The Norm links to a distressing article in Vanity Fair which describes the horrific effects of Agent Orange on the population and subsequent generations of the areas in Vietnam on which it was dropped. Norm chooses to excerpt the following sentences:
This was not a dreadful accident, or a tragedy. It was inflicted, on purpose, by sophisticated human beings.
Now I’ve read the piece, and I have repeatedly read the passage from which the above is extracted, and it is clear that it refers to the effects of Agent Orange, i.e. the horrific mutations described in the passage were inflicted on purpose. This being the case, the statement itself is preposterous.
Agent Orange was created specifically as a defoliant, as the article itself states, and there is very little doubt that Agent Orange has proven to be the cause of terrible mutations amongst the population in Vietnam. But there is no evidence whatsoever that the dropping of Agent Orange was intended to achieve anything other than its purpose as a defoliant, and there is also no evidence whatsoever that the US military or the Agent’s creators knew at the time that this product would have these terrible side effects.
It is a perfectly reasonable case to make that the US military was criminally negligent in not researching the side effects of Agent Orange before it was dropped onto the Vietnamese population, and it is equally reasonable to demand that the US military takes responsibility for the suffering it has caused. But it is most certainly not reasonable to state that the mutations and health problems now being experienced in Vietnam were inflicted on the populace on purpose. This statement is nothing short of historical revisionism.