Obama official: ‘use of chemical weapons’

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Photo: victims of American chemical warfare in Vietnam

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August 10, 2011

Compensate Victims of U.S. Chemical Warfare in Vietnam

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare program in Vietnam without sufficient remedial action by the U.S. government. One of the most shameful legacies of the Vietnam War, Agent Orange continues to poison Vietnam and the people exposed to the chemicals, as well as their offspring.

H.R. 2634, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011 [ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-2634], which California Congressman Bob Filner just introduced in the House, would provide crucial assistance for social and health services to Vietnamese, Vietnamese-American, and U.S. victims of Agent Orange.

From 1961 to 1971, approximately 19 million gallons of herbicides, primarily Agent Orange, were sprayed over the southern region of Vietnam. Much of it was contaminated with dioxin, a deadly chemical. Dioxin causes various forms of cancers, reproductive illnesses, immune deficiencies, endocrine deficiencies, nervous system damage, and physical and developmental disabilities.

In Vietnam more than three million people, and in the United States thousands of veterans, their children, and Vietnamese-Americans, have been sickened, disabled or died from the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin.

Vietnamese of least three generations born since the war are now suffering from disabilities due to their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange or from direct exposure in the environment. The organization representing Vietnam’s victims, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, has set up some ‘peace villages’ to care for the severely disabled, but many more such facilities and services are needed. Dioxin residues in the soil, sediment, and food continue to poison many people in 28 “hot spots” in southern Vietnam.

Many U.S. veterans suffer from effects of Agent Orange due to their exposure in Vietnam, as do their children and grandchildren. Vietnamese-Americans exposed directly to Agent Orange and their offspring suffer from the same health conditions.

Fifty years is long enough. It is high time to compensate the victims for this shameful chapter in our history. H.R. 2634 will go a long way toward doing just that.

Read more on: http://www.marjoriecohn.com/2011/08/compensate-victims-of-us-chemical.html

Marjorie Cohn is co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (http://www.vn-agentorange.org).

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About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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One Response to Obama official: ‘use of chemical weapons’

  1. kruitvat says:

    Pretext for a new war: Obama lies about Syrian chemical weapons
    By Peter Symonds

    14 June 2013

    In a statement issued Thursday, the Obama administration has declared that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has violated “international norms” by using chemical weapons on multiple occasions over the past year. The claim is a transparent lie that will be used by the US and its European allies, Britain and France, as the pretext for arming their right-wing Islamist proxies and for military intervention.

    The allegations are no more credible than the lies about weapons of mass destruction that were used to justify the criminal US-led invasion of Iraq. The statement by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes claimed that US intelligence agencies had “high confidence” in their assessment, but acknowledged that physiological evidence of sarin gas exposure did “not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible.”
    The US claims simply ignored evidence that anti-Assad militias had chemical weapons and may have used them. Late last month, the Turkish press reported that the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, which forms the military backbone of the anti-Assad forces, had obtained chemical weapons and was planning to use them (see: “Syrian opposition fighters arrested with chemical weapons”). The Syrian “rebels”, which have been pressing for Western military assistance, have far more to gain than the Assad regime by staging small-scale chemical weapons attacks.
    Rhodes alluded to the real purpose of the chemical weapons allegations, saying that Obama had declared they were “a red line” that “would change his calculus and it has.” He acknowledged that Obama had “authorised the expansion of our assistance to the [opposition] Supreme Military Council” and would be “consulting with Congress… in the coming weeks.” He warned that “these efforts will increase going forward.”
    The timing of the announcement is no accident. It comes as the Obama administration has been immersed in emergency discussions this week on how to stem the recent defeats inflicted on the anti-Assad militias. The Syrian army, reinforced by fighters from Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia movement, took back the strategic town of Qusayr on June 5, cutting a crucial supply line from Lebanon for the so-called rebels.
    Syrian government forces are reportedly now massing in the north for a drive to seize Syria’s largest city of Aleppo. The Wall Street Journal reported that General Salim Idris, the titular commander of the “Free Syrian Army,” has issued desperate appeals to the US, France and Britain for “anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft weapons and hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds.” According to a US official involved in talks with Idris, he warned that “he cannot hold on to Aleppo without these weapons.”
    The disintegration of anti-Assad forces is not primarily due to the lack of weapons. Rather, working people are increasingly hostile to sectarian atrocities carried out by the right-wing Islamists that dominate the Syrian opposition forces. Even the British-based Economist acknowledged: “Many Syrians originally sympathetic to the rebels have been horrified by events such as the reported execution on June 9 of a 14-year-old boy by jihadists in Aleppo, allegedly for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.”
    The US is already engaged in talks with France and Britain over the direct supply of arms to Syrian opposition forces and plans to press for further assistance at next week’s G8 meeting. Washington has already been colluding with Middle Eastern allies—Qatar and Saudi Arabia—to supply large quantities of arms and ammunition to the Syrian “rebels.”
    French officials plan to meet with General Idris this weekend to assess his military needs. The European Union lifted its embargo on supplying military hardware to anti-Assad militias on the condition that shipments not start until August 1. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, French officials dismissed the timetable as a “gentlemen’s agreement” that was not legally binding.
    The Journal also revealed advanced US plans to impose a no-fly zone inside areas of Syria adjacent to Jordan. The Pentagon has already moved Patriot anti-missile systems, F-16 fighters and V-22 tilt rotor Osprey aircraft, used to rescue downed pilots, to Jordan under the guise of participating in joint war games. The US has also stationed a big-deck amphibious warship with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.
    According to the Journal, the Pentagon plan involves “creating an area to train and equip rebel forces” inside Syria and “a no-fly zone stretching up to 25 miles into Syria which would be enforced using aircraft flown from Jordanian bases.” The Jordanian regime has already agreed to the use of its military bases and “it would take about a month” to implement.
    As was the case in the US-NATO war to topple Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the imposition of a no-fly zone would simply be the pretext for an escalation into a full-scale air war in support of anti-Assad militias on the ground. Given the far more substantial character of the Syrian military, it could also be a prelude to the intervention of US-led ground forces.
    Influential Republican Senator John McCain has already been pressing for a far more aggressive American intervention into Syria, including supplying weapons and airstrikes. In a clear signal that the Democrats and the Obama administration are rapidly moving to do so, former President Bill Clinton was reported in the New York Times yesterday as saying in meeting with McCain that it had been a “big mistake” not to directly intervene, and, gesturing towards the senator, added: “I agree with you about this.” The Obama administration’s bogus claims about chemical weapons use have now provided the pretext.
    Once again the Obama administration is dragging the American people into a reactionary, neo-colonial war on the basis of lies. Washington’s determination to oust President Assad is no more about bringing “democracy” to Syria than the US invasion of Iraq was to end the supposed WMD threat posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
    US imperialism is seeking to establish its untrammelled domination in the oil-rich Middle East at the expense of its rivals and regards both Syria and its ally Iran as obstacles to its interests. A reckless escalation of the Syrian conflict by the US and its European allies raises the very real danger of drawing in other major powers such as Russia into a broader regional and international war.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/14/syri-j14.html

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