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Panama’s Response on Behalf of Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims

James Rhodes: Washington continues to recruit young men and women under the mantra “we support our troops.” That may be true, but America does not support its VETERANS!

“It is cynical that the U.S. accuses other governments of genocide or terrorism to justify their military adventures and expansionism, but does not look at the mirror of justice and mutual respect among nations and not recognize the serious mistake of its war policy and arms race.” said Dr. Carlos E.R. Jimenez, President, Panama-Vietnam Association.

agent orange

Jorge A. Aparicio, former General Director of Foreign Politics, Ministry of External Relations of Panama and Panama’s former Ambassador to the Middle East released the following statement. It was prefaced with the famous line from the great South American liberator, Simon Bolivar, “The United States of America is destined to plague America with misery in the name of freedom.’

“From 1962 to 1971, the Americans poured, from their planes, more than 80 million liters of defoliants on over 3.3 million people living in forests, cloudy mountains, lands and waters of Vietnam. Thousands of towns and villages were contaminated with 400 kilograms of pure dioxin, enough to lethally poison the soil, water, and the food chain. The dioxin substance, in chemically pure form, is so deadly that only 80 grams of it would be enough to kill a city of 8 million people!

Who are the criminal transnational companies directly responsible for the horrifying murder of millions of innocent Vietnamese? They are American companies Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and Diamond Shamrock, the first being the worst of all. These three companies were competing in the market of death-that is, wars of conquest and extermination-generating profits never seen before in wartime. And since then, they have been constantly and actively lobbying in favor of war. The evil of the executives of these corporations has no limits, no knowledge of ethical, moral, or spiritual values whatsoever. They have reached such a degree of human insensitivity that they categorically rejected the claim filed by V.A.V.A. (the Vietnamese Association of Victims of Agent Orange) an organization representing over 4 million victims; the corrupt U.S. Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that “the claim filed by 4 million Vietnamese victims lacks any basis or foundation.”

The life of a human being is worth nothing to this cynical judge. U.S. soldiers themselves (thousands of veterans severely affected by Agent Orange) finally received, after many years of legal battles, the sum of an average of $89.00 per soldier. That is the value, for the chemical companies and the imperialist system, of the life of an American soldier.”

I am breaking from Aparicio’s statement to inject an editorial comment: Finally, someone gets it!

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Yes, it is true the chemical companies did pay out millions of dollars allegedly for the U.S. veteran affected by Agent Orange but the government-approved lawyers took the vast majority of it in “legal fees”. After the profiteers pocketed all they could, the U.S. veteran victim was awarded approximately $89.00 per soldier.

In a previous report I disclosed I was one of the victims awarded the highest amount as I received $6,000 paid to me $1,000 a year over a 6-year period! It is tragic that many fellow victims, especially here in Asia, know of the American veteran’s “victory” over the chemical companies; but, what they fail to understand is that we saw NONE of that money! Yet Washington continues to recruit young men and women under the mantra “we support our troops.” That may be true, but America does not support its VETERANS!

Aparicio continues:

“36 years after the war ended and into the third generation, the victims continue to endure hour after hour, 24 hours a day, suffering with indescribable physical pain as well as irreversible damage. The moral crying and the emotional and psychological harm to millions of families, children and grandchildren are impressive and unspeakable. How could it not be so, seeing their loved ones with terrible body deformations, unable to enjoy normal life functions, almost doomed to a vegetable existence?

The act was coldly planned by heartless politicians, ideologues and academic theorist, military, CIA bureaucrats and scientists in laboratories of major universities. It was, in accordance with the rules of public international law, a heinous crime against humanity and a premeditated and characterized genocide. Such an abominable crime cannot have forgiveness in this century or the next, much less be proscribed or go unpunished, even though 50 years have passed.

jim rhodes

There must be a Nuremberg for them. The testimony offered by millions of children and innocent victims was psychologically and emotionally heartbreaking, as their individual and family lives had been shattered by a foreign power that came to support the bloody and corrupted regime of Ngo Dinh Diem. Oh, how great is the damage caused by the United States of America on behalf of democracy and freedom, just as Liberator Simon Bolivar predicted in Latin America!”

James Rhodes