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  #21  
Old 30.04.2015, 09:17
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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Just after the Vietnam War, as a result of China and Russia falling out, and Vietnam siding with Russia, Vietnam was attacked by China in the North, and China encouraged the Khmer Rouge to attack from the West. Due to the experience gained from fighting the Americans, the Vietnamese army handled these incursions without difficulty. This finally led to the downfall of the Khmer Rouge regime.

If the Americans hadn't so well "trained" the VPA, who knows what would have happened.
The Vietnamese are sometimes known as the Prussians of Asia for good reason. They successfully defeated the French, the Americans and the Chinese.

While the US was fighting "God-less" Communism in Vietnam, the Vietnamese were fighting against a foreign invader. The US government's "Communist domino" propaganda was successful in the US for some time. General Westmoreland's claim that "there was light at the end of the tunnel" was also believed until Walter Cronkite and others in the mainstream spoke out against the war.

Some of my personal memories about the Vietnam War are: a friend's father being killed, a relative being shot, a Vietnam vet roommate with nightmares and a shortened leg from taking a bullet, a relative packing his bags to move to Canada and a businessman telling me how great his business was supplying the US military (as in, couldn't there be another war so that I can profit again). There was also the general political turmoil and unrest, the inflation after the war and the de-coupling of the dollar from gold that shouldn't be forgotten. The US and Vietnam were changed forever by that immoral war.
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  #22  
Old 30.04.2015, 19:23
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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1. This "president" was a dictator who came to power with US support and 600.000 votes in an election of 450.000 voters...

2. I have a hard time feeling half as bad for the soldiers who were exposed to agent orange than I do for the civilians who did nothing wrong but work in their fields. And I don't think too many Vietnamese could make disability claims to the US government, could they?
The soldiers were not there by choice; dodging the draft was almost impossible. The soldiers were obeying orders and were told the chemical they were handling was harmless.

About "I don't think too many Vietnamese could make disability claims to the US government"
Maybe the Vietnamese would have had more success; out of ca. 40,000 claims by soldiers only a couple of hundred were approved.
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  #23  
Old 01.05.2015, 14:31
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

I have no illusions about the nature of the government that currently rules in Vietnam, but considering how much civil liberties have eroded in my country in my lifetime, I'm reluctant to criticize it for not being "democratic."

This may not be popular, but has anybody thought of comparing this long armed conflict to the American Revolution?
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Old 01.05.2015, 16:39
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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This may not be popular, but has anybody thought of comparing this long armed conflict to the American Revolution?
I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for the Vietnamese. I think they've proven their tenacity and resiliency without a doubt. I believe for many Vietnamese, it was a war of liberation. Breaking the shackles came before ideology. The ideology was just what happened to be there at the time. It was unfortunate we were on the wrong sides of the ideological division, and the wrong side of history. But I do believe the US and Vietnam share more in common values than not.

We had a huge influx of Vietnamese immigrants into the US. In one generation, I saw them go from "boat people" who only owned the shirts on their backs, to very wealthy and successful entrepreneurs and academics. They really, really work their asses off, and intrinsically believe in meritocracy. Because of this, it has become much easier to bury the past and move on to the future.

There are still remnants of US animosity in Vietnam, old Communist party guards, people who were deeply hurt by the war. But I don't think their intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit is compatible with communism. Hence, we see what we see now. I believe they would rather turn more towards the West (the US) than to other Communist nations.
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Old 04.05.2015, 19:47
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

I suspect that in terms of economics, Vietnam is far less communist than in 1975. Politically, not so much. But even if Vietnam were more democratic, I think knowledgable Vietmanese who know their history would be leery of new military ties with the United States.
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  #26  
Old 04.05.2015, 23:15
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

Even today the vietnamese suffer from the War by vastly increased birth defect rates due to the TCDD spread by Agent Orange et al. This won't pass for many generations to come because the TCDD is still keeps accumulating in the nutrition chain (the end of which are us humans) and causing additional damage to the gene pool, and because defects in the gene pool will keep being passed on to the next generation unless the carrier person has no opportunity or is unable to reproduce.

Cynical as it sounds, nevermind the hundreds of casualties they still suffer from US live ammunition, bombs and ordnance that explode only now (40% of the victims are children), this is literally negligible when compared to the damage done to the gene pool. In the poorest parts of the country, families have to get by on $5 a day, and they have no other choice but to "harvest" scrap metal from bombs, ordnance etc dropped upon their and their parents heads 40 years ago.

