is understood. It’s the same logic being used by Israel against Hamas and Gaza.

Perhaps though in Palestine and Israel they should look at the origins, the origins lost in time.

What were the origins of the Vietnamese conflict that justified the use of Agent Orange by the United States Government? Did they justify this ghastly legacy left behind?

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