12/08/2012

Hillary Clinton warns Russia for chemical weapons in Syria

Sculptural works by Vietnamese students representing disabled child victims of the defoliant Agent Orange used by US army during the Vietnam War(AFP/file) New Zealand Confirms Supplying Agent Orange in Vietnam War

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January 9, 2005 

AUCKLAND - New Zealand supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the Vietnam war, a government minister has revealed.

The disclosure led to immediate claims that New Zealand was in breach of the Geneva convention and could face a flood of lawsuits from veterans and Vietnamese.

Transport Minister Harry Duynhoven said the highly toxic chemical was sent to a United States base in the Philippines during the 1960s.

"The information that has been given to me is that products used to make Agent Orange were shipped from New Plymouth to Subic Bay in the Philippines," he told the Sunday News newspaper.

After nearly three decades of official denials, a high-level parliamentary committee formally acknowledged late last year that New Zealand soldiers in the Vietnam War were significantly exposed to Agent Orange, but no mention was ever made that the country was a supplier.

Although the National Party was in power during the Vietnam War, Duynhoven said his current Labour government was responsible for setting the record straight.

"Any government has to deal with the situation it finds itself in and it's always a problem if previous governments leave a mess."

Veterans spokesman John Moller said the government must compensate ex-soldiers and their families, some of whom have suffered generations of health problems.

"It's bloody unacceptable what the New Zealand government has done to us and the other countries involved in the war," he said.

"Through their deceit, cover-up and negligence, the New Zealand government has the blood of thousands of Kiwis, Vietnamese, Australians and Americans on their hands."

Under the Geneva Convention, countries cannot be party to chemical warfare and must declare the use or supply of defoliants during conflicts.

The vice-chancellor of Canterbury University, Scott Davidson, an authority on international law, said the government had left itself open to lawsuits from Vietnamese.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0109-09.htm

Chemical weapons: Clinton warns Syria

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Vietnam's forgotten war victims

11/25/2012

Human rights first: victims of American warfare

orange.victim.american.warfare.jpg“I too am an Agent Orange Second Generation Victim. For years I have felt very isolated and unsure of what to do. I am a wife and mother of 3 healthy children. I am 37 yrs old and was born with Severe Hip Dysplasia. From the time I was 13 months old, I had reconstruction surgery every few years until I was 17 years old and at that time had my 1st Total Hip Replacement. I am now getting ready for my 5th Total Hip Replacement and 4th Pelvic Reconstruction since 17. I am also battling several rare forms of skin cancer that are life threatening. These cancers are seen in older generations that have had "extreme carcinogenic and pesticide exposure". I have had no direct exposure to these. I have gone through 2 rounds of chemotherapy in the last 4 years only to have the cancer come back stronger. I am in surgery for tumor removal at least once a month. The hundreds of scars on my body are horrific. My Doctors cannot put me through anymore chemotherapy as I have been told my body will not make it. There is a drug that is currently in trials that at the very least would buy me some time. The drug companies manufacturing this have denied me access to the trial as I am "too sick" and would "mess up their numbers". I have gone several rounds with the V.A. only to be denied time and again because I don't have Spina Bifida and because my Father served in Vietnam and not my Mother. My Father served in Vietnam during the heaviest spray periods. I have had numerous tests done and every Medical Professional has said without a doubt ALL of my medical issues today and at birth are a DIRECT result of my Father's exposure to Agent Orange. He also has numerous medical conditions ALL of which have been linked to the Agent Orange exposure.”

08/08/2012

Latest News Syria: Obama is very concerned about safety of Syria's chemical weapons...

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U.S. used napalm in Falluja

By David Hoskins

Nov 17, 2005 - New evidence came to light earlier this month that confirmed reports in Workers World newspaper and elsewhere that the U.S. military had used internationally banned chemical weapons, including white phosphorus and napalm, during its November 2004 attack on Falluja.

The U.S. government adamantly denied these reports at the time. Reports of the alleged U.S. war crimes were notably absent from the pages of most Western newspapers and there was virtually no discussion of the issue on cable news stations or talk radio. Al Jazeera’s facility in Iraq was forcibly shut down in an attempt to stifle journalistic inquiry into these reports.

Now, almost a year later, Italian state television RAI has produced a documentary confirming that U.S. forces in fact used white phosphorus and MK77 Mod 5—a napalm derivative—in Falluja. And the Guardian of London has called Falluja an atrocity on the scale of Mylai and Guernica, estimating 7,000 civilian dead.