So the vietnamese are shown the "good" the US have forced unto them and down their throats day in day out, year after year, and for many generations to come.

Since the end of the war the US have paid a stunningly "generous" $65mln to remove the mess they created in the first place (just for reference, the 2nd Iraq war cost about 30mln per hour, according to nobel laureate J.E. Stiglitz). They'll probably increase those payments in order to stave off China while simultaneously banging their chest in pride of how generous they are

And still, Vietnam probably has no viable alternative. China (the Han nation) is displacing/superceding indigenous tribes and nations already all over south east Asia, as it has for centuries. Japan, France and UK are out of the question for historical reasons. That might leave India, perhaps Indonesia and Korea, but I doubt they're a match, assuming they'd be willing to stand up against US intentions in the first place.

oT, but I can't resist:
Similar is happening in Irak, caused by "Depleted Uranium" (DU) ammunition, which also contains other heavy metals. Uranium toxicity and radioactivity, toxicity of the other heavy metals such as lead, titanium, molybdenum, and especially the nano particles created when the ammo explodes, have birth defect rates explode since the first gulf war. I would expect similar in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Last edited by Urs Max; 05.05.2015 at 01:06. Reason: TCDD [dioxin], not DDT
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Old 04.05.2015, 23:26
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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The US and Vietnam were changed forever by that immoral war.
in the US, the same generation that served (or, in many cases, should have served) in Vietnam is the same generation that has been killing tens of thousands of civilians and spending trillions of dollars chasing their tail in the middle east for the last 15 years. in other words, I'm not sure how much the Vietnam tragedy actually changed the country, if anything the US is even more an irresponsible and irrational military-industrial complex than it was in 1961.

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Old 04.05.2015, 23:31
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Vietnam war and aftermath

They replaced draft with mercenaries (army employees and contractors), so not much public backlash.
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  #29  
Old 04.05.2015, 23:44
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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Even today the vietnamese suffer from the War by vastly increased birth defect rates due to the DDT spread by Agent Orange et al. This won't pass for many generations to come because the DDT is still keeps accumulating in the nutrition chain (the end of which are us humans) and causing additional damage to the gene pool, and because defects in the gene pool will keep being passed on to the next generation unless the carrier person has no opportunity or is unable to reproduce.

Cynical as it sounds, nevermind the hundreds of casualties they still suffer from US live ammunition, bombs and ordnance that explode only now (40% of the victims are children), this is literally negligible when compared to the damage done to the gene pool. In the poorest parts of the country, families have to get by on $5 a day, and they have no other choice but to "harvest" scrap metal from bombs, ordnance etc dropped upon their and their parents heads 40 years ago.

So the vietnamese are shown the "good" the US have forced unto them and down their throats day in day out, year after year, and for many generations to come.

Since the end of the war the US have paid a stunningly "generous" $65mln to remove the mess they created in the first place (just for reference, the 2nd Iraq war cost about 30mln per hour, according to nobel laureate J.E. Stiglitz). They'll probably increase those payments in order to stave off China while simultaneously banging their chest in pride of how generous they are

And still, Vietnam probably has no viable alternative. China (the Han nation) is displacing/superceding indigenous tribes and nations already all over south east Asia, as it has for centuries. Japan, France and UK are out of the question for historical reasons. That might leave India, perhaps Indonesia and Korea, but I doubt they're a match, assuming they'd be willing to stand up against US intentions in the first place.

oT, but I can't resist:
Similar is happening in Irak, caused by "Depleted Uranium" (DU) ammunition, which also contains other heavy metals. Uranium toxicity and radioactivity, toxicity of the other heavy metals such as lead, titanium, molybdenum, and especially the nano particles created when the ammo explodes, have birth defect rates explode since the first gulf war. I would expect similar in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

World wide infant birth defects are around 2% to 3% of births.

It is difficult to get reliable figures on birth defects in Vietnam, do you have a source?
This study here "External birth defects in southern Vietnam: a population-based study at the grassroots level of health care in Binh Thuan province" did not show a an especially high number of birth defects (an overall prevalence rate of 60.2 per 10,000 live births); whether this is typical for the whole country I do not know.
The study also stated "Our findings show that the prevalence of external birth defects was not significantly different between women involved in agricultural activities and/or working as an agricultural chemical products seller and mothers involved in another occupation."
Certainly Agent Orange was used in Binh Thuan province.
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Old 05.05.2015, 04:53
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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The soldiers were not there by choice; dodging the draft was almost impossible. The soldiers were obeying orders and were told the chemical they were handling was harmless.

