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Opening Arguments

Orange aid

Cleaning up one of our messes:

DANANG, Vietnam – The United States began a landmark project Thursday to clean up a dangerous chemical left from the defoliant Agent Orange— 50 years after American planes first sprayed it on Vietnam's jungles to destroy enemy cover.

Dioxin, which has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, will be removed from the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam. The effort is seen as a long-overdue step toward removing a thorn in relations between the former foes nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended.

Of course, there are still plenty of negative effects to clean up in this country, too.

Yes, I know that combatants from one side try to use the terrain to their advantage and combatants from the other side try to take away that advantage -- that's been a component of war strategy for all of history. But using something so devastating that it ends up hurting your own people for decades after the war is over might qualify as an excessive tactic.