Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“After you Brother!” Qadaffi Stays and Obama Leaves?

By Franklin Lamb

Gaddafi has survived assaults of various types from US Presidents' Ford, Carter, Reagan, George Bush 1, Clinton, George Bush 2, and Obama. Vegas book makers are giving odds he’ll be the leader of Libya’s Fatah Revolution after the voters retire Obama.

Click here to read all the article and public comments


Excellent article, and I sincerely hope the headline comes true!

Support the protest at the White House, on
Saturday July 9, 2011, to demand
“Stop the Bombing of Libya!”


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition http://www.AnswerCoalition.org/


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A World Overwhelmed By Western Hypocrisy


By Paul Craig Roberts

"...There is nothing left of the American character. Only a people who have lost their soul could tolerate the evil that emanates from Washington." Continue


If the American people want to reclaim their soul, they have to resist and start a new American Revolution.

Support the protest at the White House, on
Saturday July 9, 2011, to demand
“Stop the Bombing of Libya!”


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition http://www.AnswerCoalition.org/

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The Painful Collapse of Empire:


By Robert Jensen

How the "American Dream" and American Exceptionalism Wreck Havoc on the World. Continue


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Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2010: This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes.

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De-demonising Gaddafi – what you don’t know: Video

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Disgusting, Depraved And Illegal
Petraeus Says Torture an Option for US

By Ken Dilanian

David Petraeus, Barack Obama's choice to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, says the US should consider using special interrogation techniques when a captive is withholding information that is immediately needed to save lives.
Continue

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Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy

By Michael Parenti

American intervention may seem "wrongheaded" but, in fact, it is fairly consistent and horribly successful. Continue

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The Land of Unlimited Inequality

By Patrick Martin

The exclusion of the overwhelming majority of the American population from political influence reinforces their economic and social exploitation. Continue


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Impeach Obama Now Or Forever Hold Up Peace

By Philip C. Restino, Jr.

There comes a point in time when we either “use it or lose it”, and we are at that point in time now with the constitutional remedy of impeachment.

June 26 2011 "Information Clearing House" --

Twenty years ago after U.S. forces had driven the Iraqi military out of Kuwait and back into Iraq, President George H.W. Bush as Commander in Chief ordered the U.S. military to cease-fire on February 28, 1991.

Years later in his 1998 memoir “A World Transformed”, Bush admitted that the reason he chose to order the cease-fire was because he understood that advancing further into Iraq, a country that had not attacked the U.S., and overthrowing its government could easily be seen as an illegal war of aggression and thus warrant a call from the American people for his removal from office by the constitutional remedy of impeachment.

It was the fear of a call for impeachment by the American people that in effect stopped the President from continuing the war.

Since the Presidency of the Democrat Bill Clinton during the 1990’s, which immediately followed the Presidency of the Republican George H.W. Bush, the American people have allowed a practice of the President acting as “unitary executive” unaccountable to the rule of law in ordering the U.S. military into unprovoked, illegal wars of aggression and occupations.

During the Presidency of the Republican George W. Bush, attempts were made to even re-define the office of the Presidency as a “unitary executive” with literally dictatorial powers beyond the rule of law.

Now, because the American people have still not spoken up, the current Presidency of the Democrat Barack Obama has allowed the President of the United States to order young Americans to war without even consulting the American people’s representatives in Congress or having to concoct a lie about the U.S. facing a “justifiable” threat to its national security.

President Obama’s ordering of the March 19th, 2011 attack on Libya, without even consulting Congress, let alone getting a Declaration of War or other type of Congressional approval for the attack, has led to a good amount of discussion as to how the President could very well be impeached for having unilaterally ordered such an attack.

People from both ends of the political spectrum, to include members of Congress, have been quite clear in publicly stating that the President’s attack on Libya is not only an impeachable offense, as per Democrat Representative and 2008 Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, but it also makes him accountable for war crimes, as per Republican Representative and 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul from Texas.

Notable legal experts and scholars from both the left and the right, to include former Democrat U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former Republican Deputy U.S. Attorney General Bruce Fein, and Professor of Law Francis Boyle, have publicly offered their services to assist in carrying out impeachment proceedings against President Obama over his unconstitutional and otherwise illegal war on Libya to any member of Congress willing to step forward and introduce Articles of Impeachment.

