US Meddling Across Southeast Asia

US Meddling Across Southeast Asia

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At a time when US political leaders decry with little evidence what they claim is a pandemic of “Russian interference” in Western political affairs from Western Europe to North America, years of documented evidence exist of this very same interference in the domestic affairs of other nations around the world, funded and directed not by Moscow, but by Washington D.C.

Across Southeast Asia alone is an interlocked, deeply rooted and heavily financed network of American-backed agitators and propagandists, operating behind the cloaks of journalism and rights advocacy, working to upend local, independent political institutions and replace them with a system created by and serving exclusively the interests in Washington that created them.

Shedding Light on US Interference in the Philippines

The Manila Times in a recent article titled, “CIA conduit funding anti-Duterte media outfits,” would shed light on US government money being channelled into the Philippines for the explicit purpose of manipulating public perception, particularly regarding politics.

The article cites the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its grantees, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and the Vera Files.

The article outlines the funding, stating:

NED documents show that for 2015—the earliest year for which data is available—2016 and 2017, it gave the PCIJ $106,900; Vera Files $70,000, and CMFR, $278,000. (Another funder of Vera Files is Reporters without Borders, which is also recipient of NED funds.)

Even if NED wasn’t a CIA conduit, it is an institution funded by the US government, and therefore advances US interests. Shouldn’t we be outraged that the US government is funding anti-Duterte media outfits here?

It also points out that this US interference in Filipino politics fits into a much larger, global pattern of political interference engaged in by the US government. The article cites US interference in Ukraine in particular, noting that it was US backing that eventually led to the overthrow of the elected government there between 2013 and 2014.

The article’s author, Rigoberto Tiglao, attempted to contact several of the Filipino US NED grantees, only to be confronted or evaded, a response typical of US NED grantees worldwide when questioned about their foreign funding, the dangerous conflicts of interests they are indulging in and the contradictions of posing as independent media organisations entirely dependent on foreign government funding.

Pressure on the Philippines through US-funded media is only one of several fronts the US is using to transform, direct and determine the future of the Philippines as a nation. It has placed direct political pressure on Manila to cooperate in confronting Beijing over the South China Sea. It has also attempted to use Saudi-funded terrorism in the Philippines’ south as a vector to reintroduce a significant and expanding US military presence across the archipelago nation.

The use of terrorism as both a pressure point against Southeast Asian states and as a pretext for a US military presence is a tactic the US is attempting to reuse everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia, to southern Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar. So is the use of US NED-funded organisations operating under the guise of independent journalism or rights advocacy.

 Beyond the Philippines: Thailand and Cambodia 

Thailand faces a similar landscape of compromised opposition organisations posing as independent, yet entirely funded by the US government and US-based corporate foundations. These include Prachatai, Thai Netizens, the New Democracy Movement, the Isaan Record, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and even the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT).

Like their Filipino counterparts, they pose as proponents of democracy and as human rights advocates, but cover current events in a transparently one-sided manner, excusing or omitting abuse and corruption among the opposition and targeting only Thailand’s independent institutions, particularly the military and the monarchy.

In Cambodia, US government funding goes one step further, funding the entire opposition, hosting them in Washington D.C. and creating an entire media network to skew public perception in favour of this foreign enterprise and the interests that propel it.
Recently arrested opposition leader, Kem Sokha, got his start at the US State Department and Open Society-funded organisation, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). He would later enter politics, but would continue collaborating directly with the US government, travelling to the United States annually to conspire openly with US representatives to overthrow the Cambodian government.

An article published in the Phnom Post titled, “Kem Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” would quote Kem Sokha, reporting:

And, the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can changed the dictator Slobodan Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes.

“You know Milosevic had a huge numbers of tanks. But they changed things by using this strategy, and they take this experience for me to implement in Cambodia. But no one knew about this.”

In essence, while the US tenuously accuses Russia of buying Facebook and Google ads, it is openly engaged in overthrowing nations around the world. In Southeast Asia, these efforts are often interlinked, with US-funded organisations in one country supporting and helping to amplify the activities of another next door.

An American Empire’s Success Story: Myanmar 

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) political party’s ascension into power is an example of where exactly US ambitions will lead if unchecked. With the current government in Myanmar quite clearly disinterested in either democracy or human rights, considering the burgeoning Rohingya crisis, it is proof positive that US-funded interference merely operates behind the façade of such principles, and in no way actually seeks to uphold them.

Many NLD party members are former heads of organisations funded by the US government, while others are the recipients of US NED-funded training programmes.

