Over the years America has waged war with countries, forcibly occupied territories and murdered millions of men, women and children. Dropped nuclear bombs on Japan, destroyed Vietnam's ecosystem with Agent Orange, and has created such an atmosphere in Iraq that radiation levels have been compared to twenty five thousand bombs used in Nagasaki.
As I take you on this journey through pain and suffering, we shall see an insight into American wars, why is there war and what are the benefits of war? More importantly we will run through the effects of war on the common citizens of the country.
I am letting you know now that this article may not be something that you may want to know as it can cause a deep state of sorrow. I started doing research for this post, more than two weeks ago. I did not want to proceed writing the article then, as I did not want my outrage to mess with the facts.
Agent Orange in Vietnam
The first case I shall start with is the case of Agent Orange in Vietnam, Agent Orange is the code name for a powerful herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military in an attempt to deny an enemy cover and concealment in dense terrain where they could hide. America dumped more than twenty million gallons of this chemical in the south of Vietnam, no one knows what is the total amount of chemicals dumped in the whole of Vietnam.
The chemicals used in agent orange produces dioxins that are harmful to not only the environment, but causes diseases like cancer and genetically transfer from one generation to the next causing massive deformation in babies. In 1984, chemical companies that manufactured the Agent paid $180m to the United States veterans who are suffering due to their contact with Agent Orange.
What about the Vietnamese, who have not received any aid, and their lawsuits filed against the companies have been dismissed in US courts. Lets take a look at Vietnam where so much of the defoliant has absorbed into the earth and the water supply that it continues to have an effect on peoplesĺ lives.
Take a look at this video that has been recorded in Vietnam that will show you the long term effects of Agent Orange in the lives of the citizens who were sprayed.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
Lets move on to Japan where the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 2,53,008 and 1,43,124 humans respectively, the American occupation forces imposed strict censorship on Japan, prohibiting anything "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility" and prohibited all pictures of the bombed cities.
On August 6, 1945, 8.15 am, the uranium atom bomb exploded 580 metres above the city of Hiroshima with a blinding flash, creating a giant fireball and sending surface temperatures to 4,000C. Housewives and children were incinerated instantly, their internal organs boiled and their bones charred into brittle charcoal.
Beneath the center of the explosion, temperatures were hot enough to melt concrete and steel. Within seconds, 75,000 people had been killed or fatally injured with 65% of the casualties nine years of age and younger.
Radiation deaths were still occurring in large numbers in the following days. "For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost appetite, their hair fell out, and bluish spots appeared on their bodies. And then bleeding began from the ears, nose and mouth".
Hibakusha is the term widely used in Japan referring to victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Japanese word translates literally to "explosion-affected people", the sad part is that they and their children were (and still are) victims of severe discrimination due to lack of knowledge on the consequences of radiation sickness, where people believed it to be hereditary or even contagious.
Many of them were fired from their jobs, Hibakusha women never got married, as many feared they would give birth to deformed children and men suffered discrimination too as nobody wanted to marry someone who might die in a couple of years.
To date the Hibakusha receive a compensation from the Japanese government, as they and their children are virtually ostracized from society. When they die their names are added to the list of the dead due to the atomic bomb blasts.
Doctors in Iraq have estimated that birth defects have increased by 2-6 times, and 3-12 times as many children have developed cancer and leukemia since 1991. Moreover, a report published in The Lancet in 1998 said that as many as 500 children a day are dying from these sequels to war and sanctions and that the death rate for Iraqi children under 5 years of age increased from 23 per 1000 in 1989 to 166 per thousand in 1993.
Overall, cases of lymphoblastic leukemia more than quadrupled with other cancers also increasing 'at an alarming rate' due to American bombs. Veterans of the Gulf War and of the fighting in the Balkans share common illnesses with children in southern Iraq.
Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust."When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy," he said. After performing clean-up operations in the desert without protective gear, 30 members of his staff died, and most others including Rokke developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems, "We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension."
Now that we have taken a look at the effects of war, why would America wage wars like these? Wars are the only way weapons are used on mass scales, which country produces the most weapons? America! Which country sells the most weapons, America? Which country spends the most on their military to wage wars? Yet once again America, half of the total world's spending on military is done by America.
America has sold weapons to India and Pakistan, then sold better weapons to Pakistan and then more weapons to India. America sold chemical and biological weapons to Iraq just before the gulf war, to help them fight against Iran and countries around the world in the same manner. Watch the movie, the Lord of War, it should give you a broader perspective on this issue.
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