Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Week 8 - Linda Nguyen

     In the reading, Scorched Earth, by Fred Wilcox, is about the aftermath of a chemical warfare campaign that destroyed the lives of several people.  Wilcox talks about the effects of being exposed to AO. Wilcox uses anecdotes from victims of Agent Orange to show the effects it has on Vietnam, [innocent] Vietnamese people, and veterans [New Zealand, Australia, Korean, and Vietnam], and others. Additionally, Scorched Earth, is an overview of massive environmental damaged cause by the use of the herbicide. Before AO was sprayed and used in the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese people birth healthy, normal babies. When AO was used in Vietnam, it caused problems for people there, not just for the first generation, but for other generation. Many children suffered a lot from AO until now in Vietnam--"missing fingers, toes, arms, and legs; children with lobster claw hands, twisted feet, large heads, stunted bodies, strange dark blotches on their faces and arms, purple bark-like skin" (Wilcox 149)--as well as left a burden for economy and society. Even today, we still see Vietnamese people born with deformities and cancers linked to AO. In addition, the US continues to not acknowledge that they were at fault. Even the federal judge, Jack Weinstein dismissed the lawsuit [the wartime manufacturer of AO with war crimes] in 1984. These actions evident show that the US's motives of hiding their mistakes show that the US did not want to be held responsible, as well as decline to give reparation to the people of Vietnam affected by AO.

Q: How can we spread awareness about AO and have the United States government and chemical companies accountable for their actions? How can we get justice for the victims of chemical warfare?

"Documentary film on Vietnam's Agent Orange victims"

Fred A. Wilcox. Scorched Earth: Legacy of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam. 2011.

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