The current Minister of Information, Pe Myint, received NED and Open Society-funded training at the above mentioned FCCT in Bangkok.

Myanmar is being run by a government handcrafted by US money and interference. It is a government being pressured to turn its back on neighbouring China in favour of US plans, particularly those of its industry and financial institutions. It is also a government currently creating a humanitarian crisis that has opened the door to US-Saudi funded terrorism, a potentially larger conflict featuring brutal violence, all leading to a potential opportunity for a US military presence in a nation that directly borders China.

If allowed to, the US will transform the rest of Southeast Asia into either cooperative client states, or divided and failed states. In either scenario, it will create a united front across Southeast Asia vis-à-vis Beijing that will complicate China’s rise both in the Asia Pacific region and upon the global stage, buying time for the current ruling hegemon to consolidate its position or even reassert itself.

Pushing Back

In many ways, America’s own imagined war against Russian influence gives governments across Southeast Asia the perfect precedent and pretext to push back. Cambodia has already expelled the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a subsidiary of the US NED. It has also tightened laws regarding foreign-owned and foreign-funded media organisations. Opposition members who have openly and for years flaunted their foreign sponsorship are now being arrested and tried while their political parties are being disbanded.

As governments expose and uproot foreign influence from the region, it is equally important for Southeast Asia to fill sociopolitical game board with its own pieces regarding social networks, charity organisations, media (both domestic and international) as well as rights advocates. The price for genuinely putting government corruption in the spotlight and in relative check is easily offset by eliminating the shadows foreign-backed opposition parties have used to systematically undermine regional interests for decades from.

Russia and China, the two primary targets of US interference both directly and by disrupting their peripheries in regions like Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, have implemented a wide array of countermeasures. Governments in Southeast Asia should consider them each in turn and how they could be adapted best to protect sovereignty and stability at home and across the region.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/16/us-meddling-across-southeast-asia/

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The Vietnam War Is Not History for Victims of Agent Orange

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By Marjorie Cohn and Jonathan Moore,

Watching the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick 18-hour series, “The Vietnam War,” is an emotional experience. Whether you served in the US military during the war or marched in the streets to end it, you cannot remain untouched by this documentary. The battle scenes are powerful, the stories of US veterans and Vietnamese soldiers who fought on both sides of the war compelling.

The toll in human terms caused by the war is staggering. Nearly 58,000 Americans and 2 to 3 million Vietnamese, many of them civilians, were killed in the war. Untold numbers were wounded. Many US veterans of the war suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. More US Vietnam War vets have committed suicide than died in the war.  However, those numbers do not begin to tell the complete story of the war.

The US Engages in Chemical Warfare

In one of its most serious omissions, the series gives short shrift to the destruction wreaked by the US military’s spraying of deadly chemical herbicides containing the poison dioxin over much of Vietnam, the most common of which was Agent Orange. This is one of the most tragic legacies of the war. Yet, aside from a few brief mentions, the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, both Vietnamese and American, are not portrayed in the series. More importantly, the ongoing harm created by this chemical warfare program is never mentioned.

Agent Orange/dioxin was an herbicidal chemical weapon manufactured by US chemical companies like Dow and Monsanto and sprayed by the US military from 1961 to 1971. Dioxin is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind. Approximately 3 million Vietnamese and thousands of US and allied soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin.

The US government was aware that the use of poison as a weapon of war was forbidden by international law well before it authorized its use in Vietnam.  In fact, the US government suppressed a 1965 report, called the Bionetics study, that showed dioxin caused many birth defects in experimental animals. It was not until the results of that study were leaked that the use of Agent Orange/dioxin was stopped.

Horrific Birth Defects

Those exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin often have children and grandchildren born with serious illnesses and disabilities. There is a virtual unanimity of opinion within the international scientific community that exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin caused some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies, and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam, as well as to US veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in the United States. For many of them and their progeny, the suffering continues.

Mai Giang Vu was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the Army of South Vietnam. He carried barrels of chemicals to spray in the jungle. His sons were unable to walk or function normally. Their limbs gradually “curled up” and they could only crawl. By age 18, they were bedridden. One died at age 23, the other at age 25.

Nga Tran, a French Vietnamese woman who worked in Vietnam as a war correspondent, was there when the US military began spraying chemical defoliants. A big cloud of the agent enveloped her. Shortly after her daughter was born, the child’s skin began shedding. She could not bear to have physical contact with anyone. The child never grew. She remained 6.6 pounds – her birth weight – until her death at the age of 17 months. Tran’s second daughter suffers from alpha thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder rarely seen in Asia. Tran saw a woman who gave birth to a “ball” with no human form. Many children are born without brains; others make inhuman sounds. There are victims who have never stood up. They creep and barely lift their heads.

