Vietnam War 2 Essay, Research Paper
Vietnam War The War We Should Have Won
The Vietnam War, was not even a war, it was a Police Action . The young men who fought for their country had other views of what it was. This war showed how power hungry the U.S. was to influence the world. I thought the Vietnam War was a serious misallocation of troops, money, resources and time. The Vietnam War was a perfect platform for the U.S. to show the world how belligerent we were to stop the spread of communism. Some observers in the United States questioned the administration’s policy. For example, a leading newspaper writer, James Reston, said President Johnson was carrying out an undeclared and unexplained war in Vietnam. Johnson defended his policies. He said withdrawl [sic] would not bring an end to the conflict. He said the battle would continue in one country, and then another (FAS Military Analysis Network).
The Vietnam War started at the end of WWII. The Kennedy administration started the involvement with the Green Berets. The War at one point had reached over 500,000 troops fighting in Vietnam. In return 58,000 young, 19-25 years of age, American troops died for the cause of stopping communism.
Some of the attitudes of the War were both pro and con. Some Pro s were to stop communism and its domino effect. Also political pressure from the free world for the
U.S. to be against communism. The Con s were the killing of young men, waste of resources, and the limited war eventually lead to defeat.
The impact on American life was very negative. The Established Americans were very negative towards the youth. The Established Americans thought that the youth should accept that we were at war and should back their country. These Established Americans were the rich older people.
These Young Americans showed their rebellion of the war. These Young Americans burned flags and also burned their draft cards, which was a federal crime to do so. These so called draft dodgers held great demonstrations, and they had great reasons to do so. The music of the time also reflected the views of the war.
Another great example of why and how the Vietnam war was so terrible are through the movies that came out about the war. Some of these movies depicted the symbolisms of what war was like to Americans and GI s.
In the movie Apocalypse Now Robert Duvall describes the smell of napalm. You smell that? Do you smell that?…Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn’t find one of ‘em, not one stinkin’ [sic] dink [sic] body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like – victory. Some day, this war’s gonna [sic] end (Apocalypse Now). Now I don t know about you but the smell of fire and burning bodies does not smell good to me. This movie brings to the viewer how macabre war is.
In the movie The Deer Hunter the harrowing, sensational, and violent war-time experiences of the Americans in Vietnam, shows the psychologically-destructive scarring of life to American soldiers. Three friends go to war together, they all come back but two are emotionally unstable. When they arrive back they play the same game as they did when they were in Vietnam, Russian Roulette. Michael stalks a second beautiful buck and patiently waits for the perfect one shot – his primary ‘religious’ philosophy. But at the moment that he surveys the magnificent animal squarely in his gunsight, he pauses and deliberately aims high to spare the creature. His own irretrievably-changed life has also stripped him of his own hunting spirit. He affirms life and finds the strength to not hunt and spill blood (The Deer Hunter). This movie shows how demented the war made the soldiers.
The movie Platoon was the most realistic, true account of how a soldier felt and how he wanted to go back how when he first got to Vietnam, And when his tour was ending, he didn t have a care in the world if he went home or not. At the end of the movie Chris, Charlie Sheen, is riding in a helicopter thinking about the war in general. The war will always be there the rest of my days (Platoon). He means that he will have this scar of a memory for the rest of his life, and all for what good?
The largest reason why we lost the war is very apparent. When one is fighting for a country’s independence, and the citizens of that country don’t support the efforts, trouble abounds. The South Vietnamese were not happy about U.S. soldiers being in their country, and it showed. Every day, thousands of South Vietnamese joined the Viet Cong, so the American soldiers never knew who to trust, and who to shoot. Not having
the support of the people you’re fighting for is the worst curse that can be bestowed onto a military.
Westmoreland and Johnson should have figured out the root of the problem before sending more troops, and the problem was that the American weapons were destroying the peaceful farmer’s fields and burning their villages (FAS Military Analysis Network). For a people as far away from the conflict and as apathetic towards the war as they were, it is surprising we lasted this long without being forced to surrender.
The saddest chapter in American history could easily have been avoided, with a combination of good leadership, planning, preparedness, and morale. Perhaps in the future, American soldiers will know what they are fighting for, be equipped for the conditions, and not be thrown mercilessly into the meat grinder of an already-lost battle.
Against the celebrated and glorious backdrop of American history, the Vietnam War stands ghastly out of place. The war was an exercise in economic, military, and political futility. The greatest tragedy of the Vietnam War, however, stems from the unnecessary deaths of 58,000 young American boys and the installment of terror, mistrust, and sorrow in those who found a way to survive in an inferno where the laws of man were obsolete. Most of these soldiers were 19 years old. They wanted to be shooting .22 s at rabbits, instead of M16 s at other human beings. In all, the Vietnam War was a military conflict that mankind should have never seen.