“Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don 't criticize What you can 't understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is rapidly agin ' Please get out of the new one If you can 't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin” As the Vietnam War progressed, the American public was divided. Young people questioned the validity of American intervention, and those older, particularly veterans of previous foreign wars and their spouses, held to their belief that if the government said this was a just war, it was, and the U.S. needed to be in the fight. A confluence of events changed the latter perception, among them, the Chicago 7, the My Lai massacre, and the Kent State Shootings. …show more content…
It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” This ideology, in conjunction with Eisenhower’s Domino Theory gave the nation’s leaders the impetus to become involved in the Vietnam War. World War II was definitively a just war, and initially, Americans perceived the Vietnam War as a just war too, supporting those Vietnamese who were resisting a communist regime. Television coverage of the war was more open than in any previous military engagement, and the specifics and violence of the Vietnam War became dinner conversation in many homes. As the draft continued, young people in general and college students in particular began learning about the history of Vietnam, and they began to question U.S. involvement in this conflict. Many, if not most, came to reject the idea that this war was just. Editorials and newscasts of specific pivotal events gave credence to this rejection by young people and caused some older Americans to change their perception of our role in this conflict as …show more content…
In 1969, one of the most compelling events of the Vietnam Was was revealed: the My Lai Massacre. In March 1968, Charlie Company of the American Division’s 11th Infantry Brigade received word that Viet Cong guerrillas had taken control of Son My. Led by Lieutenant William L. Calley, the unit was sent to the My Lai on a search-and-destroy mission. Soldiers were told by their superiors that everyone they encountered could be considered to be Viet Cong members or active supporters and they were under orders to destroy the village. Upon arrival no VC members were found, only women, children and elders. Although not a single shot was fired against the men of Charlie Company, virtually everyone in the village was brutally murdered; some of the women were also viciously raped and tortured. Dozens of villagers were dragged into a ditch and executed with machine guns. The massacre was covered up by officers higher in command of Charlie Company and the 11th Brigade until Ron Ridenhour, a soldier who had heard reports of the massacre, sent letters to government officials and gave an interview to an investigative journalist. The U.S. Army ordered a special investigation, and the inquiry released their report in March 1970. Fourteen were charged; all were acquitted except Calley, who was given a life sentence for his role in directing the killings at My Lai. Seen by many as a scapegoat, Calley’s sentence was reduced on appeal to 20 years, then to 10, and he was paroled in
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In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the author retells the chilling, and oftentimes gruesome, experiences of the Vietnam war. He utilizes many anecdotes and other rhetorical devices in his stories to paint the image of what war is really like to people who have never experienced it. In the short stories “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” and “ ,” O’Brien gives reader the perfect understanding of the Vietnam by placing them directly into the war itself. In “Spin,” O’Brien expresses the general theme of war being boring and unpredictable, as well as the soldiers being young and unpredictable.
Furthermore, United States’ support in Vietnam was initially supposed to be limited to training support (source A). As even United States president, Lyndon Johnson, was aware of the potential escalation of the war in Vietnam if American military forces were to involve themselves in the Vietnamese conflict. President Johnsons statement that “… we could get tied down in a third world war” (source A) substantiates the idea that America feared the worldwide consequence of American support in Vietnam (Source A). Contrary to this however,
Post World War II America was one of the most militarily active periods in American history, having been involved in three wars, spanning roughly from 1947 to 1992, in order to stop the spread of communism. Overall, the United States permanently broke its previous isolationist policy in an attempt to promote democracy throughout the world; however, the wars proved to have serious negative effects on America. America was impacted by the military involvement in the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. Shortly after the end of World War II, America and Russia, the two super world powers emerging from the war, divided various parts of Eurasia—namely Germany and Korea—between themselves. Following America’s decision to maintain world
In A Viet Cong Memoir, we receive excellent first hands accounts of events that unfolded in Vietnam during the Vietnam War from the author of this autobiography: Truong Nhu Tang. Truong was Vietnamese at heart, growing up in Saigon, but he studied in Paris for a time where he met and learned from the future leader Ho Chi Minh. Truong was able to learn from Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary ideas and gain a great political perspective of the conflicts arising in Vietnam during the war. His autobiography shows the readers the perspective of the average Vietnamese citizen (especially those involved with the NLF) and the attitudes towards war with the United States. In the book, Truong exclaims that although many people may say the Americans never lost on the battlefield in Vietnam — it is irrelevant.