Rosemarie Hohn Mizo is the widow of George Mizo, who fought for the US Army in Vietnam. After he refused to serve a third tour, Mizo was court-martialed, spent two and a half years in prison and received a dishonorable discharge. Before his death from Agent Orange-related illnesses, Mizo helped found the Friendship Village where Vietnamese victims live in a supportive environment.

Dr. Jeanne Stellman, who wrote the seminal Agent Orange article in Nature, said,

“This is the largest unstudied [unnatural] environmental disaster in the world.”

Dr. Jean Grassman, of Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, stated dioxin is a potent cellular disregulator that alters several pathways and disrupts many bodily systems. She said children are very sensitive to dioxin, and the intrauterine or postnatal exposure to dioxin may result in altered immune, neurobehavioral and hormonal functioning. Women pass their exposure to their children both in utero and through the excretion of dioxin in breast milk.

These were some of the witnesses who testified at the International Peoples’ Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange, held in Paris in 2009.

An Empty Promise of Compensation

In the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, the Nixon administration promised to contribute $3 billion for compensation and postwar reconstruction of Vietnam. That promise remains unfulfilled.

In 2004, both US veteran and Vietnamese victims sued the chemical companies who knowingly manufactured Agent Orange and other herbicides, which they knew contained an unnecessary but lethal amount of dioxin. The victims were prevented from suing the US government because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Despite agreeing to compensate US veterans in an earlier lawsuit for some maladies caused by their exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides, the US government and the chemical companies maintained before the courts and to this day that there was no evidence to support a connection between exposure and disease. 

The efforts by veterans’ groups and others to take care of our vets has resulted in a compensation scheme administered by the Veterans Administration. It annually pays out billions of dollars to veterans who can demonstrate they were in a contaminated part of Vietnam and have an illness that is associated with exposure to Agent Orange.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange on a scale unheard of in modern warfare have been left out in the cold. The failure to include this history in the Burns/Novick series is unconscionable. Indeed, one could argue that even the mention of Agent Orange in the series was seriously misleading. For example, in the last episode, the narrator notes the spraying campaign but does so against a verdant backdrop of green fields and abundant crops. 

The actions of the US government and the US manufacturers of Agent Orange and other deadly herbicides is a moral outrage. The US government has funded the cleanup of dioxin at the Danang airport, only one of the 28 “hot spots” still contaminated by dioxin. But this effort ignores the damage caused to the people who live there and eat the crops, animals and fish from the surrounding area. All of these hot spots need to be remediated.

The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2017

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) has introduced H.R. 334, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2017, which has 23 co-sponsors. The bill would lead to the cleanup of dioxin and arsenic contamination still present in Vietnam. It would provide assistance to the public health system in Vietnam directed at the 3 million Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange. It would also extend assistance to the affected children of male US veterans who suffer the same set of birth defects covered for the children of female veterans. It enable research on the extent of Agent Orange-related diseases in the Vietnamese-American community and provide them with assistance. Finally, it would support laboratory and epidemiological research on the effects of Agent Orange.

Contact your representative and ask him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 334. Effective compensation for Agent Orange/dioxin victims is a moral imperative.

*

Marjorie Cohn http://marjoriecohn.com/, a veteran of the antiwar movement, is on the national advisory board of Veterans for Peace. She is co-author (with Kathleen Gilberd) of “Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent” https://www.amazon.com/Rules- Disengagement-Marjorie-Cohn/ dp/0981576923/ref=sr_1_1?s= books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507478600& sr=1-1&keywords=rules+of+ disengagement. And she served as one of seven judges from three continents at the International Peoples’ Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange http://www.vn-agentorange.org/ paris_2009_tribunal_ execsummary.html, held in Paris in 2009. 

Jonathan Moore was one of the attorneys who filed a lawsuit to gain compensation for Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin. Cohn and Moore are co-coordinators of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign http://www.vn-agentorange.org.

How to End the Korea Crisis

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By Ron Paul | September 25, 2017

The descent of US/North Korea “crisis” to the level of schoolyard taunts should be remembered as one of the most bizarre, dangerous, and disgraceful chapters in US foreign policy history.

