The Case of Agent Orange: International Perspectives and an Homage to Victims

MICHAEL G. PALMER
Contemporary Southeast Asia
Vol. 29, No. 1 (April 2007), pp. 172-195
Abstract
Just as America and its allies have become embroiled in what some have called another Vietnam, questions to do with the injustice of that earlier conflict have begun to resurface in international forums. In January of 2004, some 29 years since the official end of the Vietnam War the first action on behalf of Vietnamese victims of the principal US military herbicide, Agent Orange, was filed in a New York district court. In March the following year all claims were dismissed. This article seeks to present a commentary of this extraordinary case in view of history and the broader themes of politics, international law, and its institutions as a handicap to accommodating individual victims of war. While identifying with this wider plight of victims the article serves as an update on developments in scientific research, bringing home the very serious threat of further contamination to the present day population in Vietnam.


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