9/11 ended on 9/11. Vietnam's Agent Orange curse will keep killing and deforming for generations. The chemicals bond to the soil and leach into the water, ensuring that this terror from a past war will linger, perhaps for centuries.
America, naturally, disputes the Vietnamese estimates of Agent Orange victims and - wait for it - says more research is necessary to establish a link between the defoliant and the birth defects. Now we're nearing almost four decades since this stuff was sprayed over the Vietnamese countryside and just how much research has the US done? You guessed it. However if you were a US soldier who got 'exposed' (as opposed to doused with it), you got your compensation cheque a long time ago.
According to the Associated Press, the US Congress recently set aside $3-million to address dioxin contamination in Vietnam.
A lawsuit seeking compensation from Agent Orange manufacturers, filed by the Vietnam Agent Orange Victims Association, is to be heard by a U.S. appeals court on Monday.
Ambassador Marine said in an interview that the U.S. does not plan to provide direct compensation. But he noted that, on top of the US$3 million Congress approved, Washington has spent US$43 million since 1989 helping Vietnamese with disabilities, regardless of their causes.
Fortunately for Iraqis and Afghans caught up in the current war, Agent Orange is no longer being used. They, however, will have to wait and see what effects await them from the depleted uranium shells America likes to use so freely in their countries.
If you're interested in the Agent Orange fiasco, a Canadian firm, Hatfield Consultants have done a lot of work in Vietnam. At their web site http://www.hatfieldgroup.com/ you can find links to numerous books and documentaries on this shameful mess.