Let us not forget that it was the former Constitutional Law Professor and U.S. Senator Barack H. Obama who said himself during a December 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

The sovereign nation of Libya posed no such threat whatsoever to the United States, and Obama’s ordering of more than 120 Cruise Missiles fired into Libya in just the first day of his own March 19th “Shock and Awe” is nothing less than another outright illegal U.S. war of aggression similar to the illegal U.S. war of aggression on Iraq launched 8 years to the day prior, minus the land invasion which is the next step in the process if the American people don’t draw the line and call for a stop to it now.

With such a clear cut case ready to make for impeaching President Obama over his war on Libya, along with the legal experts and the political figures ready to proceed with a call for impeachment, then why has there not been a call from the leaders of the national antiwar organizations for impeaching Obama when making such a call now could actually prevent him from going ahead with a land invasion into Libya and even be enough of a threat of impeachment to force him to finally end the 10-year U.S. wars and occupations by using his unique ability as Commander in Chief to order a cease-fire?

People involved in the national antiwar organizations have told me that the issue of racism is a major factor in their failure to call for impeachment of President Obama for what amounts to the same crimes cited in their former calls for impeachment and present calls for prosecution of President George W. Bush over his war on Iraq.

If calling for the impeachment of the first Black American U.S. President for prosecuting illegal wars of aggression is racist, then that first needs to be squared with all the brown-skinned people being killed under his command.

Even more so, if calling for the impeachment of the first African-American U.S. President for prosecuting an illegal war of aggression on Libya is racist, then that first needs to be squared with all the brown-skinned Africans being killed under his command before such a claim be taken seriously. A friend put it to me this way, if racism is applying different standards based on race, then not calling for impeachment because of race is in fact racism as well.

I spoke recently with the president of a major national antiwar organization about the silence from his organization regarding a call for impeachment of President Obama and he told me that the reason he and his organization are against applying the same standard of impeachment in their public call for accountability to President Obama, even after his recent attack on Libya, as they had so strongly applied to President George W. Bush in regards to his war on Iraq was the possibility of groups that were “racist” joining their call for the impeachment of Obama not because they agreed with his prosecuting the U.S. war on Libya being impeachable but instead because they were racists and just wanted to remove Obama from office because he was a person of color.

If that’s really the thinking of the leaders of the national antiwar organizations in America, then I say who needs “controlled opposition”?

When asked, most Americans want the wars to end and our representatives in government, to include the President of the United States, to once again not be able to act outside the rule of law.

Now the American people have a very clear and present opportunity to achieve just that with President Obama’s unilaterally ordering the March 19th U.S. military attack on Libya.

There comes a point in time when we either “use it or lose it”, and we are at that point in time now with the constitutional remedy of impeachment.

Impeach now or forever hold up peace.


Restino is co-chair and a founding member of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace and a member of Military Families Speak Out - Florida. He lives in Port Orange, FL. Veterans For Peace is made up of military veterans working together for peace and justice through non-violence since 1985. The Central Florida chapter covers from Greater Orlando east to Greater Melbourne and north to Greater Jacksonville.

For more information about Veterans For Peace, please visit the chapter website at www.cflveteransforpeace.org or the national VFP website at www.veteransforpeace.org.


To access on line, and for download and printing and distribution, our current resolution and petition to Impeach President Obama for the illegal, unilateral invasion of Libya along with other war crimes please go to:
Phil Restino’s on-air discussion with the weekly morning radio program The Power Hour with Joyce Riley concerning President Obama's ordering of a U.S. "Shock and Awe" type military attack Libya on Saturday, March 19, 2011 go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1QsR6D13o4


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Stop Bombing Libya - Sat., July 9, 12 noon - Protest at the White House

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Please bring your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers to the White House on Saturday July 9, 2011, to demand “Stop the Bombing of Libya!”

Buses and car caravans are coming from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Haven and other cities and towns.

Hundreds of organizations and individuals are coming together to mobilize for the July 9 demonstration at the White House, which was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition following the Cynthia McKinney national speaking tour titled “Eyewitness Libya.”

Please make an urgently needed donation to help pay for transportation costs, posters and leaflets.

Following the July 9 protest at the White House, we will be mobilizing for a mass action against the bombing of Libya taking place on Saturday, August 13 in Harlem. The demonstration is initiated by the December 12th Movement and has the support of a large number of organizations. More details are coming soon.

