This blog is hopefully not offensive to my American friends and readers. Sitting here watching the documentary, The Children of Agent Orange, 40 years after Agent Orange, I just can’t help asking this:
America, what have you done to the people of Vietnam all those years ago?
After so many decades, the herbicides containing dioxins used in the warfare is still affecting the people of Vietnam and the Americans who served in the war between 1962 and 1971. You won’t believe the types of deformities and diseases the children and grandchildren of people exposed to dioxins suffer from. It is feared that dioxins will continue to cause birth defects for generations to come.
It horrifies me and breaks my heart to see parents taking care of severely deformed children despite the poverty they face. Jars of deformed baby corpses in hospital flashed across the tv screen, a child with a head as big as a football wriggling in a hospital bed, children with Down syndrome, children with half limbs, twisted limps, half body, spinal diseases, twisted limps…
A woman miscarried 5 times before giving birth to her first child, now an adult, confined to the bed all his life. A couple with two under-developed children with severe deformities, unable to walk, eat, drink and even sleep on their own…you wonder how the couple make a living to feed them. Sleep is scarce for they have to look after the children round the clock.
The devotion of these parents to their children amazes me almost as much as the effect of the dioxins on these children and possibly the future generations horrifies me. You will never believe the extent of the deformities until you watch the programme. I have never really cried so hard watching a movie or a documentary before this.
Another thing that amazes me is the forgiving nature of the Vietnamese towards the Americans and those American veterans who served in the war. One of these soldiers related how a Vietnamese first questioned if he was a soldier in the Agent Orange warfare when he revisited the country 30 years after the war. The American was a little apprehensive but replied truthfully that yes, he served in the war. The Vietnamese man then put his arm around him and welcomed him to Vietnam.
I hope, like I said in the beginning of this post, that I have not offended any Americans. I just feel a strong urge to write about this because it has affected me so greatly. I am not here to pass judgement on the people of America. I am here only to share.
But I just have to say this: Shame on you, Nixon!
About Agent Orange: