The War “Agents” – From Vietnam to This Day

agent orange
Nick Ut’s famous photo known as “Napalm Girl” is credited for raising the awarness of the Vietnam War. Nick Ut rushed Kim Phuc to a nearby hospital after the photo was taken. Nick Ut, Associated Press

In the middle of a global turmoil, whether it would be murders in the form of “wars” (against….what exactly?), global inequalities (e.g. gender, income, living conditions, human and civil rights), climate change effects and pharisaic politics (see EU vs Refugees, US vs Democracy etc), the combination of two pieces of information gave way to this article.
They both involve wars, American wars, unreasonable wars (as if there were reasonable) i.e. aggressive (as opposed to defensive) wars, which both destabilised or destroyed countries, caused casualties and distress and proved to be vain, even more than any war could prove.

The two said factors are:

I) Agent Orange

Agent Orange is a herbicide.
We read that: 
During the late 1940s and 1950s, the US and Britain collaborated on development of herbicides with potential applications in warfare.
Indeed, Americans used that herbicide during Vietnam war with the pretext of destroying Vietnam’s flora which was making their lives “difficult” (or terminated) inside country’s jungle.

We learn that:
Agent Orange was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical,
an information which nowadays makes sense, to say the least, as it explains the GMOs “regime”.

In a more…trivial level we are informed that:
It was given its name from the color of the orange-striped barrels in which it was shipped, and was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides“.

We understand that in contemporary terms it was a chemical weapon, like these used in Syria and attributed only to country’s regime, [and which are German made and in fact have targeted Syrian people in order to force them to abandon their country and thus weaken Assad and pass to Turkey and…..  –read more about Turkey’s role, Germany, ISIS and EU].
Back to chemical weapons of the past with some more “unpleasant” information:
The 2,4,5-T used to produce Agent Orange was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), an extremely toxic dioxin compound. In some areas, TCDD concentrations in soil and water were hundreds of times greater than the levels considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

We are also informed that:
Although in the Geneva Disarmament Convention of 1978, Article 2(4) Protocol III to the weaponry convention has “The Jungle Exception”, which prohibits states from attacking forests or jungles “except if such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or military objectives or are military objectives themselves” this voids any protection of any military or civilians from a napalm attack or something like agent Orange and is clear that it was designed to cater to situations like U.S. tactics in Vietnam. This clause has yet to be revised
– 
which in a free translation means that international laws have always been tailored to mainstream – USA – interests.

To make a tragic story short, it was not only expected but also desirable that Agent Orange would harm people and not only vegetation, and it has, indeed.
Many handicapped children have been born since, unable (invalides, according to Napoleon’s conception) to function within society without help, victims of perverse minds and of the renowned imperialist war machine.  
The sad but also promising factor of the story/ history is that in Vietnam, the American veteran George Mizo founded in 1992 The Vietnam Friendship Village (See Village’s site) where children are taken care and are tought crafts with which they can support their lives -hopefully.

It’s not possible to explore George Mizo’s soul and mind.
Nevertheless, what formed half of this article’s “substance” is an episode of the Greek show/ travel documentary series World Party in which we watched kids between 7 and 17 years old who are affected by Agent Orange and who are now educated and supported by Vietnam Friendship Village.

Person presented, Mr Tsack, confessed/ admitted during the documentary something that we all know with certainty:
War is the worst failure of mankind.
It’s the failure of what is good and decent about human beings and represents/ reflects the worst aspects of all of us.”


II) Gulf War Syndrome

This sad outcome/aftermath of another chapter of absurd American wars, 
… refers to the complex of symptoms that affects veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War at significantly excess rates. It is characterized by multiple diverse symptoms not explained by established medical diagnoses or standard laboratory tests, symptoms that typically include a combination of memory and concentration problems, persistent headache, unexplained fatigue, and widespread pain, and can also include chronic digestive difficulties, respiratory symptoms, and skin rashes,
according to an article of Global Research.

gulf-war-syndrome2

Also, in Wikipedia we can find that:
According to a report by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may also suffer from the syndrome.
Suggested causes have included depleted uranium, sarin gas, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations, combat stress and psychological factors.

while many other sources (e.g. Medical Dictionary, veterans’ site Military.com but also US Dept Of Veterans Affairs) outline a number of symptoms caused by psychological or physical factors.
Saying that “they are lucky to be alive” would only be an insensitive and tragic irony in fact.

