Chemical weapons: Nobel Peace Prize for 2013

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 is to be awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

During World War One, chemical weapons were used to a considerable degree. The Geneva Convention of 1925 prohibited the use, but not the production or storage, of   chemical weapons. During World War Two, chemical means were employed in Hitler’s mass exterminations. Chemical weapons have subsequently been put to use on numerous occasions by both states and terrorists. In 1992-93 a convention was drawn up prohibiting also the production and storage of such weapons. It came into force in 1997. Since then the OPCW has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought the implementation of the convention. 189 states have acceded to the convention to date.

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Photo: A Vietnam-victim of Amercan chemical warfare. The U.S. chemical weapons program began during World War I. Chemical weapons production directed principally against people ended in 1969. For nine years between 1962 and 1971 approximately 20 million gallons of defoliants and herbicides were sprayed over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by the US military resulting in an estimated 400,000 people killed or maimed and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of what were called ‘rainbow herbicides’ in Operation Ranch Hand. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons.

For years Middle Eastern countries have accused the US of double-talk over Iraq. They are bitterly critical that the American government helped arm Saddam during the 1980s in a war against Iran, which at that time Washington regarded as its biggest enemy in the region.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry was one of the senators who fought for the right of US Veterans, exposed to Agent Orange, to achieve proper compensation. However, at the same time, Kerry is part of the US Establishment which refuses to compensate the Vietnamese for the same chemical poisoning by America’s Agent Orange.

If the Obama administration wants an example of the difficulties involved in destroying chemical weapons, it might reflect upon its own struggles to get rid of cold-war era chemical arsenals stockpiled in tightly controlled storage facilities in Kentuchy and Colorado.

The United States promised, but failed, to destroy these stocks by 2012 at the very latest. The most recent forecast from the US is that the process of “neutralising” the chemicals in its Colorado weapons dump will be finished by 2018; the date for Kentucky is 2023. That will be 11 years after the US promised to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, and eight years after Russia – the other major possessor of declared chemical weapons – says it will have finished destroying its arsenal.

About 2,611 tons of mustard gas remains stockpiled in Pueblo, Colorado. The second stockpile, in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, is smaller – 524 tons – but more complicated to decommission, because it consists of a broader range of lethal gases and nerve agents, many of which are contained within weaponry.

http://www.agentorangespeaker.com/
http://www.vn-agentorange.org/thecall.html

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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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3 Responses to Chemical weapons: Nobel Peace Prize for 2013

  1. kruitvat says:

    An example of hypocrisy: ‘The Nobel Committee stated that the watchdog, part of the United Nations, did not win for its current campaign in Syria, but rather for its extensive efforts to outlaw chemical weapons’…
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3019862/fast-feed/2013-nobel-peace-prize-carried-off-by-organization-for-the-prohibition-of-chemical

  2. kruitvat says:

