How Did The Vietnam War Affect American Culture

Contents

The end of the Vietnam War and its cultural legacy I Oxford Open Learning

The Vietnam War came to an end on April 30, 1975, with the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement. This was two years after the Americans had withdrawn out of the war; on March 29th 1973. The Vietnam War was fought between the Communist National Liberation Front (or Vietcong) of the North Vietnamese Communist Party and the South Vietnamese Communist Party, which was backed by the United States. By 1963, the Vietcong had taken control of the vast majority of rural districts in South Vietnam. When this happened, however, the USA chose to back a coup, which sent a military administration into South Vietnam to help secure the region.

Johnson to order military reprisal against the North Vietnamese.

Finally, Johnson declared war against North Vietnam.

By 1972, less than 30% of Americans approved with their country’s position in the conflict, according to polls.

  1. Furthermore, because the war required the participation of not just regular soldiers, but also conscripted men, there was widespread hostility to the war among the general public as a whole.
  2. Under pressure to end the conflict, Richard Nixon, who’d become president in 1969, began moving part of the US soldiers out, offering financial backing to the South Vietnamese army instead.
  3. Sadly, the president of South Vietnam refused to sign because he feared it meant that the USA were going to forsake him, and so North Vietnam dropped out of the discussions.
  4. The Paris Peace Agreement was reached in January 1973, and the United States was finally able to withdraw its troops from Vietnam in March 1973.
  5. However, there were many more unaccounted for, and now there are around 1,800 Americans who are still unaccounted for.
  6. The war itself continued for another two years without the participation of the United States, with the atrocities of the conflict, such as the fall of Saigon, becoming increasingly despised around the globe.
  7. In contrast to the World Wars, which spawned a culture of morale-boosting propaganda, the Vietnam War spawned a counterculture of media that focused on the war’s horrors, the resistance to the war, and the war’s long-term repercussions on society.
  8. Long before Robin Williams yelled “Good morning, Vietnam!” into the microphone, the US film industry began placing its imprint on our image of Vietnam’s past.
  9. It wasn’t simply the war itself that created movies, but the effect that conflict had on its warriors.
  10. Even the popular light entertainment television program The A-Team depicted the subject of Vietnam veterans who turned to mercenary work in order to make ends meet after returning home.

Ever then, the legacy of the conflict has strained the country’s ties with some of its old partners in Western Europe. There is always the concern that America would allow itself to be pulled into “another Vietnam.”

Vietnam War Effects On American Culture Essay – 1144 Words

The aftermath of the Vietnam War had a long-lasting impact on the culture of American society. This was the United States’ longest and most grueling war, and it altered the course of the country’s history forever. The conflict drew widespread opposition and heated discussion, dividing the country and its leaders over the uncertainties of foreign policy in the wake of the war. Despite the fact that my mother was just a kid during the war, her family was affected by the conflict’s economic, social, and cultural consequences in the years afterwards.

  1. It also served as the impetus for the ongoing debate in American culture and society over the morality and effectiveness of the United States government and its handling of international affairs.
  2. Some of the most significant legislative changes that resulted from the Vietnam War included the lowering of the voting age to 18 and the elimination of the mandatory military conscription.
  3. Even after the war ended, her parents were apprehensive about the United States entering another one.
  4. This is a direct result of my mother’s family’s experience with the Vietnam War.
  5. Native Hawaiian traditional society has clearly defined social classes based on birthright and occupation (Miyares, 2008).
  6. The word Haoles, or descendants of American and European immigrants, to Hawaii are not regarded “kama’aina” or native to the land (Miyares, 2008).
  7. Those folks were are not native to Hawaii are regarded outsiders and not particularly welcome.
  8. My brother entered school there and was treated differently by the local kids, often tormented or

Opinion: How Vietnam War changed America

Rudy deLeon is a senior fellow with the national security and foreign policy division at the Center for American Progress and a former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense. It is his own point of view that has been stated. Watch ” The Seventies ” episode “Peace With Honor” at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN. (CNN) When the decade of the 1970s began, I was a 17-year-old senior in my final year of secondary school. The first half of the decade seemed like an extension of the 1960s: the fight for equal rights for all Americans continued; the first moves toward environmental protection were initiated along with Earth Day; the Beatles announced their break-up; and an oil embargo from the Middle East brought long lines at gas stations and soaring prices.

American society was struggling to rebuild its reputation and principles at the decade’s close, having suffered a crisis of confidence following the completion of a lengthy and traumatizing war in Vietnam.

There were various ways in which the fighting shaped the country, both great and little. However, there are five important legacies of the Vietnam War that stand out as having molded the nation – and indeed, as continuing to impact the nation today:

1. The end of the draft

As a result of the public’s dissatisfaction with the war, the Nixon administration tried to eliminate the draft and transition to an all-volunteer army before the 1972 presidential election. In order for an all-volunteer army to develop become the modern, highly effective military that it is today, a generation would be required. Although it was a momentous milestone in the country’s relationship with its military, the repeal of the draft was met with immediate approval by mothers of draft-age boys and students on college campuses alike.

