Why Is The Tet Offensive So Important In The Vietnam War

analytical Essay
796 words
796 words

The Vietnam War was one of the most prolonged wars in US history. Although there were no exact dates, it is believed that US involvement lasted for around 20 years. The US went into this war hoping they could stop the spread of communism and defeat the northern Vietnamese. The battles were like nothing they had seen before and it was very difficult for the soldiers to differentiate between the enemies and civilians. To make it even more difficult for the soldiers, their “information was based on faulty intelligence”. Võ Nguyên Giáp, a northern Vietnamese general, believed that the US and the southern Vietnamese had an unstable relationship. He hoped that through the Tet Offensive the US would believe they were no longer worth defending. Fighting …show more content…

Prior to the Tet offensive, President Johnson used a technique called the “success offensive”. This was designed to trick people into believing that the war was being won. Johnson, in a way, needed to “sell the war” and convince people to support it. The war administration was told to withhold information that might turn people against it. For example, “until 1967, the American military did not release a total count of killed and missing U.S. troops”. Johnson intentionally lied to the public saying things like, “the enemy had been defeated battle after battle” and, “our patience and our perseverance will match our power. Aggression will never prevail”. The truth was only able to be hidden until a news reporter named Walter Cronkite witnessed first hand a few of the battles and was completely shocked at the violence and desperation of the Viet Cong. He exclaimed, “What the hell is going on?—I thought we were winning the war.” When he got back from Vietnam, February 27, he made a news broadcast telling the world of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Americans were shocked by the disturbing images from the press that told a completely different story from the government, people became disillusioned with the government. This new reality overextend the already growing credibility gap to a breaking point. Even the press no longer believed the information that the army and the government were telling them after they received this news. The Tet Offensive horrified all of the american people convincing them that there would never be an end to this

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the vietnam war was one of the most prolonged wars in us history. the tet offensive changed the us's attitude towards the war by leading to further anti-war protests.
  • Analyzes how the tet offensive led to more protests demanding the withdrawal of us troops from vietnam. even johnson's opposing party saw it as his lack of leadership with the army.
  • Analyzes how president johnson used a technique called the "success offensive" to trick people into believing that the war was being won.
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