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Agent Orange: A Deadly Legacy

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Washington wants its toxic legacy buried and forgotten. Survivors can't let it happen. No one should tolerate America's imperial ravaging. New victims are affected daily. 

American service men and women suffer like combatants and civilians they target. On average, 18 US soldiers commit suicide daily. Countless others suffer physical and psychological injuries. PTSD, depression, neurotic disorders and psychoses are commonplace.

Thousands of war veterans come home permanently disabled. Many more experience chronic illnesses. PTSD sufferers experience anxiety, nervousness in crowds, depression, flashbacks,  nightmares, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, feelings of detachment, irritability, and unusual behavior.

Normal kids come home killers. Wives, children, and others are abused. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence are common. Many needing help don't get it.

America doesn't give a damn about men and women sent to war when they're no longer needed. In 2011, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said it usually takes around four years for the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin providing proper mental healthcare. Funding is inadequate.

It takes weeks or longer for suicidal vets to be examined. For many it's too late. Countless others suffer from America's toxic legacy. They're nameless and faceless out of sight and mind at home.

Nothing done compensates for tragedy. Ending wars alone can prevent them. What greater priority than that!

A Final Comment

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In December 2009, a five-part Chicago Tribune series focused on Agent Orange's deadly legacy. Since its health threats were acknowledged, America "established a record of neglect," it said.

Veterans and affected family members seeking help and compensation "face delays and a maddening bureaucracy." Southeast Asians were abandoned and forgotten.

Forty years later, two offspring of an Vietnam vet may or may not reflect others. Between them, they've had 41 surgeries, including five brain operations, two for spinal cord injuries, and one hysterectomy. Their father died in 2008 from leukemia. He waited years for proper help.

Both daughters have Chiari malformations. It's a structural brain defect. It's associated with spin bifida. One daughter waited three and half years for help. It was inadequate, and by them her bladder shut down.

Her sister sought help and was denied. "They're waiting for you to die," she said. Imagine the deplorable suffering of millions of Southeast Asians. 

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Compassion was never America's long suit. Killing, destruction, conquest, and plunder are prioritized. Imagine what's planned ahead. Human needs be damned. Wealth, power and dominance alone matter. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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