2. 18-year-olds granted the right to vote

In response to the cliche that 18-year-olds could be drafted but not vote in a presidential election (despite the fact that the prime age for being drafted was actually 19 at the time, and that all 18-year-old men were required to register with selective service), the House and Senate passed resolutions in record time to clarify the situation. Recognition of the importance of this newly enfranchised demographic led the Nixon administration to court the 18-year-old vote with mailings on the eve of the draft’s conclusion as well as posters of the president’s visit to China.

Nixon’s first venture into “wedge politics” would be crucial in helping him win a disputed reelection in 1972 by a wide margin.

3. Banding together of military families

The families of American POWs and MIAs (Prisoners of War and Missing in Action) banded together to exercise their political muscle and ensure that America would not forget about the troops who went missing during the war. The POW-MIA league of families, by walking the corridors of Congress and the Pentagon and declaring that “you are not forgotten,” assured that soldiers of the Armed Services of the United States would always be valued for their service, even while the country disputed the policies that sent them into war.

Despite the fact that military strategy and objectives are divisive, the men and women who serve in the Armed Services deserve and have earned the enduring respect of their country and its people.

4. War: Getting out is tougher than getting in

The Vietnam War serves as a crucial lesson for today’s national security officials, as it did for their predecessors. First and foremost, there is the Vietnam (and now Iraq) lesson, which reminds us that coming out of a war is far more difficult than going into one, particularly for a democratic state like ours. Military engagement theory developed during the Reagan administration required defined policy objectives, public support before to involvement, and an exit strategy that had been planned in advance of the engagement.

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However, a decade later, the terrible lessons of Vietnam resurfaced when U.S. forces returned to Iraq and found themselves embroiled in a ground conflict with no clear political or diplomatic solution in sight.

5. The rise of China and the toll of Watergate

The urge to withdraw from Vietnam resulted in two actions by the Nixon White House that were vastly different but equally significant. Initial motivation for Chinese reform was Cold War political realignment, since American soldiers were withdrawing from Asia at the time. In many ways, the voyage to China had a greater influence on future events than the moon missions that took place at the same time period. Due to its opening up to the West in early 1972, China has grown into a worldwide economic and political behemoth of immense proportions.

The formation of the plumbers unit at the Pentagon to “stop” leaks in the Pentagon’s Vietnam strategy led to a constitutional crisis known as Watergate, as well as a confrontation with Congress that resulted in the first presidential resignation in American history.

Consequently, it is apparent that the Vietnam War had a transformational influence on the 1970s, a period in which a generation of Americans was shocked by political events both at home and abroad.

The issue now is whether, as happened in the 1970s, these events will rekindle a feeling of determination to continue working to make America a better place for future generations.

how did the vietnam war affect american culture

The Vietnam War had a significant negative impact on the economy of the United States. President Johnson, unwilling to raise taxes to pay for the war, set off a cycle of inflation that continues to this day. The conflict also harmed the morale of the United States military and, for a time, eroded the country’s commitment to internationalism.

How did the Vietnam War affect people’s lives?

Approximately 58,000 American soldiers were killed and another 304,000 were wounded during the Vietnam War in total. The massive destruction of farms and communities in the South Vietnamese countryside resulted in a large number of peasants being forced to flee their homes and become homeless. … The Vietnam War had a significant impact on American culture and society. It fundamentally altered our perceptions of our government, the media, and our constitutional rights. In response to this shift in vision, the country was ripped apart and yet yet managed to come together in novel and unexpected ways.

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How did the Vietnam War affect popular youth culture?

It is estimated that over 58,000 American soldiers died and another 304,000 were injured during the Vietnam War. Following the massive devastation of farms and communities throughout the South Vietnamese countryside, large numbers of peasants were forced to flee their homes and become refugees. … A significant impact of the Vietnam War on American society may be traced back to this conflict.

It fundamentally altered our perceptions of our government, the media, and our constitutional protections. As a result of this shift in vision, the country was ripped apart, but it also came together in new and unexpected ways.

How did the Vietnam War affect America economically?

Approximately 58,000 American soldiers died and another 304,000 were wounded during the Vietnam War. The massive destruction of farms and communities throughout the South Vietnamese countryside resulted in a large number of peasants being forced to flee their homes. … The Vietnam War had a significant impact on the American way of life. It altered our perceptions of our government, the news media, and our constitutional rights. Consequently, the country was split apart, yet it still managed to come together in new and diverse ways.

What effects did the Vietnam War have on American attitudes and on American policy?

The Vietnam War had a significant impact on the United States. Domestically, the war’s unpopularity resulted in the repeal of the military conscription in 1973, and the United States has not conscripted troops from the general population since then. The conflict also had a significant negative impact on Americans’ confidence in their political leaders.

How did the Vietnam War affect the American public quizlet?

What was the impact of the Vietnam War on the American public? Because of diverse viewpoints on the war, it sowed severe divides among the population. What was the incident that precipitated the fall of Saigon to communist forces? South Korea was attacked by the North, which started an offensive against the South.

Why was the Vietnam War important to the United States?

When it came to the American public, what was their reaction to the Vietnam War? Because of diverse perspectives on the war, it sowed significant divides. What was the incident that precipitated the communist takeover of Saigon? South Korea was attacked by the North, who started an onslaught against them.

What were the long term effects of the Vietnam War?

What was the impact of the Vietnam War on the American people? Because of diverse viewpoints on the war, it sowed significant splits. What was the incident that precipitated the fall of Saigon to communist forces. South Korea was attacked by the North, which started an onslaught against the country.

What are two effects of the Vietnam War?

The massive death toll from the Vietnam War was the most direct consequence of the conflict. According to estimates, the conflict claimed the lives of 2 million Vietnamese people, 1 million North Vietnamese soldiers, 200,000 South Vietnamese soldiers, and 58,000 American soldiers. There were tens of thousands more soldiers who were injured in battle.

How does war impact the individual?

The astounding death toll caused by the Vietnam War was the most direct consequence of the conflict in Southeast Asia. Two million Vietnamese civilians, one million North Vietnamese soldiers, 200,000 South Vietnamese soldiers, and 58,000 American soldiers were killed throughout the conflict. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people were injured in conflict.

What was the culture during the Vietnam War?

After emerging in the late 1960s and growing to encompass hundreds of thousands of young people across America, the hippie counterculture reached its pinnacle during this time of increased American engagement in the Vietnam War, and then began to fade as the combat came to an end.

What is the culture and tradition of Vietnam?

The three primary faiths of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism are practiced by the vast majority of Vietnamese people.

The number of Catholic adherents is likewise increasing throughout the country. The Vietnamese, like many other cultures, adhere to a strict ancestor worship tradition. A family’s ancestor altar is set up at their house or place of business.

How did the hippie movement affect society?

The Hippies had a role in opening up America’s cultural landscape. It was through their efforts that our culture became more accepting of alternative lifestyles, for example. These transformations exemplify the profound influence that the Hippies had on American society. Their influence resulted in the United States being a more open and less conventional culture.

How did the Vietnam War affect education in the United States?

During their time in America, the Hippies worked to open up the culture. They contributed to the acceptance of varied lifestyles in our society, for example. A good example of the significant influence the Hippies had on American society is the following. Their influence resulted in the United States being a more open and less traditional culture.

How does war affect US economy?

Aside from the very real human toll, war has significant economic consequences, including the destruction of buildings and infrastructure, a reduction in the working population, uncertainty, an increase in debt, and interruption of regular economic activity.

Which of the following best describes the effect of Vietnam War on the US economy?

The Vietnam War had no significant impact on the economy of the United States.

How did the war influence American domestic policy?

Domestic policy was influenced by the Cold War in two ways: socially and economically. In terms of social change, the thorough indoctrination of the American people resulted in a reversal of previous gains. Economically, the massive boom fostered by war-related sectors was assisted by a significant increase in government spending.

How did the Vietnam War Impact Vietnam?

The conflict had a significant impact on both the South and the North Vietnamese populations. The massive death toll from the Vietnam War was the most direct consequence of the conflict. A total of 2 million Vietnamese civilians, 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers, and 200,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died as a result of the conflict.

What was America’s attitude entering the war in Vietnam?

Many Americans opposed the war on moral grounds, outraged by the damage and violence that had occurred as a result of the conflict. Others said that the conflict was a battle against Vietnamese independence or an interference in a foreign civil war; others opposed it because they believed it had defined aims and looked to be unwinnable; and still others believed it was a struggle against communism.

How did the Vietnam War influence American domestic policy quizlet?

What impact did the Vietnam War have on domestic politics in the United States? It polarized the country’s political landscape and sparked a wave of anti-war demonstrations among civilians. During the Vietnamese New Year’s celebration known as Tet, the Viet Cong launched an offensive known as the Tet Offensive, which lasted for several weeks.

How did the Vietnam War lead to changes in the way that Americans perceived their leaders quizlet?

It strengthened the skepticism of the American people toward their government. They believed that the leaders of the country had deceived them.

Why did America oppose the Vietnam War quizlet?

Because of this, the American people have become more skeptical of their government. There was a sense among them that the leaders of their country had mislead them.

What were the causes and effects of America’s growing involvement in Vietnam?

It heightened the public’s skepticism against their government. They believed that the country’s leaders had deceived them.

What is the most important legacy of the Vietnam War?

As a result, the termination of the Cold War draft in the United States is considered to be one of the most significant domestic legacies of the Vietnam War.

With the abolition of conscription, the calculus of American military commitment was altered, since it dictated how battles would be fought and who would be involved in those fights.

