The political and societal ramifications of Vietnam's Tet Offensive indubitably illustrate the historical oddity of 1968. 1967 had not been a bad year for most Americans. Four years after the profound panic evoked by the assassination of John Kennedy, the general public seemed to be gaining a restored optimism, and even the regularly protested Vietnam War still possessed the semblance of success (Farber and Bailey 34-54). However, three short weeks following the eve of 68, Americans abruptly obtained a radically different outlook. The Tet Offensive, beginning on January 30, 1968, consisted of a series of military incursions during the Vietnam War, coordinated between the National Liberation Front's People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF), or "Viet Cong," and the ...
In doing this, the Antiwar Movement successfully changed the entire public’s perception towards the government and war. Before the Vietnam War and The Draft, many Americans were uneducated and uninterested in the role of government and foreign policy. The Antiwar Movement forced Americans to acknowledge the major mistakes that the United States government was committing through The Draft and the Vietnam War. Through constant protest and public display of American mistakes, such as the Tet Offensive, the Antiwar Movement successfully changed the public opinion on government and influenced future decision making. After the Tet Offensive was publicly displayed, “American public opinion shifted dramatically with fully half the population opposed to escalation” (Barringer 10). While many Americans were dissatisfied with government actions and the Vietnam War, they had no voice to rally behind and remained silent. The Antiwar Movement gave the public the voice it needed and allowed American opinions to be
1968, the year of the Tet Offensive, was the peak of US involvement in the war. The Tet Offensive was a series of battles between the Communist and Anti-Communist forces in South Vietnam. Although it was a victory for the United States, public support decreased due to the number of casualties and struggle to win the offensive. President Johnson, in his comments on the Tet Offensive, bashed the public opinion (doc 4). He pointed out that in terms of numbers, the US and South Vietnamese had a huge victory. His point of view was simply from a statistical standpoint. But the public saw that many Vietnamese civilians were harmed and affected by the war. The Tet Offensive was the beginning of the decline of public support for the war, as well as decline in US involvement in the war due to the public opinion. In addition, President Johnson was losing support because of his stubborn foreign policy outlook. Robert Kennedy, the Senator of New York, was contemplating a presidential run to oppose the President 's Vietnam policy. In addition, Johnson was losing democratic primaries to Senator Eugene McCarthy, who also opposed Johnson’s Vietnam policy. The public support for McCarthy showed that the American people were now against participation in the Vietnam War. Soon after the Tet Offensive, President Johnson announced a slow decrease in bombings of North Vietnam, started to
The Vietnam War was an extremely controversial war that took the lives of many Americans and resulted in America’s first losing campaign. The U.S. was involved in Vietnam since World War II supporting Ho Chi Minh and his Communist forces against Japanese occupation. After the result of an incident involving two US vessels, President Lynden Johnson ordered jets to bom...
Thus far the Vietnam War has shown to be a highly complex situation. Many of times, I have found myself agreeing with Lyndon B. John’s decisions to escalate the war. First and foremost, the United States had made a promise of freedom and tranquility to the people (whom were not part of Viet-Cong) of Vietnam. As an American, it is my opinion that the United States had to uphold its word, essentially its credibility. Secondly, withdrawing troops from Vietnam when the situation was really out of control would make the United States appear weak. In midst of the Cold War, the one thing that was not going to prove true was that the United States was weak. Although these reasons were and are valid, the anti-war movement in conjunction with the Tet offensive required President Johnson to make a decision that changed the perception of the war; he chose to call a halt on the bombardment in Vietnam. The purpose of this essay is to further analyze how the continuing anti-war movement and the Tet Offensive were the reasons that “America’s fate was effectively sealed by mid-1968.”
and the VC during the Tet cease-fire (6). The cease-fire was a peaceful and hospitable
The Vietnam War was a costly and deadly battle that left an emotional and everlasting scar on North/South Korea, France, America, and many other countries as well. This war led to the death of millions while leaving hundreds of thousands of American soldiers wounded. Many historians argue that the Vietnam was a war that America should have not gotten involved in. This was a rising debate as politicians agreed on the sending of America’s military into Vietnam to join forces with France and South Vietnam army to fight in the war. This decision about America’s involvement in the war was not one that the citizens of American were in favor of. This led to a huge controversy between politics, media, and the America people. As a result, citizens broke out into anti-war movements which promoted making peace and not war for our country. One the biggest anti-war movement around this time is known as the Peace Movement, which influenced politicians and final decisions that had a long term effect the America.
When President Johnson delivered his State of the Union Address to Congress on January 17, 1968 he spoke of the war in Vietnam with optimism. He listed the many military accomplishments to date, mentioned the word “progress” five times, discussed a “fruitful” visit with the pope, and spoke with a tone and tenor that suggested an imminent, peaceful resolution (“Johnson’s Annual Message”). Not three months later – in a similarly important speech to the American people – Johnson stoically announced that he would not be seeking reelection (“Johnson’s Address to the Nation”). What had seemed like an impending certainty dissolved into a distant dream. Public support for the war, and of Johnson, had deteriorated so swiftly in the winter of 1968 that he had no choice but to disband his efforts to seek a second term. What happened in the months between Johnson’s confident State of the Union and his more sullen speech in March of 1968 is no mystery. The Battle of Khe Sanh, combined with the more lastingly impactful Tet Offensive in late January, were devastating blows to American efforts in Vietnam. In hindsight, these events may have been militarily ineffective, yet the cultural ricochets they created throughout America can be seen as nothing short of a major victory for the North Vietnamese. These events were instrumental in turning the tides of the war.
