A Letter From Viet Nam on the Occasion of the 45th Anniversary of the End of the War

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Counterpunch

I am reaching out to you as current official friends and former enemies of Vietnam because I want you to know the truth about what could have been, an alternative and viable path of history that both countries could have trod together for mutual benefit and a more peaceful world. You dropped nearly 8 million tons of explosives on Vietnam’s cities and countryside, nearly four times as much as was used in World War II, 10% of which did not detonate upon impact. According to the Vietnamese government, unexploded ordnance (UXO) has been responsible for more than 100,000 injuries and fatalities since 1975, leaving many of the survivors permanently disabled. You sprayed nearly 20 million gallons of Agent Orange, an herbicide and defoliant chemical, on 12% of Vietnam’s countryside targeting food crops, mangrove wetlands, and forests. This poison, which has seeped into soil, ponds, lakes, rivers, and rice paddies, enabling toxic chemicals to enter the food chain, has caused horrific birth defects and a long list of disabilities and illnesses in an estimated four to five million Vietnamese and counting.

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