Vietnam: Day Five
How does one translate the human suffering we’ve witnessed into new policies and modes of cooperation between the peoples and governments of Vietnam and the United States?
That is the challenge of days five and six in Vietnam. We’ve seen and hugged the children with distorted limbs and enlarged heads and other birth defects that cry out for healing. We’ve walked on the toxic earth where the U.S. military sprayed Agent Orange/dioxin during the Vietnam War. As people of faith, we can easily describe our task as confessing “social sin,” and making reparations.
But such language does not work well in the world of diplomacy, especially when one party (the United States) refuses to accept responsibility for the effects of the toxin.