Contrary to the absurd argument that the bombing of Libya does not constitute a “hostility,” this is fierce and illegal war aimed at carrying out regime change in the country that possesses the largest oil reserves in Africa and the ninth largest in the world.

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Tripoli on June 17 against the U.S./NATO bombing and the terrible toll it has taken on the people, economy and infrastructure of Libya. Of course, you didn’t see any coverage of this huge demonstration in the corporate media. That massive outpouring of humanity undoubtedly included many people who have grievances against the current Libyan government. But the people of Tripoli, like people everywhere, stand together against bombing by foreign powers in pursuit of an imperial agenda. Libyans want peace and they must be free to determine their own destiny.

The people of the United States are adding their voice of opposition on Saturday, July 9 at the White House. By a margin of 2-to-1, the American people oppose this illegal and criminal war.

There is no such thing as a “humanitarian” cruise missile. The U.S. government is spending $10 million a day bombing Libya while it bombs Afghanistan and still occupies Iraq with 47,000 troops.

In the name of “protecting civilians” NATO is killing civilians—and describing them as “legitimate military targets.”

On June 20, for instance, NATO and the Pentagon pummeled the birthday party of a four-year-old boy with heavy missiles. They killed 16 civilians, including the four-year-old and his mom, as well as other children and their parents. The four-year-old was the grandson of Khweldi el-Hamedi, an associate of Colonel Gaddafi who participated in the 1969 coup that overthrew the old monarchy.

NATO is killing the civilian family members of the Libyan government in an attempt to break the will of those they have targeted for destruction and overthrow. The Pentagon used the same type of tactic in the 1991 Iraq war.

At a time when the U.S. government says that it is broke and that tens of thousands of teachers and nurses and other workers are being fired because of the “budget crisis,” there seems to be limitless funds for war, bombing, invasion and occupation.

Please join us Saturday, July 9 at the White House.

Get involved

You still have the opportunity to hear Cynthia McKinney’s eyewitness report from Libya. Click here for details about upcoming events.

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PARACEL & SPRATLY ISLANDS BELONG TO VIETNAM

The Paracel Islands (known in Vietnam as the Hoang Sa or Quan Dao Hoang Sa, known in China as the Xisha Islands, or Xisha Dao, or Xisha Qundao) about 250 miles off the coast of Hainan. They are also about the same distance off the coast of Vietnam [but closer to Viet Nam].

In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor,Vietnam.

The islands were formerly part of Vietnam, and were controlled by Vietnam until 1974 when China forcibly took them from Vietnam.


The Spratly Islands (known in Vietnam as Truong Sa or Quan Dao Truong Sa, known in China as the Nansha Islands or Nansha Qundao) consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs.

They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and oil deposits. In the past, all these islands were controlled by Vietnam but nowadays after some historical changes (World War II, Vietnam War , Naval battle in Spratlys 1988, etc...) Spratly islands about 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from Vietnam, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan. Up to now, these islands are claimed in their entirety by Vietnam.


More Details? Please read the following books and articles:

1.Sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands by Monique Chemillier-Gendreau (English edition)

[ The French edition is also available.Download here (33.73 MB) ]

2.The Sino-Vietnamese Difference on the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagoes

3.Vietnamese claims to the Truong Sa archipelago (University of Hawaii)

4.Chia and International Fisheries Law And Policy

5.Security Flashpoints - Oil, Island, Sea Access and Military Confrontation

6.Spratly Islands dispute

7.Reviewed by Steve Carlson

8.The Spratly Islands Dispute: Who's On First?

9.Paracel & Spratly Website

10.Paracel islands from wikipedia

11.Spratly islands from wikipedia

12.Paracel Islands (CIA library)

13.Vietnamese claims , from Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs

14.Naval battle in Spratly 1988 from Wikipedia

15.Battle of Hoang Sa 1974 from Wikipedia

16.South China Sea Territorial Issues (Energy information administration - US Government)

17.Paracels & Spratlys Library

The other materials will be uploaded soon...Please check this site later.