Consequences to other nations are not yet allowed to reveal and history is still being written.
So, maybe several decades later, someone, somewhere, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, in Syria, in Central Africa, in Eastern Europe, will acknowledge the harm caused to local people and the pointlessness, the irrationality, the absurdity and the cruelty of any and each war and maybe will create a friendship village or, better yet, a friendship Earth.

Or, people will keep in mind Mr Tsack’s comment:
“Most of us
took the easy way which was to submit and to do what we were told.
It’s much more difficult and much more courageous to say “no”, and I would try to convince my grandchildren to have the strength and the courage and the personal conviction to say “no”.
We
didn’t learn anything from Vietnam. That’s the real tragedy of Vietnam.
We could have learned lessons that would have made the world a very different place.”  

From my part, I won’t stop wondering how many kilometers of wall (other than China one), would be necessary if ALL millions of real victims had to be carved, mentioned and honored.

Relative reads:

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Week In Brief (#1)

By this article, we introduce a new category, which will present in brief, seven interesting events of the week, though not necessarily the most debated.

 

Pope_FrancisPope Francis angered Turkey for a second time after June 2013, when he publicly called the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians, 100 years ago a genocide. Turkey, which does not recognize the Armenian massacre, summoned Vatican’s ambassador. A few days later, on April 15th, European Parliament voted for the official recognition of the genocide. The European decision prompted a furious response from Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Such decisions are nothing but expressions of enmity against Turkey by abusing Armenians,” he said while on a visit to Kazakhstan. “Come on, let’s leave history to historians.” Earlier he had made an implicit threat to deport Armenian citizens, many of whom work in Turkey, writes The Telegraph.

More about this:
Why Pope Francis was right to call the Armenian massacres genocide

Pope Francis’ Armenian genocide remarks prompt strong response

 

 HillaryClintonOn April 12th, Hillary Clinton formally announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in the 2016 election on April 12, 2015. Though this is not a surprise, she remains a controversial politician who during her term as Secretary of State and afterwards, has kept balancing on the edge of conservatism. Many of her views and practices match to these of a republican rather that a democrat.

Read also:
Hillary Clinton Announces Candidacy: ‘Everyday Americans Need a Champion’

 

Eduardo GaleanoEduardo Galleano the Uruguayan author and journalist, died on April 13th of lung cancer at age 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He is the writer of 35 books and is considered to be one of the most notable authors of Latin American literature. His death is a severe loss of the global intellectual world.

Read also:
Uruguay Honors the Life of Eduardo Galeano in Wake Ceremony

 

 gunter_grassOn the same day, the German Nobel literature prize winner, author of The Tin Drum and political activist Günter Grass also died at the age of 87. Double loss for the world of literature and intellect.

Read from Spiegel:
Günter Grass Obituary: Farewell to Germany’s Towering Literary Figure

 

Chibok-marchOne year before, on April 14th 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 teenage girls from their school hostel in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria. The majority remain captive, their whereabouts unknown. The global public opinion and the movement #BringBackOurGirls demands action. The families still mourn their children.

See more at:
UN Women-Statement of the executive director of UN Women on the one year anniversary  

 

Draghi terrifiedMario Draghi, the President of European Central Bank, was “attacked” with confetti by Josephine Witt, the 21-year-old protester and activist, during a press conference which turned interesting thanks to Josephine. Photos of frightened/surprised Draghi and “super-Josephine”, have made rounds all over the web after the event on April 15th. A rather awkward moment for mighty president.

See also:
Interview: ECB Protester Josephine Witt: ‘If Greece Falls, the Whole European Idea Has Failed’

Protester Attacks ECB President Mario Draghi

 

Islamic State Archaeological Sites GlanceOne more video was released by ISIS on April 12th showing the attack and the destroy of the monuments at Nimrud an archeological site of Iraq by ISIS terrorists. Islamic State militants used bulldozers and explosives. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on April 14th that the action constitutes a war crime.

