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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Fleeing Morality and Refugees

A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp set in the town of Harmanli, south-east of Sofia on November 12, 2013. Bulgaria's asylum centres are severely overcrowded after the arrival of almost 10,000 refugees this year, half of them Syrian. The influx has fuelled anti-immigrant sentiment in a country already struggling with dire poverty. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOVNIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp set in the town of Harmanli, south-east of Sofia on November 12, 2013. Bulgaria’s asylum centres are severely overcrowded after the arrival of almost 10,000 refugees this year, half of them Syrian. The influx has fuelled anti-immigrant sentiment in a country already struggling with dire poverty. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOVNIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images

 

I started writing under the wish/need to note down some of my thoughts concerning the facts that we hear, see or live about the people who leave their countries (massively at this point) and become refugees or migrants or whatever-bs-their-namers-call-them-in-order-to-serve-their-own-interests.
Beyond the image, under the isothermic blanket or the tent, deeper than frostbite and hunger, which they meet during their trip, there are HUMANS.
Mercy!

Massiveness seems to distort, to water the understanding of people on what it means one’s forced separation, trip and finally wretched presence, thousands of miles away from home.
Perspective is lost and I admire those who act, react and offer by participating actively. 
Thought produce thoughts and together with human concern and interest in global issues, apart from whys and hows about the course and willful struggle of refugees, I questioned certain countries’ reactions with (apparently but you never know) prominent, Austria. 
Here, today, I want to confess that no matter now many years will pass (as it seems), there will always be something which will surprise me, which will find me unaware and will let me speechless, and which will draw all over my world a giant black question mark: Evil, malice, badness.
Theories and philosophies about human nature, kindness and culture, pale in front of malice. I don’t know if some good person has defined it once and forever.
In my understanding and senses it’s chilling because it lacks reason and I would never comprehend it even if I’d try.
It’s above me. It slips my mind.
Why would someone want to be bad? If he doesn’t want, he won’t; as simple as that.

Less strict persons say that bad souls are a by-product of some misery, lack, trauma, complex or imbecility (which seems probable although not for all cases).
Seriously?!
So, the rest of us, normal good people, we are all happy all the time, full, come from ideal environments and upbringings and we are geniuses?
You, bad, may suffer from something else; do you have to become “dirty-soul”?

To return to the global drama which takes place before our eyes (and everywhere in the world but we don’t normally learn about it unless it becomes massive and Media “appropriate”).
Once it happened to you to become “dirty-soul”, is it necessary to also become a politician or a person with influence and/or authority and to use people as if they were rubbish?
Why you, sub-human, don’t try to do the same to others, more powerful than you (individuals or states)?

The conclusion is that some statements and declarations are beyond limits of politics and interests and enter the sphere of raw and overt evil, which might have no clear (or unclear) reason but it always has disastrous results – to a smaller or bigger extent.  

At the same time and in parallel with the obvious, whatever takes place in a political level works destructively upon less resistant minds and more shaky moralities, because it acquits violence (covert or not) from human to human and allows its externalization which might were suppressed or masked because of social conventions.
Well, social conventions and contracts seem to have become toilet papers – the nearest to political correctness term available.
Woe for humanity if the same become sensitivity, empathy, compassion, understanding, kindness and finally logic. 
 
It is useful to know though, that:

  • Millions of refugees are hosted in countries outside “enlightened” Europe (and West), for years. For “civilized” countries and their Media they appear as nonexistent. The only images which are allowed to reach us are those which serve propaganda.
  • For ages, migrants enter Europe or EU, they are often exploited or marginalized or demonized. However, they live a better life … than death. More rarely, they really live their dream.
  • Suddenly, for Austria, FYROM and other “over-civilized”, migrants stink and likewise do refugees. Nowadays, when there are no lower jobs left and no funds can feed their so-called hospitality and solidarity, they throw them all in the lions’ den.
  • The massive exodus of Syrian citizens is useful for the West because it stripped the country as well as the demonized Assad. No matter how many elections or reforms he makes, the absent population will be the strong card for the Westerns and “opposition”.No, we are not all Charlie or Paris suddenly.
    It is certain though that we are all migrants or refugees under circumstances.
    The only condition needed is an economic crisis, like in Greece for example but not limited, or our violent uprooting. But it’s unlike, isn’t it? Sure..!