Why did America lose the Vietnam War?

South Vietnam was considered “lost” by the United States because it was an artificial construct formed in the aftermath of the French defeat of Indochina. In part because there was never a “organic” nation of South Vietnam, when the United States decided to stop investing military resources in that construct, it finally came to an end.

What was the short term impact of the Vietnam War on the United States?

Effects in the Short Term The Wars Power Act, which limited the president’s authority to send soldiers without Congressional consent, was unanimously enacted. Inflation has an impact on us right now. A total of 700,000 Vietnam War veterans are suffering from psychological after-effects. There were 58,000 deaths and 300,000 injured in the United States.

How did the Vietnam War affect children?

During the war years, children in both the North and the South of Vietnam had very difficult living conditions. Houses and schools were bombed and demolished as a result. Many children were forced to become homeless, and their schools were forced to relocate or to have lessons after dark in order to escape being targeted by intense bombing campaigns.

How did the Vietnam War end and what lasting effects did it have on the US?

What was the outcome of the Vietnam War, and what were the long-term ramifications of the conflict? … Forced Vietnam to the negotiating table, gained treaty concessions from them* that guaranteed freedom for South Vietnam, and with those accords in place, we withdrew our forces from the country.

What did the Vietnam War result in?

The immediate effect of the Vietnam War was that the communists triumphed and Vietnam was unified as a single country, with the communists in command of the government. This resulted in a variety of consequences in Vietnam. Notably, it resulted in the exodus of more than 1 million Vietnamese citizens who want to leave the nation.

How does war influence culture?

Not only does war wreak havoc on the economy and politics, but it also has a negative impact on society as a whole, altering the cultural identities of individuals who have been affected. They are compelled to move for their own safety and the purpose of a brighter future, bringing their culture with them but modifying it in the process.

Is war beneficial to our society?

Compared to alternative expenditures or tax cuts, war produces fewer employment, but it may allegedly provide honorable and commendable occupations that teach young people vital lessons, help them develop their character, and prepare them to be good citizens. In reality, everything beneficial discovered in battle training and participation may be achieved without the use of force.

Do you think the war had a positive or negative effect on society?

When the First World War raged across Europe, the United States was hit hard by the consequences of the conflict. Despite the fact that there were riots and bloodshed, these consequences were favorable for American society. When males were conscripted to fight in the war, women took up the duties that the men had done, and they were compensated for their efforts.

How did Vietnam change America?

Who was victorious in the Vietnam War in 1975? What happened during the Vietnam War?

When did the United States enter the war? What was the Vietnam War? What was the United States’ participation in the war? The Vietnam War claimed the lives of thousands of American soldiers. When did the Vietnam War begin and when did it end? See more entries in the FAQ category.

How Vietnam dramatically changed our views on honor and war

In 1975, who was victorious in the Vietnam War? the Vietnam War and the United States of America’s engagement what happened in the Vietnam War when did the United States of America get involved in the Vietnam War The Vietnam War claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. the start and conclusion dates of the Vietnam War Browse through our collection of articles in the FAQ category.

Anonymous Vietnam War dead

I discovered that just 726 of the 58,220 American military soldiers who died in Vietnam were mentioned in The New York Times between 1965 and 1975, according to my research. When I went through every New York Times article from those years that had the term “Vietnam” in it, I discovered that just 16 dead military personnel’ biographical information was provided, as well as photographs of 14 of them. In total, there are just five references to reactions of the relatives of the deceased, and only two pieces discuss the anguish of injured American military personnel.

This level of restraint contrasts sharply with the coverage provided by The New York Times or any other news organization during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

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There were an increasing number of losses and a diminishing likelihood of success as the Vietnam War carried on, and there were an increasing number of reports of crimes perpetrated by American soldiers.

Finding honor

One of the ways in which the military transformed was in the manner it recognized and awarded its personnel with medals. Medals have long been used by leaders to recognize and reward the actions they want their troops to model after their own. The Medal of Honor (the highest decoration bestowed by the United States) was traditionally awarded to individuals who risked or sacrificed their lives while going on the offensive to eliminate enemy combatants before Vietnam. However, I discovered that the requirements for receiving the Medal of Honor altered during the Vietnam War.

  • Wounded service members returning from Vietnam arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
  • Since World War II, almost all Medals of Honor have been awarded for efforts that have resulted in the return of fellow American service personnel, rather than for actions that have resulted in the victory of a war.
  • Growing numbers of Americans acquired levels of wealth that were unprecedented in global history and unmatched anywhere else in the globe, prompting arguments that individuals deserved emotional fulfillment at school and job to become more prominent in the public discourse.
  • The military responded to insubordination within its ranks by allowing for the expression of disagreement within its soldiers.
  • Civilians witnessed this shift in mentality in news images of military members in Vietnam, who were sporting buttons that said “Love” or “Ambushed at Credibility Gap,” among other things.
  • In addition, the families of soldiers became the center of attention in two ways.
  • This technique has been carried on in every battle since that time.
  • Nixon used POWs as props to wrongly portray the anti-war movement as being unconcerned for American troops, in my opinion, which I believe was the case.

