Tag Archives: Vietnam

Eyeing Landmark Verdict in Roundup Cancer Case, Vietnam Demands Monsanto Be Held Liable Over Agent Orange

“We believe Monsanto should be responsible for compensating Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange for the damages caused by the company’s herbicides”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-27-2018

A man wears a shirt calling for justice for Agent Orange victims during the March Against Monsanto in San Francisco on May 23, 2015. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)

In the wake of a U.S. court ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man who says its weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer, Vietnam has called on the agrichemical giant to pay reparations to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

“This case is a precedent that rejects previous arguments that the herbicides supplied to the U.S. military by Monsanto and other U.S. chemical companies during the Vietnam War are not harmful to people’s health,” spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Tra said to reporters last week. Continue reading

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Trump DoD Scraps Plan to Ban Cluster Bombs That Maim Children and Civilians Worldwide

“This is a profoundly retrograde step that puts the U.S. way out of line with the international consensus.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 12-1-2017

The new policy calls the weapons “an effective and necessary capability.” (Photo: mary wareham/flickr/cc)

The Pentagon made a decision that “beggars belief,” human rights groups said Friday, when it tossed out its plan to ban certain cluster bombs that leave a large percentage of lethal, unexploded munitions, which pose a significant risk to civilians.

“This is a profoundly retrograde step that puts the U.S. way out of line with the international consensus—cluster munitions are banned by more than 100 countries due to their inherently indiscriminate nature and the risks they pose to civilians,” said Patrick Wilcken, researcher on arms control and human rights at Amnesty International. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday CIA: 7 Truly Terrible Things the Agency Has Done in 70 Years

By Carey Wedler. Published 9-18-2017 by The Anti-Media

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency inlaid in the floor of the main lobby of the Original Headquarters Building. Photo by user:Duffman (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, President Trump tweeted birthday wishes to the Air Force and the CIA. Both became official organizations 70 years ago on September 18, 1947, with the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947.

After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization. Continue reading

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Cambodia Outraged as US Demands Repayment of ‘Blood-Stained’ War Debt

The US dropped more than 500,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia during the Vietnam War

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-13-2017

U.S. fighter jets and an attack plane drop bombs on Cambodia circa 1973. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/cc)

Cambodians are responding with outrage to the U.S. government’s demand that the country repay a nearly 50-year-old loan to Cambodia’s brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U.S.-backed coup and spent much of its foreign funds purchasing arms to kill its own citizens, according to Cambodia’s current prime minister Hun Sen.

While the U.S. was backing the Lon Nol government, it was also strafing the Cambodian countryside with bombs—a carpet-bombing campaign that would eventually see over 500,000 tons of explosives dropped on the small Asian country, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and leaving a legacy of unexploded ordnances. Continue reading

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Rethinking The Cost of War

What if casualties don’t end on the battlefield, but extend to future generations? Our reporting this year suggests the government may not want to know the answer

By Mike Hixenbaugh for The Virginian-Pilot, and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Published 1-1-2017 by ProPublica

The Department of Veterans Affairs Building on Vermont Avenue in Washington, DC. (Photo: JeffOnWire/flickr/cc)

This story was co-published with The Virginian-Pilot.

There are many ways to measure the cost of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War: In bombs (7 million tons), in dollars ($760 billion in today’s dollars) and in bodies (58,220).

Then there’s the price of caring for those who survived: Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs spends more than $23 billion compensating Vietnam-era veterans for disabilities linked to their military service — a repayment of a debt that’s supported by most Americans.

But what if the casualties don’t end there? Continue reading

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Tom Hayden, ‘One of the Great 20th Century Activist Leaders,’ Dies at 76

A nation mourns a figure, described by many as ‘a leading advocate for a more just and equal society’

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-24-2016

Tom Hayden at the LBJ Library 2016. Photo: Godwin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Hayden at the LBJ Library 2016. Photo: Godwin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Progressive icon and anti-war activist turned California lawmaker Tom Hayden passed on Sunday at the age of 76.

