HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam on Friday started the first phase of a joint plan with former enemy the United States to clean up environmental damage leftover from the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, a lasting legacy from the Vietnam War.
The work concentrates on a former U.S. military base in central Vietnam where the herbicide was stored during the war that ended more than three decades ago. It marks the first time the two sides will work together on the ground to clean up contamination.
The comments section has passionate and informed opinions from American veterans and families who also deal with the effects of dioxin, the known poison that magnified the lethality of Agent Orange.
Can we learn anything from this terrible history? Can we do justice today, and consider future generations who pay so dearly for our wars and greed? Can we do right by our own veterans and let all of us pay the price when we put our youth in harm’s way?
So far we have not learned. Depleted uranium left behind in Iraq is blamed for a rise in birth defects and childhood cancers, our troops were also exposed. Eventually the denials won’t hold up. This history is one reason the public is sceptical when scientists, politicians and corporations share a common interest in damage control.