Read also:
ISIS Video Shows Apparent Destruction of Nimrud Archaeological Site

UN: Islamic State Group’s Ruin of Iraq’s Nimrud a ‘War Crime’

Have a nice and interesting week!

The “Impose Sanctions and Conquer” Doctrine of USA

Americas Summit Panama

 

Also published in: Reader Supported News/Writing for Godot

Within a time of days, since the start of April, two countries have come very close to get rid of the long imposed sanctions by USA.
First Iran and then Cuba have reached in a good point of amelioration of relationships with their foe and are close to an ending of the imposed sanctions.
“Disfavor” and “punishment” have started 50 years ago in Cuba, during Cold War, and soon after the Islamic revolution of 1979, in Iran. In both cases, the sanctions followed the revolutions and the change of regimes, non capitalist policies, nationalization of oil (in Iran), of companies, services and country’s wealth. Also in both cases, before the revolutions, US had deeply involved in internal affairs and had secured conformity of the governments.
After revolutions they never stopped attempting the overturn of regimes – their endearing practice worldwide. Cases of US espionage in Cuba as well as attempts to organize dissident movements (according to the successful “arab spring” standards) reveal until recently.

In Iran, as Juan Cole in Informed Comment reminds us: “It is worth pointing out that one of the reasons Obama has difficulty in his negotiations with Iran is that its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, distrusts Washington because of its long history of intervention in Iran. The US along with its WWII allies invaded and occupied Iran in the 1940s; the allies overthrew the ruler, Reza Shah Pahlevi in 1941. In 1953 the CIA conducted a coup against popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh because he led the nationalization of Iranian oil.
After the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the US allied with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who had invaded Iran in a wanton act of naked aggression in 1980. When Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranian troops, the US ran interference for Baghdad at the UN Security Council, ensuring that Baathist Iraq was not sanctioned for its war crimes against Iran.
So maybe Obama needs a sidebar with Khamenei to reassure him that Washington is not trying to overthrow him, either.”

Timing, capitalism and profit

The question which arises after the recent developments is “why now?” Although the two “cases” are completely different, a first insufficient answer is the attempt of President Barack Obama to ensure his own and Democratic Party’s legacy during the last year of his presidency.
It is not a totally satisfying answer, even if Obama might actually be “an honest man”, as Cuban President Raoul Castro said. Apart from honest though, Obama still is the President of the almighty USA.

As “peace” and conciliatory policies are not typical of US, a more realistic version could be the need to close any “unnecessary” open fronts worldwide despite pressures from neocon Republicans and jingoes of NRA.
On the other hand, progressives within the country are demanding less aggressive policies, as longstanding wars have not only proved ineffective and costly but have also showed their wrongful and detrimental motivations.
Furthermore, the dominant principle in US (i.e. in capitalism) is profit. Sanctions burden American economy, not only that of the “punished” countries and don’t give earnings from sales of weaponry.

So sanctions, especially long-standing ones, have political cost apart from economic and reach a crucial point, when it becomes necessary to lift them.
American companies are going to seek profits from Cuba and it is Cuba’s responsibility to manage and control hawks’ involvement in national affairs (a danger that EU is close to suffer if they sign TTIP neglecting people’s objections).
There is also strong possibility that US will use normalization of relationships with Cuba as a means to succeed closer approach to other South American countries.

US has opened a huge front against Russia, under their own crafted pretext of Ukraine, and until their own and EU pressures pay back, they simply lose profits while they do not have the anticipated gains of their expansionism.
They also continue sanctions as well as attempts to overturn government in Venezuela* and, additionally, they have to “pay” the cost of past nourishing of fighters who became the core of ISIS.

Imperialism behind human rights

“Axis of evil” has shrunk significantly since Iraq became a conquered country, after Libya was destroyed and after Syria entered the US-crafted and non ending war. It is also going to further weaken as soon as a final deal will be signed with Iran. A large part of “destruction policies” could be attributed to the former Secretary of the State and new candidate for US presidency, Hilary Clinton. As far as it concerns the remaining North Korea, Japan could be the first frontier if necessary.

