The Reasoned Review

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Ghosts of Vietnam

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I want to draw attention to the Chicago Tribune’s fantastic investigative series on the long-term effects of our chemical warfare in Vietnam (euphemistically, “Agent Orange”). Millions of Vietnamese and thousands of former US infantry continue to suffer the effects of our indiscriminate spraying of “herbicides” throughout Vietnam during the ’70s, with birth defects, limb amputations, mental degradation and premature death.

An excerpt from their flagship article:

In central Indiana, two sisters struggle through another day, afflicted by a painful condition in which their brains are wedged against their spinal cords. They are in their 30s, but their bodies are slowly shutting down.

Thousands of miles away, amid the rice paddies of Vietnam, a father holds down his 19-year-old daughter as she writhes in pain from a seizure brought on by fluid in her skull, which has been drained four times in the past four years.

“The doctors said that they were sorry, but they could not cure her,” the father says. “They told me I should take her home and that she would pass away very soon.”

These women come from different cultures, from nations separated by more than 8,300 miles. Their fathers fought on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, but they are linked by the stubborn legacy of Agent Orange and other defoliants sprayed by the U.S. military decades ago.

Contaminated with dioxin, a chemical now considered the most toxic ever created by man, the defoliants are linked to a higher risk of multiple cancers, birth defects and other conditions that are contributing to a dramatic increase in financial compensation for U.S. veterans and their families.

Remember when we invaded Iraq because we thought Saddam Hussein was planning to manufacture chemical weapons?


Written by pavanvan

March 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

One Response

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  1. If the children of Vietnam veterans, never mind the Vietnam veterans themselves, were to be compensated for the damage done by agent orange there wouldn’t be enough money in the universe. How do you compensate someone for altering their DNA? How do you compensate the children born into this nightmare? How much does it cost? It’s irreversible; lives lost, lives in ruins, lives fraught with illness and suffering never to be free of this horrible legacy.

    If you are the child of a Vietnam veterans and believe you are ill because of your parent’s service and exposure to agent orange; JOIN US:

    Learn more about our ‘lobbying campaign’:

    Sharon L. Perry
    Agent Orange Legacy
    Children of Vietnam Veterans

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