It didn’t turn the war around, but Agent Orange was still a success. The suffering it created and still creates today is collateral. Suffering is not relevant in the schemes of military commanders.
Agent Orange was a success as it proved that man is more powerful than nature. When the leaves fell and the plants died it became clear that the war against nature had finally been won.
The ‘Rainbow Herbicides’, named after the colorful stripes identifying the barrels, were all targeted against the flora, the plant life. The ‘Agents’ Pink, Green, White, Purple, Blue and, most infamously, Orange, were sprayed by plane over areas of forests, and, less well-known, fields. The expressed purpose was two-fold: to eliminate all cover for enemy combatants, and to destroy the food plants. A starving enemy is a weak enemy is a good enemy.
But the last barrier was only broken when two Asian nations fought. Not long after the use of Agent Orange another Agent was tried in the field:
Agent Brown is not named after the identifying marks on the barrels. There were no identifying marks. Rather, it is named after its color, the dark, smothering brown that the few servicemen that saw it described.
Agent Brown was distributed by only two planes and only sprayed over a small area over and around a village back then nicknamed Koy. There were no soldiers or combatants in Koy. The spraying was an experiment, a field trial in the truest sense of the word.
While the invading armies were marching forward the first newspapers in the West dared to speak about the effects of Agent Orange. The reports of stillbirths, lung disease, cancer and birth defects were still marked as ‘speculation’ and ‘rumors’.
But those involved in the trial of Agent Brown were excited about the findings. Agent Orange and its horrifying effects, so they argued, proved that mankind was not just more powerful than flora. Chemical engineers, they said, were also more powerful than fauna; more powerful than animal life. And animal life, in that case meant only one species: humans.
Agent Brown was sprayed in the beginning darkness of the evening hours. By midnight the local radio station had turned to broadcasting white noise. And by morning the invaders’ information sources too had dried out.
The first reports from Koy reached the outside world three days later. Two female survivors reported of a massacre, of slain women and children. But the invading forces were still far away.
A national newspaper speculated – a guerilla, they said, or maybe a criminal gang. “Evacuate!” was the order to all that might hear it.
Five days after Agent Brown another woman claimed to have escaped from Koy. She too reported of slaughter and rape, of skinned children and women burned alive. But, she said, the perpetrators weren’t evil forces, they were local men. She was silenced.
When the invading forces finally reached Koy, barely two weeks after Agent Orange, they were shocked to find fierce, nearly suicidal opposition. Infantry was ambushed by individual men wielding knives or makeshift weapons.
When the soldiers, fighting constant seemingly random ambushes, finally reached the village they were shocked to find the remnants of a massacre. Later they would be blamed for the massacre, but even the soldiers froze in fear when they saw the stacks of bodies and heaps of bare bones. They found half-dug graves, and opened ones.
Agent Brown was supposed to be a stimulant. In studies with prisoners it had proven to stimulate the production of testosterone to an immense degree. First the subjects got violent. Then they turned insane and harmed themselves. They ripped their own legs open, ate their own arms, flayed the skin off their own faces. Within two days every subject was dead.
But the field trial of Koy showed a different result. The prisoners had not had any outlet. The only one they could harm was themselves.
Investigators were sent to Koy. When they captured some of the remaining villagers, exclusively men, and kept them isolated the results were the same as before: They harmed themselves, tortured their own bodies until death finally saved them.
But in Koy they had not been isolated. In Koy there had been others people, less strong and less insane. And those people were tortured, raped, mutilated, slaughtered and consumed. The testosterone made men to animals.
The investigators concluded, triumphantly, that Agent Brown worked. Agent Brown, just like Agent Orange had been a success. But the cost had been high, and, in the aftermath, it was the invaders that were accused of committing the crimes. ‘Crimes against humanity’ and ‘war crimes’ they were called.
Most of those involved in the project were silenced.
The military leaders concluded that it was better to accept the blame of war crimes than to expose the truth. The truth, that humanity had been defeated by mankind; the truth that there are means to make a man become an animal; means to make a man kill his own neighbors and wife and children.
But now is the time to speak up about Agent Brown.
The rumor goes that the secret has been stolen; that somebody else has restarted the production.
Have you been to government buildings in the last week? The security has tightened. The checks have increased. And if you look carefully you will notice that they are looking for liquids. Brown liquids.
This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.