Spratly Islands,A district in Khanh Hoa, Vietnam Flag of Vietnam Paracel Islands,A district in Da Nang, Vietnam Flag of Vietnam
Map of Spratly Islands Map of Paracel Islands

(C) 2008 by Paracels.info-The English Version of HoangSa.Org

Last updated:7/1/2010

If you have any useful documents (non vietnamese documents) or have any questions, please don't hesitant to contact us

http://www.paracels.info/


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Other useful references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoang_Sa

http://mihalisvn.blogspot.com/2011/02/china-vietnam-and-islands-dispute.html

http://www.hawaii.edu/cseas/pubs/explore/todd.html

http://www.spratlys.org/collection/claims/vietnam/vietnam2.htm

http://paracelspratlyislands.blogspot.com/2008/01/legal-basis-of-vietnams-claims.html

http://www.paracelspratly.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=79

http://www.paracels.info/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

By Paul Craig Roberts

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps. . .

June 20 2011 "Information Clearing House" --

While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition.

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps.

For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse.

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”

In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities.

The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media’s (including many Internet sites’) response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001, inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD’s capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters.

These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media who brand the experts as “conspiracy theorists.”

This despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.

Let’s take a minute to re-acquaint ourselves with the official explanation, which is not regarded as a conspiracy theory despite the fact that it comprises an amazing conspiracy.

The official truth is that a handful of young Muslim Arabs who could not fly airplanes, mainly Saudi Arabians who came neither from Iraq nor from Afghanistan, outwitted not only the CIA and the FBI, but also all 16 US intelligence agencies and all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, which is believed to have penetrated every terrorist organization and which carries out assassinations of those whom Mossad marks as terrorists.

In addition to outwitting every intelligence agency of the United States and its allies, the handful of young Saudi Arabians outwitted the National Security Council, the State Department, NORAD, airport security four times in the same hour on the same morning, air traffic control, caused the US Air Force to be unable to launch interceptor aircraft, and caused three well-built steel-structured buildings, including one not hit by an airplane, to fail suddenly in a few seconds as a result of limited structural damage and small, short-lived, low-temperature fires that burned on a few floors.

The Saudi terrorists were even able to confound the laws of physics and cause WTC building seven to collapse at free fall speed for several seconds, a physical impossibility in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolition.

The story that the government and the media have told us amounts to a gigantic conspiracy, really a script for a James Bond film. Yet, anyone who doubts this improbable conspiracy theory is defined into irrelevance by the obedient media.

Anyone who believes an architect, structural engineer, or demolition expert who says that the videos show that the buildings are blowing up, not falling down, anyone who believes a Ph.D. physicist who says that the official explanation is inconsistent with known laws of physics, anyone who believes expert pilots who testify that non-pilots or poorly-qualified pilots cannot fly airplanes in such maneuvers, anyone who believes the 100 or more first responders who testify that they not only heard explosions in the towers but personally experienced explosions, anyone who believes University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit who reports finding unreacted nano-thermite in dust samples from the WTC towers, anyone who is convinced by experts instead of by propaganda is dismissed as a kook.

In America today, and increasingly throughout the Western world, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of kookiness. Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens.

Indeed, a writer or newscaster is not even permitted to report the findings of 9/11 skeptics. In other words, simply to report Professor Harrit’s findings now means that you endorse them or agree with them. Everyone in the US print and TV media knows that he/she will be instantly fired if they report Harrit’s findings, even with a laugh.

Thus, although Harrit has reported his findings on European television and has lectured widely on his findings in Canadian universities, the fact that he and the international scientific research team that he led found unreacted nano-thermite in the WTC dust and have offered samples to other scientists to examine has to my knowledge never been reported in the American media.

Even Internet sites on which I am among the readers’ favorites will not allow me to report on Harrit’s findings.

As I reported earlier, I myself had experience with a Huffington Post reporter who was keen to interview a Reagan presidential appointee who was in disagreement with the Republican wars in the Middle East. After he published the interview that I provided at his request, he was terrified to learn that I had reported findings of 9/11 investigators.

To protect his career, he quickly inserted on the online interview that my views on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions could be dismissed as I had reported unacceptable findings about 9/11.

The unwillingness or inability to entertain any view of 9/11 different from the official view dooms to impotence many Internet sites that are opposed to the wars and to the rise of the domestic US police state.

These sites, for whatever the reasons, accept the government’s explanation of 9/11; yet, they try to oppose the “war on terror” and the police state which are the consequences of accepting the government’s explanation. Trying to oppose the consequences of an event whose explanation you accept is an impossible task.

If you believe that America was attacked by Muslim terrorists and is susceptible to future attacks, then a “war on terror” and a domestic police state to root out terrorists become necessary to make Americans safe. The idea that a domestic police state and open-ended war might be more dangerous threats to Americans than terrorists is an impermissible thought.

