The Vietnam War has become a focal point of the Sixties. Known as the first televised war, American citizens quickly became consumed with every aspect of the war. In a sense, they could not simply “turn off” the war. A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo is a firsthand account of this horrific war that tore our nation apart. Throughout this autobiography, there were several sections that grabbed my attention. I found Caputo’s use of stark comparisons and vivid imagery, particularly captivating in that, those scenes forced me to reflect on my own feelings about the war. These scenes also caused me to look at the Vietnam War from the perspective of a soldier, which is not a perspective I had previously considered. In particular, Caputo’s account of
It can be hard to fully comprehend the effects the Vietnam War had on not just the veterans, but the nation as a whole. The violent battles and acts of war became all too common during the long years of the conflict. The war warped the soldiers and civilians characters and desensitized their mentalities to the cruelty seen on the battlefield. Bao Ninh and Tim O’Brien, both veterans of the war, narrate their experiences of the war and use the loss of love as a metaphor for the detrimental effects of the years of fighting.
Vietnam, the war that was not a war, was one of the darkest periods in American history. Men found themselves being sent against their will to fight a war which they did not support only to return home as villains. Whether emotionally or physically, the men who served in Vietnam were permanently scarred. These men found many ways to cover up these scars; some were unable to cope and broke down, some killed themselves, others chose to try to forget, and still others shared their experiences. As Tina
The legacy of the American involvement in the Vietnam War is a memory that will live on forever. After reading the book titled Vietnam in Remission by James F. Veninga and Harry A. Wilmer, my first statement has been strengthened ten-fold because of the deep persuasiveness and informative nature of this book. I will begin by summarizing and interpreting the overall thoughts and perspectives that this work brings forth concerning the initiation and justification of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Next, I will paraphrase the authors' views on legacy that this war leaves behind and provide comments dealing with what can be learned from this book and the points it raises. This study of the effects of the Vietnam War is an stirring and an instructive perspective on this sorrowful moment in history.
The Vietnam War was a traumatic experience for everyone that fought on the ground. American soldiers were up close and personal with the Viet Cong (enemy) which made them live in constant fear for their lives. They never knew how they would die or when they would take their last breath, and this thought was always in the back of their minds. The Vietnam War was very brutal, and the amount of death from both sides was enormous. Tim O’Brien’s story “The Things They Carried” is an accurate description of the Vietnam War. He paints a good, yet brief, description of what the war was like for the American soldiers who fought on the front lines.
During a Lions Club luncheon meeting Billy attends back in Ilium, a Marine Corp Major who had served in Vietnam addressed the attendees. The Marine spoke of his experience serving in Vietnam, and his view that “the Americans had no choice but to keep fighting… until the Communists realized that they could not force their wa...
This unfortunate legacy of failure in Vietnam carried far past the end of his service as Secretary of Defense. For years after, there have been ongoing debates as to what factors led the outcome of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t until 1995 that Robert McNamara contributed his own viewpoint on where the responsibility for the result of the war fell. McNamara’s memoir, “In Retrospect”, chronicles his perspective on the role he played as Secretary of Defense. It is apparent in his memoir that the public image associated with McNamara is vastly different from the McNamara he presents. Ironically, this infamous war he was so commonly know for may have been a war that privately he did not support. This raises the question—was this hawk actually a
The war in Vietnam was the longest, and perhaps the most brutal, war in American history. There have been countless books, movies, and songs made in honor of the soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam. In one particular novel called The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, the reader follows a platoon of soldiers throughout their service in the Vietnam War. It is through these accounts that the reader sees how huge of an impact the war had on everyone who was involved in it. In this particular collection of stories, the traumatizing events of the war caused radical changes of character in the soldiers who fought in it.
The Vietnam War was the most controversial war in American history. Costing more than 47,000 U.S. lives and $140,000,000, the war had momentous impact on the country, politically, economically, and socially. More significantly, the United States failed to achieve its stated war aims, for the first time in history. The goal was to preserve an independent, noncommunist government in South Vietnam, but by the war’s end in 1975, all of Vietnam was under the communist rule of Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The U.S. emerged from the war disgraced: a global superpower had been bested by the nearly third-world nation of North Vietnam. But how? Antiwar sentiment among the civilian population contributed to the American defeat, but the most fundamental fault lay in the flawed reasoning behind U.S. involvement.
It is an honor to be given the opportunity to stand before you all today. In the United States the word “Nam” has come to embody many things for the people. This tiny, unremarkable word carries with it a tremendous weight. It can give one a variety of feelings such as, but not limited to, sorrow, disgust, anger, embarrassment, regret, and confusion (Newman 700). Many, it seems, would rather forget, particularly those viewing this war as one of the worst moments in American history. Believing the war in Vietnam to hold a just and vitally necessary cause, the pro-war movement has sanctioned for even more direct military intervention in Asia throughout the President's term, ranting for larger scale bombing and offered advise to the President over the years.