For the first time, journalists were able to speak with the spouses and children of detainees, drawing attention to the emotional toll that military members’ families are bearing.

Vietnam’s legacy

The military’s emphasis on individual service men during the latter years of the Vietnam War has left a lasting effect. Since the Vietnam War, the American public’s tolerance for losses has significantly decreased. Only when the number of American deaths in the Vietnam War topped 20,000 did a majority of Americans turn against the war. It only took 2,000 civilian deaths in Iraq for a majority of Americans to oppose the war. The United States today fights battles in a manner that minimizes losses and prevents any troops from being taken prisoner.

It also restricts engagement between civilians and American forces, making it more difficult to earn the favor of locals in locations like Iraq and Afghanistan, where such connection is prohibited.

While at the same time, with the repeal of the draft and the establishment of an all-volunteer military, the United States military was compelled to treat its recruits with greater respect.

Editorial note: This story has been modified to reflect the proper number of soldiers who died in the Vietnam War – 58,220 as opposed to 58,267 as previously stated.

Cultural Impact

OverviewNo American conflict of the twentieth century divided the country as much as the Vietnam War.The advanced technological innovations available to the American media in the 1960s and 70s allowed them to capture the atrocities of war on a daily basis in a way that had never before been possible. Videos and pictures portrayed the violence and horror that took place during the conflict, painting the American government and armed forces in a very polarizing manner.These mass media sources gave a visible picture of the everyday American soldier and the difficulties of war that he was forced to live with. The constant presence of the American media made it difficult for the government to cover up casualty and death totals, allowing the general public full knowledge of the carnage that occurred during the conflict. American media sources also made it clear how the war had affected the Vietnamese people, as approximately two million local people lost their lives during the gruesome conflict (Vietnam Democide Sources).

Popular Culture’s Representation of Women In the years after the Vietnam War was fought, more than 750 books, 250 films, 100 short-story collections, and 1,400 personal memoirs have been published (Digital History). For decades following the war, these books and films helped to keep Vietnam alive in the public’s consciousness, ensuring that Americans would never forget the twenty years that their country spent fighting in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was presented in books and films in a way that highlighted the bad effects of the fight, the terrible influence it had on American soldiers, and the pointless fatalities that occurred as a result of the United States government’s decision to intervene in the war against communism.

  • Consequences Following the United States’ withdrawal from the Vietnam War, the country underwent a number of significant cultural transformations.
  • Additionally, the Vietnam War prompted the passage of the War Powers Act, which limits the power of the president to commit American soldiers into battle without first obtaining specific Congressional authorization.
  • The Vietnam War also had a negative impact on the economy of the United States, since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson resulted in a vicious cycle of inflation.
  • President Johnson’s unpopular leadership during the war significantly weakened the strength of the Democratic party, with Republican candidates winning a majority of the elections that followed.
  • Today, many Americans are divided on whether the Vietnam War was a mistake or a horrific example of government abuse and misuse of power on an unprecedented scale.

As long as there are reminders of the struggle in modern American society, Americans will never forget what happened in the country’s war in Vietnam.

The Vietnam War [ushistory.org]

These young soldiers were members of the 1st Air Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. During the initial combat clashes between U.S. and North Vietnamese ground forces in 1965, this photograph was shot. After the war in Afghanistan, the Vietnam War was the second-longest war in the history of the United States, lasting nearly four decades. The Truman Administration was aware of promises and obligations made to the people and government of South Vietnam to prevent communist forces from seizing them.

  • Kennedy dispatched American forces to the country in 1961.
  • However, after decades of determination, billions of dollars, nearly 60,000 American deaths, and many more wounded, the United States was unable to fulfill its goals.
  • The concept that the war was first fought by the government against the will of the American people, on the other hand, is untrue.
  • Early endeavors by the United States under Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy were met with widespread support and enthusiasm.
  • Despite the fact that the antiwar movement was modest in 1965, news of its actions was buried in the back pages of newspapers, if there was any mention of it at all.
  • It was difficult to figure out who the adversary was.
  • The Viet Cong disguised themselves as members of the local populace and ambushed them, frequently at night.

Promises made by American military and political officials that the conflict would be concluded in a short period of time were not fulfilled.

Draft inequities, such as college deferments, were brought to light, evoking memories of similar problems during the American Civil War.

As the months of the battle turned into years, the general populace grew impatient.

However, many people began to believe that it was time to cut their losses.

In January 1973, President Nixon signed a ceasefire agreement that officially brought the war to an end.

Cambodia and Laos, two neighboring countries, also became communist dictatorships.

The United States would need a long time to recover from the trauma of Vietnam. The legacy of animosity has divided the American people and has had an impact on foreign policy well into the twenty-first century.