About "I don't think too many Vietnamese could make disability claims to the US government"
Maybe the Vietnamese would have had more success; out of ca. 40,000 claims by soldiers only a couple of hundred were approved.
You are switching the topic whenever your points don't hold up:
1. You made the point that the US troops were only there on the request of the Southern Vietnames president. It's simply a fact that this president was one of the many puppets the west installed in third world countries. He was a authoritarian dictator and that alone drove many to the communists.
2. I really cannot have as much compassion with the soldiers going to war than I have with the civilians they fire bombed... Vietnam war was absolutely devastating for the civilian population, more so than most wars before and for all the reasons from Agent Orange to Napalm we are all aware of. That we really have to discuss this only shows that for most in the west a US soldier apparently still counts much more than a Vietnamese farmer. That colonial mind set was the actual reason for the war, not some communist insurgency...
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:21
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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You are switching the topic whenever your points don't hold up:
1. You made the point that the US troops were only there on the request of the Southern Vietnames president. It's simply a fact that this president was one of the many puppets the west installed in third world countries. He was a authoritarian dictator and that alone drove many to the communists.
2. I really cannot have as much compassion with the soldiers going to war than I have with the civilians they fire bombed... Vietnam war was absolutely devastating for the civilian population, more so than most wars before and for all the reasons from Agent Orange to Napalm we are all aware of. That we really have to discuss this only shows that for most in the west a US soldier apparently still counts much more than a Vietnamese farmer. That colonial mind set was the actual reason for the war, not some communist insurgency...
1. About "You made the point that the US troops were only there on the request of the Southern Vietnames president.". No, I made the point the use of herbicide was at the request of the Southern Vietnamese president.

2. I do not see the logic of blaming the soldiers; they were as much victims as the Vietnamese civilians. They were forced to be there by the draft and had to obey orders (which included being told Agent Orange was harmless and no precautions needed). Many of them died or were injured in a country they had never heard of and could not even point to on a map for a cause they mostly did not understand or support.
It is not a question of worth; by your logic you should also blame the bombs themselves?

If you want to blame the leaders then that is fine with me.

About "Vietnam war was absolutely devastating for the civilian population, ...... all the reasons from Agent Orange to Napalm"

Your focus here is far too narrow; the poor civilian population in Vietnam did indeed have a terrible time for a very long time but not only due to the US actions.

Some "low" points.
In 1944-45 during the Japanese/French joint occupation around 400,000 to 2 million die of starvation.

Between 1953 and 1956 the North Vietnamese executed almost 200,000 citizens.

During the Vietnam war it is estimated the Viet Cong murdered between 100,000 and 200,000 South Vietnamese; around half of the total of South Vietnamese civilians who died.

After the war around 200,000 to 400,000 South Vietnamese were executed or died in Viet Cong re-training camps.

Then there was the whole story of the millions of "boat people" many of whom died at sea; nobody knows how many. 2 million of these eventually settled in the US, France, Australia, Canada and China.
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  #32  
Old 05.05.2015, 11:13
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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2. I do not see the logic of blaming the soldiers; they were as much victims as the Vietnamese civilians. They were forced to be there by the draft and had to obey orders (which included being told Agent Orange was harmless and no precautions needed). Many of them died or were injured in a country they had never heard of and could not even point to on a map for a cause they mostly did not understand or support.
It is not a question of worth; by your logic you should also blame the bombs themselves?

I
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  #33  
Old 05.05.2015, 16:34
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

I didn't find truly hard facts. Studies I found, such as this one (free download after subscribing), point to a somewhat increased risk, without clear finding. I'm not sure they, including the one you linked, are statistically reliable as sample sizes seem rather limited for rare incidents.

But a lot points to there being a lot of issues. For instance, the Seveso catastrophe from 1976 proves that TCDD is very dangerous neurotoxic for humans. Recent studies with animals also show that TCDD changes mRNA, which may translate to gene defects transferrable to the next generation. TCDD accumulates in the fat cells, so mothers have no choice but to transfer them to their babies when breast feeding. TCDDs nutritional effects are highlighted in this study, also here. The EU says TCDDs have broad range of effects, including carcogenicity.

