War is a tough gritty world that describes the destruction of people and countries in the name of nationalism; it is difficult to justify war and give a positive outcome when shown the disaster it causes. The Vietnam War was an extremely difficult war and is widely seen as a catastrophe by the world, even with that being the case there is still some positives that have been extracted from the situation. The Vietnam War is a heavily debated issue in America about its involvement in the war, there are many different perspectives to the situation.
The positive effects that directly affected are worth discussing and being shown to light. War is an inevitable truth so long as humans exist, but in the aftermath it is our duty to try and salvage and create positives from it. The Cause of a War The cause of the Vietnam War is a very murky event in history, there are many views on what started the war, but most believe it to be when North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a war over the control of Vietnam itself, one side the North wanted to unite Vietnam under communist rule according to Hickman (2011).
South Vietnam was backed by the United States financially and with training, to try and combat the communist rule, as found by Hickman (2011). The United States involvement in the war came soon after the war started in 1959 when North Vietnam attacked the south, the U. S. wanted to contain the communist problem and stop it from spreading. “The communist containment policy, created at the start of the cold war, combined with elements of Wilsonianism, is the primary cause of the U. S. nvolvement in the Vietnam War. ”, stated by Belanger (1999), the United States did not want the communism to spread to anymore countries so they sought to help any country to fight back against it. In 1964 America begin to supply troops to help fight the North Viet Cong (North Vietnam) and began the long bloody war of Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a very tough war that involved a lot of deaths and this environment was a living hell to the soldiers fighting in it. Catholic Church Involvement
The Catholic Church played a role in the cause of the Vietnam War as posed by Jenkins (2013). The Catholic Church was part of the oppression against the Buddhists religion in Vietnam in an attempt to convert them to Christians, destroyed Buddhist temples and caused much unrest in the Buddhist public in the North. Jenkins (2013) says, “When Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in 1963, it was not a generic protest against dictatorship or human rights abuses but a specific call to end religious persecution. This event was seen through out the world and planted a seed of hate inside the Buddhist of North Vietnam, armed with material to protest against the South Vietnamese people the North converted Buddhist to fight against them and convert them to communist. This event helped fuel the already unstable environment of Vietnam and put the fighting of the two sides into full swing.
The Environment of War The jungles in Vietnam and surrounding areas was very difficult terrain for the United States military to navigate and fight in, as for the Viet Cong they were very comfortable and able to ambush the soldiers at any given time. I felt terrible, wondering how many men I had just killed. ” Stated by Schueckler (1995), this was stated description of a night in where Shueckler a pilot was tasked to extract a ranger team that was pinned down, without having lights below it is near impossible to extract anyone. The area of Vietnam is less developed then other countries therefor there are no huge cities with electricity everywhere, there are far more jungles and wilderness surrounding them.
Vietnam was very rough for the military, but they were able to adapt and fight back they were not completely. Operation Linebacker II Operation Linebacker II was a last ditch effort by President Nixon to end the war, by bombing Hanoi/Haiphong despite it being inefficient and a waste of time, as discussed by Hard (2012). This showed that the president was desperate and reaching to end the war as it was going for far longer than expected and with trouble brewing in America regarding the state of the Vietnam War and how much death and brutality that was present.
The American public had been watching the war from their television sets during the war and it shocked many citizens into antiwar movements. Protest According to Cox (2006), America was split by the Vietnam War and caused a huge social issue between young adults and middle-aged adults. A good portion of the younger people felt that we are unjust killing too many innocents in Vietnam and destroying the world opinion of us, while on the other hand older people felt that it was a necessary world to help put an end to communism in the world.
Weather the Vietnam War helping the world rid itself of communism or just caused havoc t was definitely causing the homeland of the United States to fracture and create chaos to bread protest and hate of protest. The price of the war to younger people was too high a price for America to try and control Vietnam, is how they viewed the issue; America divided is not a strong country and can ruin it. Civil Rights The war also caused more tension on the civil rights movement which was recently before a very rough subject for Black Americans and with the added Vietnam War caused more tension on this already tough movement.
According to Cox (2006), Black protesters would protest against the ROTC programs on Black colleges, because they did not provide an officer program to Black Americans. This was a huge distrust of the Black American who was being asked to participate in the war in Vietnam, but was no allowed the same rights as their white counter parts. All of these issues simply piled on top of each other causing America to be a very bloated with varying views about the very serious issue of the Vietnam War, this was a powder keg of a situation that could ignite the country at any moment.
The only reason that America was so divided and fractured was due to so much information about the Vietnam War being available and the ability to watch it on your television was extremely shocking to the American people. Media Coverage Because the Vietnam War was televised it was the first war that America was able to see with their own eyes and see what war was like, and it disturbed the American public. Mclaughlin (2011) said, “For almost a decade in between school, work, and dinners, the American public could watch villages being destroyed, Vietnamese children burning to death, and American body bags eing sent home. ” This was why so many people were outraged by the war, seeing so much death on television every night would give the effect of wanting to stop the horror, which is why it fed the antiwar movement. The military did not gain much respect because it was televised showing them do atrocious activities, all the disrespect even further led to more division of America. News Source According to Mclaughlin (2011), 56 percent of Americans used television as its main source for news, it far any other news sources such as newspapers.
Using only the one source of news allowed for the media to sway the public in any way they needed, by 1967 about 90 percent of the news was geared towards the Vietnam War, and even more so about 50 million people watched it every night, Mclaughlin (2011) states. With the media being dominated by such a violent war it burned its images of despair onto the American public, with it doing this it became the most discussed subject to the American public which cased even more tension since it was openly debated so much.
Even though the Vietnam War caused an extreme turmoil on the American people and even more so upon the Vietnamese people, it still taught us lessons and had some good outcomes that made us better. Lessons Learned In 1966 the United States first tested an unmanned air vehicle that flew through enemy territory only to be shot down, but this vehicle was the first of the Drones we know today, it was a breakthrough in military intelligence, stated by “Vietnam Set the Stage for Drone Missions Today. (2013). This mission was one of the positive outcomes from the Vietnam War as it helped provide valuable information that led to the current drone vehicles we use now and has decreased in the fatalities of American troops by a large amount. We now have the ability to gather intelligence discreetly and safely thanks to the Vietnam War information that was gathered, it was a terrible war, but has gave us lessons that we needed to learn, and only through battle could we have learned them.
Best Positive Possible Unfortunately the United States was not able to completely fight back the North Vietnamese and after a long fight they withdrew much to the relief of American citizens, but this meant that the war was lost and over. Even though America did not win the war in Vietnam, nor did the North win, they lost an incredible amount of soldiers into the one millions, stated by Duc (2005).
With the Government weak and the south losing to the north, the free people of Vietnam gained a strong courage and in droves of above three hundred thousand escaped and immigrated to other countries, as found by Duc (2005). Even though the south was defeated they did not let this defeat ruin them or crush them, they now had to the courage to never stand for oppression and stood up and walked away, thousands upon thousands of Vietnamese people now reside in all parts of the world including a large amount in the United States.
The Vietnamese people wanted freedom at any cost, they eventually gained this freedom, not in the way they desired, but still gained their own freedom and this is the best possible outcome. Conclusion The Vietnam War was a horrendous mess of a situation and is still being debated today, but we must try to gather the good that came from this war. The Vietnamese people freed themselves, although in a different form they gained their freedom allowing them to be whatever they wanted and not oppressed.
The United States gained incredibly important information to help make any future engagements as safe as possible and decrease number of killed soldiers. All together the world and the United States learned morale lessons to engaging in warfare and learned what not to do. The Vietnam War was terrible, but we are able to look back now and help know how to approach dangerous situations better in the future.
Belanger, J. (1999). Causes of the vietnam war: An academic look at wilsoniasm and cold war effects. Unpublished manuscript, AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, Maxwell, Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a395216.pdf This reference is a good source to the cause of the Vietnam War, I can use this source to help describe the origin of the conflict. Cox, M. S. (2006). “Keep Our Black Warriors Out of the Draft”: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement at Southern University, 1968-1973. Educational Foundations, 20(1/2), 123–144. This is a great perspective of the anti-war movement that was heavily against the draft, I can show a different point of view with this source. Duc, N. (2005, March 17). Vietnamese american: The best outcome of vietnam war. Retrieved from http://www.vietamericanvets.com/Page-Diaspora-BestOutcomeofVNWar.htm
This is a good account to what happened to the Vietnamese people after the war had ended. I can also use this reference as a positive outcome from the Vietnam War. Harder, R. O. (2013). The 11-Day War. Aviation History, 23(3), 35–41. This article describes a operation during the Vietnam War that I can use to describe events during the war, and also the effect it can have on the American public in this time. Hickman, K. (2011). Vietnam 101: A short introduction. Retrieved from http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/vietnamwar/p/VietnamBrief.htm This source is great to help me formulate the cause of the Vietnam War, and give an introduction to the event that occurred. Jenkins, P. (2013). The Vietnamese diaspora. Christian Century, 130(2), 45. This reference shows a great perspective of the Roman Catholic church and their hand in the Vietnam War, I can use this to show the tension that existed in Vietnam. McLaughlin, E. (2011). Television coverage of the vietnam war and the vietnam veteran. Retrieved from http://www.warbirdforum.com/media.htm Using this source I can describe the play media had in the war and the opinion the people of America formed over the war in Vietnam.
Schueckler, J. (1995). A failed night ranger extraction, phan thiet, 1969. Retrieved from http://history1900s.about.com/gi/o.htmzi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=history1900s&cdn=education&tm=247&f=10&tt=14&bt=0&bts=1&zu=http://www.vietnamexp.com/morestories/morestories.htm This is a great piece of work made by someone who was an actual soldier during the Vietnam War. I can describe the war and its effect through the eyes of Vietnam Set the Stage for Drone Missions Today. (2013). American History, 48(1), 7–7. This reference gives a good example of the effect that a specific event during the Vietnam had on the current times. I can make good use of this article to show the impact the Vietnam War had.