The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War To many, the 1960's could definately be considered one of the most controversial decades of this century. It was a time in which many mistakes were made evolving around the Vietnam War which resulted in the immense suffering of two nations. The war had many casualties; along with the death of soldiers and civilians, LBJ's presidency and the 'Great Society' also were killed by the war. The US's fear of the domino theory led them in an attempt to control the spread of communism in North Vietnam, whose government was led by Ho Chi Minh. This attempt had failed in many ways because of an inexperienced president and his unarticulated ideals of how to control a war and satisfy his country at the same time. After the unfortunate assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, his successor, vice-president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, or LBJ, was forced to take the plunge into presidency at a crucial time. The Vietnam War had already been ignited and US involvement was apparent. Because Johnson was an insecure man, and with that insecurity came a fear of being ridiculed, he wanted to show the American people that he could be the best president in US history. Although his intentions to create a 'Great Society' and to win the war in Vietnam were probably for the best, he still managed to make more mistakes that anything else. In August of 1964, LBJ, wantin to look serious about the halt of communism, bombed the North Vietnamese for carrying out attacks on US warships, however, this was mainly to look tough in front of his rival Goldwater. This incident became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. "We knew that the hostile actions against the US ship on the high seas of the Gulf of Tonkin, have today required me to or... ... middle of paper ... ...iped out the Viet Cong army. "Tet was the roof falling in." (Clark Clifford -sec. of def.) Not only were thousands of Vietnamese and American lives lost but LBJ's dreams and presidency seemed to die as well. The cost of the war was simply too high to keep the 'Great Society' going and everyone else around LBJ was fed up with the war. They wanted America out. Eventually when Johnson finally got it through his head that he was the most hated man in America and his credibility was long gone he announced that no more troops would be sent to Vietnam and that America was willing to make peace. He also stated that he would not seek re-election in the future as he wanted to consolidate all his elbow grease in bringing the war to an end. "Lyndon Johnson believed in the domino theory but his presidency turned out to be the last domino." (Theodore White -American journalism).

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