Sufficiently recent studies (around ten years old) show that today there still are TCDD hot spots in Vietnam, mostly around former military camps where Agents were handled, but also elsewhere. This is another reason to be uncertain about the meaningfulness(?) of basically any study, results may vary from region to region.

Another issue is that TCDDs toxicity seems to vary from gene strain to gene strain (based on test results with animals), so effects caucasians (whites) may differ from effects on afro-americans or asians.

In my mind the US could relatively easily test their viet veterans, both those with exposition to "Agents" and without, for birth defect and cancer rates. That would at least give a strong indication for possible effects on the Vietnamese, even though their exposition must have differed by quite a bit.

But of course US government/military has no interest in that.

PS
marton, your mentioning of previous atrocities by other nations is just a red herring. If these were to be considered at all, they should in fact have raised sympathy, which would make US atrocities even more despicable.
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Old 05.05.2015, 16:50
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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In my mind the US could relatively easily test their viet veterans, both those with exposition to "Agents" and without, for birth defect and cancer rates. That would at least give a strong indication for possible effects on the Vietnamese, even though their exposition must have differed by quite a bit.

But of course US government/military has no interest in that.
remember, you're talking about the same US military that invented the disease "Gulf War Syndrome" for what was really as simple as exposure to chemical weapons. I still remember the news stories from the 1990's investigating whether all of our soldiers were coming home sick from Desert Storm because of exposure to some bizarre middle eastern virus, burning oil fields or something in the sand, when the symptoms of those soldiers were identical to chemical weapons exposure the entire time.
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Old 06.05.2015, 02:07
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

Invented (freely came to the conclusion, if you will)? Or forced to concede by evidence no longer deniable?

I thought the US didn't use chemical weapons? Nor did Saddam have the occasion to? Nor did the US find meaningful amounts of them? How then can there be damages due to exposure to chemical weapons?

Read up, google a bit, on Depleted Uranium Ammunition, perhaps combined with iraq, birth defects, nano particles, etc. You'll find some very disturbing stuff that can't be dismissed as some whacko posting aliens, freemasons, or some other loony theory. Remember, Uranium can both highly toxic and is radioactive. For instance, breathing in very small (aka nano) particles will essentially bring the short-range radioactivity source into your lung, with reasonably predictable negative effects.

Granted, claims such as this that say cancer rates went up 40-fold in iraqi population from 1995-2005 may be overblown (perhaps taking basically random data because the sample is just too small to be reliable), but still, shouldn't people be concerned, including the most ardent US patriots? Shouldn't there be an outcry for verified info? Wouldn't you want answers? Particularly considering that the embargo leading up to the 1st war is said to have killed about 500'000 infants (before even one shot was fired)?

So far Al Jazeera has turned out to be a rather reliable source of information, especially when it came to info critical of western actions. It certainly wasn't them who lied about Iraqi WMDs.
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  #36  
Old 06.05.2015, 03:32
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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Indeed

From one of the comments about the article;

"your whitewashing of the atrocities committed by Ho Chi Minh is an astounding piece of propaganda dressed up as journalism.
From the murder of hundreds of thousands of intellectuals and incorrectly and arbitrarily categorized Landlords in "land reform" programs before the war in the north to I am sure 20 years of unreported slaughter after the communists took over Ho Chi Minh was a mass murderer ruling through death squads and the imposition of a total personality cult comparable to Kim Jong in Korea today.
The fact that over a million people fled North Korea after the Geneva accords to the south before the Viet Cong stopped people leaving speaks for itself. "

Ho Chi Minh in his time in Paris had become a dedicated communist and then later a communist dictator. BUT the Vietcong was NEVER active in Korea !


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remember, you're talking about the same US military that invented the disease "Gulf War Syndrome" for what was really as simple as exposure to chemical weapons. I still remember the news stories from the 1990's investigating whether all of our soldiers were coming home sick from Desert Storm because of exposure to some bizarre middle eastern virus, burning oil fields or something in the sand, when the symptoms of those soldiers were identical to chemical weapons exposure the entire time.