While MK77 Mod 5 uses a formula consisting of a smaller concentration of benzene, the effects are exactly the same as napalm. The use of these incendiary wea pons is a violation of the 1980 UN Conven tion on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Workers World newspaper had published an article in its Dec. 2, 2004, issue based on a talk by Workers World Party Secre tariat member Sara Flounders in which she described how the use of illicit chemical weapons, poison gas and bunker busters had virtually destroyed the city of Falluja.

Jeff Englehart, a former soldier in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, says in the Italian documentary that he saw “burned bodies, burned children and burned women.” Entitled “Falluja: The Hidden Massacre,” the film contains video footage showing the bodies of civilian women and children following the U.S. air and artillery bombardment.

The innocent victims appear to have been burned to the bone. Others have partially melted flesh hanging from their bodies. These chemical weapons primarily affect the flesh of their targets. The evidence leaves no doubt that the victims were unarmed and in civilian clothing at the time of their deaths.

Orders to shoot children

Describing the United States’ intention to target civilians in Falluja, Englehart states that he was told by military superiors going into Falluja that “every single person that was walking, talking, breathing was [an] enemy combatant. As such every single person that was walking down the street or in a house was a target.” Englehart confirms that soldiers had orders to shoot children as young as 10 years old.

The use of white phosphorus and napalm in Falluja is just another example of criminal action and conspiracy to hide the truth. It fits into a domestic and international agenda to reshape world politics in favor of the extreme right wing of the U.S. ruling class. The breakup of the Soviet Union emboldened the most conservative sector of U.S. imperialism and its allies to try to assume for themselves absolute control of the world.

Recent news reports have provided myriad instances of criminality, corruption and conspiracy. Since 2004 alone, troops directed by the Bush administration have been caught committing torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, desecrating the Koran in the concentration camp in Guantanamo in occupied Cuba and now using internationally banned chemical weapons in Falluja.

The U.S. government first lied in 2002-2003, claiming the existence of massive amounts of chemical weapons in Iraqi hands, to justify the invasion of Iraq. The same U.S. government then turned its own arsenal of chemical weapons against innocent civilians in Falluja and has now been caught lying in an attempt to cover up its criminal actions.

http://www.workers.org/2005/world/falluja-1124/

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Photo: The U.S. used napalm, mustard gas, and nerve gas when it attacked Fallujah in November 2004.

08/07/2012

Syria News: American hypocrisy about chemical weapons

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AUGUST 10, 2012, AT NOON: 51 YEARS AFTER THE CHEMICAL WAR BEGAN IN VIETNAM, WE SHOULD BE SILENT IN MEMORY, THEN TAKE ACTION TO REMEDY

To take action go to http://www.vn-agentorange.org/  

There are images from the U.S. War against Vietnam that have been indelibly imprinted on the minds of Americans who lived through it. One is the naked napalm-burned girl running from her village with flesh hanging off her body. Another is a photo of the piles of bodies from the My Lai massacre, where U.S. troops executed 504 civilians in a small village. Then there is the photograph of the silent scream of a woman student leaning over the body of her dead friend at Kent State University whose only crime was protesting the bombing of Cambodia in 1970. Finally, there is the memory of decorated members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War testifying at the Winter Soldier Hearings, often in tears, to atrocities in which they had participated during the war.

These pictures are heartbreaking. They expose the horrors of war. The U.S. War against Vietnam was televised, while images of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have intentionally been hidden from us. But what was not televised was the relentless ten years (1961-1971) of spraying millions of gallons of toxic herbicides over vast areas of South Vietnam. These chemicals exposed almost 5 million people, mostly civilians, to deadly consequences. The toxic herbicides, most notably Agent Orange, contained dioxin, one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man. It has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen (causes cancer) and by the American Academy of Medicine as a teratogen (causes birth defects).

From the beginning of the spraying 51 years ago, until today, millions of Vietnamese have died from, or been completely incapacitated by, diseases which the U. S. government recognizes are related to Agent Orange for purposes of granting compensation to Vietnam Veterans in the United States. The Vietnamese, who were the intended victims of this spraying, experienced the most intense, horrible impact on human health and environmental devastation. Second and third generations of children, born to parents exposed during the war and in areas of heavy spraying — un-remediated “hot spots” of dioxin contamination, — suffer unspeakable deformities that medical authorities attribute to the dioxin in Agent Orange.

