Read on The New York Times 
 
nytimes.com

The Victims of Agent Orange the U.S. Has Never Acknowledged

George Black, Christopher Anderson

Feature

America has never taken responsibility for spraying the herbicide over Laos during the Vietnam War. But generations of ethnic minorities have endured the consequences.

Photographs by Christopher Anderson

Listen to This Article

Audio Recording by Audm

To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

The article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

It was a blazing-hot morning in October 2019 on the old Ho Chi Minh Trail, an intricate web of truck roads and secret paths that wove its way across the densely forested and mountainous border between Vietnam and Laos. Susan Hammond, Jacquelyn Chagnon and Niphaphone Sengthong forded a rocky stream along the trail and came to a village of about 400 people called Labeng-Khok, once the site of a logistics base inside Laos used by the North Vietnamese Army to infiltrate troops into the South. In one of the bamboo-and-thatch stilt houses, the ladder to the living quarters was made from metal tubes that formerly held American cluster bombs. The family had a 4-year-old boy named Suk, who had difficulty sitting, standing and walking — one of three children in the extended family with birth defects. A cousin was born mute and did not learn to walk until he was 7. A third child, a girl, died at the age of 2. “That one could not sit up,” their great-uncle said. “The whole body was soft, as if there were no bones.” The women added Suk to the list of people with disabilities they have compiled on their intermittent treks through Laos’s sparsely populated border districts.

Hammond, Chagnon and Sengthong make up the core of the staff of a nongovernmental organization called the War Legacies Project. Hammond, a self-described Army brat whose father was a senior military officer in the war in Vietnam, founded the group in 2008. Chagnon, who is almost a generation older, was one of the first foreigners allowed to work in Laos after the conflict, representing a Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee. Sengthong, a retired schoolteacher who is Chagnon’s neighbor in the country’s capital, Vientiane, is responsible for the record-keeping and local coordination.

The main focus of the War Legacies Project is to document the long-term effects of the defoliant known as Agent Orange and provide humanitarian aid to its victims. Named for the colored stripe painted on its barrels, Agent Orange — best known for its widespread use by the U.S. military to clear vegetation during the Vietnam War — is notorious for being laced with a chemical contaminant called 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin, or TCDD, regarded as one of the most toxic substances ever created.

The use of the herbicide in the neutral nation of Laos by the United States — secretly, illegally and in large amounts — remains one of the last untold stories of the American war in Southeast Asia. Decades later, even in official military records, the spraying of Laos is mentioned only in passing. When the Air Force in 1982 finally released its partially redacted official history of the defoliation campaign, Operation Ranch Hand, the three pages on Laos attracted almost no attention, other than a statement from Gen. William Westmoreland, a former commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, that he knew nothing about it — although it was he who ordered it in the first place. Laos remained a forgotten footnote to a lost war. To those who followed the conflict’s aftermath intimately, this was hardly surprising. Only in the last two decades has the United States finally acknowledged and taken responsibility for the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam, committing hundreds of millions of dollars to aiding the victims and cleaning up the worst-contaminated hot spots there.

While records of spraying operations inside Laos exist, the extent to which the U.S. military broke international agreements has never been fully documented, until now. An in-depth, monthslong review of old Air Force records, including details of hundreds of spraying flights, as well as interviews with many residents of villages along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, reveals that, at a conservative estimate, at least 600,000 gallons of herbicides rained down on the ostensibly neutral nation during the war.

Read more: Read on the NYT : The Victims of Agent Orange the U.S. Has Never Acknowledged

Press review : Article published on RT :

https://www.rt.com/news/457053-vietnam-agent-orange-justice-monsanto/

‘Where is justice?’ Vietnam demands Monsanto pay victims of US Agent Orange chemical warfare

Read more: Vietnam demands Monsanto pay victims of US Agent Orange chemical warfare

Press review :

Documentary on Agent Orange to be screened in America

HÀ NỘI — The documentary Inside This Peace featuring a forgotten victim of Agent Orange living in Việt Nam will be available on Vimeo On Demand across America this Christmas. 

The documentary by America-based producer and director Linh Nga tells the story of Thoa, a forgotten victim of Agent Orange in Việt Nam, whose younger brother is also an AO victim. Thoa has “scary skin with huge black patches, numerous lumps and hair all over her body”. The lumps are filled with fluid and can’t be drained.

For decades, Thoa’s parents have been looking for Government help.

“Peace is defined as ‘freedom from the cessation of war and violence’ and peace in our documentary is just like their daily life after the war and the legacy of war that we have to face now,"  Linh Nga said on a talkshow. 

Linh Nga first met Thoa when she was 13 years old when they sat next to each other on a plane on the way to a charity performance in the central city of Đà Nẵng.

The hairs on Thoa’s fingers were very prickly. When she moved her arm next to Linh Nga’s, it was almost painful, but not the same pain she felt for her.

"That’s one of the reasons I wanted to make a documentary about her and do something for Thoa and people like her," Linh Nga said. 

Linh Nga won the TV Best Series award for her Xuôi Ngược Đường Trần (In The Shadow Of Life) movie at the Vietnamese International Film Festival in 2003. 

Please read more here

 

 

Saw in press  :

Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure – New Report

Hypertension Upgraded in Latest Biennial Review of Research on Health Problems in Veterans That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War

Read more: Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure – New Report

Vietnam War veterans who suffer from hypertension may have contracted the condition when they were exposed to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. A Nov. 14 report by the National Academies or Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found “sufficient evidence” that the malady and Agent Orange exposure are linked. The report also cited another related condition – monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).

Researchers have long suspected that Agent Orange exposure is a likely cause of hypertension (high blood pressure that can lead to severe health consequences). According to the report, though, new findings show that there is “sufficient” evidence of a connection – an upgrade from the previous “limited or suggestive” category.

Please read more on the link below :

https://www.fedweek.com/armed-forces-news/hypertension-linked-to-agent-orange/

P1090329_1.jpg

Day after day...

...with the children...(2020)

Sites amis ... Partner sites ... Kết nối mạng...

Vietnam Dioxin Gruppe
53 Elsenborn, 52072 Aachen,
tél 00 49 241 171972,
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VSV-ASV

VNAFDAAssociation Fleur d'Avenir
12 route d'Ambilly
1226 Thonex
Site: http://www.vnafda.org
email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.