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Vietnam Essay, Research Paper

At the terminal of World War II in 1945, The United States authorities was, apparently, purpose on eliminating Communism from the universe. The authorities was, in a Machiavellian but sometimes awkward manner, utilizing any agencies necessary to accomplish this end. In the procedure, the United States about engaged in atomic war with the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, sacrificed over 58,000 American lives and some 300,000 causalities ( non to advert the untold 1000000s of Asiatic lives ) , and created & # 8220 ; feelings of disenchantment among many Americans who believed that they had been betrayed by their leaders & # 8221 ; ( Opposing Point of views, pg. 17 ) . Despite these costs, the United States authorities invariably reaffirmed its anti-communist stance. Throughout the about two decennaries of United States engagement in Vietnam, the United States authorities entered into, and remained in, the Vietnam War, due to the fright of Communist universe domination, and the resoluteness to hold the spread of Communism before it was excessively late, something non done to Nazism prior to World War II.

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Following WWII, France found itself in another war, this clip in an effort to recover Imperialist control over its former settlement of Vietnam. The Western World, wary of the possibility of Communist control of Asia and the Domino consequence, committed to assist the Gallic in their attempt against Ho Chi Minh and his government. Truman and Eisenhower both agreed to pass extortionate sums of money on France & # 8217 ; s war, but refused to direct military personnels. In 1954, the Gallic were defeated at Dien Bien Phu and agreed to retreat from Indochina. After the Gallic licking in Vietnam, an understanding was struck in Geneva. Vietnam was to be divided into two subdivisions, the North traveling to Ho Chi Minh and his Communist government, while the South was placed under control of Ngo Dinh Diem. Furthermore, the Geneva conference established that by July 1956, an election was to take topographic point, uniting the North and South under one authorities. However, Diem denounced the understanding, and was supported by the United States & # 8217 ; refusal to subscribe the understanding. As so Senator John Kennedy provinces in his address before the & # 8220 ; American Friends of Vietnam, & # 8221 ; on America & # 8217 ; s bets in Vietnam the refusal to keep the election is due to the fact that the odds were to a great extent in favour of Minh and the Communist party. And although his logic is that we can & # 8217 ; Ts have democracy by keeping an election if the election will ensue in anti-Democracy and rigged elections for old ages to come, his statement is one of the most laughably un-democratic statements of all time made by anyone in the United States authorities.

Kennedy, of class, had valid grounds non to desire to lose Vietnam to Communism, he saw it as the & # 8220 ; basis of the Free World in Southeast Asia & # 8221 ; ( Podhoretz, pg. 19 ) . Second, Kennedy saw Vietnam as a testing land for Democracy is Asia, an option to Communist and Totalitarian absolutism. Kennedy knew that if South Vietnam & # 8217 ; s non-Communist authorities had worked, it would hold created an optimistic position of Democracy in many Asians & # 8217 ; heads, as opposed to the pessimistic position held by most Asians toward Democracy at the clip. That is why he could non let Ho Chi Minh to unite Vietnam under Communist control, he needed it as an illustration of Democracy to the remainder of Asia. Still, Kennedy went on and voiced more grounds for the United States engagement in Vietnam. Kennedy besides saw Vietnam as a trial, a trial to demo the remainder of the universe that America could still be looked on for leading, committedness, and aid. Kennedy stated that he saw the United States and its people as the parents of South Vietnam. We created it, we nurtured it, we shaped its being, and for this Kennedy knew that the failure of South Vietnam for any ground would reflect ill on the United States and our repute would everlastingly be tarnished. His concluding ground for our engagement was related to the lessons learned following World War II. Those who had lived through World War II and the rise of Hitler felt that they had learned a great lesson. This lesson is known as the & # 8220 ; Lesson of Munich. & # 8221 ; That lesson was that, & # 8220 ; an expansionist totalitarian power could non be stopped by giving into its demands and that limited opposition at an early phase was the lone manner to avoid full graduated table war subsequently on & # 8221 ; ( Podhoretz, pg.11 ) . In other words, & # 8220 ; a comparatively limited grade of opposition so would hold precluded the demand for monolithic opposition afterward. & # 8221 ; ( Podhoretz, p. 11 ) . They arrived at this decision after looking at their reaction to Hitler in the early and mid 1930 & # 8217 ; s. Hitler invaded the Rhineland, every bit good as other topographic points. He started off little, and the Allied Powers, mentally and physically exhausted from & # 8220 ; The Great War, & # 8221 ; tried urgently to avoid struggle. Hitler kept doing demands, and we kept giving in, calculation, this will be the last thing he asks for. Hitler & # 8217 ; s demands grew and grew, when, following thing we knew, he was occupying Poland, Czechoslovakia doing his manner outward. So we analyzed our errors from that clip, and vowed to ne’er allow that go on once more. This is a job societies have run into throughout history. They analyze and discover what they feel is the lesson of their old war, and so make up one’s mind that the lesson shall forever keep true and effort to use it to their following war, and the 1 after that, and the 1 after that. Unfortunately, war is non math. You can & # 8217 ; t use the same expression to a new equation clip and clip once more. Sooner or subsequently, your fortune will run out. So, the United States learned from World War II, that it is necessary to stomp out expansionist motions early on, and they applied this lesson to Korea in the 1950 & # 8217 ; s, it worked, but necessarily, the lesson didn & # 8217 ; t keep true when the Vietnam struggle arose, and our theory on how to oppress expansionist motions backfired.

