Friday, August 12, 2011

War and the Tragedy of the Environment : The Pentagon's Global Legacy

LinkI previously featured Patricia Hynes' essay on the effect of the US Military on the environment, War and the True Tragedy of the Commons part one, I missed part two, but both are accessible via these direct links.

Then Agent Orange, (Wiki) now depleted Uranium, the only difference I guess is that, one legacy of the good Christian men and women of the Pentagon will last for generations, and the other, for hundreds of generations. A land that is subject to US military action these days, is a land poisoned forever.

But before moving on to the article, I think it only fitting that I put before you once more THE one video in ALL the world whose effect, each and every time I view it, is to make me want to piss blood.

Originally part of this post: USAF: A Most Ungodly Organisation

And if that nauseating display of cant and hypocrisy isn't enough for you, you could try these fellows, because in the hypocrisy stakes these Christian soldiers run the USAF a very close second. US Army: Bible Bashing For Jesus

Related: Least We Forget: Fuck America (video)

USAF Cadets for Christ Ministry

United States Air Force AKA The Ministry Of Truth

Admiral Mike Mullen Talks Shite

Warmongering vs. the Sanctity of Life

Why The World Hates America; in Bumper Stickers

The United States of America The Greatest Nation of Hypocrites on Earth (Graphic)

Onward Christian Soldiers

Who Would Jesus Kill? Ex Marine Colonel Totally Mad

"we should not condone immoral acts"

Be Delusional,Go To War, But No Tits

A Horror Story: Depleted Uranium

Yes I know, a lot of links. All but the last one highlighting in one way or another, the relationship between Jesus and genocide. Not to mention the rank hypocrisy of it all.

War and the Tragedy of the Commons (Part 3)
by: H. Patricia Hynes
11 August 2011

During the ten years (1961-1971) of aerial chemical warfare in Vietnam, US warplanes sprayed more than 20 million gallons of herbicide defoliants in an operation code-named Ranch Hand. Agent Orange, the dioxin-contaminated and exceedingly toxic herbicide manufactured by a handful of chemical companies for the US Department of Defense, constituted about 61 percent of the total herbicides sprayed in the war.(1) The particular dioxin found in Agent Orange (TCDD) is the one of the most toxic environmental contaminants, found to cause cancer, birth defects and disruptions to the immune and endocrine systems.

A late 1980s investigation by Adm. Elmo Zumwait, former commander of the US Navy in Vietnam and father of a naval officer who died following exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, unearthed evidence that the US military had knowingly augmented the defoliant's toxicity by spraying "Agent Orange in concentrations six to 25 times the suggested rate." Other investigations of court and National Archives documents have uncovered that the Agent Orange manufacturer Dow Chemical Company knew as early as 1965 that the dioxin contaminant in the defoliant was "one of the most toxic materials known ..." and that, as early as 1957, the company knew that dioxin could be eliminated by lowering the temperature and slowing the manufacturing process. But eliminating dioxin would delay production and reduce company profits when wartime production called for rapid, high-quantity manufacture.

The US government also knew of the defoliant's toxicity, according to a memo found during Zumwait's 1988 investigation. Dr. James R. Clary, a former senior scientist at the US Air Force Chemical Weapons Branch who had designed the spray tanks for Operation Ranch Hand, wrote in response to a Congressional investigation into Agent Orange:

When we initiated the herbicide program in the 1960s, we were aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin contamination in the herbicide. We were even aware that the military formulation had a higher dioxin concentration than the civilian version due to the lower cost and speed of manufacture. However, because the material was to be used on the enemy, none of us were overly concerned. We never considered a scenario in which our own personnel would become contaminated with the herbicide.

The herbicide defoliant was used to destroy the Vietnamese and adjacent Laotian forest cover and food crops for Viet Cong forces and also to force Vietnamese farming peasants to relocate into cities. Extensive loss of forest cover, rubber plantations, mangroves, wildlife, crops and freshwater fish ensued. Agent Orange was also truck- and hand-sprayed to clear vegetation around US military bases. Former US pilots later revealed that they dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons from their planes into forests, rivers and drinking water reservoirs because military regulations required that herbicide spray planes return to base empty.

In this methodical "ecocide," one-seventh of the land area of South Vietnam was sprayed, the key targets being mangroves on the fringe of the Mekong Delta, inland hardwood forests along the demilitarized zone separating North Vietnam from South Vietnam and the jungle canopy along the Viet Cong supply line. Arthur Westing, who documented the scale of US environmental destruction in Vietnam, wrote of the strategic ruination of tropical forest canopy and consequent destruction of its biodiversity: "I suspect the only satisfied animals, at least for a time, would be termites."

While successive US administrations denied that they were employing first-strike chemical warfare in contravention of the 1925 Geneva Convention against biological and toxin weapons warfare, over 5,000 American scientists signed a petition in 1964 protesting the use of chemical warfare agents in Vietnam. Even after military analysis revealed in 1967 that the defoliation program did not advance the war and, conversely, may have been counterproductive by turning peasants who lost their crops against the US and toward the Viet Cong, the government continued using the chemical weapon.

In June 1971, defoliation in Vietnam was discontinued following National Institutes of Health-sponsored research that found dioxin caused deaths and stillbirths in laboratory mice. In the early 1980s, Times Beach, Missouri, put dioxin on the map of US awareness and, with Love Canal, topped the Environmental Protection Agency's list of Superfund sites. Dioxin-contaminated oil had been sprayed for several years on the town's road to suppress dust. Contamination was so severe that the government bought all the homes, relocated all the residents, fenced in the town and posted guards and signs reading, "Caution, Hazardous Waste Site, Dioxin Contamination." No such protections for the affected Vietnam vets nor the Vietnamese.

By the end of the war, nearly five million Vietnamese had been exposed to Agent Orange, an exposure which has resulted in "400,000 deaths and disabilities and a half million children born with birth defects," according to the 2008-2009 President's Cancer Panel Report. Agent Orange was so extensively sprayed that all of the two million Americans who served in Vietnam are presumed exposed. The Veterans Administration now associates a multitude of cancers; heart disease; diabetes type 2; neuropathy; Parkinson's disease and birth defects, including spina bifida, suffered by veterans and their children, with Agent Orange exposure. However, it took veteran advocates, their lawyers and concerned scientists decades of confronting inept and corrupt government health studies to overcome expedient myths and achieve this governmental acknowledgement of the human health harm of Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans continue to eke out needed health services from a reluctant government, which still contends that it used the deadly chemicals to protect the soldiers and refuses to accept any responsibility for multi-generations of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam. more


Cletis L. Stump said...

“That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed.” Albert Einstein

Cletis L. Stump said...

"Thou shalt not kill except fron 10,000 feet." JE Hovah

Anonymous said...

'Campus Crusade for Christ Air Force Academy Propaganda'

Hitlerjugend and SS spring to mind.

Himself said...

Hitlerjugend and SS spring to mind.

The only difference perhaps, is that the Hitlerjugend and SS did what they did, sans the cloak of hypocrisy.

Speaking for the one Hitlerjugend that I ever met, (knowingly) there wasn't the least bit of hypocrisy in him, or apology for that matter.

The Hitler Youth ''were the finest days of my life.''

That would be in the early seventies, and the fellow still held the firm belief that the ''Jew'' was still the root cause of all the evil in world.

Nice huh?

Anonymous said...

29 JUNE 2009