Analysis Of Agent Orange: A Weapon Of Destruction

1048 Words 4 Pages
Agent Orange: A Weapon of Destruction
The infamous Brutus from the play, Julius Caesar, used the idea of the end justifies the means to rationalize his decision to kill Caesar for the greater good of the Roman Republic. This idea had been used by many throughout history to justify their morally wrong actions for the greater good. The United States federal government might have argued that the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War and dumping more than 11 million gallons of Agent Orange on the South Vietnam, often showering on farmers, their families, and on whole forests that turned into barren wasteland (Korn), was altogether for the greater good in the fight against communism. But the United States’ actions do not justify their claims
…show more content…
The war was fought in Vietnam between the United States and the North Vietnamese people during the 1960s and 1970s. During the time the war began, many countries, including the United States, were concerned with the rise of communism and feared that it would eventually destroy not only their country, but also others around it. By the end of the World War II, countries such as East Germany, China, North Korea, and Cuba had all fallen to Communism (Caputo 22). To many, “it looked as if Communists might be successful in their often stated goal to take over the world (Caputo 22).” Therefore, the United States government believed that “if the Viet Minh took over all of Vietnam, Communism would infiltrate the neighboring nations of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia (Caputo 22).” As a result, the United States stepped in and placed an active role in the Vietnam War. The most controversial issue that has been generally associated with the war is the defoliant campaign using biotoxins such as Agent Orange, due to its impact on plants, animals, citizens, and soldiers (Caputo 66). The United States utilized these “military used herbicides in a defoliation-and-crop-destruction campaign code-named ‘Operation Ranch Hand’ to eliminate the cover of the countless places for Viet Cong forces to build sanctuaries, hide, and set up ambushes among the thick plant life in Vietnam …show more content…
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), of whom is frequently asked to characterize exposures to environmental agents that any military personnel may have encountered while on duty, has specifically looked into the herbicide Agent Orange and its hazardous contaminant dioxin (Erdtmann). They have found much disturbing evidence that suggests that Agent Orange has affected the veterans that have come into contact with the herbicide. Many have reported numerous health effects very similar to the Vietnamese citizens, such as “respiratory problems, persistent skin rashes, some forms of skin cancer, and birth defects in their children (Caputo 66).” Also, unlike the Vietnamese citizens, the government attempted to provide compensation to all veterans once a threat was discovered from Agent Orange exposure. “The Agent Orange Act of 1991 established a presumption of herbicide exposure for veterans who served in Vietnam and who developed one or more of the diseases associated with AO exposure

Related Documents