In Vietnam. between 1961 and 1971, the high command of the United States decided that, since a guerrilla struggle was apparently being protected by tree cover, a useful first step might he to “defoliate” those same trees. Famous corporations such as Dow and Monsanto were given the task of attacking and withering the natural order of a country. The resulting chemical weaponry was euphemistically graded by color: Agent Pink, Agent Green (yes, it’s true), Agent Purple, Agent Blue. Agent White, and spoken often in whispers Agent Orange. This shady gang. or gang of shades, all deferred to its ruthless chief, who proudly bore the color of hectic madness. The key constituent of Agent Orange is dioxin: a horrifying chemical that makes total war not just on vegetation but also on the roots and essences of life itself.
-CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS / Vanity Fair 1aug2006
The full inventory of this historic atrocity is still being compiled: it’s no exaggeration to say that about 12 million gallons of lethal toxin. in Orange form alone, were sprayed on Vietnam, on the Vietnamese. and on the American forces who were fighting in the sane jungles.
Between 1962 and 1971, the US military sprayed an estimated 80 million litres of Agent Orange and other herbicides on Vietnam, the journal Nature reported in 2003.
"I met one family of victims with four blinded children, no eyes - period," Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, a Vietnamese researcher, said in a 2007 interview.
In a now declassified report for the US department of veterans affairs, Admiral ER Zumwalt Jr wrote that Dow Chemical and other manufacturers knew Agent Orange exposure could cause “general organ toxicity” and “other systematic problems” as early as 1964.
-Chris Arsenault, Aljazeera
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