A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.

Continue to read comments


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Everything We're Doing Now Was Planned BEFORE 9/11

By Washington's Blog
We've been told that 9/11 changed everything. Is it true? Let's look at the facts Continue


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There Was No Libyan Peaceful Protest,
Just Murderous Gangs and Nic Robertson

By Jay Janson

This latest war would seem far fetched, but for CNN boldly leading enough of the rest of corporate owned Western media in public deception with repeating war-justifying sound-bites colored by almost obvious psyops of "now you see it, now you don't' film shots. Continue


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America for Sale

By Dylan Ratigan

It’s coming to a city near you — it may already be there. We’re talking about the sale of public assets to private investors. Continue


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Lapdogging For The US

Libya, Canada's Other Ugly War

By Murray Dobbin

No one refers to this war against Libya as a criminal conspiracy but the term would be perfectly appropriate. Continue



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The Plan to Destabilize Syria

By Thierry Meyssan

. . . the plan to destabilize Syria is not working all that well. It succeeded in persuading public opinion that the country is in the grips of a brutal dictatorship, but it also welded the vast majority of the Syrian population firmly behind its government. Ultimately, the plan could backfire on those who masterminded it, notably Tel Aviv. . . Continue


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The Destabilization of Syria and the Broader Middle East War

By Michel Chossudovsky

Armed insurgents belonging to Islamist organizations have crossed the border from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The US State Department has confirmed that it is supporting the insurgency. Continue


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9 Countries That Do It Better:

Why Does Europe Take Better Care of Its People Than America?

By Joshua Holland

. . . At 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, the U.S. had the highest infant mortality rate among the high-income nations in 2006. Iceland, with 1.4 deaths/ 1,000 live births, had the lowest. . . Continue


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Attacking Libya -- and the Dictionary

By Jonathan Schell

The Obama administration claims that if the adversary cannot fight back, there is no war. Continue



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finding Justice for Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange

On 10th August 1961 an event began that was to last for ten-years, and would leave a tragedy that has yet to find an end. Fifty years on, the Vietnamese people and their many friends around the world will be commemorating this special anniversary.

The file photo shows Mr. Len Adis (R) asking an employee of Monsanto to send his letter to the director of Monsanto's representative office in Vietnam in 2009. (Photo: SGGP)
The file photo shows Mr. Len Adis (R) asking an employee of Monsanto to send his letter to the director of Monsanto's representative office in Vietnam in 2009. (Photo: SGGP)

(SAIGON) - Let’s recall and reflect on what happened on that day of 10th August 1961, and the consequences, so horrific, it is difficult to grasp, to understand. It raises in the minds of many the questions: WHY? And what can be done to overcome the criminal legacy of Agent Orange?

When the first planes took off from their base in South Vietnam on that fateful day, with its cargo of Agent Orange that was itself contaminated with Dioxin the world’s most poisonous substance, and to begin the first spraying that was to continue for ten long years, none of the pilots or their crews were to know that they had set out on a mission that was to be repeated by others time and again resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent unborn babies, further, their actions were to cause the early deaths of many more thousands of innocent children, denying them their human rights, a right never to reach beyond their teenage years.

The results of the use of Agent Orange/Dioxin over those years have travelled down the years with devastating results; for the magnificent forests on which the chemical was sprayed, for the people living and fighting for their country’s independence within the forests, the animal life, insects, all so vital for any forest.

For the people going about their daily lives in the fields outside the cities growing their crops, and tending to their animals, they too were to become victims of Agent Orange as were the children walking to school and who later, on returning home, were to help their parents in the fields. As the spaying continued, so the soil itself became poisoned as did the food being grown…..As did the fish in the rivers and lakes.

It was to take just a few months before the true horrors of the use of Agent Orange came to be seen with the still-born and abnormal births that have to be seen to be believed. Those that survived the birth had various illnesses, deformities, such was the nature of their deformities, it can be said it was a blessing they soon died.

In my first visit to Vietnam in March 1989, I was to see at the Hoa Binh Peace Village in Tu Du Hospital the jars containing the foetuses of the stillborn that died in their mother’s womb and those that died soon after their birth. It is a sight that remains with me to this very day.

AO child victims study at Peace Village in Ho Chi Minh City.

