I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Agent Orange Case Moves Forward

An Agent Orange case has moved forward after having been dismissed in 2005.

NEW YORK (AFP) - Vietnamese and American plaintifs exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war on Monday presented their court appeal against 37 US producers and suppliers of the chemical defoliant.

The case was rejected in 2005 by a federal judge who said the plaintiffs had failed to prove that the chemicals caused genetic defects. The appeals court ruling will not be known for several weeks.

Monday morning's hearing began with testimony about 16 US former soldiers, and was to move on to the Vietnamese victims later in the proceedings.

Dow Chemical, Monsanto or Hercules, Inc. are among the 37 companies being sued.

Four of the Vietnamese plaintiffs, some in wheelchairs, made the trip to New York for the hearing, including 52-year-old Nguyen Van Quy, a former soldier who contracted stomach cancer, and Nguyen Thi Hong, 60, a former battlefield nurse who has given birth prematurely and accumulated a host of illnesses.

They were supported at the hearing by several dozen Americans, mainly from the Veterans for Peace movement, who wore orange ribbons that read: "Justice for Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims."

Some gathered outside the courtroom holding up signs that read: "Corporations must pay for their crimes."

"It sickens me," said Fred Wilcox, a victims' supporter who followed the hearing and protested against the war decades ago.

"I am amazed that an American citizen can get up and argue there is no reason why we should give compensation to the Vietnamese people and to our vets. How can they go home and live with their conscience?"

Agent Orange is a defoliant that contains dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical. Massive doses were used between 1961 and 1971 to destroy the forests that provided shelter to Vietnamese guerrillas.

Victims' associations have said the chemicals, which can cause cancer, blindness, skin disorders or physical defects, affected between two and four million people.

The United States government has denied responsibility, saying there is a lack of proof about the chemical effects of the product.

In 1984, seven US chemical companies agreed to pay 180 million dollars settlement in a class action lawsuit by US veterans but refused to accept liability for the herbicide's effects.

Last year, a South Korean court ordered Dow Chemical and Monsanto to pay millions of dollars in damages to thousands of South Korean Vietnam war veterans and their families.

Perhaps those who are denying that Agent Orange is harmful should volunteer to have themselves sprayed with it. Perhaps they should volunteer their families, including their children, to be sprayed with it. Let's see what happens to someone who comes into contact with the deadly chemical. Let's see what happens to the offspring of those people who come into contact with it. Anyone with a brain already knows what happens. Anyone with a brain already knows that it has deadly consequences.

How much longer are we going to deny that we were responsible for using Agent Orange in Vietnam? How much longer are we going to deny the effects of it? We did it, and we should own up to it. Anything shy of taking responsibility and accepting the consequences is cowardly.

Labels: ,


  • At 7:44 PM, Blogger Larry said…

    Sad thing is so many are messed up the rest of their lives, and justice will never be served.


Post a Comment

<< Home

People Who Are Violent to Animals ... Rarely Stop There
Palm Springs Real Estate
Air Filter