Vietnamese victims of the defoliant Agent Orange play at a social sponsorship center in Da Nang City June 26, 2009. US warplanes dropped about 18 million gallons of the defoliant on southern Vietnam for most of the 1960s.
The following is a letter sent to Michelle Obama by Secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Association Len Aldis, who has worked for years to spread awareness of Agent Orange victims’ plight.
August 2 marks the beginning of Orange Week, a government program to create Agent Orange awareness through various programs nationwide. Orange Week ends on August 10, 48 years to the day since the US military begin spraying the defoliant on Vietnam.
Dear Michelle Obama,
Aug 01 2009
Jun 12 2009
Or were we, Shhhhhhhhhhh…………!!
On thursday, 6.11.09, I caught a short report about one of the legacies, more like the left over WMD’s, of our Wars and Occupations and their destructive power years later, and how we just walk away unconcerned and certainly uncaring, it’s now their problem, move onto the next War of Choice by the few, seeking their wants of power, wealth and glory in their sorry lives.
This report was on the NPR show, out of Boston, from WBUR’s Here and Now: Feeling the Pain in Laos, and was about a BBC journalist Jill McGivering reporting from Laos.
Apr 19 2009
Also known as “the land of a million elephants,” Laos is a tiny country in southeast Asia about which most people know less than they do about any of its neighbors (China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar & Cambodia.)
Join me for a virtual tour of this fascinating nation with videos & pictures galore, and maybe a bit of history and politics too.
Cross-posted @ The Laughing Planet
Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other 31.5% (mostly Animism)
Unexploded ordnance (UXO); deforestation; soil erosion; most of the population does not have access to potable water
Single-party socialist republic.
The purple asterisks (on the map @ right) can be followed as you read south to north and then counter-clockwise if you care to calibrate along with the photos and vignettes below.
Jun 12 2008
A new cluster munitions treaty was adopted in Dublin, Ireland on May 30th. As per Human Rights Watch:
The treaty immediately bans all types of cluster munitions, rejecting initial attempts by some nations to negotiate exceptions for their own arsenals, as well as calls for a transition that would delay the ban for a decade or more.
In addition to the prohibitions on use, production, stockpiling, and trade, the treaty also includes very strong provisions requiring states to provide assistance to victims and to clean up areas affected by cluster munitions.
Human Rights Watch urged governments supporting the treaty to make all necessary preparations to sign the treaty in Oslo in December 2008. The treaty will go into effect after 30 nations have signed and ratified it.
The US and other countries which have used or stockpile cluster bombs were was absent from the negotiations. These include Russia, Israel, China, Brazil, India and Pakistan.