Tuesday, July 20, 2010
by Chuck Searcy
With due respect to the good work Jim Doyle has done and continues to do, with this blog and other activities focused on Agent Orange and the legacies of the war in Vietnam, the criticism of Charles Bailey is inaccurate. It fails to acknowledge the significant contributions Charles and the Ford Foundation have made toward recognizing not only the suffering of American vets exposed to Agent Orange -- which has been well documented over the years and has resulted in at least some assistance to veterans -- but which NOW, finally, is starting to bring some attention to the Vietnamese who have suffered alone and mostly in silence for more than three decades. This problem is inclusive, and the solutions ought to be inclusive as well. Charles Bailey's article does note the burdens borne by American vets and their families, which opened the door to awareness of this terrible issue. But the point is that the door needs to be opened wider for the Vietnamese, as well. If we insist that health interventions and other benefits should focus on American vets and not the Vietnamese, we are giving excuses to those who will try to stall and derail long overdue interventions that should be directed toward all who suffer, Vietnamese as well as Americans.
It must be noted that Chuck and I are friends, and this is a dialogue, not an argument.