Revisit the legacy of Agent Orange

Click to enlargeReuters photographer Damir Sagolj

As April 30 approaches, marking 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, people in Vietnam with severe mental and physical disabilities still feel the lingering effects of Agent Orange.

Respiratory cancer and birth defects amongst both Vietnamese and U.S. veterans have been linked to exposure to the defoliant. The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange onto Vietnam’s jungles during the conflict to expose northern communist troops.

Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj travelled through Vietnam to meet the people affected, four decades on.

I would say, “Never again”; but, I haven’t that much trust in our government, our politicians.

10-tear-old boy beats and robs 50-year-old Vietnamese immigrant

Minh Tran

A 10-year-old boy admitted Tuesday in Family Court that he robbed and assaulted a Vietnamese immigrant in her Juniata Park home on Aug. 6 in what a judge likened to a “hate crime.”

Then the boy, thin with short-cropped hair and dressed in a long-sleeve white shirt, khakis and sneakers, faced his victim and apologized for “hitting you with rocks and sticks and breaking into your home.”

The victim, Minh Tran, 50, who lives on Luzerne Street near L, said through an interpreter that she accepted the apology.

…Judge Kevin Dougherty said he would give the defense an opportunity to present testimony and evidence about the boy’s personal history and characteristics…

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Carobus said Tran was sleeping in her small apartment at 3 p.m. when the boy, his 7-year-old brother – who was not arrested and couldn’t be charged under state law because of his age – and an unknown male, 20, entered the premises and beat Tran.

Carobus said Tran was struck on the face and body with a stick, rope, rocks, a plunger and a potted plant. The assailants took $20 from her purse, a bracelet and tokens and left the apartment. A neighbor later found Tran on her knees in her back yard, crying and asking for help.

Dougherty asked the boy why he attacked Tran. The boy said he “didn’t like the lady” and the way she “stared” at him…

We have a long road to travel,” Dougherty said. “We’re going to find out why you have hate in your heart for someone who doesn’t look like you.”

Anyone born and brought up in the United States truly surprised? Are you astonished that he hates someone who doesn’t look like he thinks an American should appear?

In my neck of the prairie she could be from a nearby Pueblo or Mexican-American or Asian-American – or just plain anyone.

Think he came up with the concept of hating a foreigner all on his own?