The actions of the US government and the US manufacturers of Agent Orange and other deadly herbicides is a moral outrage.
Thank you for this history and advocacy!
The two largest producers for AO were Monsatan ("the worlds most evil corporation") and Dow Chemical, two purveyors of death still in the business of killing and poisoning our Mother Earth and all Her creatures, including humans for over 100 years!
Vietnam vets, both US and Vietnamese and civilians as this piece points-out are still suffering and dying every day!
My cousin, US Army artillery, died of a horrible form of cancer since then directly attributed to Agent Orange. He was 52 years old. He left behind a wife and two daughters. The VA could not have cared less. May all of them live in infamy eternally.
The horrible, severe and ongoing consequences of Agent Orange are just one horrible example of what war means. In addition to the immediate deaths, rapes and destruction are: normalizing mass violence, rape, patriarchy; environmental degradation; long-term physical and psychological injuries and illnesses; economic devastation; national dissolution and chaos… et. al.
Consider just one more example: the extensive use of depleted uranium (DU) in the Balkans, Mideast, Southwest Asia and Africa, spreading radioactivity over massive areas.
WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! (Except short-term profits and theft of resources)
My brother died on 12/8/16 of lung cancer that went to his brain. We were all in shock since he quit smoking in his 20s. He served two tours in the late 1960s while in the Air Force. One in Viet Nam and the other in Thailand. He was a flight mechanic. Agent Orange was all around him and he even went on the planes that sprayed it. Because of where he served and when the VA classified his death as related to Agent Orange. His widow now gets a monthly check because of it. We are still in shock over it.
Did anyone in your family apply for VA Benefits because of Agent Orange? My brother’s widow gets monthly benefits because of Agent Orange (see my comment below). I don’t know all the details since my other brother applied for my sister-in-law, but they use a map to determine if a vet served within the Agent Orange locations. I wish your cousin’s family well.
I am glad Marjorie Cohn and Jonathan Moore are bringing the legacy of agent orange back to the public’s attention.
Unfortunately, most people think “Agent Orange” is a nickname for the current occupant of the White House.
Known for orange colored markings this is clearly against the most basic international treaties; terrible for the environment; horribly toxic; and responsible for the early deaths of many thousands of people.
The similarities are uncanny.
It is time for the U.S. to pay its past-due debts. Take it right off the top of the recent “Defense” authorization, since Congress is giving them more than they asked for!
My husband was in Korea in 1969 (when they sprayed dioxin there) and then went to Vietnam in 1970. He was in an engineering company in Hue and Phu Bai that cleared out all the dead brush after the planes had sprayed. He came home in January, 1972; our first child was born October 6 and died of sympatico blastoma 2 days later (this past Friday would have been his 45th birthday). Our second son was born on August 16, 1977 and is severely retarded – a 40-year-old man with the brain of a 3-year-old.
My husband is receiving kidney dialysis, and in spite of having had a triple bypass 5 years ago his heart isn’t healthy enough to survive a kidney transplant. He receives VA compensation b/c they consider him to be 100%+ disabled, and when he dies I will receive widows benefits from them.
I truly hate this country for what they have done to the soldiers in all these different wars and sincerely feel that any elected terrorist who decides to declare war on any country should be forced to send their family members first to fight and die!
So then, during the Reagan years, the U.S. gives Saddam Hussein Chemical Warfare weapons to use against Iran. Later on, his WMD possession is used as an excuse to invade Iraq. What kind of lying hypocrites are we?
See my comment … and thank you for the vote-up
Thank you for putting your personal tragedies in print. It can’t be easy for you. I can feel the pain, sorrow and anger in your words. You are entitled to be angry at, and critical of the continuing insanity and cruelty of our Foreign and Military Policies. You have my deepest sympathy, and I share your sense of betrayal.
That was the number one example of the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, against the wrong people. Every war since has fit this template. Never again will I believe our Government. What they do, is only thing that matters.
We who were young adults in that time must continue to speak against those who would re-write and “revise” history, for the sake of those who are too young to know it personally. Your stories are an important part of that teaching.
Thank you. It took years for me to talk about what happened, and part of the reason I talk about it now is b/c dong it on the internet is basically anonymous so I can ‘write’ my truths silently and then return to my life in ‘Hamiltonia’ (we live on Hamilton St) That, and the fact that I never grieved Jamie’s death until I grieved the death of my hope that Jonathon would ever be normal.
*Speaking about the wrong war/place/time/people – the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened so you sure got that right!
Wolfess, my heart goes to you. Yours is the story that Ken Burns needs to be telling: US Chemical War Then and Now.
We are the biggest and hugest lying hypocrites.
Thank you for your kind words. Not sure I want the Ken Burns who did this Vietnam series to be telling my story as he might screw it up as bad as he did this last series *I got to tell my story when I wrote my Master’s thesis on ambiguous loss – I had to mourn the death of the expectation of ever having a ‘normal’ child even though that child is still alive (that’s what makes the ‘loss’ ambiguous).
I agree. Ken Burns should not be making any documentaries. Or either of the Burn boys. He is anything but a critical examiner and real researcher. Basically they are superb re-packagers of conventional narratives as well as being responsible for making documentaries dependent on high production combined with large money grants from power. They push the allowable narratives which are pushed by those in power and which get accepted. I about went through the screen a couple of times such as #9 when he again pushes the misrepresentation of Jane Fonda, of military war resistance (I think we had more off-duty “hippies” than the town’s non-military hippies (I loved my bells). And spitting. I was always working out in public in my job as were the rest of my squadron’s TDY personnel and none of us had anything but positive reactions from civilians around us. We would have known. And other points. All that money and all that tremendous lit-search (compared to real research) just to but up a big glossy package justifying conventional attitudes. The “mistakes were made” narrative.