President Trump, who holds the lives of millions of Koreans and Americans in his hands, has taken to calling the North Korean dictator “rocket man on a suicide mission.” Why? To goad him into launching some sort of action to provoke an American response? Maybe the US president is not even going to wait for that. We remember from the Tonkin Gulf false flag that the provocation doesn’t even need to be real. We are in extremely dangerous territory and Congress for the most part either remains asleep or is cheering on the sabre-rattling.

Now we have North Korean threats to detonate hydrogen bombs over the Pacific Ocean and US threats to “totally destroy” the country.

We are told that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a “madman.” That’s just what they said about Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, and everyone else the neocons target for US military action. We don’t need to be fans of North Korea to be skeptical of the war propaganda delivered by the mainstream media to the benefit of the neocons and the military industrial complex.

Where are the cooler heads in Washington to tone down this war footing?

Making matters worse, there is very little understanding of the history of the conflict. The US spends more on its military than the next ten or so countries combined, with thousands of nuclear weapons that can destroy the world many times over. Nearly 70 years ago a US-led attack on Korea led to mass destruction and the death of nearly 30 percent of the North Korean population. That war has not yet ended.

Why hasn’t a peace treaty been signed? Newly-elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in has proposed direct negotiations with North Korea leading to a peace treaty. The US does not favor such a bilateral process. In fact, the US laughed off a perfectly sensible offer made by the Russians and Chinese, with the agreement of the North Koreans, for a “double freeze” – the North Koreans would suspend missile launches if the US and South Korea suspend military exercises aimed at the overthrow of the North Korean government.

So where are there cooler heads? Encouragingly, they are to be found in South Korea, which would surely suffer massively should a war break out. While US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was bragging that the new UN sanctions against North Korea would result in a near-complete blockade of the country (an act of war), the South Korean government did something last week that shocked the world: it announced an eight million dollar humanitarian aid package for pregnant mothers and infant children in North Korea. The US and its allies are furious over the move, but how could anyone claim the mantle of “humanitarianism” while imposing sanctions that aim at starving civilians until they attempt an overthrow of their government?

Here’s how to solve the seven-decade old crisis: pull all US troops out of [South] Korea; end all military exercises on the North Korean border; encourage direct talks between the North and South and offer to host or observe them with an international delegation including the Russians and Chinese, which are after all Korea’s neighbors.

The schoolyard insults back and forth between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are not funny. They are in fact an insult to all of the rest of us

Two crazy leaders, Kim Jong-un & Trump, two rogue nations, USA & N.Korea. The world edges closer to nuclear war

Trump Threatens North Korea with “Effective and Overwhelming” Military Force

By Peter Symonds

In the wake of North Korea’s missile launch, US President Trump and his top officials have once again threatened to use military force to end the supposed threat posed by the small, economically backward country and its limited nuclear arsenal.

Speaking at an Air Force installation outside Washington, Trump condemned North Korea and declared that the US would “defend our people, our nations, and our civilization, from all who dare to threaten our way of life.”

Against the backdrop of a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber, Trump told the assembled Air Force personnel:

“After seeing your capabilities and commitment here today, I am more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming.”

Trump and his top officials have repeatedly stressed that “all options are on the table” and hinted the US would use its vast nuclear capability against North Korea.

The UN Security Council has issued a statement after its emergency session on Friday condemning North Korea’s latest test of an intermediate range missile that flew over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean as “highly provocative.”

Under pressure from Washington, the UN Security Council on Monday imposed its harshest sanctions yet on North Korea over its sixth nuclear test on September 3. The latest resolution banned the purchase of North Korean textile exports, restricted the hire of its guest workers and capped its oil imports.

Yesterday’s statement called on all UN member states to “fully, comprehensively and immediately” implement all the sanctions. At the same time, it stressed the need to “reduce tension in the Korean Peninsula” and to promote “a peaceful and comprehensive solution.”

Trump, however, has already dismissed the latest UN sanctions. Speaking on Tuesday, he declared that the UN vote was “just another very small step, not a big deal,” adding that he did not know “if it has any impact.” He said that the sanctions would pale in comparison to “what ultimately will have to happen” to North Korea.

Yesterday, senior Trump officials warned that time was running out for any diplomatic solution.

At a White House briefing yesterday, national security adviser H.R. McMaster underscored the willingness of the US to use military force.

“For those who have said, and been commenting about a lack of a military option, there is a military option.”

While saying that “now it [military force] is not what we would prefer to do,” McMaster warned that time was short.

“We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of road,” he said.

Speaking at the same briefing, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley suggested that the UN had run out of options and she would support the use of the military against North Korea.