    The Call

    Wars do not end when the bombs stop falling and the fighting ceases. The devastation continues long after, in the land and in the minds and bodies of the affected population.
    Today, three million Vietnamese suffer the effects of chemical defoliants used by the United States during the Vietnam War. In order to deny food and protection to those deemed to be “the enemy,” the U.S. defoliated the forests of Vietnam with the deadly chemicals Agent Orange, White, Blue, Pink, Green and Purple. Agent Orange, which was contaminated with trace amounts of TCDD dioxin – the most toxic chemical known to science – disabled and sickened soldiers, civilians and several generations of their offspring on two continents.
    In addition to the millions of Vietnamese still affected by this deadly poison, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers are also affected. It has caused birth defects in hundreds of thousands of children in Vietnam and the U.S. – that is, the second and third generations of those who were exposed to Agent Orange decades ago. Medical evidence indicates that certain cancers (for example, soft tissue non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), diabetes (type II), and in children spina bifida and other birth defects, are attributable to the exposure.
    The deadly mark left by Agent Orange on the natural environment of Vietnam includes the destruction of mangrove forests and the long-term poisoning of soil and crops.
    Surviving Vietnam veterans in the U.S., after many years of organized action, have finally achieved limited compensation from our government for some illnesses they suffer due to Agent Orange poisoning. While this struggle continues, the three million surviving Vietnamese victims received no such compensation, nor any humanitarian aid from the U.S. government.
    Our government has a moral and legal obligation, under international law, to compensate the people of Vietnam for the devastating impact of Agent Orange, and to assist in alleviating its effects. Indeed, the U.S. government recognized this responsibility: In the Peace Accords signed in Paris in 1973 the Richard Nixon administration promised to contribute $3 billion dollars toward healing the wounds of war, and to post-war reconstruction of Vietnam.
    Nonetheless, 30 years after the end of the Vietnam War, our government has yet to make good on its formal commitment and moral obligation to assist the Vietnamese people’s recovery from the chemical warfare waged against them and their land. Neither has it met its responsibility to the peoples of Laos and Cambodia, whose lands were also poisoned by the same chemical weapons.
    Our focus is achieving justice for the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. We are also mindful of the fact that our government has continued to use chemical weapons, including depleted uranium and napalm, in Iraq and other places. Our actions therefore are part of an on-going international campaign to end the use of toxic weapons and to achieve justice and accountability for all victims.
    The Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign is an initiative of U.S. veterans, Vietnamese Americans and all concerned about peace and justice. Vietnamese citizens have filed a lawsuit to hold the chemical companies responsible for the crimes against humanity of which their products were a part. Now it’s our turn to act: With this campaign, we seek to fulfill our responsibility by insisting that our government honor its moral and legal responsibility to compensate the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
    We invite you to join us in:
    1. Organizing to achieve justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims by
    Signing the petition online to Congress and the President at http://www.petitiononline.com/AOVN.
    Passing a resolution in your community group, school, place of worship, veteran’s organization or union asking Congress to allocate funds to care for and compensate Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims and clean up the toxic “hot spots.”
    2. Educating our friends, co-workers and neighbors about the suffering caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam and in other wars our government has waged. Organize an event at your home, school, community center or place of worship. Contact us for films and educational materials. We will continue to bring Vietnamese Agent Orange victims to tour communities throughout the nation with disabled U.S. veterans. These visits will also build solidarity with U.S. communities fighting against toxic contamination and environmental racism. Contact us if you would like to host a visit by a group to your area.
    3. Public donations for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims. Collected funds will go to the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) and to our educational work within the U.S. to achieve the goals of this campaign. Tax deductible contributions may be made to Veterans for Peace / VAORRC, and sent to VAORRC, P.O. Box 303, Prince Station, New York, NY 10012-0006.
    Achieving real justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims will be an important step toward our government’s taking full responsibility for the long-term devastation that its chemical weaponry caused the Vietnamese people and all Vietnam war veterans. This tragic chapter in our nation’s history will not be satisfactorily closed until WE THE PEOPLE of the United States compel our government to do the right thing. Thirty years late is better than never!
    Thank you for your participation and support. Together, we can make The Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign a resounding success!

    http://www.vn-agentorange.org/thecall.html

  3. kruitvat says:

    2013 Nobel Peace Prize

    President Barroso expressed the European Commission’s sincere congratulations to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2013:
    “The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is a powerful recognition of the important role of the OPCW in curbing the use of chemical weapons. The EU is determined to assist in the destruction of the stock of chemical weapons. About 100 years ago, during World War I,
    Europe has experienced the suffering caused by the use of chemical weapons itself.
    Syria now demonstrates that these abhorrent acts are still not eradicated from human behaviour. The OPCW faces an unprecedented challenge in its current effort in Syria, where its joint mission with the United Nations is being actively supported by the European Union. The international community carries a collective responsibility to end the use of chemical weapons once and for all. The OPCW plays a key role in this collective effort, which the European Union fully supports, politically and by being the biggest contributor to OPCW (…)”.

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    A Battle Unending: The Vietnam War and Agent Orange

    Nguyen Nguc Phuong is 33 years of age and a confident, articulate public speaker – comfortable on a podium in front of an audience. He is resourceful and self-motivated, as seen in his decision to leave school at 16 and relocate to Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City, to learn to be a mechanic and an electrician.
    Nguyen later returned to his hometown of Danang, one of Vietnam’s touristy cities, and opened his own repair shop. However, after seeing the impact of Agent Orange – a defoliant sprayed by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to destroy the crops and jungle upon which the Viet Cong relied for food and cover – he decided he wanted to volunteer his time to help the children born mentally or physically handicapped due to the herbicide’s tragic and grotesque effects.
    “I wanted to become a teacher to do something for them,” he says, pointing out to over 40 children and teenagers at the Danang Peace Village – a center run by the Danang Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin to care for children and teenagers affected by Agent Orange.
    But Nguyen’s story is not typical of a thirty-something bored with a day-job and seeking a socially-responsible career break.
    Nguyen Nguc Phuong’s father fought in central and southern Vietnam for 10 years up to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, and sometime, somewhere along the way, came in contact with some of the 76 million liters of Agent Orange that was sprayed on the Vietnamese countryside up.
    As a result, Nguyen is only 95 centimeters (a little over 3 feet) tall and weighs in at a meager 20 kilograms (approximately 44 pounds). “My sister is the same size like me” he says. “When I was born I weighed only 800 grams and was less than 20cm long.”

    http://www.dioxinvietnam.blogspot.be/

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