America Has Our Own War Crimes To Look At
by James Glaser
There was a headline in the Washington Times last week that said "VA to pay ex-GIs harmed by Agent Orange contact" It seems that "A re-evaluation of evidence now supports an association between exposure to herbicides used during the Vietnam War and the development of a specific form of leukemia in veterans." The Veterans Administration is going to start paying compensation to veterans with this illness. The troops came home in 1973, so this is a little late.
There are ten other diseases that veterans and their children have that we now pay compensation for. Yes those chemicals we sprayed on Vietnam, have not only effected the men and women that fought, but some of their offspring too. Those other ten diseases are, 1. Chloracne (must have occurred within one year of exposure to Agent Orange). 2. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 3. Soft Tissue Sarcoma 4. Hodgkin's disease 5. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda 6. Multiple Mycloma 7. Respiratory Cancers 8. Prostate Cancer 9.Acute and Subacute Peripheral neuropathy (must appear within one year of exposure of Agent Orange) 10. Type 2 Diabetes It has taken over thirty years for the Government to approve all of these, so the proof is overwhelming or they wouldn't have posted them.
It is a pretty safe bet that a returning vet would not have any idea that any of these illnesses came from Agent Orange, so that "one year" caveat has saved our government a lot of money.
Over fourteen million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed on Vietnam along with unknown amounts of Agent White and Agent Blue and maybe some more of the rainbow colors of chemicals we used.
Now the War Crime charge comes into play because we knew that these chemicals were toxic, we just didn't tell our troops nor the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese that lived in the areas we sprayed them in.
American troops were kept out of the spray areas where possible, but those Vietnamese living there, their children, livestock, crops, and their drinking water and the wildlife in the area was sprayed and sprayed again whenever it was needed.
That is a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians and a WAR CRIME! Those people and their offspring suffer with the same diseases that our own troops do to this day.
The fact that we knew of the dangers of this weapon tells the world that we are guilty. Many including our own government will say that we knew nothing, however when a group of Vietnam Veterans sued the Chemical Manufactures of Agent Orange in a United States Court of Law it was proven that we knew the dangers associated with the use of these chemicals and the Veterans won.
Over thirty years later we are damning Iraq for using Chemical Weapons on their people, but we never say anything about America doing the same. Thousands of Vietnam Veterans have died from Agent Orange exposure. Many of the children of these veterans are sick today from that same exposure.
No one knows how many innocent Vietnamese have died or are sick today from living in the areas we sprayed. It is known that their exposure was many times greater than that of our Veteran population.
When it comes to Chemical Weapons and War Crimes, America is the kettle calling the pot black.
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