Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17401

Posted on 11 September 2013 at 16:20 GMT

TV review: Vietnam's 'children of Agent Orange'

Linda Taaffe
Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC i-player screen shot

Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC i-player screen shot   (Click to enlarge)

On Monday, after days and weeks of wailing capitalist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic being given bagsful of airtime to strut high and mighty about the abhorrent use of chemical weapons in Syria, a small 'human interest' item, so beloved of TV journalists, came tumbling into our living rooms.

A small group of very praiseworthy doctors from the Kensington and Chelsea hospital in London, working for Facing the World charity, were in Da Nang Vietnam.

They were helping facially disfigured children, from toddlers to teenagers, to regain their faces that were horribly deformed.

The presenter warned viewers that the images may be too distressing to watch. Working with Vietnamese doctors, operations were being systematically carried out one by one.

After two weeks 20 operations had been performed bringing overwhelming joy to the children, and their parents.

Eyes, cheeks, ears, lips were being put back in the right place. Families could now regain their place in their villages, many having been cast out because of their "monster" child.

Agent Orange

Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC i-player screen shot

Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC i-player screen shot   (Click to enlarge)

And how did so many children get to be like this? According to the Vietnamese authorities there are still around 150,000 children in this predicament - and all due to Agent Orange.

This was the chemical weapon dioxin - one of the most deadly chemicals known to science - dropped from airplanes by US troops 40 years ago over the countryside of Vietnam.

With the difficulties of fighting a guerrilla army the US military came up with the grotesque strategy of dropping chemicals that would defoliate all the vegetation, making it more difficult for the Vietcong to hide and at the same time ruining crops that were feeding the population.

Somewhere in the Pentagon conclaves of US generals, in cahoots with president Nixon, coldly discussed plans to use chemical weapons, and then ordered those plans to be carried out.

In these same rooms today similar generals and a president are parading their morals about chemical weapons as lily white. What absolute hypocrites!

Even worse, they are compensating US soldiers whose children have been born with the same deformities but refuse to likewise compensate the Vietnamese - citing lack of evidence.

Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC iplayer screen shot

Agent Orange in Vietnam: chemical weapons used by USA have now caused 150,000 childbirth defects according to the Vietnamese Red Cross, photo by BBC iplayer screen shot   (Click to enlarge)

These are the same type of representatives of the ruling class who fudge-over the evidence about the culprits for the recent chemical attack in Syria, but nevertheless have their finger on the trigger. Even greater hypocrites!

And the tragedy according to the doctors is that once Agent Orange is in the gene pool there is no knowing how long it will take to subside.

As the presenter on the programme deftly put it, the story was about the "toxic legacy" of war.

Socialist reporters would have used this story to also highlight the hypocrisy of warmongers Cameron and Obama.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 September 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


See BBC iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23632245 : London surgeons help 'children of Agent Orange' BBC, 9 September 2013 Last updated at 06:15 BST

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Chemical weapons:

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Vietnam:

trianglePete Seeger - Sound of US protest movement

triangleHistorical Roots of the SWP

US:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

War:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

Obama:

triangleSolidarity not racism - Socialism not Trumpism

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

11/10/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

11/10/17

TV

Shocking insight into Isis

2/10/17

Sexism

Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women

27/9/17

Football

Women's football - Sampson allegations

20/9/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

20/9/17

Socialist

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

20/9/17

Women

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

13/9/17

Women

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

13/9/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/9/17

Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

6/9/17

Pensions

Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2