So Kennedy and the United States did non, intelligibly want to see a repetition of World War II, and they decided that South Vietnam needed to be protected. So it becomes evident that the United States authorities had valid grounds to protect South Vietnam. They were afraid that one time Vietnam fell so, excessively, would the remainder of Asia, and, finally, the remainder of the universe. This, at the clip, was a really existent and valid fright in the United States. Many people were afraid that Communism would take over the universe and that we would be attacked by both the Chinese and the Russians in a atomic war. Second, we entered the struggle, to turn out to the remainder of Asia that Democracy can and does work. Third, we wanted to maintain our repute as the most powerful force in both international political relations and international warfare. And eventually, we hoped to salvage a batch of soldiers and money in the long tally by giving a comparatively little sum of work forces and money early on, and in the procedure, avoiding World War III, or a atomic holocaust. So, history shows us that while we entered Vietnam with merely and valid grounds in head, the agencies by which we went about transporting out our will was incorrect

. This state of affairs was different so World War II, and in hindsight should hold been handled otherwise.

In an effort to rapidly squelch the Vietcong ( intending Vietnamese Communists ) , President Kennedy sent Particular Forces military personnels to Vietnam in 1961. These military personnels were to develop South Vietnamese forces and assist them contend the Vietcong. However, the South Vietnamese proved to be awkward and seemed incapable of larning to contend, and to protect their state. So, one time once more afraid of losing the conflict to Communism, Kennedy commits 1000s more military personnels. By the terminal of 1963, shortly after President Kennedy & # 8217 ; s blackwash, a sum of 16,500 American military personnels are stationed in Vietnam.

When Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States in November 1963, following the blackwash of President John F. Kennedy, he was thrown into a hard state of affairs sing Vietnam ; chiefly, how many, if any, military personnels should he direct to the little state in southeast Asia. In run speeches the undermentioned twelvemonth, Johnson stated that he would go on to continue the committednesss made by the Kennedy disposal, reaffirming the United States & # 8217 ; demand that North Vietnam troops remain out of South Vietnam, go forthing it as a regular democratic oasis for those in Vietnam who wished to stay in a non-Communist province. Shortly after being sworn in as President in 1965, Johnson made a address to the American populace in response to inquiries as why he had escalated the state of affairs in Vietnam. Why non draw out? Why send more military personnels? By this clip the figure of U.S. military personnels had increased to 75,000, and in this public reference, Johnson announced he would farther increase that figure to 125,000 instantly. In the address, Johnson tried to turn to these inquiries and more, with lone mild satisfaction from the American populace. In saying, & # 8220 ; We did non take to be the defenders at the gate, but there is no 1 else. Nor would give up in Vietnam conveying peace, because we learned from Hitler in Munich, that success merely feeds the appetency of power & # 8221 ; ( Johnson, pg. 100 ) , he demonstrates his belief that Communism is the equivalent of the Nazism of the late 1930 & # 8217 ; s. He believes that if the U.S. loses the war in Vietnam, & # 8220 ; so no state can of all time once more have the same assurance in American promise or in American protection. In each land, the forces of Independence would be well weakened, and an Asia so threatened by Communist domination would surely endanger the security of the United States itself & # 8221 ; ( Johnson, pg.100 ) . This statement seems to be closely related to how Kennedy felt before his death. This was a notice to the populace that things would non alter, in fact, Johnson would implement full graduated table onslaught on the Vietnam Cong. Declaring that our aim was to keep the autonomy in South Vietnam, Johnson stated that & # 8220 ; we will non give up, and we will non withdraw & # 8221 ; ( Johnson, pg. 102 ) , in our effort to salvage the universe from Communism. Of class in hindsight, we, in fact, lost the war, and Johnson was so unpopular that he did non even try to run for re-election in 1968. That sentiment is expressed in great item by groups such as the Vietnam Day Committee, in a booklet entitled & # 8220 ; Attention All Military Personnel, & # 8221 ; published in May 1965. The VDC