“There is not a whole lot the Security Council is going to be able to do from here when you have cut 90 percent of the trade and 30 percent of the oil to [North Korea],” Haley said. “So, having said that, I have no problem with kicking it to [US Defense Secretary James] Mattis because I think he has plenty of options.”

The provocative US threats of war are also directed at putting even more pressure on China and also Russia to strong-arm the Pyongyang regime into capitulating to US demands to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Beijing and Moscow to take “direct actions of their own.” He called on all countries to implement UN sanctions but singled out China saying that it supplied North Korea with “most of its oil” and Russia as the “largest employer of North Korean forced labour.”

“China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson declared.

Earlier this week, US Assistant Treasury Secretary Marshall Billingslea accused China of circumventing UN sanctions and assisting in the trade of banned goods with North Korea. He claimed to have evidence of Chinese and Russian collusion in the smuggling of coal out of North Korea.

Billingslea said that the Trump administration had told China that if it wished to avoid further sanctions, the United States needs to “urgently” see action. The US has already imposed bans on a number of Chinese individuals and entities, including the Bank of Dandong, over their alleged business dealings with North Korea.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on that the US has “sent a message that anybody that wanted to trade with North Korea, we consider them not trading with us. We can put economic sanctions to stop people trading.”

Mnuchin’s comments echo those of Trump who threatened to cut off trade with China if it did not end all business dealings with North Korea. The threats make clear that the Trump administration’s reckless escalation of the confrontation with North Korea is part of a broader strategy aimed at undermining China, which is regarded by the US as the main obstacle to its regional and global hegemony.

China and Russia are caught in a bind. Both countries have opposed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs because the US has exploited them to justify its military build-up throughout Asia.

Beijing is also concerned that South Korea and Japan will use North Korea as a pretext to develop their own nuclear arsenal. South Korea’s defence minister has already suggested that the US return tactical nuclear weapons to his country.

At the same time, China and Russia do not want to see either a war in their backyard on the Korean Peninsula or a political crisis in Pyongyang that could be exploited by Washington to install a pro-US regime.

The Russian foreign ministry yesterday joined with China in condemning North Korea’s latest missile test over mainland Japan, but at the same time criticised the US for its “aggressive” role in the crisis.

“Regrettably, aggressive rhetoric is the only thing coming from Washington,” a spokesman said.

China and Russia are continuing to push for a resumption of negotiations based on a halt by the US and South Korea on large joint military exercises, in return for North Korea suspending further nuclear and missile tests. The US has repeatedly dismissed any pause in its war games with South Korea.

In response to the latest North Korean missile test, the South Korean military fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters 250 kilometres off its east coast. The South Korean President Moon Jae-in bluntly warned North Korea that “we have the power to destroy North Korea and make it unable to recover.”

Agent Orange: 17 Chilling Photos of the Vietnam War Crimes the US Got Away With

Agent Orange: 17 Chilling Photos of the Vietnam War Crimes the US Got Away With

By Amanda Froelich

For ten years during the Vietnam War, the United States used a toxic concoction of two herbicides, labeled ‘Agent Orange,’ to wipe out large areas of Vietnam which were covered by thick jungle. The aim was to enable easier and more effective bombing of enemy bases. The issue was, Agent Orange wasn’t just an herbicide — it was also a deadly weapon, as it contains large amounts of dioxin.

Agent Orange was discovered in the year 1943 by American botanist Arthur Galston. Between the years of 1962 and 1971, the US army “showered” the deadly chemical over Southern Vietnam as part of the military operation “Ranch Hand”, or “Trail Dust.” In total, more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was used. Sadly, Agent Orange did more than contribute to the deforestation of vast areas of land. It also contaminated air, water, and food sources

History Rundown reports that in high concentrations, dioxin can trigger severe inflammation of the skin, lungs and mucous tissues. Sometimes, the toxicity can result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary edema, and even death. The highly effective carcinogen is also known to affect the eyes, liver, and kidneys, and to cause laryngeal and lung cancer.

As a result of using Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, more than 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and at least 500,000 children were born with mild to severe birth defects. Additionally, 5 million acres of forests and millions more of farmland were destroyed. Agent Orange is said to have killed 10 times more people than all chemical weapons combined.

Because the United States didn’t “technically” violate international laws, as it signed defense treaties with Southern Vietnam’s government and its actions (for the most part) were in line with the defense treaties, there was no reprimand for using Agent Orange as a chemical weapon during the war. That doesn’t mean hundreds of thousands didn’t suffer — or continue to today.

