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Obama forgot about Agent Orange
by David Farside
Sep 09, 2013 | 3038 views | 3 3 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tonight, President Obama will make his arguments to the world for his use of military air strikes against Syria for, what he claims, is the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against defenseless civilian men, women and children.

In a propaganda blitz that began last week, Secretary of State John Kerry hit all the major news agencies in an attempt to validate President Obama’s claim that the use of chemical weapons is not only immoral but a violation of the Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925 by over 100 nations, including the United States, Russia and China. It prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare. Unfortunately, it didn’t prohibit the manufacturing of biological weapons.

Kerry appeared before a Senate hearing and testified that “What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world.” It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable.”

President Obama, straddling his “red line” of political hypocrisy, defended his proposed punitive attack on Syria by saying America can’t stand idly by and watch 1400 innocent men, women and children die from poison gas without punishing the Syrian government.

The American press turned the volume up on its propaganda meter. Talk show interviews with political pundits discussed the pros and cons of possible air strikes and the effects it would have on our allies in general and Israel in particular. But with all the falderal, debate and discussion never once did I hear about how the United States used chemical weapons on innocent and defenseless men, women and children during our losing war in Vietnam. I wonder why?

Agent Orange is only one of the herbicides and defoliants the U.S. military used in Vietnam as part of its chemical warfare program. Its code name was Operation Ranch Hand. Between 1962 and 1972 the U.S. sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of chemical defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and even parts of Cambodia.

The goal was to kill vegetation in the forest and farmland, eliminating cover for guerrillas defending their own land and destroying the peasant’s ability to support themselves on their meager farm. This forced the starving Vietnamese to migrate to U.S. dominated cities where they were fed with American kindness and subjected to American rule. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimated that 400,000 people were killed or maimed and 500,000 children were born with birth defects as a result of our use of chemical weapons. Naturally, the United States government has dismissed these figures as unreliable and unrealistically high.  

What we did in Vietnam defied any code of Kerry’s morality and in his own words, was inexcusable. We not only killed innocent, defenseless civilian men women and children, we killed thousands of American veterans and destroyed the health and lives of any survivors, claiming they were collateral damage. 

I wonder what would have happened if, on the behalf of innocent victims of our indiscriminate use of chemical weapons, Syria threatened punitive air strikes against the United States for what we did to the Vietnamese people.

David Farside is political activist and Sparks resident.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 12, 2013
Obama didn't 'forget' the American people 'ignored' now for over forty years as they did PTS and more issues, recently was Gulf War Syndrome into these two wars of choice, after abandoning the missions of Afghanistan so quickly after 9/11, the Burn Pits of both theaters and more!!! Why, because they don't think they should 'sacrifice' as they demand those serving and their families do, DeJa-Vu all over again!!!

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility

RM: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway. How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free? Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71
John J
September 10, 2013
Agent Orange was not used as a "chemical weapon" for the simple fact it was not designed to or intended to kill people. It is a super plant killer and was used as such. To compare it to Sarin nerve gas is simple minded and denying facts.
September 12, 2013
Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance

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