20 May 2011

Agent Orange dumping and US acts of terrorism

It's absolutely mind boggling how Americans can be steadfast in their denial of the wrongdoings of the US government.  Many people believe to this day that the US is currently fighting a "war against terrorism" in the name of freedom.  And "taking the fight to the enemy," and so on and so forth.  Unfortunately the people who believe this hogwash are either morons or living in denial and need to read more rather than watch network television.   The US is not fighting "terrorism" any more than it is perpetrating it.  This is not a new concept.  Noam Chomsky, William Blum, Michael Parenti, Michael Moore, to name a few, have created libraries of books and documentaries based on the illegal military acts and covert operations carried out by the US government.

If the aforementioned political analysts and scholars cannot convince the public based on their arguments, nothing I can do will.  But that does not stop the evidence from stacking up.  It should come as no surprise then to hear that today more evidence of the atrocities committed by the US have surfaced.   So just in case you're one of those still not convinced that the US has been a destructive, dare I write, "terrorist", force around the globe, the US government is trying to make it very easy for everybody to accept.

News has broken this week that in 1978 the US military buried 250 55-gallon barrels of Agent Orange in South Korea near Daegu near Camp Carroll in Waegwan.  Daegu is the third largest metropolitan center in the country and a tainted water supply or poisoned food could affect hundreds of thousands of people.  According to three Army veterans, they were ordered to dig a trench about the "length of a city block" and bury the barrels marked as Compound Orange from Vietnam.  Many of the barrels were leaking chemicals at the time of their burial.  They US government claimed long ago that all of the leftover Agent Orange used in Vietnam had been incinerated.  Then they admitted to using it in the demilitarized zone.  "Effective December 16, 2003, Congress authorized these benefits to children with spina bifida of certain veterans who served at or near the demilitarized zone in Korea between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971, because Agent Orange is known to have been sprayed in that area."  Now the three veterans have come forward to try to settle their consciences and expand the time frame for the use of Agent Orange in Korea.  If the story turns out to be accurate, it would mean that the US military had been using Agent Orange in South Korea into the late 70's rather than as earlier reported as the early 70's.  A fairly large difference in time and the amount of victims exposed.

Stillborn babies - result of prenatal dioxin
exposure from Agent Orange
Agent Orange has been associated with myriad health problems such as spina bifida, diabetes, birth defects, lung disease, and on and on.  The US Department of Veterans Affairs handles cases of exposure through the Agent Orange Registry Health Exam for Veterans, which was established in 1978.  No evidence of exposure needs to be presented by the veteran that they were exposed; they just need to have symptoms.  The US government is fully aware and fully cognizant of the dangers presented by the dioxin, which even in small doses, 0.15g, could kill thousands.

Beyond the atrocity of burying a known dioxin in the ground, meaning hundreds of thousands of Koreans could be at risk of exposure through the food and water supply, is the very plausibility of cleaning it up.  The US left thousands of mines in Cambodia that it failed to clean up; we left hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese deformed and dying but failed to pay reparations or clean-up that mess.  As an illustration of further corporate abuses, while the Vietnamese, US veterans, Cambodians and perhaps countless others Asia were suffering, the company responsible for creating the dioxin, Monsanto, grew wealthier and prospered.

In 1984, when the US government settled the class action lawsuit for using Agent Orange, the US veterans collect $180 million nearly half paid by Monsanto.  The Vietnamese victims were given next to nothing.  Monsanto continues to provide the US and the world with genetically enhanced seeds, deadly chemical defoliants, and various insecticides.  Through the second quarter of this year, 2011, they are posting a gross profit of $3.1B.  

The term terrorism means, according to Merriam-Webster, premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

And, from the US Dept of Defense, terrorism is defined as the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.

Using the above definitions, below is a list of terrorist actions taken by the US.  The list is far from exhaustive.  Yet it is indicative of the atrocities that are carried out continuously by our country.  Today, Pres. Obama called on Syria and Bahrain to stop harming their own citizens.  Even though he holds last year's Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Obama sounded awfully hypocritical and pedantic after ordering the bombing of Libya, the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the execution of bin Laden.

Acts of Terrorism committed by the US (in no order of significance nor date nor is it exhaustive)
1.  The atrocities committed against the Native Peoples of the Americas - the mass migration of the civilized tribes, the massacres of 1622, at wounded knee, and countless massacres of defenseless women and children carried out by Custer and other military savages.
2.  Slavery especially as related to the Jim Crow laws, the lynchings, and murders of innocents.
3.  The treatment of Filipinos in the Spanish-American war.
4.  Bombings of Germany, e.g. Dresden and
5.  Japan.
6.  Use of chemical warfare in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
7.  Latin America, this list could include just about every country in the Caribbean and Latin America but here are a few:
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala
7.  Invasion of Iraq and
8.  Afghanistan.
9.  Bombing of Libya and
10. Pakistan by Drones - perhaps, as Nir Rosen has suggested, no different than IEDs
11. Current embargoes on Iran and Cuba
12. Sending an assassination team of Navy SEALs into a sovereign nation - violating international law
Again this list is not meant to be exhaustive but merely illustrative of the terrorism practiced by the preacher, the USA (see also American Acts of Terrorism).  The World Court sanctioned the US for its role in Nicaragua, but we haven't changed our behaviors. 

Do you think that the US is a terrorist nation?  If not, why not?  If so, why do you think so?  What solutions are there for prompting the cessation of all terrorist acts committed by our country?

Note:  In separate but related news, Osama bin Laden is looked upon as a martyrwho was fighting for, you guessed it, freedom.  Interesting that our corporations and our government are spreading capitalist values (not democratic) while enslaving the global poor in order to turn record profits.
Read more about the Agent Orange dumping:
Watch a video: This is a bit of a sensationalized presentation with the spooky music and dramatic flare but it's worth watching: 
Read more about the effects of Agent Orange and the veterans who are eligible for claims:
Read more about the US report on Global Terrorism:

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