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A Rumor Of War. A Brief History Of The Events Leading To The Vietnam War, And A Critical Analaysis Of The Novel "A Rumor Of War".

1688 words - 7 pages

President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address set the trend of his administration to adopt an ever more active role in world politics. The internationalist administration was committed to spreading Capitalism and Democracy around the globe. Kennedy said that the country was prepared "to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty." This sounds all very well and romantic, but after reading Caputto's The Rumor if War it is easy to argue that the Kennedy administration's decision to deploy and later escalated the presence of American military force in Indochina did very little to oppose our communist foe, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, and did even less to assure the survival and success of liberty.Following the Great Depression and World War II the American public had an unprecedented sense of patriotism and idealism. Armed with a monopoly on the atomic bomb, and the most powerful economy in the world, Americans began to see themselves as not only the model of what it is to be a great nation, but also as the world's only superpower. The period of global military superiority was short lived; by 1950 it was apparent that another military and economic superpower had emerged in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union tested and successfully exploded an atomic bomb, and many Americans as well as Europeans believed it to be almost inevitable that a new world war, fought with atomic weapons, would be fought between Capitalist America and Socialist Russia. But the American peoples Perception that their nation epitomized what all nations should strive to be, would last well into the period of the Vietnam War..As the leading advocate of private ownership, America needed a stable, predictable world, eager for imports, to avert a resurrection of the Great Depression. The United States wanted to put down nationalist movements around the world. Groups such as the Viet Cong in Indochina or the Greek revolutionary movement threatened the open market system. In response to the communist guerrillas that had begun leftist uprisings in Greece and Turkey President Harry Truman committed America to aid all governments facing domestic leftist insurrections. This later would be referred to as the Truman Doctrine, and help to usher in the era of containment, that would eventually lead to the deaths of 58,000 military men and women in Vietnam.The United States began taking an active interest in Vietnam after it had became clear that the Communists led by Mao Zedong would win the Chinese Civil war. Fearing that communism would sweep all of Southeast Asia Truman agreed to send $18 million in military aid to fight the war against the Vietminh nationalists in Indochina, and by 1954 the American Congress approved paying over three-quarters of the cost of France's Indochina War. "After Eisenhower took office, Frances's position in Southeast Asia deteriorated...After the French fortress of...

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