Monday, August 8, 2011

2011, The Year of Agent Orange Victims
by Chuck Palazzo
On August 10th 1961, the US Air force began spraying chemicals over Vietnam . Several events will take place this year to mark the fiftieth anniversary of that dreadful act. The Vietnam War (1961-1975) is known for the massive bombing of North Vietnam . Less obvious and unknown for too long by the public at large has been the chemical warfare waged in the Southern part of that country from 1961 to 1971, whose consequences have been dramatic and long-lasting. The ecological disaster is huge and the human catastrophe bears on the economic, social, cultural and well-being of the whole Vietnamese population, affecting now the third generation.

The US government, as well as the US chemicals companies, has tried to escape its responsibilities, but things may begin to change. On June 26th 2010, in Hanoi , the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group[i] published a report, its fourth, consisting in two parts: a Statement and an Action plan. By its tone, the Statement is unusually candid, stressing the Vietnam ’s efforts to face the consequences of the chemical sprayings and pointing also at the modest humanitarian aid procured by NGO, the Ford Foundation included.


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