Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Media Blackout on Agent Orange: Coverage Ignores Effects on Vietnamese Victims

By       Message Dave Lindorff       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 3/9/10

Author 63
Become a Fan
  (84 fans)
- Advertisement -

By Dave Lindorff

FromExtra!, January 2010

In mid-October, hundreds of thousands of Vietnam-era veterans got some good if grim news: The Veterans Administration announced it was adding three more diseases to the 11 others it automatically presumes to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange, the dioxin-laced herbicide spread by the U.S. military across much of South Vietnam to deny crops and cover to North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters during the war.

Newspapers and radio and TV news programs across America ran stories announcing that veterans of the jungle war who now suffer or may eventually suffer from Parkinson's Disease, ischemic heart disease or a type of cancer called hairy-cell leukemia will henceforth automatically be offered free medical care by the VA if they'd spent at least one day in uniform on the ground in Vietnam.

- Advertisement -

The connection of these diseases to Agent Orange exposure had first been announced in July by a task force of the national Institute of Medicine. But the medical researchers made an obvious point that has been almost universally ignored in the media coverage of this story: As bad as the impact of Agent Orange was on American troops, it was worse for those millions on whom the chemical was directly dumped--the Vietnamese people.

The Institute of Medicine report notes at several points that the Vietnamese were exposed in far larger numbers and more extensively than were most American troops, and adds that when it comes to health impacts of Agent Orange, "The Vietnamese are an understudied population."

Indeed. A total of 20 million gallons of dioxin-containing herbicide was sprayed by U.S. aircraft on at least 10 percent of what was once South Vietnam--over 3.6 million acres, much of it populated, even heavily populated. Cropland was deliberately targeted, and water bodies used for drinking and irrigation were contaminated. As the report clinically puts it, "Although there are likely to be serious logistical challenges, the many Vietnamese people who had substantial exposure constitute a potentially informative study sample."

- Advertisement -

When New York Times military affairs reporter James Dao was asked why his October 13 article about the VA's decision to add three new major illnesses to the list of Agent Orangecaused problems among veterans didn't mention the obvious fact that these illnesses would also be afflicting many more Vietnamese, the reporter replied, "My beat is veterans," adding that he "only" had 800 words to work with. (That's 50 words longer than this piece.)...

For the rest of this story, please go to www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

Dave Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0