Friday, March 11, 2005

War Crimes Unpunished


/ warfare / chemical / endorsed /
It's an old story, but one might expect that some recompensation of the victims of the USA's extensive use of chemical weapons in Vietnam, would be given - at least for symbolic reasons.
No:
Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange are outraged a U.S. court has dismissed their lawsuit against the chemical's manufacturers for crimes against humanity. The U.S. military in the Vietnam War sprayed the defoliant, which Vietnamese say has caused illnesses ranging from cancer to birth defects. A federal judge in New York Thursday decided the suit had no basis in law, and the plaintiffs had failed to prove a clear link between Agent Orange and their illnesses...
...Eighty-six-year-old Nguyen Mai, a retired government official, says someone should pay for the devastation Agent Orange has caused Vietnam. He says human morality teaches us that those who commit crimes have to take responsibility. Therefore, he says, the United States has to compensate generations of Vietnamese suffering the effects of Agent Orange...


This is dioxin we're talking about, which "was not proven" to harm the plaintiffs.

Some justice.

1 comment:

Mixalhs said...

Pretty detailed and geographically explicit data on amounts and locations of Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed exist (at least) since 2003:
http://www.stellman.com/jms/Stellman1537.pdf
http://www.stellman.com/jms/DeclanAgentOrange.pdf
They were spraying Vietnamese and U.S. military patrols (the latter knowingly?). I hope someone has started combining the data with local populations for an epidimiological study - a difficult task since almost 40 years have passed. Even though the connections will be "properly" scientifically established one day, the US gov may use again an indirect collateral damage argument. Sadly, human life still remains expendable...