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Sunday, Sep. 11, 2011


Toxic legacy on fourth generation


Regarding Roger Pulvers' Sept. 4 Counterpoint article, "As 9/11 nears, morality dictates we recall victims of America, too": While all will sympathize with the 3,000 victims of the Twin Towers, the article is correct to point out the many deaths caused by the actions of the United States. Unfortunately the deaths continue to this very day through the use of various weapons. Since 1989, I have made yearly visits to Vietnam, and on each visit, I have met with many Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange.

Its use on Vietnam has left a legacy that is without doubt a war crime that has gone unpunished. Yet, no Vietnamese plane has bombed New York and other cities, and no Vietnamese soldier has invaded the U.S. No Vietnamese has used chemical weapons on the country, nor left cluster explosives that will take 300 years to clear from the soil of Vietnam.

The effect of Agent Orange has now entered the fourth generation of the Vietnamese. Yet neither the U.S. government nor 36 chemical companies have accepted responsibility or made any move to compensate the Vietnamese victims.

This cannot be allowed to continue, I appeal to all readers of Pulvers' article to write to U.S. President Barack Obama and to the board of Monsanto Corp. (a primary manufacturer of Agent Orange) and demand that they accept government and corporate responsibility by compensating the victims and their families.

In the past 50 years, thousands of Vietnamese people have died and been denied justice. Today there are 4 million Vietnamese suffering from the effects of Agent Orange.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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