Essay on The Vietnam War | Free Sample
- January 23, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Essay Writing Free Essay samples
The purpose of this thesis is to show my classmates and teacher that the horror of Vietnam War still has lingering effects in the minds of people. The policies of President Diem and the reforms of US administration have a bitter effect in the annals of American history. From his first days in power, Diem confronted stubborn opposition from his opponents. He urged the United States to support his counter-revolutionary course, revealing that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, or North Vietnam, wanted to take South Vietnam by power. In late 1957, with American aid, Diem began to counterassault. He used the help of the American Central Intelligence Agency to identify those who sought to bring his government down and arrested thousands.
In 1959, Diem passed a series of acts known as “Law 10/59” that made it legal to detain someone in jail if they were suspicious Communist without bringing precise charges. From the moment he took power, Diem encountered immense retaliation from people of all walks of life. Students, intellectuals, Buddhists and others joined the Communists in objection to Diem’s administration. The more these forces attacked Diem’s troops and secret police, the more he tried to control their protests. The president maintained that South Vietnam was a peace-loving democracy and that the Communists were out to overthrow his rule. The US administration looked split on how peaceful or democratic the Diem rule really was. Some believed Diem had not incorporated sufficient social and economic reforms to continue as a potential leader in South Vietnam. Others disputed that Diem was the better in the bad bunch. As the White House met to resolve the prospective of its Vietnam policy, a shift in strategy took place at the top level.
The paper contains discussions of the US occupation of Vietnam in the 1940s, and the role of US air power in the Vietnam War. The American interference in Vietnam began in 1963 with the evident objective of stopping the South falling into communist hands. In August of that year, Lyndon Johnson, who had taken over the American presidency in the wake of the assassination of John F. Kennedy ordered the first air strikes on the North. The United States displayed much more determination to win in Vietnam than the Soviet Union did in Afghanistan. Consider the fact that no other nation in history has exhausted as much blood or as much treasure in a war so distant, and in which the real gains to be accomplished through victory was so small. Consider the fact that while no nation other than the United States has ever fought so severely under such circumstances just this once, but the United States has done it twice, first in Korea and then in Vietnam. Why did the United States showed so much determination to win in Vietnam than the Soviet Union did in Afghanistan? A complete answer requires lengthy analysis of differences between American and Russian approach toward war. Presenting a history of the role America played into the Vietnam, this document probes how the consequences had affected the changed American culture and society.
The Vietnam War took place at the same time with the civil rights movement; women’s liberation and youth culture movements. For decades, investigators of American foreign policy have disputed the victories that communist guerrillas had in handling operating in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 70s. Generalizations to the effect that the United States did not dedicate its full resources to the battle are not overstated; in fact they are far truer than most Americans conceive. One of the things on which Democratic and Republican administrations agreed was that the American people would tolerate the war in Vietnam only so long as not too many of them had to go and fight it. Government policy was to make the draft somewhat easy to contrive.
The Vietnam War was the longest and most lonely war, which Americans ever fought. And there is no computation of the cost. The toll in suffering, sorrow, in ill-natured national chaos can never be tabulated. Fifty-eight thousand American soldiers lost their lives. The losses to the Vietnamese people were horrifying. The United States publicly abandoned the idea of winning an old-fashioned victory, accomplishing the smash or surrender of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The US only wanted to make sure that Hanoi improve its ways and stop intervening in South Vietnam. The United States placed stingy limits on the extent to which its troops could abuse Vietnamese civilians. It would be fair to explain such a difference by the fact that the United States is a democracy with a free press, and that the government, needing to entice the public that the war was justifiable and knowing that widespread inhumanity could not be covered from the public, felt much more need to prevent such atrocities than the government of the Soviet Union did. Massacres and other abuses of civilians, nonetheless, are not highly worthwhile tactics in a guerrilla war, and eagerness to do such things is not a very good indicator of determination to win in a war. South Vietnam is an excellent example of the American habit of committing to the defense of places having little economic or strategic importance.
The Vietnamese government had a goal of the total obliteration of the anti-Communist government in South Vietnam; the US correspondingly had as a goal the absolute smudge of the Communist organization in South Vietnam that Americans called the Viet Cong. The goals were absolutely symmetrical; indeed the propaganda statements with which Hanoi concealed its goal of totally eliminating the Saigon government behind words about coalition government were in equilibrium with the statements with which the US concealed its goal of totally eliminating the Viet Cong behind words about peaceful political resolution. The difference was that Hanoi concerned far more about fulfillment of its goal than Washington did. This was only impulsive. South Vietnam after all sounded like a far more important place if you are a Vietnamese than if you are an American, but the upshot was that Hanoi was eager to spend enough resources and especially enough lives in the fight to achieve its limited goal, while Washington was not.
To a whole new generation of young Americans today, it sound likes a story from the olden days. Through concerned years of controversy and severity, US casualties ascended, victory remained ambiguous, and American opinion moved from general consent to general frustration with the Vietnam War. The rise and fall of an American Army, found its distressing counterpoint in Vietnam; no matter how bravely or how well the soldiers on the point did their job; the plans and strategies were flawed; all the courage and bloodshed were for nothing. Vietnam is still inside the American people. It has actualized reservation about American wisdom, about American sincerity, and about American power not only at home, but also all over the world. It has contaminated our national point of view. The Unites States of America paid an excessive price for the decisions that were made in virtuous confidence and for good expectation. The presence of war effects is evident in the large population of American children and Vietnamese refugees now at home in the United States and in our huge budget deficit. The impact the war still makes on our foreign policy decision, in our bearing toward political candidates and institutions, and in our popular culture. Vietnam still bears the burden of the effects of the war, particularly in its wrecked infrastructure, its distorted victims of war, and its hundreds of thousands of missing and wounded.