makes many valid yet highly colored points. Why were we contending in Vietnam? Harmonizing to the authorities, it was to continue democracy in South Vietnam, but the VDC points out that South Vietnam is run by a absolutism, as it has been for coevalss, and at the clip, was under a dictator who was quoted as calling Adolf Hitler as his graven image. President Johnson stated that we were contending for political freedom in South Vietnam, but, and International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t this ironic, the marionette dictator the U.S. placed in charge of South Vietnam instantly jailed all political resistance, both anti and pro-communist leaders. This clearly doesn & # 8217 ; t sound like & # 8221 ; political freedom. & # 8221 ; It is a paltry effort by the United States authorities to strike a blow to the spread of Communism, the chief ground that the United States entered, and remained engaged, in the war in Vietnam.

The Vietnam War lasted a decennary and a half, and the full struggle lasted over three decennaries long. It was by far the longest war the United States has of all time partaken in. Many theories

have been prosed to seek and reply the inquiries the American populace, and the remainder of the universe have as to the United States & # 8217 ; prolonged engagement in the little Asian state & # 8217 ; s civil war. There is much we now know, that, twenty five old ages ago, we didn & # 8217 ; t. The struggle was a really complicated state of affairs, in which most Americans had no thought why they, or their immature boies and, in some instances, girls, were sent across the universe to decease. There is much information that we will ne’er cognize, due to both the authorities taking to keep back information to this twenty-four hours, and the fact that the three work forces who could state us so much more about their motivations in ab initio acquiring, and so staying, involved, Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, have all since passed off. However, with the grounds and information we do hold, it seems clear that the chief motivations for the United States engagement in the Vietnam War, were to halt the spread of Communism, and to avoid a repetition of the spread of Nazism. In hindsight, it is non clear as to whether or non the aims were met.

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Literary Resources

1. Atwood, Paul, & # 8220 ; Vietnam War, & # 8221 ; Microsoft: Encarta Encyclopedia 99, Microsoft Corporation, 1999.

2. Johnson, Lyndon, & # 8220 ; America Is Contending a Just Cause in Vietnam, & # 8221 ; Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

3. Kennedy, John F. , & # 8220 ; America Should Be Cautious About Direct Military Intervention in Indochina, & # 8221 ; Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

4. McGovern, George, & # 8220 ; America in Vietnam, & # 8221 ; Vietnam: Four American Perspectives, edited by Hearden, Patrick J. , Purdue Research Foundation, Lafayette IN, 1990.

5. McGovern, George, & # 8220 ; Vietnamization Is a Cruel Hoax, & # 8221 ; Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

6. Nixon, Richard, & # 8220 ; Vietnamization Provides America a Way Out of Vietnam, & # 8221 ; Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

7. No writer, Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

8. Podhoretz, Norman, Why We Where In Vietnam, no listed editor, Simon & A ; Schuster, New York, .NY, 1982.

9. Vietnam Day Committee, & # 8220 ; America Is Not Contending a Just Cause in Vietnam, & # 8221 ; Opposing Point of views: The Vietnam War, edited by Dudley, William, Greenhaven Press, San Diego, CA. , 1998.

Internet Resources

1. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.vwam.com/vets/photos.html

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