by Jim W Dean, VT Editor …with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: The ghost of the Agent Orange scourge is alive and well. After years of publicity generated from the huge effort of the Vietnam Vets, where Gordon was very active, attention is now shifting back to Vietnam, for a while anyway.
Some of the recent Monsanto lawsuits have generated that attention which I will delve into below. Vietnam certainly had a lot of victims with long exposure in their homeland, but so did the US Vets despite their exposure for a limited time.
The groups seem to have suffered much differently. The Vietnamese have had a long record of horrible birth defects. I chose not to show the dead deformed babies in a jars photos as it is a haunting memory I would not wish on anyone.
The US-Vietnam clean up continues with the DaNang base area “completed”, however they measure that, and the big Ben Hoi airbase is next. But the Vietnamese civilian victims are not being ignored. The US has picked up on the shifting political winds and already is in negotiations to fund civilian compensation.
I won’t show those photos either. After doing my earlier Rwanda story today and having to hunt images on that, I have had enough visual trauma for one day. Keep in mind that while we read about these old poisoning stories, new ones are in the works that are getting little coverage.
Not much has changed, and it is our job to disrupt that dynamic. Let me know what you think about it in the comments… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … May 05, 2019 –
The ghost of the Vietnam War continues to haunt those Americans still alive who fought in it. Gordon Duff fears he may be the last of his two squads still alive, a lonely honor, or dishonor depending on how one looks at it.
This is not a cheap shot at the Vets. They had no say in the matter. It is those who sent them out once again to fight in a bad war who dishonored them. And the spawn of those devils is still with us with the fake wars that are being inflicted on us today in several places around the world.
In Vietnam, it is not the dead that haunt that country, but the living; the huge number of maimed and crippled children whose poor mothers are sentenced into a lifelong caring for an invalid child that may never utter the words, “Mama I love you”, because they can’t.
Nam Vets tasted the bitter fruit of war
While our Vietnam Vets brought the effects of Agent Orange back home in their bodies, their children did not grow up in an Agent Orange-poisoned environment, nor did their mothers tend vegetable gardens and eat tainted food.
My brother, a retired Army Ranger Colonel was on an Agent Orange disability the last year of his life, but his children are fine. The South Vietnamese wish they could be so lucky. But not trusting luck, they are betting on the US courts to give them justice for the currently suffering victims of the ongoing Agent Orange scourge inside their country.
The Vietnam Agent Orange victims associations are making a big push to get more compensation from the US using all means at their disposal, with the important goal of gaining US and international exposure. It is a political battle, as much as a legal one.
Agent Orange victims must compete with current war victims for attention
They have a tough job, as the world is filled with victims from the current wars, some who have gotten nothing for their suffering at the hands of the Western proxy terrorism scourge that is upon us. But what the South Vietnamese have latched onto is a dead-end case.
Monsanto Corporation, just one of a number of US companies that manufactured Agent Orange for the US government during the Vietnam war, has recently lost several lawsuits brought by victims of the Round Up herbicide, claiming that it is a precedent for their Agent Orange litigation.
The problem is that it is not. The Round Up litigation involves a US company selling a claimed unsafe product directly to a consumer, where the jury or court has found Monsanto guilty. One of these involved a Vietnamese citizen.
Who do you sue, the company, the government, or both?
But the Agent Orange situation is a completely different legal situation, because Monsanto made Agent Orange at the bequest of the US government, which then used it under its authority.
Little known in this controversy is that a study was done early on about the dangers of its use, with the conclusion being that using it would save more US and South Vietnamese combat deaths than were expected from any long-term toxic effects.
Part of that thinking was due to the monsoon climate of Vietnam being able to dilute and disperse any toxic effect. In hindsight this was wrong, but the US government made the call, not Monsanto.
Also little known is that, during the US Veteran victims’ long struggle for compensation, their attorneys found in discovery that the manufacturers at the time had told the government they could make a safer version, more pure; but the process was more complicated and would reduce the volumes that they could produce.
The US government told them that it would buy everything that it could produce. It was under major political pressure to win the war, one that eventually consumed Lyndon Johnson.
So the US government should be the plaintiff here, but its sovereign immunity has protected it, as it does with so many other nations. Earlier South Vietnamese victim lawsuits were dismissed by US courts, stating the plaintiffs had no standing to sue.
However, all is not lost for the Vietnamese victims. Whereas the legal option seems a wish and a prayer, at this point the political situation is brighter. The US has already paid compensation for cleanups and is continuing to do so. The Da Nang project is completed; and the worst one, the Ben Hoi airbase, is about to begin.
US is already engaged in discussing victim compensation
But there is more. The US is already talking to South Vietnam about compensation for victims, which will be negotiated country to country, not in the courts. The current geopolitical situation will weigh in heavily on the outcome, as the US wants to keep South Vietnam out of China’s growing economic umbrella, and a favorable settlement on victim compensation could help do this.
Those South Vietnamese entities pushing the legal litigation route know they are putting more political pressure on the US to help their government get a better deal, and one they deserve. But that brings us to a broader question that seems to have been lost in this controversy.
It seems odd in a way that the recent wars, those of the last two decades, have been quite toxic; and yet there is not much international media or world body focus on all those being poisoned in the current regime change and proxy terrorism wars.
The toxic munitions range from the standard chlorine munitions and sarin, to the less discussed mini nukes, which also leave a trail of delayed poisoning effects with those close enough to be bombarded inside the burst radiation in the initial blast.
Modern toxic weapons must get more treaty attention
Veterans Today and NEO have fought a lone battle in publishing the effects of these munitions and how corporate media has shown no interest in picking up the story, as the Israelis are involved and keep a tight rein media-wise on things they don’t want published.
The peace-loving Democrats have never offered to help, nor have any of the large, well-funded outfits, like the Carnegie Foundation of International Peace. We are treated like lepers. So I would ask all who can to help us piggyback the publicity that these old toxic munitions controversies are getting with the current ones.
We are in such a sad state, that we have alleged toxic munitions being used in false flag situations, which many intel observers feel the British have done with their Skripal accusations against Russia, where London has refused to share any of its evidence with Moscow.
Our international institutions have been failing us miserably in this regard, which begs the question of whether they have ever really been “international” ones, or just fake facades to be used against selected political targets when desired.
The longer these types of crimes are gotten away with, the more brazen the perpetrators will become. Veterans Today has editorialized about this since the real 9-11 criminals got away scot free with their heinous crimes.
This is not something we can leave to our children and grandchildren to fix, as it may be too late already. Those of us who have lived through it must take the lead, or it may never be done.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
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