Today, many Agent Orange victims live in Peace Villages, communities where workers care for them and try to give them a normal life. However, “normal” will never truly be possible for most, as mutations caused by Agent Orange still affect the people and the children of Vietnam. As AllThatIsInteresting reports, those who can live in Peace Village are luckier than some of their siblings. Reportedly, some victims of the chemical agent are too deformed to even survive childbirth.

“There is a room at the hospital which contains the preserved bodies of about 150 hideously deformed babies, born dead to their mothers,” one charity worker said“Some have two heads; some have unbelievably deformed bodies and twisted limbs. They are kept as a record of the terrible consequences of chemical weaponry.”

Veterans who served in the Vietnam war, as well, returned to US soil reporting unusually high rates of lymphoma, leukemia, and cancer. The rates were highest among those who worked with Agent Orange directly.

Following are haunting images from the war crime the US got away with:

1) Three planes fly over Vietnam releasing chemicals.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

2) An aerial photograph showing the effects of Agent Orange. The land on the left hasn’t been sprayed while the land on the right has.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

3) Not all of the chemicals were sprayed from above. These soldiers are spraying crops from atop a vehicle, getting up close and personal with the dangerous chemicals.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

4) A ten-year-old girl born without arms writes in her schoolbook.

Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. December 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5) Soldiers down below help spray Agent Orange on the jungle, getting a dangerous dose of the chemicals all over their skins in the process.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

6) 55-year-old Kan Lay holds her 14-year-old son, born with severe physical disabilities because of Agent Orange.

A Lưới, Vietnam. August 6, 2013. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

7) A soldier, after spraying the land with Agent Orange, tries to wash himself clean in some of the very waters that he had helped pollute.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

8) A helicopter sprays Agent Orange.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

9) Lt. Kathleen Glover comforts an orphaned Vietnamese child.

After the war, Lt. Glover would come home and find out that she had contracted Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from her exposure to Agent Orange. Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: RADM Frances Shea Buckley Collection/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

10) A man begs for money outside of a cathedral. He was born with a deformed arm because of Agent Orange, and it makes it nearly impossible for him to find work.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. June 1, 2009. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

11) A group of American planes fly over top of the jungles and release chemicals meant to kill the trees underneath

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

13) A helicopter sprays Agent Orange on Vietnamese farmland.

Mekong River, Vietnam. July 26, 1969. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

14) A massive stack of 55-gallon drums full of Agent Orange waits to be poured over the people of Vietnam.

Location unspecified. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

15) Military personnel demonstrate how to handle an Agent Orange leak, apparently growing increasingly aware of how dangerous the chemical they’d been using really is.

Okinawa, Japan. May 11, 1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

16) Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong poses for a photo with the handicapped children under her care. Every one of them was born with a defect caused by Agent Orange.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. December 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

17) The third-generation child of an Agent Orange victim. Despite the generations between him and the Vietnam War, this boy still feels the effects and lives in a special village for Agent Orange victims.

Hanoi, Vietnam. November 10, 2007. Credit: A. Strakey/Flickr

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system

Written by Nasser Kandil,

سبتمبر 20, 2017

Any reader cannot comment on this title and why we concern about the Sea of China, knowing that what we have is enough to concern about. The major country which leads the wars against us is the United States, and it is normal to care about confronting it with at least three things, its opponents, their suitability to be taken as allies, its plans, and its priorities in order to know the effectiveness of our confrontations and victories in the field in producing stable political equations, and how to change the world system and its new balances by all the surrounding variables. In the three points we will see China in front of us, it is the first opponent of the American hegemony, an active partner in any new or old world system, and today it is the priority of America, so how to pay attention that the politics in its different aspects is an outcome of economy which China is preceding to occupy the first global world ranking, as a consumer of the energy which forms one of the most important resources of our region,  as a producer of the goods which our countries form a vital market for them, and as an inspiring to enter the old world in which our geography locates.

The Sea of China forms the confused geographical area which seems the first appropriate region for the solutions instead of our region which is full of disputes and the conflicts. On its shores a high tense confrontation is taking place in which the American wants to have control on it and wants to prevent China from making it a regional lake, which its balances will be determined by equations of the forces which surround it. The Americans locate on the shores of this sea from the South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, they bet on hindering the Chinese project which based originally on the concept of the regional lake which is directed by the partners that share the same geography, through internationalizing the Sea of China and its crises. This requires igniting the crises between the neighborhoods and raising the tension towards justifying the military internationalization of these crises. Burma’s problem which bothers China does not stem from the fact that it is the concerned country of persecuting the Muslims there, but because China is aware that the American provocation of the issue stems from the attempt of internationalizing in order to deploy foreign troops on the borders of China, under the framework of Chinese-American conflict between the regions and the internationalization as the Korean cause, and as the Chinese industrial islands in the Sea of China. So the deployment of the US missile systems which threaten the Chinese security as the modern Thad system becomes a justification that has a cover made by the countries which the Americans try to put it under the threat of China and its allies in order to seek for the US protection, exactly as how America does in the Gulf by spreading panic from Iran.