Exactly as unlike as it were for the about 5 millions of Syrians just a few years ago.

See also:
Report of UN for the Refugees (UNHCR) June 2015

«INTRODUCTION: Conflict, persecution, generalized violence and violations of human rights continued to cause forced displacement around the world during the first six months of 2015. Fighting across parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa have continued into the first half of the year, resulting in millions of individuals being forced to flee either within or outside their country»

 

 

 

 

Human Rights and Dying Migrants

This morning Greek media reported the arrival of 1,800 migrants, mainly from Middle East, in central Athens square. They were added to 100,000 people (refugees and migrants) who have crossed Mediterranean since start of 2015 according to UNHCR, “with record numbers now arriving every day in the Greek islands. Official figures show that as of 8 June a total of 103,000 refugees and migrants had arrived in Europe: 54,000 in Italy, 48,000 in Greece, 91 on Malta and 920 in Spain.”

EU obviously faces a humanitarian problem and evidently turns a blind eye to it, as its latest political (non) decisions show. (TWTP article Sea of War and Death)

The problem contains several contradictions:
– Human beings lose their lives while trying to escape their countries just to save their own and their children lives. 
– Civil and offensive wars, hunger, turmoil or evictions force people to abandon their residencies, fortunes, homes, jobs, families and homeland in order to survive. The oxymoron here is that a series of events beyond their power, force educated and working, respected and “normal”, until yesterday, people to be uprooted, then to become victims of traffickers and in the end to be treated as “interlopers” in European countries.
– The majority of the problems that their countries face are western-made and EU plays a major role in these. Libya’s (not so) civil war Lethal attempt of USA for a regime change in Syria.
– “Breeding and nurturing” by the West of islamic extremists in order to destabilize so-called enemies during the last decades.
– The consequent empowerment of armed sectarians who turned into a threat even for their funders.
– The newfound (?) “exploitation” of ISIS as a threat requiring restrictions and intercepts and which attempts to generate fear and to boost xenophobia, racism and far right parties in Europe,
and last but not least:

 – The perpetual and never stopped crimes of evictions, settlements, imprisonments and inhuman treatment, to the limits of genocide, in Palestine.

A western person could and should imagine itself and its family threatened by all these dangers. And then, to put itself in the same conditions that all these younger or elder people, women, men and children face when they arrive into european countries.
Dignity is a human right and it is not limited into one’s home or country’s borders and of course not in religion, race or ethnicity.
The self-proclaimed advocates and the self-appointed “defenders” of human rights use double standards, depending on their political and dominating purposes. They invade lands to defend freedoms and they violate major rights inside these lands.

In the present situation, in which Europe does not heed labor force anymore, the victims of western wars address to the instigators of their problems for relief. And the West condemns them for a second time in misery, threats, loss of dignity, inhuman conditions or in the ever existing and present, marginalization – if they survive.

The next thing to wait is an augmenting demonization of migrants – beloved practice of western propaganda. They will all be considered as islamist terrorists and they will be placed in new Guantanamos.

In the name of “safety” of course.

Uprooting the Inevitable

While trying without success to focus on one matter, in a world  in constant move where the news happen all around, I wonder:
Why do conflicts and wars are considered as “normal” and no-one talks, acts or fights for the sake of peace? 

Why do debts and insolvency are thought as the rule and no-one talks anymore about productivity and jobs and payments and decent working conditions and human living?

Why injustices and discriminations have become the same-old new rule, the fertilizer of fascism?

Somewhere, someone did something wrong and the whole world and most of the people believed him.
Well, someone, somewhere has to start something radically healthy and new.

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.