Fussell cited a newspaper story about a London man who killed himself out of concern that he might not be accepted for service in the Great War, and noted, “How can we forbear condescending to the eager lines at the recruiting stations or smiling at news like this.” But in the summer of 1968 Tim O’Brien, a twenty-one-year-old in a small Minnesota town, a liberal supporter of Eugene McCarthy and an opponent of the war in Vietnam, submitted himself for induction into the United States Army. O’Brien couldn’t bring himself “to upset a peculiar balance between the order I knew, the people I knew, and my own private world,” he wrote, in “If I Die in a Combat Zone,” his 1973 Vietnam memoir. “It was not just that I valued that order. I also feared its opposite—inevitable chaos, censure, embarrassment, the end of everything that had happened in my life, the end of it all.”
Even if those claims made by Calley about the massacre were incorrect, since international law and the military code of conduct expressly forbade the killing of civilians, it was still the responsibility of the chain of command to ensure that Calley knew those policies. (Bodenner) It said that by covering up the deaths of all but 20 civilians, but the officers hid a much greater war crime. The commissioner did not learn what Seymour Hersh discovered later; U.S. officers in South Vietnam destroyed papers describing the massacre.
During the Vietnam War, another war broke out known as the Laotian Civil War. An organization and communist political movement called “Pathet Lao” from North Vietnam was trying to overthrow the Royal Lao Government. While this was happening the CIA recruited the Hmong led by general Vang Pao, (who were an ancient hill-tribe from the mountains of Laos) as a secret alliance, to help aid the Royal Lao Government. (Batson, 1991, “Birth of Pathet Lao” Para. 16) The United States and Hmongs involvement in this are now what is known as the Secret War, for it was kept a secret by the United States government.
We mourn the losses of close relatives that died the day of the Vietnam War. After the war, “Re-education Camps” opened up for the South Vietnam were captured Vietnameses had been forced to do extremely harsh work like what my grandpa had did before. When the war happened, economy went down, bits of rations of food barely to be found, and no education affected the ways my family thinks about education, especially me. The Vietnam War changed a lot for me and my family, we know now how special education is, hard work, sympathy towards lost lives, and how our lifestyle today is privileged; although it may have been war, it’s now
Social Issue-Vietnam War Cost of Vietnam The Vietnam War that took place between the dates of 1959-1975 changed Americans culture. 58, 000 Americans died America spent 111 billion dollars on the war, according to the Department of Defense. Mr. Frenchy watched his brother, cousins, and acquaintances join the war efforts against communism. Likewise, he participated by joining the army. Not only did this give Mr. Frenchy a reason for leaving New York, but this also posed as an opportunity to stop selling and using drugs.
The Vietnam war took a major death toll in Vietnam, United States, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia. Just in the U.S., “more than 58,000 American soldiers were killed while more than 150,000 others wounded”. On both sides, there were almost 2 million civilians dead and 1.1 simply on the Vietnamese side. The My Lai Massacre, where soldiers brutally killed Vietnamese children and mothers, presents an example where the war mentally changed the soldiers in the war in a very horrendous way. On the other hand, the United States took brutal losses in the Tet Offensive, where the Vietcong slaughtered over 100 towns and twelve United States air bases.
I find Ho Chi Minh’s letter far more persuasive than Lyndon B. Johnson’s. Using ethos, pathos, and logos, he forms a solid argument that supports Vietnam’s stance on the war. He appeals to one’s emotions by expressing the injustices faced by his people, writing, “In South Viet-Nam a half-million American soldiers and soldiers from the satellite countries have resorted to the most barbarous methods of warfare, such as napalm, chemicals, and poison gases in order to massacre our fellow countrymen, destroy the crops, and wipe out villages.” Words such as “massacre” and “barbarous” highlight the severity of these crimes, and invoke feelings of guilt and remorse in the reader. Chi Minh uses ethos to support his logos, or logical, views on the
Section 1: Identification and Evaluation of Sources The purpose of this investigation is to explore the question: How did the Tet Offensive change American public opinion on the Vietnam War? The focus of the investigation will be on the years 1965-1970 in order to allow for analysis of American public opinion from the beginning of American involvement to the years following the Tet Offensive. Sources analyzing the Tet Offensive as a whole and American public opinion on the Vietnam War will be used to accurately determine the effects of the Tet Offensive on American public opinion. The first source that will be evaluated is the book “The Tet Offensive,” which was written by Marc Gilbert and William Head in 1996.
Also, newspapers revealed stories and government secrets that proved that the American people were being lied to ( New York Times vs. the United States). The Vietnam war is believed by some to be a war deeply rooted in economics. Many aspects of the United States were affected directly. The Great Society programs were suffering because the money that was put towards the war, could have been used to help poverty programs.