However, military threat is not the only reason which US invoke when it comes to sanctions. Human rights and their strictly American interpretation often form a pretext for imposing sanctions. Never mind if human rights are violated by numerous “allies” and within US.
It makes no difference if a society is functional despite whatever problems.
If a country doesn’t follow a certain model of life, if its government does not conform to Western standards, if strategic considerations or intelligence want them to “reform”, either a war or sanctions will be the consequences.
The internal administration and the sovereignty of any such country, surely threaten “democracy” and therefore, US have to take initiative. In case that propaganda by NGOs and press and attempts of erosion and/or overturning of government do not succeed, intelligence takes control and isolation follows.
Venezuela is a representative sample of this doctrine. That is why after several attempts of coups in collaboration with opposition have been made and failed, Obama issued an executive order on 9th March with which declared the country an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security”.*
On the eve of Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Castro and Obama met, People’s Summit of the Americas, issued a document, which was approved by more than 2,000 representatives and condemned what it called, “military aggression and threats by the United States and their strategic allies carried out through the establishment of military bases in the region” according to teleSUR information.

Aggressiveness and domination

The case of Russia does not follow above rule of “safeguarding” human rights. Russia has a record of human rights violations which didn’t bother in the slightest the “democratic” West. The manufactured rising in Ukraine ended with outrage and autonomy of pro-Russian Crimean regions and with a war induced by NATO.
If Russia had retracted, if Putin had succumbed without acting, a large part of population would have been led into EU’s and NATO’s “embrace” and no sanctions would have been imposed.
Alternatively, another way of isolating Russia would have been induced.
In the same time, propaganda would persuade the world that rising in Ukraine was spontaneous and that people’s future is in their hands.
In the meantime, the “compliant” EU loads an extra weight on the backs of its people by imposing sanctions and suffering the consequences.

Though world changes (even Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran), let’s not fool ourselves and let’s hope that neither Iranian and Cuban people nor their governments fool themselves by believing that the “war” has ended.

* South American countries back Venezuela and UNASUR, the Non-Alignement Movement, CELAC and the G77+China, condemned Obama’s Executive Order. 

Relative from the web:
Hope on the Horizon and It Comes from Greece – Paul Craig Roberts

Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast – Consortiumnews.com

 

The traps of the world domination

world-domination
The aim of world domination is full of traps for the wannabe dominator and suffering for the people.

Together with welcoming you readers and, hopefully, permanent (free) subscribers of this effort-blog, I esteem that the first approach-article, should better be an overview rather than a specific event.

In this historical, in multiple levels and countries, period of the world, “things happen” with such a speed that makes it difficult for the people to follow and perceive the whole picture. Each region and each country confronts their current issues in politics or economy and, in disproportionate analogy, life and death, peace and war, living or surviving.

On another level, the “global routine” of politics and diplomacy goes on by handling, managing, manipulating or planning the next day or days.

In this frame, a number of war fronts remain open or are being created under the need (or the pretext) to stop other wars, restrain the spread of “universal enemies”, namely extremists, killers, haters but nevertheless, ex-allies and “by-products” of older political expediencies.

In a book I read a long time ago, Still Life with Woodpecker (1980), Tom Robins recounts (my translation from the Greek edition): “Once upon a time, Hawaii had problem with rats. Then, someone came up with a brilliant idea; Import mongooses from India. Mongooses would kill rats. It worked. Mongooses killed indeed rats. Mongooses killed chicken, piggies, birds, cats, dogs and toddlers. There were witnesses about mongooses which attacked motorbikes, electric lawn machines, cars of golf and others. Hawaii now has more mongooses than the rats it had in the past. Hawaii exchanged its problem of rats with a problem of mongooses. But Hawaii was determined not to allow something like this happen again”.

Sadly as much as alarmingly, USA (mainly and more than any country or coalition) does not seem to share the knowledge of Hawaiian lesson. American politics, policies, and as a consequence, their strategic alliances, insist in attempting to extinct rats with mongooses. In the present, alike with the near or distant past, they “plant” exterminators, oppositions and enemies of their enemies. As a result, the “crop” are threats and fear, fundamentalism and terrorism. Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Ukraine (for example) share this same denominator. Friends, shadowy friends, pawns and tools of a certain conjuncture and need, are possible threats of the day after tomorrow. Sad as much as non wise.

The story goes on (and on) all over the world and one of our aims is to present, to synthesize and to analyze the interrelation between the facts, their source and their consequences – hopefully.