Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Okinawa Residents Sickened By Agent Orange Still Want Justice
Dang Hong Nhut was just 29 when she joined the Vietnamese resistance working to expel the US army. Along the way, she endured brutal conditions, but when the war ended, she attempted to return to normal life. However, almost immediately, tragedy struck. She had a series of miscarriages, and when she finally managed to carry a pregnancy to five months, she miscarried again, with the doctors telling her that the fetus had severe congenital deformities as a result of her exposure to Agent Orange during the war.
She was advised to avoid pregnancies in the future — and now, decades later, she’s fighting multiple cancers, also possibly linked to the infamous herbicide. She, like many Vietnamese, was saddled with the legacy of a war that should have ended long ago.
In the Vietnam War, Operation Ranch Hand dumped untold amounts of defoliating chemicals on Vietnam in an attempt to remove the heavy jungle that made it easy for opposing forces to appear and disappear, engaging U.S. soldiers in vicious and devastating firefights. Unconcerned with the potential environmental impacts or human health effects, the United States used products like Herbicide Orange, also known as Agent Orange — and, thanks to the lack of international precedent, the United States did so largely without scrutiny. It wasn’t until 1977 that the UN opened the Environmental Modification Convention for signatures and ratification, inviting member nations to reconsider the use of chemicals like Agent Orange.

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