China is the partner of the Arabs, the Muslims, and the other nations of the region in confronting the projects of the American hegemony, and the rising power in the world economically. In Asia which constitutes two-thirds of population and distance, China constitutes one third of its population, while Russia constitutes one third of its area. As the understanding with Russia has led to an equation that started changing the world, the completion of the birth of new world system is waiting for the future of the balances in the Sea of China to become clear. What should be concerned regarding the issues of the freedom and independence in our country is not to take one of the two extreme positions towards the issue of the Muslims of Burma whether through ignoring the issue, denying its existence and considering it mere US fabrication or ISIS movement as what was repeated by some people thinking that they serve China by repeating what is being spread on its media, or through participating in arousing the issue, because America can invest it in order to internationalize its security and to be positioned under this pretext on the borders of China. Iran seems the first concerned to have a dialogue with China and to reach to an understanding for a regional solution sponsored by the neighboring countries of Burma as China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand  that ensures its security and the security of the Muslims in it , and stops the malicious game of America under its pretext.

North Korea’s missiles remain the indispensable deterrence till the Americans recognize the choice of negotiation for a political solution and till Japan and South Korea understand that the solution must be regional or there is no solution.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

ناصر قنديل

سبتمبر 16, 2017

– لا يستطيع عاقل أن يعلق على العنوان وما علاقتنا ببحر الصين، فما عندنا كافٍ ليشغل اهتمامنا وأكثر، فالدولة العظمى التي تقود الحروب علينا هي أميركا، والطبيعي أن نهتمّ لمواجهتنا معها بثلاثة أشياء على الأقلّ، خصومها ومدى صلاحيتهم كحلفاء لنا، وخططها ونسبة الأولويات فيها لإدراك مدى فعالية مواجهتنا وانتصاراتنا في الميدان في إنتاج معادلات سياسية مستقرة، وكيفية تغيّر النظام العالمي وتوازناته الجديدة بفعل كلّ المتغيّرات المحيطة به. وفي الثلاثة سنجد الصين أمامنا، فهي خصم أول للهيمنة الأميركية وشريك فاعل في أيّ نظام عالمي قديم وجديد، وهي اليوم أولوية أميركا، فكيف إنْ كان لعقلنا أن ينتبه أنّ السياسة في كثير من وجوهها مولود للاقتصاد، الذي تتقدّم الصين لاحتلال مرتبة عالمية أولى فيه، كمستهلك للطاقة التي تشكل أحد أهمّ موارد منطقتنا، وكمنتج للسلع التي تشكل بلادنا سوقاً حيوية لها، وكطامح لدخول العالم القديم الذي تتوضّع جغرافيتنا في قلبه؟

– يشكل بحر الصين المنطقة الجغرافية المضطربة التي تبدو المرشح الأول للحلول مكان منطقتنا في تصدّر الأحداث والنزاعات، فعلى شواطئه تدور مواجهة عالية التوتر، يريد الأميركي عبرها الإمساك بمفاتيحه، ومنع الصين من جعله بحيرة إقليمية، تقرّر توازناتها معادلات القوى المتشاطئة عليه، والأميركيون موجودون على ضفاف هذا البحر من كوريا الجنوبية واليابان، وأندونيسيا والفيلبين، وفيتنام، ويراهنون على عرقلة المشروع الصيني القائم أصلاً على مفهوم البحيرة الإقليمية التي يديرها الشركاء الطبيعيون جغرافياً، بتدويل بحر الصين وأزماته. وهذا يستدعي تصعيد الأزمات بين الجيران ورفع منسوب التوتر وصولاً لتبرير التدويل العسكري لهذه الأزمات. ومشكلة بورما التي تزعج الصين، ليس لأنها هي الطرف المعني باضطهاد المسلمين هناك، بل لأنها تدرك أنّ الإثارة الأميركية للقضية نابعة من مسعى للتدويل وزرع قوات أجنبية على حدود الصين، تندرج في إطار الصراع الصيني الأميركي بين الأقلمة والتدويل، ومثلها القضية الكورية، ومثلهما الجزر الصناعية الصينية في بحر الصين، ليصير نشر المنظومات الصاروخية الأميركية التي تهدّد الأمن الصيني، كمنظومة ثاد الحديثة، مبرّراً ويملك غطاء تصنعه مخاوف وهواجس دول يشتغل الأميركيون على جعلها تحت تهديد الصين وحلفائها، لتطلب الحماية الأميركية، تماماً كما هو حال التعامل الأميركي في الخليج بقوة إنتاج الذعر من إيران.

