US helps Vietnam to eradicate deadly Agent Orange

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by JAYRAM, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    17 June 2011 Last updated at 12:44 GMT

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    Millions suffered deformities as a result of the herbicide sprayed over Vietnam

    Vietnam and the United States have taken the first step towards cleaning up Agent Orange contamination.

    The US sprayed 12 million gallons of the defoliant over jungles between 1961 and 1971 during the Vietnam war.

    Vietnamese experts say more than three million people have suffered the effects of the herbicide, of which some 400,000 died.

    The development is being hailed as one of the most significant in relations between Washington and Hanoi.

    A ceremony to launch the programme was held at the Danang airport where the defoliant was stored before being sprayed over forests hiding fighters from the Viet Cong, guerrillas backed by the Communist government of North Vietnam.

    US-Vietnam ties have blossomed since diplomatic relations were established 16 years ago and steps to resolve issues left over from the war have formed a cornerstone of progress, say correspondents.

    "I think it's fair to say that dioxin contamination and Agent Orange was one of the single most neuralgic issues in the US-Vietnam relationship," said US charge d'affaires Virginia Palmer.

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    The US sprayed Vietnam's jungles to deprive the enemy of places to hide

    For years, Hanoi and Washington argued about questions of compensation for victims of the defoliant.

    But now the US recognises that dioxin, found in Agent Orange, is a highly toxic substance.

    "Studies suggest that this chemical may be related to a number of cancers and other health effects in humans", says the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Five years ago the embassy began to shift the focus to cleaning up dioxin hot spots, clearing the path for swift progress on what had become the biggest remaining war-era issue.

    The US Congress appropriated an initial $3m (£1.8m) in 2007 for the effort and the figure has since risen to $32m.

    BBC News - US helps Vietnam to eradicate deadly Agent Orange
     
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  3. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    Vietnam and US in joint venture to clean up Agent Orange damage

    Countries work together for first time to tackle contamination caused by wartime spraying of chemical defoliant

    Associated Press
    Friday 17 June 2011 14.21 BST

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    Vietnamese mine sweepers in Da Nang demonstrate how areas will be cleared of unexploded ordnance. Photograph: Richard Nyberg/AP

    Vietnam started the first phase of a joint plan with the US on Friday to clean up environmental damage caused by the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, a lasting legacy of the Vietnam war.

    The work concentrates on a former US military base in central Vietnam, where the defoliant was stored during the war that ended more than three decades ago.

    It is the first time the two sides have worked together on the ground to clean up contamination.

    A statement by the US embassy in Hanoi said Vietnam's ministry of defence will begin sweeping areas near the Da Nang airport for unexploded ordnance. It will then work with the US Agency for International Development to remove dioxin – a chemical used in Agent Orange – from soil and sediment at the site. This action is expected to begin early next year.

    US aircraft sprayed millions of gallons of the chemical over South Vietnam during the war to destroy guerrilla fighters' jungle cover.

    Contamination from dioxin which has been linked to cancers and birth defects – has remained a thorny topic between the former foes. Washington was slow to respond to the issue, arguing for years that more research was needed to show that the wartime spraying caused health problems and disabilities among Vietnamese.

    Virginia Palmer, the US embassy chargé d'affaires, said: "As secretary of state Hillary Clinton remarked while visiting Vietnam last October, the dioxin in the ground here is 'a legacy of the painful past we share', but the project we will undertake here, as our two nations work hand-in-hand to clean up this site, is a sign of the hopeful future we are building together."

    The $32m (£19.7m) project will remove dioxin from 29 hectares (71 acres) of land at the Da Nang site. A 2009 study of the area by the Canadian environmental firm Hatfield Consultants found chemical levels that were 300 to 400 times higher than international limits.

    Two other former US airbases in the southern locations of Bien Hoa and Phu Cat also have been identified as sites where the defoliant was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes during the war, allowing spilled dioxin to seep into the soil and water systems.

    Vietnam's Red Cross estimates up to 3 million Vietnamese have suffered health-related problems from Agent Orange exposure. The US has said the number is far lower and that other health and environmental factors are likely to blame for many illnesses and disabilities.

    Vietnam and US in joint venture to clean up Agent Orange damage | World news | The Guardian
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  4. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The fact that the U.S. is today helping the same evil brainwashed commies that they once massacred just goes to show how pointless that conflict was, along with most other Cold War proxy conflicts.
     

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