Agent Orange, the toxic defoliate which America dumped on Vietnam to kill the growth of plants that were used as cover by the Vietcong. 19 million gallons of defoliates were sprayed on Vietnam, mostly Agent Orange, near Vietnam's borders north of Saigon and near the Mangroves lining Saigon's shipping channels, meaning it was not just killing trees, it was being breathed in by American soldiers who did not know exposure could later lead to potentially fatal conditions such as Hodgkin's disease, soft tissue cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
So said Keith Olbermann in Segment #4 GOP Vets "Not Helping" of last night's Countdown. This story focused on the effects on humans of Agent Orange and the need of many of our Vietnam veterans for treatment and compensation. It was a good segment as far as it went. The problem I had with it was that it didn't go far enough. Keith, Agent Orange was sprayed on the Vietnamese too, and you neglected to mention that. Even today, Vietnam has to care for about 3 million victims of Agent Orange. They range from their now aging war vets to the deformed babies still in the womb. What are they Keith? Chopped liver?
In Tuesday's diary about Glenn Beck's Tea party on the mall, I said it was a characteristic of that crowd to ignore the victims of our war policies. I said it stemmed from the insipid racism that saw these people of color as not even worth an 'honorable' mention, but Keith, I expect better from you. How do you justify your continuing participation in a media conspiracy of silence with regards to the effect of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese? If my "conspiracy theory" is wrong here, please point me to all the MSM coverage of the effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese that I have missed. Effects that are today suffered by Vietnamese vets that fought on both sides of the conflict. Effects that are well known in Vietnam and recognized around the world but never reported here. And if you are not a participate in this conspiracy of silence, please explain your silence about the suffering of the Vietnamese last night since you were talking about Agent Orange anyway.
Not just our veterans but also our victims must be compensated for the crime of unleashing Agent Orange on humanity. America must recognize what we have done to the Vietnamese and start making it right by helping to clean up the toxic sites we left behind, for example. These sites will continue to add to the number of children killed by the U.S. in the Vietnam War until they are clean. Beck's show was a sham and a farce, but fixing this really is a question of restoring honor.
Resources on Agent Orange effects on Americans and Vietnamese:
Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign
This project is supported by Veterans for Peace, here is a speech by VFP member David Cline who died in 2007:
Agent Orange - A Continuing Legacy of the US War in Vietnam