[News] The Agent Orange Games?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 6 13:17:54 EST 2012


March 06, 2012
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/06/the-agent-orange-games/

An Open Letter to the London Olympics Committee


The Agent Orange Games?

by LEN ALDIS

Lord Coe. Chair; Sir Keith Mills, Deputy Chair; HRH the Princess 
Royal; Charles Allen; Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari; Sir Phillip Craven; 
Paul Deighton, Chief Exe; Jonathan Edwards; Tony Hall; Andrew Hunt; 
Justin King; Stephen Lovegrove; Adam Penglly; Tim Reddish; Lord 
Moynihan; Sir Craig Reedie; Martin Stewart; Sir Robin Wales. Mayor of 
Newham; Neil Wood.

In a few weeks, unless you take action, the Olympic Stadium will have 
been surrounded by a wrap comprising 336 giant panels made by a 
company responsible for deaths of many thousands, including thousands 
of babies that died in their mother's womb.  Responsible for the 
deaths of many more thousands of those that lived for just a few months.

That company is Dow Chemical, whose record was known to each and 
everyone of you through the many court cases it has had brought 
against them in the United States for disposing of tonnes of highly 
toxic waste into rivers and lakes near its plants. For lawsuits 
brought by American Vietnam Veterans and Vietnamese suffering from 
the effects of Agent Orange.

But let me remind each of you, the biggest crime of Dow Chemical was 
its part, along with 35 other U.S. Chemical Companies, headed by 
Monsanto, in manufacturing Agent Orange used with devastating effect 
on Southern Vietnam for a period of TEN-YEARS, yes, TEN-YEARS.  80 
million litres of the chemical was sprayed over the forests, crops, 
hamlets and the PEOPLE themselves, from August 1961 to 1971, 
resulting in the deaths mentioned above.

Through the use of Agent Orange, Dow Chemical and the others have 
left a legacy that today in Vietnam affects four million.  It has 
also entered into the fourth generation.  From my first visit in 1989 
and each year since, I have met and seen many of these tragic 
victims, of all ages, from new born babies that are minus feet and 
sometimes hand, young children suffering from water on the brain, and 
their heads four-times the normal size where their illness is slowly 
crushing the brain that ends in death.

  I have met with youngsters minus a limb, some minus two; some will 
be confined to a bed or wheelchair for the rest of their lives unable 
to fend for themselves.  In Dong Nai I met a mother and her two 
daughters both unable to move or speak but just lay on their bed, the 
mother looks after them and their needs and has done so for 42 years, 
the age of her eldest daughter, the other daughter is 36 years.  I 
could describe more of the people I have met over the past 22 
years.  But what angers me more is when I see children affected that 
were born after the spraying stopped in 1971 and long after the ward 
ended in 1975.

This is what Dow Chemicals has done to the people of Vietnam, and 
each of you have seemed fit to support the appointment of the company 
to be a sponsor of the Games that opens in London on 27th July 
despite the many objections made by people from a number of countries.

Shame on you all.

LEN ALDIS is secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society.




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