– الصين شريك العرب والمسلمين وسائر شعوب المنطقة في مواجهة مشاريع الهمينة الأميركية، وقائدة العالم الصاعدة اقتصادياً، وفي آسيا التي تشكل ثلثي العالم سكاناً ومساحة تشكل الصين ثلث سكانها، وتشكل روسيا ثلث مساحتها، ومثلما أنتج التفاهم مع روسيا معادلة بدأت تغيّر العالم، فإنّ اكتمال ولادة نظام عالمي جديد ينتظر تبلور مستقبل التوازنات في بحر الصين، وما يجب أن يهتمّ به المعنيون بقضايا الحرية والاستقلال في بلادنا، هو أن لا يتخذوا أحد الموقفين المتطرفين من قضية مسلمي بورما، فيصبّون الماء في الطاحونة الأميركية، إما بتجاهل القضية وإنكار وجودها، واعتبارها مجرد فبركة أميركية، أو حركة داعشية، كما يتحدّث البعض ظناً منهم أنهم يخدمون الصين بتكرار ما تقوله وسائل إعلامها، أو بالمشاركة في إثارة صاخبة للقضية ينجح الأميركي بتوظيفها لتدويل أمنها والتموضع بذريعتها على حدود الصين، إن إيران تبدو المعني الأول بحوار مع الصين يخرج بتفاهم على الدعوة لحلّ إقليمي ترعاه دول الجوار لبورما، وهي الصين والهند وبنغلادش وتايلاند، يضمن أمنها ومن ضمنه أمن المسلمين فيها، ويقطع الطريق على اللعبة الأميركية الخبيثة بذريعتها.

– تبقى صواريخ كوريا الشمالية رادع لا غنى عنه، حتى يستسلم الأميركيون لخيار التفاوض لحلّ سياسي، ويفهم اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية أنّ الحلّ يكون إقليمياً أو لا يكون.

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Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

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Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Stephen LENDMAN

Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet – mostly know-nothings about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.

A new Gallup poll provides more evidence – 58% of respondents supporting war if peaceful methods with North Korea fail.

Americans are so out-of-touch with reality they have no idea that the Trump administration ruled out dialogue with Pyongyang or why.

They have no understanding of what nuclear war means, endangering the lives and welfare millions of people in North and South Korea, others potentially in Japan and cross-border in China.

They fail to grasp the possibility that war on the DPRK could invite China’s intervention to protect its security, Russia possibly getting involved for the same reason.

They can’t comprehend the legitimate threat North Korea faces. Lacking powerful weapons invites hostile US intervention, all sovereign independent countries threatened by Washington’s rage for dominance, vulnerable to mass slaughter and destruction like other nations America attacked.

Nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities aren’t a protective shield from US aggression, but they greatly diminish the odds of a preemptive attack – the sole reason Pyongyang wants them, for defense, not offense, their right under international law.

Scoundrel media mind manipulation has most Americans fooled most of the time – why Washington gets away with ravaging and destroying one country after another with shamefully little public opposition.

Most Americans are ignorant about what’s going on or indifferent to oppose publicly it like during the Vietnam era.

Anti-war fervor made a difference. Americas took to the streets nationwide. University faculty members across the country held “teach-ins,” instructing students about the immorality of US war and the political background of its involvement.

Thousands attended rallies in Washington and elsewhere. In November 1969, half a million massed in the nation’s capital against Southeast Asia war. Resistance leaders urged young men to burn their draft cards.

On April 4, 1967, one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, Martin Luther King delivered his powerful anti-war “Beyond Vietnam” address in New York’s Riverside Church – calling America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Now it’s much worse than then, America at war in multiple theaters directly and with proxy terrorist fighters, threatening war on other nations, risking nuclear war on the Korean peninsula – besides possible confrontation with Russia and/or China.

Gallup showed most Americans prefer war to anti-war resistance, the earlier spirit against US aggression gone.

Only 39% of respondents oppose attacking North Korea. Would they send loved ones to fight? Would they go themselves? Gallup didn’t ask to find out.

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