The Vietnamese exposed to the chemical suffer from cancer, liver damage, pulmonary and heart diseases, defects to reproductive capacity, and skin and nervous disorders. Their children and grandchildren have severe physical deformities, mental and physical disabilities, diseases, and shortened life spans. The forests and jungles in large parts of southern Vietnam were devastated and denuded. Centuries-old habitat was destroyed, and will not regenerate with the same diversity for hundreds of years. Animals that inhabited the forests and jungles are threatened with extinction, disrupting the communities that depended on them. The rivers and underground water in some areas have also been contaminated. Erosion and desertification will change the environment, causing dislocation of crop and animal life.

For the past 51 years, the Vietnamese people have been attempting to address this legacy of war by trying to get the United States and the chemical companies to accept responsibility for this ongoing nightmare. An unsuccessful legal action by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange against the chemical companies in U.S. federal court, begun in 2004, has nonetheless spawned a movement to hold the United States accountable for using such dangerous chemicals on civilian populations. The movement has resulted in pending legislation HR 2634 – The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011, which attempts to provide medical, rehabilitative and social service compensation to the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, remediation of dioxin-contaminated “hot spots,” and medical services for the children and grandchildren of U. S. Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese-Americans who have been born with the same diseases and deformities.

Using weapons of war on civilian populations violates the laws of war, which recognize the principle of distinction between military and civilian objects, requiring armies to avoid civilian targets. These laws of war are enshrined in the Hague Convention and the Nuremberg principles, and are codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Optional Protocol of 1977, as well as the International Criminal Court statute. The aerial bombardments of civilian population centers in World Wars I and II violated the principle of distinction, as did the detonation of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9 of 1945. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese people were killed in an instant, even though Japan was already negotiating the terms of surrender.

The use of Agent Orange on civilian populations violated the laws of war and yet no one has been held to account. Taxpayers pick up the tab of the Agent Orange Compensation fund for the U. S. Veterans at a cost of 1.52 billion dollars a year. The chemical companies, most specifically Dow and Monsanto, which profited from the manufacture of Agent Orange, paid a pittance to settle the veterans’ lawsuit to compensate them, as the unintended victims, for their Agent Orange related illnesses. But the Vietnamese continue to suffer from these violations with almost no recognition, as do the offspring of Agent Orange-exposed U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans.

What is the difference between super powers like the United States violating the laws of war with impunity and the reports of killing of Syrian civilians by both sides in the current civil war? Does the United States have any credibility to demand governments and non-state actors end the killings of civilians, when through wars and drones and its refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the use of Agent Orange, the United States has and is engaging in the very conduct it publicly deplores?

In 1945, at the founding conference of the United Nations, the countries of the world determined:

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

If we are to avoid sinking once again into the scourge of war, we must reaffirm the principles of the Charter and establish conditions under which countries take actions that promote rather than undermine justice and respect for our international legal obligations. The alternative is the law of the jungle, where only might makes right. It is time that right makes might.

August 10th marks 51 years since the beginning of the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam. In commemoration, the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign urges you to observe 51 seconds of silence at 12 noon, to think about the horrors of wars which have occurred. We ask you to take action so as not to see future images of naked children running from napalm, or young soldiers wiping out the population of an entire village, or other atrocities associated with war, poverty, and violence around the world. We urge you to take at least 51 seconds for your action. In the United States, you can sign an orange post card to the U.S. Congress asking it to pass HR 2634. This would be a good start to assist the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange as well as the next generations of those exposed to these dangerous chemicals in both Vietnam and the United States.

Jeanne Mirer, a New York attorney, is president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. They are both on the board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign.

To sign the petition, go to http://www.vn-agentorange.org/  


 Global Research Articles by Jeanne Mirer


 Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid...

http://jakking.typepad.com/daily/2004/08/chemical_war_cr....

Photo: victims of American chemical weapons

07/17/2012

Syria: NATO will use chemical weapons

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NATO will use chemical weapons against Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the BBC on Monday.

Clinton warned that "If Assad does not retire, NATO will eradicate the entire Syrian people".

NATO has a large stock of chemical weapons and  a lot of independant countries are concerned about what will happen to them if they will resist NATO.

NATO uses also Depleted uranium (DU). It is one of the gifts that NATO left to the population of Kosovo following its war there in 1999. DU is radioactive and, when inhaled, remains in the lungs for years.

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NATO uses white phosphorous in the war against Taliban

International forces in Afghanistan are using the napalm-like substance white phosphorus in everything from grenades to flybomber in a war, usually fought in populated areas. Human Rights Organizations inculcates ISAF's duty to protect civilians

White phosphorus is a napalm like substance that ignite on contact with skin that sticks and stays on to burn as long as there is oxygen. The result is severe chemical burns, which very easily leads to death.