Hayden dedicated his life to peace, social justice, and activism: from the 1960s, when he helped found the New Left and worked to organize black southern sharecroppers, to building—alongside his former wife, actress Jane Fonda—a California political machine that for decades advanced progressive candidates and measures. Continue reading

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China Rejects Hague’s South China Sea Ruling as “US-Led Conspiracy”

Ruling in favor of the Philippines, tribunal court “cut the legal heart out of China’s claim” to the disputed marine region

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2016

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

An international tribunal at the Hague overwhelmingly rejected China’s claims to the South China Sea on Tuesday, in a move that observers say is likely to stoke tensions between the Asian powerhouse and its primary rival, the United States.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China’s actions have violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines, which brought the case to court. Further, the court ruled that China’s practice of dredging sand to build artificial islands on the region’s disputed reefs has caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment.”  Continue reading

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US Government Finally Admits Agent Orange Poisoned Troops

Every medical and scientific fact convincing the Institute of Medicine of our Agent Orange exposures had been presented years earlier to the VA but was simply ignored or dismissed. That was wrong.

Written by Carey Wedler. Published 6-22-15 in AntiMedia.

Leaking Agent Orange drums in Vietnam. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Leaking Agent Orange drums in Vietnam. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Decades after the Vietnam War, the Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledged this week that Monsanto’s Agent Orange—a dangerous herbicide sprayed over 4.5 million acres across Vietnam during the  conflict—is responsible for health ailments in a group of as many as 2,100 veterans. It had previously denied such allegations.

The United States government will pay out $45 million in disability benefits over ten years to compensate Air Force reservists and active-duty forces who were exposed to Agent Orange left over from the Vietnam War. The exposure came from residue on Fairchild C-123 aircraft, which were used to spray millions of gallons of the chemical, and, evidently, affected soldiers in the United States who later handled the planes from 1969-1986. According to ABC, the VA’s decision to compensate the 2,100 veterans follows a January Institute of Medicine study that found “some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the planes and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result.

Further, “the VA said it subsequently determined that pilots, mechanics and medical personnel who served at seven other locations in the U.S. and abroad also were potentially affected – Florida, Virginia, and Arizona, as well as Taiwan, Panama, South Korea and the Philippines.Continue reading

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What Have We Learned?

Photo By User:Hohum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By User:Hohum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On June 28th 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was shot to death by Gavrio Princip in Sarajevo. The alliances between the European countries at that time made armed conflict inevitable. On July 28th 1914 the first shots of World War One were fired. During this war of tactical stalemate, modern weapons of mass destruction were invented, deployed and perfected.

Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, China in July of 1937, and portions of Vietnam in 1940. Germany invaded Poland on September 1st 1939 which started the war that would become World War Two. On June 25th 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. In October of 1961 the United States invaded Cuba. In 1964 the North Vietnamese fired on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin escalating the Vietnam War. In 1967 the Israeli’s launched surprise attacks against Egypt, Jordan and Syria in what became known as the Six-Day War. On December 27th 1979, Russia invaded Afghanistan. The list is seemingly endless.  Invasions and wars in Lebanon, The Falklands, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq (again), Afghanistan (again), and in 2014 Crimea and Ukraine.

And as of today, July 17th,  2014, we learn that Israel has invaded the Gaza Strip which was part of the territory it fought over in 1967. In yesterday’s post we read about the horrors of DIME munitions and White Phosphorous. One of the horrors of World War One was Phosgene gas.  While not related to White Phosphorous, the pattern of using chemical weapons against an enemy has only gotten more refined in the last 100 years.

With today’s advances in weaponry making war more impersonal and the ravages of war more heinous, we ask the question, “What have we learned?”

We have learned that in the past 100 years, sadly, we CAN’T all get along. And that wars and conflicts will be waged for the same reasons that they were waged in 1914. Munitions makers will gladly provide weaponry to whichever side can afford it. Genocide is still attempted. Mechanized warfare is even more impersonal if much more deadly than ever before.

Occupy World Writes stands in solidarity with the true losers in these conflicts. Innocent civilians whose lives and livelihoods are disrupted or ended tragically by the ravages of war.

 

 

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