In another part of the Peace Village I saw and met babies and young children that despite their disabilities were just like any child happy to see people visiting them. It has always been a special joy for me to see them. To hold one in my arms has been precious moments for both of us.

Although Agent Orange was only sprayed over South Vietnam, those who fought to defend and free their country came from all over the country, in so doing many became affected by the spraying and on returning home married passing Agent Orange onto their children.

In a northern town I have met with three generations of a family, the father who served during the war and his son born with deformities in his feet, and in turn his son, born with no legs the result of Agent Orange. There are many such families in Vietnam and the number is increasing.

These tragic victims, of all ages need our help and support. No one who visits Vietnam and sees and speaks to them cannot but be moved, nor can they leave and return home and forget what they have seen. But it is not only the victims. We cannot and must never forget the parents; it is they that have been giving the care and love to their sons and daughters 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the years.

I wrote earlier that I was horrified to discover that in Ho Chi Minh City, Monsanto and Dow Chemicals have offices. Anyone that has campaigned for justice for the Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange will know that both these companies along with others manufactured the Agent Orange used on Vietnam for ten-years.

Monsanto made $billions as a manufacturer of Agent Orange, they are still making $billions from being the world’s largest producer of GM Seeds, such information is known to governing authorities of many countries as it be must to those in Vietnam.

It is beyond belief that companies headed by Monsanto and Dow Chemicals that have contaminated the land of Vietnam, destroyed the forests, killed, maimed, and crippled millions of its people, and refuse to admit responsibility nor pay any compensation to the victims or their families are allowed to have an office in the country.

There are countries that have taken the decision to ban GM seeds coming into their countries. It is internationally recognised that GM seeds do not benefit farmers or the consumers; nor do they increase the crop yields. Ask the widows of the thousands of Indian Farmers who have committed suicide through being forced to purchase Monsanto’s seeds and became heavily in debt.

I have written before of a family I visited with friends from Ho Chi Minh City, when we went to Dong Nai a nearby province. It was in Dong Nai that an American air-base was established at Bien Hoa; from there planes took off with their cargo of Agent Orange and landed after completing the spraying. Such actions have left many thousands of people of Dong Nai suffering today from Agent Orange, the air-base and the surrounding area is still contaminated with Agent Orange.

The family we met was a mother and her two daughters, both unable to move, speak, or eat without the help from their mother. Everything had to be done for them, and the ages of the daughters? One is 42 years, the other 36. Just imagine, a mother looking after her two daughters, caring for their needs, for forty-two years. Such a situation is not rare in Vietnam, the figure of Vietnamese suffering from Agent Orange runs into the millions.

Vietnam is an agriculture country and in travelling to many of its small towns and communes, I have come across many of the parents who have a child, teenager, grown son or daughter affected by Agent Orange. Here you see how difficult life is, and how very hard for both the parents and their child or children. And it is here that I have been asked many times by the mother or father, sometimes by the grandparents looking after their grandson or granddaughter “what will happen to them when I am no longer here?”

It is a question I find very hard to answer. It is a question that I have posed to various US Presidents from Clinton to Obama. With Obama, I also wrote to his wife Michelle. Neither of the presidents replied, nor I am sorry to write, has Michelle. I also wrote to the heads of a few of the thirty-seven US Chemical companies that manufactured Agent Orange, such as Monsanto and Dow Chemicals. The replies from them were clear, they refuse to accept their responsibilities, passing the buck – to use an expression – to the US government with the excuse they were ordered to manufacture Agent Orange, an excuse that was used by the Nazis and rejected by the judges at the Nuremberg Trials that following WWII.

When in Hanoi I took the opportunity to ask a US Ambassador about Agent Orange and the problems it has caused the people of Vietnam and his own forces who served in Vietnam, and who were suffering from the same effects as the Vietnamese. His answer was amazing; “No, it was not Agent Orange, our servicemen and women were wounded in battle, so we have a duty to care for them.”

Perhaps when a US veteran meets up with an ambassador they might like to ask the same question…. Or when they meet with President Obama…..

A number of years ago I discovered to my horror that both Monsanto and Dow Chemical had offices in Ho Chi Minh City, I wrote a letter to the Director of the Monsanto office informing him I was coming to Ho Chi Minh City and would like to meet with him and added an invitation to come with me to the Peace Village at Tu Du Hospital and meet a few children affected by Agent Orange. He replied that he would be out of the city at the date I would be there. However, I replied telling him I would deliver the letter to his office, I did and the reply was as I expected.