'Like napalm, white phosphorus, by nature, a weapon that is likely to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, "concludes the Red Cross in IHL and Denmark , used as a textbook in the Danish military. Still using Danish and foreign coalition forces in Afghanistan white phosphorus in large quantities and often in residential areas. It is clear from the leaked documents from Afghanistan that information in its possession.

A review of documents showing more than 1,100 cases where ISAF has used white phosphorus grenades, rockets and flybomber. Of these 59 documents that have never before been published.

Among the documents there are many reports which suggest that white phosphorus is not only used for legitimate purposes.

According to the conventions, including Denmark has signed, white phosphorus may only be used outside of densely populated areas. But the leaked documents war from Afghanistan indicate that phosphorus munitions are often used precisely in populated areas including Helmand's Green Zone, where Danish forces are deployed.

Worrisome weapons

The widespread use of white phosphorus cares more human rights organizations fear that Afghan civilians are paying the price for the coalition forces' use of napalm-like substance.

White phosphorus is not a banned weapon, but according Weapons Convention Protocol 3, by Denmark and most other NATO countries have signed, it is forbidden to use it against military targets located in heavily populated areas, "unless the military objective is clearly separated from civilians and civilian objects. "

"White phosphorus is not used against civilians or in areas where there are civilians," notes senior scientist Peter Vedel Kessing, Department of Human Rights.

Amnesty International considers the use of white phosphorus problem and believes that NATO forces use of the nasty substance should be examined.

"If you can talk about an inhuman weapon, white phosphorus belong to the category, because it leaves the victim in unimaginable pain," said Amnesty's press chief Ole Hoff Lund.

"Therefore it is important that the defense considers how and why ISAF using munitions with white phosphorus. "

A legitimate weapon

The leaked Afghanistan reports indicate that white phosphorus is used primarily in eastern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan, where the war against the Taliban and other insurgent groups have been particularly intensive. But reports indicate that the substance also used in the Danish responsibility in Helmand. But it is not clear from logs on Danish troops are involved in the illegal use of the substance.

At the Army Operational Command, HOK , confirms military lawyer Rolf Verge that the Danish forces used white phosphorus, but he assures that only the case of legitimate purposes.

'The Danish forces in Af-Afghanistan use white phosphorus to throw smoke to obscure soldiers' movements on the battlefield but also in lysgranater and målmarkering, for example. where Danish forces attract flybomber, "says Rolf Verge and stresses that" white phosphorus would be used against objects, but not at people. "

"It will not be in accordance with the rules if Danish forces are using white phosphorous against people. And I doubt also that it would be consistent with the other coalition countries' regulations, "says Rolf Verge. "Do not generally use weapons that cause unnecessary suffering, and that makes white phosphorous."

Also ISAF confirms the use of white phosphorus. In a reply to Information underlines ISAF 's press spokesman Nicole R. Schwegman that there are "a legitimate weapon, used mainly for information, investigation missions and selecting bombemål.' It is also apparent from responds that white phosphorus into medium used as attack weapons.

"When white phosphorus is used as incendiary weapons, observe ISAF Weapons Convention Protocol Three, which places more emphasis on minimizing civilian damage. ISAF makes himself at all to great lengths to protect civilians in operations, "said Nicole R. Schwegman.

Information would have got a comment from Defense Gitte Lillelund Bech (V) to the ISAF 's use of phosphorus in Afghanistan. The minister believes that it is purely a military disciplinary matters, and she would not comment.


Fact: It goes Weapons Convention


The use of incendiary weapons as napalm and white phosphorus is regulated by the Convention on particularly inhumane weapons or simply Weapons Convention, Protocol Three.

The Convention was adopted by the UN in 1980 and acceded to by Denmark in 1997 - a total of 144 countries have acceded to it but not yet the United States .

Protocol 3:
Article 2, concerning the protection of civilians and civilian objects:

1. It is forbidden under all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.

2. Prohibited under all circumstances to do something military objective located in a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air delivered incendiary weapons.

3. It is also forbidden to make any military objective located in a concentration of civilians the object of attack by other fire arms than air-delivered incendiary weapons, unless such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken to reduce fire effects to military targets and avoid and in any case restrict it to a minimum or in any case minimize incidental loss of civilian life, maiming of civilians and damage to civilian objects.

4. It is prohibited to make forests or other driving force behind the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when such natural resources used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives or are themselves military objectives.

http://www.defence.pk/forums/world-affairs/104466-nato-us...