Agent Orange is dioxin

"If we found dioxin contamination on this scale just outside Los Angeles, we'd have an emergency team in there within 24 hours," he said.

During a research trip there in 1999, Schecter detected the highest dioxin levels recorded anywhere in Vietnam since 1973, undermining scientists' previous assumption the toxin was gradually broken down in the environment. Declassified records have revealed Bien Hoa was the site of a wartime accident in which between 5,000 and 7,000 gallons of Agent Orange were spilled.

God help us

Your president Clinton was telling how sorry he was for the 850 Americans who suffered from Ogent Orange syndrom, but he forgot to mention the 8-900 000 vietnameese teens and children who were born handicaped because of genetic changes inflicted on their parent by Agent Orange.(Dioxin)

In an open letter to US President Bill Clinton, Len Aldis, Secretary of the Britain-Vieät Nam Friendship Society, reminds him that 25 years on from the end of America’s war on Viet Nam, there are one million victims of Agent Orange and 270,000 Vietnamese missing in action.

See the open letter to Mr. Clinton on

Or read it here:

Dear Mr President,

In a few months’ time you will be standing down from the office of President of the United States of America, economically and militarily the strongest nation in the world today. Many, including yourself, will reflect on your period of office to assess the mark you have left on history.

In your eight years as President you have introduced many policies, some negative some positive. Before you leave the White House I would hope you will take a decision that will positively mark your place in history. Please, acknowledge the terrible legacy your country has left to the people and land of Vieät Nam through the use of the chemicals developed and produced by American companies, commonly known as Agent Orange.

You took a small step along this road on May 28,1996, when in the White House, you became the first US President to admit the damage, and I quote: "unintentionally caused its own sons and daughters by exposing them to Agent Orange".

It was unfortunate that you made no mention of the damage caused to the sons and daughters of Vieät Nam and their land.

On April 30, 2000, I celebrated along with millions of Vietnamese and their friends in many lands, the 25th anniversary of the liberation and reunification of their country.

It was a great occasion made even more welcome by the many thousands of people from other countries - including America – who had come to Vieät Nam to join in the commemoration.

As in an earlier visit in 98, I travelled to a number of provinces, and met with many people of all ages, affected by and suffering from disabilities –a legacy of the bombs, shells, cluster bomblets, still in the ground.

In the province of Quaûng Trò alone, 700 are killed and injured each year as a result of these weapons used 25 years ago–and from the effects of Agent Orange.

The number of victims of Agent Orange has now reached one million, one in seventy-eight of the population. Mr President, that’s a terrible legacy for any country to leave another.

In the photos I have attached, you can see who I call the innocents were born after the war ended in 1975. They are suffering for no fault of their own. Just as the children of the American forces who served in Vieät Nam are also suffering. But at least you have made amends to them by agreeing to pay compensation.

During my visit to Quaûng Trò, I went to the district of Cam Loä, I saw two children of a soldier, one of whose arms are tied to her body 24 hours a day, to prevent her beating her head and face. She is just eight years old.

In Haø Noäi I met another soldier born in 1958 and who served in Taây Ninh Province from 1982 to 85, an area heavily sprayed with Agent Orange. I met one of his two sons, born 1995, suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, an illness defined by your own National Academy of Sciences as being one of a number of illnesses associated with exposure to the herbicide "Agent Orange".

On the way to the northern town of Tuyeân Quang, we called at the village of An Khang and met with a veteran, Leâ Quang Vònh. He served in Laos from 1971 to 75. With him were four of his six children. All the four I saw had disabilities. The eldest, a young man of 25, is and will be confined to his wheelchair for the rest of his life. His younger brother (10) was eager to show me how after two years of therapy at the nearby Höông Sen Centre, he can walk–stiffly and slowly, across the room of his house. Eight paces for the young lad. His smile and effort brought a round of applause from all present.

The youngest daughter (eight years old) was by the window. Her disability clearly was "Spina Bifida", another illness defined by the National Academy of Sciences as evidence of association from exposure from Agent Orange.

At the end of our visit, the young son was carried, by his elder sister who had come in from school, to one of our cars and went with us to the Höông Sen Centre. Here were some 28 youngsters having their lunch, many were in wheelchairs, and due to their disability, being fed by young people, volunteers, who come to the centre to help out at mealtimes and during the day.

Some of the children stay as boarders at the centre, other come on a daily basis for their meals, treatment and exercises, like the young lad for his therapy.

Mr President, for some victims –remember there are now one million - there is hope that some treatment will help. For the overwhelming majority, the best one can do is to see that the rest of their lives –be it months or years–be made as comfortable as possible for the victims themselves as well as for their parents. One of their concerns is: "What happens to my son/s, daughter/s when I’m not here?"

These are just a few examples I saw during my visit of the legacy America has left Vieät Nam.

Mr President, there is still time for you to act before you hand over the reins of presidential office. Time for you to act on behalf of the American people to accept responsibility for the suffering caused to the people of Vieät Nam as you did on May 28,1996 for the suffering Agent Orange caused to the American forces.

Despite the comments and statements by Madeleine Albright, your Secretary of State and Pete Peterson, the American Ambassador to Vieät Nam, denying Agent Orange as the cause and calling for more research, this a year after your statement admitting the damage caused by Agent Orange, the evidence is there, researched and published by the American National Academy of Sciences. Other international organisations have also carried out some of their research in Vieät Nam itself.

If you need more evidence, carry out further research, but in the meantime what happens to the victims in Vieät Nam today? Many thousands have died before and since your statement in 1996. How many more must die, how many will continue to live their wretched lives before the American Government accepts and faces up to their responsibility and compensation is paid to the Vietnamese victims as you said it will be paid to the American victims.

Take this final step, leave the White House as the President that accepted and made amends for the terrible legacy it left to the people of another country.

When you speak to the Vietnamese people on this issue, and that of their (270,000) sons and daughters whose bodies are still to be found 25 years after, they will tell you: "We feel no anger and want to go forward, but we cannot, and will not forget our past."

This feeling could be seen as relatives visited the cemeteries of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation even as the nation celebrated its reunification on April 30.

Let me end with the comment of an American friend who served in Vieät Nam and took part in the spraying of Agent Orange. "Len, You’ve seen only the aftermath. I’ve seen the war in progress as well as its aftermath, the two together are overwhelming...."

Looking forward to your reply

Yours sincerely

Len Aldis, Secretary

Britain-Vieät Nam Friendship Society