Opinion

From the very beginning of the Vietnam War, American leaders claimed that winning the hearts and minds (yep, the acronym for this was WHAM) of the South Vietnamese people was the key to bringing the war to an end. However, the Americans entrusted with putting that idea into action were woefully underprepared, both linguistically and culturally, to make it succeed. That disparity ultimately annihilated whatever good will that could have existed between the two sides and condemned America’s journey into Vietnam to disaster.

Almost none of the Americans dispatched to South Vietnam had more than a passing knowledge of the country’s language, history, religious traditions, etiquette, or political system when they arrived.

The United States was just concerned with maintaining its legitimacy; South Vietnam was fighting for its own existence.

As the world’s strongest country and still riding high from its triumph in World War II, the United States felt confident in its ability — and in the goodness of its people.

The South Vietnamese, on the other hand, citizens of a fragile state newly freed from colonial rule and threatened by internal insurgency and external invasion, recognized their desperate need for American assistance, but they were also acutely sensitive to any attempt by an outside power to assert dominance over them.

In the period between 1950 and 1965, while America’s engagement in the region was enormous in terms of money and materiel, it had a very small impact on the lives of ordinary Vietnamese people.

When the significant escalation in 1965 took place, Bui Diem highlighted the absence of dialogue between the two countries.

According to the author, “the Americans rolled in like bulldozers, and the South Vietnamese followed in their footsteps without a word of dissent and for the most part without even a thought of dissent.” After 1965, the United States had the responsibility for military defeating the adversary.

  1. Because of this, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was reduced to pacification duties, which many Vietnamese felt to be degrading.
  2. Unfortunatelly, American actions induced dependency in a nation whose independence the United States wished to maintain.
  3. Vietnamese despised the way their guests looked down on them and forced their customs on what they saw to be a lower-status people in comparison to themselves.
  4. Some people wished they could live the affluent lifestyle of the Americans, who had vast bases outfitted with all the comforts of home, such as air conditioning, shopping malls, and movie theaters.
  5. Some have argued that America distributes help as if it were “given to a beggar,” which is false.
  6. Some have referred to the “American occupation” as a “demoralizing blight” on the country.
  7. Prostitution developed as a unique problem.

Senator J.

It was thus that led to Operation Moose (Move Out of Saigon Expeditiously), which was carried out mostly throughout 1967.

The operation was moving at such a glacial rate that it was informally referred to as Goose (Get Out of Saigon Eventually).

However, it did not meet President Thieu’s expectations, and it did not give more than a partial solution to the prostitute problem.

The American manner of war also took a heavy toll on the lives of the people in South Vietnam’s villages.

Bombing raids, shelling, and napalming were carried out on suspected enemy strongholds with scant regard for the impact on civilian populations.

Homes, communities, and harvests were devastated, and people whose hearts and minds were to be gained were alienated as a result of American firepower.

People were taken away from their ancestral lands and placed in dismal refugee camps after they were gather up by troops and their hooches were set on fire.

Approximately 6,000 inhabitants from the town of Ben Suc were forcefully moved by the United States military during Operation Cedar Falls in 1967.

By the beginning of 1967, more than 1.5 million refugees had made their way into urban slums, where they were vulnerable to Viet Cong propagandistic tactics.

Many others performed deeds of compassion, such as offering medical attention and food to those in need.

Thousands of soldiers tied the knot with Vietnamese women.

According to a soldier who served in Vietnam, “my time in Vietnam is the recollection of ignorance.” Because they were unfamiliar with the language and culture, the Americans had no idea how the locals felt, or even how to distinguish between friend and foe at times.

It was also difficult to maintain good relations with South Vietnamese soldiers.

Their expectation was that the people they were safeguarding would express appreciation in the same way that their ancestors had received after rescuing France from Nazi occupation during World War II.

Many Americans saw the South Vietnamese as a source of scorn and even hostility.

“When we’re in the village, they call us ‘G.I.

1,’ but at night, the disgusting little rodents are referred to as V.C.” The ability of the locals to step through explosives and booby traps that killed and injured American soldiers sparked suspicions of cooperation – as well as outright hostility toward them.

It is possible for contempt to quickly turn into rage, which could be directed at Vietnamese civilians.

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In fact, the mission’s name, Operation Rawhide, alluded to a cattle roundup, which had a degrading effect on the participants.

Because they were dissatisfied with their assignment and were under continual assault from enemy snipers, the Americans proclaimed the area a free-fire zone and opened fire on everything that moved, resulting in the horrible deaths of a large number of innocent people.

They were caught in a deadly ambush early in the operation, and they suffered heavy losses as a result.

They were assisted in their revenge by setting a target of 327 deaths as a goal for the commanders (to match the number of the 327 thInfantry Regiment, of which the Tigers were a part).

The bloodshed was only brought to a halt when the operation came to a conclusion in November.

Such crimes were out of character for American action, and even in My Lai, there were men who refused to carry out their leaders’ orders to slaughter their fellow soldiers.

