6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Man's inhumanity to man,
This review is from: Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam (Hardcover)
This will be a very emotional experience for the reader. Sympathy for the people who tell of their personal suffering for decades and for those who were born deformed (many photos included in the book), anger at American injustice, and outrage that what has happened is not "right".
Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange by touching sprayed foliage or eating/drinking local water/food, flying the planes doing the spraying, or swimming in the rivers have been denied health benefits for decades. They have had cancers, skin rashes, and deformed babies. Ditto for Australia, New Zealand, Korea and other US allies. The Vietnamese (North and South) have had the same situation but even now the residue is still infecting the third generation and their offspring.
These horrible after effects were unknown when Agent Orange was used to de-foliate the jungle cover that shielded the Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops from American attacks. P.12 "By 1971, the US Air Force had run 19,905 spray missions, an average of 34 daily, over the forests, jungles, and fields of southern Vietnam." By 1967 US soldiers who had not been wounded and had returned home were complaining of debilitating medical problems. Something was wrong. The VA and US gov't accused them of being drug addicts, lazy, etc.
Admiral Zumwalt investigated and charged that Monsanto conducted fraudulent studies to deny the relationship between Agent Orange and the growing number of victims. In 1990 an out of court settlement was made by Dow, Monsanto, and Diamond Shamrock. Fully disabled soldiers got $100 per month for 10 years, widows $3700. Money for medical care was used up in a couple of years. Out of 2.4 million soldiers who fought only 60,000 got any money. What has the US gov't done for the soldiers who "defended the country"? President Clinton promised to "listen" to the victims. The Obama administration has done nothing.
In Vietnam, mother's breast milk is still contaminated with DDT and dioxin. Areas in the south where Agent Orange was used still do not grown native crops. The soil in some places is still so contaminated with dioxin that the food can't be safely eaten. The Vietnamese have sued in US courts and been dismissed under an avalanche of legalese.
The author tells the history and the stories. It is not a partisan judgement on the war or those who some would label as "responsible". It is a humanitarian appeal to change policy and help those who are suffering now (mostly deformed children of the veterans).
Update: 8/2012 The US gov't and Vietnam have begun a multi-year project to remove toxins. No compensation is included for any sufferers.
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Initial post: Mar 5, 2012 7:04:33 PM PST
Magickal Merlin says:
Maybe the folks of Leroy,New York should read this? One of the reasons the Peoples Republic of Vietnam refuses to open to change is their distrust of Western business schemes.The US should openly deal with this horrific problem, in order to bring true democratic reform to Vietnam. If the West sends in scientists to study and help clean up the old toxins,then the Vietnamese would listen to outsiders again.The Republicans have done nothing but ignored the situation,and the Democrats haven't progressed much either.Most Vietnamese have saddness toward the US soldiers,they see as duped victims,merely peasant pawns that were lied to about Agent Orange.
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