How would you feel if your child looked liked this?
Is he an alien? Perhaps, from another planet?
Well, in a sense – to many Americans – he may be. He’s Vietnamese. Why do he and thousands like him, look that way – and worse?
Because America committed yet another of its complacent war crimes thirty years ago by spraying around 80 million liters of a Dioxin-containing chemical, known colloquially as “Agent Orange”, over much of Vietnam, to defoliate the jungle and expose the Viet-cong they were fighting.
By every definition of the phrase, it was a war crime. But no-one ever pays for America’s war crimes. No-one is brought to justice for the appalling acts of barbarity – from Hiroshima to Abu Ghraib – that have stained that much-vaunted “banner of freedom”, the Star and Stripes, and turned it into a banner of shame, held in contempt by those in the rest of the world who still value personal rights and human dignity.
Since the end of the Vietnam War, the people of that country have suffered from the effects of Agent Orange, and will go on suffering. Those yet to be born face the most gruesome of disfigurements, physical and mental, many mercifully dying before they reach their teenage years.
The photograph above was taken in 2005. Yesterday, the BBC revealed the results of an investigation into the ongoing effects of Agent Orange. A video can be viewed online, but only for a short time. For reasons known only to itself, the BBC demands a hefty fee for those outside the UK to watch its archived material. This video is still available free of charge at the time of writing. It is available by accessing THIS PAGE, scrolling to mid-way and clicking on the link, “More Video/Audio News”, scroll down to bottom right, click on “WORLD”, then scroll to: “The Continuing Legacy of Agent Orange”.
Every American alive today should be forced to watch it, to see how their governments have behaved over the years, and how today they still refuse to accept responsibility.
A few weeks ago, the encumbent American president visited Vietnam, and in an unbelievably arrogant interview, inferred the country’s present prosperity was in some way linked to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
One can only wonder if seeing the results of such involvement, as shown in this BBC video, might perhaps change his mind.
Filed under: War crimes