Given the disappointments and shortcomings of the American war effort, as well as the increasing number of deaths, it was arguably only a matter of time before atrocities occurred.

Opinion

During the early stages of the Vietnam War, American officials insisted that winning the hearts and minds (yes, the acronym for this was WHAM) of the South Vietnamese people would be the most important factor in achieving victory. However, the Americans tasked with putting that strategy into action lacked the linguistic and cultural skills necessary to make it successful. That deficit ultimately annihilated any good will that might have existed on either side and doomed America’s foray into Vietnam to a disastrous conclusion.

Almost none of the Americans dispatched to South Vietnam had more than a passing knowledge of the country’s language, history, religious traditions, etiquette, or political system before arriving there.

South Vietnam was fighting for its very existence, while the United States was merely trying to maintain its own reputation.

As the world’s strongest country and still riding high on the victory in World War II, the United States was confident in its ability — and in the goodness of its people.

The South Vietnamese, on the other hand, citizens of a fragile state newly freed from colonial rule and threatened by internal insurgency and external invasion, recognized their desperate need for American assistance, but they were also acutely sensitive to any attempt by an outside power to exert dominance over them.

  • Even though America’s role in the region was significant in terms of money and materiel between 1950 and 1965, the country’s presence in the lives of ordinary Vietnamese was minimal.
  • When the significant escalation in 1965 took place, Bui Diem highlighted the absence of dialogue between the two countries.
  • Following its experience in Korea, it declined to form a joint command structure with the South Vietnamese.
  • The Americanization of the war also resulted in a “takeover effect” among the South Vietnamese, who were encouraged to stand by and watch as the Americans battled the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese.
  • Because of the increasing American presence, tensions between the two countries have increased.
  • Americans’ impatience was causing them irritation.
  • Others said that the military treated them “despicably,” driving their trucks and automobiles through traffic at dangerously high speeds, and that they were being killed or injured.

A “demoralizing plague,” according to others, had been unleashed by the “American occupation.” According to the writer Robert Shaplen, although the Vietnamese knew that the Americans were not “colonialists,” “a colonial atmosphere has developed here that may often be worse than colonialism itself,” he said with insight.

  • In recent years, prostitution has emerged as a unique issue to deal with.
  • The senator from Arkansas, J.
  • It was thus that led to Operation Moose (Move Out of Saigon Expeditiously), which was primarily completed throughout 1967.
  • Additionally, the city of Saigon was declared off limits to the railroad.
  • Approximately 7,900 American soldiers remained in the city as a result of the evacuation.
  • Saigon became more vulnerable to the Viet Cong’s urban assaults during the Tet offensive of 1968 as a result of this.
  • It was necessary for the United States to use massive amounts of weaponry on the country it was attempting to save in order to keep its own fatalities to a minimum and to cope with the unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly terrain it faced.

In order to deny the enemy food and cover, defoliants were used, with horrendous consequences for Vietnamese civilians both in the short and long term.

Several sites have been designated as free-fire zones by American commanders.

After then, the region would be bombed and bombarded repeatedly.

People who wanted nothing more than to be left alone found themselves caught between the Viet Cong and the Americans, and many grew gloomy or resentful.

There’s little doubt that many Americans formed deep friendships with their Vietnamese counterparts.

Particularly in the early years and in outlying locations, American advisers developed ties with Vietnamese soldiers and locals, and this was especially true in rural areas.

Despite this, the majority of Americans arrived in the nation with little understanding of the area or the people who lived there.

In a half-joking conversation with a journalist, one officer said, “What we need is some type of litmus paper that glows red when it’s near a Communist.” It was also difficult to maintain good relationships with South Vietnamese soldiers.

Their expectation was that the people they were safeguarding would express appreciation in the manner in which their fathers had been shown following France’s liberation during World War II.

Many Americans saw the South Vietnamese as a source of scorn and even hostility.

when we are in the village, but G.I.

1 is used during the day.

Americans also carried with them highly rooted racial ideas, which led to the usage of insults such as “gook” and “dink,” which they used to both enemies and friends.

It was during the summer and fall of 1967 that the infamous Tiger Force, an elite commando unit, was tasked with removing civilians from the Song Ve River Valley, which was suspected of being a source of rice for Viet Cong forces.

Because of the resistance, the Tigers reacted by destroying the villages of the civilians who had stood up to them.

Although the Tigers were assigned another assignment, this one was quite similar in nature: removing residents from the province of Quang Tin, which was also in Vietnam.

Everything was then free of limits.

The Tigers then proceeded to slaughter hundreds of innocent villagers, adding insult to injury by mutilating the bodies of their victims, who included elderly women and children.

American forces massacred hundreds of Vietnamese villagers in My Lai, in the province of Quang Ngai, in February 1968, in an action that was even more heinous than the crimes of the Tiger Force.

