The Significance of The Vietnam War Within one generation, The United States have experienced The Second World War, The Korean War and fifteen years of The Cold War crisis. The Vietnam War was the last drop into the cup of American patience. The costs of The Vietnam War were intolerable, because they contravened traditional American values and hopes. In the year 1965, American government announced, with public support, that America is going to win the guerilla war and defeat the “global communist conspiracy”. It also promised to build free institutions in South-East Asia.
This assignment will focus on these core factors which are seen as the reason for the United States losing in Vietnam. Politically the United States failed when it came to Vietnam. Although the presidential election of Lyndon B. Johnson gave his government public support for the firm stance they would take. The Government eventually lost support from the populace, due to the atrocities within Vietnam, which were shown to the world through the media showing the aftermath of operation rolling thunder. At the height of the war America were losing 300 troops a week which also caused outrage within America since almost everyone had lost a relative or a friend.
Opposing the Vietnam War The War in Vietnam is one of the most controversial arguments in history. The main reason That it is so controversial, is because we lost. Both democrats and republicans argue that the way the war was handled should have been differently. Some ask why bother, the war is over and done with; that there is nothing anyone can do to change it. The amazing thing about history though is that we can learn from our mistakes, and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.
To give a global context to the US occupation of Vietnam: there was cut-throat tension between the democratic nations and communist regimes. The American public and the majority of industrialised nations were persuaded by arguments of the “Domino Theory” and Communism taking over the world, the support for initial involvement was present. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident America began escalation in the Kennedy and Johnson years. However with an absence of results in the late 60’s support for the war disappeared as fast as it had arrived. America, from the onset of the war did not have any precise strategies to achieve their goals.
The Vietnam War: The Story and Photographs. London: Brassey's, 1997 McNamara, Robert S. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. New York: Times Books, 1995 Nixon, Richard M. No More Vietnams. New York: Arbor House, 1985 Vo Nguyen Giap. People's War, People's Army: The Viet Cong Insurrection Manual for Undeveloped Countries.
When the invasion was initiated, it was proved that the politicians in effect had the press in their pockets: the American press was not asking why there was a need for intervention, but rather how the logistics and economics of the invasion would fit together (Herman & Chomsky 1988). Escalation of conflict The US media did not become interested in the conflict until November 1960, when the US troops stationed in Saigon suffered a spectacular failure during a hunt for a small group of rebels: approximately 400 civilians were killed by American troops. With the conflict suddenly caught in the media spotlight, a small group of war correspondents were sent to Vietnam. The reporters were from the NYT, Herald Tribune, AP , UPI , Reuters and AFP . Stringers and / or reporters from Newsweek, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and the Observer soon followed.
The Bush Administration’s plan for war in Iraq, violates International laws, furthermore being ethically wrong (Walton). Despite of all the warnings of war, President George W. Bush still tries to convince the United States that war is somehow justified, with his persuasive lies. Although they struggle to justify such an action towards Iraq, war is no and never will be justified. Punishment for such a decision will be the result of loss of allies and the appalling violation of the United States’ historical principle, “never make such an action towards a country that has not harmed America nor America’s depended on allies” (Dudley 28). The consequences, by far out-weigh the positive affects of war.
To derive to the point, O' Brian is saying there is no real war story if the audience feels that killing people had made a big and better consequence. To look back upon the Vietnam war it brought Vietnam to it's knees. The Americans assisted someone who asked them not to interfere and in the end there was no winner. The Americans had nothing to gain by fighting this war. The title was a contridictary of how to tell a true war story.
Millions were spent, thousands died, just because of the fear of communism taking over in a Domino effect. Many of the surviving veterans of that war suffer from life long bodily injuries to mental discomfort, and most even committing suicide. Works Cited • Lind, Michael, “Why we went to war” , Jan 1, 2013 , http://www.legion.org/magazine/213233/why-we-went-war-vietnam , April 29, 2014 • “Nixon’s peace with honor Broadcast about Vietnam”, Jan 23, 1973, http://watergate.info/1973/01/23/nixon-peace-with-honor-broadcast.html, April 28,2014 • Barry Romo, Pete Zastro, Joe Miller, History of the US wat in Vietnam, updated and revised, 2002, http://www.vvaw.org/about/warhistory.php, April 29,2014 • Gordon Rottman, “ The US Ary in the Vietnam war 1965-73”, March 19, 2013
The Tet Offensive was the turning point in the Vietnam War due to the surprising high causalities, but most importantly the psychological effects towards the American citizens. Although NVA and Vietcong made a devastating tactical error, which caused them to miserably lose against the US army and SVA, they were able to end the American assistance to the SVA. General S. L. A. Marshall said,” a potential major victory turned into a disastrous defeat through mistaken estimates, loss of nerve, and a tidal wave of defeatism (Zabecki).” The Tet offensive should have been a clear victory for the US. However, without the US, the NVA and Vietcong would eventually defeat SVA. If US had continued the war, southern Vietnam would have triumph over northern Vietnam.