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letters | on edge over syria

Have we forgotten our own chemical warfare in Vietnam?

I share the belief that those who use terrifying chemicals against civilian populations should be punished. It has been almost a century since nations recognized the inhumanity of such weapons.

But I also remember that Agent Orange, a defoliant, was used extensively by the US military in its chemical warfare program in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Red Cross reports that 400,000 people were killed or maimed by Agent Orange and that 500,000 children were born with birth defects. The US government disputes these figures, but does not deny that various chemicals were employed by our military.

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So, I have come to the conclusion that our abhorrence of nations’ use of such agents extends only beyond our borders.

Arthur Mazer

Cambridge

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