While horrible violence was perpetrated, it was also a reflection of sentiments regarding Vietnamese that split two peoples and rendered them submissive to the Americans.

It was just a matter of time until atrocities occurred in the United States, given the frustrations and failures of the war effort, as well as the growing number of civilian deaths.

CYNICISM

Vietnam fundamentally altered our perspective on politics. As a result of the war, we were accustomed to our leaders lying: the manufactured Gulf of Tonkin event, the exaggerated number of “pacified provinces” (and what did “pacified” mean, anyway? ), and the inflated casualty figures. Johnson’s “credibility gap” was a topic of conversation. Essentially, this was a polite way of implying that the president had lied. A credibility gap, on the other hand, was regarded as rare and detrimental at the time.

  1. When politicians lie nowadays, fact checkers may point out what is correct, but everyone quickly goes on to the next issue.
  2. One may argue that they are diametrically opposed, but I disagree.
  3. Cynicism, on the other hand, prevents you from getting started.
  4. It poses a threat to democracy because it undermines the ability of the people to even desire to effect change.
  5. I reside in the Seattle area, which is hardly Donald J.
  6. Most of my acquaintances are dubious about Mr.
  7. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t a utopia, especially for minorities.
  8. We were better back then.

RACE

A few kilometers from the demilitarized zone, on a deserted forest hilltop in December 1968, I found myself on the verge of committing myself. About three weeks’ worth of soggy mail and crumpled care items were delivered by helicopter. Ray Delgado, an 18-year-old Hispanic student from Texas, had a parcel waiting for him in that pile. I stood there watching Ray tear off the aluminum foil wrapping and, with a huge smile on his face, bring something up for me to see. “Can you tell me what that is?” I inquired.

  1. “I got that from my mum.” “Can you tell me what tamales are?” “Would you want to sample one?” he inquired.
  2. Ray and his other Hispanic pals were on the verge of bursting out laughing as I happily chewed away, thinking to myself, “It’s no wonder these Mexicans have such excellent teeth.” “Lieutenant,” Ray replied at long last.
  3. Tamales were something I’d heard about, but I’d never seen one before.
  4. Yes, folks like Ray were referred to as “Mexicans” by people like myself, despite the fact that they were as American as apple pie — and tamales — as they were.
  5. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued an executive order requiring the integration of the military.
  6. It is extremely different from having everyone work together as a unit when they are all in the same units, though.
  7. It’s hard to imagine arming all those high school students from Birmingham, Alabama — both white and black — with automatic guns in a setting where utilizing these weapons was as common as eating lunch, and they’re all high on testosterone.

In the American military during World War II, there were approximately 200 fraggings – murders committed with fragmentation grenades, which made it hard to identify the perpetrator and track down the culprit.

Despite this, the more prevalent experience in warfare has been one of collaboration and respect between soldiers.

I didn’t even give it a second thought as to what color Thompson was.

We had no need to be afraid of one another.

Following their service in Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of young men returned home with differing perspectives on race – some for the worse, but the vast majority for the better.

Although racism was not eradicated in Vietnam, I believe it was there that our country came to the realization that it could just be possible for us all to get along.

SERVICE

My location at the time, a deserted forest hilltop about a kilometer from the demilitarized zone, was in December 1968. Mail and care gifts that had been sitting in the rain for almost three weeks had been delivered via helicopter. Ray Delgado, an 18-year-old Hispanic lad from Texas, had a parcel waiting for him in the pile. I stood there watching Ray tear up the aluminum foil wrapping and, with a huge smile on his face, bring something up for me to see. I was fascinated. My curiosity was piqued.

” My mother gave me this gift.

Inquired he, “Would you want to sample one?” “Sure.” When I glanced at it, I flipped it over in my hands before putting it in my mouth and beginning to chew.

Ray eventually called out, “Lieutenant.” The corn husk is removed by the user.

Tamales were something I’d heard about, but I’d never really seen one before today.

Yes, folks like Ray were referred to as “Mexicans” by people like myself, despite the fact that they were as American as apple pie — and tamales — as they were.

As a result of his executive order in 1948, President Harry Truman mandated the integration of the military.

It is extremely different from having everyone work together as a unit when they are all in the same group of people.

It’s hard to imagine arming all those high school pupils from Birmingham, Alabama — both white and black — with automatic guns in a setting where utilizing these weapons was as routine as eating lunch and they are all high on testosterone.

In the American military during World War II, there were approximately 200 fraggings – murders committed with fragmentation grenades, which made it hard to identify the perpetrator and track down the victim.

Although collaboration and respect were the most often seen characteristics in fighting, In the event that I was pinned down by enemy fire and in desperate need of an M-79 soldier, I’d call out for Thompson since he was the best available.

Black and white men were required to listen to soul music, while white and black men were required to listen to country music.

And the memory of the encounter stayed with us for a long time.

However, a majority of them were positive. However, I believe Vietnam was the place where our country realized that, while racism may not be eliminated, we can all live together in peace.

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