Vietnam: Why 35 years on the suffering continues

By Sandrea

In this photo taken on Oct. 5, 2009, Son Nguyen Tri Lam, foreground, and his sister Nguyen Thi Hang sit inside their family home in the town of Cam Lo, Vietnam. Both had their hands tied behind their backs to prevent them from biting their arms and hands and seriously hurting themselves. The two siblings were born with profound physical and mental disabilities that the family, and local officials, say were caused by their parents' exposure to the chemical dioxin in the defoliant Agent Orange.

The article in the  Mercury newspaper ‘Vietnam, US still in conflict over Agent Orange’ sickens me, and should every decent human being.

Thirty five years after the Vietnam war the human suffering continues.  Villages that were saturated with agent orange in order to prevent communist forces from ground cover and food as left many villagers now with children with severe deformities.

As, the article indicated the denial of the US, for any wrong doing has been the most frustrating for the families of Vietnamese victims.

In war every side will do what it can in order to be victorious and I do not believe that anyone one, at the time would be against the use of agent orange by the US.  However, it has been 35 years and the aftermath of using that chemical is evident amongst the people of Vietnam and irrespective of why agent orange was us it should now be, in the name of human decency for the US to assist the villages that they use agent orange during the war.

The constant denial of the problem by the US must be very frustrating for these people.  It would be equally frustrating when the vietnamese people learned that solider exposed to agent orange, they and their families were compensated, so why should they be neglected.

Irrespective, of the right and the wrongs of the Vietnamese conflict it has now been 35 years and the aftermath as left so many people suffering, it would be in the interest of human decency for the US  to assist  these people.  The US cannot unborn children born with severe deformities, but they can give them monetary aids, after-all they have spend over $1.5 trillion dollars fighting the drugs, spare a bit of that for the Vietnamese people – it is the right thing to do.

In this child month let us show our human decency and the integrity we have as human lets us help these people and let the photograph above serves as a reminder that war is an ugly thing and the human suffering can be devastating.  Would you want to have your children living like these in the photograph?

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