The visit to the office of Dow Chemicals a couple of years later was the same; I was received by one of the secretaries and given a statement along the same lines refusing to accept any responsibility etc etc. It would appear that the companies have the same Public Relations Company.

In these fifty years there have been many actions of support for the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, both within Vietnam and in many other countries, with lawsuits, one reaching to the US Supreme Court only to be rejected. Public meetings, where Vietnamese victims spoke. International Tribunals have met, with witnesses presenting the case for justice. Petitions on paper and online have gained the support of millions in many countries. Vietnamese victims have stated their case before committees of US Congress. Concerts and many other activities continue to this day.

The case for justice for the victims has reached millions, but sadly with little success. Neither the American Governments, from Nixon to Obama, nor the American Chemical Companies headed by Monsanto and Dow Chemicals will admit responsibility nor have they paid a cent in compensation to the victims and their families.

A number of statements in support of the victims have been made by elected representatives of the US, these are welcomed but very little real help has come from them. Invariably they link any questions of help for the victims, by talking about Human Rights, ignoring the human rights of the children born many years after the war and suffering from the Agent Orange their country used on Vietnam.



US planes spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam during the US war in Southeast Asia.

A few years ago a US-Vietnam Dialogue Group (DG) was set-up to discuss what steps can be made to tackle the question of Agent Orange and its effect on the people and land of Vietnam. High were the hopes of many within Vietnam and without at this news. I was particularly pleased as I have known a few of the Vietnamese members of the DG for a number of years and have long regarded them as friends, and still do.

After a couple of years they produced a report, a ten-year plan costing $300 million to tackle the problem of Agent Orange. Personally I regard the plan puzzling. First, $30 million per year for ten-years is not enough, even to clean up the number of hot spots where the American air-bases were and where Agent Orange was stored, and in some cases leaked. For example, In their report it stated that drums of Agent Orange were gathered up except for those that had leaked and were buried – where, it did not state nor how many? These drums are time-bombs waiting to explode. They need to be uncovered and dealt with; the land must already be contaminated.

Very little was said of what amount of the $30 million per year would be spent on the Vietnamese affected with Agent Orange to help them, for example, with medical treatment, be it at home, in hospitals, or local clinics. Nothing was written of respite homes where the parents can have a rest from the week in week out 24 hours care they are giving to their children, nor what help would be given to the communities for them to assist the victims. There is a whole raft of programmes that are needed to help the Vietnamese victims and frankly $30 million a year is far from being adequate. As I stated earlier, the number of victims of Agent Orange runs into the millions.

I regret making the above critical comments but having seen what I have over the twenty-two years of visiting and meeting with the victims and their parents etc, there is more than talk and grandiose plans that are needed.

Let me now come to another aspect of this issue and one that I know is a sensitive one. I have been coming to Vietnam each year since 1989, during those years I have met and made many friends at various levels. I would hope that they accept and understand that I now write in the spirit of that friendship built up over these years.

In my opinion new thinking is needed if we are serious about seeking justice for the millions of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam. Let me suggest that an international conference be called to discuss what now needs to be done to bring justice to the victims. I would urge that one such action be a call for an international ban on all products of Monsanto and that would and must include GMO.

In this the Fiftieth Year of the use of Agent Orange on Vietnam, let us remember the many hundreds of thousands that have died through Agent Orange and were denied justice as were their families. Let us remember the millions still with us and suffering for whom we demand justice. Let us remember those yet to be born and who will suffer from the consequences of Agent Orange.

Friends, the time for talk has ended it is now time for action, and on an international scale.

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Len Aldis is the Secretary Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. We have occasionally carried Len's articles at Salem-News.com over the years and consider it an honor for a British citizen to care about the past misdeeds of the U.S. war machine.

We are excited to announce that Len Aldis has joined the team of Salem-News.com writers and we look forward to promoting his important work and carrying more of his articles about the role Agent Orange continues to play in Vietnam.

Len Aldis. Secretary
Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society
Flat 2, 26 Tomlins Grove
London E3 4NX
Tel & Fax: 0208 980 7146
Mobile: 0779 657 1017
Website: lenaldis.co.uk
Skype: Len.Aldis

Link to this article: http://salem-news.com/articles/june142011/agent-orange-la.php