The Vietnam War Is Over. The Bombs Remain.


Bombs, Agent Orange and the Lethal Legacy of Bombs in Quang Tri

“Shading my eyes from the bright sun, I stared into the bomb crater amid the verdant rice paddies. While it had been nearly 50 years since the last American planes riddled the countryside near Danang in central Vietnam, craters still pockmark the land. Some of the deep depressions remain dry while others, a testament to the ingenuity of the villagers, serve as watering holes for the oxen that farmers harness to till their fields. It was my first week in Vietnam, where I would spend the summer of 2016 conducting research. I was studying the efficacy of international law, namely whether legal remedies exist for civilian victims of unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons from the Vietnam War. I had arrived well versed in the numbers: America dropped three times more ordnance over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia than all sides did during World War II. Estimates are that at least 350,000 tons of live bombs and mines remain in Vietnam, and that it will take 300 years to clear them from the Vietnamese landscape at the current rate. Bombs and other ordnance were dropped on thousands of villages and hamlets. The most common were cluster bombs, each of which contained hundreds of baseball-size bomblets; the bombs are designed to explode near ground level, releasing metal fragments to maim and kill. But many of the cluster bombs failed to release their contents or, in other cases, their bomblets failed to detonate. For the Vietnamese, the war continues. Loss of arms, legs and eyesight are for the more fortunate ones. Others have lost their family breadwinners, or their children. Children find baseball-size metal objects and unwittingly toss the ‘toys’ to one another in games of catch until they explode. Nearly 40,000 Vietnamese have been killed since the end of the war in 1975, and 67,000 maimed, by land mines, cluster bombs and other ordnance. …”
NY Times
Laos Finds New Life After the Bombs
New Yorker: The Vietnam War Is Still Killing People
YouTube: Unexploded bombs leave a deadly legacy in Vietnam, Laos: The fight against the deadly legacy of U.S. bombing

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Agent Orange, CIA, Henry Kissinger, Ho Chi Minh Trail, John Kennedy, Laos, Lyn. Johnson, Nixon, R. McNamara, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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