Ethical Issues In The Vietnam War

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“I thought the Vietnam war was an utter, unmitigated disaster, so it was very hard for me to say anything good about it” - George McGovern. There are numerous controversial topics dispersed among the subject of American history due to the amount of unethical decisions that have been made in order to improve the lives of the people or keep America out of the clutches of war. Throughout American history, historians have debated the ethical impact that the Vietnam war had on the United States. Although some people may believe that the Vietnam War achieved the goal of avoiding communism and protecting the people, the overarching idea is that it was an unjust war because of the countless lives that were lost from the participating countries, the…show more content…
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. Both the My Lai Massacre and the Tet Offensive present scenarios where unnecessary death tolls could have been prevented in this pointless war. Due to the fighting, there have been irreversible consequences, such as unsuitable farmland for the Vietnamese, diseases that plague the citizens of Vietnam due to chemicals encountered during the way, and the losses of millions of humans. Millions of people would not have had to suffer from the Vietnam War because the consequences were completely avoidable. The whole war was very ironic because the United States entered the war with the “peace with honor” policy, but quickly scrapped the policy because of their aggressive mentality to the
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