In 1968, as part of the Tet Offensive, a squad of Viet Cong guerillas attacks the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The soldiers seized the embassy and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed. The offensive was a crushing military defeat; the Communists scored a huge psychological victory that would ultimately help them win the war. Johnson, frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, announced on March 31, 1968, that he would neither seek nor accept the nomination of his party for re-election. In May 1968, the U.S. and North Vietnamese began peace talks in Paris and reached a formal agreement in January 1973. Fighting between the North and South continued in Vietnam before the war finally ended on April 30, 1975, when Saigon fell to the Communists and the last Americans left Vietnam.
Villagers carried coffins filled with guns and ammunition through towns, accompanying them were the sounds of fireworks and flutes. Those sounds soon turned to the sound of assault rifle fire and explosions. Flares and green tracers dart through the night sky like hundreds of fireflies; gun flashes replaced Tet fireworks, and could be seen as far as the eye could see. This major event in the Vietnam War is called the Tet Offensive. After a surprise attack in the beginning, the United States and South Vietnamese army came back to overpower the Vietcong and NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and decisively win all the battles. Even though the United States and South Vietnamese won the Tet Offensive, it was a major turning point towards ending the Vietnam War. Escalation of the war would end and withdraw would begin. The Vietcong and NVA lost the battle on the battlefield but they had won a major political battle. The American public became disillusioned with what was called a military intervention. Intelligence failure, Johnson's over confidence in the war, and its profound impact on American attitudes about involvement in Vietnam are three major reasons why the Tet Offensive was the turning point in ending the war.
The Vietnam War was one of the most outrageous and long-drawn out wars in history. The other name for the Vietnam War was called Cold-Era proxy War. The war had been battled in order to stop the spread of invasion from communism in the southern parts of Vietnam. The American played the role of a supporter to the southern part of Vietnam, trying to prevent communist from approaching the southern part of Vietnam. The Americans was influenced by the French government to help with the war. France did not support communism due to their loss to the communist previously in the Indochina War, resulting in the French loosing its colony. Later, both of the countries ended up strongly, supporting the southern part of Vietnam. The length of the war, the high number of United States casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement portrayed a strong hatred by the U.S population on the Vietnam War.(www.ebscohost.com) Southern Vietnam was supported by the United States, while North Vietnam was led by Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was the leader of North Vietnam, who fought to liberate his country from Japan and France. He was the person who successfully unified North and South Vietnam. The United States first involvement in the Vietnam War began when the U.S supported France financially in the first Indochina War in 1946, which was under the power of President Eisenhower. Later, the two US Navy vessels gave the next President; President Johnson more power to fought against the Vietnam War. In 1968, a huge, crucial attack known as the “Tet Offensive” threatened the Un...
The Tet offensive resulted in many U.S. and South Vietnamese casualties (death toll rose more than five hundred per week), which weakened U.S. public for the war in Vietnam. Politically, the impact of the Vietnam War ended President Johnson’s hopes of reelection. Senator Eugene McCarthy announced his statement that he would want the Democratic nomination, as he was against Johnson’s Vietnam policies; he won forty-two percent of the primary election, although McCarthy did not win, Johnson felt vulnerable. Kennedy entered the race for the Democratic nomination, convinced he would not win re-election from the Democratic party Johnson dropped his
The Tet Offensive was a major turning point in the Vietnam War for both North Vietnam and the United States. The offensive caught the United States and South Vietnam by surprise and really called into question the claims of the Johnson administration that the United States was winning the war: “The North Vietnamese appeared so bloodied by the campaigns of 1967 that the Americans did not conceive they could bounce back and deliver a blow of the magnitude of Tet” (Herring, 237). Tet also had an impact on the opinion of the American public regarding the war. The confidence many Americans had in their government was already on shaky ground prior to the offensive, but I believe Tet was a reality check for anybody who believed that the Vietnam War
The Tet offensive was considered a success. It was the turning point for North Vietnam. They attacked over 100 cities causing chaos all over South Vietnam. It led to many casualties of both armies. It also caused the U.S to increase taxes and withdrawal from the
During the beginning of this battle the North Vietnam and Vietcong had the advantage because many allied forces were caught off guard by this sneak attack. General Vo Nguyen Giap planned this attack. Despite heavy losses from the North Vietnamese army, they achieved a victory. They even attacked and overrun the United States embassy in Saigon. Giap had hopped to drive a wedge between the South Vietnam forces and the North Vietnam forces (Tet Offensive). Trying to drive a wedge between South Vietnam and the United States (Tet Offensive) was a brilliant move that follows one of Sun Tzu’s principles. “If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position is strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position is weak” (Sun Tzu). Giap realized that the United States were very strong when combined with the South Vietnam forces. In order to try to stop this alliance, Giap tried to split them up, which he was successful to some extent. This surprise attack follows one of Sun Tzu’s principles perfectly. “In conflict, straightforward actions generally lead to engagement, Surprising actions generally lead to victory” (Sun Tzu). The North Vietnam forces followed this principle perfectly. They waited until a ceasefire when the United States and South Vietnamese forces had the guard down. During the Tet ceasefire, the United States along with the South