General William Childs Westmoreland is a figure that is inextricably linked with the Vietnam War and he is the man that embodies the event to the American people. To look at a timeline of his life is to look at a steady progression to his command in Vietnam. Beyond that he dealt with the aftermath. In effect, it was the defining feature of his life, and Westmoreland was the defining face of Vietnam. His were the policies that kept us in the war, and his were the policies that many claimed lost it. In his own words, “The President never tried to tell me how to run the war. The tactics and battlefield strategy of running the war were mine. He did not interfere with this. He deferred to my judgment, and he let me run the war or pursue tactics and battlefield strategy as I saw fit.” As a result, his decisions had a direct and long lasting effect on America, and its worldview. Three themes run through Westmoreland’s life and help to explain his role in the Vietnam War. His character, likeable, responsible, but conservative, stubborn, and even plodding, was certainly a salient aspect of his career. His upbringing, education, and military experience helped define that character and prepared him, for better or worse, for his eventual command. Finally there was what might be called the system itself, the institutions and their ideologies that steadily promoted him, often, it would seem, for reasons having little to do with merit, to a command in which he found himself in many respects overmatched at home and in the theater of operations. The execution, the outcome, and the ultimate effects consequences of the Vietnam War cannot be viewed as entirely the result of any one man’s actions, but William Westm...
The Vietnam War was the longest and most expensive war in American History. The toll we paid wasn't just financial, it cost the people involved greatly, physically and mentally. This war caused great distress and sadness, as well as national confusion. Everyone had that one burning question being why? Why were we even there? The other question being why did America withdrawal from Vietnam. The purpose of this paper is to answer these two burning questions, and perhaps add some clarity to the confusion American was experiencing.
Twenty-eight years after publication, and 25 after the war's end, Fire in the Lake remains one of the very best books on the Viet Nam war. Sadly, Americans are woefully ignorant of the rest of the world. We have little real knowledge of our own history; but for the rest of the world's history and culture, we have neither knowledge nor regard. We do not even do the Vietnamese people the courtesy of respecting the name of their country--Viet Nam, not Vietnam; Sai Gon, not Saigon. Fitzgerald helps to correct some of this ignorance and arrogance. She begins examining the U.S. in Viet Nam from the perspective of Vietnamese history and culture; and in the process, demonstrating the tenacity and courage of the Vietnamese people, as well as their determination to rid themselves of any foreign invaders, even if, as with the Chinese, it takes 1,000 years. Another great strength of Fitzgerald’s book is, with her attention to Viet Nam's history and culture and their 20th century struggle against the French, she demonstrates, in an almost matter of fact way, a fundamental tenant of U.S. foreign policy which has been repeated numerous times in the post World War II era. That central tenant is to support thugs over patriots, to elevate to power those who will sell out their people for 30 pieces of silver rather than work with those committed to the well being of their people. Ho Chi Minh was our ally during WWII; his hero was Thomas Jefferson, not Karl Marx or Stalin. He was very pro-American; yet he was a nationalist and a patriot first, which meant, from the perspective of the U.S., he was not only unreliable, but someone who had to be destroyed. And though Fitzgerald does not carry her analysis beyond Viet Nam, an informed or a curious reader quickly can draw the parallels between U.S. policy in Viet Nam and U.S. policy in Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific rim (Indonesia specifically), South America, the Caribbean, and most obvious of all, Central America. Thus Fitzgerald gives us not only the means of understanding the war in Viet Nam, and why we were doomed to lose, but also a point of departure for understanding the travesty of U.
The impact of the Vietnam War upon the soldiers who fought there was huge. The experience forever changed how they would think and act for the rest of their lives. One of the main reasons for this was there was little to no understanding by the soldiers as to why they were fighting this war. They felt they were killing innocent people, farmers, poor hard working people, women, and children were among their victims. Many of the returning soldiers could not fall back in to their old life styles. First they felt guilt for surviving many of their brothers in arms. Second they were haunted by the atrocities of war. Some soldiers could not go back to the mental state of peacetime. Then there were soldiers Tim O’Brien meant while in the war that he wrote the book “The Things They Carried,” that showed how important the role of story telling was to soldiers. The role of stories was important because it gave them an outlet and that outlet was needed both inside and outside the war in order to keep their metal state in check.
...nd innocent villagers of My Lai, it was a time when American’s questioned their own as being “bad guys” or “good guys”. Were America’s tortuous and cruel acts to be considered patriotic or dishonorable? Some Americans, with bitter feelings for all the American lives lost in the Vietnam War, gave credit to Lieutenant Calley for leading troops in participating in such an atrocious event. History shows that there is still much debate on some facts of the massacre and many stories and opinions, although we will never know the facts exactly, what we do know is that America will never forget this tragic event, it will be talked about in American History for many years to come, and the Vietminh hearts will always fill with sadness when they think of the many lives that were lost on that tragic day in history, their minds will always have unspeakable memories of that day.