The Man I Killed, by Tim O'Brien

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"We have to start treating Vietnam as a country and not a war. It'll take the old age and death of all veterans before it stops being our 51st state (Alvarez, 2013)." In the story "The Man I Killed", Tim O'Brien, who served in the U.S military in Vietnam, describes the guilt many American soldiers felt about the atrocities they committed in Vietnam. "Vietnam is not an appendage of America. That sort of thinking got us into the mess in the first place. Were bound together by some painful history, but it’s not our liver or our appendix- it's a country (Alvarez, 2013)." The Vietnam War was one of the longest and most expensive wars in American history. It started from 1955 till April 30, 1975. This war lasted for almost 20 years. According to the article "How the U.S Got Involved In Vietnam" by Jeff Drake the U.S attacked Vietman and this wasn't supposed to happen. This war could have been avoidable. The 58,000 Americans didn’t have to die, nor did the 2,000,000 Vietnamese. The U.S government was responsible for their deaths. What the government told the public from the very beginning was that they were going to war because they had to stop the communist menace in Vietnam or other countries would follow suit; that they had to defend the democratic South Vietnamese government against the gathering Red hordes. While other people say it was an attempt by the U.S to suppress a heroic Vietnamese national liberation movement that had driven French colonialism out of its country (Drake, 1993). According to Jeff Drake "imperialistic arrogance, personal gain and prestige, greed, anti-Communist hysteria, and the desire to control, drove the decision making process that led to U.S to war." Jeff Drake was an American soldier who fought in the... ... middle of paper ... ...ericanexperience/features/interview/mylai-obrien/>. Davis, Paul, Gary Harrison, David Johnson, Patricia Smith, and John Crawford. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature: The Twentieth Century, 1900-The Present. 6. United States of America: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2003. Print. Drake, Jeff. ""How the U.S. Got Involved In Vietnam". (1993). Web. 17 Dec 2013. . Homel, David. "Tim O'Brien Tells Vietnam War Stories Like no Other Author." The Gazette May 05 1990: 0. ProQuest. 17 Dec. 2013. "Rising Star Tim O'Brien." . Texas State University, n.d. Web. 17 Dec 2013. . "Tim O’Brien." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. .

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