Amazingly, West Europeans who heavily condemned the American use of Napalm happily praised the use of Napalm by the Israeli Armed Forces in Jund 1967. Particularily badly hit was the Iraqi Expeditionary Aid Force in the West Bank of Jordan, but also Egyptian soldiers caught up in the Sinai
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Old 06.05.2015, 08:00
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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All the Vietnamese I know HATE the French, but love the Amis, go figure.
That says more about you than about Vietnamese people.
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Old 06.05.2015, 08:41
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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That says more about you than about Vietnamese people.
To be fair do the French make it pretty easy to hate them...
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Old 06.05.2015, 11:47
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Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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Invented (freely came to the conclusion, if you will)? Or forced to concede by evidence no longer deniable?

I thought the US didn't use chemical weapons? Nor did Saddam have the occasion to? Nor did the US find meaningful amounts of them? How then can there be damages due to exposure to chemical weapons?

Read up, google a bit, on Depleted Uranium Ammunition, perhaps combined with iraq, birth defects, nano particles, etc. You'll find some very disturbing stuff that can't be dismissed as some whacko posting aliens, freemasons, or some other loony theory. Remember, Uranium can both highly toxic and is radioactive. For instance, breathing in very small (aka nano) particles will essentially bring the short-range radioactivity source into your lung, with reasonably predictable negative effects.

Granted, claims such as this that say cancer rates went up 40-fold in iraqi population from 1995-2005 may be overblown (perhaps taking basically random data because the sample is just too small to be reliable), but still, shouldn't people be concerned, including the most ardent US patriots? Shouldn't there be an outcry for verified info? Wouldn't you want answers? Particularly considering that the embargo leading up to the 1st war is said to have killed about 500'000 infants (before even one shot was fired)?

So far Al Jazeera has turned out to be a rather reliable source of information, especially when it came to info critical of western actions. It certainly wasn't them who lied about Iraqi WMDs.
You've either misread my post, or I've poorly written it. The US military invented "Gulf War Syndrome" to explain away the relatively plain fact that US soldiers were exposed to sarin gas both during Operation Desert Storm and afterward. despite the fact that it was potentially damaging to the Bush II administration's WMD claims not to disclose the information, the known existence of sarin gas in Iraq was not disclosed to the public because much of the sarin gas was manufactured by Iraq at a time when it was receiving both direct and indirect assistance from the US in its war with Iran. it is only now that the US military is slowly starting to come clean on the issue, some 25 years after the fact.

I don't know anything about depleted uranium, I was simply commenting on the US military's handling of chemical weapons exposure suffered by US soldiers.
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Old 06.05.2015, 14:50
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marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Vietnam war and aftermath

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I didn't find truly hard facts. Studies I found, such as this one (free download after subscribing), point to a somewhat increased risk, without clear finding. I'm not sure they, including the one you linked, are statistically reliable as sample sizes seem rather limited for rare incidents.

But a lot points to there being a lot of issues. For instance, the Seveso catastrophe from 1976 proves that TCDD is very dangerous neurotoxic for humans. Recent studies with animals also show that TCDD changes mRNA, which may translate to gene defects transferrable to the next generation. TCDD accumulates in the fat cells, so mothers have no choice but to transfer them to their babies when breast feeding. TCDDs nutritional effects are highlighted in this study, also here. The EU says TCDDs have broad range of effects, including carcogenicity.

Sufficiently recent studies (around ten years old) show that today there still are TCDD hot spots in Vietnam, mostly around former military camps where Agents were handled, but also elsewhere. This is another reason to be uncertain about the meaningfulness(?) of basically any study, results may vary from region to region.

Another issue is that TCDDs toxicity seems to vary from gene strain to gene strain (based on test results with animals), so effects caucasians (whites) may differ from effects on afro-americans or asians.

In my mind the US could relatively easily test their viet veterans, both those with exposition to "Agents" and without, for birth defect and cancer rates. That would at least give a strong indication for possible effects on the Vietnamese, even though their exposition must have differed by quite a bit.

But of course US government/military has no interest in that.

PS
marton, your mentioning of previous atrocities by other nations is just a red herring. If these were to be considered at all, they should in fact have raised sympathy, which would make US atrocities even more despicable.

About "I didn't find truly hard facts" but you carry on US bashing

About "Marton, your mentioning of previous atrocities by other nations is just a red herring."
Not just previous but also post anyway I doubt the poor Vietnamese civilians would agree?

If the US had been successful against the North then the after war deaths of around 200,000 to 400,000 South Vietnamese who were executed or died in Viet Cong re-training camps would not have happened, would have been a positive effect of the US intervention!
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