Vietnam Retaliation In The U.S

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“Vietnam was the first war ever fought without any censorship. Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.” - Gen William C Westmoreland, US Army

It is said that a war cannot be fought without the support of the people. Much so was this related to the Vietnam conflict. I say the “Vietnam Conflict” in that the United States never actually declared war on North Vietnam after its communist split-up in 1960. The conflict was based on the principles of containment stated in the Truman and Eisenhower Doctrines. These documents stated that military aid would be given to any nation willing to fight communism.
This idea of “keeping communism in it’s place” without it spreading to new nations was called containment, a name given by President Harry Truman.
In May of 1955, Vietnam, which was a French colony, was broken up by rebels led by Ho
Chi Minh. Under the accords of the Geneva Convention, the French colony was broken into
Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Communist China and
Soviet Union while South Vietnam fought off communism with aid from the United States.
These series of events added to the tensions felt in the Cold War, which lasted between the
United States and the Soviet Union until 1989.
The year 1964 brought the United States into the conflict even more with President
Johnson’s Operation “Rolling Thunder”, which bombed railroads, troop camps and other North
Vietnamese targets. This also brought two battalions of 3,500 marines and opened the door to lead 540,000 men in Vietnam by 1967. This drastic call for troops to be deployed to Vietnam called on the Selective Service Act, which drafted men into the military who fit certain requirements. This combined with anti-war sentiments felt at home led to the opposition to the war I am to speak about.

The Conflict in Vietnam did not go unnoticed at home as well. Some Americans were eager to fight Communism in Vietnam. But, unlike most wars of American time, the action in
Vietnam had a very split approval amongst Americans. Many believed that the conflict was the responsibility of South Vietnam, and not that of the United States. By the conflict’s escalation, however, the approval of the practice of containment in Vietnam dropped drastically as more
Americans lost their lives to Viet-Cong guerillas. But some were optimistic, said here: “Writer
James Reston commented that the anti-war demonstrations were not helping to bring peace to
Vietnam. He said they were postponing it. He believed the demonstrations would make Ho Chi

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that confusion in the public mind can be terribly confusing. gen william c westmoreland, us army.
  • Explains that these series of events added to the tensions felt in the cold war, which lasted between 1945 and 1945.
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